Fdd's overnight brief

December 6, 2022

In The News


Iranian officials said they were finalizing plans to overhaul the enforcement of laws around women’s dress, as hundreds of businesses in Tehran and other Iranian cities closed their doors Monday at the start of a three-day strike called by anti government protesters. – Wall Street Journal

Iran’s clerical rulers are likely to survive protests sweeping the country and could stay in power for years, the chief analyst for Israeli military intelligence said on Monday, prompting his commander to predict the enemy regime would eventually fall. – Reuters

Iranian shops shut their doors in several cities on Monday, following calls for a three-day nationwide strike from protesters seeking the fall of clerical rulers, while the head of the judiciary blamed what he called “rioters” for threatening shopkeepers. – Reuters

Confusion over the status of Iran’s religious police grew as state media cast doubt on reports the force had been shut down. Despite the uncertainty, it has appeared for weeks that enforcement of the strict dress code has been scaled back as more women walk the streets without wearing the required headscarf. – Associated Press 

Iranian activists and Western nations on Monday dismissed a claim that the protest-hit Islamic republic is disbanding its notorious morality police, insisting there was no change to women’s rights. – Agence France-Presse 

The head of Iran’s judiciary Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i has said that “some” of the death sentences given to an unspecified number of protesters in recent weeks for crimes allegedly committed during mass demonstrations—including “corruption on earth” and “waging war against God”—have been confirmed and “will be carried out soon,” according to reports. – Newsweek 

Iran has denied reports, originating with comments from a senior Tehran official this weekend, that its government has abolished the country’s morality police—under whose custody Mahsa Amini died. – Newsweek 

Almost three months of protests in Iran have left the clerical regime facing an existential challenge by shattering taboos and shaking its ideological pillars in a push for change that shows no sign of retreating. – Agence France-Presse

The United States said Monday it saw no signs that Iran was improving its treatment of women following reports that Tehran was scrapping its notorious morality police amid a wave of civil unrest. – Agence France-Presse

Iran has executed more than 500 people so far in 2022, far more than in the whole of last year, a rights group said Monday. – Agence France-Presse

Cora Engelbrecht and Farnaz Fassihi write: Abolishing the morality police could have made a difference immediately following Ms. Amini’s death, he said. But at this stage it only amounted to a desperate attempt to detract from protesters’ broader demands for an end to authoritarian clerical rule. If anything, he said, the moves of the government may serve to embolden more protesters, who have called for a three-day strike and nightly protests through Wednesday this week. – New York Times

Patricia Karam writes: How will it all end? The protestors show no signs of giving up, and the regime shows no signs of capitulating. Yet, while the brutal crackdown ultimately could squash the protests, this will only fuel the anger of ordinary Iranians — women, first and foremost — who are fundamentally opposed to the core tenets of the Islamic Republic. – The Hill

David Albright writes: In addition, the United States and its allies should build stronger defenses against missiles and other means of nuclear delivery, making it as difficult as possible for Iran to try to deliver a nuclear weapon against the U.S. or one of its allies. Governments and experts can undoubtedly develop a range of ways to deter Iran from building nuclear weapons and create an optimal package of measures. That effort should accelerate as the hope of a revived nuclear deal fades and the threat of Iran building nuclear weapons increases. – Institute for Science and International Security

Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, Dana Alexander Gray, Amin Soltani, and Frederick W. Kagan write:  This inconsistent reporting suggests that the regime may have either failed to coordinate its messaging properly or has not yet reached a consensus over whether to continue the morality patrol. […]The regime will likely maintain and continue enforcing its mandatory hijab law regardless of whether it abolishes the morality patrol, however. – Institute for the Study of War

Seth J. Frantzman writes: It’s obvious that there will always be challenges in reporting about Iran. It’s a complex regime that is also good at misleading the media; it is a fountain of misinformation. Therefore it’s worth following the maxim: Trust but verify. So far, it’s been hard to verify anything from Iran regarding changes to the morality and hijab laws and their enforcers. – Jerusalem Post

Russia & Ukraine

Ukrainian drones hit two Russian air bases on Monday, Russia’s defense ministry said, while Ukrainian officials hinted at a capability to strike deeper within Russian territory and Moscow launched a major barrage of missiles at Ukrainian cities. – Wall Street Journal

The U.S. secretly modified the advanced Himars rocket launchers it gave Ukraine so they can’t be used to fire long-range missiles into Russia, U.S. officials said, a precaution the Biden administration says is necessary to reduce the risk of a wider war with Moscow. – Wall Street Journal

The United Nations nuclear regulator is under pressure from Ukraine to detail how much its observers at the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear-power plant know about alleged Russian mass detention and torture of local staff. – Wall Street Journal

A strong majority of Americans continue to support sending arms and economic aid to Ukraine, according to a poll released Monday. But as the conflict drags into winter, Americans are divided over whether Washington should push Ukraine to reach a negotiated peace as soon as possible. – Washington Post 

Major Western measures to limit Russia’s oil profits over the war in Ukraine took effect Monday, bringing with them uncertainty about how much crude could be lost to the world and whether they will unleash the hoped-for hit to a Russian economy that has held up better than many expected under sanctions. – Associated Press 

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Monday denounced a European Union proposal to create an U.N.-backed special tribunal to prosecute crimes in Ukraine, saying his court was capable of effectively dealing with war crimes committed there. – Associated Press 

Russia’s defence ministry has said it has deployed mobile coastal defence missile systems on a northern Kuril island – part of a strategically located chain of islands that stretch between Japan and the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula. – Reuters

About half the region surrounding the Ukrainian capital will remain without electricity for the coming days after Russian missile strikes on power facilities, the Kyiv regional governor said. – Reuters

Ukraine was targeted on Monday by a new wave of fatal Russian missiles, the latest attack to disrupt power across the country and pile pressure on its embattled critical infrastructure as temperatures plunge. – Agence France-Presse

A long-time ally of President Vladimir Putin, Alexei Kudrin, said Monday he will be joining Yandex as the Kremlin seeks to tighten its grip on Russia’s top technology giant. – Agence France-Presse

Rock-bottom relations between the U.S. and Russia amid the Ukraine war are bleeding into one of the most high-stakes area of the relationship: strategic communication over nuclear weapons. – The Hill

Russia launched a fresh barrage of missiles toward Ukraine on Monday as it accused Kyiv of striking military airfields deep inside its territory. – CNN

Russian forces are expending their stockpiles of munitions at a greater speed than the country’s arms makers can replenish them, the top US intelligence official said recently. – Business Insider

Russia says that it will never cede control of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP), insisting that the occupied plant sits on “Russian territory.” – Newsweek

The United States recently began sending air defense systems and other supplies to aid Ukraine in the war against Russia, but one military expert believes the effort is too slow to be impactful. – Newsweek

Tens of thousands of Russian soldiers are now believed to have been killed in its war with Ukraine—a figure that is expected to impact the nation for decades to come. While exact figures are unconfirmed, it is thought Russia’s military losses are double the number of U.S. servicemen who died in Vietnam in one tenth of the time. – Newsweek

U.S. government officials were wrong in identifying spring—rather than winter—as the best window of opportunity for Ukraine to hit back at Russian troops in its territory, according to the Washington-based think tank the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). – Newsweek

Moskovskiy Komsomolets’ senior commentator Mikhail Rostovsky, who since the invasion started, has talked up Putin’s strategy, conducted an extensive interview with Professor Vasily Kashin, Director of the Center for Integrated European and International Studies at the Higher School of Economics. Kashin represented the ideal interviewee for Rostovsky, because Kashin lays out the reasons why time is working on Russia’s behalf in the war with Ukraine in a rational and not propagandistic fashion. – Middle East Media Research Institute

Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan write: And here may be a stark reality that the West needs to acknowledge. Just because Putin is losing on the battlefield in Ukraine doesn’t mean he is losing control at home. If anything, the most recent stages of the conflict have given the Kremlin an opportunity to further tighten the screws. The chances that domestic pressure could force him to seek to end the war are slimmer than the military situation suggests. – Foreign Affairs

Hal Brands writes: None of this is to be taken as an endorsement of the pernicious myth that Zelenskiy is trying to ensnare America in a shooting war: In a desperate situation, he is simply doing the best he can. Not least of the difficult truths the Ukraine war reveals, though, is that real differences can lurk within the most productive partnerships. – Bloomberg


U.S. weapons maker Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) and Israeli contractor Rafael have teamed up to create a high-energy laser weapon system, based on a technology already under development in Israel that could be market ready next year. – Reuters

Despite terrorist attacks claiming five Israeli lives in November, data released by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) indicate the lowest overall number of attacks in four months. – Jerusalem Post

Israeli and Emirati cooperation has placed the two countries at the forefront of space exploration, Israel’s President Isaac Herzog said on Monday in a speech at the International Abu Dhabi Space Debate. – Jerusalem Post

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday the U.S. will not shrink from its unwavering support for Israel despite stark differences with Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu and concerns the Biden administration may have about potential members of his incoming right-wing government. – Associated Press

A top Israeli intelligence official said Monday he believed the escalating situation in the West Bank would only get worse in the coming year and that Israel was not merely facing a “wave of terror,” as many officials have described it. – Times of Israel

Israel’s Elbit Systems was among the world’s top arms manufacturers last year, leading a Middle Eastern region that saw weapons sales grow more than anywhere else in the world, according to research published Monday. – Agence France-Presse

A gun battle broke out between Israeli security personnel and Palestinian Arab terrorists in the Dheisheh refugee camp south of Bethlehem Monday morning, during an IDF operation to arrest wanted terrorists in the area. – Arutz Sheva

Al Jazeera on Tuesday said it filed a lawsuit at the International Criminal Court against Israeli forces over the killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot during an Israeli raid in the West Bank in May. – Reuters

Lior Lehrs writes: The combination of recent and increasing instability in the West Bank, the tensions in eastern Jerusalem and the fears of extreme and dangerous policies promoted by some members of the new government create a particularly volatile mix and any unusual incident on the Temple Mount could trigger a flare-up. This state of play underscores the critical importance of preventing escalation at this sensitive site and instituting permanent and effective coordination and dialogue mechanisms between all parties involved. – Jerusalem Post

Shlomo Roiter Jesner writes: Ignoring or worse, boycotting, Israel’s new government, no matter how right-wing or extreme, is precisely the move many in the incoming government anticipate in order to both justify their anti-European narrative and policies which emphasize why Jewish interests must be placed above all else. – Jerusalem Post

Aaron Lerner writes: It is one thing for an American official to brief reporters that if we annex Area C that the U.S. won’t veto UN Security Council Resolutions condemning the move and even possibly allow the imposition of sanctions against the Jewish State. It is quite another to essentially threaten us with death. With extinction. […]But regardless of the source, it is dangerous talk. In another time we would certainly hear American voices from both sides of the aisle condemning such talk. And now? Where are they? – Arutz Sheva


A roadside bomb went off near a bus with government employees during rush hour on Tuesday morning in northern Afghanistan, killing six people, a Taliban official said. – Associated Press

A member of the militant Islamic State group has been arrested in last week’s shooting attack targeting the Pakistani Embassy in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul, the spokesman of the Taliban government said. – Associated Press

The acting defence minister of the Afghan Taliban has met the president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, for talks in Abu Dhabi on strengthening relations, his ministry and UAE state media reported on Monday. – Reuters

As desperate mothers hurled their babies over razor-sharp concertina-wired airport gates during the chaotic U.S. military withdrawal of Afghanistan that left many stranded, Marine veteran Chad Robichaux sprang into action, spearheading the largest known private civilian evacuation effort. Last week, Robichaux received a record from Congress honoring his perilous expedition deep behind Taliban lines, which was conducted with a dozen special operations veterans and saw the successful evacuation of an estimated 17,000 people. – Washington Examiner

Leif Babin writes: History books will tell the story of the withdrawal from Afghanistan before the 20th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in American history, but the negative repercussions of that misplaced leadership decision will continue to reverberate on U.S. foreign policy and world stability for years to come. – FOX News

Gulf States

United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan on Monday visited Qatar for the first time since launching a three-year boycott of its Gulf neighbor, a sign of thawing regional tensions as the FIFA World Cup is held there. – Wall Street Journal

The United Arab Emirates and Ukraine agreed on Monday to begin talks on a bilateral trade deal, expected to conclude by the middle of next year, the UAE’s economy ministry said. – Reuters

Simon Henderson writes: For Washington, MbZ’s trip will help its continuing diplomatic efforts to improve relations with and between Gulf Arab partners. One priority has been to improve the network of radars and air defenses protecting these states from their bellicose neighbor just across the Gulf, Iran. The latest bout of diplomacy will probably facilitate that task. Overall, though, recent events seem more like an advance than a major breakthrough. – Washington Institute

Middle East & North Africa

President Isaac Herzog left Bahrain on Monday morning and landed in the United Arab Emirates for the second leg of his trip to meet with Israel’s allies in the Gulf. – Times of Israel

A Turkish military vehicle ran over a woman and a child in a northern Syrian town on Monday, killing them instantly and sparking protests by locals, opposition activists said. – Associated Press

The marriage of convenience between Iraqi Kurdistan’s political dynasties is on the rocks. – Reuters

Korean Peninsula

North Korea fired about 130 artillery shells off its west and east coasts on Monday, as the U.S. and its allies pressure the Kim regime to abandon its weapons programs. – Wall Street Journal

North Korea on Tuesday fired a barrage of artillery rounds into waters near rival South Korea for the second consecutive day in a tit-for-tat response for the South’s live-fire drills in an inland border region. – Associated Press

Members of South Korea’s ruling conservative party have proposed a bill that would place tighter restrictions on the voting rights of foreign permanent residents in local elections, which they insist is necessary to protect the country’s democracy from being undermined by Chinese voters. – Associated Press


In central China, students chanted demands for more transparency about Covid rules, while avoiding the bold slogans that riled the Communist Party a week earlier. In Shanghai, residents successfully negotiated with the local authorities to stop a lockdown of their neighborhood. And despite pressure from officials, a team of volunteer lawyers across China, committed to defending the right of citizens to voice their views, fielded anxious calls from protesters. – New York Times

Three years ago in Melbourne, Australia, Ronnie Li and other students from mainland China chanted in support of their government. They were trying to drown out a rally promoting the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, the biggest challenge to Beijing’s authority in years. – New York Times

About 200 protesters lit candles and shouted “Free China!” two blocks from the White House on Sunday in a show of support for demonstrations in China calling for an end to severe anti-virus controls and for political change. – Associated Press

Australia and United States defense ministers are determined to “counter destabilizing military activities by the People’s Republic of China”, they said in a statement after a meeting at the Pentagon. – Reuters

The Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday that some departments of the German government were prescribing the “wrong medicine” by politicising economic and trade issues. – Reuters

Revenues at Foxconn, Apple’s biggest manufacturing partner, fell sharply in November during a crucial pre-holiday period, in the latest signal of the damaging impact of its chaotic handling of a Covid-19 outbreak at the world’s largest iPhone plant. – Financial Times 

As protesters in China risk incarceration and possibly worse to demonstrate against the Communist Party’s “Zero COVID” policy, some in the United States are wondering how the lockdowns, compulsory masking, suppression of critical opinions, surveillance, forced vaccinations and closures of businesses differ from America’s recent experience — minus the extraordinarily harsh punishments the Chinese demonstrators may face. – Newsweek 

Three-quarters of Americans now view China as an enemy amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which nearly the same number fear could expand to involve the United States, a recent survey has found. – Newsweek 

Anon-governmental organization that documented dozens of undeclared Chinese “overseas police service centers” in September has now confirmed the operations of dozens more, a new report said on Monday. – Newsweek 

As the U.S. and at least a dozen other nations are scrambling to investigate reports of China setting up “police stations” abroad, some countries have actively encouraged the Chinese police ties, a new report from a human rights organization said. – Newsweek 

In a boost to interoperability, long-range Chinese and Russian bombers landed in each other’s airbases for the first time, as part of a joint air patrol. – Janes

China strictly adheres to its policy of no first use of nuclear weapons “at any time and under any circumstances,” its Defense Ministry said Tuesday in a scathing response to a U.S. report alleging a major buildup in Beijing’s nuclear capabilities. – Associated Press

Editorial: Whether you’re a policymaker or a patriotic American, we hope you’ll come away with two conclusions as you read the Confronting China series this week: first, that China’s threat is far greater and more diverse than is commonly understood, and second, that the U.S. government, private industry, and our civil society need to act boldly and quickly. Act, that is, to ensure America and its freedom-based international order can withstand China’s threat to shape the course of the 21st century. – Washington Examiner

William McGurn writes: True, it’s unlikely Congress will come up with solutions that will actually improve things, and some of the criticisms lack an appreciation for the realities of doing business in China. Then again, Mr. Cook has never displayed much regard for messy details when he’s the one doing the condemning. – Wall Street Journal

Henry Olsen writes: Apple won’t like the costs it incurs as it moves out of China. But staying undermines the very rules-based order it and others rely on. That’s a cost even the most bottom-line-focused companies can’t risk. – Washington Post

Zachary Faria writes: The next step would be for Cook to confirm that he and the company oppose slave labor and genocide and support the right of Chinese citizens to protest and for the company to stop restricting apps and iPhone features to suppress protests and please the CCP. Take your time, Tim. You’re welcome to join those of us who don’t have a net worth in the billions in standing for basic human rights whenever you like. – Washington Examiner

Weifeng Zhong writes: ​​If the trend of a scaled-back, spontaneous investment program run by yes men continues, perhaps BRI 2.0 may not become as big a threat to the liberal international order as it first appeared. Washington and its allies have been wanting to come up with an investment plan that can counter the BRI. As the Chinese program retreats and possibly falters, it’s time for the West to make a difference in the developing world. – Washington Examiner

Amy E. Gadsden writes: But in recent years, Chinese President Xi Jinping has reversed course on political and legal reform and China is now showing the strains. The protestors are showing that change is once again needed, the question is who will lead it. – The Hill

​​Tara D. Sonenshine writes: Even if China gets back to business as usual, it has drawn the attention of global media for its negative policies. So, expect China to start another rebranding campaign with its new, lighter COVID touch, as it is doing with its Confucius Institutes. Branding a nation is important work. – The Hill

Brahma Chellaney writes: The latest protests are a reminder that Xi’s own actions threaten to undermine communist rule, including by building a cult of personality around his one-man reign and by inviting an international pushback through his aggressive pursuit of expansionist policies. – The Hill

Robert Armstrong and Ethan Wu write: Tens of thousands of Russian soldiers are now believed to have been killed in its war with Ukraine—a figure that is expected to impact the nation for decades to come. While exact figures are unconfirmed, it is thought Russia’s military losses are double the number of U.S. servicemen who died in Vietnam in one tenth of the time.The idea that ESG investing is going to change the world by changing cost of capital remains dubious; the idea that companies with low ESG are more risky than those with high ESG scores is hopelessly ambiguous in absence of valuations; whether ESG labelling meaningfully changes the market’s response to those risks is up in the air; the conceptual muddles of the ESG industrial complex are not going anywhere; and none of this is getting better. – Financial Times


Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday set a new target for military spending over the next five years to 43 trillion yen ($318 billion), or 1.5 times the current level, as the country seeks defense buildup including the use of preemptive strike. – Associated Press

The main opposition party in Georgia has filed a court case calling for the imprisoned ex-president of the country to be released for medical examination overseas because of concerns that he is suffering from poisoning. – Associated Press

The White House said on Monday that the U.S. administration is continuing to work with Congress on ways to “reinforce deterrence” against any changes to the status of Taiwan. – Reuters

The US has proposed selling Taiwan as many as 100 of its most advanced Patriot air-defense missiles along with radar and support equipment in a deal valued at $882 million, according to a State Department notice obtained by Bloomberg News. – Bloomberg

John Lee writes: Yet this week’s talks demonstrate that the U.S. and its allies have genuine agency in determining the future of Asia. They’re also a reminder that as powerful as China is becoming, its weakness is that it remains a lonely rising power with few genuine friends and no reliable allies. – Wall Street Journal

Gideon Rachman writes: But even as they grapple with modern geopolitics, the Solomons are plagued by the legacy of the second world war. Unexploded bombs litter the islands and still claim lives. If the Aukus nations are looking for projects that might win hearts and minds, they might usefully focus on clearing up the damage from the last great power conflict to sweep over the Solomon Islands. – Financial Times 

Wes Martin writes: This wait-and-play-both-sides approach is out of kilter with the world’s big-picture politics since the invasion of Ukraine. The recent CSTO snub cannot be seen as a brave stance when Armenia profiteers from Russia’s sanction busting. Such a stunt may serve only to show Putin that Armenia’s allegiance cannot be taken for granted, while Armenia remains in the security alliance. If Armenia actually wants to align with the West, there is a simple way to demonstrate its interest: leaving the CSTO. – The National Interest

Paul Marshall writes: So far, Hindutva’s overseas influence is limited. It is usually manifest in seeking political influence in diaspora countries and support, financial and otherwise, for Hindutva activities in India itself. However, there are increasing threats to academics and others critical of the Sangh Parivar agenda. Finally, in the last two years, there have been incidents of violence. The situation is likely to worsen. – Hudson Institute


Russia stopped piping natural gas to much of Europe this fall, hoping to show Europeans that supporting Ukraine in the war might become too uncomfortable to bear. It didn’t count on Germans’ love of thrift. – Wall Street Journal

Europeans cut back sharply on their spending on goods during October, a sign that high prices at the start of a period of increasing energy usage are pushing the region’s economies toward recession. – Wall Street Journal

Finland’s government said on Monday it had asked parliament to formally adopt NATO’s founding treaty, thus preparing the country for membership of the military alliance once hold-outs Hungary and Turkey approve the application. – Reuters

Bulgaria rejected accusations that its border guards shot a Syrian refugee in October after a video released Monday showed a man being fired at on European country’s border with Turkey. – Associated Press 

A series of anonymous bomb threats in Croatia on Monday forced the evacuation of several police stations, shopping malls and courts, including the country’s supreme court during a meeting with a delegation from Ukraine. – Associated Press 

Three parcels containing animal eyes and addressed to Ukraine’s embassy in Madrid and consulates in Barcelona and Malaga were intercepted at offices of the national postal company, Spanish police said Monday. – Associated Press 

The EU plans to deploy its border agents in the western Balkans under agreements with regional governments seeking EU membership, the first time it has installed Frontex officials outside its jurisdiction. – Financial Times

Slovenia plans to build a pipeline that would transport Algerian gas to Hungary, helping Budapest to kick its dependence on Russian fossil fuels, said the central European nation’s prime minister. – Financial Times

The European Union’s (EU’s) newly revised military mobility (MM) plan will focus largely on boosting Europe’s intermodal transport connections, digitalising paper-based national border clearances for troops and materiel, and enhancing Western Europe’s rail connections to Ukraine and Moldova, according to EU officials. Fuel supply chains and space services for Europe’s militaries will also be addressed, they said. – Janes

Alexander J. Motyl writes: But what really takes the cake in Macron’s statement about security guarantees for Russia is its silence about security guarantees for Ukraine — an issue on which France thus far has been notably silent. Surely, one can’t provide guarantees to a self-styled great power with a huge nuclear arsenal without at the same time providing guarantees to the country that it has invaded and subjected to a genocidal war. Now, Macron has also expressed his unwavering commitment to Ukraine, so it’s highly unlikely that he intends to sell Ukraine down the river while providing guarantees to Russia. – The Hill

Roger George and Robert Levine write: No intelligence or defense analyst who has lived through the collapse of the Soviet Union or the rise of international terrorism is likely to deny categorically the possibility of a low-probability future. We believe it would take far more drastic geopolitical changes than we have seen or anticipate for Germany to turn to developing its own nuclear weapons. Moreover, the dimensions of those changes would be difficult to miss. If such tectonic shifts occur, a nuclear Germany would be only one of many disturbing outcomes. – The National Interest

Edward Alden writes: Biden and European leaders are well aware that they cannot permit a fundamental trans-Atlantic rift to open. More than at any time since the height of the Cold War, the dual threat of Russia and China is forcing the United States and Europe to cooperate and work through economic disputes that might have festered for many years in less stressful times—such as the long tussle over subsidies to Airbus and Boeing. – Foreign Policy


Nearly 300 people were killed when rebels attacked villagers in the Democratic Republic of Congo last week, officials said Monday, raising the death toll from an earlier estimate of 50 as fighting intensified in the country’s east. – Washington Post

South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress, is standing by its president, Cyril Ramaphosa, rejecting calls that he face an impeachment hearing over accusations that he kept a large sum of cash in a sofa at his game farm and failed to report a crime when it was stolen. – New York Times

Sudan’s military and a coalition of civilian pro-democracy parties signed a preliminary agreement on Monday to end the political deadlock that has paralyzed the nation since a military coup last year derailed its transition to democratic rule. – New York Times

Rail service in Nigeria’s capital city resumed on Monday, eight months after assailants attacked a train with explosives and gunfire, killing seven people and abducting dozens of passengers. – Associated Press

South Sudan’s military says more than 700 personnel will travel to eastern Congo to join a new regional force in trying to calm the latest deadly insecurity there. – Associated Press

The Americas

Former U.S. lawmaker David Rivera was arrested on Monday on charges of conspiring to launder money and to illegally act as an agent of the Venezuelan government, according to a U.S. official and an indictment. – Reuters

Canada’s government said it would freeze any local assets of three high-profile Haitian businessmen accused of supporting the country’s armed gangs, the latest measure targeting those linked to the Caribbean nation’s criminal groups. – Reuters

As the U.S Treasury department issued a license to Chevron to drill for oil in Venezuela, relaxing 2019 sanctions applied to Venezuela under the Trump administration, Venezuelan dissidents are crying foul, reminding the world that the Maduro regime continues to engage in what are internationally recognized crimes against humanity. – FOX News

The Biden administration said Monday that it would expand temporary legal status for Haitians already living in the United States, determining conditions in the Caribbean nation were too dangerous for their forced return. – Associated Press

United States

Chinese hackers have stolen tens of millions of dollars worth of U.S. COVID relief benefits since 2020, the Secret Service said on Monday. – Reuters 

Editorial: European leaders are threatening to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization if the Biden Administration doesn’t rewrite the IRA to extend subsidies to foreign EVs and green technologies. But the latter would compound the policy felony by forcing U.S. taxpayers to subsidize foreign-made cars. Europe could also impose subsidies for domestic manufacturers or tariffs against U.S.-made EVs. The West’s climate policies are already harming consumers and slowing economic growth by raising energy prices and distorting investment. Now they are threatening a trade war that will cause more harm. The new climate protectionism won’t end well. – Wall Street Journal

Mike Pompeo writes: Chinese diplomats insisted that China is now a peer of the U.S. By foolishly prioritizing climate change cooperation with China over confronting its gross human rights abuses, China’s aggression toward our friends and allies, and its espionage activities within America’s borders, the Biden administration has now delivered this peer status to Communist China. Between now and 2024, House Republicans must correct this absurdly misguided approach and lead the U.S. toward a tougher, more competitive stance for the good of the country. – Washington Examiner


Microsoft has warned that “the world should be prepared for several lines of potential Russian attack in the digital domain over the course of this winter,” referencing both destructive cyber operations and those designed to exacerbate social tensions. – The Record

A well-resourced and ongoing international cyber espionage campaign targeting human rights activists, journalists, diplomats and politicians working in the Middle East has been uncovered by Human Rights Watch (HRW), the NGO said on Monday. – The Record

The rise of cyberwar means the U.S. must rethink how it approaches conflict, and government cooperation and information sharing with the private sector will become indispensable, according to Sen. Angus King, I-Maine. – C4ISRNET

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said national security and homeland security are now more interconnected than ever before, largely driven by the fact that U.S. adversaries can execute attacks “with a keystroke.” In a speech Monday, Mayorkas said that global interconnectedness and the willingness of nations to unleash digital attacks that have international ramifications has brought the national security threat “directly to our communities.” – CyberScoop

Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) on Monday threatened to remove news from its platform if the U.S. Congress passes a proposal aimed at making it easier for news organizations to negotiate collectively with companies like Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google and Facebook. – Reuters


Space Force Guardians are setting up shop at U.S. Central Command in the latest move by the service to spread its footprint and focus on space navigation, missile warning and satellite communications to counter adversaries in the Middle East and South Asia. – Military.com

Textron’s Bell has won the U.S. Army’s competition to build the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft, the service’s largest helicopter procurement decision in 40 years. – Defense News 

Work done for the U.S. Department of Defense on its campaign to seamlessly connect sensors and shooters, or Joint All-Domain Command and Control, will drive growth at Science Applications International Corporation, according to its chief executive officer, Nazzic Keene. – Defense News

As donations to Ukraine strain allied munitions stockpiles, the U.S. Army is seeking a “dramatic” ramp up in monthly production of 155mm artillery shells over the next three years, its chief weapons buyer said Saturday. – Defense News

SpaceX is creating a new national security business unit called Starshield that will build on its launch and satellite communications offerings and introduce additional capabilities including Earth observation. – Defense News

The second oldest carrier in the Navy wrapped sea trials after completing more than a year of repairs at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, USNI News has learned. – USNI News

Editorial: The B-21 bomber has been praised as the rare defense acquisition program that isn’t a disaster, at a cost of about $700 million a plane, and no one wants to risk a premature rollout. But speeding up the program even six or 12 months could be significant in deterring China’s plans for taking Taiwan. The only military assets that change Beijing’s calculus today are the ones that are ready to drop weapons tonight. – Wall Street Journal

Bryan Clark writes: China poses a rising threat to the United States and its allies. To sustain its ability to help deter and counter Beijing’s coercion and aggression, the U.S. Navy will need to expand its undersea fleet beyond submarines and embrace unmanned systems. Otherwise, the U.S. submarine force could remain the world’s best while becoming increasingly irrelevant to America’s military strategy. – Washington Examiner

Rep. Ken Calvert writes: Our adversaries continually seek to exploit our free and open society using indirect and asymmetric approaches that influence populations and affect legitimacy to erode our global leadership. While deterring, we must continue to engage with our partners and allies to present a unified front on both the military and diplomatic stage. We must send a clear message to authoritarians around the world that we stand ready with an unassailable international coalition that is prepared to compete and win across the entire spectrum of competition and conflict. These must be the priorities of the Department of Defense and the 118th Congress as reflected in the budget, authorization and appropriations process. Anything less will leave us all asking, again, why were we too late. – Defense News

Long War

Somali forces and allied militias have pushed al Shabaab fighters out of a strategic town in central Somalia that the Islamist group has controlled for six years, officials and the African Union (AU) said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Security forces raided a militant hideout in a former Pakistani Taliban stronghold near the border with Afghanistan, triggering a shootout that killed five insurgents and a soldier, the military said Monday. – Associated Press

Charles Lister writes: As is typical, a worldwide ISIS revenge campaign is now all but inevitable, and the shape that takes will indicate where the jihadist group is most powerful. Already, incoming pledges of allegiance from ISIS branches abroad have underlined the potency of the group’s presence in Africa, particularly in the Sahel. There, photosets announcing bay’a (allegiance) to Abu al-Hussein released by the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) revealed the group’s ability to amass multiple forces in the many hundreds, heavily armed, traveling in enormous mobile convoys with dozens if not hundreds of motorbikes, as well as armored vehicles. Additional releases from Nigeria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo illustrate the continued reach of the ISIS threat today. – Middle East Institute