Fdd's overnight brief

August 30, 2022

In The News


Russian cargo planes have quietly picked up the first of scores of Iranian-made combat drones for use against Ukraine, U.S. officials said, in a move that underscores deepening ties between Moscow and Tehran while also highlighting Russia’s struggles to supply its overstretched military. – Washington Post

Iran closed its land borders to Iraq as flights to the country halted Tuesday amid violence in Baghdad following an influential Shiite cleric’s announcement he would resign from politics. – Associated Press

Iran is pressing ahead with its rollout of an upgrade to its advanced uranium enrichment programme, a report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog seen by Reuters on Monday showed, even as the West awaits Iran’s response on salvaging its 2015 nuclear deal. – Reuters

Russia has faced “numerous failures” with Iranian-made drones acquired from Tehran this month for use in its war with Ukraine, according to a senior U.S. administration official. – Reuters

The United States and Iran have found a way to address the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s investigations of Tehran’s atomic program that allows both to claim victory for now but delays a final resolution, according to three sources familiar with the matter. – Reuters 

Iran’s president warned Monday that any roadmap to restore Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers must see international inspectors end their probe on man-made uranium particles found at undeclared sites in the country. – Associated Press

The Mossad carried out a significant number of operations against Iran’s nuclear program, including some deep inside Iranian territory, former Mossad head Yossi Cohen said at a World Zionist Organization event in Basel, Switzerland, on Monday. – Jerusalem Post

The Iranian regime’s educational system radicalizes students for a global and revolutionary war “as early as the first grade,” according to a new report by Israeli education watchdog Impact-se. – Algemeiner

Editorial: President Biden has a track record of reckless bloody-mindedness (see Afghanistan, withdrawal from) that must give Mr. Raisi and the mullahs hope they can leverage Mr. Biden’s determination to sign a deal. Maybe you can’t blame a dangerous autocratic regime for trying. But voters—and Congress—can and should blame Mr. Biden if he plays along. – Wall Street Journal

Editorial: Because it is rare for a Mossad leader to take such a public position and Barnea has no political agenda, his warning should be taken seriously. But from now until Election Day, we urge all politicians: Speak out against the Iranian deal by all means – but not against each other. – Jerusalem Post

Seth J. Frantzman writes: Raisi isn’t pretending to be a “moderate.” His message is clear: Iran wants sanctions relief and it wants a return to the nuclear agreement, but it won’t do anything to get to that agreement because it views the West as having let it down. The Islamic Republic wants America to know that it has other options, such as China and Russia, and will do as it pleases. – Jerusalem Post

Nahum Barnea writes: With, or without the deal, the world is already looking at Iran as a nuclear threshold state, and the only thing that can change that is a military attack – to destroy the Iranian nuclear project once and for all. This requires strategic plans, long-term investment and close cooperation with neighboring countries. A little less conversation, a little more action, please. – Ynet

James M. Dorsey writes: Moreover, Iran will likely continue to be a nuclear threshold state with or without a revival of the nuclear agreement, raising the specter of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, with countries like Saudi Arabia and Turkey seeking to match Iranian capabilities. So far, albeit undeclared, Israel is the region’s only nuclear power. – Algemeiner

Russia & Ukraine

The war in Ukraine has depleted American stocks of some types of ammunition and the Pentagon has been slow to replenish its arsenal, sparking concerns among U.S. officials that American military readiness could be jeopardized by the shortage. – Wall Street Journal

Ukraine may be outgunned but in the latest sign it is not yet outfoxed, a fleet of decoys resembling advanced U.S. rocket systems has tricked Russian forces into wasting expensive long-range cruise missiles on dummy targets, according to interviews with senior U.S. and Ukrainian officials and photographs of the replicas reviewed by The Washington Post. – Washington Post

Ukrainian officials said Monday that new attacks on Russian forces in the Kherson region were underway, potentially signaling the start of an offensive to recapture occupied territory. – Washington Post

Russia pumps almost as much oil into the global market as it did before its invasion of Ukraine. With oil prices up, Moscow is also making more money. – Wall Street Journal

An independent Russian journalist has been charged with funding an extremist organization over donating a small amount of money to a foundation started by imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Russian media reported Monday. – Associated Press

Ukrainian troops bolstered by stepped-up Western military aid launched a long-awaited counter-offensive to retake territory in the south on Monday as Russian forces shelled residential areas of the Black Sea port city of Mykolaiv. – Reuters

Russia and China will embark on a series of military exercises this week, a sign of Moscow’s deepening ties with Beijing and of the Kremlin’s desire to project a “business as usual” image despite the mounting costs of its war in Ukraine. – Financial Times

A senior U.S. defense official cast doubt on the feasibility of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent order to increase the size of his country’s military by more than 130,000 troops starting next year. – Washington Examiner

A Ukrainian politician who was working with the Russian occupation government was found murdered in his home over the weekend. – New York Post

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is being sidelined by President Vladimir Putin after failing to deliver a quick and decisive victory in the Ukraine war, according to British intelligence. – New York Post

David Lingelbach and Valentina Rodríguez Guerra write: Right now, the U.S. and its allies are playing Putin’s game, trying to out-Putin him by introducing new sources of uncertainty in the Ukraine war such as advanced weapons systems and Western special forces operators. The Ukrainian approach from 2014 to 2022 was a better approach. – The Hill

Harlan Ullman writes: How to achieve ending this war is a Sisyphean issue. Because President Biden has labeled Putin a war criminal, perhaps Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may be the best intermediary with Moscow. For Ukraine, it must be the U.S. And the West must guarantee enough long-term support and aid for Ukraine  to secure its independence. Starting this process now does not ensure success. But what is the alternative? – The Hill

Mark Toth and Jonathan Sweet write: Europe is headed into a dark winter — and Ukraine, darker yet. Biden must immediately convene an emergency meeting of NATO in Brussels and then, NATO démarche in hand, travel to Kyiv. Standing alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Biden as leader of the free world must lay down an explicit NATO red line at the ZNPP, marking the beginning of the end of Putin’s blackmail and his “Nuclear Force Z.” – The Hill

James M. Dubik writes: To tip the balance even more favorably, U.S. industrial capacity must expand. Further, the U.S. must work with NATO allies to improve energy preparedness, preventing Putin from gaining a winter advantage. Globally, America must work to reduce tensions in the Far East and Middle East while it focuses on Europe. Finally, internal to the U.S., senior political and military leaders must shake off the hubris of the post-Cold War and post 9/11 periods and see the global security environment for what it is: an environment from which a war no one wants could emerge. – The Hill

Dan Hannan writes: The Soviet Union was never held properly to account for its atrocities in Poland, the Baltic States, or, later, its Comecon satellites because it was never formally defeated. Russia, as its designated successor state, was given a fresh start. Let us not repeat that mistake. Putin must be seen to lose, and justice must be seen to take its course. – Washington Examiner

James Stavridis writes: Recent negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, organized by Turkey and the UN, restarted grain shipments out of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports to help ensure that food scarcity did not lead to global unrest. Avoiding the potential catastrophe of a massive nuclear radiation release is at least as important. – Bloomberg

Lauren Kahn writes: The trap that Prussia and Austria fell into—simply measuring the balance of traditional forces—is the same one that contributed to the general belief that Russia would overtake Ukraine in a matter of days. But Russia hasn’t, in no small part because Ukraine has used general purpose technologies, developed by private sector firms, to expand both what it can do in war and who can do it. – Foreign Affairs

Edward Lucas writes: Russian spymasters can close down operations with similar flaws. But all of the intelligence officers involved, plus their sources and methods, remain vulnerable to exposure. Russia’s spymasters can only sit and wait for the next bombshell to burst on the Bellingcat website. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Edward Corcoran writes: Even as it arms Ukraine and supports it in its fight against Putin’s aggression, the West needs to counter the Kremlin narrative and make clear it wants a successful future for Russia, built through collaboration and integration. Prosperity in Russia would be a major improvement for the Russian people, for Europeans, and for the world. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Trevor Filseth writes: Kazakhstan’s weapons export ban comes after a meeting between Putin and Kazakh president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in the Russian resort city of Sochi on August 19. However, the Russian and Kazakh readouts of the meeting did not mention weapons exports. – The National Interest


An Israeli court on Tuesday sentenced a Gaza aid worker to 12 years in prison after he was found guilty of several terrorism charges in a high-profile case in which independent audits and investigations found no evidence of wrongdoing. – Associated Press

Progressive congressional candidate Maxwell Alejandro Frost is being criticized by a pro-Palestinian group that accused him of lying to them about his stance on Israel. – Fox News

The Biden administration is reportedly increasing pressure on Israel to follow through on its commitment to opening the Allenby Bridge border crossing 24 hours a day by September 30. – Times of Israel

Prime Minister Yair Lapid met with opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu at his Jerusalem office on Monday for a security briefing regarding progress in talks between world powers and Iran on a return to the 2015 nuclear deal. – Ynet

Two Israelis were moderately injured early Tuesday morning when Palestinian gunmen opened fire on the car they were traveling in near the entrance to Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus. – Times of Israel

Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Monday visited Switzerland, emphasizing the importance of not allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. – Arutz Sheva


The Taliban administration is in the final stages of talks in Moscow over the terms of a contract for Afghanistan to purchase gasoline and benzene from Russia, Afghan officials told Reuters. – Reuters

Warning that Afghanistan faces deepening poverty with 6 million people at risk of famine, the U.N. humanitarian chief on Monday urged donors to restore funding for economic development and immediately provide $770 million to help Afghans get through the winter as the United States argued with Russia and China over who should pay. – Associated Press

NATO allies had no choice but to follow the U.S. out of Afghanistan, which gave the impression that member states had “no backbone” for another conflict, experts told Fox News Digital. – Fox News

The daughter of the first American to be killed in combat in Afghanistan tells Fox News Digital she wants people to remember him not as a “headline on the news,” but as a trailblazer who was among the earliest to volunteer and “do what he thought he needed to do” there following 9/11. – Fox News

Editorial: No doubt what the Taliban fears is the decentralized democratic republic for which the NRF stands. Writing in Foreign Affairs last week, Mr. Nazary calls its dream “a political system that would better represent all ethnic groups and ensure equal rights for all citizens regardless of their race, religion, and gender.” And their optimistic spirit. “Without support,” Mr. Nazary tells us, “we will continue fighting against terrorism, but it will take a much longer time.” – New York Sun

Editorial: Biden had been failing in office before the Afghan debacle, but it was that fiasco of a withdrawal that ripped the veil back on his incompetence, cynicism, and shallowness. It shone a light on many of his administration’s ineradicable traits: its inability to accept responsibility for anything, its use of Trump as a scapegoat for all Biden’s own mistakes, its refusal to let observed reality change ideological preconceptions, and its inability to admit mistakes and change course. Whether the issue is COVID, immigration, or inflation, Biden has been a disaster for the nation. – Washington Examiner

John C. Hulsman writes: If the Biden administration is truly serious about fighting terror and helping the people of Afghanistan, it will have to adopt a tougher approach to putative allies such as Pakistan and the UAE. They are enabling a known terrorist enemy, in open contravention of both U.S. interests and international commitments. Enabling evil never works; it merely spawns more evil. – The Hill

Scott Mann writes: The Afghan volunteer groups like Dunkirk, Moral Compass, Team America Relief, and Pineapple demonstrated what leadership looks like. But looking ahead to the storms on our national horizon, it’s clear the job is not done. – Fox News

Joe Lieberman writes: In a democracy like ours, it is hard to sustain a consistent foreign and defense policy over a period of years without a clear victory. People are impatient and, in a democracy, that impatience is felt by elected leaders who may feel pressured to do something that they and their best military and intelligence advisers tell them could lead to disaster. That is the moment when our leaders are most tested to do what they believe is best for America and to remember that public opinion in a democracy can change, particularly if facts change. – Fox News

Lindsey Graham writes: One year later, terrorism is on the march. America is completely exposed to future attacks. World order is crumbling – all because of President Biden’s ill-conceived, politically motivated desire to end the Afghan war by an arbitrary deadline. President Biden did not end America’s longest war – he set in motion the catalysts for more war and future attacks on our homeland. – Fox News


Turkey’s main opposition parties want prosecutors to investigate allegations of corruption against the former chief of the capital markets board and a senior adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that have been made by a fugitive crime boss. – Bloomberg

The Istanbul head of Turkey’s main opposition party, who cannot run in next year’s elections but can still play a key role in rallying voters in the nation’s biggest city, denied a new charge of insulting the president on Monday. – Reuters

Turkey’s trade deficit ballooned to a record level in July on the back of rising energy costs. […]Turkish policy makers are trying to boost growth with ultra-loose monetary policy, hoping that cheap credit will find its way to manufacturing and exports. – Bloomberg

Syrian refugees have become central in the political debate in Turkey ahead of elections next year. Calls to repatriate them to war-torn Syria used to be the cause of fringe, right-wing parties, but now they’ve become mainstream as the country reels from an economic crisis. – CNN


Violent clashes gripped Iraq’s capital after an influential cleric said he was quitting politics, as protesters stormed government buildings and heavily armed militias flooded into the capital’s government center, setting off an intense urban battle that threatened the government’s stability. – Wall Street Journal

Iraqi militants fired several rockets at Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone on Tuesday as sporadic clashes continued for a second day between rival Shi’ite Muslim groups, Iraq’s military said. – Reuters

Powerful Iraqi Shi’ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is said to have announced a hunger strike until the violence and use of weapons stops, Iraq’s state news agency INA and state TV reported late on Monday. – Reuters

Iraq’s Joint Operations Command has set a full curfew in the capital of Baghdad, which will begin at 15:30 local time, state news agency INA reported on Monday. – Reuters

Populist Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, once a mercurial outlaw wanted dead or alive during the U.S. occupation, rose to become a political kingmaker and Iraq’s most powerful figure. – Reuters

Biden administration officials on Monday expressed concern about the violence unfolding in Iraq but denied that personnel were being evacuated from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. – The Hill

Benny Avni writes: While staffers cower inside the American embassy at Baghdad, their influence over the environs outside is all but gone. America liberated Iraq from one tyrant. Foolishly allowing it now to fall under the spell of an Iranian one adds yet another layer to Washington’s endless errors. – New York Sun

Michael Rubin writes: There is no magic formula for Iraq. Even amid today’s crisis, Iraqi factions debate and argue rather than shoot and assassinate. Still, the status quo has run its course, and Iraqis need to reset their system. After a decade of the United States largely ignoring Iraq, or putting it on the diplomatic backburner, it is time to re-engage in a serious way and recognize that the United States has both moral and strategic reasons to prevent Iraq’s failure. – 19FortyFive

Michael Rubin writes: It is here that the White House, State Department, and CIA’s belief that they can channel or control Sadr is so dangerous. They believe they are playing a sophisticated game, but by giving space or supporting coalitions in which Sadr is a part, they are repeating Jimmy Carter’s naïveté in the months before Khomeini’s victory. Baghdad 2022 is like Tehran 1978. It is imperative Washington understand just how dangerous the situation is now. – The National Interest

Arabian Peninsula

Yemen’s military committee has suspended peace talks with Shiite Houthi rebels in Amman following a military offensive in Taiz that left dozens dead and injured according to Saba, the government-controlled news agency. – Bloomberg

Sixteen rights groups Monday urged Yemen’s Houthi rebels to end their siege of the country’s third-largest city, as the internationally recognized government said an overnight rebel attack killed at least 10 troops. – Associated Press

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia could slash October prices for most crude grades it sells to Asia after a plunge in spot premiums as tepid fuel demand and increasing arbitrage cargoes put pressure on oil prices in the region. – Reuters

The Kuwaiti Embassy in Iraq urged its citizens in Iraq to leave the country, Kuwait’s state news agency (KUNA) reported late on Monday. – Reuters

Middle East & North Africa

China has already greenlit deeper economic and political cooperation with Syria, welcoming it to the Belt and Road Initiative and Global Development Initiative and unlocking access to Chinese financing for reconstruction projects. Russia — preoccupied with its invasion of Ukraine — continues to support the Assad government militarily, but will likely look to China to assume a larger role in building Assad’s political, economic and bureaucratic capacities. – Washington Post

For 132 years, before a brutal eight-year war put an end to French control in 1962, Algeria was more than a colony. It was officially a province of France, woven so deeply into the national psyche that 60 years of Algerian independence have not laid the trauma of separation to rest. Mr. Macron, 44, who is given to transformative projects, is intent on changing that. – New York Times

The granddaughter of a former Lebanese president Monday announced her bid for the cash-strapped country’s upcoming presidential elections on a platform critical of the Iran-backed Shiite group Hezbollah. – Associated Press

Saudi Arabian company Alfanar said on Monday it has signed a memorandum of understanding to build a $3.5 billion green hydrogen project in Egypt. – Reuters

Egypt plans to issue yuan-denominated bonds worth more than $500 million, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait told Asharq TV on Monday. – Reuters


Sentiment about operating in China among U.S. businesses has plummeted to a new low, driven largely by Beijing’s continued use of sudden Covid-19 lockdowns, an annual survey by an American business group found. – Wall Street Journal

China has charged dozens of people, including police officials, after a violent attack on female diners at a restaurant reignited debate on gender inequality in the world’s second-largest economy. – Bloomberg

Investors have cheered a breakthrough deal that promises U.S. regulators access to Chinese companies’ accounting paperwork but say markets will need to see successful inspections and economic recovery before much more money can be expected to move to China. – Reuters

Republican Senator Marco Rubio on Monday blasted U.S. regulatory approval of a bid by chip intellectual property company Alphawave to purchase U.S.-based OpenFive, over alleged national security risks posed by the buyer’s ties to China’s Wise Road Capital. – Reuters

Henry Olsen writes: We should not exaggerate Chinese power, but neither should we look the other way as China closes the economic, military and technological gaps between it and the United States. Meeting the Chinese challenge on Earth means outpacing it in space. And that means ensuring that both NASA and the Space Force have the resources they need to keep space open and the United States free. – Washington Post

Gary K. Michelson writes: China is already eyeing Africa for its abundance of natural resources. By financing the construction of the transportation infrastructure required to export the desired materials, China is placing sovereign nations in a stranglehold of debt. – The Hill

Diane Francis writes: China’s immediate past has been truly impressive. It has lifted itself out of abject poverty. But given Xi’s economic mismanagement, combined with his loyalty to Putin, who is the sworn enemy of all his Western customers, China’s future looks not only dim but potentially disastrous. – The Hill

Brad Setser writes: China can try to manage a permanent downshift in real estate investment by taking steps to sustain and strengthen household demand and by finding new ways to help the industrial sectors that have relied on excessive property investment retool to meet internal consumer demand. Above all, Chinese government officials need to accept this difficult truth: rising internal debt and the end of a period of unusually high investment means that China’s historic growth surge is most likely a thing of the past. – Foreign Affairs

Michael Schuman writes: The greatest challenge facing the U.S. may be the ambivalence of many of Asia’s leaders. On the one hand, they still see American influence in their region as a necessary counterweight to China. On the other hand, they don’t want to alienate Beijing. That means Biden has to play a delicate diplomatic game. – The Atlantic

South Asia

Early estimates put the damage from Pakistan’s recent deadly floods at more than $10 billion, its planning minister said on Monday, adding the world has an obligation to help the South Asian nation cope with the effects of man-made climate change. – Reuters

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe will on Tuesday slash defence and other expenditures in a bid to win International Monetary Fund (IMF) support as he presents his first budget since taking over as leader of his crisis-hit country. – Reuters

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) board approved the seventh and eighth reviews of Pakistan’s bailout programme, allowing for a release of over $1.1 billion to the cash-strapped economy, the fund and the government said on Monday. – Reuters

Japan will coordinate with other creditors to resolve Sri Lanka’s deepening financial crisis, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said on Tuesday, urging all creditor nations to gather and discuss the South Asian nation’s debt at the same table. – Reuters

Pakistan will consider importing vegetables from arch-rival India to mitigate floods fallout, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said on Monday, as food prices have risen significantly. – Reuters

Nepal has asked India to halt its recruitment of Gurkhas into the Indian army under a new scheme for shorter military contracts until it was clear what would happen to them when they retired, an aide to the prime minister said on Monday. – Reuters

Jeff M. Smith writes: And third, to truly address the persistent threat of terrorism and extremism in South Asia, the United States will have to prioritize long-term, fundamental change in Pakistan over the pursuit of immediate counterterrorism goals, avoiding the same vicious cycle that has helped to perpetuate the Pakistani military establishment’s links with extremist groups. – Heritage Foundation

Mark S. Cogan and Vivek Mishra write: After consolidating its position in the Pacific theater, China is now visibly focused on the Indian Ocean in its efforts to counter a Western joint Indo-Pacific strategy. As the war in Ukraine and U.S.-led efforts to push China on Taiwan carve deeper divisions between nations, China’s efforts to derail a Free and Open Indo-Pacific will drive greater competition. Small states like Sri Lanka, evidenced here, will be caught in the middle. – The National Interest


As Chinese warships rehearsed a blockade of Taiwan this month, they simulated a scenario global leaders and policymakers have been busy worrying about: not war, but a grinding halt to the electronic supply chains that make the modern world run. – New York Times

Taiwan’s president told the self-ruled island’s military units Tuesday to keep their cool in the face of daily warplane flights and warship maneuvers by rival China, saying that Taiwan will not allow Beijing to provoke a conflict. – Associated Press

China on Monday dismissed complaints from Taiwan about repeated harassment by Chinese drones very close to Taiwanese-controlled islands as not anything “to make a fuss about”, prompting Taipei to label Beijing as nothing more than thieves. – Reuters

The head of South Korea’s central bank said on Tuesday his bank’s monetary policy stance would not change after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said last week the U.S. economy will need tight monetary policy “for some time”. – Reuters

Australia wants the closest possible relationship with Papua New Guinea, Foreign Minister Penny Wong said on Monday, marking the new Labor government’s first visit to its northern neighbour amid competition with China for influence. – Reuters

Twelve Chinese fighter jets crossed the Taiwan Strait median line, which normally serves as an unofficial barrier between the two sides, on Monday, Taiwan’s defence ministry said, as China continues its military activities near the island. – Reuters

The Biden administration is preparing to sell $1.1 billion in missiles and radar support to Taiwan, according to an official familiar with the matter, in what would be the largest such transfer in almost two years. – Bloomberg

Japan’s new Economic Security Minister Sanae Takaichi pledged to keep a close eye on nations including China to protect Japan from danger. – Bloomberg

The Solomon Islands government has told the United States it will place a moratorium on navy vessels entering its ports, the United States embassy in Canberra said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Indonesia’s parliament on Tuesday passed a law cementing the country’s membership of the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), making it the latest Southeast Asian nation to join the world’s biggest trade bloc. – Reuters

Donald Kirk writes: China showed no signs of bothering two guided-missile cruisers, the United States Ships Antietam and Chancellorsville, as they streamed through the Strait, staying away from the territorial waters of either the Chinese mainland or the waters held by the Free China government on Taiwan. – New York Sun

Tom Rogan writes: At the same time, the U.S. could undermine Sogavare’s diplomatic and economic interests beyond China. While China represents the Solomon Islands’s most important economic partner, other U.S. allies such as Italy also retain close trade links with the country. These links are far more important to the Solomon Islands than they are to its trade partners. – Washington Examiner

Peter Aitken writes: Taiwan will have to rely on its “porcupine strategy” in order to make up for the difference in strength if it has any hope of beating back an invasion from China, according to experts. The porcupine strategy has increasingly popped up in conversation following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and with the potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Strategists tout it as the best way for a smaller, inferior military power to try and go toe-to-toe with military giants, as best shown in Ukraine. – Fox News

Richard L. Armitage and Zack Cooper write: Unfortunately, the stage appears set for a series of confrontations between China and the United States (and Taiwan). The Taiwan Policy Act has the potential to help stabilize the military balance and unite leaders in Washington. Now the Congress just needs to make sure that the United States follows Teddy Roosevelt’s advice: Focus on finding a big stick before walking loudly. – War on the Rocks

Caleb Larson writes: The impetus for this cooperation is, of course, China. With the flames of war still alight in Ukraine, the Indo-Pacific region has eyed China’s designs on Taiwan with increased suspicion and provided a reason for countries to move closer to the United States. Australia is no exception. The country has endured significant economic bullying from China and is also interested in keeping the Indo-Pacific, Australia’s backyard, free and open. As a result, the future of the U.S.-Australian relationship is bright. – The National Interest


European officials are preparing plans to overhaul how the continent’s electricity is priced in an effort to provide some relief to consumers as energy costs surge ahead of the winter heating season. – Wall Street Journal

European Union ministers on Tuesday debated ways to ramp up weapons production, boost military training for the Ukrainian armed forces and inflict heavier costs on Russia, with no end in sight to a war that has ground on since February. – Associated Press

The US is concerned about an energy shortage in Europe and will work to alleviate that potential threat as the European Union faces soaring power prices ahead of winter, a top White House aide said. – Bloomberg

The European Union could offer Ukraine’s armed forces sniper, de-mining or officer training as part of a new mission the bloc’s foreign policy chief plans to propose to member states this week. – Bloomberg

British finance minister Nadhim Zahawi is visiting New York and Washington this week to discuss global economic challenges and collaboration in areas such as energy security and financial services, his office said on Monday. – Reuters

Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic said the country’s finances were resilient enough to secure alternatives to Russian energy to tackle supply shortages expected over coming months. – Reuters

Germany has secured a power link to a planned offshore wind hub in the Danish part of the Baltic Sea that will help reduce energy dependence on Russia, Denmark’s energy ministry said on Monday. – Reuters

As Belarus’s involvement in the Russian war against Ukraine continues to push Minsk towards an even closer military cooperation with Moscow, Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenko has announced that Russia upgraded his country’s jets to enable them to carry tactical atomic weapons. – Defense News

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany will spend “substantially” on air defense in the coming years, offering a German-led arms architecture for other European nations to plug into. – Defense News

Brigham McCown writes: Luckily for the rest of Europe, market forces are already at work, pushing more energy to the continent where energy commands higher sale prices. This naturally occurring market realignment will not completely solve Europe’s supply deficit, but it will help. Regrettably, we can expect higher prices at home because European demand pinches supply. – New York Post


Angola’s ruling party on Monday was declared the winner of the general election, but it was its weakest showing in the five elections that have taken place since the country gained independence. – New York Times

At least 11 people were killed in Madagascar when police opened fire on a mob demanding that officials turn over to them four suspects held for allegedly kidnapping a child with albinism and killing the mother. – Associated Press

A Nigerian judge on Monday rejected a request by the federal government to extradite a suspended police chief to the United States to face charges linked to fraud. – Reuters

At a conference in Tunisia on Sunday, Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida argued that the African continent should collectively receive a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council—adding a representative from the continent alongside the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China. – The National Interest

Latin America

Trailing in polls with a month to go before Brazil’s election, President Jair Bolsonaro came out swinging in the country’s first presidential debate late Sunday, calling leftist rival Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva a corrupt “ex-con.” – Wall Street Journal

Chile’s government slammed Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro after he accused his Chilean counterpart Gabriel Boric of participating in a wave of violence that paralyzed the country in late 2019. – Bloomberg

Guatemalan Foreign Minister Mario Bucaro said on Tuesday that the Central American country will “always support” Taiwan, after China conducted its largest-ever military drills around the self-ruled island earlier this month. – Reuters

The European Union needs to help develop the economic potential of the Amazon’s biodiversity, Brazil’s former leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and candidate in this year’s presidential race told Members of the European Parliament on Monday. – Reuters

Brazilian state prosecutors on Monday pressed charges against a German diplomat accused of the murder of his Belgian husband and are investigating reports that he has left the country after a court released him from police custody. – Reuters

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) executive board approved a flexible credit line of around $18.5 billion for Chile to give the world’s leading copper miner greater flexibility to confront risks from commodities price shocks to financial tightening. – Reuters

The presidents of the nations making up the Andean Community – Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia – said on Monday they would like Venezuela, Chile and Argentina to join the group as much of South America shifts left. – Reuters

Ecuadoran state oil company Petroecuador has asked global commodities trader Trafigura to stop importing Russian diesel in an effort to comply with sanctions targeting Russia’s energy exports, Petroecuador said in a statement late on Sunday. – Reuters

Evan Ellis writes: While the United States should continue to look for opportunities for constructive dialogue with the Ortegas, the most viable U.S. posture over the long term is arguably to stand steadfast with the Nicaraguan people in defense of their right to democratic self-determination, fundamental rights and the rule of law, and to send the message that the United States will not compromise with criminally connected authoritarian actors who maintain power through the brutal suppression of their own people. – Center for Strategic and International Studies

Patrick Duddy writes: Both the White House and the U.S. Senate share responsibility for this dismal state of affairs. For several key countries, the White House has not even nominated candidates for ambassadorships. For countries for which the administration has announced nominations, as in the case with Central America’s northern triangle, the Senate needs to move expeditiously to confirm nominees deemed appropriate and qualified. Allowing long-term diplomatic vacancies does not advance U.S. interests and sends a message of indifference to countries that are important to our own well-being and prosperity. – The National Interest

North America

Canada has invoked a 1977 pipeline treaty with the United States for the second time in less than a year, in this case to prevent a shutdown of Enbridge Inc’s (ENB.TO) Line 5 pipeline in Wisconsin, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said on Monday. – Reuters

The Canadian government said on Monday it challenged U.S. softwood lumber duties under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), calling the duties “unwarranted” and “unfair.” – Reuters

A turnaround in Canada’s wheat crop may help boost world supplies. Output from the world’s seventh-largest wheat exporter will rise 55% to 34.6 million metric tons this year as yields improve amid better moisture and more moderate temperatures, Statistics Canada said Monday in a report. – Bloomberg

United States

A special Justice Department team has withheld from investigators some of the documents seized earlier this month from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home because they might include information protected by attorney-client privilege, the department said Monday. – Wall Street Journal

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has completed an initial review of potentially privileged materials seized at Mar-a-Lago, the agency informed the court Monday, as former President Trump seeks to block the department from examining evidence collected at his home. – The Hill

The White House said Monday it is not involved in the intelligence community’s damage assessment of classified documents recovered from former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate but said such a review is “appropriate.” – The Hill

Brett L. Tolman writes: This, unfortunately, is where this case gets all too ordinary. Frequently, probable cause barely slows investigators, with courts finding it in even somewhat questionable places, as it appears from the unredacted sections they may have here. That’s why, in instances like this, the FBI needs to spend more time considering “if” they should pursue a warrant, not simply whether they “can” take advantage of an overly generous reading by a magistrate. – Fox News


An Australian regulator sent legal letters to Facebook owner Meta Platforms (META.O), Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) demanding they share their strategies for stamping out child abuse material on their platforms or face fines. – Reuters

Peiter Zatko, the Twitter whistleblower who revealed several security problems with the platform, has received a subpoena from Elon Musk for more information regarding his claims about Twitter’s bot estimates. – Washington Examiner

Iranian hacker group MuddyWater, allegedly linked to the country’s state intelligence service, continues to exploit the Log4j vulnerability to gain access to corporate networks in Israel amid an ongoing proxy war between the two countries, according to new research. – CyberScoop

Montenegro’s government is struggling to deal with a wide-ranging cyberattack targeting several ministries and agencies, while laying the blame for the damage on Russian state hackers. – The Record

The Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit Monday against data broker Kochava, alleging the company sold geolocation information from hundreds of millions of mobile devices — often without user permission — that could reveal individual’s sensitive behaviors, including visits to reproductive health clinics. – CyberScoop

The skies over the eastern Mediterranean region, including Israel, are a hotspot of GPS jamming, new publicly available data shows. The GPS interference is felt mostly along Turkey’s southern coast, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus and Israel. In past occurrences, it was thought that Russian military systems in Syria were the cause of the disruptions, but it is also possible that Israeli systems have contributed to the effect too. – Haaretz


The Marine Corps has delayed the first deployment of its new Amphibious Combat Vehicle as it wraps up an investigation into a July training incident, USNI News has learned. – USNI News

As the U.S. Navy urges Congress to buy its next two aircraft carriers in a single contract, as it did for the most recent two, the service and manufacturer HII say the two-carrier approach has kept CVNs 80 and 81 on time and budget. – Defense News

The U.S. Army said it dispatched upgraded networking equipment to soldiers in Alaska, marking the first time an Arctic unit was provided Capability Set 21 kit, amid increased military investment in the northern region. – Defense News

US military academies should abandon Confederate names that were adopted in the 20th century and honor instead the “greatest examples, traditions, and leaders of our past,” states a new report from a congressional commission that was created to address the controversy over monuments to those who defended slavery and betrayed their oaths. – Business Insider

The U.S. Navy plans to arm its carriers with more than 1,000 fifth and sixth-generation fighter planes to sustain air superiority, improve sea-based power projection, and strengthen its maritime warfare posture for decades to come. – The National Interest

Long War

An Israeli court on Tuesday sentenced the former Gaza head of a major US-based aid agency to 12 years in prison for allegedly funneling millions of dollars to Islamist group Hamas. – Agence France-Presse

Arab terrorists in the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria opened fire on Israeli soldiers Tuesday morning, as Israeli security forces operated in the area in a bid to capture terrorists linked to a string of recent terror attacks. – Arutz Sheva

William Drozdiak writes: ​​As the United States discovered in Afghanistan, even the most modern armies cannot succeed in battling Islamist insurgents with powerful weapons alone. As France is learning the hard way in Africa, the fight against violent Islamists can only be won by combining military prowess with more effective local governance. […]Defeating Islamist extremists can only be achieved by providing local populations with hope for a better life, not a cause for which to die. – Washington Post