Fdd's overnight brief

December 7, 2021

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


Germany wants Iran to present realistic proposals in talks over its nuclear programme, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Monday, adding that offers Tehran made last week almost all violate previously agreed compromises. – Reuters 

Israel has carried out three major operations over the last 18 months against Iran’s nuclear sites. These attacks involved as many as a thousand Mossad personnel and were executed with ruthless precision using high-tech weaponry, including drones and a quadcopter — and spies within Tehran’s holy of holies, its nuclear program. – New York Post 

Amir Toumaj writes: Given the hardline composition of Iran’s ruling class, America should not expect a fresh start with the Islamic Republic, at least any time soon. Keeping that in mind, however, it should still pursue opportunities to advance U.S. national security interests by striking deals and, when necessary, pushing back against regime aggression and duplicity. – The Hill 

Seth J. Franztman writes: Iran then details other problems it has with western banks that fear doing business with Iran due to US sanctions. This could imply Turkish and other banks as well. The conclusion of the report is that any return to a deal requires Iran to benefit economically and not have to wait through an interim deal. Iran won’t allow the West to think it has backed down from its demands. It wants all sanctions lifted. […]If Iran accepts an interim agreement then it will send a message to the West that pressure has worked. – Jerusalem Post 

Marie Abdi writes: Despite its large number of clerics and the huge budgets it devotes to the seminaries, the Iranian regime faces uncertainty about the future of both. As the current clerics continue to age, many key religious and government positions could eventually be handed over to unreliable clerics who may not endorse the principles laid out by the current supreme leader, with unpredictable consequences for the future of the Islamic Republic. – Middle East Institute 


Norway is encouraging donors to a World Bank-administered fund for Afghanistan to agree to transfer $280 million to the World Food Programme and UNICEF, Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said on Monday. – Reuters 

Every day, multiple buses rumble out of Afghanistan’s western city of Herat, carrying hundreds of people to the border. There they disembark, connect with their smugglers and trek for days, sometimes crammed into pickup trucks bumping through wastelands, sometimes on foot through treacherous mountains in the darkness, eluding guards and thieves. – Associated Press 

A whistle-blower who worked on the U.K.’s response to the Afghanistan crisis has laid bare what the young diplomat says were serious shortcomings in how then-Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab — and even the ministry itself — handled the evacuation of vulnerable people from Kabul. – Bloomberg 

Human rights activist Malala Yousafzai on Monday urged the U.S. to take action for Afghan women and girls ahead of meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. – The Hill 

Peter Brookes writes: Equally important, the American people, who shouldered so much of the burden of this conflict, deserve answers to these questions about Afghanistan. It’s time for bipartisan congressional action to require both a short-term and a long-term study of America’s involvement in Afghanistan. – The Hill 


Israel carried out an air strike on the Syrian port of Latakia on Tuesday, causing a fire in a container storage area that was later extinguished, Syrian state media reported. – Reuters 

Syria’s Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad was in Iran this week and told his counterparts that Syria will respond to Israeli attacks on Syria. “We are responding to these attacks every day,” Mekdad said, according to reports in Iranian media. He noted that the “Israeli regime’s attacks on Syria could not go unanswered,” Tasnim news said. “Those who attack Syria are the enemy of Syria and they supported the terrorists. Israel is doing this today. Maybe today’s answer is different from tomorrow and today’s answer is different from yesterday.”  – Jerusalem Post 

Grant Rumley and David Schenker write: In short, ATG is an extension of America’s overall policy toward Syria. […]As long as the Biden administration remains committed to the counter-IS military mission in Syria, a continued presence at ATG makes sense. Despite the resources required to secure and provision the remote garrison, it remains a relatively low-cost, high-impact deployment that benefits U.S. and regional interests alike. – Washington Institute 


Israel signed a major research and innovation agreement with the European Union on Monday, known as Horizon Europe, despite the exclusion of West Bank settlements, east Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights from the program. – Jerusalem Post 

An Israeli state planning committee on Monday delayed granting further approval of a major settlement project in East Jerusalem that has drawn U.S. and Palestinian concern. – Reuters 

An appeals court in the Netherlands rules on Tuesday in a case alleging war crimes against Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz, who is blamed by a Dutch Palestinian for the loss of six relatives in an Israeli air strike on Gaza in 2014. – Reuters 

Israel said on Monday that countries interested in buying its cyber technologies would have to commit to using them to prevent only a limited list of terrorist acts and serious crimes. – Reuters 

Israel is preparing to step up pressure on US officials to carry out a military strike on Iran-linked targets, should diplomatic efforts for a nuclear accord with the Islamic Republic fail, according to Hebrew media reports. – Algemeiner 

Opposition chairman Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Tuesday that Iran and the international community do not take the “weak” Israeli government seriously and are “ignoring” Jerusalem as it lobbies against a revival of the multilateral nuclear deal. – Times of Israel 

Editorial: Israel relies on the US and the US relies on Israel. While it might not always seem equal, the relationship is beneficial to both. Just read some of the recent foreign media reports about the role Jerusalem has played in helping Washington settle old scores against al-Qaeda terrorists or even top Iranian officials. – Jerusalem Post 

Neri Zilber writes: Whether Israel is persuaded remains to be seen, to say nothing of Iran. Stiffening American spines and increasing American leverage may be possible; undoing the damage of Trump’s 2018 decision to jettison the JCPOA will likely be much harder. The first necessary step, at least for Israel, appears to be a public reckoning that it did cause massive damage, hastened the point of an Iranian nuclear bomb and, if diplomacy fails, a devastating war. – New Lines 

Ofer Shelah writes: It is time to stop making idle threats. Israel must work towards a regional alliance with the Sunni Arab nations that share its concerns over a nuclear Iran. Some of those potential partners, for lack of a visible option, are already making overtures towards Tehran. The government should continue to work quietly against Iran and its interests in all fields of operation, leaving an all-out military confrontation as a last resort even if such actions provide politicly advantageous headlines. – Ynet 

Amos Harel writes: Bennett himself seems to regret the combative tone of some of the public statements. […]But the prime minister doesn’t think he needs to spare the Americans his criticism and isn’t enamored of Israelis whom he believes are automatically taking the U.S. administration’s side when it comes to any disagreement. To the contrary; from his standpoint, this is precisely the window of time that Israel has to express its opinion – and as clearly and explicitly as possible. – Haaretz 

Arabian Peninsula

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman embarked on a rare tour of the Persian Gulf region in a bid to shore up his position with neighboring allies and build consensus on the threat posed by rival Iran as world powers hold talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. – Wall Street Journal 

Yemen’s Houthi movement said on Tuesday it fired several ballistic missiles and 25 armed drones into Saudi Arabia, targeting Aramco oil facilities in Jeddah and the defence ministry in Riyadh. – Reuters 

Doha and Ankara said on Monday they will sign dozens of deals during a visit to Qatar by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who also sought to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman there, according to two people familiar with the plan. – Reuters 

Middle East & North Africa

A delegation from the International Monetary Fund arrived in Lebanon on Monday and will meet Prime Minister Najib Mikati on Tuesday, the prime minister’s office said on Twitter. – Reuters 

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday appointed U.S. diplomat Stephanie Williams to lead mediation efforts in Libya after his special envoy quit just weeks ahead of planned elections in the war-torn country. – Reuters 

David Pollock and Sawera Khan write: A November 2021 Jordanian public opinion poll, commissioned by the Washington Institute and conducted by an independent local commercial company, reveals that ties with the United States continue to enjoy substantial popular acceptance in that key Arab state. Just over half (51%) of Jordanians say that “good relations” with the United States are “very important” or “fairly important” to their country. China is a very close second, with 49%. Russia runs a distant third, at just 31%. – Washington Institute 


The United States will not send President Biden or any U.S. government official to the Beijing Winter Olympics in February to protest China’s human rights abuses, the White House announced Monday, in a pointed snub to a country seeking to use the Games to enhance its global standing. – Washington Post 

As President Biden prepares to host a “summit for democracy” this week, China has counterattacked with an improbable claim: It’s a democracy, too. – New York Times 

China warned on Tuesday that a U.S diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics could harm two-way dialogue and co-operation in important areas, and called for politics to be kept out of sports. – Reuters 

New Zealand will not be sending diplomatic representatives at a ministerial level to the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said on Tuesday, citing COVID-19 as the reason. – Reuters 

The U.S. State Department on Monday said it wants the private sector to operate with full information about what is transpiring in Xinjiang, after the U.S. said it would not send government officials to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing amid criticism of China’s human rights record. – Reuters 

Haze Fan, a member of Bloomberg News’s bureau in Beijing, has been detained since late last year, with no information forthcoming on her case. Fan was last seen on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, being escorted from her apartment building by plainclothes security officials. – Bloomberg 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will vote this week on legislation aiming to punish China for its treatment of Uyghur Muslims, a move sure to anger the government in Beijing and add to tensions between the world’s two largest economies. – Bloomberg 

Dominic Barton, Canada’s ambassador to China, is stepping down from his post at the end of this year, according to a statement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. – Bloomberg 

Editorial: Although it remains the case that China’s relatively closed financial system is likely to keep developer defaults from blooming into a global financial crisis, the slowdown in China’s real economy points to risks for China’s trading partners. No one should relish the thought of a Chinese property collapse, but no one should be fully confident Mr. Xi can avert one. – Wall Street Journal 

Terry Schilling writes: Right now, America is handicapping itself with climate policies and letting adversaries such as China enrich themselves at our expense. By not holding our adversaries accountable for their emissions, we are effectively subsidizing them and helping them destroy us. By charging imports for their emissions, we can turn the tables on China and start shifting production and investment back to the U.S. – Washington Examiner 

Zachary Faria writes: The White House insists it isn’t trying to water down the bill, but it’s hard to see it any other way. […]If the administration had shown any willingness to address China’s human rights abuses, a diplomatic boycott could be excused as a modest but necessary step. But making a big show of it, combined with pushing back on a bill that would address forced labor in Xinjiang, shows that isn’t the administration’s priority. – Washington Examiner 

Tom Rogan writes: President Joe Biden has made the necessary moral decision for a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. […]But at least the world now knows where the U.S. government stands. It is not with Beijing’s American puppets — companies such as Coca-Cola and Mars and rich celebrities such as LeBron James and Ray Dalio. It is with those who suffer before an evil regime. – Washington Examiner 

Ruchir Sharma writes: To say China matters less is not to say it doesn’t matter. China is still the leading trade partner for more nations than any other and the main global buyer of commodities. Should, for example, its campaign to reduce massive corporate debts, particularly in the property sector, end in a meltdown, the effects will be global and inescapable. But lesser tremors may no longer be so consequential. It may be that when China stumbles, the world no longer falls with it. – Financial Times 

Rep. John Katko writes: The great powers’ competition between the U.S. and China will determine the future of the world as we know it. From exploiting U.S. academic institutions, to its military buildup in the South China Sea, to debt-trap diplomacy, to its genocide of the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang province, the CCP has shown it will stop at nothing to achieve its geopolitical goals. Countering China will take sustained, clear-eyed focus in the days and years ahead. Ensuring our sensitive information is not being transmitted to the CCP under the guise of academic advancement should be job one. – Fox News 


Myanmar’s military-appointed foreign minister, Wunna Maung Lwin, held talks in Cambodia on Tuesday, a day after the junta drew global condemnation for sentencing deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi to jail for incitement and breaching COVID-19 rules. – Reuters 

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo discussed chip supply chains during a call with her opposite number in Taiwan and the two will cooperate on technology trade and investment through a newly established mechanism, her office said. – Reuters 

Daniel F. Runde, Romina Bandura, and Rachel Lee write: The U.S.-Lao relationship could also help counter China’s significant presence in the region. China’s extractive initiatives in Laos benefit primarily China and have either had a neutral or detrimental impact on the majority of the Lao population. […]In building the U.S.-Lao relationship and fostering greater trust, Washington will have to engage with allies working in the country, including Japan and Australia, as well as tap into the Asian Development Bank’s deep knowledge and presence in the region. – Center for Strategic and International Studies 


With Russian troops massed along the border with Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin is expected to issue President Biden an ultimatum during their video meeting Tuesday: Guarantee that NATO will never expand into Ukraine, or Russia might soon launch an offensive against its neighbor. – Washington Post 

India and Russia announced expanding defense ties on Monday during a visit by President Vladimir Putin to New Delhi, including the details of a $5.4 billion missile defense system sale to India, despite a risk of sanctions from the United States. – New York Times 

It’s unclear whether the Russian troop concentration heralds an imminent attack. Russian President Vladimir Putin has pushed for Western guarantees precluding NATO’s expansion to Ukraine, and the buildup could reflect an attempt to back up the message. – Associated Press 

Russia’s military buildup on the border with Ukraine will be the top focus of talks between President Joe Biden and Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, but there are plenty of other thorny issues on the table as well, including cyberattacks, human rights, and US-Russian relations that a Kremlin spokesman says are overall in “a rather dire state.” – Associated Press 

CIA Director Bill Burns warned Americans to be vigilant regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s designs on Ukraine as tensions soar between Moscow and Kyiv. – Bloomberg 

The Russian government-linked hacking group behind one of the biggest cyber espionage incidents in U.S. history has only intensified its hacking efforts in the year since, research released Monday found. – The Hill 

The Russian military has deployed its K-300P Bastion-P mobile coastal defence missile system in the Kuril Islands, a chain in the northwest Pacific Ocean, the ownership of which is disputed by Japan and Russia. – Jane’s 360 

Editorial: Even sitting down for such talks would risk appearing to reward Moscow for aggression; making them a success would require bold and creative diplomacy. The US approach should combine toughness with incentives that in effect call the Russian leader’s bluff — and challenge him to break out of the perilous downward spiral in relations that he is creating. – Financial Times 

Adam Taylor writes: Forget the allusion to myth — the Russian position on Ukraine is mired in realpolitik. Putin has staked out that Ukraine is part of its sphere of influence and is betting that the Kremlin cares more about its neighbor than the United States does. The United States has threatened sanctions, but to some in Moscow, that’s nothing: Russia is already sanctioned to the hilt and has prepared for worse to come. For Putin, if it’s a gamble, it’s a calculated one. – Washington Post 

Carl Bildt writes: Putin has made his intentions clear. His revisionist view of Russia’s role in the region is largely opportunistic. But the United States and European allies, acting in concert with Ukraine, must deny him any opportunity. – Washington Post 

Walter Russell Mead writes: From a position of strength, the U.S. can and should offer Russia face-saving ways out of the crisis, but on substance Mr. Biden should stand firm. The reality is that Russia has lost its battle for the heart of Ukraine. After encouraging Ukraine to cast its lot with the West for three decades, America’s only honorable course is to sustain Kyiv in this hour of trial. – Wall Street Journal 

Tom Rogan writes: At the same time, although Orthodox Christmas (as observed by most Ukrainians) falls on Jan. 7, Putin knows that U.S. military, intelligence, and political activities will slow down over the Gregorian Christmas period. He may sense that a Christmas/pre-New Year offensive gives him the prospect of evading a speedy U.S. response to any offensive. The same principle applies even more so to European capitals, offering the opportunity to slow down Western coordination over any response. – Washington Examiner 

Paul Roderick Gregory writes: Given the U.S. Senate’s vocal support for Ukraine, Zelensky can expect some lethal weapons. Unlike the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the summer of 2014, Ukraine will be able to inflict casualties, maybe enough to dissuade Putin from selecting the invasion option. But who knows? Ukraine must also be on high alert for an invasion of “little green men” to foment street violence and calls for Russian assistance. Ukraine won’t stand by in confusion this time, as it did in the spring of 2014 when Russian politicians and generals declared that they were in charge of “separatist” territories. – The Hill 

Gideon Rachman writes: As Putin accurately observes, Ukraine and Russia are closely linked by history and culture. So the fact that Ukraine has taken a different political path from Russia raises awkward questions for the Kremlin — which likes to argue that “western liberalism” is completely unsuited to Russia. Perhaps that is the real reason why Ukraine excites such fury in Putin. Containing that fury, through the threat of massive economic sanctions, is suddenly the most urgent challenge facing the western alliance. – Financial Times 

Ben Hall writes: Much will hinge on Berlin’s appetite for punitive measures against Moscow. It has taken some American effort to persuade Germany that there is real intent behind Russia’s mass deployment of troops and materiel along Ukraine’s border. Now Berlin appears to be on board with the US assessment, the discussion moves to deterrence and the potential hit to German economic interests that may follow if western allies have to follow through on a sanctions threat. – Financial Times 

Dr. Vladislav L. Inozemtsev writes: Yes, we trust Russia that it will not invade Ukraine, and of course Ukraine itself poses no threat to Russia, so for what do we need so many talks with Putin or his envoys? […]Putin cannot afford to launch a formal war against any country and become an outcast without support from a strong country. Russia is under too many sanctions, economically weak, and faces a looming perspective of a full-scale military defeat. Let Putin broil with anger for a while – this time nothing critical will happen. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Olga Tokariuk writes: Joe Biden should care about Ukraine for pragmatic reasons as well. […]As Biden talks to Putin, he should clearly state that Ukraine is no less important for the US and the West than it is for him. And that Ukraine’s freedom is vital because it is a crucial outpost of 21st-century democracy, whose defeat would signal a major backward step for all free countries in the face of an authoritarian onslaught. – Center for European Policy Analysis 

Sen. Joni Ernst writes: Congress can act now to define the extent of those sanctions and build legislative triggers to automatically authorize and impose sanctions if Russian actions become too aggressive. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is examining such legislation right now. Let’s bring it to the Senate floor for debate and discussion. Congress’ attention and input in this matter will send a powerful message of U.S. commitment. – Defense News 


French far-right presidential candidate Éric Zemmour was among the several people injured on Sunday at his very first campaign event, forcing him to take an early break from the trail and signaling the intensity of polarization heading into an April election. – Washington Post 

After 16 years of defying the regime of Alexander Lukashenko, while becoming the world’s most prominent underground theater troupe, the Belarus Free Theater announced Monday that its 16-person ensemble would be going into exile. – Washington Post 

Mr. Scholz won for many reasons, not least because he persuaded voters that he was the closest thing to Ms. Merkel, but his message of respect resonated, too. For the first time since 2005, the Social Democrats became the strongest party among the working class. Just over 800,000 voters who had abandoned the party for the far left and far right returned in the last election. – New York Times 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Monday ahead of President Joe Biden’s call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which he is expected to warn Russia of severe economic consequences should Russia go ahead with a invasion of Ukraine. – Reuters 

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Monday said his armed forces were capable of fighting off any Russian attack, as the country marked its national army day with a display of U.S. armoured vehicles and patrol boats. – Reuters 

A proposed EU law that would allow swift retaliation against countries such as China and Russia over economic sanctions faces resistance from some member states. The anti-coercion instrument would give the European Commission sweeping powers to impose tariffs and quotas, restrict intellectual property protection and even lock countries out of EU financial markets. – Financial Times 

Spain’s former king is fighting for immunity in a U.K. court over allegations he harassed and spied on his ex-lover. – Bloomberg 

Joe Biden will speak with key European leaders later Monday as countries seek to project a united front on Ukraine ahead of the U.S. President’s video call on Tuesday with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. – Bloomberg 


Ethiopian forces have recaptured the strategic towns of Dessie and Kombolcha from rebellious Tigrayan forces, the government said on Monday, the latest sign of the government retaking territory. – Reuters 

The U.S. Treasury sanctioned Congolese businessman Alain Mukonda for giving support to sanctioned Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler. The Treasury also blacklisted 12 entities in Democratic Republic of Congo and Gibraltar linked to Mukonda, it said in a statement on its website Monday. – Bloomberg 

Alberto M. Fernandez writes: To put it charitably, Washington blinked on Sudan, fearing worse outcomes than enhanced military rule and abandoning a genuine popular movement towards democracy to its fate, while hoping that it can somehow influence results down the road over the next 18 months. […]The Sudanese people, who have labored so long and so nobly for their own dignity and freedom, deserved somewhat better from us. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Michael Rubin writes: Biden and Blinken have both declared “diplomacy is back.” The Horn of Africa may be the one place where the Biden administration’s rhetoric matches its reality. Unfortunately, a poorly crafted strategy undermines the chance for success. It is time for Blinken and Feltman to embrace a holistic strategy, one that recognizes that success or failure in the region rests upon more than just Ethiopia. – 19FortyFive 

Latin America

Another three of 17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti in October have been released, the missionary group said on Monday. – Wall Street Journal 

With his approval rating plunging and with few allies in congress, Peru’s leftist President Pedro Castillo this week faces a vote to start impeachment proceedings against him. – Bloomberg 

Jason Rezaian writes: Mexican prosecutors opened a secret organized-crime investigation into three prominent women at the forefront of chronicling one of the country’s most infamous acts of violence in recent times: the disappearance, murder and burial in mass graves of 193 victims in the municipality of San Fernando. […]Like so many intrepid journalists working on stories that boldly speak truth to large and sinister powers, Turati is often mistakenly described as fearless. Her resilience, however, has nothing to do with a reckless disregard for her personal safety. Rather, it stems from a profound sense of moral duty. – Washington Post 

United States

But on Thursday, Pakistan will join about 110 other countries at a two-day “Summit for Democracy” convened by President Biden, with the goal of rallying the nations of the world against the forces of authoritarianism. – Washington Post 

The parents of Trevor Reed, a former U.S. Marine held in a Russian jail, urged President Joe Biden on Monday to raise their son’s case with Russian President Vladimir Putin at virtual talks to push for his freedom. – Reuters 

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to call out antisemitism on the political right and left during remarks he is set to deliver on Monday night at the UJA-Federation of New York’s Wall Street Dinner at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. – Jewish Insider 

Arthur Herman writes: The U.S. must also work with allies to develop a hypersonic capability that will take the initiative away from China and Russia. One of those allies, ironically, is Japan, which is developing a hypersonic missile for use against Chinese aircraft carriers. An agreement among the U.S., U.K., Australia, Japan, and India on hypersonics—along the lines of the recent Aukus agreement on nuclear submarines—will send the proper signal to Beijing and stimulate innovation and strategic thinking on both sides of the Pacific. – Wall Street Journal 


When cybersleuths traced the millions of dollars American companies, hospitals and city governments have paid to online extortionists in ransom money, they made a telling discovery: At least some of it passed through one of the most prestigious business addresses in Moscow. – New York Times 

Maryland Department of Health officials told workers not to use state-issued computers Monday and the agency’s servers remained offline as the department grappled with the effects of a cyberattack over the weekend. – Washington Post 

Global ransomware attacks increased by 151% in the first half of 2021 compared with 2020 and hackers are set to become increasingly aggressive, Canada’s signals intelligence agency said on Monday. – Reuters 

Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. is facing mounting legal challenges by Rohingya refugees who blame the social media company for inciting genocidal violence in 2017 against the Muslim minority in Myanmar. – Bloomberg 

The elite Russian state hackers behind last year’s massive SolarWinds cyberespionage campaign hardly eased up this year, managing plenty of infiltrations of U.S. and allied government agencies and foreign policy think tanks with consummate craft and stealth, a leading cybersecurity firm reported. – Associated Press 

Cyber Command, the US military’s hacking unit, has taken offensive action to disrupt cybercriminal groups that have launched ransomware attacks on US companies, a spokesperson for the command confirmed to CNN Sunday. – CNN 

Hackers stole at least $150 million from cryptocurrency exchange BitMart as part of what the company described Monday as a “large-scale security breach.” – The Hill 



NBC News traveled to a military testing center for exclusive access to the first public demonstration of the Switchblade 300, a small, low-cost “kamikaze” drone made by AeroVironment, which sources said the U.S. military has used quietly for years in targeted killing operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. – NBC 

NASA’s next laser communications mission will launch early Sunday morning. The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) will lift off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket during a two-hour window scheduled from 4:04 to 6:04 a.m. EST from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. – New York Post 

Marines of different nations battled it out in the desert, facing off recently in a five-day campaign that pitted technologically-skilled military forces against one another in a test of high-end conflict. – USNI News 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is warning Congress that an extended stopgap bill to keep the government funded would have “enormous” effects on the Pentagon. – USNI News 

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday believes the best way to counter Chinese gray zone cyber operations is to “be in the way” as the Navy is by operating forward in the Indo-Pacific region. – USNI News 

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency has finished installing radar arrays and wrapped up military construction for the Long-Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR). – Defense News 

Long War

A bomb killed four people and wounded four more in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on Tuesday, the military said, and a senior official said Islamic State was suspected of carrying out the attack. – Reuters 

Iran and Hezbollah are helping Hamas and Islamic Jihad trounce Israel in the broader propaganda war, especially surrounding the Gaza war this past May, according to a report exclusively obtained by The Jerusalem Post. – Jerusalem Post 

Bill Cassidy writes: Most importantly, like in many industries, the rest of the world follows America’s lead. If we are successful in creating a model to combat these sophisticated TBML and financing schemes, we can deny Hezbollah the money they need to continue to target Israel, continuing in our steadfast bipartisan commitment to guarantee the security of our most important ally, and the only democratic country, in the Middle East. – Jerusalem Post