Fdd's overnight brief

August 24, 2023

In The News


The Brics group of emerging nations has invited six additional countries to join the bloc in an effort to grow its global importance and ability to challenge the West on key political and economic issues. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Argentina, Iran, Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates have been invited to join Brics, which currently comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Thursday at a leaders’ summit in Johannesburg. – Wall Street Journal

Iran sentenced seven men and a woman to prison after their convictions over allegedly aiding two men who were earlier executed for killing a paramilitary volunteer during the nationwide protests last year that followed Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody, state media reported Wednesday. – Associated Press

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has reportedly approached the Islamic Republic of Iran seeking support for a World Cup bid, a member of the Iranian delegation that visited Saudi Arabia last week told IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency) Monday. – Jerusalem Post

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) officially received what appeared to be its first Khorramshahr and Haj Qasem ballistic missiles in a ceremony attended by President Ebrahim Raisi to mark the Defence Industry Day on 22 August. – Janes

Seth J. Frantzman writes: As such, many balls are in motion at the same time and the meeting in South Africa brings together key players. Iran is also seeking to do more outreach to ASEAN countries, according to a separate report on Iran’s Fars News. –  Jerusalem Post

Seth J. Frantzman writes: A third article at Tasnim is linked to this trend. It highlights the fact that the Iron Dome was activated twice to deal with drones over Gaza. Iran is clearly focusing on this issue. In the past, Iran has sought to highlight how Hamas has used large salvoes of rockets, such as in the May 2021 conflict. Iran’s regime media has asserted in the past that Hamas used these salvoes to try to overwhelm the Iron Dome system. The claims about drones appears linked to that trend.   –  Jerusalem Post

Andie Parry, Amin Soltani, Annika Ganzeveld, and Ashka Jhaveri write: Heydari’s visit to the defense equipment production center indicates that the Artesh Ground Forces are looking to Russia to fulfill some of its defense equipment needs. Procuring Russian equipment for the Artesh Ground Forces or securing Russian assistance to produce the equipment in Iran would expand the military support the Kremlin already provides to the Iranian regime. Russia is assisting Iran with the development of space launch vehicles and missiles and Iran has sought to purchase Su-35 fighter aircraft from Russia, for example. – Institute for the Study of War

Emil Avdaliani writes: Developing trade routes in Eurasia and an increase in bilateral trade volume would nonetheless encourage greater pragmatism between the two parties. Iran and Azerbaijan are dependent on one another and this could prevent an open crisis. Given the still-unresolved Karabakh issue and often difficult relations with Russia, Azerbaijan is aware of how its geopolitical vulnerabilities might be exploited by others if its relationship with Iran spiraled out of control. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Russia & Ukraine

Shortly after 6 p.m. Moscow time on Wednesday, an Embraer jet carrying Wagner paramilitary group owner Yevgeny Prigozhin, who led a short-lived June uprising that challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin’s authority, abruptly disappeared from flight-tracking radar screens northwest of Moscow. – Wall Street Journal

Russia and China have long seen BRICS — the economic grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — as central to their goal of countering Western global dominance. On Wednesday, the planned expansion of the group was touted by China as a watershed moment on the road to a new multipolar world. But for Russian President Vladimir Putin — who has described in almost messianic terms his desire to create a new world order — the gathering highlighted his global isolation. – Washington Post

Kyiv is devising a plan with global insurers to reopen a crucial grain-export route for vessels navigating the Black Sea, a shipping lane blockaded by Russia for the past month. – Wall Street Journal

Ukraine said it had captured a Russian helicopter and its crew after they landed on Ukrainian soil, while Russia replaced the commander of its aerospace forces suspected of collaborating with Wagner mutineers, according to Russian state media. – Wall Street Journal

Russian authorities have requested an extension of the pretrial detention of Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter deemed by the U.S. to be wrongfully held in Russia. – Wall Street Journal

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday said he was not surprised by reports that Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin had died in a plane crash, adding that not much happens in the country that President Vladimir Putin is not behind. – Reuters

President Vladimir Putin used a speech to a summit of BRICS leaders on Wednesday to defend Russia’s war in Ukraine and praise the grouping as a counterbalance to U.S. global dominance. – Reuters

Vladimir Putin said the 2024 Brics summit would be held in the Russian city of Kazan, as China’s Xi Jinping urged the leaders of the emerging-markets bloc meeting at this year’s event in Johannesburg to speed up the pace of expansion. – Financial Times

Editorial: Top managers from leading companies and distributors should be called together and pressed to apply stringent internal controls over the sale of key electronics, while also flagging customers who might have been selling them to Russia. Without U.S. chips, the dreaded Shaheds won’t be exploding over Ukrainian apartment buildings in the middle of the night. – Washington Post

Editorial: Mr. Putin’s only hope for victory lies in ending Western aid for Ukraine, a goal he hopes Donald Trump would advance if he were elected to a second presidential term. History’s clear lesson is that rewarding such a dictator’s aggression will invite only more of the same. Part of laying the groundwork for a sustained commitment to Ukraine will be for Western leaders to explain to their voters why it is necessary. – Washington Post

Kira Rudik writes: History is made by ordinary people. They become heroes, and the future depends on them. This isn’t the first time Ukraine has had to fight for its right to exist. We must win. Each and every one of us knows what we are fighting for. – Wall Street Journal

David Ignatius writes: Prigozhin’s message to Russians was that the war wasn’t worth the terrible cost the nation was paying in blood and treasure. He underlined that by questioning the leadership of Putin’s team and, implicitly, of Putin himself. […]This visceral critique will outlive Prigozhin, and if Ukraine and its Western allies can continue the fight into next year, it might grow more intense. Prigozhin is not a martyr so much as a warning. – Washington Post

Alan Beattie writes: Enlarging a grouping does not automatically make it more powerful. The G20, which largely replaced the G7 as the world’s foremost economic policy forum in 2008 during the global financial crisis, is beset by entrenched differences. Consensus cannot be reached purely by fiddling with structures or expanding membership. A global steering committee needs to start with internal consensus. For the Brics, so far that’s largely absent. – Financial Times

Michael Rubin writes: Imagine battle-hardened veterans hunting down policemen, mayors, deputies, and ministers throughout the country. Should Wagner go this route, it will slowly erode the foundation of Russia’s stability and bring a taste of civil war-era Lebanon to the country. Certainly, if Putin cronies begin to drop like flies, the image of invincibility surrounding the Russian leader will fade. The strong horse could become a hobbled pony. Prigozhin may be dead, but Putin may soon come to rue his legacy. – 19FortyFive

Irina Borogan and Andrei Soldatov write: Putin is not Stalin, and that makes things for companies like Yandex or Kaspersky Lab, much more complicated. If it were Stalin, it would be much simpler and more direct – the economy would be militarized, and the companies would have no choice, and therefore no responsibility. In Putin’s Russia, companies still have some room for maneuver. That means they may one day be held responsible for what they choose to do. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Jan Kallberg writes: All of which is ahead of us. In the meantime, everything focuses on those 7-10km advances from Robotyne and other frontline areas. As always, the fighting and the dying will be done by Ukrainians, but the West absolutely must ensure that there are sufficient rocket artillery systems, ammunition, and support to do the job. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Amy Mackinnon and Jack Detsch write: “Prigozhin and those who supported him were the uberhawks in Russia’s bogged-down war in Ukraine. His seeming demise at Putin’s hands leaves the Kremlin in a bit of a political predicament, risking alienating some of the more influential pro-war voices in Russian society.” – Foreign Policy


Israel on Wednesday said it will boost natural gas production from its offshore Tamar field and increase exports to Egypt, which is contending with rising demand and falling output. – Reuters

Hundreds of Arab citizens marched on Wednesday in the funeral of a slain community leader, voicing anger at what they say is an Israeli government failure to curb a surge in criminal violence ripping through their communities. – Reuters

The leaders of Palestinian terror groups in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip are taking heightened precautions over concerns they could be targeted by Israel following several recent deadly West Bank attacks, according to Arabic-language media reports on Wednesday. – Times of Israel

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and top IDF officials met yesterday with leaders from settlements to discuss how to stem the current wave of Palestinian terror. – Jerusalem Post

The highest ranking US military officer’s trip to Israel this week caps off years of improved defense cooperation between the two countries but comes at a time of concern about both American commitment to the Middle East and Israel’s own military readiness amid an ongoing domestic political crisis, according to experts who spoke to The Algemeiner. – Algemeiner

Yoram Ettinger writes: Israel shares with the US more intelligence than many countries, and Israel’s battle experience has been shared with the US, saving American lives by serving as a basis for the formulation of US air force and ground force battle tactics, enhancing military medicine, as well as training US soldiers in urban warfare and facing car bombs, suicide bombers and improvised, explosive devices (IEDs). – Algemeiner

Yoram Ettinger writes: In view of the aforementioned data, the annual $3.8bn extended to Israel (to purchase only US military systems) does not constitute “foreign aid.” It is an annual US investment in an immensely-grateful Israel, yielding to the US an annual Return-on-Investment (R-o-I) of a few hundred percent. It is the most productive and secure US investment, underlying the mutually-beneficial US-Israel two-way-street. – Arutz Sheva

Frances McDonough writes: Results from a new public opinion poll conducted in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem show key differences between Palestinian attitudes and those of respondents elsewhere in the Arab world when it comes to relations with Israel and the roles of the United States, China, Russia, and other regional powers. – Washington Institute

Nimrod Goren writes: By reintroducing and updating the Allen Plan in light of current realities, the U.S. can add a security component to a possible international package of incentives for peace that may be in the making. This will not only help make international peacemaking efforts more effective, but will also deliver a decisive and important message to the Israeli leadership and public: Safeguarding democracy and advancing peace are the path for Israel to get additional security guarantees from the U.S., not overhauling the judiciary or attempting to avoid the Palestinian quest for statehood by pursuing normalization with the Saudis. – Middle East Institute


The Taliban have prevented scores of female Afghan students from traveling to the United Arab Emirates for education, according to the chairman of a group that offered them scholarships. – Associated Press

The head of a Dubai-based conglomerate on Wednesday said Afghanistan’s Taliban authorities had stopped around 100 women from travelling to the United Arab Emirates where he was to sponsor their university education. – Reuters

Former presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway slammed Vice President Kamala Harris and the Biden administration over its global performance on Wednesday, urging Republican presidential contenders to step up their foreign policy game. – Washington Examiner


Angry protesters raided the local offices of the ruling Baath party in a southern Syrian province Wednesday, as protests intensified against the country’s government during a severe economic and financial crisis battering the war-torn country. – Associated Press

Syrian forces have ramped up their attacks on rebel bases and weapons depots, targeting dozens of fighters, the defense ministry said on Wednesday amid an upsurge in violence. – Agence France-Presse

Ediotrial: The Post reports that in the past two years, criminal cases stemming from the Ghouta attack have been filed in three European countries — France, Germany and Sweden — and a network of lawyers and activists is exploring novel legal theories that could allow the first international criminal prosecution of the Assad government to move forward in the coming months. Even in absentia, it would be a step toward truth and justice for a crime that remains unpunished. – Washington Post


Four years into its historic economic meltdown, Lebanon’s political elites, masters at survival, are pushing for a recovery that would sidestep tough reforms demanded by the International Monetary Fund. – Associated Press

Two crew members died and another was injured when an Air Force helicopter crashed in Lebanon during a training exercise, the army said in a statement on Wednesday. – Reuters

The Lebanese army turned away around 700 Syrians attempting to cross into the neighboring country illegally over the past week, the armed forces said in a statement on Wednesday. – Agence France-Presse

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia will likely roll over a voluntary oil cut of 1 million barrels per day for a third consecutive month into October, five analysts said, amid uncertainty about supplies and as the kingdom targets drawing down global inventories further. – Reuters

Germany hopes to see a swift investigation into Human Rights Watch reports of killings of migrants at Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen, a government spokesperson in Berlin said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Saudi Arabia’s Jadwa Investment has acquired a 35% equity stake in Kuwait’s Gissah Perfumes Company, which is slated for a listing in Riyadh, the companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday. – Reuters

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan lowered expectations for the Saudi-Israel normalization agreement that Washington is working on, rejecting news reports that suggest it is imminent. – Voice of America

David Kirichenko writes: No matter the outcome, Saudi Arabia has emerged as a winner from this summit, showing that in the long term it will continue to strengthen ties with Ukraine and the West. It is Ukraine, after all, that is fighting to protect the Western world and the global order that has kept the world safe since WWII. – Jerusalem Post

Korean Peninsula

North Korea said its second spy-satellite attempt had failed on Thursday, faulting an error in the rocket’s “emergency blasting system” during a latter stage of flight. – Wall Street Journal

The pandemic leveled North Korea’s economy, stoked fear inside the country and threatened the livelihood of Kim Jong Un. But the fears produced a societal, economic and informational paralysis that worked to Kim’s advantage—and as North Korea unwinds one of the world’s longest periods of strict Covid isolation, the 39-year-old dictator finds himself more in control than ever – Wall Street Journal

South Korean police arrested on Thursday at least 14 people who entered a building housing the Japanese embassy in Seoul during a protest against Tokyo’s release of water from the Fukushima nuclear plant, an organiser and a Reuters witness said. – Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited the Kumsong Tractor Factory on Wednesday alongside his powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, amid the ongoing food crisis, state media KCNA reported on Thursday. – Reuters

Christian Davies writes: Whatever the government’s intentions, it remains the case that the commanding heights of Korean industry remain populated by a large number of executives with past convictions, even if they were subsequently pardoned. If legitimately convicted, that is not a good look for Korea Inc. If not legitimately convicted, neither Korean citizens nor foreign investors can be said to fully enjoy the protection of the rule of law. – Financial Times


Chinese leader Xi Jinping is expanding a campaign to harden the country against foreign efforts to steal its secrets, with his spymasters warning citizens abroad to guard against enticement from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. – Wall Street Journal

Two years after it stopped promoting the Thousand Talents Plan (TTP) amid U.S. investigations of scientists, China quietly revived the initiative under a new name and format as part of a broader mission to accelerate its tech proficiency, according to three sources with knowledge of the matter and a Reuters review of over 500 government documents spanning 2019 to 2023 – Reuters

Arab parliament speaker, Adel bin Abdulrahman Al-Asoomi, will visit China Aug. 25-31, Chinese state media reported on Wednesday. – Reuters

The United States is seeking a six-month extension to a decades-old science and technology agreement with China so that it can undergo negotiations with Beijing to “strengthen” the pact, the State Department said on Wednesday. – Reuters

China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday the “wrong decision” made by the United States to impose visa restrictions on Chinese officials over “forcible assimilation” of Tibetan children at boarding schools should be revoked immediately. – Reuters

Huawei Technologies Co is building a collection of secret semiconductor-fabrication facilities across China to let the company skirt U.S. sanctions, a Washington-based semiconductor association has warned, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday. – Reuters

Josh Rogin writes: While the GOP field is divided on Ukraine, being anti-China is universally popular among Republicans, which explains why the candidates all sound similar on that issue these days. But that’s why voters must look closer at who has real experience and who truly knows what they are talking about. That should be the standard for the next commander in chief. – Washington Post

Megan McArdle writes: Obviously, that sort of self-criticism has a political component, which is why China doomcasting has often been popular with people who find individualism, or markets, wanting. But it also has a psychological component: If the story is really about you, it means that, ultimately, you’re the one who has all the power. Such stories tell us that, however dark it looks now, the future isn’t really uncertain — that we get to decide whether to commit economic suicide, or write a happier ending. – Washington Post

South Asia

British trade minister Kemi Badenoch will hold talks with her Indian counterpart this week in New Delhi, her office said on Thursday, but an agreement on trade is unlikely to be struck as further negotiations are scheduled for later in the year. – Reuters

An Indian spacecraft became the first to land on the rugged, unexplored south pole of the moon on Wednesday in a mission seen as crucial to lunar exploration and India’s standing as a space power, just days after a similar Russian lander crashed. – Reuters

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is set to invest $1bn in Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s retail unit, valuing the shopping company at $100bn, in the latest sign of Gulf investors’ deepening exposure to India’s fast-growing economy. – Financial Times

The European Union and India will try to advance talks on a trade deal this week as the bloc’s demands for strict sustainability requirements have become a key stumbling block. – Bloomberg

Prime Minister Narendra Modi confirmed India’s intention to send people to the moon in the near future as the nation celebrated the successful landing of the world’s first-ever robotic mission to the lunar south pole. – Business Insider 

David Von Drehle writes: Russia’s demise as a world power and China’s suddenly clouded future demand new thinking from Winston Churchill’s “indispensable nation,” the United States. Americans and their leaders have been egging each other on for some 20 years in a race to the depths of despair. – Washington Post


Australia’s Trade Minister Don Farrell has dangled easier access to the country’s vast critical minerals sector as part of negotiations over a free trade agreement with the European Union ahead of possible further talks as soon as next week. – Reuters

The U.S. State Department has approved a possible $500 million sale to Taiwan of infrared search and track systems for F-16 fighter jets, as well as other equipment, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Taiwan will spend an extra T$94.3 billion ($2.97 billion) to buy weapons next year including fighter jets to bolster its defences against China, the government said on Thursday, and will get a further boost from new F-16 fighter jet tracking systems. – Reuters

Australia and China pledged more support for the Pacific Islands in their fight against climate change, as the leaders of four nations debate declaring the strategic region “neutral” as China and the United States jostle for influence. – Reuters

Indonesia has signed a deal to buy 24 transport helicopters from U.S. weapons maker Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) to strengthen its military air fleet, the country’s defence ministry said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Maintaining peace needs a powerful defence, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Wednesday, as she made a rare visit to a frontline island located right next to China, to mark the anniversary of a key military clash with Chinese forces. – Reuters

Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown, chairman of the Pacific Islands bloc, said that science supported Japan’s decision to pump treated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea, but that the region may not agree on the “complex” issue. – Reuters

Members of the U.N. Security Council – minus China and Russia – condemned the “unrelenting violence” and killing of civilians in Myanmar and again urged its military rulers to stop attacks, release ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and respect human rights. – Associated Press

As a United States Navy plane circled overhead, two Philippine boats breached a Chinese coast guard blockade in a dangerous confrontation Tuesday in the disputed South China Sea to deliver food and other supplies to Filipino forces guarding a contested shoal. – Associated Press

The tsunami-wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant ‘s operator says it began releasing its first batch of treated radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean on Thursday — a controversial step that prompted China to ban seafood from Japan. – Associated Press

As the Navy and other services turn their attention to the Indo-Pacific as the next potential site of combat, researchers under the Navy Medical Research Center are thinking about blood. While naval and Marine Corps leaders are strategizing about the ways to best perform in the Indo-Pacific region, Navy Medicine, including researchers, are thinking about how to keep people alive over vast distances and the blood products they’ll need to do it. – USNI News

Irina Arabidze writes: The West still has the power to halt the erosion of its influence and turn the tide in its favor. Russia’s quick and clear-cut defeat in Ukraine would stiffen the spines of illiberal leaders considering a flirtation with the authoritarian world, and reinvigorate the hope of their peoples for a safer and more prosperous future. – Center for European Policy Analysis


Germany plans to almost double its public funding for artificial intelligence research to nearly a billion euros over the next two years, as it attempts to close a skills gap with sector leaders China and the United States. – Reuters

Germany’s cabinet on Wednesday passed a draft bill to ease the citizenship law, hoping a faster track to German nationality will attract skilled migrants to plug chronic labour shortages holding back Europe’s biggest economy. – Reuters

A Russian fighter jet intercepted a Norwegian military plane over the Barents Sea on Wednesday, the Russian defence ministry said. – Reuters

More than a dozen of the world’s biggest tech companies face unprecedented legal scrutiny, as the European Union’s sweeping Digital Services Act (DSA) imposes new rules on content moderation, user privacy and transparency this month. – Reuters

The head of the European Union’s powerful lending arm has warned the West is at risk of losing the confidence of the global south, with China and Russia and others stepping in, unless it urgently intensifies its own support efforts. – Reuters

The volume of investment guarantees provided by the German government to companies investing in China has collapsed this year, a government document showed, highlighting the impact of Berlin’s efforts to end over-reliance on the country. – Reuters

Latvia’s government signaled it would back away from a plan to strip permanent residency from Russian citizens after as many as 10,000 people risked expulsion from the Baltic nation for not meeting a language requirement. – Bloomberg


Sudan’s army chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, appeared in public for the first time since the start of the war outside of the army command and defense ministry compound, according to an army statement released on Thursday. – Reuters

South Africa signed a raft of deals with China on Wednesday to help it overhaul its creaky energy sector including upgrading its nuclear power plant as the government seeks to ease a severe energy crisis hobbling the economy. – Reuters

The United States on Tuesday called on the Central African Republic to announce a date for local elections and added that Washington held “deep reservations” about a July 30 constitutional referendum in the country. – Reuters

The United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, plans to commit $270 million to Nigeria’s humanitarian and poverty alleviation efforts and pledged to help set up an emergency operation centre, its executives said on Tuesday. – Reuters

African countries want China to shift its focus from building infrastructure on the continent to local industrialisation, China’s top Africa diplomat said on Tuesday at a briefing on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in South Africa. – Reuters

At least 42 women have been abducted by Islamic extremist rebels during an attack in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, locals told The Associated Press on Wednesday. – Associated Press

Latin America

U.S. officials are drafting a proposal that would ease sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector, allowing more companies and countries to import its crude oil, if the South American nation moves toward a free and fair presidential election, according to five people with knowledge of the plans. – Reuters

China’s President Xi Jinping has pledged to support Cuba’s defence of its national sovereignty, opposing foreign interference and a U.S. economic blockade, and will expand strategic coordination with Havana. – Reuters

Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping’s regime intends to persuade Guatemala to cut ties with Taiwan as part of a sustained effort to isolate the island democracy and enhance Beijing’s geopolitical clout in Central America. – Washington Examiner

The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday approved the disbursement of $7.5 billion for Argentina after completing the fifth and sixth reviews of their $44 billion program, the IMF said. – Reuters

U.S. President Joe Biden will host Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves next Tuesday, the White House said on Wednesday, with two Biden administration officials adding that topics in the meeting will include immigration and China. – Reuters

Brazil’s government has proposed a plan to Argentina that would use yuan to guarantee export payments in order to bypass its neighboring nation’s serious cash shortages and keep trade flowing, according to Finance Minister Fernando Haddad. – Bloomberg

Oliver Stuenkel writes: While presidents face many constraints domestically, Milei would enjoy greater autonomy when it comes to foreign policy. Following Bolsonaro’s example, Milei proposes transferring Argentina’s Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Yet while Bolsonaro had the advantage of being able to swim in the slipstream of Trump during his first two years in office, Milei’s foreign policy would probably be slightly more measured to avoid being on bad terms with both China and the United States (despite numerous attacks against Biden). – Foreign Policy


U.S. prosecutors charged two individuals allegedly behind decentralized cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash, saying they conspired to launder illicit funds and to violate U.S. sanctions. – Wall Street Journal

A British jury ruled Wednesday that two teenagers were part of a hacking and blackmail campaign against technology companies including the maker of the “Grand Theft Auto” game series. – Associated Press

The FBI has attributed three recent cyberattacks on cryptocurrency platforms to the North Korean government’s APT38 hacking group — known by many researchers as Lazarus or TraderTraitor. – The Record

Delegates from across the United Nations are in Midtown Manhattan this week and next for the final negotiations regarding a new international convention on cybercrime. – The Record


The U.S. Navy this week awarded Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney more than $1 billion in contracts to buy parts and equipment for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. – Defense News

The U.S. Army approved the Sentinel A4 radar program, critical to the service’s future air defense capability, to move into low-rate initial production, the program executive officer for missiles and space said. – Defense News

Bryan Clark writes: The changes these operational concepts imply will be substantial. Instead of being the silent service, the U.S. undersea force will need to generate noise and hide in the resulting chaos. And rather than being alone and unafraid, U.S. submariners will need to rely on a team of crewed and uncrewed platforms on, above and below the water to reach their targets. Otherwise, America’s world-leading submarine force could find itself viewing the action from the sideline. – Defense News