Fdd's overnight brief

April 21, 2023

In The News


Iran’s navy forced a U.S. submarine to surface as it entered the Gulf, Iranian navy commander Shahram Irani told state television on Thursday, but the United States Navy’s Fifth Fleet denied such an incident had taken place. – Reuters

A new bipartisan caucus in Congress is condemning the Iranian government over the recent poisoning of school girls in the country, amplifying the growing criticism in Washington against the Islamic Republic and its disregard for human rights. – Associated Press

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Thursday said Iran was the “driving force” of a recent multi-front escalation, while detailing the funding the Islamic Republic provides to its proxies across the region. – Times of Israel 

Iran’s defense ministry has delivered to the army more than 200 new drones equipped with missile capabilities and electronic warfare systems, state media reported on Thursday. – Agence France-Presse

The foreign ministers of Iran and Jordan spoke on Thursday and agreed to meet “as soon as possible” in order to discuss relations between the two countries. – Jerusalem Post 

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett compared Iran to a failed state which has infected every country it touches in the region with its dysfunction. – Iran International 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: It is not entirely clear how successful the sanctions have been, but what is important is that the US and Europe now see the Iran drone program as a threat and understand that Iran’s threats to the Middle East won’t stay in the Middle East. – Jerusalem Post 

Saeid Golkar and Kasra Aarabi write: For its part, the SBO will do its best to operate in the shadows under the guise of a student organization. Its official status as a student outfit has, for decades, enabled it to mask its organized terror operations against generations of Iran’s liberal youth. There should be no doubt that a violent and extremist paramilitary force lies under this guise, one which stands at the very core of the IRGC’s coercive machinery.  – New Lines Magazine

Russia & Ukraine

Months after dire warnings from Washington that Ukraine would not be able to hold Bakhmut against an onslaught of Russian mercenaries, Ukrainian forces still cling to the city’s western edge in what has stretched into the longest and most deadly fight of the war. – Washington Post 

Europe’s air-traffic control agency said Thursday that it was under attack from pro-Russian hackers amid fears that Moscow could interfere with the region’s critical infrastructure as its confrontation with the West escalates. – Wall Street Journal

Russia said it had mistakenly bombed its own territory late Thursday as Ukraine’s Western backers were preparing to meet to discuss future military deliveries to the country to assist in Kyiv’s expected counteroffensive. – Wall Street Journal 

When the Ukrainian social media influencer Anna Tsukur started building her business as a fitness guru several years ago, she made choices to maximize her appeal — focus on women, shoot in inspiring locations like Bali and, above all, speak in Russian. – New York Times

Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, said on Thursday that Ukraine’s “rightful place” was in the Atlantic alliance as he visited Kyiv for the first time since Russia’s invasion nearly 14 months ago. – New York Times

Denmark and the Netherlands announced Thursday that they plan to provide Ukraine with at least 14 refurbished German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks, to be supplied from early 2024. – Associated Press

The Group of Seven (G7) countries are considering a near-total ban on exports to Russia, Kyodo news agency reported on Friday, citing Japanese government sources. – Reuters

A Russian warplane accidentally fired a weapon into the city of Belgorod near Ukraine late on Thursday, causing an explosion and damaging buildings, Tass cited the defence ministry as saying. – Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov condemned U.S. sanctions on Cuba on Thursday as he visited the island and met with top leaders, including newly re-elected President Miguel Díaz-Canel. – Associated Press

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko on Thursday said the city had terminated the Russian Embassy’s deal to lease land in the capital and wanted the property to be returned to the Ukrainian state. – Reuters

Even as Russia appears to be on the losing side of its Ukraine assault, Moscow is doubling down, reportedly sending “ghost” spy vessels to the North Sea in preparation for sabotage missions in case an all-out war against NATO breaks out. – New York Sun 

Russian President Vladimir Putin is not a “master genius,” according to one of Ukraine’s most prominent diplomats, but he is merely the current “alpha” of a deeply corrupt and complex Russian political system in which much is out of the dictator’s control. – Newsweek 

A Russian state TV guest has denied claims made in the past by pundits and officials about the country’s plan to take control of Kyiv within three days, at the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war. – Newsweek 

Cracks are beginning to show in the Kremlin over recent comments made by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner Group, a paramilitary outfit fighting in Ukraine, according to a Ukrainian intelligence official. – Newsweek 

Russian forces fighting in Moscow-occupied southern Ukraine have likely suffered “heavy losses,” the British Defense Ministry has said, after the Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin had traveled to the annexed Ukrainian territory. – Newsweek 

Over the past 14 months, Western countries have pledged to provide Ukraine with more than $65 billion worth of direct military aid, most of it coming from the United States. Now, with a major Ukrainian counteroffensive looming, prominent officials in Kyiv have begun to call for those Western countries to assume a more forward role in the maintenance of that new arsenal, including the provision of technical personnel on the ground closer to the war zone. – Newsweek 

Russian troops in Crimea have been shifted to defensive positions on the peninsula that Moscow seized in 2014, according to Ukraine. – Newsweek 

China’s unconvincing neutrality on Russia’s ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine is “good enough” for Kyiv, the country’s top representative in the U.K. has told Newsweek, and will remain so as long as Beijing does not arm Moscow’s forces with significant weaponry. –Newsweek 

An early warning system that Israel is developing for Ukraine to sound an alert of incoming Russian strikes will reportedly be stationed in Kyiv next month as part of a pilot program. – Times of Israel 

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba slammed the EU on Thursday for failing to “implement its own decision” to jointly purchase ammunition for Ukraine as the bloc’s members spar over how to enact the plans. – Politico

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin faces a daunting task this week as he heads to Germany to host a meeting of international defense chiefs supporting Ukraine: convince Kyiv that U.S. confidence is unbroken after its secret doubts spilled into the open. – Politico

Andreas Kluth writes: To some extent, of course, the destinies of Ukraine and Europe already are tied together. That’s why the West must support Ukraine with everything it’s got, short of Article 5. Beyond that, the best NATO can do is to leave no doubt in Moscow that any attack on any ally would lead to certain Russian defeat. – Bloomberg

Michael Gfoeller and David H. Rundell write: The classic requirements for a just war include a reasonable possibility of victory. While a generation of Ukrainian men are dying, the sad reality is that Ukraine has about as much chance of winning a war against Russia as Mexico would of winning a war with the United States.[…]Unless we are prepared to risk significant escalation that could well involve NATO forces fighting Russians, the best way to assure the survival of a viable, independent Ukrainian state is to negotiate a settlement now. – Newsweek 

Mark Davis writes: Is there an imaginable global crisis so profound, with an accompanying pack of lies so pernicious, that some future rogue disclosure might be defensible? Perhaps. But this is not it. Eyes are already peeled in the direction of our Ukrainian efforts, and skeptical attention already runs high. Success will be easy to recognize, and so will failure. We did not need a leak to make clear the slim chances of success in Ukraine, and when leaks occur, we do not need to react with delight if the result is a fleeting political win. – Newsweek 

Elina Beketova writes: While the Russians flout international law, residents in the occupied territories have several options to survive: leave the territory, avoid mobilization and refuse Russian documents, or, if mobilized, surrender to the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the first opportunity. If they can survive that long. – Center for European Policy Analysis


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has nominated a Cabinet minister known for inflammatory comments and for leading a grassroots campaign against African migrants to the post of consul general in New York, a high-profile job that deals with outreach to American Jews. – Associated Press

Israel’s Defense Ministry on Thursday said it has begun talks to sell an advanced missile defense system to Germany. The announcement came two weeks after Israel said it was selling another missile defense system to NATO’s newest member, Finland. – Associated Press

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen inaugurated a permanent embassy in the Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan on Thursday, establishing his country’s closest diplomatic presence to Iran, as Israel seeks to strengthen ties to its arch-foe’s neighbours. – Reuters

Germany has appointed an eight-person commission to re-appraise the attack on Israeli athletes and team members at the 1972 Munich Olympics to answer unresolved questions, said German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser in a statement on Friday. – Reuters

Hamas, the small Palestinian militant group once confined to the Gaza Strip, is growing in influence, making inroads against its enemy Israel while rebuilding ties across the Middle East. After its sponsor, Iran, re-established relations with arch-rival Saudi Arabia, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and his deputies visited the kingdom this week for the first time in years. It’s also re-established ties with Syria after a decade-long rift, and set up bases in Turkey, Lebanon and Qatar.  – Bloomberg 

Likud lawmaker May Golan said Thursday she will work with all Jewish organizations as Israel’s consul general in New York, if she takes up an offer to serve in the high-profile diplomatic post. – Times of Israel 

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned on Thursday that Israel would likely no longer see limited conflicts on single fronts, but rather would have to face a multi-front escalation in the near future. – Times of Israel 

Israel has a “direct line” to Sudan’s military chiefs, an Israeli diplomatic official told The Times of Israel on Thursday, as it tries to contribute to efforts to calm fighting within the country. – Times of Israel 

Israeli security forces arrested a Bedouin Israeli man suspected of smuggling weapons into Israel from Jordan overnight, confiscating 63 handguns, the military and police said Thursday morning. – Times of Israel 

Turkmenistan is considering opening an embassy in Israel, the leader of the central Asian country told Foreign Minister Eli Cohen in Ashgabat on Thursday. – Times of Israel 

Israeli Defense officials said Thursday that the gas deal with Lebanon was not the cause for the recent northern rocket fire and the terror wave across the country. – Ynet

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shrugged off concerns over the diplomatic thaw between arch-nemesis Iran and hoped-for-ally Saudi Arabia, telling US media Wednesday that Riyadh has no illusions about whom it can trust. – Times of Israel 

Italian Senator Giulio Terzi sent a letter to Italian Foreign and International Cooperation Minister Antonio Tajani on Tuesday, calling to consider the future of UN Special Rapporteur for Palestinian Territories Francesca Albanese after she expressed divisive views related to her work. – Jerusalem Post


President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday flicked the switch on Turkey’s first delivery of natural gas to an onshore plant from a reserve discovered in the Black Sea, and promised to provide free natural gas for households before May 14 elections. – Reuters

The top foreign policy aide to Turkish presidential challenger Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has told Newsweek he is hopeful that a new Turkish parliament will approve Sweden’s delayed accession to NATO before alliance members meet for their next summit this summer—if President Recep Tayyip Erdogan loses next month’s election. – Newsweek 

Dan Perry writes: It’s not crazy to expect that an Erdogan victory on May 14 would be welcomed by former President Donald Trump, who may well be the Republican nominee for president once more in 2024. The man who tried to overturn the 2020 US election needs fake democracy to appear on the march around the globe—in Turkey no less than Hungary, Poland, and Israel. – Newsweek

Middle East & North Africa

The U.S. military repatriated a prisoner to Algeria on Thursday who had been held at Guantánamo without charge for more than two decades, as the Biden administration continues its efforts to reduce the detainee population at the Navy base. – New York Times

Ukraine’s military intelligence agency developed plans to conduct covert attacks on Russian forces in Syria using secret Kurdish help, according to a leaked top-secret U.S. intelligence document. – Washington Post 

A Dutch salvage company has reached agreement with the United Nations to pump oil from a rusting tanker off the coast of war-ravaged Yemen in a move hailed as a “critical milestone” in moves to avert a possible environmental disaster, its parent company announced Thursday. – Associated Press

Noah Feldman writes: As for Ghannouchi himself, this gentle man who has seen such vicissitudes in his country’s development refuses to be discouraged. “I am optimistic about the future,” he said after a judge ordered him to be held pending trial. “Tunisia is free.” If only that were true. – Bloomberg

Joe W. Issa-El-Khoury writes: Federalism is a way to prevent Lebanon, one of the oldest multicultural countries in the world, from falling apart. Lebanese need to seriously consider the application of the “geo-cultural” federal system as the best way to eradicate corruption, apply accountability, safeguard cultural diversity, and eliminate religious tensions while preserving the unity of Lebanon. The situation in Lebanon is so tragic that in order to achieve this radical change, it is crucial for all factions to urgently engage in honest, dispassionate, and constructive discussions away from demagoguery in order to avoid disastrous consequences for Lebanon. – Washington Institute

Alexander Langlois writes: If the region and world continue to view Lebanon as a playground for their geopolitical ambitions, the country will experience worsening economic and political degradation. As the recent Israeli strikes and political statements in Lebanon suggest, the situation is set to worsen so long as those in positions of power continue to reject the writing on the wall. – The National Interest

Korean Peninsula

North Korea’s foreign minister on Friday called the Group of Seven wealthy democracies a “tool for ensuring the U.S. hegemony” as she lambasted the group’s recent call for the North’s denuclearization. – Associated Press

South Korea said on Thursday it summoned China’s ambassador to protest at Beijing’s criticism of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s remarks on Taiwan. – Reuters

Here’s a suggestion by a top Russian official for wreaking vengeance on South Korea in case the South really does begin shipping weapons for Ukrainian forces: How about arming North Korea with Russian weapons? – New York Sun


China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, has rolled out the red carpet for President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, lauding him as “an old friend of the Chinese people.” He has sipped tea in a garden with President Emmanuel Macron of France, treating him to a performance on an ancient Chinese zither. And he has talked on the phone with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, offering well wishes for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.- New York Times

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said protecting national security would be the U.S. priority in its relationship with China even if it slows economic growth, taking a hawkish stance as she pushed for more collaboration with Beijing. – Wall Street Journal

China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang said on Friday that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to China, and that it is right and proper for China to uphold its sovereignty. – Reuters

Western media reports on China’s population being overtaken by India deliberately ignores China’s development, using the topic to “bad mouth” it and advocate decoupling, state broadcaster CCTV said on Thursday. – Reuters

China’s military plans to conduct at least five drills in various areas that include waters off its coast and in the South China Sea, amid simmering tensions with Taiwan and the US. – Bloomberg

A group of US lawmakers gathered around maps spread out on tables in a committee room on Capitol Hill Wednesday night, pretending to advise the president after a hypothetical Chinese invasion of Taiwan. – Bloomberg

China’s push to become self-reliant in the technology sphere is driving more European companies operating there to rethink their research and development plans, according to a report published Friday by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. – Bloomberg

William Moloney writes: Clearly, it is one thing to rally Europeans against a nearby and historically threatening Russia, but an entirely different proposition to enlist support for potential military conflict with distant China, with whom there is no history of aggression and which is vitally important to the economies of every European country. – The Hill

Rebeccah L. Heinrichs writes: Ending support for Ukraine’s defense would neither propel the United States to a swift pivot to the Pacific nor speed up weapons deliveries to Taiwan. But it would bolster Russia’s ability to subjugate Ukraine, further weaken NATO’s position against Russia, and possibly result in the direct invasion of NATO allies[…]Lastly, such an abandonment would communicate a lack of US resolve to stand firm against authoritarian imperialism—a message that would certainly be received with gladness in Beijing. – Hudson Institute

Nicholas Khoo writes: On the issue of China’s provision of military aid to Russia, a policy of U.S. deterrence has succeeded: Beijing will continue its diplomatic and economic support for Russia, but exercise restraint on military support. The reasons for this policy continuation reflects a combination of factors: the dangers of a Chinese military commitment to Russia; a concern that military aid to Russia will trigger economic sanctions from Brussels and Washington; and the imperative to improve China’s international image. – The National Interest

South Asia

Pakistan’s top diplomat Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will travel to India next month for a meeting of a regional grouping known as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the foreign ministry spokesperson said Thursday. – Associated Press

Russian deliveries of military supplies to India have ground to a halt as the countries struggle to find a payment mechanism that doesn’t violate US sanctions, according to Indian officials with knowledge of the matter.  – Bloomberg

Former Indian Navy officers are facing charges of spying on Qatar’s secret submarine program in the service of Israel, Indian media reported on Thursday. – Ynet

Manjari Chatterjee Miller and Clare Harris write: The Modi government is being strategic and intentional about using the G-20 presidency to its advantage. By highlighting India’s heritage and economic successes as a rising world power, Modi aims to show that India can speak to the needs of smaller, developing nations as well as major world powers. Simultaneously, through aggressive advertising and by inviting the Indian public to be a part of this usually elite, remote, and even boring event, the government is making the case that India’s G-20 presidency and growing influence are a consequence of Modi’s strong leadership. The challenge for Modi lies in delivering on heightened expectations. – Foreign Policy


President Joe Biden will host Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for talks at the White House next month as the U.S. looks to continue to tighten relations with the Pacific nation. – Associated Press

Hong Kong’s Roman Catholic bishop on Friday said he had invited a leader of the Communist Party-controlled group for Catholics in mainland China to visit his city, in a high-profile gesture aimed at improving strained Vatican relations with Beijing. – Associated Press

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will attend the NATO summit in July, his office said on Friday, days after his New Zealand counterpart, Chris Hipkins, confirmed his attendance. – Reuters

Vietnam took aim at China on Thursday for imposing an annual ban on fishing in a vast area of the South China Sea, calling it a violation of its sovereignty and urging Beijing not to complicate matters. – Reuters

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will visit Japan next week as he tests the international waters ahead of a possible decision to seek the Republican nomination for US president. – Bloomberg


The coming together of political opposites in Berlin under the banner of peace had been percolating for months, though the union remains ad hoc and unofficial. But marrying Germany’s extremes is an explicit Kremlin goal and was first proposed by senior officials in Moscow in early September, according to a trove of sensitive Russian documents largely dated from July to November that were obtained by a European intelligence service and reviewed by The Washington Post. – Washington Post 

The German military will end its Patriot anti defence units in fellow NATO members Slovakia and Poland this year, a spokesperson for the defence ministry was quoted as saying, as Berlin tries to make the best use of its limited military resources. – Reuters

The Danish Maritime Authority said Thursday that it was lifting a ban on sailing in the area of the Baltic Sea where gas leaked after the explosions that incapacitated the Nord Stream pipelines last year. However, the agency said it was maintaining the restriction in areas where “anchoring, fishing and work on the seabed are discouraged within a distance of 1 nautical mile from the leak positions due to underwater obstacles.” – Associated Press

Hungary will add honey and certain meat products to a list of food items it has temporarily banned from being imported from Ukraine in an effort to relieve market pressures on Hungarian farmers, a government minister said Thursday. – Associated Press

A veteran diplomat who was appointed less than three weeks ago to promote Dutch involvement in the reconstruction of Ukraine has quit over remarks he made — reportedly about Russia — in a new book, the government announced Thursday. –Associated Press

Britain’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly cut short a Pacific tour Friday to return to Britain and deal with the deteriorating situation in Sudan. – Associated Press

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius rejected a quick decision on Ukraine’s membership at NATO, the Western alliance that has supported Ukraine throughout its war with Russia, with member states supplying it with weapons. – Reuters

France and Germany, which are among dozens of nations reported to host a network of alleged overseas stations used by Chinese security forces to monitor and harass dissidents, are probing potential operations on their own soil in connection with the issue. – Newsweek 

Lithuania plans to disconnect its power grid from Russia’s to gauge the Baltic country’s ability to sever its last remaining energy link to Moscow. – Bloomberg

David Ignatius writes: To sum up: Russia and China are deadly serious about controlling information — on the ground in their suppression of journalists and in global forums that are shaping the rules for cyberspace. The United States might have invented the modern digital world, but Russia and China want to put their hands on the kill switch. – Washington Post 

SaraJane Rzegocki writes: Summer is approaching in Washington, but the temperature in relations with Budapest is getting much colder. If the proposed new sanctions bill passes, it would be a strong signal to Orbán that the time for grand nationalist gestures is at an end. But regardless; it’s time the US amplified the message and adopted more aggressive penalties. – Center for European Policy Analysis


The Pentagon is preparing forces in east Africa to conduct a possible evacuation of American personnel from Sudan, where fighting in its capital of Khartoum has threatened the security of U.S. diplomats and others. – Wall Street Journal

A rivalry between Sudan’s top two generals erupted into warfare on April 15, pitting the East African country’s military against a state-sponsored militia called the Rapid Support Forces. The military is using jet fighters to strike RSF positions, many in densely populated areas, while both factions are engaging in street battles using guns and artillery fire, trapping millions of Sudanese in their homes without food or water. – Wall Street Journal

Russia’s paramilitary Wagner Group has offered heavy weapons to the leader of Sudan’s Rapid Support Force, one of two rival factions battling for control of the East African country, according to a current and a former U.S. official, and a person close to the Sudanese general. – Wall Street Journal

Across Sudan, desperate families are weighing their chances of survival: Stay in homes with dwindling food and water as mortars and artillery shells rain down, or grab your loved ones and head into streets crackling with gunfire, dodging checkpoints, tanks and battling soldiers? – Washington Post 

Fighting in Sudan intensified on Thursday morning as a bombardment by warplanes in the center of the capital, Khartoum, amounted to one of the most fearsome assaults yet in the violent days-long clashes. – New York Times

Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) said it had agreed to a 72-hour truce from 6 a.m. (0400 GMT) on Friday but residents of Khartoum and its sister city Bahri reported gunfire as Sudanese troops deployed in the cities on foot. – Reuters

At least 320 Sudanese soldiers have fled into neighboring Chad amid fighting in their own country, authorities said. – Associated Press

Sudan’s top general said Friday the military is committed to a transition to civilian rule, in his first speech since brutal fighting between his forces and the country’s powerful paramilitary began nearly a week ago. – Associated Press

A senior Malian official and three other people have been killed in an ambush in an area of the country’s southwest, the government said Thursday. The attack occurred in an area where Islamic extremists are active. – Associated Press

At least 20 people have been killed and others abducted by extremists in eastern Congo’s North Kivu province, a civil society group said Thursday. The Allied Democratic Forces — believed to be linked with the Islamic State group — attacked civilians in Samboko village in Beni territory on Wednesday, Mamove civil society organization president Kinos Katuho told The Associated Press. – Associated Press

Catrina Doxsee writes:  If Wagner hedges its bets by splitting its support between factions or by maintaining some level of deniability while supporting one side, a full account of its actions may also help to undermine long-term support for Russian interests in Sudan—particularly the probability of ever finalizing basing rights. Moreover, understanding how Wagner responds to the local conflict in Sudan will better enable decisionmakers to understand risks and opportunities the next time a similar crisis arises. – Center for Strategic and International Studies

The Americas

President Biden and his team are preparing to announce his reelection campaign next week, with aides finalizing plans to release a video for the president to officially launch his campaign, according to three people briefed on the plans. – Washington Post

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Thursday that the Biden administration plans to announce preparations across the U.S.-Mexico border next week in anticipation of an influx of migrants after the White House lifts pandemic-related restrictions on May 11. – Washington Post 

Colombian President Gustavo Petro told President Joe Biden in their first meeting Thursday that he supports lifting sanctions on the far-left government in Venezuela in return for restoring democracy. – Agence France-Presse

US President Joe Biden is seeking $500 million to bolster Brazil’s strategy to protect the Amazon, a gesture to his counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva amid recent tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and relations with China. – Bloomberg


Two companies that make tools for manufacturing chips said that they expect sales to China to boom later this year despite U.S. export restrictions on equipment used to make cutting-edge semiconductors. – Reuters

South Korea is poised to extend its dominance over the global memory-chip market at China’s expense as US export controls shift the dynamics of semiconductor supply chains, a leading industry forecaster predicts. – Bloomberg

The Wisconsin shipyard that builds the U.S. Navy’s Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship and the Constellation-class guided-missile frigate suffered a ransomware attack last week that delayed production across the shipyard, USNI News has learned. – USNI News

 A bicameral group of lawmakers today introduced legislation that would require the Pentagon to “expand cybersecurity cooperation with Taiwan” to counter threats from China. – Breaking Defense


U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday announced Cara Abercrombie as his pick to take over as assistant secretary of defense for acquisition, a post without a permanent leader since early 2021. – Defense News 

The U.S. commander in the Indo-Pacific considers domination of the electromagnetic spectrum, which militaries rely upon for weapons guidance, communications and deception, a top priority that requires additional resources. – Defense News 

The United States military needs to speed up the development of a trio of enhanced missiles to prepare for any potential military conflict with China, according to the US commander in charge of the region. – Breaking Defense 

John Sattely and Jesse Johnson write: The dynamic maritime sustainment concept is more than just a flexible network for the Navy and Marine Corps. It serves as a strategic insurance policy that enhances maritime maneuvers and increases options for sustaining forces ashore and afloat. In this way, dynamic maritime sustainment mitigates against the critical vulnerabilities of distance and time. Without survivable logistics, no strategy or operational concept is effective or feasible. – War on the Rocks

Ryan Evans writes: In order to make all of this possible, the United States and Ukraine will need to improve the way they work together from a defense industrial perspective, especially when it comes to technology transfers, export restrictions, local production, and intellectual property concerns. Figuring out how to do this today with Ukraine could make it easier to do it tomorrow if another tragic war erupts in Asia or elsewhere. Finally, there is the issue of speed. One might think that Ukraine’s wartime military bureaucracies are working with great alacrity and velocity. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. – War on the Rocks