Fdd's overnight brief

December 2, 2023

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News

Israel

Israeli forces moving into the militants’ stronghold of Khan Younis are entering a battleground of narrow streets packed with displaced Palestinians. In close-quarters combat, Hamas fighters there are defending their last major bastion in Gaza, home to its leader, Yahya Sinwar, and the location where Israel believes the group’s other leaders are hiding and holding hostages. – Wall Street Journal

The Biden administration will restrict travel to the U.S. by extremist Israeli settlers and others it holds responsible for undermining security in the West Bank. – Wall Street Journal

Among the 240 Palestinian prisoners and detainees released during the weeklong cease-fires between Israel and Hamas were 15 women who stood apart from the others: They were citizens of Israel. – New York Times

Facing a soaring death toll from Israel’s renewed offensive in southern Gaza, the Biden administration is trying to pressure its ally to minimize civilian deaths while stopping well short of the kind of measures that might force it to listen, such as threatening to restrict military aid. – Reuters

The Israeli army said on Wednesday it was reviewing a strike that harmed Lebanese troops in south Lebanon, an apparent reference to Israeli shelling that killed a Lebanese soldier and wounded three others the previous day. – Reuters

IDF Chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi on Tuesday hinted that the IDF is closing in on Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar as it has penetrated the heart of Khan Younis in southern Gaza. – Jerusalem Post

Israel revoked the visa of United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator Lynn Hastings amid growing tensions with the global body due to the Gaza war. – Jerusalem Post

Editorial: He has not provided any details, however, of who, exactly, will police Gaza, who will administer it, and who will rebuild it. Israel should take the initiative and present a vision and a detailed plan. It is never enough to say what you are against; it is equally important to say what you are for. This is especially true if Israel wants to maintain strong US support going forward. – Jerusalem Post

Adam Taylor writes: Any cuts to U.N. funding would come at a time of historic need. Even before the Oct. 7 attacks, UNRWA had warned of a budget crisis that could lead it to make cuts to services. By Oct. 15, UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini said that the United Nations was “on the verge of collapse” in Gaza. Even critics of U.N. action in Gaza would have to wonder: If it goes, what else could take its place? – Washington Post

Hugh Hewitt writes: Then again, Rhodes’s old boss, and Hillary Clinton’s, let his moral-equivalence flag unfurl briefly last month. Former president Barack Obama, only weeks removed from the Oct. 7 slaughter, urged people to “take in the whole truth,” asserting that Hamas’s attack was “horrific,” but “the occupation, and what’s happening to Palestinians, is unbearable.” Oh, and “all of us are complicit to some degree.” Obama appears to have gone quiet since then, perhaps in a nod to his party’s mainstream. – Washington Post  

Bret Stephens writes: Everyone could be a farmer but not the Jew, everyone could be a carpenter but not the Jew, everyone could move to Moscow but not the Jew, and everyone could have their own state, but not the Jew.” To which one can today add: Every victim of sexual violence should be heard; no condemnation of rape should ever come with qualifiers; “Silence Is Violence.” But not when it comes to Jews. – New York Times

Andreas Kluth writes: This refusal to discuss strategy as opposed to tactics, understandable as it is after the horrors of Oct. 7, must stop. And it behooves Israel’s best friend in the world, the US, to insist on it. Lloyd Austin and other American leaders are right to ask Israel the big question: How exactly will all this end? – Bloomberg

Gil Troy writes: US President Joe Biden spoke authoritatively in October – and should say it again. Hamas must be removed. Most Palestinians, in Gaza and abroad, support Hamas’s evil. Biden’s moral cry reflects just war theory. It’s the only realistic way of ending today’s humanitarian crisis in Gaza, while allowing Roni Krivoi and thousands of other Israeli survivors a shot at sleeping soundly at night, as they did before October 7. – Jerusalem Post

P.W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking write: Not too long ago, it was possible to plan military operations without giving much thought to a real-time social media and communication strategy, just as it was possible to scroll through Facebook without having to dodge first-person combat footage and depictions of wartime atrocities. Any doubt that online information would be a central concern in modern conflict disappeared on October 7. Wars of the future will be information conflicts that span the globe, sustained and aggravated by likes, shares, and lies. – Foreign Affairs

Robert A. Pape writes: The failure of Israel’s current approach is becoming clearer by the day. Sustained public discussion of that reality, combined with serious consideration of smart alternatives, offers the best chance for convincing Israel to do what is, after all, in its own national interest. – Foreign Affairs

Lt. Gen. David W. Barno and Dr. Nora Bensahel write: Real wars provide insights into the changing character of war that peacetime concepts and wargames can never fully reveal. The wars raging in Ukraine and Gaza show that the U.S. military should increase its preparations for large-scale urban conflict, expand the concept of air superiority to address the problem of drones in the newly contested air littoral, and work with the U.S. government to think through some of the thorny issues raised when private companies essentially become combatants. The wars in Gaza and Ukraine should be an urgent catalyst for the U.S. military to challenge some of its assumptions and accelerate its adaptation to the new ways in which wars are being fought. – War on the Rocks

Iran

Iran said Wednesday it sent a capsule into orbit carrying animals as it prepares for human missions in coming years. – Associated Press

Iranian authorities have arrested a popular singer who had criticized the government after he was handed over by police in Turkey, the official IRNA news agency reported Wednesday. – Associated Press

Germany is siding with terrorists in the Middle East, says an Iranian-American journalist and activist, Masih Alinejad, after government officials refused to meet with her publicly to discuss Iran’s human rights violations. – New York Sun

A handful of former United States military leaders have argued in recent days that the Department of Defense has not adequately responded to a series of attacks against U.S. forces carried out by groups with Iran’s backing. – Washington Examiner

Iranian security forces have used rape and other types of sexual abuse to intimidate protesters during the crackdown on nationwide protests that started in September last year under the banner of “Women, Life, Freedom,” Amnesty International said in a report published on December 6. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Ali Ahmadi writes: Perhaps a broader campaign targeting the financial institutions that serve the teapot refineries can be more effective, but that would require a wider targeting of the Chinese financial system than Washington is ready for at this time. Yet it’s also important to point out that the Trump administration had opportunities to take all of these steps—but it did not do so, either. – Foreign Policy

Russia & Ukraine

U.S. negotiators made a fresh offer to Russia in recent weeks to secure the release of detained Americans Evan Gershkovich and Paul Whelan, but Moscow rejected the American proposal, the U.S. State Department said Tuesday. – Wall Street Journal

Prosecutors in Ukraine have started a war crimes investigation into whether Russian troops shot dead two Ukrainian soldiers who were in the act of surrendering, the latest episode in which the government in Kyiv has accused Moscow of violating the Geneva Conventions. – New York Times

President Biden’s urgent push to replenish Ukraine’s war chest and send aid to Israel is on the brink of collapse in the Senate, where Republicans are prepared on Wednesday to block the funding unless Democrats agree to add strict measures to clamp down on migration at the U.S. border with Mexico. – New York Times

The United States imposed fresh Russia-related sanctions on Tuesday, targeting a defense procurement network consisting of people and entities in Belgium, Sweden and Hong Kong, among other places, as Washington cracks down on Moscow’s evasion of Western sanctions imposed over the war in Ukraine. – Reuters

Oleksii Tilnenko hoped this would be the year Ukraine drove Russian forces out of swathes of occupied land. As 2023 draws to a close, his southern hometown of Kherson is still being pounded by shelling and the front line has barely budged. – Reuters

Russian forces pressed on with a long-running drive to capture the eastern Ukrainian town of Avdiivka on Tuesday and both sides said they had made gains. – Reuters

When Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000, the outside world viewed those Russians known as “oligarchs” as men who whose vast wealth, ruthlessly amassed, made them almost shadow rulers. A “government of the few,” in the word’s etymology. – Associated Press

The failure of Western sanctions on Russian oil exports can be seen a short boat ride from the Greek coastal town of Gytheio, where two oil tankers with rusty hulls and a combined age of 57 years sit just meters apart from one another. The identity of the ships’ owners and insurer are elusive. They sail under the only flag in the world deemed by authorities to be “very high risk.” And the final destination of the profits from trading their Russian fuel is a mystery. – Bloomberg

Ukraine suffered the largest Russian drone attack in more than ten days on Wednesday as American money for military support may run out amid stalled aid talks in Washington. – Bloomberg

The Russian Navy has received two nuclear-powered submarines and a diesel-electric boat, according to Russia state media, with two more undersea platforms also scheduled to join the service this year. – Defense News

Editorial: The U.S. has provided Moldova with $80 million in direct budget support to offset record electricity prices last winter, as well as $220 million to strengthen Moldovan energy security. If the Kremlin rolls over Ukraine, it will regroup and aim to foment unrest in other parts of the former Soviet Union. Better to help Ukrainians stop Mr. Putin there. – Wall Street Journal

Editorial: More coordinated efforts to audit transactions and verify that merchants transporting Russian supplies are complying with the cap would also deter fraud and bolster transparency. Imposing a price cap on Russian oil was never going to bring about Putin’s defeat, but it remains a valuable tool for containing his ambition. Consistent application of the policy is still necessary to make it work. – Bloomberg

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. writes: The lack of direction engulfing the U.S. effort doesn’t arise from any innate hopelessness of Ukraine’s position, which is still enviable if seen in the right light. The Putin autocracy has fatally injured itself in Ukraine. Time is on the West’s side whenever Kyiv and the West are ready to start playing for the long term. But it requires a different sort of president than offered by today’s two front-runners. – Wall Street Journal

Marc Champion writes: The reality is that stability in Europe still depends on showing Putin he can’t achieve his historically grandiose goals of regathering Russian lands and spheres of influence that were lost in 1918, regained under Stalin thereafter, and lost again with the Soviet Union’s 1991 dissolution. The Kremlin is by no means done trying. Few empires have accepted collapse without a struggle, and Russia is no exception. – Bloomberg

Ben Hodges, Led Klosky, Robert Person, and Eric Williamson write: Many Western leaders proclaim that they will support Ukraine’s war effort for as long as it takes. This is a flawed conception of victory. Instead, they must do whatever it takes to help Ukraine defeat Russia as quickly as possible. Disabling the Crimean bridge, although a tall order, is within reach if Kyiv is given the right tools for the job. – Foreign Affairs

Aliide Naylor writes: “Russian forces seek to destroy Ukraine’s economy and independence, deliberately damaging fields and destroying Ukraine’s grain storage facilities and ports,” he said. “It is not just an attack on Ukraine’s economic security, it is a cynical assault on food security everywhere.” – Center for European Policy Analysis

Oleksandr Shulga writes: This is known in the Kremlin and makes it fearful of a possible future. If Russians shift from passive acceptance to overt resistance, perhaps propelled by demands that they become fresh cannon fodder on the Ukrainian front, the situation could change quite fast. Myths are a significant part of this multi-dimensional confrontation. Only a calm and scientific approach will provide unbiased data to detail the population’s mood swings and to predict the evolution of the Russia-Ukraine war. – Center for European Policy Analysis  

Marija Golubeva writes: This is the time for Ukraine’s advocates in the EU, the Baltic states, and hopefully the new Polish government — which should take power soon —to call on other Europeans to give Ukraine the historic chance that may otherwise be missed. If the decision on opening accession negotiations with Ukraine is hard now, it will be politically even harder in March, shortly before the European elections, when domestic audiences are likely to be preoccupied with other concerns. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Middle East & North Africa

Russian President Vladimir Putin heads to the Middle East this week in a rare overseas trip focused on global oil markets, the conflict between Israel and Hamas and the war in Ukraine, analysts say, seeking to widen any gap between the U.S. and the key power brokers in the strategic region. – Wall Street Journal

The United Nations food agency said Tuesday it is stopping food distribution in areas of war-torn Yemen controlled by the Houthi rebels, a move that will impact millions of people. – Associated Press

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has requested to purchase 18 manportable AN/TPQ-50 Lightweight Counter Mortar Radars (LCMRs) from the United States (US). – Janes

Michael Knights writes: This could give authorities more flexibility to link sanctions to individual negative actions. One option would be designating various Houthi leaders under Executive Order 13611, the authority used for blocking the property of individuals who threaten “the peace, security, or stability of Yemen.” In addition, Global Magnitsky sanctions could be used to highlight the movement’s egregious human rights violations. – Washington Institute 

Gracelin Baskaran writes: Saudi Arabia’s capital and development experience have been welcomed by African governments. Preliminary U.S.-Saudi discussions on partnering to advance critical minerals security is likely the start of many Saudi-centered alliances in the months and years to come. Over 9,000 people from across the world will congregate in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to advance these discussions next month. – Center for Strategic and International Relations

John Calabrese writes: The proposed India-Middle-East-European Economic Corridor faces multiple viability challenges, but none of them are insurmountable. The conflict in Gaza — a stark reminder of the persistence of geopolitics and of the havoc it can cause with even the best laid plans — will surely delay the project’s completion and might result in the northern route involving Israel being shelved indefinitely. Yet the core logic of linking European, Middle Eastern, and Indian markets still holds. And the appetite for following through with the project remains strong, especially on the part of India. In the words of Finance Minister Sitharaman, “IMEC is for the long term.” For that very reason, the stakeholders are unlikely to abandon it. – Middle East Institute

China

China’s military said on Wednesday it sent fighter jets to monitor and warn a U.S. Navy patrol aircraft that flew over the sensitive Taiwan Strait, a mission that took place weeks before Taiwan holds elections. – Reuters

China is ramping up a crackdown on online scams operated by criminal syndicates in border areas of military-ruled Myanmar in an effort that has included a shootout, confession videos and national TV broadcasts of arrests of high-profile suspects. – Associated Press

China-Mexico cooperation has great potential and huge room for development, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday as he met in Beijing with his Mexican counterpart Alicia Barcena, who vowed to strengthen bilateral ties. – Reuters

Something is rotten in the imperial court of Chairman Xi Jinping. While the world is distracted by war in the Middle East and Ukraine, a Stalin-like purge is sweeping through China’s ultra-secretive political system, with profound implications for the global economy and even the prospects for peace in the region. – Politico

Communist China is wielding a “magic weapon” to consolidate power at home and exert malign influence abroad, a memo by the House select committee on China declares. – New York Sun

Joseph Bosco writes: Washington should abandon the policy of strategic ambiguity first enunciated by Nye during the Clinton administration. Instead, Washington should declare that any use of force or coercion against Taiwan would bring direct U.S. military intervention and formal U.S. diplomatic recognition of Taiwan. – The Hill

Henry Sokolski writes: Similarly, most uranium ore is used to fuel legitimate civilian reactors. Yet, it too is critical to make nuclear weapons, and it is not currently tracked or safeguarded. Given that the government already tracks and sanctions certain oil and gas transfers—a daunting task—it’s difficult to understand why we don’t do the same for uranium and tritium. In the lead-up to the next Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference in 2026, the United States should close this gap. – National Interest

South Asia

Police in Nepal have detained 10 people they say charged unemployed youths huge amounts of money for travel visas, then sent them for illegal recruitment into the Russian army, an official said on Wednesday. – Reuters

The Taliban’s “abusive” educational policies are harming boys as well as girls in Afghanistan, according to a Human Rights Watch report published Wednesday. – Associated Press

Sri Lanka will get about $600 million, on a staggered basis, from the Asian Development Bank after the International Monetary Fund releases the second tranche of a $2.9 billion bailout for the crisis-hit country, an official said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Nishank Motwani writes: If there was any doubt, India abstained from the U.N. General Assembly vote in late October calling for a humanitarian truce. This is unsurprising, and to expect a different approach would be risible. But what is different is India’s boldness and the uncharacteristic firmness with which it has moved toward Israel; these underscore its confidence that its geopolitical context and emergence as a major player in global affairs, particularly checking China, means it is an indispensable and strategic partner. We should get used to seeing India play by its terms even if it dilutes its stance and rhetoric in support of the Palestinian cause. – Middle East Institute

Asia

Marking his first anniversary of coming to power, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahm admitted he was still struggling to win over ethnic Malay votes and acknowledged frustration over the slow pace of reforms. But he defended his unity government, saying it was now politically stable and able to fully focus on bolstering the economy and improving the people’s welfare. – Associated Press

Chinese President Xi Jinping will likely visit Hanoi from Dec. 12-13, according to people with knowledge of the plan. – Bloomberg

Philippine police on Wednesday named two men suspected of being involved in a deadly blast that killed four people during a Catholic Mass in a southern city at the weekend. – Reuters

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape said Tuesday he will sign a bilateral security pact with Australia during a visit this week. – Associated Press

Europe

Authorities in Croatia have arrested a man accused of engineering a cross-country fugitive escape that allowed a Russian man to get back to his home country — the latest move in a global cat-and-mouse game between U.S. authorities and criminal suspects with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. – Washington Post

Britain signed a new treaty with Rwanda on Tuesday which it said would overcome a court decision blocking its plan to deport asylum seekers to the East African country, a ruling that dealt a huge blow to the government’s immigration policy. – Reuters

Top EU officials will raise an array of concerns from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to trade irritants in a summit with Chinese leaders on Thursday that is expected to be long on firm words, but short on outcomes. – Reuters

Lukas Hermsmeier writes: It’s bad news for the government, too. The coalition, composed of the Social Democrats, Greens and Free Democrats, came to office in 2021 with a mandate to modernize the country and lead it in a progressive direction. Instead, with programs of fiscal restriction and stances of social reaction, Germany’s leaders are only serving the far-right party they claim to want to keep at bay. If they don’t change course, Germany’s reputation on the world stage could soon become something else entirely. – New York Times

Pankaj Mishra writes: Fearmongering over migration, Muslims, and climate change could propel demagogues from Greece to the Netherlands into the European Parliament next year. A Trump victory in November could headline a far-right capture of the democratic West. The world would then embark on a treacherous new phase in history. And those with still some hope for democracy might end up longing for less rather than more European unity. – Bloomberg

Alan Shatter writes: The previous week, the Dublin City Council, demonizing Israel and disinterested in the fate of hostages, refused a requested meeting by Dana Ehrlich, Israel’s ambassador to Ireland with Dublin’s Lord Mayor Daniel O’Connell. On Monday the same council unanimously voted to immediately start flying the Palestinian flag in Dublin for a week. – Jerusalem Post

Matej Kandrík writes: Slovakia’s friends in the European Union (EU) and elsewhere would do well to remember this, and should not trade Fico’s support for a broad consensus on strategic issues in return for a blind eye to his illiberal approach to domestic opponents and independent watchdogs. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Africa

At least 85 civilians were killed when an army drone attack erroneously targeted a religious gathering in northwest Nigeria, officials confirmed Tuesday, as the president ordered an investigation into the latest in a series of such deadly mistakes in Nigeria’s conflict zones. – Associated Press

A Mauritanian court handed down a five-year prison sentence to the country’s former President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz after finding him guilty of money laundering and self-enrichment, his attorneys said Tuesday. – Associated Press

Senior Hamas officials on Tuesday joined the family of Nelson Mandela to mark the 10th anniversary of his death and cast the spotlight on the Israel-Hamas war. – Agence France-Presse

The South African government has requested an urgent meeting with officials in Botswana after the neighboring country extended a ban on fresh produce imports that was set to expire this month. – Bloomberg 

Latin America

President-elect Javier Milei, known by the nickname “El Loco” since he was a kid, rose from university professor to social-media celebrity, making his mark as an economic libertarian and social libertine. – Wall Street Journal

Peru’s top court on Tuesday ordered former President Alberto Fujimori released from prison, where he is serving a 25-year sentence for human rights violations, defying an order by an international court that the South American country keep him behind bars. – New York Times

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday he would authorize oil exploration in an area subject to a dispute with Guyana, which said it would report his comments to the United Nations and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). – Reuters

Brazil’s military is reinforcing its northern border due to rising tensions between its neighbors Venezuela and Guyana over Venezuela’s claim to the Esequibo region, the Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday. – Reuters

United States

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Tuesday that the United States would be “responsible for Ukraine’s defeat” if Congress fails to approve the Biden administration’s latest multi-billion-dollar funding request for the war-torn country. – Reuters

The US House of Representatives approved a nonbinding resolution saying that anti-Zionism is antisemitism, with support from all but one Republican and a substantial minority of Democrats. – Times of Israel

Joseph Bosco writes: Several commentators have noted that the horrific recent events have created a moment of “moral clarity.” It should also be seen as a time of strategic clarity. Ukraine must be whole, free and independent of Russian pressure and interference. Israel and the Palestinian people must be free of Hamas and the corrosive influence of Iran, living side by side as separate, peaceful and independent states. Taiwan must be secure from the threats of Communist China — either Beijing must unequivocally renounce the use of force or Washington must unambiguously state it will defend Taiwan. – The Hill

Eli Lake writes: But Malley never learned the lessons of his father’s expired illusions—the bizarre fantasy that revolutionary violence would liberate the Third World. He has instead himself succumbed to the dangerous fantasy that engaging violent revolutionaries will persuade them to renounce their illusions. His security clearance may yet be restored and his name cleared, but Robert Malley should not be allowed inside the corridors of power ever again. – Commentary

Paul Krugman writes: As every trade economist knows, the GATT (and the World Trade Organization that grew out of it) does more than just protect nations from each other. It protects them from their own bad instincts. It will be hard to do something similar with newer forms of economic power. But to keep the world safe, experts should try to come up with regulations that have the same moderating effect. The stakes are too high to let these challenges go unaddressed. – Foreign Affairs

Derek Grossman writes: While the possible reelection of Trump in 2024 makes future U.S. policy unknown and unpredictable, Trump’s previous term demonstrated that his rhetoric did not translate into many substantive changes in policy and strategy in the Indo-Pacific. Coupled with China and North Korea’s rising threats and the strong momentum of the Biden administration’s push to shore up alliances and partnerships, this suggest that the most likely result of a second Trump administration would be continuity in U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy. – Foreign Policy

Cybersecurity

South Korean police are investigating whether a North Korean hacker group, accused of stealing data from 14 entities, obtained information on defence technology including an anti-aircraft laser, a Seoul city police official said on Wednesday. – Reuters

As generative artificial intelligence tools have become more widely available, many researchers and officials within the U.S. government have grown concerned that they might be used to power high-volume disinformation campaigns. – CyberScoop

Researchers have tracked more activity by an influence campaign linked to Russia that spreads disinformation and propaganda in the U.S., Germany and Ukraine through a vast network of social media accounts and fake websites. – The Record

Defense

The United States and Sweden on Tuesday signed a Defence Cooperation Agreement, the U.S. Department of State said, as the Nordic country strengthens military alliances while waiting for approval to join NATO. – Reuters

Japan, Britain and Italy will sign a treaty in Tokyo next week to establish a joint organisation and industry group for developing their planned advanced jet fighter, three sources with direct knowledge of the plans said. – Reuters

A U.S. senator is developing legislation meant to revitalize the U.S. commercial maritime industry, which he called an economic and national security imperative. – Defense News

The FPV kamikaze has become the signature weapon of the conflict in Ukraine, an improvised precision attack drone which gives precision lethality to the individual footsoldier. First introduced by Ukrainian forces, FPVs were quickly copied by the Russians and are now appearing in large numbers. Russian volunteer group Sudoplatov claims to be producing a thousand of the drones every day. – Forbes

David W. Kearn, Jr. writes: At the same time, while conventional needs should demand priority, Washington must also be cognizant of the threats and opportunities arising from emerging technologies, which will shape the ability of the United States to achieve its national security objectives over the long term. The current nuclear modernization program of record provides ample strategic deterrent capabilities and can be adjusted to address specific threats arising from the actions of China, Russia, and regional nuclear powers. But the sea-launched nuclear cruise missile is a costly, redundant program with minimal deterrent or reassurance benefits and thus should remain cancelled. – War on the Rocks 

Harrison Kass writes: The Su-35 has been deployed over the skies of Ukraine. Performing air superiority missions, the Su-35 has recorded at least seven air-to-air victories against Ukrainian jet aircraft (and one against a Ukrainian Mil Mi-14 helicopter). Multiple Su-35s are known to have been shot down over Ukraine. Two of the downed Su-35s fell to friendly fire, from Russian S-300 surface-to-air missiles. The superiority of the Su-35 relative to Ukrainian aircraft is part of why the Ukrainians have pushed their Western allies for Western fighters like the F-16. – National Interest    

Long War

Europe’s security services are confronting a resurgence of terrorism threats, in a sign of how fallout from the Israel-Hamas war is rippling across the West. – Wall Street Journal

A U.S. citizen has been charged in Arizona over online comments that allegedly incited what police describe as a “religiously motivated terrorist attack” in Australia a year ago in which six people died, officials said Wednesday. – Associated Press

Karishma Vaswani writes: Better still, as Jones points out in her report, would be “finding a non-military strategy aimed at addressing the causes of radicalization and preventing the regeneration of militant groups.” None of this is easy, but it is all the more urgent in the face of rising resentment over the continued suffering in Gaza. It is an explosive issue and one that is ripe for exploitation by terror networks looking to find fresh recruits. Manila must be on guard. – Bloomberg

Tom Rogan writes: That the Biden administration is reticent to improve security at the southern border is strange for reasons of counterterrorism but also politics. After all, if a future attack does occur and those responsible are found to have infiltrated the border, President Joe Biden’s reelection prospects won’t prosper for it. – Washington Examiner