Fdd's overnight brief

February 24, 2022

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


Russian missiles and airstrikes hit Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, and more than a dozen other cities across the country Thursday, minutes after President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation that he said seeks to “demilitarize and de-nazify Ukraine” and bring its leaders to trial. – Wall Street Journal  

Russia’s audacious military assault on Ukraine is the first major clash marking a new order in international politics, with three major powers jostling for position in ways that threaten America’s primacy. – Wall Street Journal  

The U.S. and its allies are poised to unveil further sanctions, now that Russia has launched what President Biden called “an unprovoked and unjustified attack” on Ukraine, hoping a fresh tranche of penalties will have a greater deterrent effect than the first set. – Wall Street Journal  

President Biden’s initial response to Russia’s military thrust into eastern Ukraine was to cut off two major Russian banks from U.S. financing and to bar American investors from buying Russian government bonds. – Washington Post 

Global markets tumbled steeply Thursday as Russia launched a military assault on Ukraine, with investors bracing for a period of turmoil and energy-related disruptions. – Washington Post 

As President Biden promised that “the world will hold Russia accountable” for what he described as an “unprovoked and unjustified attack” on Ukraine, other global leaders were quick to condemn Russia’s actions and call for a decisive response. – Washington Post 

President Biden said on Wednesday that he would issue economic sanctions on the company behind a new natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, the latest in a series of penalties that the White House has promised will continue as Russia escalates hostilities against Ukraine. –  New York Times 

Russian mercenaries with experience fighting in Syria and Libya have covertly trickled into two rebel territories in eastern Ukraine, helping to lay the groundwork for war, according to two senior European security officials. – New York Times 

Russia has suspended movement of commercial vessels in the Azov sea until further notice, but kept its ports in the Black Sea open for navigation, its officials and five grain industry sources said on Thursday. – Reuters  

Footage has shown Russian military vehicles and troops entering Ukraine from several border points including Belarus as Moscow-led forces launched a major military assault on Ukraine, with reports of missile strikes and explosions in major cities. – Newsweek 

On February 21, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the Executive Order On the Recognition of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Executive Order On the Recognition of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR). Commenting on the recognition of the independence from Ukraine of the DPR and LPR, anti-liberal Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin published an article titled: “Glory To Novorossiya! The Beginning Of The Second Slavic Reconquista Has Begun.” – Middle East Media Research Institute  

Editorial: In the three decades that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union, the transatlantic community may have taken peace and freedom for granted. Now comes Mr. Putin to explode any and all such complacency, in his characteristic manner: claiming, grotesquely, that Russia must unleash war on Ukraine because it threatens Russia, when his real fear is that exemplary democratic success in a large, culturally similar, neighbor would undermine his own kleptocratic rule. – Washington Post 

Joe Lieberman writes: The hard truth is Ukraine cannot succeed alone against Russia. The U.S. and Europe must find ways to come to Ukraine’s defense. As Mr. Zelensky said, it would be our “contribution to the security of Europe and the world.” – Wall Street Journal 

E.J. Dionne Jr. writes: Nonetheless, it’s not outlandish to hope that Russian citizens, including some among its elites, will eventually tire of the isolation bred by their leader’s misadventures and misjudgments — especially if he drags his country into a large and costly land war. If the West remains patient and determined, Putin could yet reap the whirlwind at home. – Washington Post 

Greg Ip writes: For a while after the Cold War, globalization was triumphant in Western capitals. Market forces would determine where goods, services, capital and knowledge would flow, not governments, ideology or spheres of influence. […]Mr. Putin may yet succeed in reconstituting the Cold War regime of Eastern and Western economic blocs. Even with Ukraine, though, his Eurasian Economic Union would be an  economic flyweight of little importance to other countries except in commodities. – Wall Street Journal  

Adam Taylor writes: Both Putin and Xi have sounded off against colonization by powerful nations, which may help explain why they are reticent to show full support for each other on Ukraine and Taiwan. As The Post’s Lily Kuo put it this week, China in particular is walking a tight rope in its comments about Ukraine as “noninterference and respect for territorial integrity form the core of its foreign policy.” – Washington Post 

Clara Ferreira Marques writes: To drive home the point, the West must now dramatically ramp up sanctions, reaching far beyond individuals into Russia’s state banks and more — even if few options now come without a cost for Europe and the rest of the world. Vladimir Putin has already begun the war no one but Kremlin hawks wanted. Now only the toughest measures can hold him back. – Bloomberg 

Nate Sibley writes: Putin may have reduced his vulnerability to oligarchic power plays, but he has not yet succeeded in creating an invulnerable totalitarian regime. By crippling Russia’s economy and pursuing a maximum-pressure campaign against the Russian elites who prop Putin up, the U.S. and its allies can eventually put his regime in danger. – National Review  

Mark N. Katz writes: Putin, though, cannot escape the problem that Lenin himself had to deal with of how to reconcile non-Russians to being ruled by Russia. The forceful imposition of Russian rule in part—much less all—of Ukraine will not bring about such a reconciliation. […]Like Putin, Lenin was no democrat. Like Putin, Lenin wanted to restore control over lost parts of the empire. Instead of blaming Lenin then, Putin would do well to draw lessons from Lenin’s realization that a more accommodative approach toward Ukrainian nationalism would better serve Russia’s long-term interests. – The National Interest  

Benjamin Schmitt writes: One last thing: while we are rightly focused on Putin’s threat to extinguish Ukrainian independence, we must remember that the world’s autocrats will be eagerly observing the current crisis to update the how-to-undermine-democracy chapter of their malign playbooks. […]As I explained with Paul Massaro in Foreign Policy last month, “overlooking sanctionable activities by Moscow today will only leave Chinese officials with a playbook of how to undermine global democracies tomorrow.” – Center for European Policy Analysis  

Desmond Lachman writes: In the face of Russian aggression, the West will have little option but to escalate its punitive sanctions, albeit not on Russia’s energy sector where over time such sanctions might really hurt. The question that one must ask is if such sanctions failed to cause a change in Putin’s behavior following the Crimean annexation in 2014, why would new sanctions force Putin to back down today on his recent audacious Ukraine moves when the Russian economy is more sanction-proof than it was before? – Barron’s 

James Hershberg writes: In any case, in weighing his options, Putin must know that invading Ukraine would dramatically revive and reinforce Russophobia in surrounding countries, with consequences he may not like. His nostalgic desire to effectively re-create the Soviet Union (without its global ideological rationale, since he stands only for autocracy and Russian power), if necessary by force, appears to be leading Russia toward war. – Foreign Affairs  

Niall Ferguson writes: When it became clear that Putin intended a further and larger military incursion into Ukraine, Joe Biden and his national security team opted for sanctions once again. If Putin invaded Ukraine, they said, Russia would face ‘crippling’ or ‘devastating’ economic and financial penalties. When these threats did not deter Putin, they tried a new tactic, publishing intelligence on the likely timing and nature of the Russian assault. – The Spectator 


Nearly a year after they began, success or failure in negotiations over a renewed Iran nuclear deal is now expected within the next several days. – Washington Post 

Western partners in nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna have to make decisions on crucial issues to help reach an agreement, Iranian officials said on Thursday on Twitter. – Reuters 

Iran on Wednesday urged Western powers to be “realistic” in talks to revive a 2015 nuclear deal and said its top negotiator was returning to Tehran for consultations, suggesting a breakthrough in its discussions is not imminent. – Reuters 

The war in Ukraine is caused by “NATO’s provocative actions”, Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Thursday on Twitter. – Reuters  

Iran has millions of barrels of oil stored offshore that could flow into a tight global market if a nuclear deal is agreed, with refiners in South Korea likely to be among the first in line to take cargoes. – Bloomberg  

Iran’s top negotiator at talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal returned to Tehran from Vienna for consultations as the country’s foreign minister said the discussions had reached a “sensitive and important point.” – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps published a video Wednesday showing footage from security cameras at two of Israel’s largest seaports as well as details of hundreds of workers at the sites. – Times of Israel  

Alan J. Kuperman writes: The U.S. always should consider every option, including military action, to achieve its security goals. Armed force won’t always be the best choice, and I publicly opposed going to war against Iraq in 2003. But the next time a president insists that force is only a last resort, Americans should ask why and never forget how that misguided policy gave Iran a clear path to the bomb. – Wall Street Journal  

Seth J. Frantzman writes: The risk that the Russian war in Ukraine could increase chances of an Israeli clash with Iran are clear. Hezbollah recently launched a drone that flew into Israeli airspace and returned to Lebanon. Hezbollah then bragged about sending the drone. This was a clear provocation. Hezbollah was testing Israel and it continues to improve its rockets and missiles and drones. In addition, foreign media reported a missile strike in Syria this week, apparently targeting a Hezbollah site. This is the context of tensions in the region. – Jerusalem Post 


Talks with government officials in Berlin on the issue have started, but are progressing slowly, said group leader Marcus Grotian, a German army officer who was himself stationed in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz in 2011. […]The German government says it is doing everything possible to help former local staff leave Afghanistan. – Reuters  

For months, Afghan women have challenged the Taliban by demonstrating for their rights. The Taliban has cracked down on the protests through harassment, force, and even the abduction of activists, according to rights groups. Now the Taliban authorities appear to be using a new tactic to intimidate women’s rights advocates: airing so-called confessions in which women say activists based outside the country had told them to protest. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

India has sent tons of wheat to help relieve food shortages in Afghanistan after it reached a deal with bitter rival Pakistan to allow shipments across their common border. India’s Foreign Ministry said on February 23 that about 50 trucks packed with the first 2,500 tons of wheat donated by India have begun crossing into Pakistan. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 


Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that would provide necessary support and guidance to citizens wishing to leave Ukraine. – Reuters  

President Tayyip Erdogan told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that Turkey did not recognise steps against Ukraine’s territorial integrity, his office said, after Russia recognised two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine. – Reuters 

Turkey has sent a request to the United Arab Emirates to detain and repatriate Sedat Peker, a convicted Turkish mob boss, after Interpol issued a red notice for him, the state-owned Anadolu news agency said on Wednesday. – Reuters 

Authorities in Greece said Wednesday that one of the country’s coast guard vessels fired warning shots at a Turkish fishing boat near the island of Chios in the eastern Aegean Sea. – Associated Press 


Israel’s president confirmed on Wednesday that he will visit Turkey, casting the trip to a former security partner as part of an attempt to create a regional alliance on climate change. – Reuters  

The Palestinian U.N. ambassador, wearing a mask saying “End Apartheid,” accused Israel of engaging in “apartheid” in nearly a dozen ways on Wednesday, and Israel’s ambassador accused him of regurgitating claims from the Palestinian Authority, which he said “promotes hate, incitement, violence and terror.” – Associated Press 

The organizations representing the Palestinian Arab terrorist prisoners and the national and Islamic forces in Ramallah have declared a “day of rage” on March 1 to support the prisoners in the fight they are waging against “the crimes of the Israeli occupation against them.” – Arutz Sheva  

Defense Minister Benny Gantz threatened Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group on Wednesday, saying attempts to create an equation of response with Israel would result in a bill with “high interest.” – Times of Israel  

David Horovitz writes: It is a reminder — one that Israel did not need — to take with the utmost seriousness threats issued by rapacious adversaries, first and foremost Iran, who have the capacity, or are working to gain the capacity, to implement them. (As Foreign Minister Yair Lapid told me less than two weeks ago, “I’m looking at Ukraine and saying, thank God for the IDF and for our ability to defend ourselves.”) – Times of Israel 

Lahav Harkov writes: Israel also seems to generally have more success than Ukraine at getting the world’s attention, for better or for worse, though it seems likely that the “shorter, weaker” Iran deal, as Bennett called it, will be completed under the radar while the focus is on Ukraine. – Jerusalem Post 

Arabian Peninsula

The United Arab Emirates plans to order 12 L-15 light attack planes from China, with the option of purchasing 36 more, the UAE state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday. – Reuters  

The United Arab Emirates’ only nuclear power plant is “well protected” against security threats, the regulator said on Wednesday, following a series of unprecedented drone and missile attacks on the Gulf state. – Reuters 

The United States on Wednesday sanctioned a sprawling international network run by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and a Houthi financier that provided tens of millions of dollars to Yemen’s Houthi rebels, the U.S. Treasury said. – Reuters 

The United Arab Emirates designated one individual and five entities as terrorists, saying they are linked to supporting Yemen’s Houthis, the state news agency (WAM) reported on Wednesday. – Reuters 

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have detained another official of the long-closed U.S. Embassy there, bringing the number of local ex-U.S. Embassy staffers in the rebel group’s custody to at least 11, according to accounts from Yemeni officials and others. – Associated Press 

The United Arab Emirates’ and Russia’s foreign ministers stressed “the strength and solidity” of their relationship as well as their keenness to enhance Emirati-Russia cooperation during a telephone call on Wednesday, UAE’s state news agency said. – Reuters  

Middle East & North Africa

Lebanese security forces have foiled plans by militants linked to Islamic State to carry out three suicide attacks in Beirut’s southern suburbs, the interior minister said on Wednesday. – Reuters 

Three soldiers have been killed in an Israeli rocket attack in the vicinity of Damascus early on Thursday, Syrian state TV said, citing an army source. – Reuters 

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to end Iraq’s requirement to compensate victims of its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, with Baghdad having paid out more than $50 billion to 1.5 million claimants. – Associated Press 

Dalia Ghanem writes: On the third anniversary of Algeria’s pro-democracy protest movement, known as the Hirak, Algeria is ringing in the old. After using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to crack down on civil society organizations (CSOs), human rights defenders (HRDs), and opposition figures for more than a year, the Algerian authorities are intensifying repression against the last voices of dissent, hoping to put an end to the Hirak once and for all. Human rights in Algeria are under serious threat; the pattern toward a more authoritarian, less competitive regime is clear. – Middle East Institute  

Jalel Harchaoui writes: Having missed an opportunity in late 2021 with its failure to object to the speaker’s weakening of the elections’ legal framework, Washington should help the Libyan population by increasing pressure on the country’s elites to adopt a sound basis so that legislative elections can happen this year. […]In the absence of a firm hand from Washington, Libyan factions will grow more and more tempted to improvise coercive endeavors, such as violent incursions, oil blockades, and deliberate regression from a much-needed banking reunification. – War on the Rocks  


The Justice Department is ending a Trump-era initiative to counter national-security threats from China after it led to a series of failed prosecutions of academics that sowed broad distrust in the higher-education community. – Wall Street Journal  

China on Thursday denied backing Russia’s military assault in Ukraine as it treaded a cautious line in response to a conflict that many Chinese analysts just days before were predicting wouldn’t happen. – Washington Post 

The miracle of modern China was built on global connections, a belief that sending young people, companies and future leaders to soak up the outside world was the route from impoverishment to power. Now, emboldened by its transformation, the country is shunning the influences and ideas that nourished its rise. – New York Times 

The United States on Wednesday accused China and Russia of working together to create a new ‘profoundly illiberal’ world order of which Moscow’s actions towards Ukraine were just a part. – Reuters 

China reiterated on Thursday a call for all parties involved in the situation in Ukraine to exercise restraint and rejected a foreign journalist’s description of Russia’s actions as an invasion. – Reuters  

Taiwan is “not Ukraine” and has always been an inalienable part of China, China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday, as Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen called for the island to beef up vigilance on military activities in response to the crisis. – Reuters  

The yuan is standing out for its resilience as global markets reel from Russia’s attack on targets across Ukraine. – Bloomberg  

China is ready to throw Russia an economic lifeline as Vladimir Putin’s ties with the west deteriorate and Moscow is hit by snowballing sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine. – Financial Times 

Though Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping declared having a “no limits” partnership at a meeting in Beijing on February 4, the Kremlin’s massive military buildup around Ukraine and threat to invade is testing Moscow-Beijing ties. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

South Asia

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan left for Moscow on Wednesday to push for the construction of a long-delayed, multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline to be built in collaboration with Russian companies, an official said. – Reuters  

India’s foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Wednesday the country is willing to make investments in Sri Lanka to help it ease a financial crisis. – Reuters  

Following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s latest moves to escalate the crisis in Ukraine and potentially invade the country, newspapers in India and Pakistan have published editorials and articles commenting on the stakes involved for the two South Asian countries. India, which is currently a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, has refrained from stating a clear-cut position on Ukraine, while Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is visiting Moscow on February 23-24, 2022, to discuss bilateral ties with Putin. – Middle East Media Research Institute  

Mihir Sharma writes: The question is this: Are countries such as India going to make foreign policy decisions on the basis of the past or the future? A decade from now, will India benefit more from a coolly friendly but chaos-loving Russia with little to offer besides weapons, or a Europe that is throwing more money, energy and attention at security and development challenges in the Indo-Pacific? – Bloomberg  


South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that South Korea would join international sanctions against Russia and expressed regret over Russia’s attack on Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal  

Kazakhstan’s central bank hiked its policy rate to 13.5% from 10.25% on Thursday as the central Asian nation’s tenge currency sank alongside the Russian rouble after Moscow launched attacks on Ukraine. – Reuters 

Azerbaijan plans to boost natural gas supplies this year and pump 16.2 billion cubic metres (bcm) via the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), mainly to Europe, and almost double its capacity in the future, the consortium’s head said on Wednesday. – Reuters  

Nepal’s parliament postponed on Thursday debate on $500 million in U.S. aid that critics say undermines sovereignty as protesters opposed to the proposed funds clashed with police outside the assembly, officials and witnesses said. – Reuters  


But with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, Mr. Biden has a foreign-policy crisis back at the center of his agenda, testing his leadership on the world stage and among Americans split over the conflict and its potential costs. – Wall Street Journal 

NATO ambassadors gathered Thursday morning for an emergency meeting in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with a pledge to defend alliance members and support Ukraine, which isn’t a member. – Wall Street Journal  

Germany’s decision to halt its Nord Stream 2 natural-gas pipeline to Russia, prompted by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recognition of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, marks a turning point for the country. – Wall Street Journal  

A global oil benchmark surged above $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014, after Russia launched military attacks on Ukraine, pushing tanks and troops into the country and hitting cities with airstrikes. – Wall Street Journal 

The European Union announced new sanctions against top Russian officials, companies, lawmakers and “leading propagandists” this week as it sought to punish Moscow for threatening Ukraine. – Washington Post 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded with the Russian people late Wednesday to stop their leadership from sending troops across the border and into his country, recording an emotional video appeal that underscored the close ties between the two nations and warned of the despair that would come from a needless war. – Washington Post 

With the world absorbed by months of geopolitical brinkmanship, high-stakes diplomacy and scrutiny of Russia’s military encirclement of Ukraine, lost in the din has been this sobering fact: If President Vladimir Putin proceeds with a large-scale invasion, thousands will probably die. – Washington Post 

Viewed from Paris, London and Washington, the events unfolding in Ukraine may seem like a new Cold War taking shape in Europe. From the Baltic countries, it looks much worse. – Associated Press 

A Ukrainian presidential adviser says that Russian forces have launched an attack on Ukraine from the north, east and south. The adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, said “the Ukrainian military is fighting hard.” – Associated Press 

Ukraine closed its airspace to civilian flights on Thursday, citing a high risk to safety, while Europe’s aviation regulator also warned against the hazards to flying in bordering areas of Russia and Belarus, because of military activities. – Reuters  

The European Union will hold Moscow accountable for the “unjustified” attack on Ukraine, the chief of the bloc’s Executive Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said on Thursday. – Reuters 

New gas contracts with Russia are inconceivable, the chair of Germany’s foreign affairs committee told broadcaster RTL/ntv on Thursday after Russian forces launched an invasion of Ukraine. – Reuters  

A pair of high-ranking officials from NATO member states are in Kyiv as Russian forces bombard targets around the Ukrainian capital city. – Washington Examiner  

A top Ukrainian official said early Thursday local time that Russian President Vladimir Putin has “launched a full-scale war” in the country. – The Hill

David Ignatius writes: Perhaps the Ukrainians will be able to field a strong, prickly resistance movement in the weeks ahead. But history teaches that this porcupine may have internal parasites — and that it will be pursued by a very sharp-toothed fox. – Washington Post 

David E. Sanger writes: When Ukraine gave up a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons left on its territory after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it famously struck a deal with Washington, London and Moscow, trading the weapons for a guarantee of its security and borders. Not surprisingly, the Ukrainian government is wondering what happened to that guarantee. – New York Times 

Kenneth C. Griffin and Niall Ferguson write: Germany’s bet that importing Russian energy would promote peace in Europe has been a losing one. It is time for a new strategy. The U.S. should not have to absorb the cost of sanctions on behalf of Germany if Berlin is not willing to change its policy. Regardless of whether it comes to all-out war in Ukraine, the Russian government has shown itself to be an incorrigibly aggressive autocracy with no compunction about coercing its neighbors. – Wall Street Journal 

Victor Mallet writes: Given Putin’s darkening mood after two decades at the helm of post-Soviet Russia, and his record of extending the country’s influence over parts of its old empire, including Crimea and eastern Ukraine in 2014, French officials now conclude that there is very little anyone could have done through diplomacy to have changed the course of recent events. – Financial Times  

David Patrikarakos writes: Perhaps the greatest tragedy is that all this and more could have been achieved years ago. We could have stopped him in Georgia. We could have stopped him in Syria. We could have stopped him in Crimea. We could have stopped him in Eastern Ukraine. But we did nothing. And here we are. – Unherd  


Burkina Faso is considering a 30-month transitional period to elections following a military coup in January, a source at the presidency said on Wednesday after a commission tasked with making proposals handed its report to the ruling junta. – Reuters  

The United Nations is failing to fully support hundreds of ethnic Tigrayan members of a U.N. peacekeeping force as they fear returning home to Ethiopia and facing potential detention amid the country’s Tigray conflict, peacekeepers tell The Associated Press. – Associated Press 

A London high court began to hear a lawsuit on Wednesday launched by Nigeria against U.S. bank JP Morgan Chase, claiming more than $1.7 billion for its role in a disputed 2011 oilfield deal. – Reuters 

The Americas

In a surprise turnaround, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday said his government no longer required emergency powers to deal with protests against Covid-19 restrictions, amid mounting criticism from civil-liberties groups and some Canadian politicians that the use of those measures was an abuse of state power. – Wall Street Journal 

Cuba, a close ally of Russia, has sharply criticized the United States for imposing “the progressive expansion of NATO towards the borders of the Russian Federation” and called for a diplomatic solution to preserve international peace. – Reuters  

Haitian police on Wednesday opened fire on demonstrators demanding higher wages andkilled a reporter, according to witnesses and a hospital official in the impoverished Caribbean island nation. – Reuters  

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Wednesday snapped back at U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken after he expressed concern over a spate of journalist killings in Mexico, saying that Blinken was misinformed. – Reuters 

Adam Isacson writes: It doesn’t help that the U.S. Congress can barely pass a budget or approve nominees, nor that the U.S. brand has taken a self-inflicted beating as the commitment to democratic principles that the United States wants to see from Latin American leaders is in serious danger of deteriorating at home. […]At a time of complex migratory, economic, climate, and public health challenges in the hemisphere, privileging security assistance for like-minded regimes would be a waste of resources and a recipe for failure. – War on the Rocks  

Brian Winter writes: The idea of Latin American countries pursuing an independent foreign policy in line with their own sovereign interests should not be a surprise to anyone. But in doing so, these countries are upending long-held expectations about how they will behave in the coming years in terms of their political, economic, and military alliances. It is hard to escape the sensation that the global geopolitical map is being redrawn. Add Latin American loyalty and support to the growing list of things that Washington can no longer take for granted. – Foreign Affairs  


Microsoft Corp.’s new security chief, Charlie Bell, has a message for companies and institutions buffeted by a seemingly never-ending string of cyberattacks: Take shelter in the cloud. – Wall Street Journal

When the United States barred Americans from doing business with Russian banks, oil and gas developers and other companies in 2014, after the country’s invasion of Crimea, the hit to Russia’s economy was swift and immense. Economists estimated that sanctions imposed by Western nations cost Russia $50 billion a year. – New York Times 

The websites of Ukraine’s defense, foreign and interior ministries were unreachable or painfully slow to load Thursday morning after a punishing wave of distributed-denial-of-service attacks as Russia struck at its neighbor, explosions shaking the capital of Kyiv and other major cities. – Associated Press 

 Twitter (TWTR.N) said on Wednesday it had mistakenly suspended around a dozen accounts that were posting about Russian military movements, and said the action was not due to a coordinated bot campaign or mass reporting of the accounts by other users. – Reuters  

A Chinese cybersecurity firm released a report Wednesday that revealed a decade-old exploit allegedly created by a covert hacking group associated with the U.S. National Security Agency. – Cyberscoop 

A long-running hacking group associated with Russian intelligence has developed a new set of tools to replace malware that was disrupted in 2018, according to an alert Wednesday from the U.S. and U.K. cybersecurity and law enforcement agencies. – Cyberscoop 

The US and UK governments have published a joint report today detailing a new malware strain developed by Russia’s military cyber-unit that had been deployed in the wild since 2019 and used to compromise home and office networking devices. – The Record 


U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has pledged to continue sending American Javelin anti-tank weapons and other aid to Ukraine, even if Russia expands its invasion, but discussions about the logistics are still underway, according to a senior defense official. – Defense News 

The U.S. Space Force took a step toward improving its domain awareness in geosynchronous orbit this week, awarding a contract to Northrop Grumman for the first increment of a new deep space radar capability. – Defense News  

Months after the U.S. Army completed its largest networking and technology experiment in Yuma, Arizona, Army Futures Command officials say the lessons learned from the event underscore the value of aligning data and network standards across the joint force. – Defense News 

Editorial: It’s up to the Biden Administration to devote the money and political capital to protect the country, and so far it has been willing to spend on every priority except defense. Americans born since World War II have no frame of reference for the magnitude of casualties and damage that would accompany a Pacific conflict with a peer military like China. The way to avoid this is to prepare for it without delay. – Wall Street Journal