Fdd's overnight brief

August 10, 2022

In The News


Israeli President Isaac Herzog spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday about Russia’s attempt to ban the world’s biggest Jewish non-profit group, which helps Jews move to Israel. – Reuters

For the masked gunmen in Jenin refugee camp, Israel’s unannounced strike against Islamic Jihad in Gaza on Friday can have come as little surprise after months of clashes that have steadily lifted the profile of the Iran-backed militant group. – Reuters

Israeli students claim that ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s is “illegally” occupying land in Vermont that once belonged to a Abenaki native American tribe and should practice what it preaches and immediately evacuate the properties. – New York Post

Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers issued sweeping new restrictions on journalists after the recent conflict there, but then rescinded them, a group representing foreign media in Israel and the Palestinian territories said Tuesday. – Associated Press

Eight bombs, including one that exploded in the apartment on the floor above where he was hiding, were fired by the Israel Air Force and used to kill senior Islamic Jihad commander Tayseer al-Jabari in the northern Gaza Strip during Operation Breaking Dawn last Friday. – Jerusalem Post

Defense Minister Benny Gantz put Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leaders on notice on Tuesday, warning that they should all be “worried” should the ceasefire with Israel be violated. – Times of Israel

The US Department of Defense will not downgrade the rank of the military post tasked with bolstering security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, following bipartisan opposition from lawmakers, two Congressional aides said Tuesday. – Times of Israel

Editorial: Instead of being rewarded for helping the army and government achieve the operation’s goals, they get spit on. It’s time for change and for the politicians – from across the political spectrum – to get hold of themselves and convene the committee today. These heroes of Israel’s South deserve more. – Jerusalem Post

Neri Zilber writes: And just as quickly, by the middle of this week the situation on the ground returned to pre-war “normal” in both southern Israel and Gaza. It’s a testament to the strategic value that both Israel and Hamas place on the economic and civilian facet of their budding relationship. But it’s also a sign that no one quite has any better ideas. Absent a longer-term and deeper understanding between the two sides, this precarious dance will be just enough to push off another conflagration — until the next round. – News Line

Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum (ret.) and Samuel B. Millner write: These steps will not only allow Israel and Morocco to lead the way for a partner-led regional security strategy, but they will also create the stable geopolitical space necessary to unlock the potential of Israeli-Moroccan partnership in critical technological and financial domains. In a moment of both historic instability and opportunity, equipping our Middle Eastern and North African security partners to jointly shoulder the burden holds the key to setting a new course of mutual prosperity for the region. – Defense News


Seventeen months after the United States and Iran began negotiating a possible return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal abandoned by President Donald J. Trump, the European Union has presented a “final” proposal for the two sides to consider before the talks collapse for good, Western officials said. – New York Times

Iran made its first official import order using cryptocurrency this week, the semi-official Tasnim agency reported on Tuesday, a move that could enable the Islamic Republic to circumvent U.S. sanctions that have crippled the economy. – Reuters

The U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday accused Far East Cable, China’s largest wire and cable manufacturer, of violating U.S. export controls related to shipments of telecommunications equipment to Iran. – Reuters

Iran’s Space Organisation has received the first telemetry data sent from the “Khayyam” satellite, a remote-sensing Iranian satellite launched on Tuesday by a Russian rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the official IRNA news agency said. – Reuters

Iran has released Iranian-French academic Fariba Adelkhah on furlough for five days, her lawyer told the Emtedad website on Tuesday, a day after Tehran and Washington wound up indirect talks in Vienna to revive a 2015 nuclear pact. – Reuters

Israeli officials don’t believe Tehran will accept the latest text Western negotiators have agreed upon as delegates returned home Monday following the most recent Iran nuclear talks in Vienna. – Haaretz

Russia & Ukraine

Less than 100 miles east, artillery salvos pound Ukrainian defensive positions as Russian forces inch forward. But below the surface of this sprawling Donbas coalfield, a dwindling number of miners are still working, extracting a fuel that is emblematic of one of Ukraine’s biggest challenges. – Washington Post

After explosions rocked a Russian air base in occupied Crimea Tuesday, Ukrainian government officials warned the blasts were “just the beginning,” and vowed to liberate the territory, which Moscow annexed in 2014. – Washington Post

To reach targets deep behind enemy lines, the Ukrainian military is believed to be turning to residents of Russian-occupied territories who are loyal to Ukraine. – New York Times

A private in the Ukrainian army unfolded the rotors of a common hobby drone and, with practiced calm, attached a grenade to a device that can drop objects and was designed for commercial drone deliveries. – New York Times

Russia has “almost certainly” established a major new ground forces formation to support its operations in Ukraine, Britain said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Russian shelling killed 11 people in Ukraine’s central Dnipropetrovsk region overnight, governor Valentyn Reznychenko said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Ukraine is not taking responsibility for explosions at a Russian air base in Crimea on Tuesday, an advisor to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, suggesting partisans might have been involved. – Reuters

The head of Ukraine’s state nuclear power firm warned on Tuesday of the “very high” risks of shelling at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the Russian-occupied south and said it was vital Kyiv regains control over the facility in time for winter. – Reuters

None of the Russians targeted by European Union sanctions have declared their assets to German authorities as required to do under Germany’s sanctions law, the German government said, prompting a call for the transparency regime to be tightened. – Reuters

Russia’s defence ministry said on Tuesday that Russian forces had destroyed an ammunition depot near the central Ukrainian city of Uman storing U.S.-made HIMARS missiles and M777 howitzers. – Reuters

In a growing challenge to Russia’s grip on occupied areas of southeastern Ukraine, guerrilla forces loyal to Kyiv are killing pro-Moscow officials, blowing up bridges and trains, and helping the Ukrainian military by identifying key targets. – Associated Press

The flow of oil along a key pipeline transporting Russian crude to central Europe has been halted amid a row over payments, threatening supplies to the region and exposing the EU’s continued reliance on Russian imports. – Financial Times

The first grain-carrying ship to set sail from Ukraine since the Russian invasion is stranded off the coast of Turkey after the initial buyer of the cargo refused delivery, according to the UN body supervising the reopening of the Black Sea route. – Financial Times

Moscow insisted Tuesday that major blasts at a key military airbase on the Russian-annexed Crimea peninsula were caused by exploding ammunition rather than Ukrainian fire. – Agence France-Presse

The US believes Russian officials have begun training on drones in Iran over the last several weeks, the latest sign that Russia intends to purchase the systems as the war in Ukraine continues. – CNN

Investigators attempting to uncover the extent of presumed Russian atrocities in the Ukrainian city of Bucha have reached what may be the closest they will come to a full understanding of the massacre. – Washington Examiner

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed sanctions against Moscow as not going far enough, demanding that Western countries ban all Russian citizens from entering their territory. – Washington Examiner

Promises of freedom and riches are made to convicts in cramped jail cells. Frantic phone calls ensue between relatives and inmates weighing the offer. Then prisoners vanish, leaving their loved ones to sift through reports of the wounded arriving in hospitals. – CNN

The French military has banned Russian nationals from visiting the Chateau de Vincennes, a mediaeval fortress and tourist attraction on the edge of Paris, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, officials told AFP. – Agence France-Presse

A major Russian general said that nuclear warfare is on the table in the ongoing war with Ukraine, ushering in a new heightened sense of security nearly six months into the conflict. – Newsweek

Casey Michel writes: There are signs that an awareness of the need for Russian decolonization is starting to dawn in Washington and other Western capitals. But the rest of the world—including Russia itself—must recognize Russia for what it was and still is. Colonization may seem a throwback to previous centuries. But when a colonial empire and a colonial war are staring us in the face—and when men like Mr. Lavrov tell us to look away because there’s nothing to see—the least we can do is stare back, recognizing it for what it is. – Wall Street Journal

Diane Francis writes: Bluntly speaking, Putin’s war is economic suicide. The late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) once slurred Russia as being merely a “gasoline station masquerading as a country,” but it’s worse than that now. Putin has driven away all the gas station’s customers and employees and will be completely out of business sooner than he imagines. – The Hill


The head of Lebanon’s powerful armed movement Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, warned on Tuesday against any Israeli attempts to expand their targeting of Palestinian militants to Lebanon. – Reuters

The leader of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group issued a warning Tuesday to archenemy Israel over the two countries’ maritime border dispute, saying that “any arm” that reaches to steal Lebanon’s wealth “will be cut off.” – Associated Press

Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said that he was appointed by Allah to defend the Lebanese people in a video that was posted on Fasl Al-Khitab on YouTube July 31, 2022. He said: “We are people who were appointed by Allah because we fear Judgement Day.” Nasrallah also said that his people are ready to “sacrifice our souls, our children, and all who are dear to us” for the sake of Lebanon and its people, even those people “whose position is unbecoming and inappropriate.” – Middle East Media Research Institute


Tens of thousands of Afghans who helped the American war effort are still trapped in Afghanistan and waiting for visas to the US. – Arutz Sheva

Peter Bergen writes: The Biden administration now faces a policy dilemma of its own making. Since so many millions of Afghans are on the brink of starvation, Biden officials cannot completely turn their backs on Afghanistan. And yet, it’s hard to help Afghans without propping up the Taliban in some manner. The Biden administration has tried to ensure that all US aid to Afghanistan is administered in a way that it doesn’t end up in the hands of the Taliban, but realistically any help that the US sends to Afghanistan tends to help the Taliban remain in power. – CNN

Richard Weitz writes: Still, though Beijing and Moscow might want to upgrade their ties with the Taliban to advance their economic and security interests, they have declined to break with the international consensus against dealing with such an oppressive regime. They will likely continue to extend de facto but not de jure recognition given the “first-mover disadvantage” — neither Russia nor China nor any other foreign country wants to incur the opprobrium of being the first state to recognize the Taliban government. – Middle East Institute

Middle East & North Africa

A former Twitter employee was convicted on Tuesday by a jury in federal court of six charges related to accusations that he spied on the company’s users for Saudi Arabia. – New York Times

Turkey resumed its hydrocarbon drilling operations in the eastern Mediterranean on Tuesday after a two year hiatus, though President Tayyip Erdogan said its new drill ship would operate outside waters also claimed by Cyprus. – Reuters

Herb Keinon writes: Egypt will certainly try to cash in on that role, which is why it, too, was one of the “victors” – if only indirectly – of the latest round of Gaza fighting. For Egypt, the path today to better relations with Washington leads through containing the fires in Gaza. – Jerusalem Post

Vasilis Petropoulos writes: Algeria is perhaps in the most critical period in its diplomatic history since the end of the civil war in the 1990s. Pressing challenges on one side and promising opportunities on the other form the current geopolitical environment. Algeria must recognize this, and that as the war in Ukraine continues to reshape broader multilateral relations, Algiers must determine whether it maintains neutrality or drifts further into the revisionist camp—a decision that will affect its position in the regional and the international systems. – Washington Institute

Korean Peninsula

The foreign ministers of South Korea and China held talks on Tuesday as Seoul explores ways to reopen denuclearisation negotiations with North Korea and resume cultural exports, such as K-pop music and movies, to China. – Reuters

Cybersecurity experts are warning against the rapid growth of cryptocurrency theft led by North Korean state-sponsored hackers following a series of heists targeting blockchain firms. – The Hill

Donald Kirk writes: Korean officials say Korea’s overwhelming concern must be its “national interest.” No one would dispute that assertion. Pelosi’s visit showed that Korea’s interests in China and Taiwan do not align with those of the United States and Japan. – The Hill


China’s ambassador to Australia said that more needed to be done to reset relations between Canberra and Beijing and that the two nations were not at the stage of solving political and trade disputes. – Reuters

Chinese navy ships remained active off both Taiwan’s east and west coasts on Wednesday morning, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters, as Beijing kept up military drills in protest against last week’s visit to the island by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. – Reuters

Hong Kong police arrested two civil servants for speech crimes under a colonial-era sedition law, as authorities expand their crackdown on dissent to government workers. – Bloomberg

Americans concerned about Communist China’s growing strength on the world stage should also beware Beijing’s domestic weakness, as regimes often use such pretexts to manufacture global crises in attempts to hide their failings. – New York Sun

The safest bet in the Strait of Formosa is that the battle for Taiwan has begun. Communist China’s exercises around Taiwan appear likely to be with us for years. That is, the Chinese can turn them on and off, practicing different types of weaponry, moving ships and troops in and out, making sure everyone has their turn. – New York Sun

As China waged extensive military exercises off of Taiwan last week, a group of American defense experts in Washington was focused on their own simulation of an eventual — but for now entirely hypothetical — US-China war over the island. – Jerusalem Post

Wang Wen writes: None of this is meant to gloat over America’s troubles; a strong, stable and responsible United States is good for the world. China still has much to learn from America, and we have a lot in common. We drive Chinese-built Fords and Teslas, wash our hair with Procter & Gamble shampoos and sip coffee at Starbucks. Solving some of the planet’s biggest problems requires that we work together. – New York Times

Li Yuan writes: Congress passed the CHIPS and Science Act recently to help global semiconductor manufacturers set up operations in the country to better compete with China. And President Biden’s administration is better at working with allies than his predecessor’s was. – New York Times

James Stavridis writes: A war between the US and China, of course, is possible in the near term. I co-authored a novel a year ago with the depressing title, “2034: A Novel of the Next World War.” But I wrote the book not as predictive fiction, but rather as a cautionary tale. The US still has time to construct the coherent strategy — militarily, diplomatically, economically, technologically — that could deter such a conflict. The clock is ticking, but the hour of maximum danger almost certainly lies some years ahead. – Bloomberg

Scott Kennedy writes: As the United States looks to extend its superpower status for future generations, although it should not attempt to “out-China” China, it could do worse than to draw from the experiences of smaller successful counterparts who have pursued industrial policies characterized by their relatively humble ambition and creatively managed resources. – Center for Strategic and International Studies

South Asia

A former soldier, Mr. Rajapaksa governed in a way that deepened family rivalries and led to decisions that ultimately had catastrophic consequences for Sri Lanka’s economy, former cabinet members and aides say. – Wall Street Journal

Sri Lanka’s ousted president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, is expected to arrive in Thailand on Thursday, seeking temporary shelter in a second Southeast Asian country after fleeing his island nation last month amid mass protests, two sources said. – Reuters

A suicide bomber attacked a military convoy in a Pakistani tribal region along the Afghan border, killing four soldiers, the army said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Ruodan Xu writes: Despite its many advantages and Western countries’ support, it is unlikely that India can replace China in the global manufacturing supply chain for the foreseeable future. […]Politically, India’s market restrictions make its business environment less favorable and decrease its industrial labor supply. Meanwhile, protectionist traditions hinder India’s ability to adopt an export-oriented growth model and integrate itself into the global supply chain. – The National Interest

Rupert Stone writes: Many expressed frustration with Pakistan’s role in the twenty-year Afghan conflict and must have hoped that the United States could finally hit delete on the relationship when the war ended. But Islamabad is now emerging as the closest thing the West has to a counterterrorism partner among Afghanistan’s immediate neighbors. – The National Interest


Taiwan’s military fired dozens of shells off its southern coast on Tuesday in a simulation of a defense of the island, as Taiwan followed up nearly a week of Chinese military drills with preplanned defensive maneuvers of its own. – Wall Street Journal

This complex daylong war game, played out late last week at a Washington think tank, demonstrated how destructive any attempted Chinese invasion of Taiwan could be across the Indo-Pacific—and what a forbidding challenge the island would be for Beijing’s military forces. – Wall Street Journal

Taiwan’s Beijing-friendly opposition party has sent its deputy leader to China on a trip that Taipei warns risks sowing internal division as the country faces unprecedented intimidation from the People’s Liberation Army. – Financial Times

Tsai Ing-wen offered a faint smile three years ago when a foreign visitor asked her if she was worried about Beijing’s military threat. “Of course. They will come right up the Tamsui River to get me,” Taiwan’s president said, referring to Chinese plans for taking her country, which include capturing or killing its leaders. – Financial Times

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is set to reshuffle his Cabinet on Wednesday in a move seen as trying to distance his administration from controversial ties to the Unification Church following former leader Shinzo Abe’s assassination. – Associated Press

China accused Taiwan’s ruling party of damaging the chances of peaceful unification, as authorities in Beijing attempted to keep the pressure on Taipei a week after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit. – Bloomberg

In a wood-paneled office Mongolia’s prime minister, Luvsannamsrain Oyun-Erdene, sits in front of a gilt framed painting that depicts a warrior and fawn. “It’s called Hero Going to War, by the Mongolian painter Otgontuvden Badam,” explains the chief of staff. But, sandwiched between Russia and China, the last thing Mongolia needs is war or heroics of any kind. – TIME

Joseph Bosco writes: The Biden team also has registered its opposition to a congressional bill that would strengthen and expand U.S. support for Taiwan. Once again, as with the TRA itself and the Pelosi visit, Taiwan finds its strongest friends in Congress and the American people, rather than the administration. – The Hill

Elbridge Colby writes: The United States and its allies are now approaching or perhaps already facing a window of vulnerability over Taiwan. They cannot afford to only focus on the distant future and must confront both the near and longer-term threat. […]Without such clarity or evidence of a sharp change, however, Americans must ask themselves: Is this how their government should be behaving if it actually thinks a major war with a peer superpower is looming? Surely not. And that should really worry us all. – Foreign Affairs


Recent revelations that Greek intelligence tapped an opposition leader’s phone have left the embattled prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, struggling to fend off a mounting scandal ahead of next year’s elections. – Washington Post

French President Emmanuel Macron and Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson reaffirmed their commitment to support Ukraine, invaded by Russia in February, as long as necessary, the French presidential palace said on Tuesday. – Reuters

U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed documents endorsing Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO, the most significant expansion of the military alliance since the 1990s as it responds to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. – Reuters

The prime ministers of Estonia and Finland have called on the EU to stop issuing tourist visas to Russians in an attempt to open up a new sanctions front following Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. – Financial Times

Maria Tadeo writes: The few weeks left before the vote are a lifetime in Italian politics. And anything can happen. But there is now a greater probability of a right-wing government holding the keys to Palazzo Chigi, the home of the prime minister, come autumn. Letta and his Italian Democratic Party should waste no time chasing after Draghi’s ghost. – Bloomberg

Stephen Nix writes: America and our democratic partners can enhance the potential for a peaceful transition of power by providing key diplomatic, political and moral support to the Belarusian democracy movement now, including helping the democracy movement to communicate its vision to the citizens of Belarus. Two years after Lukashenko’s infamous stolen election, the fight for a new Belarus continues. Let’s make sure the United States is on the right side of that fight. – The Hill

Wolfgang Ischinger writes: Thus Berlin, under the right circumstances, is particularly well suited to help lead a global campaign against the revival of Russian imperialism and colonialism, in Ukraine and elsewhere, and against the destruction of the rules-based international order. If Germany can build on Chancellor Scholz’s Zeitenwende program and embrace change instead of clinging to the status quo, it can help provide the leadership that is sorely needed in the European Union and among other democratic nations as they confront increasingly aggressive authoritarian regimes—not only on Europe’s borders but around the world. – Foreign Affairs

Frank Jüris and Dmitri Teperik write: Estonian society is becoming more aware of the possible threats posed by the Chinese government’s malign influence operations, especially in sensitive industries and strategically important economic areas, as well as communication and surveillance technologies. […]Learning from foreign examples and partners’ experiences can bring Estonia more data and evidence on the long-term threats associated with Chinese influence. – Center for European Policy Analysis


Voters across Kenya headed to the polls Tuesday in a finely balanced presidential race between two longtime allies turned fierce rivals, one associated with this East African country’s founding families and the other claiming the mantle of its struggling working class. – Wall Street Journal

At least 15 soldiers were killed in northern Burkina Faso on Tuesday when a transport vehicle drove over a hidden explosive, killing several troops before a second explosion killed those who rushed to their aid, the army said in a statement. – Reuters

Nigeria has arrested five suspects in an Islamist militant attack in a Catholic church that killed 40 people in early June, Chief of Defence Staff General Leo Irabor said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Militants killed 17 Malian soldiers and four civilians in an attack near the town of Tessit on Sunday, the Malian army said. – Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, Tuesday to continue his three-nation tour of Africa. – Associated Press

Latin America

Venezuela will seek to reestablish its military ties with neighbor Colombia, the country’s defense minister said on Tuesday, after years of conflictive relations between the two nations. – Reuters

The U.S. State Department approved a potential $74 million sale of Javelin anti-tank missiles to Brazil that had been stalled for months by senior lawmakers, according to a formal notification sent to the U.S. Congress on Tuesday. – Reuters

Anthony B. Kim writes: China does not currently pose a direct military threat in the region, but it represents serious competi­tion that could dilute U.S. influence to a significant degree. Washington cannot ignore this intrusion, but unfortunately, it already has been creating a sizable and growing vacuum for China to fill in that critical region. […]To that end, it’s in the clear interest of Washington to welcome Guatemala’s continued, recommitted diplomatic engagement with Taiwan and further encourage greater practical interaction between the two nations. – The Daily Signal

North America

The U.S. Senate’s passage of a climate, healthcare and tax bill resulted in a win for the Canadian auto sector, which will benefit from the same electric vehicle tax credits as its U.S. counterpart. – Wall Street Journal

Donald Trump will show up for his long-delayed, court-ordered deposition Wednesday morning in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ inquiry into his Manhattan-based real estate and golf resort empire, Insider has learned. – Business Insider

Tom Cotton writes: Our nation’s greatest enemy shouldn’t be allowed to purchase our homeland and turn it into de facto enemy territory. We would never have permitted Russian communists to acquire our land in the last Cold War, and we ought not to permit Chinese communists to do so in this Cold War. We should not allow a single new tendril of communist influence to take root in American soil. We must ban communist land purchases now. – FOX News


Taiwanese national security officials want to force Apple supplier Foxconn to unwind an $800mn investment in Chinese chip company Tsinghua Unigroup, as Taipei seeks to align itself more closely with the US in the face of escalating threats from Beijing. – Financial Times

Cryptocurrency exchange Curve Finance appeared to have been buffeted by a security incident on Tuesday, adding to a litany of recent breaches afflicting the digital-token sector. – Bloomberg​​

President Joe Biden signed into law Tuesday a multibillion dollar bill boosting domestic semiconductor and other high-tech manufacturing sectors that US leaders fear risk being dominated by rival China. – Agence France-Presse

Government-to-government cooperation on homeland security cyber defense between the US and Israel is spiking, Merlin Cyber founder David Phelps has said in an interview. – Jerusalem Post

No app is more popular than the video-sharing platform TikTok. It has surpassed 3 billion downloads globally, and there are approximately 85 million active users in the United States. However, its close nexus with Beijing-based parent company ByteDance and mounting evidence that the app harvests American user data for China have triggered fresh scrutiny from regulators. Most Americans seem unconcerned as they continue dancing away, but they should think twice. – Washington Examiner

More than a dozen organizations in Eastern Europe and Afghanistan, including industrial plants, research institutes and government agencies, were targeted by a suspected Chinese-speaking hacking group earlier this year, according to new research. – The Record

Weeks after Russia launched its war in Ukraine in February, stories began circulating via Facebook and YouTube that President Vladimir Putin invaded only to destroy a secret U.S. and NATO-run lab making a deadly virus. – CyberScoop


President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador detailed plans to further deepen the military’s role in Mexican life, boosting efforts to bring the national guard under the control of the Defense Ministry. – Bloomberg

The U.S. Army plans to launch a testing campaign aimed at creating a direct avenue to field new capabilities more rapidly. – Defense News

America’s focus on countering intercontinental ballistic missiles is broadening to cruise and hypersonic missiles, and modest spending might not cut it. – Defense News

DB Des Roches writes: The battlefield success of the Patriot and THAAD systems is undeniable. These are truly game-changing weapons. But they still rely on trained and adaptable operators who can sense and understand developments in warfare and minimize the confusion of the battlefield. As always in warfare, the victory is dependent upon the soldier as well as his equipment. Hopefully, the professional development of regional air-defense forces will continue to keep pace with equipment improvements. – Middle East Institute

Long War

The threat from the Islamic State extremist group is growing by the day in Africa and the continent could be “the future of the caliphate,” an African security expert warned the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday. – Associated Press

Defense Minister Benny Gantz told Channel 12 News in an interview on Tuesday evening that “no promise was made to release terrorists, but there will be a dialogue.” – Arutz Sheva

Israeli military forces killed Palestinian militant Ibrahim al-Nabulsi on Tuesday following a prolonged exchange of fire, along with another militant and a 16-year-old. At least 40 others were injured, including four in serious and critical condition, according to Palestinian reports. – Haaretz