Fdd's overnight brief

August 30, 2023

In The News

Iran

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called on Japan on Tuesday to display its independence from Washington by releasing Tehran’s frozen assets amid U.S. sanctions – and then said the only blocked Iranian funds were being held in South Korea. – Reuters

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Tuesday that the West had failed to isolate his country, while also holding out the prospect of resuming talks on reviving a nuclear deal. – Agence France-Presse

House committee chair Michael McCaul has expressed concern over an alleged US memo obtained by Iran’s government, while the State Department refuses to comment. – Iran International

Hacking group GhostSec says it’s successfully taken down Iran’s privacy-invading software Fanap Behnama, revealing details about its surveillance capabilities. – Forbes

Bilal Y. Saab and Nickoo Azimpoor write: There are no easy answers to these questions, but Riyadh will expect them from Washington. The complexities and implications of a treaty alliance between Saudi Arabia and the United States are many, but leaders in Riyadh and Washington would well be advised to consider Iran’s reaction to a potential Saudi-Israeli normalization deal. Tehran’s position shouldn’t deter or kill a potential deal, but Riyadh and Washington should deliberately plan for it. – Foreign Policy

Russia & Ukraine

The war in Ukraine is a meat grinder of artillery, missiles and deadly minefields. Running silently aside all that is a test of battlefield marksmanship for snipers pursuing the fight one shot at a time. Around 15 miles from the front line, near Bakhmut, three Ukrainian snipers recently emerged unseen from undergrowth. Their team, which calls itself “Devils and Angels,” is on orders to kill Russian senior commanders, critical members of artillery teams and other high-profile targets. – Wall Street Journal

The F-16 fighter jets would not be delivered to Ukraine until next year, but that did not dissuade President Volodymyr Zelensky from hopping into one last week in the Netherlands — one stop on a European tour to collect commitments to donate the warplane as quickly as possible. – New York Times

Russia accused Ukraine of launching what appeared to be the biggest drone attack on Russian soil since Moscow invaded 18 months ago, followed by a Russian attack on Kyiv that Ukrainian officials said killed two people early Wednesday. – Associated Press

The Biden administration announced Tuesday it will send an additional $250 million in weapons and ammunition to Ukraine as part of its ongoing support of Kyiv’s counteroffensive. – Associated Press

The Vatican on Tuesday sought to tamp down an uproar that erupted after Pope Francis praised Russia’s imperialist past during a video conference with Russian Catholic youths, insisting that he never intended to encourage modern-day Russian aggression in Ukraine. – Associated Press

The EU is set to import record volumes of liquefied natural gas from Russia this year, despite aiming for the bloc to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels by 2027. – Financial Times

It is ongoing combat operations like those that have kept Ukraine in a state of martial law since the Russian invasion, but now Mr. Zelensky says Ukraine could suspend it in order to hold parliamentary and presidential elections by 2024.  – New York Sun

Moscow has said that it will not abandon the international treaty that bans nuclear weapons testing, unless the United States resumes test explosions first, a Russian newspaper has reported. – Newsweek

The cabinet on Tuesday gave its stamp of approval to the extension of some 14,000 Ukrainian refugees’ humanitarian aid, after the assistance briefly lapsed due to a budgetary shortfall. – Times of Israel

Seth Cropsey writes: Support for Ukraine remains strategically sound and practical. F-16s and various long-range weapons are on the table for next year. American and European ammunition manufacturers are finally making up shell shortages that have dogged the Ukrainian military since May 2022. But a Ukrainian victory isn’t a question of long-term support but short-term transfers. Ukraine must be sustained for the next six weeks to be given a real shot at a breakthrough that will change the trajectory of the war. – Wall Street Journal

Andreas Kluth writes: If Korea is the right model, the lesson is that combatants take far too long to begin talking even after it’s obvious that neither side can win militarily, and then far too long to silence the guns once it’s clear that the outcome won’t change, and that the only parameter left is how many people will unnecessarily die until that’s acknowledged. – Bloomberg

Joseph Bosco writes: Biden needs to formalize and officialize his ad hoc statements on defending Taiwan.  Washington’s policy of strategic ambiguity is even more dangerous and counter-productive given Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the U.S.-NATO failure to deter or defeat it. – The Hill

Tony Barber writes: For Ukrainians, the present war is likewise a struggle for survival, as an independent state and as a nation with its separate, non-Russian identity. For Russians, the war is not remotely about national survival. One day it may be about the survival of Putin’s regime — but, judged from a purely economic point of view, that day is still some way off. – Financial Times

Mick Ryan writes: The next way to help the Ukrainians continue their evolution in quality and endurance is making sure they know the West is prepared to support them in their fight to defeat Russia, and to offer this support in 2024 and beyond. – Foreign Affairs

Israel

Saudi Arabia is offering to resume financial support to the Palestinian Authority, said Saudi officials and former Palestinian officials familiar with the discussions, a sign that the kingdom is making a serious effort to overcome obstacles to establishing diplomatic relations with Israel. – Wall Street Journal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an order Tuesday mandating that his office approve all secret diplomatic meetings in advance, his spokesperson said, as officials scrambled to contain the growing diplomatic firestorm over Israel’s disclosure that its top diplomat had met with his Libyan counterpart. – Associated Press

A plane carrying Israelis home from the Indian Ocean island nation of Seychelles made an emergency landing in Saudi Arabia before flying back to Tel Aviv on Tuesday, in what Israel praised as a sign of goodwill as Washington works to establish formal relations between the two countries. – Associated Press

Senior members of Israel’s security establishment share Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s fear that war with Lebanon is becoming increasingly likely. – Haaretz

The first of the two Oslo Accords risked making it impossible to secure roads leading to Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip then IDF chief of staff Ehud Barak warned, according to the protocol of a cabinet meeting which took place ahead of the signing of the deal in 2023 which was declassified on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post

Former senior Mossad official Haim Tomer on Tuesday said that the fiasco surrounding the public exposure of the Israeli-Libyan official meetings could slow ongoing processes to try to advance normalization with the Saudis. – Jerusalem Post

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen spoke to Israel National News on Tuesday and commented on the firestorm following his meeting with the Foreign Minister of Libya, noting that he is working to bring about diplomatic achievements. – Arutz Sheva

Israel’s Ministry of Defense this week announced that test flights have begun for its new Oron surveillance aircraft, what it claims is “the world’s most advanced aircraft of its kind.” – Breaking Defense

Editorial: Israelis engage in a great deal of hand-wringing over their country’s image and international standing – much of it justified. With a government full of ministers who seem to delight in thumbing their noses at Israel’s friends around the world and the values they hold dear, Israel can use any diplomatic wins it can get. It can hardly afford unnecessary diplomatic losses – particularly own goals like this one. It would behoove the country’s leaders to bear that in mind. – Jerusalem Post

Afghanistan

After the fall of Kabul in August 2021, the U.S. evacuated tens of thousands of Afghans who had worked with the U.S. Jawed, an interpreter for four years, wasn’t one of them. He is one of nearly 150,000 people awaiting a decision on their application for a special visa intended to provide an escape for Afghan allies left behind. – Wall Street Journal

President Biden was personally involved in solving problems at the Kabul airport during the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, directing people on the ground to find ways to get Afghans at risk out of the country, according to an upcoming book. – The Hill

Sola Mahfouz writes: I feel more like an observer of American freedom than a true participant. Freedom is not only a physical or intellectual state; it is emotional. The Taliban takeover has devastated and scattered my family and enslaved my homeland. I will only truly feel free when I can do in Afghanistan the same things that I can do in America. – New York Times

Syria

Air traffic at Syria’s Aleppo airport will resume on Tuesday following an Israeli air strike. Operations will restart at the airport at midnight (2200 GMT), Syria’s transport ministry said. An Israeli air attack put the airport out of service on Monday, the Syrian defense ministry said, while regional intelligence sources said an Iranian arms depot was hit. – Reuters

Anti-government protests in southern Syria have stretched into a second week, with demonstrators waving the colorful flag of the minority Druze community, burning banners of President Bashar Assad’s government and at one point raiding several offices of his ruling party. – Associated Press

Arab tribesmen clashed with U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in several areas of eastern Syria on Tuesday, leaving at least 10 people dead and others wounded, opposition activists and pro-government media said. – Associated Press

Egypt

Sudanese military ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan met his Egyptian counterpart on Tuesday in his first trip abroad since the April outbreak of war in Sudan, a day after rejecting calls for fresh negotiations. – Reuters

Egypt said the latest talks on Ethiopia’s giant Nile dam ended without a breakthrough, but vowed to press ahead with efforts to reach a binding agreement for filling and operating that it deems essential to safeguarding vital water flows. – Bloomberg

A group of Egyptian politicians fired rare, pointed critiques at Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and said they were considering challenging him in upcoming elections, depending on the fate of jailed leader Hisham Kassem. – Reuters

Zambia sought to deny bail to five Egyptians and six Zambians charged with espionage for entering a restricted zone of Lusaka airport, two weeks after Zambian authorities said their plane had been seized along with guns, bullets, cash and fake gold. […]Egypt’s journalists syndicate said on Aug. 20 that security forces in Cairo had assaulted an Egyptian journalist who published a report on the Zambia-bound plane for online investigative platform Matsada2sh – Arabic for “Don’t Believe It”. – Reuters

Pınar Akpınar and Dalia Ziada write: Egypt and Turkey are on the threshold of a new period in their long and complex relationship. The success of the rapprochement process is paramount since it would be to the benefit of the broader region as well as the peoples of both countries. Focusing on future projects to enhance bilateral and regional well-being can help to ensure the sustainability of the reconciliation process. Creating a space to jointly pursue common sense solutions to shared challenges would go a long way toward rebuilding trust between Turkey and Egypt and helping them to navigate the often choppy waters of the eastern Mediterranean. – Middle East Institute

Libya

Libya’s foreign minister fled to Turkey this week after protests erupted over revelations of a closed-door meeting with her Israeli counterpart, exposing the limits of Israel’s push to normalize relations with its Arab neighbors. – Washington Post

Lazar Berman writes: The long history of Libyan officials from across the spectrum seeking Israel’s help makes the fate of Mangoush even more frustrating, argued El Gomati: “All of them are putting this on Mangoush, that it’s a Mangoush-Cohen meeting, when the reality is that it’s part of a web of different meetings and relationships that have been taking place for several years.” Despite the damage done this week, both sides have an interest in keeping channels open, he argued. But don’t expect normalization in the foreseeable future. – Times of Israel

Seth J. Frantzman writes: Overcoming this tendency of a knee-jerk hatred of Jews and Israel, based on decades of propaganda and cynical exploitation of these claims, will always be a hurdle for Israel and for Jews worldwide. In divided states like Libya, overcoming the issue becomes even harder, because politicians won’t commit to moderation if they are busy fighting each other. – Jerusalem Post

Ben Fishman writes: One thing is clear: the clumsy episode will set back Israel-Libya rapprochement for years, if it was ever in the cards. The question now is how long Dabaiba can survive, and whether this controversy will prompt a renewed push for elections. – Washington Institute

Middle East & North Africa

Stock markets in the Gulf ended mixed on Tuesday with China’s efforts to shore up its battered markets supporting sentiment, while volatile energy markets weighed. – Reuters

Qatar Airways is optimistic about Brazil and the overall Latin American market as part of a global network expansion strategy on the heels of World Cup-driven surge for its business. – Reuters

A top US envoy will arrive in Beirut on Wednesday for meetings with senior Lebanese officials aimed at de-escalating tensions on the country’s border with Israel that have risen in recent months. – Times of Israel

Korean Peninsula

The United States, South Korea and Japan staged joint naval missile defence drills off the Korean peninsula on Tuesday, as North Korea denounced the “gang bosses” of Washington and its allies for increasing the risk of nuclear war. – Reuters

South Korea’s exports likely fell in August for an 11th consecutive month, a Reuters survey showed on Wednesday, as economic recovery in top export market China continues to stutter. – Reuters

South Korea unveiled on Tuesday financial aid of 520 billion won ($394 million) for Ukraine next year, an eightfold increase from this year. – Reuters

China

Gina Raimondo, the U.S. secretary of commerce, told Chinese officials on Tuesday that the United States was not seeking to sever economic ties with China, but she expressed a litany of concerns that were prompting the business community to describe China as “uninvestable.” – New York Times

A gulf has emerged between the Chinese economy as many Chinese are experiencing it, and Beijing’s narrative of it — and that gulf is only widening. For many ordinary Chinese, one of the worst economic slowdowns the country has faced in decades has translated into widespread pessimism and resignation. But state media and officials continue to declare that any challenges are blips. – New York Times

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s visit to China is putting a spotlight on the future of TikTok in the United States, where criticism of the app and its ties to Beijing reached a fever pitch this year. – New York Times

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plan to travel to China demonstrates a confidence that his authority is stronger than ever after the death of mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, said investor and long-time Russia watcher Bill Browder. – Bloomberg

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said she rebuffed an appeal Tuesday by Chinese leaders to reduce U.S. export controls on technology with possible military uses but the two governments agreed to have experts meet to discuss disputes over protecting trade secrets. – Associated Press

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will make a long-awaited trip to China on Wednesday in a sign that relations between the countries are normalising after years of tensions over security concerns and alleged human rights abuses. – Reuters

The UK government’s approach to China lacks clarity and coherence, and “confusion” abounds across Whitehall about Britain’s policy tilt to the Indo-Pacific, according to a report by MPs. – Financial Times

Bret Stephens writes: We should not seek a new cold war with China. We cannot afford a hot one. The best response to China’s economic woes is American economic magnanimity. That could start with the removal of the Trump administration tariffs that have done as much to hurt American companies and consumers as they have the Chinese. Whether that will change the fundamental pattern of Beijing’s bad behavior is far from certain. But as China slides toward crisis, it behooves us to try. – New York Times

Tom Rogan writes: In turn, this cartographic fiction reemphasizes the foolish arrogance that so often defines communist China’s diplomacy. Just as Chinese officials often fail to understand their foreign interlocutors, they fail to realize why rude arrogance doesn’t win friends. And while a quiet course correction would make sense, because Xi fears the perception of weakness, no such correction is likely. – Washington Examiner

Tom Rogan writes: Still, the report should serve as a data-supported wake-up call for the international community. It proves that while Beijing talks a good game on climate change, for the Chinese Communist Party, climate change is ultimately seen as a useful lever to extract concessions on other issues from the West. The European Union, which places particular emphasis on the need to engage with China for reasons of climate change cooperation, should pay particular note. Unfortunately, however, this is only the tip of Beijing’s disingenuous environmentalism iceberg. – Washington Examiner

Donald Kirk writes: By imposing sanctions and freezing assets “of sovereign states,” he said, America and its NATO allies were “trampling upon all the basic norms and rules of free trade.” Among BRICS leaders, there was no argument there. Xi, allied with Putin, built on BRICS as a potential bloc that would serve the mutual interests of all of them. For starters, none would support NATO in Ukraine. – The Hill

Nathan Levine write: The fact that the ideological dispute is unlikely to be resolved only makes buttressing this increasingly fragile floor especially crucial. Reinforcing it demands persistent, concerted, and extensive efforts from both sides. There are simply no other options left, at least until a time when the United States, China, or both are willing to adjust their worldviews and find a way to share the same world. – Foreign Affairs

Mackenzie Eaglen writes: Fixing the yawning say-do gap for the US military is a monumental task. The troops have strained over the past half-decade to meet the challenges continuously piled on, and the cracks are starting to show. In order to meet the needs of our strategy today and restore solvency, combat forces need more investment and fewer demands. – American Enterprise Institute

Raja Mohan writes: The West can’t sustain its global primacy on the cheap. It needs to come down from the high pedestal it has put itself on since the end of the Cold War and wrestle in the mud with the Chinese and Russian challenge. The West successfully overcame the challenges to its global primacy during a long phase of superpower competition, when it found more cooperative ways to engage non-Western elites. It can do the same again. The BRICS expansion may be a dud, but it is still a warning shot that the West must end its strategic slumber. The global south is waiting. – Foreign Policy

South Asia

A court in Pakistan on Tuesday suspended former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s three-year sentence in a corruption case, a legal victory that comes amid a continuing crackdown on the popular opposition leader and his political party. – Wall Street Journal

President Vladimir Putin touted Russia’s close ties with India in a phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as world leaders prepare to gather in New Delhi next week for the Group of 20 summit. – Bloomberg

Senior U.S. diplomat Victoria Nuland spoke on Tuesday with Pakistani Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani and discussed the importance of “timely, free and fair elections” in the South Asian nation, the U.S. State Department said. – Reuters

India said on Tuesday that it had lodged a strong protest with China over a new map that lays claim to India’s territory, the latest irritant in testy ties between the Asian giants. – Reuters

Naad-e-Ali Sulehria writes: In addition, Kakar faces the challenge of countering the surging terrorism within Pakistan. This task is compounded by the lack of a consistent policy toward Afghanistan, as terrorists exploit Afghan territory to launch their attacks, a claim disputed by the Afghan Taliban. Over the past year, the TTP has escalated its activities, carrying out more than 123 attacks, nearly double the count from the previous year. Complicating matters further, reports highlight an influx of young Taliban fighters into Pakistan, driven by a desire to revive the thrill of warfare after growing disenchanted during peacetime. – Middle East Institute

Asia

Taiwan’s defence ministry warned on Tuesday of a possible “sharp increase” in military tensions after reporting renewed Chinese military activity including fighter jets crossing the sensitive median line of the Taiwan Strait. – Reuters

The British parliament has for the first time referred to Taiwan as an “independent country” in an official document, breaking a political taboo as Foreign Secretary James Cleverly visits China this week. – Politico

Japan threatened on Tuesday to take China to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to seek a reversal of Beijing’s ban on all of its seafood imports after the release of treated radioactive water from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. – Reuters

The United States has signed a new agreement with Palau, which gives American ships the authorization to unilaterally enforce maritime regulations in the tiny Pacific island nation’s exclusive economic zone, the U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday. – Associated Press

The Pentagon’s chief technology officer will meet with Australian defense officials next month to discuss opportunities for integrated air and missile defense capabilities. – Defense News

The Pentagon’s top science and technology official is pushing to integrate United States and Australian missile defense capabilities, in the latest sign of the importance the Defense Department places on Australia in its efforts to counter China. – Defense One

The U.S. Air Force will increase its number of bases across the Pacific over the next decade, in an effort to spread out and become more survivable in conflict. – Defense One

Gearoid Reidy and Daniel Moss write: Veering very far in the opposite direction should also be avoided. Japan, with its security dependent on the US, was never going to rule the world, no matter how many times you watched Rising Sun. Still, tales of its demise were over-exaggerated. Just like Japan, China is likely neither headed for global dominance nor set for collapse. If there’s a lesson to take away from this, perhaps it’s how some observers adopt a black-or-white view of countries that have many shades of gray. – Bloomberg

Eddy Acevedo writes: Taiwan is a key partner of the United States, and strengthening our bilateral relationship is vital to secure our economic interests in the Indo-Pacific region and throughout the world. Even though Taiwan seeks not to provoke China, it will also not surrender to it. – The National Interest

Europe

Germany said it arrested a dual German-Russian citizen accused of exporting sensitive components to Russia, in a case demonstrating how Moscow has continued to source Western parts for its military despite facing some of the toughest sanctions in recent history. – Wall Street Journal

Russia has informed Brazil’s aircraft investigation authority that it will not probe the crash of the Brazilian-made Embraer (EMBR3.SA) jet that killed mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin under international rules “at the moment”, the Brazilian agency told Reuters on Tuesday. – Reuters

A top European court ruled in an opinion published Tuesday that Bosnia’s political system, set up under a U.S.-brokered peace deal in 1995, amplifies ethnic divisions and undermines the Balkan country’s democratic elections. – Associated Press

The British government will delay imposing full post-Brexit import controls on goods from the European Union by a further three months, it said on Tuesday, pushing the start date back to January 2024. – Reuters

Police in Cyprus say they have arrested 21 people and used tear gas and a water cannon after a group of Greek Cypriots wearing hoods and brandishing bats tried to attack protesting Syrians in a small village that has been a hotbed of tensions between locals and migrants. – Associated Press

Serbia and Kosovo need to pursue a deal to mend ties before their allies become preoccupied with elections in the US and the European Union, according to the Kosovar prime minister. – Bloomberg

A Russia-allied Bosnian Serb leader, Milorad Dodik, is calling for Bosnia and Herzegovina to choose the Beijing-led economic group known as Brics over the European Union as the latter seeks to expand its membership.  – New York Sun

The Netherlands is set to receive four additional MQ-9 Reaper drones that will carry guided bombs and missiles. – Defense News

Africa

Ugandan prosecutors have lodged charges of “aggravated homosexuality” against a 20-year-old man — a crime punishable by death — in one of the country’s first applications of a provision included in one of the world’s harshest antigay laws. – New York Times

Soldiers seized power in OPEC member Gabon, four days after the central African nation held presidential elections. […]The putsch raises anxiety about instability spreading in western Africa and increases pressure on the Economic Community of West African States to act to restore civilian rule in Niger, after the 15-nation bloc threatened to use military force to compel the military junta to relinquish power. – Bloomberg

Algeria is proposing an initiative to resolve the political crisis in neighbouring Niger with a six-month transition period led by a civilian, Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf said on Tuesday. – Reuters

United Nations officials said on Tuesday that sanctions on Niger were blocking vital humanitarian aid such as food and medicine, saying that requests for exemptions had been submitted to regional bloc ECOWAS. – Reuters

The United Nations human rights office says at least 183 people have been killed in clashes in Ethiopia’s Amhara region since July as Amhara fighters resist efforts by the federal government to disband them. – Associated Press

Police in Nigeria said Tuesday they detained at least 67 people celebrating a gay wedding in one of the largest mass detentions targeting homosexuality, which is outlawed in the West African country. – Associated Press

Editorial: The International Criminal Court has already said it has launched an investigation, but it needs to move faster and name names of those in command. Weapons supplies need to be cut off immediately, so sanctions against individuals and companies supplying arms need to be expanded and tightened. The U.N. Security Council needs to support an African peacekeeping force for the region. Sudan’s key Arab neighbors need to apply pressure on the two generals to halt their senseless duel. Humanitarian corridors need to be established to allow refugees to flee. – Washington Post

Neville Teller writes: Whatever the outcome of the conflict between Burhan and Dagalo, Sudan is a nation in transition, on a rocky road to parliamentary elections intended to usher in full democratic civilian rule. Once the conflict is brought to an end, parliamentary elections held, and civilian rule restored, a democratic government could either endorse or renounce the nation’s membership of the Abraham Accords. – Jerusalem Post

Gracelin Baskaran writes: As is the case with any new relationship, there will be things that need to be ironed out. The United States will need to provide technical assistance to governments on regulations and oversight for good environment, social, and governance practices in the critical minerals value chain. Africa is perhaps the last frontier of mineral development, and the United States has a powerful opportunity to be a part of it. – Center for Strategic and International Studies

Matt Cesare writes: Africa undeniably represents a major strategic prize. The continent is on the cusp of a population explosion, and is projected to account for nearly 2.5 billion people by 2050. As its population booms, the opportunities for foreign powers to project their influence, and shape perceptions, in Africa will likewise grow. Russia’s extensive investments – especially in light of its ongoing war in Ukraine – reflect a recognition of this reality. Yet how its African profile evolves in the years ahead will depend a great deal on its ability to continue to build ties with, and quell doubts in, regional capitals on the continent. – American Foreign Policy Council

The Americas

President Biden hosted President Rodrigo Chaves of Costa Rica at the White House on Tuesday as their countries try to rein in a surge of migration in the Western Hemisphere. – New York Times

Guatemalan electoral authorities suspended the party of President-elect Bernardo Arévalo, fueling concerns that government and justice officials are seeking to undermine the center-leftist’s rise to power. […]Brian Nichols, the State Department’s senior official for Latin America, said that Monday’s actions against González and other individuals were unacceptable. – Wall Street Journal

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Tuesday he wants to discuss the possibility of making changes to the United Nations Security Council with his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden. – Reuters

Peru is struggling to regain the fast growth that made its economy one of the star performers in emerging markets this century, according to the government. – Bloomberg

Eduardo Porter writes: It might not portend a return to military dictatorship. Indeed, 61% of respondents in the Latinobarometro poll said that under no conditions could they support a military government, a share that has remained roughly stable over the last 20 years. But authoritarianism can take a different face, that of populist outsiders coming to rescue the nation. Inevitably, they find themselves tempted to curtail civil rights and undermine democratic institutions in the service of their power. – Bloomberg

Michael Scott writes: Can the region’s presidents deliver or will last year’s strong investment numbers prove to be a flash in the pan? “The opportunity is there but it takes two to tango,” said UBS’s Czerwonko. “Quite frankly, Latin American leaders are not doing a whole lot to get out there and promote their countries as attractive destinations for foreign investment.” – Financial Times

United States

But even as policymakers and corporate executives look for ways to cut ties with China, a growing body of evidence suggests that the world’s largest economies remain deeply intertwined as Chinese products make their way to America through other countries. New and forthcoming economic papers call into question whether the United States has actually lessened its reliance on China — and what a recent reshuffling of trade relationships means for the global economy and American consumers. – New York Times

Editorial: In some ways, though, the discontent is justified. It’s no coincidence that the BRICS-11 arrives following the US turn away from economic leadership — accelerated by Donald Trump’s administration and affirmed by Joe Biden’s. […]All this makes the fracturing of the multilateral order truly dangerous. Prodded by the BRICS enlargement, the US and its partners should work urgently to repair it. – Bloomberg

Mike Gallagher writes:  Given the gaps in President Biden’s executive order, as well as the impermanence inherent in any executive order, Congress has a duty to act. This is a complex issue, and bringing our allies along for the ride won’t be easy. But Wall Street needs to recognize that investments in malign Chinese firms create danger for our men and women in uniform, mortal peril for the targets of the CCP’s human rights abuses, and systemic risks for the global economy. That’s a deadly cocktail that the American people didn’t order — and should not be served. – Washington Post

Jen Easterly writes: Communities across the nation are at greater risk until Congress reauthorizes this bipartisan and critical program. We must ensure that chemicals do not become weaponized by those who wish to do Americans harm. – Washington Post

Cybersecurity

U.S. authorities on Tuesday announced a multinational operation that they said took down a network that had infected hundreds of thousands of computers with malware and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages from cyberattacks worldwide. – Washington Post

The posts were part of a Chinese influence campaign that stands out as the largest such operation to date, researchers at Meta said in a report on Tuesday. The effort, which the company said had started with Chinese law enforcement and was discovered in 2019, was aimed at advancing China’s interests and discrediting its adversaries, such as the United States, Meta said. – New York Times

British officials are warning organisations about integrating artificial intelligence-driven chatbots into their businesses, saying that research has increasingly shown that they can be tricked into performing harmful tasks. – Reuters

The U.N. human rights office says criminal gangs have forced hundreds of thousands of people in Southeast Asia into participating in unlawful online scam operations, including false romantic ploys, bogus investment pitches and illegal gambling schemes. – Associated Press

South Korea said on Monday it will toughen sentencing for stealing industrial secrets, after concerns that current regulation was not strong enough to deter attempts to funnel technologies from companies like Samsung. – Reuters

Chinese hackers used a recently patched vulnerability in security products from Barracuda Networks to conduct attacks against dozens of government organizations across the U.S. and Asia, according to a new report. – The Record

Fake articles masquerading as legitimate stories from The Washington Post and Fox News were spread online by a Russian disinformation campaign attempting to undermine Western support for Ukraine, according to Meta’s latest threat report. – The Record

Suspected Chinese hackers breached Japan’s cybersecurity agency and potentially accessed sensitive data stored on its networks for nine months before being discovered, it was reported on Tuesday. – The Record

Microsoft on Tuesday joined human rights and civil liberties groups raising serious concerns about an international cybercrime treaty the United Nations is negotiating this week to create a legal framework for cooperation on preventing digital crimes. – CyberScoop

Defense

Former Vice President Mike Pence announced his day one priorities on Tuesday, telling reporters he plans to address American security “first and foremost” on his first day as president if elected in 2024. In one of his first actions, he’d reverse defense spending cuts made in the debt ceiling deal negotiated between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). – Washington Examiner

Microsoft will supply Synthetaic, a startup that used artificial intelligence to track the Chinese spy balloon that zigzagged across the U.S. earlier this year, with digital resources that executives said will fuel advancements in computer vision and imagery analysis. – Defense News

The shipyard set to install hypersonic missiles on guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) was awarded a $154.8 million contract for the work, according to a Tuesday Pentagon announcement. – USNI News

Three top American aerospace defense contractors are competing to build the aircraft for the Navy’s secretive next-generation strike fighter program, while two others seek to produce the engine, the service confirmed to Breaking Defense today. – Breaking Defense

Long War

A smuggler with ties to a foreign extremist group helped Uzbek migrants enter the U.S. from Mexico, the White House said on Tuesday, raising questions about a potential security threat. – Reuters

A French soldier was killed in a four-hour firefight in Iraq when French and Iraqi forces raided an Islamic State hideout, Iraqi security sources said on Tuesday. – Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron held a phone call on Tuesday with Iraq Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, during which Macron reaffirmed to Al-Sudani France’s support in the battle against Islamic State, said a statement from Macron’s office. – Reuters

A Munich court on Tuesday sentenced a German woman who was a member of the Islamic State group to 14 years in prison for allowing a 5-year-old Yazidi girl she and her husband kept as a slave in Iraq to die of thirst in the sun. – Associated Press

Tanya Mehra, Merlina Herbach, Devorah Margolin, and Austin Doctor write: The indefinite detention of FTF and FTF-affiliated families in northeastern Syria is not a tenable solution. In addition to clear humanitarian concerns, there is a significant security risk that the facilities’ inhabitants provide a groundswell of recruits to the still active ISIS campaign in the region. A 2022 U.S. military report puts it bluntly, “These children in the camp are prime targets for ISIS radicalization. The international community must work together to remove these children from this environment by repatriating them to their countries or communities of origin while improving conditions in the camp.” – Washington Institute