Fdd's overnight brief

August 9, 2022

In The News


Israel reopened Gaza’s only commercial crossing, allowing trucks carrying fuel and other vital goods to roll into the Palestinian enclave after a cease-fire with militant group Islamic Jihad ended three days of intense fighting. – Wall Street Journal

Close to one-third of the Palestinians who died in the latest outbreak of violence between Israel and Gaza militants may have been killed by errant rockets fired by the Palestinian side, according to an Israeli military assessment that appears consistent with independent reporting by The Associated Press. – Associated Press

With a cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants holding after nearly three days of violence, Gaza’s sole power plant resumed operations Monday and Israel began reopening crossings into the territory. – Associated Press

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday welcomed a cease-fire in Gaza, which ended a three-day bout of intense violence between Israel and Palestinian militants. – The Hill

A U.S. judge on Monday appeared skeptical that Ben & Jerry’s deserved an immediate injunction against its parent Unilever Plc to restrict the marketing of its ice cream in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, which Ben & Jerry’s said was against its values. – Reuters

The head of the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades Ibrahim Nabulsi was killed in an IDF operation in Nablus on Monday morning. – Jerusalem Post

Israel did not agree to release Palestinian Islamic Jihad prisoners as part of ceasefire talks to end Operation Breaking Dawn, a senior Israeli diplomatic source said on Sunday, hours after the hostilities ended. – Jerusalem Post

Gazans can choose peace and economic development, but if they do not, Israel will defend itself, Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement summing up Operation Breaking Dawn on Monday, a day after a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad took effect. – Jerusalem Post

A day after Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad reached a ceasefire following three days of armed conflict in and around the Gaza Strip, the terror group on Monday warned it may resume fighting unless Israel agrees to release two of its members. – Times of Israel

A United Nations human rights investigator defended Palestinians’ “right to resist” Israeli “occupation” after three days of fighting in which over 1,100 rockets were fired by Gaza militants at Israel. – Algemeiner

Israel’s defense echelon did not estimate that the routine arrest of Islamic Jihad terrorist Basa’am Asadi last week Monday would lead to a serious security situation. – Arutz Sheva

Editorial: If agreements, even informal ones, are to stand, they need to be honored. Israel can’t afford to let Hamas’s inaction against Islamic Jihad slide by unnoticed – that would send the completely wrong message after an otherwise immensely successful operation. – Jerusalem Post

Editorial: Right now, ahead of an election and in the wake of a military operation that disrupted the lives of millions of people, Yair Lapid needs to raise the flag of diplomacy – to speak in a loud and clear voice about the two-state solution and to offer a real alternative to Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12 years of despair and the threat to what remains of the hope of two peoples living side by side in peace. – Haaretz

Amir Avivi writes: The IDF and the rest of the defense establishment should apply the same principles they use in mitigating Iranian presence in Syria against terror organizations in Gaza with more firepower and less restraint, because Israeli civilians are at risk. In plain English, Israel should set out to eliminate the military capabilities possessed by terror organizations in Gaza, and not allow them to rebuild and grow between rounds of fighting. – Wall Street Journal

Benny Avni writes: Tehran’s proxy, the PIJ, suffered a major blow both to its military capabilities and on the public relations front. Yet, if and when the Islamic Republic decides to deploy its most powerful proxy army, Hezbollah, Israel’s battle is bound to be much more difficult. – New York Sun

Emily Schrader writes: This lack of intellectual honesty damages the credibility of news organizations, as well as the UN, and while Israel was successful in providing the real information behind libelous accusations, Israel and its allies must also work to call out the media for explicit bias and disinformation, such as in the case of Al Jazeera on the Jabaliya incident. – Jerusalem Post

Nadav Tamir writes: It should be understood and accepted that Norwegian and EU aid to the Palestinians is an Israeli interest and so is their intention to assist in the establishment of a Palestinian state. Well, there is certainly a story of hypocrisy here, but it is not of the Norwegians and the countries of the EU, but of Israel and its legal propaganda agents, such as Baker. – Jerusalem Post

David Horovitz writes: And, in the meantime, its relatively small investment in a proxy terror group on Israel’s southern border brought much of southern Israel to a halt for a week — including the pre-operation lockdown and the three days of fighting — and unsettled central Israel too. Just think what we can achieve, they will be musing in Tehran, if we unleash Hezbollah. – Times of Israel

Emanuel Fabian writes: The ceasefire began Sunday at 11:30 p.m., and despite several rocket launches in the moments after, Israel lifted all restrictions on the home front Monday at noon, opening roads, train lines, and border crossings closed for nearly a week. That is, until the next inevitable round of fighting. – Times of Israel

Alex Fishman writes: The challenges of locating Mansour, hiding in a saferoom among Gazan civilians, while avoiding large-scale collateral damage, were much more complex. Now Hamas will claim its prize for its role in Israel’s success. – Ynet

Mudar Adnan Zahran writes: Worth noting that there was a major call by Gazans for “a million-man march to topple the Hamas regime,” which was supposed to be launched on the 5th of August, the same day the operations began. – Arutz Sheva

Yonatan Touval writes: Last but not least, although the caretaker government under Lapid has neither the political will nor the public mandate to renew peace negotiations with the Palestinian leadership, it should signal its aspirations of reaching an eventual peace agreement by empowering the pragmatic and Fatah-led forces in the Palestinian Authority. And it should encourage rather than undermine the U.S. and other regional and international stakeholders in doing the same. – Newsweek


U.S. and European officials announced Monday that a text for restoring the 2015 nuclear accord had been completed and that negotiations were finished, saying Iran must now decide whether to take or leave the deal. – Wall Street Journal

A Russian rocket on Tuesday successfully launched an Iranian satellite into orbit. The Soyuz rocket lifted off as scheduled at 8:52 a.m. Moscow time (0552 GMT) Tuesday from the Russia-leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan. – Associated Press

The United States indicated on Monday it was prepared to “quickly” conclude a deal with Iran over its nuclear program, on the basis of a drafted agreement submitted earlier in the day by the European Union representatives in the negotiations. – Times of Israel

Former IDF intelligence chief and INSS Managing Director Tamir Heyman said that Iran had no idea violence was about to break out in Gaza this past weekend between Israel and Islamic Jihad. – Jerusalem Post

In the days before the August 5, 2022 Israeli strike on Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) military commanders in Gaza, PIJ secretary-general Ziyad Nakhaleh was in Tehran meeting with senior Iranian leaders. During the meetings, he stressed the PIJ’s increasing hold in the West Bank and its preparations to carry out terror attacks in Israel. For their part, the Iranian leaders reiterated their support for the PIJ and their encouragement of its armed resistance operations against Israel carried out from both Gaza and the West Bank. – Middle East Media Research Institute

Michael Rubin writes: Biden may be desperate and Malley deluded, but that should not be the IAEA’s problem. Should the IAEA acquiesce, the consequence will not be a renewed deal but a collapse of its credibility and, with it, the entire infrastructure surrounding the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. – Washington Examiner

Jason Brodsky writes: Raisi likely remains a leading candidate for the position, and there is some indication of security elements connected to him coming out on top of recent power struggles. Iran’s intelligence minister, a Raisi nominee, reportedly successfully pushed for the ouster of Hossein Taeb, a close associate of Mojtaba Khamenei, as the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ intelligence agency. But Raisi’s performance during his inaugural year certainly raises question marks. – The National Interest

Russia & Ukraine

The crisis over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine spilled into the realm of arms control on Monday when Moscow said it won’t support the resumption of inspections of its nuclear arsenal under the New START nuclear arms treaty because of travel restrictions imposed by the U.S. – Wall Street Journal

Out on the rolling plains of eastern Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, soldiers and commanders are pointing to these modest gains as a measurable result of Ukraine’s strategy of publicly, and frequently, making its intentions known to attack Russian forces along another front: southern Ukraine. – New York Times

The embattled city of Mykolaiv emerged on Monday from a 54-hour lockdown during which officers went door to door in search of collaborators who officials say are responsible for helping Russian forces identify targets for the rockets that pound the city daily. – New York Times

The Pentagon on Monday said it is sending Ukraine an additional $1 billion in military assistance, including tens of thousands more munitions and explosives — the largest such package since Russia launched its invasion in February. – Washington Post

The way to stop Russia from annexing any more of Ukraine’s territory, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday, is for Western countries to announce that they would ban all Russian citizens in response. – Washington Post

As Ukraine’s military ramps up its plans to recapture the strategic Kherson region from Russian occupying forces, pro-Russian officials are being targeted ahead of anticipated hostilities on the ground. The most dramatic case involves the head of the Russian-installed administration of Kherson, Vladimir Saldo, who according to various reports may have been poisoned by his chef. – New York Sun

The Kremlin said on Monday there was no basis for a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents at the moment. – Reuters

Russia’s military has suffered roughly 70,000 to 80,000 casualties since it first attacked Ukraine in late February, the Pentagon’s top policy official said Monday. – The Hill

A group of Russian airlines is stripping planes of spare parts as sanctions implemented due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine impact the country. – The Hill

A British defense think tank identified 450 unique microelectronic components in Russian military equipment left in Ukraine that appeared to be manufactured by U.S., European and East Asian companies. – The Hill

Amnesty International said it is standing by its recent findings that the Ukrainian military put civilians at risk by operating out of schools and hospitals, but the group on Sunday sought to clarify its report to appease an uproar from Ukrainian officials and Western diplomats. – The Hill

The U.S. is sending out an additional $4.5 billion in aid to the government of Ukraine, bringing the total amount of budgetary support to the country since it was invaded by Russia to $8.5 billion, the Treasury Department said Monday. – The Hill

Russia has likely tried to deploy “deeply controversial, indiscriminate” anti-personnel mines as Moscow ramps up its assaults on Ukraine, according to the United Kingdom’s defense ministry. – The Hill

A Moscow court on Monday ordered journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who denounced Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, to pay a new fine for discrediting the Russian army. – Agence France-Presse

Russia and Ukraine traded accusations Monday that each side is shelling Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. – Associated Press

Editorial: The secretary-general of the United Nations has announced a fact-finding mission. The truth must come out. Russia has already shredded key post-World War II rules against instigating aggressive war. It cannot be allowed to destroy restraints on the conduct of war, too. – Washington Post

Iulia Sabina-Joja writes: What does Putin want with his chaos? Fatigue and confusion, fissures and division. In a word, those things that help him achieve victory in Ukraine, even when his battlefield options seem to be dwindling. – The Hill

Alexander Vindman writes: In truth, the United States never had the influence to unilaterally change Russia’s internal politics. But it did have the ability to nurture a more promising outcome with a more willing partner in Ukraine. Unless the United States fundamentally reorients its foreign policy, away from aspirations and toward outcomes, it will miss an even bigger opportunity to bring about a peaceful, democratic Eastern Europe. – Foreign Affairs


Afghanistan’s ministry of education sits on a chaotic thoroughfare in downtown Kabul, not far from the presidential palace. When I visited this May, I was able to walk straight into The main building without having to state my business or undergo more than a light frisk. The country’s four-​decade civil war is at its lowest ebb in years, and many of the capital’s draconian security measures have been scaled back by the new Taliban government. – New York Times

Nafeesa has discovered a great place to hide her schoolbooks from the prying eyes of her disapproving Taliban brother — the kitchen, where Afghan men rarely venture. Hundreds of thousands of girls and young women like Nafeesa have been deprived of the chance of education since the Taliban returned to power a year ago, but their thirst for learning has not lessened. – Agence France-Presse

Monesa Mubarez is not going to give up the rights she and other Afghan women won during 20 years of Western-backed rule easily. Before the hardline Islamist Taliban movement swept back to power a year ago, the 31-year-old served as a director of policy monitoring at the finance ministry. – Reuters

The 12 months since the chaotic end to the U.S. war in Afghanistan haven’t been easy for Joe Biden. The new president was flying high early in the summer of 2021, the American electorate largely approving of Biden’s performance and giving him high marks for his handling of the economy and the coronavirus pandemic. But come August, the messy U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan seemed to mark the start of things going sideways for him. – Associated Press

When the Taliban took power in Afghanistan last August, the lives of many residents were transformed. Over the past year, tens of thousands of Afghans have been evacuated out of the country, most girls’ secondary schools have been ordered to close and poverty is rising. But for the first time in more than four decades the country is also no longer engulfed in violence, while previously rampant corruption has been significantly reduced. – BBC

David Petraeus writes: The problem is that it is not clear that our withdrawal from Afghanistan has ended the endless war there, or even ended our involvement in it. And there is nothing to say we won’t get drawn back in somehow. As my exceptional colleague Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who led our diplomatic missions in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, among others, used to observe, “You can leave the movie theater, but the movie continues to roll.” – The Atlantic


Two more grain-carrying ships sailed from Ukraine’s Chornomorsk port on Tuesday, Turkey’s defence ministry said, as part of a deal to unblock Ukrainian sea exports. – Reuters

Western sanctions have given the Turkish metals sector a chance to serve as “warehouse and bridge”, the head of an industry group said, citing increased interest from Russian companies and also from EU companies seeking to sell to Russia via Turkey. – Reuters

Five of Turkey’s banks have started using Russia’s Mir payments system, raising concerns that it could be used to skirt sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine. As Mastercard and Visa have halted operations in Russia, Mir card payments will allow Russian tourists to pay for their purchases in Turkey. – Business Insider

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has called on Armenia to “refrain from new provocations” several days after Yerevan and Baku traded accusations over an escalation of violence in Nagorno-Karabakh that left at least three people dead. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hit out at Israel on Monday, accusing the Jewish state of killing children during its three-day operation against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group in the Gaza Strip. – Times of Israel

Nicolas Saidel writes: Compartmentalizing and resolving the EEZ issue could lead to the resolution of other Greco-Turkish-Cypriot disagreements and a more integrated Western-leaning regional architecture. Negotiating a maritime accord would help instill confidence between aggrieved parties and could lead to cooperation on important matters such as renewable energy, water scarcity, climate change and regional security. – The Hill

Anthony Grant writes: As more Russian-Turkish economic incentives coalesce, could Washington actually slap Ankara with secondary sanctions that target violations beyond American jurisdiction? It could, but a more likely scenario is that, as one unnamed Western official told the FT, governments could ask firms to reduce or even cancel their dealings with Turkish companies. – New York Sun


Demonstrators blocked roads as protests broke out in southern Iraq on Monday after power outages left many without electricity during scorching peak summer heat. – Associated Press

Doctors for an Australian engineer jailed in Iraq have privately warned the Australian government of fears that Australia will be repatriating “a corpse” if his condition continues to rapidly deteriorate. – The Guardian

Neville Teller writes: However, the recent mass political protests by Sadrists clearly demonstrate that Sadr is far from a spent force. It is obvious that with or without his parliamentary majority, Sadr, with his vast supporter-base, remains a force to be reckoned with, and will have to be take into account if Iraq’s political turmoil is ever to be resolved. – Jerusalem Post


The Razoni, the first ship to depart Ukraine under an U.N.-brokered deal, is looking for another port to unload its grain cargo as the initial Lebanese buyer refused delivery citing a more than five-month delay, Embassy of Ukraine in Lebanon said on Monday. – Reuters

A Palestinian security official was shot dead late on Monday in a refugee camp in southern Lebanon, three Palestinian security officials said, just hours after a truce between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza. – Reuters

On Monday, the Kohelet Policy Forum filed a petition to the High Court to block a potential future deal between Israel and Lebanon for sharing natural gas resources. – Jerusalem Post


Arrested in a yearslong campaign to extinguish opposition to the government, Mr. Abdelnabi was one of thousands of political prisoners held without trial for weeks, months or years for offenses as minor as liking an antigovernment Facebook post. – New York Times

Prime Minister Yair Lapid thanked Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for his country’s role in brokering the cease-fire that ended the weekend violent flare-up between the IDF and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. – Jerusalem Post

Khaled Dawoud writes: If free and fair elections were to be held for the presidency in 2024, and for the parliament in 2025, that would permit the Egyptian people to actually decide what kind of economic and political reforms are most needed — and not necessarily what the elites ultimately agree on in what is expected to be a lengthy political dialogue. Until then, the ball is in the regime’s court to prove whether its call for political reform was serious or just a short-term tactic aimed at weathering a storm of complicated domestic, regional, and international conditions. – Middle East Institute


Yemen’s internationally recognised government accused the Iran-aligned Houthi movement on Monday of failing to reopen roads to the besieged city of Taiz, a key element of a truce agreed between them. – Reuters

Six Iranian and Lebanese rocket scientists, along with dozens of Houthi militia members were killed in two blasts in a military camp near Sana’a, Yemen on Monday, Arab media reported. – Jerusalem Post

Gerald M. Feierstein writes: Any measures that safeguard lives and enhance the possibility of peace in Yemen are to be welcomed, and this ceasefire agreement is no exception. But the reality remains, as it has from the beginning of the conflict, that the fighting will not be brought to a sustained conclusion until meaningful pressure is applied on the Houthis to deny them a military victory and force them to accept a political resolution to the war they launched in 2014. – Middle East Institute

Saudi Arabia

More than 100 executions have been carried out this year in Saudi Arabia at a pace that could see a record number of prisoners subjected to the death penalty in the kingdom, according to a new report. – New York Post

Since the visit of President Joe Biden, more Israelis are convinced that the United States takes their security into account while negotiating with Iran, but fewer believe Washington will help advance a peace agreement between the Jewish state and Saudi Arabia, according to a poll released Monday. – Algemeiner

Eric Lynn writes: In the meantime, I am confident that my colleagues will keep their eyes on the prize and the Saudis will help us in this time of energy crisis. The president was right to travel to Saudi Arabia and I wish him success with future engagements, but the US should not have to ask twice. – Jerusalem Post

Middle East & North Africa

The trial opened Monday in Libya’s western city of Misrata of 56 suspected Islamic State group militants captured after the 2016 fall of its bastion Sirte. – Agence France-Presse

Sophie Fullerton writes: It’s clear these influencers don’t want to deal with the political and ethical implications of their travel. We can’t police people’s consciences. But we can question whether the companies sponsoring such tourism are violating the sanctions placed on the regime because of its human rights violations. – Washington Post

Sabina Henneberg writes: Washington can support stability in Tunisia without sacrificing its commitment to democracy. By coordinating with European partners to encourage reforms and leverage critical economic assistance, and by doubling down on civil society and human rights, Washington can help prevent a worst-case scenario. Such efforts would also contribute to preventing destabilization across the region. – Washington Institute

Korean Peninsula

Once hailed as a symbol of peace between the Koreas, a floating hotel in a resort area is being destroyed by the North Korean government. Mount Kumgang, whose name is Korean for “Diamond,” has been a site for rare moments of reconciliation between citizens of the two countries, who are still technically at war. – CNN

Tornado Cash, a popular cryptocurrency service that allows users to mask their transactions, was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department after North Korean hackers relied on it to launder illicit gains, officials announced on Monday. The sanctions bar American companies and individuals from doing business with it. – Bloomberg

South Korea’s education minister offered to resign over a plan to reduce the school entry age a year to five, which ignited a backlash and dented already weak support for President Yoon Suk Yeol. – Bloomberg


China has replaced terrorism as the biggest challenge facing the U.S. intelligence community, according to a senior CIA official. – Washington Examiner

As China waged extensive military exercises off of Taiwan last week, a group of American defense experts in Washington was focused on their own simulation of an eventual — but for now entirely hypothetical — US-China war over the island. – Bloomberg

An annual joint fighter jets exercise between Thailand and China will resume later this month after being put on hold for two years during the pandemic, the Thai air force said, with a former U.S. air base chosen to host the event. – Reuters

From a Chinese soy sauce maker to an Asia-focused asset manager, companies in China are rushing to distance themselves from geopolitical tensions over Taiwan following last week’s visit to the island by a high-profile U.S. official. – Reuters

China’s economic measures against Taiwan are unlikely to have a major impact on trade between the two economies given how closely they’re intertwined, a finance ministry official said. – Bloomberg

Xi Jinping finally has something that eluded him for almost a decade: a trusted confidante at the top of China’s police ministry. Wang Xiaohong’s appointment as public security minister in June marked another breakthrough for Xi in his relentless consolidation of power since being appointed head of the Chinese Communist party and its Central Military Commission in 2012. – Financial Times

Alexander Gabuev writes: China could overreach by pushing Russia too hard and too fast, which might result in a nationalistic backlash and put pressure on Putin to resist Chinese demands. But a real change in the relationship would require a willingness on the Kremlin’s part to fully free itself from China’s firm embrace and Western openness to reengage with Russia. And for the foreseeable future, neither of those developments seems likely. – Foreign Affairs

South Asia

China criticized Sri Lanka’s decision to delay the docking of a Chinese survey ship at one of its ports after India, citing potential security risks, objected to the vessel’s arrival. – Wall Street Journal

Bangladesh’s finance minister has warned that developing countries must think twice about taking more loans through China’s Belt and Road Initiative as global inflation and slowing growth add to the strains on indebted emerging markets. – Financial Times

Andy Mukherjee writes: Worse still, what starts out as voluntary may become mandatory if platforms start denying some services without identity checks, depriving whistleblowers and political dissidents of the right to anonymity. Since that wasn’t exactly a bug in the rejected law, expect it to be a feature of India’s upcoming privacy regime as well. – Bloomberg


Taiwan’s foreign minister accused China on Tuesday of using U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taipei as a pretext for launching large-scale military drills in preparation for an eventual invasion. – Washington Post

The United States is doubling down on its investment in the Pacific, said U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on Tuesday as she concluded a five-nation visit to the region. – Associated Press

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen told visiting St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves on Monday that she was moved by his determination to visit Taiwan, despite China’s recent military exercises around the self-ruled island. – Reuters

The U.S. deputy secretary of state said Monday the prime minister of the Solomon Islands “missed an important opportunity” by failing to attend a memorial service to mark the anniversary of a key World War II battle, amid concerns the South Pacific island nation is building closer ties with China. – Associated Press

Taiwanese people “must be re-educated” to ensure their submission to the mainland Chinese regime, according to a prominent Chinese diplomat who admitted that public opinion in Taiwan has turned against Beijing. – Washington Examiner

President Biden on Monday said he’s “not worried” about China’s aggressive response to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) trip last week to Taiwan, adding that he doesn’t think things will escalate any further between the U.S. and Beijing. – The Hill

Beijing’s aggression toward Taiwan is a part of a broader strategy to create a “new normal,” according to a senior U.S. defense official. – Washington Examiner

About 20 Chinese and Taiwanese navy boats held close to the median line of the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday morning, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters. – Reuters

Editorial: Despite the betrayal, after 1979 Taiwan pulled itself up by its own bootstraps, reformed its governing institutions, and launched a free-market “economic miracle” that, the FT reports, transformed the island nation “into one of Asia’s most vibrant democracies.”  Today the mood is “starkly different.” A Taiwanese official says: “We have been working so hard to make Taiwan better. But right now, it is difficult to be optimistic about the future.” – New York Sun

Editorial: The U.S. must urgently prepare Taiwan and itself for the war to come. The first objective should be to deter that war from ever starting. The backup objective should be to give Taiwan and the U.S. military the best chance of victory if the worst occurs. – Washington Examiner

Walter Russell Mead writes: Mrs. Pelosi is a master of American politics. If she wants the next few months of her speakership to be truly memorable and even historic, she will use her political skills and the power of her office to build liberal Democratic support for the kind of military buildup and alliance diplomacy that is necessary to make Taiwan more secure and war less likely. – Wall Street Journal

Eli Lake writes: It’s bizarre coming from Mr. Trump, whose administration began to hold Chinese companies accountable for their secretive accounting and led a campaign to persuade allies to boycott Communist China’s Huawei corporation in the construction of the 5G wireless grid. When the Trump administration approved an arms sale to Taiwan in 2020, Chinese officials made similar threats. Mr. Trump wasn’t deterred then. So why is he now sounding like an appeaser? – New York Sun

Gideon Rachman writes: But the fact that an invasion of Taiwan would be reckless and immoral does not mean it will never happen. As Russia’s attack on Ukraine demonstrates, nationalism, authoritarianism and resentment of US power can be a powerful and dangerous combination. As they contemplate a conflict over Taiwan, Beijing and Washington feel obliged to talk and act tough. Each side hopes that the other is bluffing. Let us hope they are both right. – Financial Times

Ya-Ping (Abby) Lee writes: Taiwan would like to thank G7 member states, the foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and its many good friends around the world for supporting peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the Indo-Pacific region. We call on all fellow democracies to stand in unity because we believe that no matter the odds, no matter the obstacles in our path, democracies will always stand as one and the democratic way of life will prevail. – Ynet

Joseph Bosco writes: In addition to keeping Taiwan’s ports open and functioning, Biden’s other major task is to launch a major information campaign to get the truth to the Chinese public about Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet, Xinjiang and other issues Communist leaders have lied about for decades. As the Tiananmen Square massacre demonstrated, Chinese leaders fear their people more than any imaginary foreign enemy.Going on information offense against Chinese tyranny is the surest way for the US to avoid being on kinetic defense. – Taipei Times

William Sposato writes: While China’s motives in indirectly targeting Japan are not known, the results are pretty clear. The surprisingly extensive military action is bringing a new sense of urgency to heighten Japan’s defense capability, substantially raise the defense budget, and, potentially, institute new rules that would for the first time allow preemptive military steps if Japan is at risk. It’s hard to see how any of these meet Beijing’s policy goals. – Foreign Policy


Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Monday escaped being humiliatingly booted out of his party, as the ruling Social Democrats (SPD) found his ties with Vladimir Putin did not breach its rules. – Agence France-Presse

Greece’s prime minister said Monday he was unaware that the country’s intelligence service had been bugging an opposition politician’s mobile phone for three months, insisting that he wouldn’t have allowed it had he known. – Associated Press

Norway is to curb electricity exports to Europe if water levels for its hydropower plants remain low in a blow to hopes that the Nordic country could help ease its neighbours’ energy concerns ahead of a difficult winter. –  Financial Times

When the chair of Georgia’s ruling party recently attacked the U.S. and EU ambassadors, it was the latest sign that the country has gone from staunch Western ally to antagonistic pro-Kremlin regime in a matter of months, with its bids to join the European Union and NATO now in doubt. – Foreign Policy

Sebastian Mallaby writes: Scholz has recognized these shifts and is responding, demonstrating the value of a leader with a plodding, empirical style. People in the former East Germany are nervous about antagonizing Russia, but a majority of the country backs the chancellor’s stand. So do Scholz’s fellow Social Democrats. As Lars Klingbeil, the co-leader of the party, put it recently, “Germany must lay claim to be a leading power.” – Washington Post

Gesine Weber writes: With France’s presence in the Indo-Pacific — more than any other European power — the United States could leverage both France’s experience and capabilities to offset China’s growing influence in the region while exploring ways to tap into European and Asian countries’ technological and economic prowess to expand each other’s security and resiliency. – War on the Rocks

Azeem Ibrahim writes: But this is all solvable. It Is a problem to which hard work, the ability to compromise, and the capacity to advance new lines of negotiation can be applied effectively. Liz Truss has negotiated with the EU before and knows how it is done. If she is soon elected as prime minister, she must approach Northern Ireland with confident determination, knowing that finding solutions where her predecessors did not would be a profound statement of the possibilities of her premiership. – The National Interest


The U.S. won’t ask African governments to pick sides in an intensifying standoff with other powers such as Russia and China, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in South Africa Monday, in a speech about the Biden administration’s strategy toward the continent. – Wall Street Journal

A London museum has agreed to return its collection of Benin Bronzes to what is now Nigeria after the priceless West African artifacts were stolen more than a century ago. – Wall Street Journal

Chad’s military government and more than 40 rebel groups signed a cease-fire agreement on Monday in Qatar, paving the way for reconciliation talks later this month as the Central African nation seeks a way out of a troubled political transition. – New York Times

A recent congressional push against Russian influence in Africa threw a bit of a wrench into Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s plans to improve U.S. ties with one of the continent’s leading states. – Washington Examiner

Ghana’s government is in talks over a loan of about $3 billion from the International Monetary Fund, according to two people familiar with the matter. – Bloomberg

Samson Mulugeta writes: The hydroelectric dam will double Ethiopia’s electricity output, enough to power itself and its neighbors, including Egypt. The dam project is designed to catapult Ethiopia as a middle-income country to make it one of the continent’s economic giants. Egypt has lobbied the international community to pressure Ethiopia to slow down the dam completion. But the United Nations Security Council has refused to take a stand. – Washington Examiner

Latin America

Planned policy shifts under Colombia’s new leftist President Gustavo Petro represent a “huge opportunity” in the fight against deforestation and climate change, United States official Samantha Power said on Monday. – Reuters

A Brazilian military request to buy Javelin anti-tank missiles worth as much as $100 million has been stalled in Washington for months due to U.S. lawmakers’ concerns about far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, including his attacks on Brazil’s electoral system, multiple U.S. sources told Reuters. – Reuters

Honduras is considering moving its embassy in Israel back to Tel Aviv, a year after moving it to Jerusalem, according to the Honduran foreign ministry. – Reuters


The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Monday against cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash for helping hackers launder more than $7 billion worth of virtual currency since it launched in 2019. – The Hill

After months of praise for Starlink and its role in keeping Ukrainians online amid Russia’s ongoing aggression, the US Air Force is making plans to work with the satellite internet company to support its operations in Europe and Africa. – Washington Examiner

The founder and former leader of Russian-based hacking group Killnet has stated that cyberwarfare will result in casualties, just days after threats against a major American weapons manufacturer reportedly came to fruition. – Newsweek

A Chinese hacking group simultaneously used six different backdoors against more than a dozen industrial plants, research institutes, government agencies and ministries in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine and Afghanistan, researchers with Kaspersky said Monday. – CyberScoop


An F/A-18 fighter jet that was blown off the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman into the Mediterranean Sea during bad weather last month has been recovered, the Navy announced Monday. – The Hill

For clues about how a U.S. Navy of the future may look, consider the 2022 Rim of the Pacific exercise. Yes, there was a traditional flotilla of 38 ships and 170 aircraft operating around the Hawaiian Islands. But among the massive collection of equipment were MQ-9B SeaGuardian UAVs streaming live video and data feeds back to command centers ashore. – Defense News

Jim Jones writes: The PACT Act will eliminate many of the problems that have prevented veterans from getting the care they need and deserve. Going forward, we need an attitude change among those in Congress who refused to support it. Voters should not put up with legislators who praise the service of veterans but vote against their health care needs. – The Hill

Rose Gottemoeller writes: The last thing the United States needs, as it is trying to prevail in new technologies, is a nuclear arms race. The wisest choice for Washington, then, is to modernize its nuclear force posture as planned while putting its main emphasis on developing and acquiring new technologies for military applications. A nuclear arms race is a sidetrack that is not in the U.S. national security interest. – Foreign Affairs

Long War

A senior Pakistani militant with $3 million U.S. bounty on his head has been killed along with three aides in neighbouring Afghanistan, three militant commanders and an intelligence official said on Monday. – Reuters

Marco Rubio writes: Further gains for African terrorists will mean terrible suffering for the people of Mali, Somalia, Nigeria, and more, and greater danger of attacks targeting the U.S. and our allies. The West must stay vigilant against this growing threat and work together to combat it. – The Hill

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury writes: In my opinion, America’s war on terror or war against sl Qaeda is a mixture of successes and falsehood. None of the US administrations have at all taken effective measures against Pakistan and its spy agency for patronizing terrorist acts and harboring Taliban jihadists, Haqqani Network and even al Qaeda. There is no sign of any action against Iran, when it is proved, the regime is giving shelter to key al Qaeda figure such as Saif Al-Adel. – Arutz Sheva