Fdd's overnight brief

August 2, 2023

In The News


Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ navy has unveiled new vessels equipped with 600-km range missiles at a time of rising tensions with the U.S. in the Gulf, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on Wednesday. – Reuters 

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps started naval drills around Persian Gulf islands whose sovereignty is disputed by the United Arab Emirates. – Bloomberg 

The commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Hossein Salami stated that the protests sparked after the murder of Mahsa Amini by Tehran’s “morality police” were “the strongest, most dangerous, and most serious” such protests in Iran during a conference of Basij officials on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post 

The State Department’s internal watchdog is scrutinizing the circumstances surrounding the suspension of a top diplomat’s security clearance, according to a letter sent July 21 and viewed by POLITICO. – Politico 

Jack Elbaum writes: So it makes sense why Iran is so terrified of even the possibility of a deal: It hates the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia and knows if they become closer with one another, it presents a threat to the power it is trying to entrench across the region through its myriad terror proxies in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Gaza, and the West Bank. But isn’t that ironic? Iran believes the prospect of peace between two countries that have been sworn enemies until this point is a threat to peace while its sprawling network of terror affiliates is not. The only way to reconcile the statements is if one understands that by a threat to “peace,” Iran actually means a threat to its ambitions to become a regional hegemon. – Washington Examiner 

Jon Gambrell writes: With diplomacy stalled and Iran willing to be more aggressive at sea, the US appears again to be relying on military might to convince Tehran to dial back. But that leaves the rest of the issues between them beyond the seas to continue to fester. – Associated Press 

Russia & Ukraine

A building in central Moscow housing government ministries was struck by a drone Tuesday for the second time in 48 hours, as Ukrainian officials make it increasingly clear that they are not going to allow the war to be limited to their own soil. – New York Times 

In the wake of the war in Ukraine, the port at Wilhelmshaven has emerged as a critical hub for German efforts to break the country’s dependence on Russian energy. It is there, on the North Sea coast, that officials would like to build a giant new terminal to import liquefied natural gas from other sources. There is just one problem that has slowed the plans: the construction site is littered with bombs from previous wars. – New York Times 

The complex of glittering skyscrapers in the Russian capital known as Moscow-City, hit repeatedly by drones in recent days, are home to corporate offices, government ministries, a shopping mall and apartments — some of which are owned by relatives of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, Russian politicians and even a renowned Italian architect. – Washington Post 

Ukraine has thwarted an overnight attempt by a Russian saboteur group to cross its northern border, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko wrote on the Telegram messaging app. – Reuters 

Russia’s defence ministry said on Tuesday it had thwarted attacks by Ukrainian sea drones on its navy and civilian ships in the Black Sea, and a local governor said authorities had also downed a drone over the Crimean city of Sevastopol. – Reuters 

Russian drones attacked and damaged port and grain storage facilities in the south of Ukraine’s coastal Odesa region in the early hours of Wednesday, setting some of them on fire, Ukrainian officials said. – Reuters 

Russia’s embassy in London on Tuesday said Britain had attempted to interfere in its domestic affairs by imposing sanctions on Russian judges and officials involved in the trial of Russian opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza. – Reuters 

In what appears to be a dramatic first, an Israeli merchant ship has successfully broken through Russia’s Black Sea blockade and entered the Ukraine branch of the Danube River. The Ukrainian military website Militarni first reported the striking development, which follows Russia’s decision to pull out of a Ukraine grain deal and Russian shelling of Ukrainian grain silos along the Danube. – New York Sun 

Now, as Russia’s war in Ukraine enters its 18th month, the Crimean Peninsula is again both a playground and a battleground, with drone attacks and bombs seeking to dislodge Moscow’s hold on the territory and bring it back under Kyiv’s authority, no matter how loudly the Kremlin proclaims its ownership. – Associated Press 

Bernard-Henri Lévy writes: May the memory of your illustrious pioneers inspire you. May the souls of the founding fathers of your free nations remind you of your own memory. Léopold Sédar Senghor, Félix Houphouët-Boigny and Louis Rwagasore would never have gone to St. Petersburg as Russia bombed Odesa. Ahmed Sékou Touré and Julius Nyerere would never have let themselves be humiliated by a Russian leader trying, for his own gain, to resuscitate the worst colonial practices. Today’s Africa is the continent of the future and has grand historical responsibilities on the world stage. Its place is alongside the Ukrainians. – Wall Street Journal 

Tom Rogan writes: Top line: it’s understandable that Ukraine believes it deserves the free world’s expansive help in resisting a brutal and utterly unjustified invasion. But by reflexively lashing out whenever even mild requests for greater thanks are made, Ukraine does no service to its own interests. Indeed, it only makes it less likely that future aid will be as generous. – Washington Examiner 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: Ukraine is proving to be a testing ground for many countries and their drone technology. China is now cutting down on exports of drones in a way that may impact drones. Many countries have used simple quadcopter civilian drones for instance to do surveillance on frontlines. But as countries become wary of dual-use technology, it is possible these types of drones might be cut off from procurement. – Jerusalem Post 


One Palestinian was killed by Israeli forces, Palestinian health officials said, after committing a shooting attack that wounded six Israelis outside a shopping mall in the settlement of Ma’ ale Adumim in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Every morning Amir sets up a protest stand to warn passersby that Israeli democracy is in danger from hotly contested legislation to curb the courts. But he’s a very unusual protester – a former Mossad spy who never before questioned the state for which he once risked his life on foreign missions. – Reuters 

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, who is currently on a state visit to Israel, met on Tuesday with President Isaac Herzog, and is also scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. – Jerusalem Post 

The Israeli Navy and the US 5th Fleet on Sunday kicked off their annual joint maritime exercise at a ceremony in Haifa. Dubbed Intrinsic Defender, the two-week joint drill is centered on boosting operational readiness and navy-to-navy cooperation. – Jerusalem Post 

William A. Galston writes: Still, Ben-Gurion was right to emphasize the tensions that judicial review would create in a parliamentary democracy, and many Israelis who reject the current government’s attack on the judiciary believe that the expansion of judicial power in the 1990s went too far. But the quest for a new balance is proving elusive, and the failure to find it could inflict enduring damage. – Wall Street Journal 

Gil Troy writes: Some Likudnikim might be extending a lifeline to him, for us. Even some rivals might be open – just as Begin and Dayan were. Let’s hope our image of Bibi diminished, impotently watching Yoav Gallant and Yariv Levin talk past him in the Knesset, or of Bibi cowering, avoiding an IDF briefing warning of weakened security due to all the chaos, fades soon. Israel needs real leaders, seizing the reins, compromising, cooperating, uniting us constructively, while changing the agenda so Israel can flourish. – Jerusalem Post 

Zina Rakhamilova writes: No matter what side of the reform you stand on, considering the Supreme Court’s role in safeguarding Israel against international bodies has to be a crucial part of the conversation. Israel is still a strong democracy, and our changes to its democratic nature cannot be done without consideration and debate. – Jerusalem Post 

Neville Teller writes: History shows that the chasm between the two organizations goes back to the very founding of Hamas, and that not one of the innumerable attempts to bring them together has succeeded. PA-Hamas unity would become a reality on the day that the self-styled “State of Palestine” forfeits its standing in the UN by turning jihadist, or that Hamas decides to support the two-state solution and recognize that Israel has a legitimate place in the Middle East. – Jerusalem Post 


The head of powerful armed group Hezbollah called on Tuesday for a halt to days of deadly clashes that have raged between rival factions in the Palestinian camp of Ain el-Hilweh in southern Lebanon. – Reuters 

Outbreaks of violence are common in the camp, but 11 people have been killed in the current flare-up — the worst in years, pitting members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement and Islamist militants. The clashes erupted on Sunday when Islamic militants shot and killed Abu Ashraf al-Armoushi, a prominent military official from Fatah, and three escorts as they were walking through a parking lot. – Agence France-Presse 

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah warned that armed groups in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and the Palestinian territories would “prevent attacks” on al-Aqsa Mosque, during a speech on Tuesday afternoon. – Jerusalem Post 

Clashes between Fatah and an Islamist group in the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon continued for a third day on Tuesday, as efforts to reach a ceasefire continued to fail. – Jerusalem Post 

National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi on Monday described the tent that Hezbollah has set up in Israeli territory north of the Blue Line between Israel and Lebanon as a “children’s game.” – Times of Israel 

Arabian Peninsula

A suspected militant attack early Tuesday in southern Yemen killed at least five troops loyal to a secessionist group, in the latest such assault blamed on an affiliate of al-Qaida, a military spokesman said. – Associated Press 

A former top official for the Israel Atomic Energy Commission has warned that agreeing to Saudi Arabia’s demand to be allowed to build a nuclear power plant as part of a normalization deal with Israel may create a dangerous international precedent and effectively prompt a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. – Times of Israel 

A comprehensive list of “touchy and sensitive issues” for the United Arab Emirates, which is running the next UN climate summit, has been revealed in a document leaked to the Guardian. – The Guardian 

Middle East & North Africa

A Turkish staff member at Sweden’s honorary consulate in the western city of Izmir was shot and seriously wounded in front of the consulate building, TRT state broadcaster said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

The Organization for Islamic Cooperation urged its member nations Monday to take action against countries that permit public burning or desecration of the Quran, including the recalling of ambassadors. – Associated Press 

Britain on Tuesday formally acknowledged that acts of genocide were committed against minority Yazidis by Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq in 2014, ahead of the nine-year anniversary of the crimes. – Reuters

Ahmad Hashemi writes: China has even managed to cultivate a pro-Chinese Communist Party base in Turkey. Maoist Patriotic Party leader Doğu Perinçek has earned the title of “Jinping Perinçek” for his outright support for the PRC’s expansionist policies on the South China Sea and his denial of CCP’s Turkic Uighur genocide, which he calls a hoax put on by the CIA. This is a trend the the U.S. cannot afford to overlook. – The Hill 

Joost Hiltermann writes: It is good news that, at the highest levels of government, much of the Middle East seems to be opting to get along. But the glass is only half full. One Houthi drone striking an Abu Dhabi shopping mall, a Lebanese man climbing over the border fence with Israel and attacking a bus, Israeli security forces killing Palestinian youths inside the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and inflaming the entire Muslim world, or Egypt defaulting on its debt and having to slash bread and fuel subsidies—it is all too easy to imagine an event that could quickly upturn the current semblance of regional stability. – Foreign Affairs 

Korean Peninsula

North Korea has offered a very brief response to the United Nations Command about a U.S. soldier who dashed over the heavily-guarded border with South Korea on July 18 and was immediately taken into custody, the Pentagon said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

North Korea denounced the new U.S. special envoy on the country’s human rights issues, Julie Turner, as a “wicked” person who has resorted to “mudslinging” while interfering in other countries’ internal affairs. – Reuters 

Arturo McFields Yescas writes: Ortega’s second dictatorship has maintained a low-key relation with North Korea for many years. Now an isolated and sanctioned Ortega desperately seeks its embrace and military cooperation. Nicaragua and North Korea have a lot in common, including unhealthy cults of personality, assassinations and disappearances of enemies, hatred of the American “empire,” the love of dollars, a single party regime, and a family dynasty. […]Ortega’s actions should have consequences. Nicaragua should also be added to the list of countries that sponsor terrorism, due to its opening of a permanent embassy in North Korea and its strengthening of its relationship with Iran, Syria and Russia. – The Hill 


China ousted the commander of its missile force, a move that analysts said was intended to ensure loyalty to leader Xi Jinping in the arm of the military that controls nuclear-tipped missiles pointed at the U.S. and would play a pivotal role in any attempt to seize Taiwan through force. – Wall Street Journal 

China should encourage its citizens to join counter-espionage work, including creating channels for individuals to report suspicious activity as well as commending and rewarding them, the state security ministry said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

The United States has formally invited China’s newly reappointed foreign minister, Wang Yi, to Washington, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday, after Wang’s predecessor was abruptly removed from his post by Beijing. – Reuters 

As the competition between China and America heats up, with both sides intent on dominating the industries of the future, can America win, or will everyone end up losing? – New York Sun 

China imposed restrictions Monday on exports of long-range civilian drones, citing Russia’s war in Ukraine and concern that drones might be converted to military use. – Associated Press 

In a new policy plan unveiled Monday, Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis took aim at China with a “Declaration of Economic Independence” that also targets taxes, regulations and “elites” he blames for the nation’s decline. – Associated Press 

Tom Rogan writes: Still, befitting its foreign policy chief Wang Yi, China’s arrogant inability to show respect for foreign leaders means that its angry rebuke of von der Leyen will do far more harm than good. After all, why would von der Leyen now seek a pro-China position when it has just referred to her as “Uncle Sam’s parrot”? – Washington Examiner 

Sadek Wahba writes: Taken together, all these paths represent the best way forward. As U.S. Treasury officials traveled to Beijing earlier this year, a Treasury spokeswoman framed the approach: “We still believe it is important to keep the lines of communication open, now more than ever.” Or, as Secretary of State Antony Blinken put it more succinctly in framing U.S. policy on China: “Invest, align, compete.” – The Hill 

Liana Fix and Zongyuan Zoe Liu write: Even amid political infighting at home, Berlin will have to constantly reassess its exposure to potential economic coercion: what is considered an acceptable risk today may look entirely different a year hence. Without such reassessment, the country’s current approach could slow down the debate within the EU instead of advancing it. Germany’s China strategy provides a baseline, but the actual work lies ahead. – Foreign Affairs 

South Asia

The death toll from a suicide bombing in Pakistan that targeted a hard-line religious group’s political rally and raised security concern for a general election due by November has risen to 56, a government official said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Pakistan’s lower house Tuesday passed a bill that recommends a three-year prison term for anyone found guilty of disclosing the identity of an intelligence official, a move apparently aimed at stifling criticism of military-backed spy chiefs and agents. – Associated Press 

Pakistan’s prime minister on Tuesday asked neighboring Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers to do more to prevent militants from crossing the border to stage attacks such as the massive suicide bombing earlier this week that killed dozens in a border region. – Associated Press 

The US has urged Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban to “reverse policies responsible for the deteriorating human rights situation” in the country, particularly for women, girls, and “vulnerable communities”. It also pressed for the release of detained US citizens during talks with Taliban representatives in Qatar. – BBC 

Happymon Jacob writes: The Ukraine war will eventually end. In the meantime, countries must attempt to temper the intensity of the violence, prepare the ground for more strategic conversations, and build trust for future cease-fires and an eventual peace agreement. New Delhi’s efforts could, at best, blunt the most devastating impacts of the war; at worst, they would make little difference. But Indian officials would be making a mistake if they did nothing when they and the world have so much to gain. – Foreign Affairs 


Myanmar’s former civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was ousted from power in a military coup in 2021 and convicted in a series of cases brought against her by the junta, was pardoned for some of those offenses, reducing her decadeslong sentence by six years. – Wall Street Journal 

Kazakhstan has yet to decide whether to hand over a detained Russian cybersecurity expert to Moscow or Washington, the Central Asian nation said on Tuesday, denying Russian claims that the extradition had been agreed. – Reuters

From Northeast Asia to Australia, the lines of confrontation are deepening in the Indo-Pacific as Communist China expands its power and Washington and its allies scramble to build up their defenses — a challenge underscored by a new Rand Corporation analysis that warns America’s military “superiority is gone.” – New York Sun 

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Tuesday his government stands firm against the United States over the prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, an Australian citizen fighting extradition from Britain on U.S. espionage charges. – Associated Press 

Taiwan has detained an army officer and several collaborators on suspicion of handing military secrets to China. – Associated Press 

Taiwan is trying to accelerate the development and production of military drones and countermeasures by expanding two national defense programs and focusing on autonomous swarms. – Defense News 


The United States on Tuesday said it would restrict access for Hungarians to its visa-waiver program amid concerns that foreign nationals have used fraudulently obtained passports to enter the country. – Washington Post 

Poland said on Tuesday it was rushing troops to its eastern border after accusing Belarus, Russia’s closest ally, of violating its airspace with military helicopters. – Reuters 

Why would any congressman visit a rogue republic recognized by no nation apart from Turkey? That is the question ricocheting around the Mediterranean ahead of a highly unusual visit by an American lawmaker to the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, an enclave that Turkey carved out of the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus following an invasion of the strategic  island in 1974. – New York Sun 

Sweden plans to step up border controls and identity checks at crossing points as its security situation deteriorates during a Quran burning crisis that has shaken the country as well as neighboring Denmark in recent weeks. – Associated Press 

Editorial: It is true that some NATO members fail to meet the alliance’s minimum target of spending 2 percent of overall economic output annually on defense. Mr. Trump was right to lecture them about that, as President Barack Obama also did, albeit less threateningly. Of NATO’s 31 members, just 11 are set to meet the 2 percent threshold this year. – Washington Post 

John Sitilides writes: U.S. support for the peaceful development of regional overland interlocking markets via sea-based communication lanes emanating from Alexandroupolis positions the port to become the next military, energy, transport, and logistics hub within the arc of regional crises during and beyond the war in Ukraine. – The National Interest 


European governments began evacuating their citizens from Niger on Tuesday after last week’s coup in the West African country triggered a tense standoff between Moscow’s allies in the region and states that have worked more closely with the U.S. and other Western powers. – Wall Street Journal 

Coup leaders in Niger on Monday arrested several ministers and senior members of the party of detained President Mohamed Bazoum, dealing a blow to efforts by African nations to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis that has shaken one of the U.S.’s main counterterrorism allies as Russia’s African allies declared their support for the junta. – Wall Street Journal 

Senegal’s government has dissolved the country’s main opposition party and detained its leader on charges of fomenting insurrection, setting off a new round of protests in which two people were killed on Monday. – New York Times 

The United States has suspended security cooperation with military forces in Niger following an effort to oust the elected president there, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday, a new acknowledgment of the seriousness of conditions on the ground as the Biden administration grapples with how to respond to last week’s apparent coup. – Washington Post 

Authorities are seeking to re-arrest key Sudanese Islamist leaders who broke out of prison in the early days of the war in Sudan, as opponents warn of their moves to regain power, according to warrants seen by Reuters. – Reuters 

West Africa’s regional central bank, the BCEAO, said on Tuesday it had shut down its branches in Niger due to risks to operations following last week’s military coup. – Reuters 

The German foreign ministry urged its citizens in Niger to take up an offer from the French authorities to join their evacuation flights on Tuesday, days after a junta seized power in the west African country. – Reuters

Defence chiefs from West Africa’s regional bloc ECOWAS will meet in Nigeria’s capital Abuja for two days starting Wednesday to discuss last week’s coup in Niger, the bloc said in a statement on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Nearly 10 years ago, Mariame Coulibaly Sangare lost everything when armed violence in northern Mali forced her to flee her home. Desperate for money, she saw an opportunity with the arrival of a new United Nations peacekeeping mission in the West African nation’s capital, Bamako. – Associated Press 

The stance of West Africa’s regional bloc known as ECOWAS in the military takeover in Niger is clear: “We will stand with our people in our commitment to the rule of law,” its chairman, Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, said at the body’s meeting this week. – Associated Press 

Reports that Burkina Faso and Mali will consider any military intervention in Niger as a declaration of war against them, are being read in Russia. The reports have made their way to Russian state media TASS. Pro-Iran media Al-Mayadeen is also reporting on Niger and there appears to be a kind of trend developing. Russia and Iran want to use Niger as a symbol of the US and European decline in Africa. – Jerusalem Post 

James Stavridis writes: Bogged down in Ukraine, Putin’s Russia is still on the move in Africa and will continue to undermine the US and its friends. We need to recognize that challenge, and make clear that we have more to offer African states than Wagner mercenaries and a piddling amount of grain. – Bloomberg 

The Americas

The Bahamian government on Tuesday welcomed Kenya’s decision to lead a multinational force in Haiti and committed 150 people to support the effort if the United Nations authorizes the force. – Reuters 

South American trade bloc Mercosur officials met on Tuesday to agree on their counterproposal to a European Union addendum on a long-awaited trade deal before meeting with EU negotiators in August in the hopes of closing the accord by year-end, Brazilian diplomats told Reuters.- Reuters 

Taiwan Vice President William Lai will stop in New York and San Francisco in the United States on his way to and from Paraguay for the inauguration of its new president, Taiwan’s presidential office said on Wednesday. – Reuters 

Paraguay is seeking more Taiwanese investment to diversify its farm-driven economy focused on exporting raw materials to China, incoming Finance Minister Carlos Fernandez Valdovinos said in an interview. – Reuters 

Brazil has resisted gathering momentum in the BRICS group of major emerging economies to add more member countries, but debate over admission criteria seems inevitable at this month’s summit, three Brazilian government officials told Reuters. – Reuters 

The United States said Tuesday it will put forward a U.N. Security Council resolution that will authorize Kenya to lead a multinational police force to help combat gangs in Haiti that control much of the capital and are spreading through the Caribbean nation. – Associated Press 

Eduardo Porter writes: This leads nowhere. Given the US indifference, the Mexican government is hardly crazy to turn around and observe that fentanyl is not killing tens of thousands of Mexicans; expending blood and treasure to protect gringos from their suicidal tendencies falls pretty far down the priority list. And both countries are left in a standoff in which the best they can do is get the same number of words on a press release. – Bloomberg 

United States

Joseph Bosco writes: Biden has largely followed the Trump team’s policies but now seems inclined to return to the earlier engagement era. Despite his unvetted comments that he would defend Taiwan, his Afghanistan and Ukraine performances, and the instincts of his Clinton- and Obama-era aides, suggest he would not be willing to confront China. In these times of existential danger, America needs a national security president not named Trump or Biden. – The Hill 

John Bolton writes: It is not merely possible but likely that hard-core supporters will be appalled, and hard-core opponents breathless, at Trump’s new second-term directions. Thus, despite increasing defense spending in his first term, Trump could freeze or slash military budgets next time. He thought he could negotiate lower prices than Pentagon officials, such as reducing Boeing’s price for replacement Air Force Ones. He would have preferred to spend more building his Mexico-border wall or civilian infrastructure projects. There is thus no guarantee defense spending in a second Trump term would be anywhere near adequate. Unburdened even by wisps of philosophy or consistency, varying day-by-day on how he sees his legacy, Trump will be something to watch. – The Hill 

Hal Brands writes: In the end, the critics are right up to a point: Effectiveness requires restraint. If the US uses sanctions gratuitously, in relatively unimportant cases, it will be harder to convince key allies to come along on matters — mostly involving China — that matter more. After all, in the bigger scheme of things, sanctions aren’t just tools the US uses to punish rogue regimes and hamper terrorists. They are increasingly central to the great-power contests that will define our age. – Bloomberg 


After months of warnings, Meta Platforms said Tuesday that it has started to block access to news links for Facebook and Instagram users in Canada, raising the stakes in a showdown over whether digital companies should finance news outlets. – Wall Street Journal 

An Iranian technology company is providing infrastructure services to ransomware gangs and an array of nation-state hackers, researchers have found. – The Record 

Kazakhstan’s government has decided not to extradite a prominent Russian cybersecurity expert to the U.S. and will instead consider sending him to Russia. – The Record 

Millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency were stolen from several platforms over the weekend after hackers exploited a vulnerability in a programming language used widely in the cryptocurrency world. – The Record 

A little-known American internet hosting company appears to be partially enabling a “wide range” of cybercrime, nation-state hackers and a sanctioned spyware vendor, researchers alleged Tuesday. – The Record 


The future of the U.S. military’s Adaptive Engine Transition Program is still up in the air, but one service is trying to fold the effort’s technological innovations into an advanced jet’s propulsion system. – Defense News 

The U.S. Army is working on a new conventional fires strategy expected by the end of this year, according to Gen. James Rainey, who leads Army Futures Command. – Defense News 

The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s recently-completed deployment across the Pacific started out with the Marine Corps’ first operational deployment of a full squadron of F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters and closed out with a sinking of an old warship during an exercise in the South China Sea. – USNI News