Fdd's overnight brief

August 31, 2023

In The News


Iran’s foreign minister condemned Wednesday an Israeli airstrike on the international airport of the Syrian city of Aleppo, saying such attacks would eventually face retaliation. – Associated Press

An Iranian weightlifter has been given a lifetime ban by authorities in the Islamic Republic after shaking hands with an Israeli competitor at an event in Poland, state media reported. – Agence France-Presse

Iranian journalist Nazila Marofian, who was temporarily released from prison two weeks ago, was arrested again on August 30, the fourth time she has been detained. The Tasnim News Agency, which has ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, reported that Marofian was arrested on charges of spreading “propaganda.” – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

US forces who were sent to the Persian Gulf at the beginning of the month in response to Iran’s harassment of ships in the region will stay for as long as they’re needed, deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post

Iran is ratcheting up a crackdown ahead of the one-year anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini, arresting prominent personalities, campaigners and relatives of those killed by security forces in protests last year, activists say. – Agence France-Presse

Russia & Ukraine

Ukraine launched its largest drone attack on military targets across Russia since the war began, disabling several military aircraft in a strike on the Pskov air base, as Moscow unleashed the most sustained missile barrage on the Ukrainian capital in months. – Wall Street Journal 

Five months into his detention in a Russian prison, no date has been made public for the trial of Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter caught in a justice system in which defendants can wait for a year or more before their cases are heard. – Wall Street Journal 

A wave of exploding drones was launched in six regions of Russia overnight Wednesday, Russian officials said, damaging four military cargo planes at an airfield 30 miles from the border with Estonia, a NATO member, in an apparent sign that Ukraine was increasingly capable of striking back deep inside Moscow’s territory. – New York Times

When Vladimir Putin addressed top economic officials last week after a bruising month in which the Russian ruble plummeted to a 16-month low against the U.S. dollar, the Russian president sought to set a confident tone. The country’s economy, he said, was growing again and wages were rising. – Washington Post

The Russian ruble’s wobble in value has exposed a crack in President Vladimir Putin’s fortress economy, a vulnerability quickly plastered over by the Kremlin’s economic team in a move that allowed the currency to regain its footing, at least for now. – Associated Press

Diesel, kerosene and other fuels refined from Russian crude are flooding into Europe, prompting Kyiv to call for tightening sanctions against Moscow. – Politico

Tom Rogan writes: Putin’s primary concerns here are twofold. First, while he remains popular with most Russians, Ukraine’s attacks are slowly but steadily undermining Putin’s credibility as a leader who provides order and security. This is a central plank of Putin’s leadership narrative. While Putin might have eliminated the greatest stain on his credibility as a strong leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, these drones reinforce a perception of his weakness. – Washington Examiner

Mick Ryan writes: Offering Kyiv enduring support may not be welcome news to many Western politicians, given the upcoming elections in the United States and some European countries. But over the past 18 months, the Ukrainians have demonstrated a will to fight, the capacity to absorb new weapons, and the ability to learn, adapt, and improve their military effectiveness. 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 

Kurt Volker writes: Anyone who expected Ukraine’s counter-offensive to make rapid and substantial territorial gains had their expectations in the wrong place. […]No one today can know with certainty the outcome of Russia’s war against Ukraine. Perhaps Ukraine will fall. Perhaps Russia will pull itself together after tearing itself apart. But Ukraine has the reason and will to fight, while Russians do not. Ukraine has substantial outside help, while Russians only have Iran. Ukraine has a moral cause, while Russians do not. – Center for European Policy Analysis 

Can Kasapoğlu writes: If Putin fails in Ukraine, the country’s fractured military landscape will likely drive its political destiny. Wagner’s aborted mutiny was merely a symptom of this disease plaguing the Russian state. Prigozhin’s removal, spectacularly orchestrated as it was, will only serve as a palliative. – Hudson Institute


Israeli police on Wednesday shot and killed a 14-year-old Palestinian boy who stabbed a man in a Jerusalem light-rail station, officials said, while Palestinian militants detonated a bomb near a convoy of Israeli troops escorting Jewish worshippers to a holy site in the occupied West Bank, wounding four Israeli troops. – Associated Press

A Palestinian was killed in a rare clash between Palestinian security forces and gunmen in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, amid uncertainty over the future of Palestinian leadership that has widened internal rifts. – Reuters 

Israel’s battle to thwart a French push at the United Nations Security Council to constrain the movements of a peacekeeping force on its northern border with Lebanon went down to the wire on Wednesday. – Jerusalem Post

Three IDF soldiers were wounded in a terror ramming at the Maccabim checkpoint on the central Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Route 443 on Thursday morning. – Jerusalem Post

An Israeli man was moderately wounded in a stabbing attack at a light rail station in Jerusalem on Wednesday night, police and medics said. – Times of Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the danger of Iran and its proxy group when he met in his office with US Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT). – Jerusalem Post

The Palestinian Authority is seeking “irreversible” steps that will advance its bid for statehood in the context of negotiations for a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, a US official, a Palestinian official and a senior Arab diplomat told The Times of Israel. – Times of Israel 

Israeli diplomats are optimistic that the United Nations peacekeeping force along the frontier with Lebanon will not be changed when the UN Security Council meets to renew its mandate on Thursday, amid elevated tensions along the informal border. – Times of Israel

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against the multinational food company Unilever tied to Ben and Jerry’s 2021 announcement that it would stop selling ice cream in what it called “Occupied Palestinian Territory.” – Times of Israel

Senior Biden administration Mid-East envoy Amos Hochstein will travel to Beirut on Wednesday for meetings with senior officials. His visit comes as tensions on the Israel-Lebanon border continue to rise. – Ynet

A Palestinian was shot by troops on Wednesday in a suspected terror attack near Hebron. He was seen accelerating with his car toward the troops outside the settlement of Beit Hagai, when they opened fire, the military said adding that none of the soldiers were hurt. – Ynet 

Security Minister Yoav Gallant, who met on Wednesday with the U.S. coordinator to the Middle East Brett McGurk, presented him with a list of questions presented by Israel’s security officials against the backdrop of talks with Saudi Arabia that could lead to a deal including normalization between the two countries. – Ynet 

One Israeli was killed and three more were wounded on Thursday morning during a ramming attack near a West Bank checkpoint. – Haaretz 

Hussain Ehsani writes: The next step toward normalization and hope will be to hear Israel’s national anthem at the upcoming International Conference on Arts and Cultural Management (ICACM) from November 15-16, in Jeddah – and at other cultural and sports events. The presence of Israel at these festivals could be a significant step toward normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia, while Iran is absent from these cultural events. – Jerusalem Post

Rabbi Leo Dee writes: We Jews have been too busy fighting among ourselves, while the Abuseniks, the true victims of unfree regimes, are dying of poverty, disease and warfare with no hope of a better future. What Israel needs today is a united front against terror states in our backyard, a grassroots campaign of all types of Israelis together to stand up against the common enemy, the modern fascist state. When Jews march, then the whole world marches – that we also learned from Avital and Natan Sharansky. Let’s start marching for the Abuseniks and make “Never again” a truth and not just another slogan. Who will march with me? – Ynet 


When the Taliban began its swift takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, the Noori family knew they had to get out of the country. They had already seen one family member assassinated and several others had attempts made on their lives. Staying in Afghanistan was not an option. – Washington Post

Shamila N. Chaudhary and Colin F. Jackson write: Some may argue that the most evident lesson from Afghanistan is to avoid similar interventions altogether. However, given the likelihood of facing comparable situations in the future, it is essential to take a forward-looking perspective. A thorough examination of the U.S. engagement in Afghanistan serves as a critical foundation for improving future performance, avoiding mistakes and achieving U.S. goals at an acceptable cost. This is the minimum we owe to both the fallen and the living. – The Hill

Mariannette Miller-Meeks writes: In his speech marking the end of the chaotic exit from Afghanistan two years ago, President Biden said, “We will continue to work to help more people leave the country who are at risk.” Some estimates suggest we abandoned as many as 150,000 people who supported our troops and the free and democratic Afghani government. This is not just a failure of policy. It is a moral failure. The president will not acknowledge or rectify his error. His commitment to women and our allies is little more than political lip service. I am sad to say that this one is on the Congress, and the Congress needs to hear from her constituents. – The Hill  

Roya Rahmani writes: None of this means the international community should recognize the Taliban. It should not. The Taliban government is an illegitimate, brutal regime. But the people of Afghanistan cannot be abandoned. […]None of this means the international community should recognize the Taliban. It should not. The Taliban government is an illegitimate, brutal regime. But the people of Afghanistan cannot be abandoned. Rather than granting the Taliban a seat at the UN, which could not easily be revoked, Western governments should focus on economic engagement, which can be more flexible and targeted. – Foreign Affairs

John Byrnes writes: Two years after the final withdrawal from Afghanistan, I still deal with complicated feelings about the war itself, as do most Afghanistan veterans I know. A change in how the U.S. approaches war and accountability for poor execution will help us sort through those feelings and make peace with them. – Military.com


Turkey and Egypt have gone from underdogs to unlikely havens as emerging-market stocks endured the worst August since 2015. – Bloomberg

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan will discuss a proposal by Moscow for an alternative to the Black Sea grain deal when they meet this week, Lavrov’s ministry said on Wednesday. – Reuters 

The Turkish publication, Milli Gazete, claimed on Wednesday that the Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish organization has been operating in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), for the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and supporting the LGBT community. – Jerusalem Post


The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees appealed Wednesday for $15.5 million to respond to the fallout of clashes in Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp earlier this month. – Associated Press

A planned United Nations vote on Wednesday to renew approval for a peacekeeping mission in Lebanon has been delayed as France, the United States and the United Arab Emirates argue over the freedom of movement of U.N. troops, diplomats said. – Reuters 

US energy envoy Amos Hochstein arrived in Beirut on Wednesday, a week after Lebanon began drilling for hydrocarbons off its coastline. – National News

Editorial: The Hezbollah moves in southern Lebanon illustrate how the group is acting with impunity. It exploits the power vacuum in Lebanon to do as it pleases. It is essential that the international community and all relevant stakeholders act to ensure that Lebanon is not used by Hezbollah to threaten Israel. It is incumbent on the UN and others to closely monitor Hezbollah’s activity and prevent spillover that threatens Israel and directly harms civilians on both sides. – Jerusalem Post

Yoni Ben Menachem writes: There is a genuine concern that Arab criminals seeking retribution may form alliances with Hezbollah, mobilizing and cooperating in ways that could threaten national security. Introducing hazardous Iranian explosive devices, like the Claymore mines, into Israel poses a substantial threat, even if intended for internal criminal conflicts. Such devices could potentially find their way into the hands of terrorist factions in Judea and Samaria, endangering both IDF soldiers and settlers. – Algemeiner


Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority (ENRRA) granted the permission to establish the fourth and final unit of the Dabaa nuclear power plant with a capacity of 1200 megawatts, a cabinet statement said on Wednesday citing ENRRA. – Reuters

Egyptian authorities said the national carrier will resume direct flights to Sudan this week following high profile talks between the Egyptian president and Sudan’s military chief. – Associated Press

Steven A. Cook writes: At the same time, the accusation is empty—mindless, even—a rote response to any and all criticism for a leader and his supporters, who are unable to conjure a coherent response to their critics. It is also the kind of response that political leaders use when they are afraid. Indeed, as much as Sisi rules by fear, he is ruled by it. – Foreign Policy

Saudi Arabia

A Saudi court has sentenced a man to death over his posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, and his activity on YouTube, the latest in a widening crackdown on dissent in the kingdom that has drawn international criticism. – Associated Press

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant asked White House National Security Council Middle East coordinator Brett McGurk for clarifications regarding a possible Saudi nuclear program during their meeting in New York, according to a range of Hebrew media reports Wednesday. – Times of Israel 

Saudi Arabia has reportedly proposed renewing its aid to the Palestinian Authority in a possible sign that Riyadh is looking to coax Ramallah into backing its effort to normalize relations with Israel. – Times of Israel

Middle East & North Africa

Rare protests in Syria calling for the ouster of the authoritarian government have gathered momentum over the past two weeks, in scenes reminiscent of the Arab Spring uprising that began more than 12 years ago and morphed into a multisided war. – New York Times

The U.S. expanded the restriction of exports of sophisticated Nvidia (NVDA.O) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.O) artificial-intelligence chips beyond China to other regions including some countries in the Middle East. – Reuters 

Syria’s Kurdish-led and U.S.-backed forces and an allied militia announced Wednesday they have removed the militia’s commander from his post after his arrest this week led to intense clashes in the country’s east that have killed at least 32 people, including at least three civilians. – Associated Press

Tunisian President Kais Saied said this week that the word “normalization” does not exist for him when it comes to Israel. – Times of Israel

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

Korean Peninsula

Kim Jong Un reviewed North Korea’s war plans aimed at overwhelming a U.S. and South Korean invasion, as Pyongyang flashes more military might in opposition of Washington-Seoul combined exercises. – Wall Street Journal 

North Korea’s rubber-stamp parliament, the Supreme People’s Assembly, will convene on Sept. 26 to discuss organisational matters and other issues, state media said on Thursday, as the country slowly reopens after years of pandemic lockdowns. – Reuters

New U.S. intelligence shows North Korea and Russia are “actively advancing” high-level talks for additional weapons and other materials to assist Moscow’s brutal war in Ukraine, the Biden administration disclosed on Wednesday. – Politico 


Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo arrived in China this week with a challenging brief: Her department has implemented the United States’ tough export controls against China, and she had to stand firm on that position. At the same time, the former venture capitalist was seeking to advance a political thaw and improve American companies’ access to the lucrative Chinese market. – Washington Post

Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to skip a summit of G20 leaders in India next week, sources familiar with the matter in India and China told Reuters. – Reuters 

China and Nicaragua signed a free trade agreement (FTA) on Thursday, China’s commerce ministry said, in confirmation of deepening economic ties since the Central American country switched its allegiance to Beijing from Taiwan in 2021. – Reuters

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel said on Thursday China’s reaction to the release of treated radioactive water into the ocean from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant is all about economic coercion and politics. – Reuters

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said he raised concerns over China’s human rights record during a visit to Beijing on Wednesday while also stressing the importance of maintaining a “pragmatic” working relationship and reopening channels of communication. – Associated Press

Chinese state media jumped aboard a groundswell of national pride surrounding Huawei Technologies Co.’s latest smartphone, portraying the gadget as a technological marvel that delivered a much-needed victory over US sanctions. – Bloomberg 

Xie Feng writes: It must stop building parallel systems and seeking to decouple in the name of “de-risking,” which would only further complicate an already arduous global recovery. Instead, China and the United States should respect each other, coexist in peace and pursue win-win cooperation. This is the only way forward. And the world expects no less. – Washington Post

Howard W. French writes: The absence of foreigners in the country, where this essay began, is merely an epidermic signal or symptom of something much larger. At stake for the country is whether China’s best bet for a prosperous, peaceful, and stable future is doubling down on a restrictive, security-driven view of the world that constantly elevates self-reliance and control, or recommitting itself to the relative openness of an earlier, more self-confident time. – Foreign Policy

Arthur Herman writes: There are ways to significantly reduce or even sever the U.S.-China cash nexus that is letting American companies directly feed China’s rise to global hegemony—including using the U.S. tax code—without seriously endangering the larger trading relationship that inevitably exists between the world’s two biggest economies. – The Dispatch

Derek Scissors writes: The Secretary could be gambling on Republicans being terrible on China. Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping almost immediately broke the phase one trade agreement with former President Trump and lies about an epidemic that killed over one million Americans, yet Trump keeps praising him. […]Still, Republicans have five years before 2028 to craft better policies. If Secretary Raimondo does run for President and faces anyone, Republican or Democrat, with a decent China platform, her Beijing visit could prove much more consequential than it has any right to be. Because she may make sure we’ll be hearing about it, again and again. – American Enterprise Institute


Japan’s Defense Ministry on Thursday asked for a $53 billion budget for next fiscal year, a 13% increase, adding antimissile systems and boosting maintenance for a military that long skimped on basic functions. – Wall Street Journal 

In Guangdong Province, on China’s southern coast, a woman posted a photo of a boxed-up Japanese-brand air-conditioner that she planned to return in protest. In southwest China, the owner of a Japanese pub posted a video of himself ripping down anime posters and smashing bottles, saying he planned to reopen the business as a Chinese bistro. – New York Times

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has approved a military transfer to Taiwan under the Foreign Military Financing, or FMF, program normally used for sovereign states, according to a notification sent to Congress. – Reuters

A chronic shortage of engineers in Vietnam is emerging as a major challenge to the growth of its semiconductor industry and to U.S. plans of fast-tracking the Southeast Asian nation as a chips hub to hedge against China-related supply risks. – Reuters

India has asked the U.S. to allow the release of $26 million belonging to at least two Indian diamond firms that was frozen due to their alleged trade links with sanctioned Russian diamond major Alrosa (ALRS.MM), three Indian sources told Reuters. – Reuters

Malaysia on Wednesday joined India in protesting a new Chinese map that lays claim to India’s territory and Malaysia’s maritime areas near Borneo island ahead of next week’s Group of 20 summit in New Delhi. – Associated Press

Taiwanese politicians with presidential ambitions are running into complications for favoring a conciliatory approach toward the increasingly belligerent Communist China, while a candidate derided by Beijing as a “trouble maker” is leading the polls. – New York Sun

Editorial: Such impulsive errors reveal a candidate who is a long way from being presidential, much less Nixonian, in his foreign-policy thinking. […]But give Mr. Ramaswamy partial points for improving his position on Taiwan, even if he still has a ways to go to be trusted as Commander in Chief. With any luck, in two more weeks he’ll explain why peace in the Pacific will always be an American interest. – Wall Street Journal 

Editorial: As other presidents have done, Mr. Biden will undoubtedly offer respect for Vietnam’s differing political system. But he should also speak the truth to Vietnam’s leaders: No ruler or system is made stronger when it destroys the rights and dignity of its own people. – Washington Post

Michael Rubin writes: Temporary leases, meanwhile, can be a useful mechanism to funnel American assistance to defense ministries in Manila, Hanoi, or Jakarta. At the very least, a temporary lease would give the U.S. a seat at the table in negotiations, raise the stakes for Chinese aggression, and symbolically demonstrate international rejection of Chinese sovereignty even over those islands China already occupies. – Washington Examiner

Alex Little writes: The United States Congress should pass the Kazakhstan Permanent Normal Trade Relations Act of 2023, as there is no reason to inhibit economic cooperation with an emerging partner like Kazakhstan with archaic legislation. By repealing the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, the United States would formally recognize Kazakhstan’s improvements and show that it sees Astana as a true partner. While Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have more work to do before achieving Kazakhstan’s level of success, the United States should work to make clear the concrete improvements needed for them to gain permanent normal trading relations with the United States. – The National Interest

Ibrahim Mammadov writes: Third, Washington should allocate more diplomatic resources and attention toward engaging with countries along the Caspian Route. The C5+1 platform has proven a successful and effective forum for dialogue, and should be continued. It could also be potentially expanded to include other countries along the Caspian Route, particularly Azerbaijan, due to its pivotal role. By strategically investing in and engaging local partners, the United States can elevate the Caspian route’s capacity, ultimately not only fostering trade diversification and reinforcing ties with regional countries, but also advancing its own interests in the region. – The National Interest


Fiji will sign a defence agreement with France, after the cabinet of the Pacific Islands nation approved the deal, Fiji’s government said in a statement on Thursday. – Reuters 

The U.S. is working with Romania and Moldova to increase Ukraine’s grain exports via the Danube river as it explores alternative routes the exports after Russia pulled out of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a senior U.S. State Department official said on Wednesday. – Reuters 

Kosovo’s president on Wednesday lashed out at France’s Emmanuel Macron for saying this week that Paris may review visa-free EU travel rules in 2024 for Kosovo and Serbia over their stalled talks on normalizing ties. – Associated Press

Poland’s lawmakers on Wednesday confirmed candidates for the controversial commission for examining Russian influence in the country which is believed to be targeting the opposition and its popular leader, Donald Tusk, ahead of the Oct. 15 parliamentary elections. – Associated Press

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a sprawling interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that the only path to ending the war in Ukraine would be the reelection of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency. – Associated Press


A group of senior military officers in Gabon said Wednesday they were seizing power in this central African nation, overturning the results of a disputed presidential election shortly after the electoral committee announced that President Ali Bongo had won another term. – Washington Post

The European Union is moving ahead with the legal groundwork to impose sanctions on members of a junta that seized power in Niger last month, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Wednesday. – Reuters 

European Union defence ministers are to discuss the situation in Gabon, foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Wednesday, adding that a coup, if confirmed, would heap more instability on the region. – Reuters 

United Nations sanctions in Mali will end on Thursday after Russia vetoed a renewal of the regime that targeted anyone violating or obstructing a 2015 peace deal, hindering aid delivery, committing rights abuses or recruiting child soldiers. – Reuters 

European Union foreign ministers meet in Spain on Thursday to discuss their response to last month’s coup in Niger – including possible sanctions – as they also consider news of military officers declaring they have seized power in Gabon. – Reuters 

Mali’s military junta succeeded in kicking out the U.N. peacekeeping force, and on Wednesday its Russian allies scored yet another victory against the U.N.: They were able to terminate all U.N. sanctions on Malians and abolish a panel of experts which has been critical of activities of Russia’s Wagner Group in the West African nation. – Associated Press

The Americas

Canada has updated its travel advisory for the United States to warn LGBTQ travelers that they are at risk of being affected by state and local laws, amid a recent surge in state-level legislation targeting the community. – Washington Post

The U.S. Embassy in Haiti said Americans there should leave the country “as soon as possible” amid the ongoing unrest and political turmoil. – Washington Post

Zachary Faria writes: Canada has no pedestal from which to look down on the U.S. when it comes to human rights, whether the discussion is about free speech or about “safety,” as in this instance. Not being able to watch a boy dominate girls’ basketball is not going to threaten the safety of any Canadian resident, and certainly isn’t more dangerous than an average Canadian hospital has become. – Washington Examiner

Andre Pagliarini writes: This perspective speaks to something that is obviously true to Latin Americans who know their respective national histories better than most Americans do. Having U.S. officials visit, speak honestly about the past mistakes and misdeeds of their own government, convey a sincere desire to learn and collaborate: All of these things are most unusual, and most welcome. The visit won’t completely alter the U.S. relationship with the region, but it is a tangible opportunity for a new beginning—should more leaders in Washington want one. – Foreign Policy

United States

The Biden administration said Tuesday that it detected and stopped a network attempting to smuggle people from Uzbekistan into the United States and that at least one member of the network had links to a foreign terrorist group. – Associated Press

Norman Solomon writes: The types of military responses that 9/11 set in motion have evolved over time, now with relatively few “boots on the ground” and heavy reliance on what Biden has called “over the horizon” air power. […]But labeled as a war on terror, open-ended U.S. warfare remains so routine that no one asks anymore when it might end. – The Hill 

Kairat Umarov writes: Of course, numerous political and technical obstacles stand in the way of a nuclear-weapon-free world. Yet, as international tensions and nuclear arsenals rise, there’s no alternative if we are to avert potential disaster. The record of close calls over the decades shows just how near the world was to a nuclear catastrophe. Amidst other pressing global challenges, the time to eliminate the man-made threat of nuclear weapons is now. – The National Interest


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 

University of Michigan announced Wednesday that it has restored internet to its three campuses after a cyberattack over the weekend, but warned to “expect some issues with select U-M systems and services in the short term.” – CyberScoop

Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves said on Wednesday that his country has recovered from a wave of ransomware attacks it suffered last year with stronger cyberdefenses than ever. – The Record

The LockBit ransomware gang continues to dominate headlines and cause concern among cybersecurity experts with a spate of attacks on critical organizations, governments and businesses. – The Record

One of the most active ransomware groups has taken credit for an attack earlier this year on a large county in Georgia about an hour away from Atlanta. – The Record

More than 200,000 people are being forced to carry out cyber scams in Southeast Asia, the United Nations estimates. – The Record


The Pentagon is more than a third through preparing a national defense industrial strategy, with the full document set for release in December, according to Halimah Najieb-Locke, the military’s industrial base czar. – Defense News

The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of stealthy air-launched standoff cruise missiles to Japan. – Defense News

The U.S. Air Force can start testing a new medium-range sensor next month for the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System thanks to several recently awarded government contracts, RTX said Tuesday. – Defense News

The challenge of resupplying forces across vast distances in the Indo-Pacific in the event of a fight is still vexing the Pentagon, with a key Air Force logistician saying that though there are several options to solve the problem, officials aren’t sure what path might be best. – Breaking Defense

The US Navy is considering the establishment of a “Disruptive Capabilities Office” focused on rapidly fielding existing technologies to address operational problems, according to sources as well as a draft document obtained by Breaking Defense. – Breaking Defense

One of the Pentagon’s largest international security cooperation programs is experiencing “persistent issues” meeting delivery timelines, while some projects have altogether “failed” to provide reliable and suitable capabilities, according to a government watchdog office. – Breaking Defense