Fdd's overnight brief

August 26, 2022

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


An exile group announced a New York lawsuit against Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Thursday, challenging US authorities to take action against him as he is expected to arrive next month for the UN General Assembly. – Agence France-Presse

In a rare move, authorities in Iran allowed women to attend a soccer game at the Tehran Azadi stadium in the Iranian capital on Thursday evening, local media reported. – Associated Press

Diplomats striving to restore the Iranian nuclear deal are getting a helping hand from the country’s deteriorating economy, as growing hardship piles pressure on top officials in Tehran. – Bloomberg

Under both former Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump, Iranian assassinations slowed. This was largely because Iranian authorities worried they might suffer consequences for their actions. Bush, after all, invaded Iraq and ousted Saddam Hussein in just a month, a goal the Iranian army had failed to do during eight years of war. They worried that Trump, meanwhile, was just unpredictable. – Washington Examiner

During 16 months of acrimonious, indirect talks with the United States, Iran has underplayed the importance of restoring the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran has dragged its feet at the negotiating table. Its officials have refused to talk directly with their U.S. counterparts, requiring the European Union to mediate. Tehran has also been accused of making unrealistic demands. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Criticizing the United States for rushing into a terrible deal, Mossad Director David Barnea said on Thursday that a new nuclear pact with Iran would not block his agency from acting against the Islamic Republic to protect Israel’s security interests. – Jerusalem Post

Knox Thames writes: Iran will not quickly end its hostility toward Bahá’ís and other religious minorities. Therefore, statements of condemnation are essential but not enough. To send a message that will reverberate in Tehran, it is necessary to link these and other human rights concerns to broader issues. The nuclear negotiations, while ideal, appear closed to expansion, so other issues of trade and commerce should be identified. – Newsweek

Maysam Bizaer writes: With the prospects of reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, still uncertain, as well as the growing economic and sociopolitical discontent among many Iranians, the country’s demographic future remains unclear. Only time will tell if the government’s efforts to convince new families to have more children will be successful, thus saving Iran from a significant and irreversible demographic change in the coming decades. – Middle East Institute 

Russia & Ukraine

President Biden should take urgent action to make the deteriorating situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear-power plant an administration priority and demand an immediate inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency before its occupation causes a transnational radiological disaster, according to a private bipartisan letter to the White House from dozens of former senior government officials and nonproliferation experts. – Wall Street Journal

Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant was cut off from the country’s electricity grid, setting off a mass power outage in the adjacent area after fires damaged its last functioning transmission line, Ukraine’s nuclear power company said Thursday. – Washington Post

Europe’s largest nuclear power plant came closer than ever to a radiation disaster after ongoing fighting near the Zaporizhzhia facility cut it off from Ukraine’s electricity grid on Thursday, causing a massive power outage in the area, President Volodymyr Zelensky said, amid heightened fears of a coming calamity. – Washington Post

President Vladimir V. Putin on Thursday ordered a sharp increase in the size of Russia’s armed forces, a reversal of years of efforts by the Kremlin to slim down a bloated military and the latest sign that he is bracing for a long war in Ukraine, where Russia has suffered heavy losses. – New York Times

Russia has obtained hundreds of Iranian drones capable of being used in its war against Ukraine despite U.S. warnings to Tehran not to ship them, according to Western intelligence officials. It’s unclear whether Russia has begun flying the drones against Ukrainian targets, but the drones appear to be operational and ready to use, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence. – Associated Press

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the world narrowly avoided a radiation disaster as electricity to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was cut for hours due to Russian shelling in the area, allegations that Moscow denied. – Reuters

As 191 countries approach Friday’s end to a four-week conference to review the landmark U.N. treaty aimed at curbing the spread of nuclear weapons, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and takeover of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant and rivalries between the West and China were posing key obstacles to agreement on a final document. – Associated Press

Washington on Thursday warned Russia against diverting energy from a nuclear plant Kyiv says was cut off from its grid, as calls for an independent inspection of the facility mount. – Agence France-Presse

Ukraine’s environmental ministry has accused Russia of committing crimes causing billions of dollars in damage to Ukraine’s natural resources over the Kremlin’s six-month invasion. – Newsweek 

The Ukraine security service said it recently captured a Russian spy who was allegedly collecting intelligence on HIMARS (M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems)—U.S.-supplied weapons that have been credited with turning the tide of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine. – Newsweek

The August 20, 2022 assassination of Darya Dugina daughter of philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, who some credit with exerting influence on Vladimir Putin in favor of restoring the Orthodox Slavic world and breaking with the West, was grist to the mill for those calling for Russia’s escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. Even before the murder, the partisans of more decisive measures to win the war had mustered enough support to call the Duma into special session. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

August 24, 2022, marked six months since the beginning of Russia’s “special military operation.” Coincidentally, on this date, Ukrainians celebrated the 31st anniversary of their country’s independence. In one of my previous analyses, I mentioned that it looked doubtful that Russia would crush the Ukrainian resistance any time soon. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Harris Mylonas and Scott Radnitz write: In an age of uncertainty and fragmentation, fifth columns will no longer be confined to the dark corners of the nationalist imagination. They will be front and center in domestic and global politics. – Foreign Affairs

Karolina Hird, Layne Philipson, George Barros, and Frederick W. Kagan write: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s August 25 decree to increase the size of the Russian military starting in January 2023 is unlikely to generate significant combat power in the near future and indicates that Putin is unlikely to order a mass mobilization soon. – Institute for the Study of War

Ilaria Mazzocco writes: The IRA will likely help the United States come closer to meeting its climate targets and become a stronger climate leader, but global supply chains will likely continue to run through China for still some time. This will require carefully managing the U.S.-China trade relationship, including all the risks associated with it, even in the context of climate change. – Center for Strategic and International Studies

Jack Detsch writes: “What does the collapse of the Russian army look like, and if it does start to collapse, what happens to the so-called governments in Luhansk and Donetsk?” said Ryan, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe and NATO. “Then we have to ask ourselves: Would Putin escalate if he felt his army on the ground was in an untenable position? It seems like he’s gone pretty much all in already. That’s when it starts to get dangerous.” – Foreign Policy


It is a rare moment in the electoral spotlight for Israel’s Palestinian citizens. Many, however, are frustrated at being viewed just in the context of Netanyahu’s political fortunes while their grievances, including discrimination against them, remain unaddressed. – Washington Post

Israel has issued up to 15,500 work permits since last year, allowing Palestinians like Slaieh to cross into the country from the Gaza Strip and work mostly menial jobs that pay far higher wages than those available inside Gaza. They are among the first Gazan laborers to work officially inside Israel since the Hamas takeover of the territory in 2007. – Associated Press

Mossad chief David Barnea has said in recent meetings about the Iranian nuclear deal that the US “is rushing into an accord that is a lie,” according to multiple reports in Hebrew media outlets this evening. Barnea is quoted as saying the emerging accord is “very bad for Israel” and “a strategic disaster.” – Times of Israel

Police on Thursday announced the arrest of an East Jerusalem man who was allegedly planning on carrying out a shooting attack in the capital’s center. – Times of Israel 

Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Thursday that Israeli pressure tactics on the United States over the Iran deal have already had some positive effects. – Times of Israel

The Palestinian Authority has renewed its push for full membership in the United Nations and has turned to the Security Council on the matter. “We are negotiating in good faith with all [UNSC] members,” PA Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour told reporters in New York on Thursday. – Jerusalem Post

Defense Minister Benny Gantz discussed cooperation between Israel and the United States with US Central Command (CENTCOM) commander General Michael Kurilla during a meeting at CENTCOM headquarters in Florida on Thursday. – Jerusalem Post

Editorial: The diplomats said they did not accept Israel’s terror designation of the groups because they had not received any evidence to validate that claim. […] So where do we go from here? It is up to Prime Minister Yair Lapid and his government, especially Gantz, to assemble all the intelligence information they have. – Jerusalem Post

Tal Shalev writes: That’s one of the reasons Lapid has slightly changed his tone in the past week and moved to a more critical stance toward US President Joe Biden. If a deal is signed, his main challenge will be to preserve the friendly and positive communication with the White House, while Netanyahu is breathing down his neck, accusing him of being too soft. – Jerusalem Post


The UN Middle East envoy on Thursday warned of tensions in South Lebanon, as Israel and the Hezbollah terror group exchanged threats over a disputed offshore gas field. – Times of Israel

Erez D. Maisel and Sarit Zehavi write: This could serve as a clear message to the Lebanese to take responsibility, or at the very least to prevent UNIFIL serving as Hezbollah’s “Human Shield” in a potential devastating conflict. Yet unfortunately, the likelihood of that potential conflict has grown due to LAF subservience to Hezbollah, and UNIFIL irrelevance and dereliction of mission “to prevent the resumption of hostilities.” – Jerusalem Post

Amos Harel writes: Hezbollah’s decision to try to damage the gas platform, for example using so-called kamikaze drones, could lead to a harsh Israeli response and even to a war. Over the years, the prevailing assumption in Israel was that Nasrallah, following his experience in the 2006 conflict, is well aware of the unwritten rules of the game, and is wary of dangerous miscalculations. Recent weeks have called that appraisal into question. – Haaretz


More than a year after the Taliban takeover that saw thousands of Afghans rushing to Kabul’s international airport amid the chaotic U.S. withdrawal, Afghans at risk who failed to get on evacuation flights say they are still struggling to find safe and legal ways out of the country. – Associated Press

Afghanistan’s central bank imposed a nationwide ban on cryptocurrencies this month and the Taliban regime has arrested several dealers who defied orders to stop trading digital tokens, according to a senior police official. – Bloomberg

The Taliban have not found the body of Ayman al-Zawahiri and are continuing investigations, group spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said on Thursday, after the United States said they killed the al Qaeda leader in an airstrike in Kabul last month. – Reuters

Arash Azizzada writes: Afghans are no strangers to being betrayed, forgotten, or abandoned, and recent history is rife with examples of the world doing exactly that. But America made a promise and must live up to it. Otherwise, the calamity that will unfold will be America’s responsibility. Time is running out. – The Hill 


The U.S. military on Thursday hit several targets in the Syrian city of Mayadin in parts of Deir al Zor province under government control, in the third day of skirmishes with Iran-backed groups, local military sources said. – Reuters

Two civilians were injured after Syrian air defences intercepted what it said was an Israeli “aerial aggression” targeting the cities of Hama and Tartus, state media reported on Thursday. The raid also led to material damage and fires breaking out in several areas, they added. – Reuters

The investigation sponsored by the Syrian British Consortium collected evidence and testimonies from witnesses of the atrocities committed by Bashar Assad’s forces in the Damascus suburb a decade ago, providing for the first time in-depth accounts of the killings of some 700 people. – Times of Israel 

Michael Knights writes: Although the United States currently prefers to strike back against KH and the IRGC inside Syria, numerous Jurf al-Sakhar command-and-control targets could be effectively hit in response to continued provocations by both parties. These include targets untouched by long-past U.S. operations such as the March 2020 airstrike campaign. – Washington Institute

Middle East & North Africa

Iraq’s state-owned oil marketer SOMO has threatened fresh legal action against buyers of crude oil originating from the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, according to a letter dated Aug. 23 seen by Reuters. – Reuters

Saudi Arabia this week warned that it could lead Opec+ in cutting oil production, a message apparently aimed at skittish traders. But the kingdom also had another audience in mind: the Biden administration as it prepares to revive a nuclear deal with Iran. – Financial times

While Russia’s war rages on in Ukraine, a flurry of diplomatic activity has brought rivals together in the Middle East, with Turkey and Israel normalizing relations and Iran and the United Arab Emirates resuming diplomatic ties over the past week. – Newsweek

Jordanian officials have expressed anger and frustration with Israel’s move to utilize its Ramon Airport in southern Israel for Palestinian travel abroad, claiming it jeopardizes the kingdom’s economic interests, violates Jordanian airspace sovereignty, and normalizes the Palestinians’ plight. – Times of Israel

Editorial: One of the crown prince’s senior aides still has a verified account despite US government allegations that he orchestrated an illegal infiltration of the company which led anonymous users to be identified and jailed. But many more businesses, and those who support them, need to take responsibility too. The staggering amount that the kingdom has invested in tourism, sporting and other initiatives is testament to its wish to buy international approval. We do not need to grant it. – The Guardian

Amine Ayoub writes: The involvement of Egypt’s intelligence services in the latest negotiations, after the attacks on Israel, attests to the PIJ’s rising status and the concern that the tensions between Iran and Israel will play out within Egypt’s borders. Israel is now being attacked by a different kind of enemy that does not believe in peace but only in violence and helping Iran create chaos in the region. – Jerusalem Post

Korean Peninsula

South Korea has signed a 3 trillion won ($2.25 billion) contract with a Russian state-run nuclear energy company to provide components and construct turbine buildings for Egypt’s first nuclear power plant, officials said Thursday. – Associated Press

As South Korea and the United States conducted their largest joint military drill in years, officials in Seoul are preparing for a potential response by Pyongyang at a time when North Korea is further aligning itself with China and Russia. – Newsweek


Economists said the $146 billion in stimulus measures that Chinese policy makers unveiled this week to prop up the battered economy are unlikely to significantly alter the country’s growth trajectory. – Wall Street Journal

The southwestern province of Sichuan, China’s biggest hydropower producer, has seen its supply capability slump due to a long drought across the Yangtze basin, stoking fears the country could suffer another devastating power shortage. – Reuters

For nearly 70 years an imagined line running down the Taiwan Strait between Taiwan and China has helped keep the peace but the so-called median line is looking increasingly meaningless as China’s modernised navy asserts its strength. – Reuters

Washington and Beijing are close to an agreement that would allow US regulators access to audits of Chinese companies that are listed on American exchanges, a potential breakthrough in talks that have languished for more than a decade. – Financial Times

Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen had a tough message for Beijing this week. “We need to make the enemy understand that they will pay a very heavy price if they invade or try to invade Taiwan,” she said, as she commemorated the second Taiwan Strait crisis 64 years ago, when China launched an artillery barrage but failed to take Taipei-controlled outlying islands. – Financial Times

Daniel Moss writes: At present, they sound more like ex-Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke and past Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson when they insisted the American housing meltdown would be “contained” and probably wouldn’t sink the broader US economy, let alone world finance. Draghi, too, didn’t get there overnight; the ECB had its share of fumbled half-measures. Chinese policy makers still have a journey to make. May they get there soon. – Bloomberg

Gordon G. Chang  writes: Xi Jinping, who reveres Mao and emulates him whenever possible, is now vigorously pushing tianxia and at the same time doing his best to isolate China, evoking the worst periods in Chinese history. – Newsweek

James Crabtree writes: More realistically, the question is whether the two leaders have the political will and authority to instruct more hard-line voices on their respective sides to dampen down tensions, at least temporarily. If not, the slide toward more significant conflict—of which the crisis over Pelosi’s visit is just a preview—looks set to continue. – Foreign Policy

South Asia

Japan is seeking to organise a Sri Lanka creditors’ conference, hoping it could help solve the South Asia nation’s debt crisis, but uncertainties cloud the outlook for any talks, three people with knowledge of the planning said. – Reuters

Pakistan’s military-backed establishment faces a dilemma: The more they seek to boot Imran Khan out of politics, the greater the risk he becomes even more popular. Since his ouster in a no-confidence vote in April, Khan has sought to rally his supporters in the world’s fifth-most populous country to hit the streets and push for a fresh national vote. – Bloomberg

Even in a region with plenty of colourful political characters, Imran Khan stands out. A tenacious populist politician who won power in Pakistan in 2018 after two decades of trying, Khan’s social conservatism, anti-western stance and religious rhetoric are all the more striking given his backstory. – The Guardian


Taiwan unveiled plans to boost military spending by its largest margin in 15 years in response to escalating tensions with China that come amid deteriorating ties between Beijing and Washington. – Wall Street Journal

The Myanmar military’s recent arrest of a former U.K. ambassador is an example of “hostage diplomacy,” activists and opposition politicians say. The detention of the ex-diplomat came as Britain moved to further isolate the Southeast Asian regime. – Washington Post

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) met Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday in Taipei, the latest U.S. lawmaker to visit the island at a time of tense relations with China. […] In her visit on Friday, Blackburn called Taiwan a “country” in passing, while saying it was important to support Taiwan in “preserving its freedom.” – Washington Post

In response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China launched missiles, carried out military drills and sent jet fighters across the Taiwan Strait. But the island’s government said that even before Mrs. Pelosi’s plane touched down, it was defending its people against a more-subtle assault from Beijing, one designed to sow fear through the use of disinformation. – Wall Street Journal

China’s aggressive military drills around Taiwan in response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit put Washington on edge, but not enough to spur an immediate sharp increase in weapons sales to the island, sources told Reuters. – Reuters

Recent visits by guests from the United States have reinforced Taiwan’s determination to defend itself, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Friday as she met the latest U.S. lawmaker to arrive on the island in defiance of Beijing. – Reuters

A United States Coast Guard vessel was unable to enter Solomon Islands for a routine port call because the Solomon Islands government did not respond to a request for it to refuel and provision, a U.S. official said. – Reuters

Taiwan’s leader on Friday said China and Russia are “disrupting and threatening the world order” through Beijing’s recent large-scale military exercises near the island and Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. – Associated Press

A Vietnamese court has rejected an appeal by prominent journalist and democracy activist Pham Doan Trang, who had been sentenced to nine years in prison on charges of “propaganda against the state,” state media said. – Associated Press

Suspended Thai leader Prayuth Chan-ocha said on social media he will continue in his role as defence minister, in his first direct address to the public since a court ordered him to cease his duties as prime minister while it reviews his term limit. – Reuters

The U.S. State Department approved the potential sale of military helicopters and related equipment to Australia for an estimated cost of $1.95 billion, the Pentagon said, as Australia seeks to boost its military presence in the Indo-Pacific region. – Reuters

Malaysia’s rotating monarchy has played an outsized role in politics, helping determine the prime minister. Now the king may be ex-premier Najib Razak’s last chance to walk free for his crimes related to 1MDB. – Bloomberg

Mark P. Lagon and James Gannon write: That would go a long way to enable LMICs to emulate Japan’s own successes and lessons in achieving UHC. This agenda also advances health security when Covid-19 has shown that citizens in the Global North are not insulated from infectious diseases elsewhere. – The National Interest


In the 1960s, Finnish families regularly stockpiled food at home—called kotivara—as part of a broader philosophy that everyone in the country should be ready for a possible war. – Wall Street Journal

Latvia on Thursday took down a Soviet-era monument in Riga following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, despite protests from the Baltic state’s ethnic Russian minority to keep it. – Agence France-Presse

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, front-runner to become Britain’s next prime minister, said the “jury’s out” on whether French President Emmanuel Macron is a friend or an enemy. – Bloomberg

Finland will host talks with Sweden and Turkey, the first three-way meeting on the Nordic countries’ Nato membership bids since Ankara demanded dozens of extraditions from Stockholm in exchange for support. – Financial Times

Liz Truss is considering plans to trigger “Article 16” proceedings against the EU over the Northern Ireland protocol within days of entering Downing Street if she succeeds Boris Johnson as prime minister next month, according to several government insiders. – Financial Times

Norway and Great Britain are jointly providing Ukraine with “Black Hornet” military micro-drones that can be used to spy on Russian forces due to their minute size. – Newsweek 

This hasn’t gone unnoticed in Central and Eastern Europe, where China’s moves throughout the war and the “no limits” partnership it declared with Russia in February have tarnished Beijing’s reputation and seen its favorable ratings fall. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

Elisabeth Braw writes: It does mean, though, that Swedish politicians need to accept the fact that weapons are intimately linked to governments, and that without state involvement on the global arms market, Sweden’s much-respected defense equipment stands to lose out as other countries’ investment increases. – Foreign Policy

Ashira Morris writes: If Bulgaria does restart a contract only to have Russia cut the gas again, individual countries would be competing to secure supplies during winter, when needs and costs are highest. “In this current situation, everybody dealing on their own is a recipe for disaster,” Kondarev said. “Small countries like us will cannibalize each other.” – Foreign Policy


French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Algeria on Thursday for a three-day visit aimed at addressing two major challenges: boosting future economic relations and healing colonial-era wounds. – Associated Press

Tunisia’s president and central bank chief appeared to diverge on the urgency of securing an IMF bailout, with the nation split over painful austerity measures necessary to secure a deal. – Bloomberg

Germany’s foreign minister warned that Russian interference in Mali threatens to exacerbate instability in one of Africa’s top gold producers. – Bloomberg

Abe had stood out among a long series of Japanese prime ministers who had come and gone without an apparent concrete interest in Africa. When he returned for a second term as premier in 2012, he revamped the country’s policy on Africa in a bid to show why Japan remained relevant, despite China’s overwhelming presence in terms of both manpower and financing capability. – Financial Times

Peter Pham and Samuel B. Millner write: During his recent visit to Pretoria, South Africa, Secretary Blinken evoked the MeerKAT radio telescope, the world’s largest, located in South Africa’s Northern Cape, to tell his audience that “there is so much more for African nations and the United States to do together across so many fields” by expanding the common horizons of both Africans and Americans. He is right, of course. But before gazing up into the heavens, it might be prudent to first ensure that our base on Earth is secured. – The National Interest

The Americas

China has entrusted a defense-focused state firm to ship millions of barrels of Venezuelan oil despite U.S. sanctions, part of a deal to offset Caracas’ billions of dollars of debt to Beijing, according to three sources and tanker tracking data. – Reuters

The United Nation’s Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet on Thursday condemned Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s upcoming rally against judicial institutions, and said the country’s human rights situation is “very difficult”. – Reuters

Colombia will suspend aerial bombings targeting illegal armed groups in a bid to avoid collateral damage to civilians and deaths of minors who have been forcibly recruited, Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez said on Thursday. – Reuters

North America

Prosecutors in western Mexico said Wednesday they found eight people dead with gunshot wounds. The bodies were found Wednesday in the township of Tuzantla, in the state of Michoacan, near the wintering grounds of the monarch butterfly. – Associated Press

A joint Department of Defense and National Security Agency team has been reunited to oversee the security of the 2022 midterm elections. The joint U.S. Cyber Command and NSA team is participating in a “whole-of-government effort” to protect domestic elections from foreign interference, the NSA said. – FOX News

Editorial: Then, unless his personal health or the criminal law intervenes, Trump will probably seek and win the Republican nomination for president in 2024. The FBI raid on his Florida home of Mar-a-Lago will join election “theft” as a motivating grievance. Even more than when he was in office, this is Trump’s party now. The grassroots love the fact. American democracy relies on swing voters being less impressed. – Financial Times

Michael Rubin writes: It is time for Congress to act in a truly bipartisan manner to put the brakes on Biden’s worst excesses. Congress already demands a say in any agreement Biden strikes with Iran. Perhaps it can also demand that Afghanistan’s money be used to resettle and aid Afghans who put their lives on the line for the U.S. or Americans. A portion of the money can likewise be earmarked to support Afghan girls and women who seek to continue their schooling outside of Afghanistan. More still can support the armed Afghan resistance. None, however, should ease Taliban governance. – AEI


Facebook gave politicians 13 exemptions to its content-moderation rules over a one-year period because their offending posts were determined to be newsworthy, the company revealed Thursday in a series of quarterly reports on its moderation practices. – Washington Post

LastPass, a password manager used by more than 33 million people around the world, said a hacker recently stole source code and proprietary information after breaking into its systems. – Bloomberg

The Department of Treasury and the Israeli Ministry of Finance announced on Thursday a bilateral agreement formalizing and enhancing the cybersecurity partnership between the countries. – The Hill 

The Senate Judiciary Committee called Twitter whistleblower Peiter Zatko to testify Sept. 13 about his allegations of widespread security failures at the social media company. – CyberScoop

Ransomware cases jumped 47 percent amid a rise in attacks involving newer strains of malicious software infecting targets, according to the cybersecurity firm NCC Group. – CyberScoop


The Pentagon will set up a new center in the next year to help avoid civilian casualties in military operations around the world through better education and training and increased screening before strikes are launched. – Associated Press

Dollars will start flowing toward Poland’s long-planned purchase of tanks, as the U.S. Army taps General Dynamics Land Systems to make 250 Abrams in the newest configuration, the company announced. – Defense News

The U.S. Navy is clarifying the chain of command for fires and other emergencies that occur while ships are in port for maintenance, the head of the surface navy said, after uncertainty about who was in charge contributed to ineffective firefighting efforts on former amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard. – Defense News

Industry leaders again called for the U.S. to develop a “North Star” grand strategy to guide commercial, civil and military space activities, saying in a report that without a greater sense of urgency, America could lose its strategic and technological edge over China by 2032. – Defense News

David Johnson writes: Although it is impossible to prove a negative, apparently the capacities and capabilities of NATO, bolstered by their own nuclear deterrent, were sufficient to deter a Soviet attack. Such an approach is what is also required for deterring and, if necessary, fighting nuclear-armed China and Russia. What is clearly the desired end state in the defense is that it be formidable enough in the calculus of the adversary that they are deterred from aggression. Consequently, sufficient means ought to be in place to convince an adversary that the game is not worth the candle. – War on the Rocks

Long War

Israel on Thursday indicted a senior leader of the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad movement whose arrest led to a brief conflict in Gaza earlier this month and whose detention is likely to fuel tensions. – Reuters

A man has gone on trial in Germany accused of firing a rocket-propelled grenade into a group of civilians in Syria eight years ago, killing at least seven people. The defendant, identified only as Mouafak Al D. for privacy reasons, appeared before a Berlin regional court on Thursday charged with war crimes, seven counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and three counts of dangerous bodily harm. – Associated Press

The leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group in Gaza accused Israel on Thursday of reneging on its commitments under a truce that ended a flare-up earlier this month. – Times of Israel