Fdd's overnight brief

August 22, 2023

In The News


An Iranian military delegation has arrived in Moscow to discuss cooperation between Iranian and Russian ground forces, state news agency TASS reported on Monday, citing Russia’s Defence Ministry. – Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that a series of recent deadly attacks against Israelis has been funded and encouraged by Iran. – Reuters

Iran’s oil exports are surging this month, swelling global flows at a time when other producers are cutting back, according to a firm that monitors satellite imagery of individual tankers. – Bloomberg

Iran released footage over the weekend purporting to show its military forces harassing US Navy vessels and forcing multiple helicopters to make an emergency landing in the Strait of Hormuz, but the US Department of Defense on Monday denied Iran’s claims.  – Algemeiner

Twenty-six Republican senators on Friday condemned the Biden administration’s decision to release $6 billion in frozen Iranian assets in exchange for the release of U.S. hostages held by the regime. – Jewish Insider

Ever since reports surfaced that the Pentagon was considering putting Marines on commercial vessels to thwart Iranian influence in the Persian Gulf, questions and speculation have swirled around the topic. One thing that hasn’t materialized is a clear sign from the Pentagon that the plan is moving closer to reality. Military.com

Marie Abdi writes: In the eyes of the Iranian regime, the most effective strategy for engaging with the West and its allies will continue to involve applying pressure through security measures, rather than adhering to international regulations. – Middle East Institute

Russia & Ukraine

Russia is on the attack in northeastern Ukraine as it seeks to take back territory that Kyiv recaptured last fall and to divert Ukrainian forces from their counteroffensive in the south and east. – Wall Street Journal

Belarus, a staunch ally of Russia, has transported thousands of Ukrainian children—some of them orphans—to the country, where they were exposed to pro-Kremlin propaganda, an effort that underscores the former Soviet nation’s support for Moscow’s war in Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal

President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Denmark for its support in an address to the country’s Parliament on Monday, a day after it became one of the first nations to pledge F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. – New York Times

Even though Russia’s regional and municipal votes next month are widely seen as sham elections, President Putin is insisting on also conducting them beyond Russia proper in four Ukrainian territories he has annexed illegally. – New York Sun

Vladimir Putin is reportedly under increasing pressure to take a more aggressive approach to his war against Ukraine and introduce a full-scale mobilization, but the Russian president is stalling over concerns doing so would break from the propaganda narrative he’s been pushing for more than 18 months, experts tell Newsweek. – Newsweek

Anthony Grant writes: Although the ceasefire that Senator Paul has called for looks unlikely for now, in the near future President Biden will likely be handing over the keys to a new president — ideally, without falling down as he does so. The urgency for finding a way to break the stalemate that does not simply focus on delivering more weapons is likely to grow as Americans decide both what is and what is not at stake. – New York Sun

Alexander J. Motyl writes: Naturally, analysts must analyze and commentators must comment. But they should never forget that what strikes them as a sporting event, in which rival theories are fighting it out over which will appear sillier, is actually hell on Earth. – The Hill

Jade McGlynn writes: The drone attacks probably won’t turn Russians against the war. But they might give succour to Ukraine’s most sacred and strategic resource, one that is running out in inverse proportion to Western arms rationing: the Ukrainian people. – CNN

Andrei Kolesnikov writes: Of course, change could come from within the system itself: at least historically, all political transformation in Russia has come from the top. It is possible that a new group of reformers could emerge from among the moderate members of the existing elite—liberals who are still serving in government or the civil service. This new group would have to decide just how radically they want to change the country. If they embarked on a new course of modernization and opening to the West, it could provoke conflicts between former Putinist circles and the counter-elite returning from abroad or being released from prisons. – Foreign Affairs

Alex Burilkov and Wesley Satterwhite write: Therefore, it is imperative that the idea of a peace settlement amenable to all parties in the conflict—including Russia—takes hold and is seriously pursued in Washington. Influential American figures are already engaged in Track 1.5 diplomacy with their counterparts in Russia. These efforts should be encouraged, expanded, and form the basis for sustained engagement in peace negotiations. Only then will the United States be able to focus entirely on containing China, which is of paramount importance to American security and prosperity. – National Interest

Emily Couch and Kimberly St. Julian-Varon write: While some European countries have made minor steps towards reckoning with their colonizing past, widespread ignorance and denial regarding this history persist. The emphasis of Ukrainians on the anti-colonial nature of their fight at a time when support on the continent is high means that Ukrainians are uniquely positioned to reshape what it means to be European. – Foreign Policy


Lawyers for a Palestinian man who was arrested by the Israeli police said officers beat him and imprinted his face with a Star of David, and they have demanded an investigation. – New York Times

Israeli security forces stormed into a town in the north of the West Bank on Tuesday, leading to fighting that killed a 17-year-old Palestinian, according to Palestinian health officials, the latest violence to grip the occupied territory. – Associated Press

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has killed over 200 Palestinians and nearly 30 Israelis so far this year – already surpassing last year’s annual figures and the highest number since 2005, the U.N. Mideast envoy said Monday. – Associated Press

A suspected Palestinian attacker killed an Israeli woman and seriously wounded a man in the south of the occupied West Bank on Monday, Israeli authorities said, as violence flared in the restive territory two days after a shooting that killed two Israelis. – Associated Press

Republican presidential candidate and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley criticized fellow GOP hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy on Monday over comments that he made late last week expressing support for cutting financial aid to Israel in a few years. – The Hill

Israeli security forces arrested two Palestinians early Tuesday morning on suspicion of carrying out a deadly terror attack near Hebron a day earlier, in which a 42-year-old mother of three was killed and a man in his 40s was seriously wounded when their vehicle came under fire from a passing car on the Route 60 highway. – Times of Israel

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich is rushing through his plan to expand West Bank settlements and legalize dozens of outposts, in the wake of a series of deadly terror attacks in recent days. – Times of Israel

On Tuesday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams will continue his trip in Israel to meet with local and national leaders, learn about Israeli technology, and discuss combined efforts to combat antisemitism. – Arutz Sheva

Several far-right ministers blamed Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for Monday’s deadly terror attack in the southern West Bank and urged him to reimpose widespread military roadblocks throughout the territory as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a meeting of the high-level security cabinet for next week. – Times of Israel

A senior official in the Foreign Ministry attacked Ukraine this evening (Monday), after threats from the administration in Kyiv to deny visas to Israelis ahead of the Rosh Hashanah pilgrimage to Uman. – Arutz Sheva 

MK Benny Gantz, chairman of the National Unity Party, said on Monday that he supports the integration of Israeli Arabs in the IDF or in another form of national or civil service. – Arutz Sheva

An announcement circulating on social media attributed to the Fatah movement’s military wing, the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, claims responsibility for the terror attack on Monday morning in which Batsheva Nigri, a mother of three, was murdered and an additional man was severely injured. – Arutz Sheva


Since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in 2021, hundreds of members of the U.S.-backed former government have been detained, tortured or killed under the new government, despite Taliban leaders’ declaration of amnesty for actions during the long civil war, the United Nations reported on Tuesday. – New York Times

A magnetic mine blast killed two people in Kabul near Afghanistan’s Justice Ministry, the city’s police said on Monday. – Reuters

A public inquiry into allegations of war crimes by British armed forces in Afghanistan will be held partly in secret, the chair has decided. – Sky News


The sarin gas attack on civilians in Ghouta, Syria, on Aug. 21, 2013, may well be the most thoroughly documented atrocity of its type in history. Yet, a decade later, it is a crime for which there has been no real punishment — and strikingly little accountability. – Washington Post

Protests spread Monday in two government-held provinces in southern Syria amid widespread anger over the crash of the Syrian pound and the dwindling purchasing power of many people in the war-torn country, opposition activists said. – Associated Press

Israeli’s military staged airstrikes near Syria’s capital late Monday wounding one soldier and causing material damage, Syrian state media reported. – Associated Press


Iraq’s oil minister Hayan Abdel-Ghani arrived in the Turkish capital Ankara to discuss several issues including the resumption of oil exports through the Ceyhan oil terminal, a source in the minister’s office told Reuters on Monday. – Reuters

A French soldier was killed in an anti-terrorism training exercise in Iraq on Sunday, the French government said, the second member of the French armed forces to die in Iraq in three days. – Reuters

Fawzi al-Zubaidi writes: These steps constitute a road map to restore Iraq as a normal state in the eyes of the international community. If Sudani succeeds in implementing these steps by handling them as a single package of “indivisible” measures and policies, Iraq could make a quantum leap in its modern history, accelerating the rebuilding and development of the entire country. However, Iraq’s failure to implement these obligations and steps will open the door to chaos, conflict, and further division. – Washington Institute

Hamdi Malik and Michael Knights write: Signs of real tension between HaN (including its offshoots AK and the Iraqi Basij) and other muqawama and Coordination Framework actors require ongoing, detailed monitoring. New efforts by the Iraqi Basij to hold protests or other events in the two main shrine cities would indicate continued defiance; the same message might be conveyed if AK aggressively regrows its Telegram channel (probably via paid bots). It will also be interesting to see whether AK and the Iraqi Basij try to damage AAH electoral campaigns in the leadup to this December’s provincial elections. – Washington Institute


Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that the physical intervention of United Nations peacekeepers during roadworks in the south of ethnically split Cyprus last week is unacceptable. – Reuters

Turkey’s foreign ministry summoned the Danish charge d’affaires and a Dutch diplomat over Koran burnings, state-owned broadcaster TRT Haber said on Monday. – Reuters

Hungarian energy conglomerate MVM has agreed to buy about 300 million cubic metres (mcm) of natural gas from Turkish energy company BOTAS. – Reuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted Sweden’s NATO membership could be delayed if it doesn’t stop Koran burnings that anger his conservative support base. – Bloomberg

Anthony Grant writes: There have been no known complaints of water scarcity in the village. The Turkish Cypriot, which is to say Turkish, description of an assault on peacekeepers largely underwritten by American taxpayers as defense of a humanitarian project has echoes of Russian’s insistence that its invasion of Ukraine is simply a “special military operation.” […]In the occupied north of Cyprus, different rules apply. And when it comes to purloined land, Messrs. Putin and Erdogan know this better than any real estate agent. – New York Sun

Stewart Latwin writes: It is not an easy ask for the United States to partner with President Erdoğan and Turkey. But given its growth as a leader in the Middle East and a refocused relationship with Europe, a partnership with Turkey is necessary for America to maintain its level of influence in the region. – The Hill

Saudi Arabia

Saudi security forces have killed hundreds of Ethiopian migrants and asylum seekers attempting to cross the country’s border with Yemen, Human Rights Watch said, shooting people at close range and firing explosive weapons at groups in the mountains in what could amount to crimes against humanity. – Washington Post

China’s crude oil imports from top exporter Saudi Arabia are expected to remain depressed through the third quarter, analysts said, after its customs office reported inbound shipments from the kingdom fell to their lowest in 13 months in July. – Reuters

Addiction to captagon, an amphetamine-type pill nicknamed the “poor man’s cocaine,” has been a serious problem in Gulf Arab states — especially among Saudi Arabia’s youth, with one Saudi commentator speaking recently of a “devastating amount of poison” being brought to the kingdom. – Bloomberg

Ethan Bronner writes: A deal is being negotiated that, if completed, would result in Saudi Arabia, for the first time, establishing warm relations with Israel. The main thing the Saudis would get in exchange — security guarantees — wouldn’t come from Israel but from its closest ally — the US. Israel, a high-tech power, would play a major role in ambitious Saudi plans to move its economy beyond oil. It would also be expected to make concessions to the Palestinian self-ruling authority in the West Bank. The US would regain some of its influence over Saudi Arabia, stemming efforts by China to expand its sway in the Middle East. The deal offers significant rewards to all four governments, not least of them additional ways of dealing with Iranian military activity in the region. But the prospect of the pact stirs populist forces among all of their constituencies, posing risks to those in power. – Bloomberg

Korean Peninsula

The U.S. has successfully negotiated the release of Americans from North Korea in the past, but the circumstances surrounding the detention of a U.S. soldier who dashed across the border last month are different in ways that will likely make the task more challenging this time around. – Wall Street Journal

With North Korea suffering from starvation and a down economy, Kim Jong Un has increasingly shone a light on the few areas worth touting: His weapons and himself. – Wall Street Journal

North Korea on Tuesday denounced the annual military drills between the United States and South Korea, warning of a “thermonuclear war” over recent trilateral agreements to deepen ties between the leaders of the U.S., South Korea and Japan at Camp David. – Reuters

South Korea’s Unification Ministry handling inter-Korean affairs said on Tuesday it urged North Korea to immediately abandon its plan to launch a satellite. – Reuters

North Korea’s state airline made its first international trip since the start of the Covid pandemic, in a sign of easing border restrictions that could repatriate its stranded nationals abroad and increase trade with its powerful neighbor. – Bloomberg

North Korea plans to launch a satellite later this month, according to Japanese media, firing off a space rocket as South Korea and the US conduct joint military drills that have riled Pyongyang. – Bloomberg


China is playing an increasingly important role in propping up Russia’s economy and helping boost its war effort, with recent trade data showing Beijing providing a range of goods, including some with potential military applications such as microchips and trench-digging excavators. – Wall Street Journal

China imposed roughly $1.5 million in financial penalties on the Beijing arm of Mintz Group for allegedly conducting unapproved statistical work, months after local authorities detained the New York-based due diligence firm’s staff members. – Wall Street Journal

In Washington, the White House and federal lawmakers are pursuing ways to constrain Chinese-owned businesses like TikTok amid a bipartisan push to limit China’s reach. Now state legislators have embraced a novel, locally focused tactic aimed at China’s domestic investments: restrictions on Chinese land ownership. – Washington Post

Bilateral relations and economic and trade cooperation between China and the United States are facing difficulties, Chinese Premier Li Qiang told the chair of the U.S.-China Business Council heading a USCBC delegation on a visit to Beijing. – Reuters

A jailed university student who pleaded guilty to inciting secession in Hong Kong lost his bid to reduce his five-year sentence in a court ruling Tuesday that is expected to set the bar for other cases brought under the national security law Beijing imposed on Hong Kong. – Associated Press

The BRICS bloc — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — will use an annual leaders’ summit in Johannesburg this week to begin the process of enlisting more members to bolster its global heft, a push driven mainly by Chinese President Xi Jinping but also backed by Russia and South Africa. There will also be talks on how to accelerate a shift away from the dollar, in part by increasing the use of local currencies in trade between members, which is surging, according to a draft agenda seen by Bloomberg. – Bloomberg

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is set to visit China in the last week of August for talks focused on Russia and Ukraine, people familiar with his plans said. – Bloomberg

The vow by China’s leaders last month to address the “new difficulties and challenges” besetting the world’s second-largest economy appeared to open the way for bolder government measures to stimulate activity. – Financial Times

China has long been the engine of global growth. But in recent weeks, its economic slowdown has alarmed international leaders and investors who are no longer counting on it to be a bulwark against weakness elsewhere. In fact, for the first time in decades, the world’s second economy is itself the problem. – CNN

Editorial: Information brokers are especially at risk if they’re probing a politically sensitive topic. In May Reuters reported that Randal Phillips, then Mintz’s Asia chief, had “co-authored an article carried on the firm’s website last year on ‘sanctions due diligence’” under a U.S. law that prohibits the import of products made with forced labor in Xinjiang Province. […]The lesson: Invest in China at your own political and economic risk. – Wall Street Journal

Editorial: Biden shouldn’t be cowed. Renewing the umbrella agreement is the right thing to do. As the US limits China’s access to advanced technology and arms Taiwan, finding opportunities to cooperate will only get harder. It should think twice before throwing an obvious one away. – Bloomberg

Mike Gallagher writes: Republicans on the debate stage should state an alternative grounded in the lessons of recent history as well as a realistic assessment of how Marxist-Leninist regimes respond to appeasement. The Republican presidential nominee should understand the threat the Chinese Communist Party poses to America and be able to articulate it. The nominee must tout the superiority of the American system and why, after we get our act together, freedom will be the victor. – Wall Street Journal

Henry M. Paulson Jr. writes: For the sake of global growth, geopolitical security and our continued prosperity, we should hope China pivots toward policies that encourage competition and openness. And, here at home, we should remember that our national security depends upon our economic strength and stay focused on what has made our country strong. – Washington Post

Paul Krugman writes: None of this means that we should welcome the possibility of a Chinese slump or gloat over another nation’s troubles. Even on purely selfish grounds, we should worry about what the Chinese regime might do to distract its citizens from domestic problems. But in economic terms, we seem to be looking at a potential crisis within China, not a 2008-style global event. – New York Times

Seung-Whan Choi writes: Hopefully, Biden understands that he must encourage Kishida to help Yoon navigate evolving foreign policy challenges. If not, Yoon, who acts like he has outsourced his national defense to the U.S., will remain a liability for Biden in coming years. – The Hill

James Kynge writes: “The vague language of most of the initiatives made it easy for countries to pay lip service to them. China could then point to this rhetorical support as evidence that a large number of countries backed its worldview,” says Yun Sun, director of the China Program at the Stimson Center, a think-tank in Washington. “However, these countries would only be willing to accommodate China’s demands up to a certain point. When push came to shove, they would follow their own interests,” she adds. – Financial Times

Gideon Rachman writes: Despite their problems, Japan and South Korea have remained stable and prosperous countries. China may find that its own transition to an ageing and slower growing society is considerably more difficult and turbulent. – Financial Times

Howard W. French writes: Chinese and American leaders also have to start speaking with each other and meeting much more often face to face. There is really no substitute for this, for as much as what were once called people-to-people exchanges can reinforce a shared sense of humanity, seeing political leaders shake hands and smile and meet across the table to discuss thorny issues separating the two sides can also remind both countries’ public and political classes that there is nothing so hard that it can’t be talked about. – Foreign Policy

South Asia

An outlawed Islamist political party with the main objective of protecting Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws and punishing blasphemers has been linked to violence against Christians last week in which several churches were burnt. – Reuters

Pakistani authorities have opened a criminal investigation against jailed former prime minister Imran Khan on charges of leaking state secrets, after naming him and three aides in a fresh case, a top security source said on Monday. – Reuters

India has “positive intent and an open mind” regarding the expansion of the BRICS group of countries, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said on Monday. – Reuters

Police in Pakistan-administered Kashmir said on Monday a civilian was shot dead by Indian forces along the Himalayan region’s disputed boundary, the second such incident since June despite a ceasefire accord. – Reuters

India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to review their trade pact by 2025, the Indian government said on Monday, less than a month after India’s trade minister called the agreement unfair to the Indian industry. – Reuters

Pakistani authorities on Monday handed out thousands of dollars to nearly 100 Christian families whose homes were destroyed or damaged by a Muslim mob angered over an alleged desecration of the Quran last week. – Associated Press


The Japanese government said it planned to begin the discharge of slightly radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Thursday, rejecting calls for a delay from some people in neighboring countries. – Wall Sreet Journal

When four Chinese detectives breezed into police headquarters here in the middle of 2017, it quickly became apparent they weren’t in Fiji’s capital merely to help with an inquiry. Instead, the officers planned to carry out the investigation — into Chinese nationals suspected of running internet scams from the South Pacific island — pretty much as if they were back in China. – Washington Post

Thailand’s former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, has returned to the country after 17 years in self-exile, arriving in the capital, Bangkok, hours before the party he helped establish, Pheu Thai, is set to form a coalition government with members of the conservative military establishment who have led the charge to keep him and his family from power over the last two decades. – Washington Post

Hong Kong’s leader said on Tuesday he strongly opposes Japan’s release into the sea of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant and the city would “immediately activate” import controls on Japanese seafood. – Reuters

Australia’s Defence Minister Richard Marles will travel to the Philippines to observe joint training drills focussed on regional security, his office said on Monday, amid tensions between the Philippines and China in the South China Sea. – Reuters

Taiwan Vice President William Lai managed to walk a fine line on his sensitive trip to the United States if China’s drills in response are anything to go by, but Beijing’s ire may not be allayed for long by a person it deeply dislikes. – Reuters

Four Pacific Islands leaders are due to arrive in Vanuatu on Tuesday to consider declaring a “neutral” position amid rising contest between the United States and China, against the backdrop of a political crisis in the host nation. – Reuters

Indonesia’s defence ministry and U.S. planemaker Boeing (BA.N) have signed an agreement on the sale of 24 F-15EX fighter jets to help modernise the Southeast Asian country’s ageing fleet, the ministry and the company said. – Reuters

Cambodia’s parliament voted on Tuesday to approve a new government led by the son of outgoing leader Hun Sen following an election last month widely criticized as neither free nor fair. – Bloomberg

Taiwan plans to increase its military spending next year by the smallest percentage since 2018, even as Beijing ramps up its military pressure on the self-ruled island it considers its territory. – Bloomberg

China called President Joe Biden’s trilateral summit with the leaders of South Korea and Japan a “deliberate attempt to sow discord” between the world’s second-largest economy and two of its Asian neighbors. – Bloomberg

The Philippines and Australia conducted an air assault exercise near South China Sea, marking the “first major” drills lined up for this year between the two armed forces amid rising tensions between Manila and Beijing. – Bloomberg

Call it “fruit diplomacy.” That’s how the Republic of China on Taiwan describes Beijing suspending the import of mangoes from the island democracy in a fit of rage over “stopovers” in America by Taiwan’s vice president. – New York Sun

Azby Brown writes: But it’s not too late to improve on public trust. Japan has invited the I.A.E.A. to help monitor the release, and this is welcome. But many Japanese, accustomed to obfuscation and a lack of transparency on Fukushima, simply no longer trust official assurances. Only a truly independent, international and participatory monitoring regime — with the close involvement of those most likely to be affected — will be sufficient to make sure that the release of the water is being done safely and responsibly. With that, a bad precedent could be transformed into a globally admired one. – New York Times

Karishma Vaswani writes: At the time, Locsin infamously posted: “China, my friend, how politely can I put it? Let me see…O….Get the f*** out.” He later deleted that tweet, but this is not the kind of conversation you expect between friends. With China’s ATM slowly running out of cash, other countries — while they may not be as colorful or as loud — may well take a leaf out of Manila’s playbook. – Bloomberg

Michael Rubin writes: A common lamentation among democrats in the region is why the United States is effectively absent. Washington makes excuses, and remains absent when it counts. India’s presence now provides a new option for the region, one that Washington should encourage. A choice between Russia, Turkey, and Iran is akin to choosing between a heart attack, stroke, or cancer. India provides an antidote to dictatorship, rentierism, and extremism. The Caucasus are in flux. India could be the ally its democrats need. – American Enterprise Institute

Sushant Singh writes: Modi, Jaishankar, and their advisors cannot avoid the reality that India is losing ground to China. But China has often erred in seeing India through the prism of its ties with global superpowers; it may be repeating this mistake by reacting with aggression in part in response to India’s deepening relationship with the United States—seeing India as part of the U.S. design to contain Beijing. New Delhi’s partnership with Washington can help to deal with an assertive Beijing to an extent. Still, India must develop its own strengths on its own terms—both as a vibrant, liberal democracy and as a military and economic power. Indians need to do the heavy lifting themselves; nothing else will serve the country’s purpose. – Foreign Policy


The United States is urging Americans in Belarus to leave the country “immediately,” citing spillover risks from the war in Ukraine, including a buildup of Russian troops in Belarus. – Washington Post

Maximilian Krah, the newly elected top candidate of the far-right Alternative for Germany for the European elections, doesn’t believe in watering down political messages to win centrist votes. – Washington Post

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis pledged Monday to keep up military support for Ukraine for as long as it takes and to help with post-war reconstruction. – Associated Press

The US State Department has approved Poland’s request to purchase AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, engines and other equipment valued at as much as $12 billion. – Bloomberg

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will attend a dinner on Monday with leaders from Western Balkan countries and European Union chiefs to discuss the bloc’s enlargement process. – Bloomberg

Switzerland will probe state-owned arms maker Ruag AG after its failed attempt to sell almost 100 tanks that would eventually have been used by Ukraine in its war against Russia. – Bloomberg

Elbit Systems will supply a multilayered counter-drone system to the Netherlands in a deal worth $55 million, the Israeli firm announced Monday. – Defense News

Matthias Matthijs and Sophie Meunier write: These uncertainties do not lessen the transformation underway. A quiet revolution with major consequences for transatlantic relations and international economic affairs has taken place in recent years. Its success still hangs in the balance. But the EU has already proved capable of innovating and reinventing itself in a volatile world. – Foreign Affairs


West Africa’s main regional bloc, ECOWAS, has rejected a proposal by Niger’s military junta to hold elections within three years, extending a political impasse that could trigger a military intervention if no agreement is reached following a July coup. – Reuters

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu on Monday swore in 45 ministers nearly three months after his election, promising that his government will accelerate its development agenda. – Associated Press

Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin on Monday published his first recruitment video for the Wagner Group since organizing a short-lived mutiny against defense officials in Russia, according to information on Russian social media channels. – Associated Press

Mnangagwa is now seeking reelection for a second term as president in a vote this week that could see the ruling ZANU-PF party extend its 43-year hold on power in the southern African nation struggling under international sanctions. Zimbabwe has been governed by ZANU-PF ever since it won independence from white minority rule in 1980. – Associated Press

Aidan Springs writes: South Africa has, since the end of Apartheid, been one of the more receptive nations to non-western investment, and yet, the country is objectively much worse off now than it was when it joined BRICS back in 2010. Thus, one question remains; just how beneficial have Xi and Putin been for Africa? It seems, to me at least, not very beneficial at all. – Washington Examiner

Latin America

When Cuba in early August announced it was taking a major step towards electronic banking and a “cashless” society, the offices of fledgling small businesses across the communist-run country were left scrambling to figure out how to respond. – Reuters

The Central American Parliament on Monday voted to expel Taiwan after more than two decades as a permanent observer and replace it with China, whose growing economic influence in Latin America has increasingly marginalized Taipei. – Reuters

House Republicans on Monday subpoenaed Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, seeking information about a program that allows citizens of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to enter the U.S. on a temporary basis. – The Hill

Cuba’s handpicked president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, plans to travel to New York next month to attend the high-level week of the United Nations General Assembly in September, the Miami Herald has learned. – Miami Herald

Ecuadorians have voted to ban oil drilling in one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, the Yasuní National Park, situated in the Amazon rainforest. – CNN

Editorial: Governments that can manage taxes and spending responsibly don’t need to dollarize their economies. Those that can’t will keep on screwing things up with or without their own central bank. The question to ask of Milei and his rivals is not whether dollarization makes sense for the country, but whether they can be trusted to bring sound economic judgment to the task at hand. If the reaction of financial markets to Milei’s win in the primary is any guide, the answer for him is an emphatic no. – Bloomberg

North America

Mexico won’t make any further changes to a decree on genetically modified (GM) corn ahead of a dispute settlement panel requested by the United States through the USMCA trade pact, Mexican economy minister, Raquel Buenrostro, told Reuters on Monday. – Reuters

A Kenyan delegation met with leaders of Haiti’s national police on Monday, a day after arriving in the country as it assesses leading a possible United Nations-backed multinational security force to help police fight escalating gang warfare. – Reuters

The Canadian government is learning about the law of unintended consequences after Meta removed news from its citizens’ timelines on both Facebook and Instagram in a spat over revenue-sharing with publishers there. – New York Sun

United States

Donald Trump said he would surrender in Atlanta on Thursday in the criminal election-interference case against him, after bond for the former president was set at $200,000. – Wall Street Journal

Federal prosecutors pushed back on Monday against former President Donald J. Trump’s request to postpone his election interference trial in Washington until well into 2026, asserting that his main reason for the delay — the amount of evidence his lawyers have to sort through — was vastly overstated. – New York Times

Editorial: Emails the next month show Mr. Biden’s attorneys working with Mr. Weiss’s staff on a deal that would have required no guilty plea by Hunter. That appears to have changed days after IRS agent Gary Shapley went public saying the investigation into Mr. Biden had been hampered by politics. Then Mr. Biden agreed to plead guilty to tax misdemeanors, but with a broad provision for future immunity that eventually fell apart under questioning by the judge. Mr. Weiss is still on the case, now as a special counsel, but how does Attorney General Merrick Garland possibly think that the public can trust his judgment after this fiasco? – Wall Street Journal

Walter Russell Mead writes: During the post-Cold War decades when American power was largely uncontested around the world, too many American policy makers forgot that our adversaries are impressed by our will and power rather than our virtue or diplomatic dexterity. Franklin D. Roosevelt understood that it didn’t matter how many inspiring ideas went into the Atlantic Charter or how brilliant the design of the Bretton Woods monetary system was if the U.S. and its allies couldn’t defeat Germany and Japan on the ground. We need to recover that realism today. Diplomacy matters, but power matters more. – Wall Street Journal

Lili Pike writes: Murphy said that progress will inevitably be slower than advocates would like, but she is hopeful that if other countries join in, the pressure will mount on China. “We’re not going to make a human rights claim that’s going to be convincing to [Chinese President] Xi Jinping,” she said, “but what we are doing is leveling significant economic costs to continuing to oppress the Uyghurs this way.” – Foreign Policy


Sanctions imposed last year by the U.S. Treasury Department against decentralized cryptocurrency platform Tornado Cash are here to stay, according to a recent ruling by a federal judge. – Wall Street Journal

Thailand’s digital minister plans to ask a court to shut down Meta Platforms’ Facebook (META.O) in Southeast Asia’s second largest economy unless it takes action over scams that have affected more than 200,000 people, he said on Monday. – Reuters

Google, Facebook, TikTok and other Big Tech companies operating in Europe are facing one of the most far-reaching efforts to clean up what people encounter online. – Associated Press

Computer-generated children’s voices so realistic they fool their own parents. Masks created with photos from social media that can penetrate a system protected by face ID. They sound like the stuff of science fiction, but these techniques are already available to criminals preying on everyday consumers. – Bloomberg

Artificial Intelligence is more likely to augment jobs than to destroy them, a UN study indicated on Monday, at a time of growing anxiety over the potential impact of the technology. – Agence France-Presse

Ukrainian hackers claim to have broken into the email account of a senior Russian politician and exposed documents that allegedly prove his involvement in money laundering and sanction evasion schemes. – The Record

Somalia announced on Sunday a ban against social media platforms TikTok and Telegram, as well as the online betting platform 1XBet, saying they’re used by “terrorists” to spread “horrific images and misinformation.” – The Record

One of the most infamous cyberattacks on critical infrastructure, or CI, occurred in May 2021, when the Colonial Pipeline was hit with ransomware. The breach resulted in shutdown of pipeline operations, a gasoline shortage and a spike in fuel prices. – C4ISRNET


Two U.S. service members were arrested in Germany after they were connected to the stabbing death of a 28-year-old man at a street fair over the weekend, according to local and Air Force officials. – The Hill

The Air Force on Saturday conducted its latest test of a prototype hypersonic AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon, collecting data it hopes will help it develop future weapons that can travel at greater than Mach 5. – Defense News

Marines delivered fuel from a traditional crewed helicopter to an uncrewed autonomous helicopter in July for the first time in the history of the Marine Corps or Navy, according to the Corps. – Defense News

As she assumes the mantle of acting chief of naval operations, Adm. Lisa Franchetti faces a growing stack of challenges in her inbox, from readiness and recruiting to force structure and innovation. Fortunately, she is uniquely positioned to pursue solutions. – Defense News

The Space Development Agency, which is building a constellation of low-cost communication and missile tracking satellites, awarded prototype agreements totaling $1.5 billion to Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to build data transport satellites for its Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture. – Defense News