Fdd's overnight brief

August 4, 2021

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


A tanker ship in the Gulf of Oman was seized Tuesday by suspected Iranian gunmen, Western officials said, amid rising regional tensions following a fatal drone attack on another vessel that the U.S. and its allies have blamed on the Islamic Republic. […]In a statement early Wednesday, the UKMTO said the “boarders” had left the vessel and the ship was now safe. – Wall Street Journal  

An ultraconservative protege of Iran’s supreme leader was sworn in as president on Tuesday as a new security crisis swirls in vital Perisan Gulf shipping routes and doubts build over the survival of the troubled 2015 nuclear deal. – Bloomberg  

Iran is dropping plans for prisoner swaps with the United States due to “breaches” by Washington in efforts to free the detainees, an unnamed Iranian official told the semi-official Nour News agency on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Iran on Monday vowed to respond to any “adventurism” after the US and Britain joined Israel in blaming Tehran for a deadly tanker attack, claims it denies. – Agence France-Presse  

The fragile discussions over the revival of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal were about two weeks away from reaching a conclusion in June, but several complicated items remain unresolved, according to a senior German government official participating in the talks. – CNBC   

A core strategy in Iran’s methodology is to build out a pan-Middle Eastern power grid with Tehran at the centre. In just the same way that Russia’s huge level of gas supplies to Europe gives it immense power across that continent so Iran’s electricity and other power supplies will give it enduring power over the Middle East. – Oil Price  

Lazar Berman writes: Despite the widespread belief that Iran was directly responsible for the lethal strike, the attack should not be seen as a significant chapter in the long struggle between Iran and Israel. Nor should Israel expect major world powers to act militarily against Tehran, despite Blinken’s tough-sounding message. – Times of Israel  

Omer Carmi writes: The coming weeks will reveal whether Khamenei is playing a complex negotiating game or truly believes that the risks of reentering the JCPOA without additional guarantees are too great. Absent a thorough verification process for U.S. sanctions removal as a first step, he may be willing to reject the JCPOA entirely, even if it means Iran will miss out on economic benefits and face new international pressures for failing to compromise. – Washington Institute 


The U.S. State Department on Monday announced a new program under which thousands more Afghans will have a chance to resettle as refugees in the United States. Afghans in the progam would have to make their own way to a third country, where they will wait 12 to 14 months for their application to be processed. – Reuters  

The lira’s best month this year may only serve to highlight the volatility that still haunts Turkish assets. For JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s top executive in Turkey, swings in the currency remain a key hurdle to convincing investors to buy into the appeal of local securities. – Bloomberg  

In Turkey, however, where the fires have consumed 95,000 hectares (234,650 acres) compared with an average of 13,516 hectares by this point of the year, President Erdoğan’s government has faced accusations of mismanagement and unpreparedness after admitting the country has no serviceable firefighting planes. – The Guardian  


Israel said it had given allies “hard evidence” that Iran was behind last week’s deadly attack on a tanker in the Gulf of Oman, as the U.K. Navy on Tuesday reported another shipping “incident” in the same area of water without giving further details. – Bloomberg  

Russia and China have expressed a convergence in their views toward adopting the best approach to prevent fighting between Israelis and Palestinians, as the two partnered powers seek a greater stake in the long-running Middle East conflict. – Newsweek  

Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan on Tuesday called on the Security Council to condemn and sanction Iran in the wake of last week’s deadly drone attack on a ship with ties to Israel off the coast of Oman. – Times of Israel  

Israeli National Security Advisor-designate Dr. Eyal Hulata and Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister Shimrit Meir met on Tuesday with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, as part of a series of meetings that the two are holding in Washington DC. – Jerusalem Post 

Israel will no longer allow Iran to continue its aggression with impunity, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned on a visit to the IDF Northern Command on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post 

In a July 15 article in the Saudi daily ‘Okaz, journalist Muhammad Al-Sa’d harshly criticizes Palestinian militant Ahmad Jibril, who died recently, and his movement, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP–GC). Jibril and his movement, wrote Al-Sa’d, acted as a killing machine in the service of the Syrian regime,  and  killed more Palestinians during the civil wars in Lebanon and Syria than Israel has killed since 1948. – Middle East Media Research Institute  


The PMF’s military parade was closely watched by U.S. officials, who are grappling with a fresh wave of militia attacks on U.S. facilities in Iraq. – Politico  

David Ignatius writes: Iraq has been a story of U.S. failure for much of the past 20 years, and Biden has made some of those blunders. But this summer, at least, Biden seems to have learned something from his past Iraqi mistakes — even as he makes tragic new ones in Afghanistan. – Washington Post 

Pari Ibrahim and Murad Ismael write: Since the Yazidi genocide was caused by entrenched racism and discrimination against our people, our community rightly fears an Islamic State resurgence and an uncertain future. To confront root causes, Iraq must create a nationwide mandatory educational curriculum with recognition of the genocide and a positive, tolerant social history of the country’s diverse ethnic and religious traditions. – Washington Post 

Michael Knights writes: Unlike Iraq’s last two premiers, who protested that they were dragged reluctantly to the throne, I sense that Kadhimi wants to be prime minister for a full term. This was an important mental hurdle to overcome because Iraq needs a premier with allies, a plan, and a desire to govern. This is no time for pretense or humility; Iraq needs leadership. On this trip, Kadhimi was unapologetic about how he has proceeded thus far and clear about his plans for a second term. – Washington Institute  

David Rosenberg writes: The headlines coming out of U.S. President Joe Biden’s meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi last week were about the largely symbolic decision to end America’s “combat mission” in the country by the end of 2021. For ordinary Iraqis, however, a video by 17-year-old Ali Adil, who lives in the town of Hila some 110 kilometers (70 miles) south of Baghdad, better addressed Iraq’s real problems. – Haaretz  

Nancy Ezzeddine and Erwin van Veen write: Despite the weakening of the PMF as an organizational entity, most factions understand that their strength lies in unity and that not standing up for one another might be fatal in the long run. For example, major Shiite political figures linked to the PMF, like Ameri and Maliki,  jointly lobbied behind the scenes on behalf of Musleh, facilitating his release. Despite the growing divisions between factions, the urgency of expediting Musleh’s release reflected their continuing shared interests. – War on the Rocks  


Lebanon is on the verge of collapse. There is little reason to believe the latest attempt to form a government will be different from past failures. The harsh reality is that no political or military decision in Lebanon can be made without Hezbollah’s approval. – Jerusalem Post  

Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun said on Tuesday he was fully supportive of an impartial investigation on last summer’s Beirut port blast. – Reuters  

Senior Lebanese officials knew of the risks posed by the highly explosive material stored for years at Beirut’s port and did nothing to protect the public against it, an international human rights group said Tuesday. – Associated Press  

Sally Abi Khalil writes: As we collectively continue to rebuild in Beirut, there must be justice for all those who lost their lives and all those who continue to battle through this shattered city’s recovery. Yet the corrupt system built by Lebanon’s elite has shielded them from accountability. Those implicated must be tried and jailed. We need urgent reforms, an end to impunity for the political ruling class, continued aid and a real plan to rebuild. Without these, there is no justice or just recovery in sight. – Washington Post  

Dalal Yassine writes: As the international community observes the 70th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention, refugees in Lebanon have been left to face the country’s political, economic, and health crises alone. Rather than continue the policies that resulted in the current situation, the international community needs to adopt a new approach — one that does more to protect the most vulnerable. – Middle East Institute   

Mohamad Bazzi writes: Despite the currency collapse and shortages of basic necessities, Lebanon’s sectarian leaders can’t agree on forming a new government because they’re still haggling over control of various ministries and state resources. – CNN 

Gulf States

These changes represent the latest steps taken by Saudi Arabia under its influential crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to curtail the authority of the religious establishment. While many Saudis may cheer the moves as further evidence that Mohammed is liberalizing the kingdom, the developments also reflect his continuing effort to consolidate power and clip the wings of anyone who could challenge him. – Washington Post  

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister indicated the kingdom has no current intention to join the Abraham Accords despite urging from Israel and other nations, reaffirming the kingdom’s position that Palestinian statehood is the best way to achieve peace in the Middle East.  – Bloomberg  

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Tuesday he sees an emboldened Iran acting in a negative manner around the Middle East, endangering shipping, arming Yemen’s Houthis and contributing to political deadlock in Lebanon. – Reuters  

The United Arab Emirates and China agreed to share intelligence to fight money laundering and terrorism financing, the Financial Intelligence Unit of the UAE central bank said on Tuesday. – Reuters  

Middle East & North Africa

One person died and three were injured when a fire broke out on a military bus in a heavily fortified army compound in Damascus early on Wednesday, Syrian state news agency SANA reported. – Reuters  

Egypt’s president called for an increase in subsidized bread prices as the world’s biggest wheat buyer looks to curb spending and cut the budget deficit at a time of accelerating global inflation. – Bloomberg  

A day after naming a new economy minister, President Kais Saied on Tuesday added Tunisia’s ambassador to the United States to a rash of dismissals, but he has yet to say who will replace the prime minister he fired less than two weeks ago or when. – Associated Press 

Moroccan human rights activists on Tuesday urged Rabat not to extradite a Uyghur man to China, citing fears he might face arbitrary detention or torture. – Reuters  

Dalibor Rohac writes: Of course, defending democracy is a difficult business. The EU is already having a hard time holding its own members accountable for corruption and rule of law violations. But helping Tunisia’s (or Belarus’s) democracy succeed is not just a worthy endeavour – it is acutely in the EU’s own interest. – Spectator  

Korean Peninsula

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un was recently photographed out in public with what appeared to be a large green spot on the back of his head, once again fueling speculation about his health — long a topic of global fascination. – Washington Post 

North Korea’s ruling regime sees no strategic benefit in improving relations with the United States and remains bent on developing nuclear weapons and advanced missiles whatever the outcome of talks with Washington, the top U.S. intelligence officer on North Korean behavior said Tuesday. – Washington Times  

Robert R. King writes: As a result, North Korean leaders are likely watching developments in Cuba much more closely than they might have done in the past. At present, certainly there is no indication that Cuba-style protests are in the offing for North Korea. Nonetheless, it is quite likely that some North Korean officials are looking very carefully at events and developments in Cuba right now. – Center for Strategic and International Studies  

Eli Fuhrman writes: This interest in Kim Jong Un’s health is understandable: Kim is the leader of a country in possession of nuclear weapons and a large stockpile of chemical weapons, where any instability at the top—including the sudden death of a leader who holds ultimate authority—could have dramatic consequences. The amount of attention paid to Kim Jong Un’s health, however, can at times prove to be excessive and threatens to detract from analysis of events involving Kim, the DPRK leadership, and the country as a whole. – The National Interest  


Hong Kong’s top legal official said businesses shouldn’t be “too worried” about China’s imposition of an anti-sanctions law on the financial hub, as the government tries to ease worries Beijing’s national security goals could impact operations. – Bloomberg  

John Ratcliffe, who served as director of national intelligence (DNI) during the Trump administration, is calling for the 2022 Winter Olympics to be moved out of Beijing because of a “cover up” by China regarding the origins of COVID-19. – The Hill  

Chinese state media, including the Communist Party’s flagship newspaper, toned down their criticisms of the video-game industry on Wednesday after a harshly worded piece had a day earlier triggered a plunge in shares of Tencent Holdings Ltd. and other companies in the sector. – Bloomberg  

Kristen Soltis Anderson writes: In 2022, all eyes will again be on China as the country hosts the Beijing Winter Olympics. While in 2008, Americans were split over whether it was wise to host the games in Beijing, views of China have soured greatly in the intervening years. The world has changed greatly. But for policymakers, even with rising unfavorability toward China here and around the globe, the case must still be made to voters that China’s ascendance should be a source of concern and a driver of action. – Washington Examiner  


Several explosions and gunfights rocked Kabul on Tuesday night as the conflict between the Taliban and Afghan government forces is intensifying elsewhere in the country ahead of the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces this month. – Washington Post  

The Taliban commander overseeing an assault on the key southern city of Lashkargah is one of 5,000 former prisoners released by the Afghan government last year under pressure from the U.S., Afghan and Western officials say. – Wall Street Journal  

The Taliban and the Kabul government are far apart in U.S.-backed talks on bringing peace to Afghanistan, with the insurgents demanding “the lion’s share of power” in any new government, the special U.S. envoy said on Tuesday. – Reuters  

The Afghan government is too weak to win a negotiated settlement without a new military strategy, the U.S. envoy to the war-ravaged country said Tuesday. – Bloomberg  

The Taliban has taken control of nine of the 10 districts in the Helmand provincial capital in Afghanistan as the insurgent group ramps up its advances amid the U.S. troop withdrawal from the region. – The Hill  

Helene Cooper, Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Eric Schmitt write: The White House authorization of one more bombing campaign in Afghanistan, just weeks before the U.S. military mission is set to end, has a modest stated goal — to buy time for Afghan security forces to marshal some kind of defense around the major cities that are under siege by a surging Taliban. – New York Times 

Toby Harnden writes: The Afghans came to see American forces not as advisers and allies, but as invaders and occupiers. Rather than working with established tribal networks and ethic leaders—including the so-called warlords—the U.S. sought to marginalize them and create a centralized democracy. Mission creep was rampant. Afghanistan became, variously, a fight to secure women’s rights, to extend education, to stop drugs destined for the West—to fix everything. – Wall Street Journal  

South Asia

India is sending a naval task force to the South China Sea this month to expand security ties with friendly countries, officials said on Wednesday, signalling its intent to play a bigger role in regional efforts to counter China. – Reuters  

Michael Rubin writes: Certainly, not all of their criticism toward Modi is unfair but that does not mean that every action his administration takes should be subject to automatic condemnation. The revocation of Article 370 was controversial, but it did not occur in a vacuum. While much of the world treated it with opprobrium two years ago, subsequent events show the Indian government’s move was both wise and prescient. – The National Interest  

Anjani Trivedi writes: If India wants to implement a China-style, top-down industrial policy, it has its work cut out. Opening up to foreign manufacturers would be a start, but it must learn to be nimble as successes mount. […]Old policies have not worked, so ultimately India will have to come up with new ones that are suited for the tough terrain. If foreign companies can smooth the way, that’s a helping hand worth grabbing.  – Bloomberg  

C. Raja Mohan writes: The presence of Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar at the inauguration of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran this week might simply be a matter of protocol and an unremarkable expression of mutual goodwill. But as Afghanistan descends into crisis following the withdrawal of U.S. forces, New Delhi’s long-term calculus on the regional balance of power is nudging it toward stronger strategic cooperation with Tehran. –Foreign Policy 


Vice President Kamala Harris will focus on defending international rules in the South China Sea, strengthening U.S. regional leadership and expanding security cooperation during her trip to Vietnam and Singapore this month, a senior White House official told Reuters. – Reuters  

Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have appointed Brunei’s second minister for foreign affairs, Erywan Yusof, as special envoy to Myanmar, four diplomatic sources told Reuters. – Reuters  

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said his government has the numbers needed for him to remain premier and there is no reason for him to offer to resign. – Bloomberg  

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong again warned the U.S. and China to deescalate tensions, saying both powers presumed incorrectly they would win in any conflict. – Bloomberg  

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Tuesday the launch of a “strategic dialogue” with Indonesia, and Washington said the two countries committed to working together on issues that include defending freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. – Reuters  

Michael Mazza writes: The fundamental question is whether China, Taiwan, and the United States can find a new modus vivendi in the Taiwan Strait. Can a new arrangement secure Taiwan’s functionally independent existence, avoid creating regime-threatening domestic political difficulties for the Chinese leadership, and safeguard the U.S. position in Asia? Strategic clarity could ultimately help create the conditions for such a settlement to emerge. – American Enterprise Institute 

Anuradha Raghu and Anisah Shukry write: Malaysia’s first transfer of power in six decades was hailed as a milestone for transparency, free speech and racial tolerance in the multiethnic Southeast Asian country. […]The turmoil stems in part from an entrenched system of affirmative-action policies that critics say fosters cronyism and identity-based politics, while a state of emergency declared due to the coronavirus pandemic has hampered plans for fresh elections. – Bloomberg  

Joseph Bosco writes: Austin did have one solid achievement on his Indo-Pacific visit. After meeting with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, the two announced that the termination letter for the Visiting Forces Agreement was now withdrawn and bilateral security cooperation will proceed uninterrupted. – The Hill 


A Russian court has sentenced Lyubov Sobol, a close ally of opposition leader Alexey Navalny, to 18 months under parole-like restrictions for protests against the government, The Associated Press reported. – The Hill  

Forty percent of Russians consider the country’s controversial “foreign agents” law a tool for authorities to pressure nongovernmental organizations, according to new research by the Levada Center, a Moscow-based pollster. The figure represents a 10 percent rise on last year’s public skepticism of the legislation. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty  

Russia has invested heavily into hypersonic weapons technology in prior years—many of these new systems, including the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missile and Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, have already entered service, albeit in relatively small quantities. Others, like the Tsirkon winged, anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile, are in the latter stages of state trials. – The National Interest  


The European Union has begun withholding funds from Poland and Hungary, escalating the battle over democratic standards that is deepening the East-West divide in the bloc. – Wall Street Journal  

On Sunday, members of the Belarusian team in Tokyo took Ms. Tsimanouskaya to the airport in an attempt to send her home against her will after she publicly criticized the country’s national Olympic coaches. – Wall Street Journal  

Instead, the gulf between the two rebel member countries and the EU’s political core over the bloc’s values seems to be growing even wider. All of which prompts a fundamental question: How does this end? Here are five possible scenarios. – CNBC  

Chinese applicants to U.K. universities now outstrip the total number of would-be students from the European Union, highlighting the impact of Brexit and the sector’s growing reliance on China even as relations cool between London and Beijing. – Bloomberg  

A carrier strike group led by HMS Queen Elizabeth had its automatic identification system (AIS) position faked, researchers discovered. […]The revelations about AIS come at a time of heightened concern about the security of satellite navigation signals on which many systems, including AIS, depend though GPS has not been implicated in the fake AIS tracks. – BBC 

Tom Rogan writes: All of this reflects the prime minister’s calculated effort to woo Biden. Johnson wants to retain influence with Washington and mitigate any economic or strategic weakening caused by Britain’s separation from the European Union. But it now appears that Johnson wants to have his cake and eat it. He’ll talk a big game and make a big show, but when it comes to China, Johnson is Captain Kowtow. – Washington Examiner  

Tadeusz Giczan writes: After the crackdown on the opposition, private business, and non-governmental organizations, the next in line will be civil officials and directors of state-owned enterprises whom Lukashenka and his new praetorians have considered insufficiently loyal. It is clear for almost everyone in the country that without a political overhaul there will be no return to normal. Instead, ill-considered acts of state will increase until one day the regime, devoid of checks and balances, makes the ultimate mistake. – Center for European Policy Analysis  

François Venne writes: So it is with the transatlantic alliance and China, where a growing authoritarian power has used its dictatorial machinery to confound and sometimes outpace a complacent democratic world. Only now are the two great democratic powers, the United States and the European Union (EU), beginning to fight back through trade and investment deals, to strengthen the free world against the unfree. – Center for European Policy Analysis   

Stefan Vladisavljev writes: China has come to the Western Balkans to stay. Western efforts to limit Chinese influence and provide sustainable alternatives should continue, especially in countries like Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina that could be vulnerable to external pressure. China may someday translate its growing involvement in the digital infrastructure of the region into geopolitical influence. The West has an interest in preventing that from happening. – China Observers in Central and Eastern Europe  


A proliferation of pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, an expanse of the Atlantic Ocean stretching from Senegal to Angola, is driving a security-boat building boom in South Africa. – Bloomberg  

Aid workers trying to access Tigray have faced attacks and a blockade. The UN’s humanitarian chief has hit out at officials who accuse aid workers of being biased in favour of – and even arming – rebels in Tigray. – BBC 

Sudan on Tuesday approved a draft bill allowing the East African country to join the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court. – Associated Press 

Kidnappers are demanding a ransom of one million naira each to release around 80 children snatched from a boarding school in northern Nigeria last month, according to a pastor involved in the negotiations for their release. – Reuters 

Ethiopia suspended the activities of two humanitarian organizations working in the war-torn Tigray region as the conflict in the north of the country enters its ninth month. – Bloomberg  

Michael Rubin writes: The United States gave Ethiopia more than a quarter-billion dollars in 2021, and South Sudan has received even more. The Pentagon pays Djibouti tens of millions of dollars annually to lease Camp Lemonnier. Ironically, many of the countries that the United States showers with aid and assistance increasingly orient themselves toward the Peoples’ Republic of China. Still, the spigot of American assistance stays on, almost as if its administrators view gifting taxpayer money an entitlement. – 19fortyfive  

The Americas

The mastermind behind the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti is most likely still at large, said the country’s caretaker leader. He said he remained baffled by the ultimate motive a month after the crime shattered the nation and left a political void. – New York Times 

A Chinese national pleaded guilty, and another was sentenced to seven years in prison for a global money laundering scheme that laundered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of drug-trafficking organizations, including Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel. – Washington Examiner  

The UN General Assembly approved a resolution Monday establishing a Permanent Forum of People of African Descent to provide expert advice on addressing the challenges of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance. – Times of Israel  

Huawei Technologies Co.’s chief financial officer faces long odds as her extradition fight enters its final phases, more than two and a half years after her arrest triggered an unprecedented diplomatic impasse between China, the U.S. and Canada. – Bloomberg  

James Stavridis writes: The U.S. is understandably distracted with other global events: managing a military withdrawal from Afghanistan, its emerging great-power competition with China, a resurgence of Covid at home, and other difficulties. But a handful of relatively low-cost actions could help. Building a strategic plan for the southern Caribbean in tandem with Colombia should be at the top of the list, and Duque said he is hopeful of working with Washington on the challenges. – Bloomberg  

Jenny Beth Martin writes: The information flow is too large to allow for censorship of individual news articles or even individual news sources. So the only remedy for a communist government that needs to be in total control of the information flow is to shut down the Internet entirely – which is exactly what the communist government of Cuba has done in response to the uprisings against it. – Washington Times  


The U.S. and many of its allies have restricted the use of 5G cellular equipment made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Now Beijing is doing the same to Huawei’s Western rivals. – Wall Street Journal  

Twitter is partnering with The Associated Press and Reuters as part of an initiative to help combat misinformation on the platform. – The Hill  

The future of Nvidia’s planned $40bn takeover of Arm, the British chip designer, is being considered by Boris Johnson’s government as UK ministers take an increasingly active interest in such deals. – Financial Times 

The U.S. government must improve its ability to protect systems vital for military and civilian operations, such as GPS, the Navy’s top information warfare officer said Tuesday. – C4SIRNET 

Javier Espinoza writes: The wrangling between Brussels and Big Tech has taken a notable step up over the past year amid rising European concerns over how the likes of Google and Facebook use their dominant market positions. While the administration of US president Joe Biden is now bracing itself to step up scrutiny of tech companies, EU regulators have been taking a harder line against the Silicon Valley giants over the past year by launching antitrust probes. – Financial Times 


The Biden administration is open to several potential ways to tighten a much-stretched 2001 law that serves as the domestic legal basis for the open-ended “forever war” against terrorists around the world, a senior State Department official told Congress on Tuesday. – New York Times  

Boeing’s MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopter will enter full-rate production later than expected, a U.S. Air Force program executive said Tuesday. – Defense News 

If the federal government ends up operating under a continuing resolution this fall, the U.S. Navy wouldn’t be able to buy the ships and weapons it needs in fiscal 2022, wouldn’t have enough money operate the fleet and might have to cut back on people, the Navy’s top budget officer said. – Defense News 

The U.S. Navy plans to design a new-generation fighter jet around different types of technology—as opposed to designing an aircraft and then trying to pack it with technology after the fact, a top admiral said. – Defense One 

If Congress mandates the Navy keep buying the current F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, the airframes will be in the fleet into the 2050s. But by then, the fourth-generation fighters likely couldn’t stand up to future threats, a service official said Tuesday. – USNI News 

With production coming to an end in four years, the Navy is working out a plan to sustain the E-2D Advanced Hawk command-and-control aircraft for at least another 30. – USNI News 

The emerging fleet of U.S. military Large Unmanned Surface Vessels (LUSV) are set to navigate the open seas, avoid other vessels and carry out complex directives from a land-based command center over a secure commutations network. What they can’t do yet is pump their own gas. – USNI News 

Long War

A military court on Tuesday convicted a Palestinian man with US citizenship of murder, for shooting dead a Jewish student in the West Bank. – Agence France-Presse 

On August 2, 2021, the pro-Al-Qaeda Al-Hikma (“wisdom”) Media Foundation released a manual providing instructions to supporters for carrying out lone-wolf attacks and advising how to prioritize targets and develop innovative plans and new techniques. – Middle East Media Research Institute  

An 8-year-old, American-born orphan who grew up under the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria was rescued from a Syrian detention camp last month. The girl, Aminah, was born to Ariel Bradley, a woman from Chattanooga, Tennessee, who was raised as an Evangelical Christian before converting to Islam and marrying a jihadist who moved the family to Syria. – Washington Examiner