Fdd's overnight brief

February 2, 2022

In The News


Thousands of Iranian school teachers have protested and staged a one-day strike over the slow implementation of salary and pension reforms, local media reported Tuesday. – Agence France-Presse 

A senior US official said Monday that time was running out for nuclear negotiations with Iran and urged Tehran to agree to direct talks to help forge a deal. – Agence France-Presse 

A streaming website that features Iranian state television programming has acknowledged suffering technical issues amid reports that dissident hackers played an anti-government message on the platform. – Associated Press 

An attempted space launch in Iran on Thursday failed to put its three satellites into the required orbit, according to an official from the country’s ministry of defense. – The National Interest


A rarely used U.S. immigration program has come under immense strain as tens of thousands of Afghan refugees turn to it as their only hope to seek safe passage to the U.S. They are the unlucky ones who missed a brief window when, during the chaotic evacuation from the Kabul airport in August, the U.S. airlifted more than about 80,000 Afghans with Western ties to safety. Many are still in Afghanistan. – Wall Street Journal 

The United Nation’s mission to Afghanistan on Tuesday called on the Taliban administration to release details on the detention of two Afghan journalists who disappeared the previous day. – Reuters 

Qatar has reached an agreement with the Taliban to resume chartered evacuations out of Kabul airport, the Axios news website reported on Tuesday citing an interview with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. – Reuters 

The Taliban are trying to keep discipline over thousands of young fighters who are bringing heavy-handed methods of war into their new roles as security forces. Those young men know only war, most have no schooling and cannot read or write. Their only skill is fighting; their weapons are as familiar to them as their mobile telephones. – Associated Press 

Leaked notes from a White House Situation Room meeting the day before Kabul fell shed new light on just how unprepared the Biden administration was to evacuate Afghan nationals who’d helped the United States in its 20-year war against the Taliban. – AXIOS 

Annie Pforzheimer writes: Amid the immense breakdown of what has long been a fragile economic, social service and political landscape in Afghanistan, these are admittedly not easy steps. But that can’t be an excuse for not trying or for short-term solutions that spawn longer-term, intractable problems. The toll on the lives of Afghans is shocking and getting worse by the day. The U.S. and its allies may have withdrawn militarily and diplomatically from Afghanistan, but principled engagement, not abandonment or appeasement, remains our obligation. – The Hill 


Turkish warplanes struck suspected Kurdish militant positions in Iraq and Syria early on Wednesday in a new aerial offensive which officials said aimed to protect Turkey’s borders from terrorist threats. – Associated Press 

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Ibrahim Kalin, chief adviser to the president of Turkey, spoke on Tuesday and discussed their commitment to “deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine”, the White House said in a statement. – Reuters 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will try to leverage his strategic position in NATO and his rapport with Russia’s Vladimir Putin when he visits Kyiv on Thursday in a bid to head off war in Ukraine. – Agence France-Presse 


Israel’s national police force on Tuesday said it had found evidence pointing to improper use of sophisticated spyware by its own investigators to snoop on Israeli citizens’ phones. – Associated Press 

The United Kingdom will begin seeking an improved trade deal with Israel this week when trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan travels to meet her Israeli counterpart Orna Barbivai. – Reuters 

Israel’s prime minister on Tuesday acknowledged that its Iron Dome defense system is too expensive and the country is speeding the rollout of laser technology to help protect it from rocket attacks. – Associated Press 

A new report characterizing Israel as an “apartheid regime” has opened a dispute between one of the most prominent international human rights groups and senior U.S. lawmakers and officials. “We reject the view that Israel’s actions constitute apartheid,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said Tuesday. – Washington Examiner 

On January 29, 2022, the Palestinian Embassy in Warsaw, Poland held a memorial ceremony marking the first anniversary of the death of Khalil Nazzal, who had been the secretary of Fatah’s Poland branch. In attendance were Arab ambassadors, representatives of the Palestinian community, and representatives of the local Fatah branch, along with relatives of Nazzal. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

A US official attended a classified Israel Air Force drill simulating a “massive attack” on Iran’s nuclear program that was held two weeks ago, according to a Tuesday report. – Times of Israel 


A Vatican envoy criticised Lebanon’s politicians on his visit to Beirut on Tuesday, calling for an end to “the few profiting of the suffering of many” in a financial crisis which has plunged the bulk of the country into poverty. – Reuters 

Lebanon’s security forces said on Monday they had busted at least 17 suspected Israeli spy networks in one of the largest nationwide crackdowns in recent years, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing state-run National News Agency – Arutz Sheva 

The Middle East Institute and the American Task Force on Lebanon write: Given this critical situation, it is worthwhile to review U.S. interests in Lebanon’s survival and consider key recommendations for U.S. policy to help Lebanon avoid complete collapse and help the Lebanese people move toward economic recovery, political legitimacy, and a more capable, transparent, and sovereign state. – Middle East Institute 

Hanin Ghaddar writes: Even so, holding the election on time and with international observers could still give a boost to opposition figures and the Lebanese people, who have few sources of hope these days besides the democratic process. Any attempt to postpone or tamper with the election should therefore be met with sanctions against all those responsible. In addition to maintaining current pressures, the United States and other parties should insist on long-term international observers to ensure a free and fair process between now and May. – Washington Institute 


A clan-based militia government in the Arab world’s poorest country is presenting the Biden administration with another foreign policy setback, as Yemen’s Houthis launch cross-border drone and ballistic-missile strikes rattling the wealthy oil and banking hubs of the skyscrapered Gulf. – Associated Press 

The U.S. military launched interceptor missiles during an attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels that targeted the United Arab Emirates during a visit by Israel’s president, the second-such time American troops have opened fire, officials said. – Associated Press 

Hamdi Malik and Michael Knights write: Why would KH stand alone and largely unsupported when raising the profile of a favorite pan-muqawama issue such as the Yemen war? One explanation may be the explicitly terrorist nature of KH’s appeal to raise money to buy drones to attack the UAE. […]Whatever the cause, the effort was a clear failure and demonstrates the growing difficulty that the muqawama has in coordinating even basic propaganda campaigns on issues that should be the subject of considerable mutual interest. – Washington Institute 

Gulf States

Nearly three years after the group lost its final enclave, Islamic State fighters are re-emerging as a deadly threat, aided by the lack of central control in many areas, according to a dozen security officials, local leaders and residents in northern Iraq. – Reuters 

Iraq has become the biggest beneficiary of Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, as China fills the void left by the US retreat from a conflict that cost hundreds of thousands of lives and American taxpayers trillions of dollars. – Financial Times 

The United States said it is sending fighter jets to assist the United Arab Emirates following missile attacks on the Gulf state launched by Yemen’s Houthi movement, including a foiled attack aimed at a base hosting U.S. forces. – Reuters 

Bobby Ghosh writes: The Biden administration has also offered the Emiratis assurances of support and has said it will hold the Houthis accountable for the attacks. Israel, likewise, is offering security and intelligence support. The UAE will appreciate more U.S. Patriot anti-missile batteries; it may be leery of openly accepting Israeli hardware, however, for fear of drawing even more Iranian and Houthi hostility. But the Emiratis will be grateful, as much as anything else, for American and Israeli tourists – Bloomberg 

Michael Rubin writes: Against this reality, it is hard not to see Biden’s embrace of Qatar as motivated by something more covert or dishonest: covert in the sense that Biden may back Qatar to launder U.S. outreach to the Taliban, Tehran, and Hamas, if not even more radical groups. […]Perhaps Biden’s motivation is pure. If so, however, it is not clear why Qatar and why now. After all, to compare the balance sheet between Qatar’s assets and its liabilities would be to conclude that it deserves designation, not as a major non-NATO ally, but rather as a state sponsor of terror. – Washington Examiner 

Hasan Ismaik writes: Therefore, it is urgently required that Arabs increase their investments in Oman, especially after the financial losses it suffered from the coronavirus pandemic and the oil crisis. Oman needs these investments to help to expand its economy and reduce high unemployment, especially among its young. – Jerusalem Post 

Middle East & North Africa

Zoe H. Robbin writes: In addition, the economy of Jordan also continues to grapple with the protracted humanitarian crises at its borders. Among Syrian refugees in the country, disrupted education, poverty, the challenges of life in refugee camps, and difficulties gaining work permits have all resulted in low levels of female labor force participation. […]Given that child marriage and poverty have a profoundly negative impact on girls’ and women’s abilities to attain an education and participate in the economy, the Jordanian government must prioritize addressing this urgent humanitarian crisis in conjunction with expanding digital infrastructure. – Middle East Institute 

Zine Labidine Ghebouli writes: For decades, Algerians have benefited from generous social welfare policies, but these have ultimately proven unsustainable. […]The government may be able to prevent major riots for now, but political divisions will hamper efforts to achieve real long-term stability. After all, the current struggle is the natural result of a failing economic model, a problem for which there are no quick or easy solutions. Algerians will have to agree on a new social contract, a process that will involve difficult compromises and painful economic and political consequences. – Middle East Institute 

Anchal Vohra writes: China is increasingly coordinating with the Middle East’s despots and offering them full diplomatic support in exchange for energy and trade deals as well as diplomatic concessions on issues from Xinjiang human rights violations to the South China Sea dispute. It also wants to financially integrate the region so U.S. sanctions can no longer halt oil supplies and sanctioned actors are beholden to Beijing. For now, China is banking on Russia’s military muscle to stay out of military involvement in the region’s security conflicts. But Beijing cannot not stay on the fence forever in regional rivalries if it wants to be a world leader. – Foreign Affairs 

Korean Peninsula

The United States, supported by Britain and France, has asked the U.N. Security Council to meet behind closed-doors on Thursday over North Korea’s launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile, diplomats said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

South Korea on Tuesday said it signed a $1.6 billion arms deal with Egypt a week after President Joe Biden’s administration approved another massive arms sale to the Middle Eastern nation. – Associated Press 

The Korea Research Institute for Defense Technology Planning and Advancement (KRIT) has launched a road map to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) for future warfare. The defence-based AI road map – the first of its kind in South Korea – seeks to develop mid- to long-term technology strategies to support the advancement of future military systems, said KRIT, which was launched in 2021 to support the growth of the country’s defence technology industrial base (DTIB). – Janes 


Chinese drone maker DJI, a leading supplier of drones to U.S. law enforcement, obscured its Chinese government funding while claiming that Beijing had not invested in the firm, according to a Washington Post review of company reports and articles posted on the sites of state-owned and -controlled investors, as well as analysis by IPVM, a video surveillance research group. – Washington Post 

In January alone, five senior officials from oil-rich Arab monarchies visited China to discuss cooperation on energy and infrastructure. Turkey’s top diplomat vowed to stamp out “media reports targeting China” in the Turkish news media, and Iran’s foreign minister pressed for progress on $400 billion of investment that China has promised his country. As the United States, fatigued by decades of war and upheaval in the Middle East, seeks to limit its involvement there, China is deepening its ties with both friends and foes of Washington across the region. – New York Times 

China has failed to meet its commitments under a two-year “Phase 1” trade deal that expired at the end of 2021, and discussions are continuing with Beijing on the matter, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

The FBI urged all U.S. athletes competing in the Olympic Games in Beijing to leave their phones behind, warning of cybersecurity threats from technology linked to Chinese Communist Party repression. – Washington Examiner 

The leader of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus is urging fellow lawmakers to avoid relying on “fear of China” during debate on pending legislation to boost U.S. competitiveness and supply chains so as not to encourage xenophobia. – The Hill 

Editorial: Mr. Xi’s economic changes have been accompanied by political crackdowns in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, aggressive muzzling of dissent ahead of the Olympics, and rising nationalism on matters such as Taiwan. His political and economic controls may be enough to win an extension of his presidential term beyond the usual 10 years later this year. But despite the appearance of political stability at the top, China’s Year of the Tiger could be bumpy for Mr. Xi. – Wall Street Journal 

Editorial: This is among the reasons that rapidly transitioning the nation’s energy sector must be Mr. Biden’s overriding priority. That does not mean the president should allow solar panels manufactured with slave labor to be sold in the United States. But across-the-board tariffs, which raise prices for U.S. solar consumers, are far too costly a response. The administration should seek to crack down on Chinese human rights abuses — not to prop up a small, coddled industry pleading for special help. – Washington Post 

Mike Gallagher writes: Such a fate is not inevitable, but until now, the United States has made it more likely by taking a complacent approach to the defense of Taiwan. By building Battle Force 2025, the United States and its allies can deter and if necessary defeat a Chinese invasion in the near term without disrupting the United States’ long-term defense investments and without depending on magical future technologies or budgetary miracles. Armed with a sense of urgency, the United States can defend Taiwan and, in the process, defend the free world. – Foreign Affairs 


A year since Myanmar’s military coup, incomes have plummeted, the currency has tanked and fuel prices have doubled. At markets in the country’s largest city, Yangon, shoppers say they now pay roughly twice what they did a year ago for cooking oil, produce and soap. – Wall Street Journal 

The Indian government announced plans Tuesday to tax cryptocurrency income, making India the latest major country to move swiftly toward legalizing and regulating the digital asset. – Washington Post 

Priscilla Clapp writes: To promote democratic values and sustain the development of Myanmar’s civilian leaders, the report recommends that the United States should provide not only protection and support but also more funding for educational opportunities to preserve the intellectual talent that has emerged within the younger generation. And it should continue providing strong support to civil society organizations inside Myanmar that serve communities under siege. International support for these brave people must not fail them at this critical moment. – The Hill 


The White House has dismissed claims by Russian President Vladimir Putin that Moscow would be forced into conflict with NATO if Ukraine joins the Western military alliance and attempts to seize back Crimea, which the Kremlin annexed in 2014. – Washington Post 

As concerns grow that Moscow will again invade Ukraine, President Biden has threatened the use of financial sanctions and export controls that could wreak havoc on the Russian economy. – Washington Post 

With roaring engines flashing orange against the snowy sky, two U.S. F-15 fighter jets on Tuesday streaked into the icy air above this former Soviet air base, where they have become part of the effort to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank in response to Russia’s military buildup around Ukraine. – Washington Post 

President Vladimir Putin hit back against the West on Tuesday, accusing the United States and NATO of using Ukraine to hem in Russia and ignoring Moscow’s security concerns. – Washington Post 

As the United States moves to exert maximal pressure on Russia over fears of a Ukraine invasion, the Russian leader, Vladimir V. Putin, has found relief from his most powerful partner on the global stage, China. – New York Times 

The Biden administration has informed the Kremlin it is willing to discuss giving Russia a way to verify there aren’t offensive Tomahawk cruise missiles stationed at sensitive NATO missile-defense bases in Romania and Poland, according to people familiar with the matter. – Bloomberg 

Pre-emptive sanctions against Russia and the fate of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline have emerged as two sticking points in Senate negotiations over a new package of penalties in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive posture toward Ukraine. – Bloomberg 

Anthony Faiola writes: Broader U.S. sanctions against Russia could indeed sting. […]Sanctions on that scale aimed at a country the size of Russia are novel and risk disruptions to the global financial system as well as Russian retaliation. European allies, dependent on Russian energy to light Berlin, Paris and Rome, may also be reluctant to join in. But if fully imposed, such sanctions could serve as serious punishment for Russian transgression. Sanctions targeting Putin himself might be more difficult to make count. For one, to even consider freezing his assets, you’d have to know where they are. – Washington Post 

David Ignatius writes: Putin may have hoped to exploit what he saw as Biden’s political weakness, but Biden’s difficulties instead seemed to stiffen his backbone. […]Putin is determined to stop what he has called the “anti-Russian project.” He made a huge gamble that the West would back down in Ukraine. The big surprise for Putin is that he has met an unwavering adversary in Biden — a garrulous, genial career politician who, in this confrontation, has been surprisingly resolute. – Washington Post 

Joseph Bosco writes: As for the argument that playing the sanctions card now will dissipate its effectiveness, there is no reason a package of significant economic sanctions cannot be imposed while holding in reserve the most severe and devastating economic and financial actions. […]Washington also should lead an urgent NATO review of its military capabilities to directly defend Ukraine as a security partner and serious NATO aspirant. Finally, NATO should invite Russia to ensure its own security and Europe’s by itself moving to qualify for NATO membership. – The Hill 

John Paul Rathbone and Polina Ivanova writes: Compared with the limited and lightning-fast operation in Kazakhstan, today the international community is warning that Russia appears to be preparing for a very different operation: a comprehensive invasion of Ukraine. […]With Ukraine, Russia has also retained an element of surprise. By parking equipment against the border, which can then be manned by troops brought quickly forward, Kofman said, the scope and timing of any final operation would not be revealed until late into preparations. – Financial Times 


Splitting sharply from his NATO allies, Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary said on Tuesday that proposed sanctions against Russia if it takes military action against Ukraine would be “doomed to failure” and that Russian security demands were reasonable. – New York Times 

Britain, Poland and Ukraine are working to strengthen their three-way cooperation in the face of the threat of a new Russian military intervention, the leaders of the two eastern European countries said in Kyiv on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Andreas Kluth writes: Olaf Scholz has so far refrained from making his views excessively clear. That may be cowardice — or tactical guile. His coalition partners, the Greens and the Free Democrats, are ready to toughen the German line against Russia. Provided Scholz can keep his own party in line, he could, should — and probably will — make Germany a better ally. In fact, this may be his biggest test as German leader. – Bloomberg 

Tom Rogan writes: There’s a broader strategic point at stake. At a political level, the U.S.’s hesitation to do more for Ukraine’s defense translates as a sign of weakness. This fuels French, German, and Italian resistance of more extensive sanctions against Russia and moves by pro-Kremlin elements in Hungary to support Putin. – Washington Examiner 

Richard Milne writes: As Russia amasses more than 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine and makes threats not just against the Baltic country but the entire European security architecture, how can banks and investors fail to support companies helping protect their countries? And is making your country’s banking industry dependent on another country’s lenders a wise thing? – Financial Times 


The president of Guinea-Bissau posted a message to Twitter saying he was “fine” Tuesday after mutinous soldiers tried to overthrow the tiny nation’s government in an hours-long shootout. Video captured gunmen storming the main government compound, and West African leaders condemned an “attempted coup” in the country of 2 million, which has a long history of military uprisings. – Washington Post 

Hoping to capitalize on growing U.S. concern over Chinese expansionism in Africa, Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi is planning a March visit to Washington, where he is expected to explore American interest in using the facilities in Berbera. The city sits on the Gulf of Aden, a key route linking the Indian Ocean, Suez Canal and Mediterranean Sea. – Wall Street Journal 

France is discussing with its European and African partners whether it should stay in Mali after the junta in power said it was expelling the French ambassador, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday, adding that leaving the country would take time. – Reuters 

The U.S. government is engaging in robust talks with Kenya as part of its drive to expand equitable and inclusive U.S. trade investment on the African continent, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

The European Union has agreed to impose travel bans and asset freezes on five members of Mali’s junta after the military rulers went back on an agreement to organise elections in February, three diplomats said. – Reuters 

The United States has made clear to Sudan’s military leaders that Washington is prepared to impose additional costs if violence against protesters continues and is looking at options to increase pressure, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Phee said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Zambia expects an International Monetary Fund (IMF) debt health check to be finalised this month, to strike a restructuring deal with creditors by April and get a formal agreement with the fund signed off in May, its finance minister said. – Reuters 

A U.S. government agency said Monday that it is pausing $450 million in assistance to the West African nation of Burkina Faso, where mutinous soldiers overthrew the democratically elected president last week. – Associated Press 

A number of member states are resisting signing onto a European Union strategy to respond to China’s clout in Africa before a high-profile summit later this month, according to EU officials familiar with the discussions. – Bloomberg 

The African Union appears set for an internal clash over its relationship with Israel at a summit this weekend, a rare point of contention for a bloc that values consensus. – Agence France-Presse 

Shirley Botchwey writes: Beating back terrorism, climate change and piracy in Africa cannot be left to a handful of west African countries when the consequences of inaction are global. They require the attention of the UN Security Council, and a recognition that the responses to the threats to world peace today and in the future should be different from the traditional peacekeeping approaches applied in Congo and Lebanon. – Financial Times 

The Americas

The U.S. government has urged Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to cancel a visit with President Vladimir Putin in Russia due to rising tensions over its troop build-up near Ukraine, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. – Reuters 

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez will begin an overseas tour on Tuesday including visits to Russia and China, a trip that comes amid tensions over a possible conflict in Ukraine and in the wake of a breakthrough in debt talks with the International Monetary Fund. – Reuters 

Defense Minister Anita Anand said on Tuesday that Canada was ready to join the West in imposing economic sanctions on Russia if Moscow sent troops into Ukraine, saying that the Kremlin had a choice to make between de-escalation and punitive measures. – Reuters 

Relations between the United States and Mexico are under strain as the Mexican government pushes ahead with planned energy sector reforms that have alarmed Washington and foreign investors. – Agence France-Presse 

Ryan C. Berg and Daniel F. Runde write: Lasso’s meeting with Xi should be a wake-up call for the Biden administration. Lasso is a pragmatic leader, so Ecuador will not wait for the U.S. to make up its mind. His flight to China is boarding soon. It is now up to the U.S. to develop a regional trade and development agenda that meets Ecuador’s needs and competes with China. The country is sending a strong message. Will the U.S. answer? – The Hill 

United States

The Biden administration is preparing a new package of sanctions targeting Russia in an effort to deter it from invading Ukraine — and to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin and his allies in the event of a conflict. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that President Biden was prepared to take this round of measures even further than the ones President Barack Obama imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014. – Washington Post 

At least a dozen historically Black colleges and universities in the United States received bomb threats and put their campuses on lockdown on Tuesday, a day after a rash of similar threats forced several of them to cancel classes. – Reuters 

US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides on Tuesday said the Biden administration is very capable of managing the crisis with Ukraine while still ensuring that Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon. – Jerusalem Post 

Growing Republican criticism risks complicating passage of a once-bipartisan bill intended to make the U.S economy more competitive, saying it goes too easy on China even as it aims to aid the domestic semiconductor industry. – Bloomberg 

Editorial: The legislation’s proponents argue that the United States must still ensure that more chips are produced here, so that disruption in one link in the supply chain — if, for example, U.S. ports slow, as they did during the pandemic — does not cause another punishing shortage. It is not clear this risk justifies massive new onshoring subsidies. But if lawmakers are determined to approve them, they must attach substantial strings. Federal agencies should have broad authority to manage government aid — and terminate funding to failing firms. Otherwise taxpayers may get paltry returns on their investment. – Washington Post 

Yigal Carmon and Amiel Ungar write: The only thing America has been showing to Iran and North Korea is that violence pays off. Clearly, the Biden Administration’s goal is to avoid war at all costs, even if that means causing the U.S. to embarrass itself and lose some prestige. If that were an effective approach, then some embarrassment really wouldn’t be a big deal. However, as we saw in the cases of the Korean War and the Gulf War, this approach is not effective against dictatorships. The more likely outcome is both embarrassment and war. – Middle East Media Research Institute 


The White House dispatched its top cybersecurity official to NATO on Tuesday in what it described as a mission to prepare allies to deter, and perhaps disrupt, Russian cyberattacks on Ukraine, and to brace for the possibility that sanctions on Moscow could lead to a wave of retaliatory cyberattacks on Europe and the United States. – New York Times 

Cybersecurity officials in Ukraine issued a warning Monday about yet another phishing attack using either compromised or spoofed government email addresses, the second such warning since Saturday. – CyberScoop 

Ukrainian government officials want closer collaboration with NATO’s cyber center of excellence, even after center overseers denied Kyiv a formal membership status last year. – C4ISRNET 

The EU will on Wednesday outline a more aggressive approach to setting global standards for cutting-edge and green technologies in a concerted effort to counter the influence of China. – Financial Times 

The world’s largest technology companies are pouring money into the biggest foreign policy think-tanks in the US, as they seek to advance the argument that stricter competition rules will benefit China. – Financial Times 


Sen. Elizabeth Warren is calling on the Pentagon to stop censoring its annual weapons testing report and return to the transparency that marked it for the last 40 years. – Defense News 

Robert A. McDonald Sr, M. Sam Araki, and Robert Wilkie write: Today’s environment is very different from the Cold War. Applying the 7 Tenets won’t be easy, but it is essential to adapt the 7 Tenets to today’s aerospace-engineering intelligence and acquisition challenges. To do so would enable the DoD, first, to eliminate what Cass Sunstein has described as “sludge,” and then to be able to meet the expectations of DoD leadership to encounter today’s threat posed by China. – Defense News 

Seth Cropsey writes: In the next year, the U.S. must reconsider its entire Eurasian military posture, ideally reorienting it to counter China, which multiple administrations have endorsed but none has executed. Before this point — and before the Ukraine crisis is resolved — a window of vulnerability remains. An immediate surge of air and naval forces into the Western Pacific will reduce this vulnerability, while reassuring U.S. allies and affiliates that, in the event of invasion, they will not share Ukraine’s fate. – The Hill