Fdd's overnight brief

February 5, 2024

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News

Israel

Divisions between the top leaders of Hamas are preventing the militant group from signing off on a U.S.-backed proposal to stop the fighting in Gaza and free more hostages, according to officials familiar with the negotiations. – Wall Street Journal

More than 800 officials in the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union released a public letter of dissent on Friday against their governments’ support of Israel in its war in Gaza. The letter is the first instance of officials in allied nations across the Atlantic coming together to openly criticize their governments over the war. – New York Times

When a senior U.S. diplomat called the Israeli military last week to request further details about Israeli allegations against a United Nations agency in Gaza, military leaders were so surprised that they ordered an internal inquiry about how the information had reached the ears of foreign officials. – New York Times

Israel’s government said on Sunday it would bring in 65,000 foreign workers from India, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan to resume construction stalled since Oct. 7 when Palestinian workers were sent home in the wake of the attack on Israel by Hamas. – Reuters

The European Union’s top diplomat said on Sunday cutting funds to UNRWA would put hundreds of thousands of lives at risk, amid allegations some of the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency’s staff were involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel. – Reuters

Israeli forces have killed dozens of Palestinian gunmen in operations throughout the Gaza Strip over the last 24 hours, the military said in a statement on Monday, citing the southern hub city of Khan Younis as one of the locations. – Reuters

The Israeli military said its “Arrow” aerial defence system successfully intercepted a surface-to-surface missile fired at Israeli territory on Friday in the area of the Red Sea. The military statement did not provide details on the origin of the launch. – Reuters

The European Union on Saturday expressed deep concern over reports that the Israeli military intends to take its battle against Hamas to the town of Rafah at Gaza’s border with Egypt where more than a million people have escaped the fighting. – Associated Press

Now Marwan Barghouti’s freedom is at stake in cease-fire negotiations between Hamas and Israel. Hamas leaders demanded Friday that Israel release Barghouti, a leader of the militant group’s main political rival, as part of any deal to end the fighting in Gaza. – Associated Press

President Joe Biden remains keen on a two-state solution as a resolution to the Israel-Hamas war, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday. “The only long-term answer to peace in the region, to Israel’s security in the region, is a two-state solution, with Israel’s security guaranteed. – Politico

Editorial: Israel’s task for 2024 is to finish the job, but will U.S. political support hold? The Biden Administration, despite its second-guessing, continues to provide munitions and diplomatic cover that it would have a hard time withdrawing. The latest Harvard CAPS-Harris poll finds that large majorities of Americans support Israel and its war aims. – Wall Street Journal

Colin P. Clarke writes: The IDF needs to adopt a light footprint that can respond to various security contingencies without further inflaming the local population in Gaza, a scenario that seems implausible given the IDF’s current objectives, force posture, and risk tolerance for the safety of its own troops. Making peace with one’s enemies is difficult, especially after the horrors of Hamas’s October 7 attack. But without a negotiated settlement, Gaza in 2024 could begin to look even more like Lebanon in 1982: a war without end. – Foreign Affairs

Iran

Federal prosecutors have charged members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in multiple cases related to trafficking of Iranian oil. The U.S. Justice Department said Friday that it had unsealed three federal cases related to the alleged illicit trafficking of oil which funds the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the paramilitary Qods Force. – Wall Street Journal

An Iranian Revolutionary Guards adviser in Damascus was killed on Friday in an Israeli missile strike that targeted a southern district of the Syrian capital, semi-official Iranian news sites reported. – Reuters

Iran’s foreign ministry on Saturday condemned overnight U.S. air strikes in Iraq and Syria as “violations of the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of the two countries. – Reuters

National security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday did not rule out the possibility of strikes in Iran in saying the U.S. will continue its military action in Iraq and Syria in response to last weekend’s deadly attack against U.S. troops in Jordan. – Politico

Editorial: The real test will be whether these strikes, and covert U.S. actions such as cyber attacks, will deter Iran. The rulers in Tehran are the terror masters behind these militias, and so far they have paid no price for helping to kill Americans. – Wall Street Journal

Editorial: Israel certainly must do more to infiltrate this group, arrest them, and put them on trial. But in attempting to show that he is not playing favorites and is strict with both sides, Biden is sending a message to the world – more specifically, to the not-so-marginal pro-Palestinian voter base in the Democratic Party – that Hamas terrorism is no worse than Jewish settler violence. – Jerusalem Post

Marc Champion writes: But together with a rolling campaign of air strikes against Iran’s proxies across the region, and a deal that brought a sharp reduction in casualties in Gaza to remove Tehran’s cover, they’re worth a try. That would have a better shot at success than bombing Iran, and with a much lower risk of sparking the kind of war neither side can afford. – Bloomberg

Kian Tajbakhsh writes: Iran now has the opportunity to project power in the Middle East—and every reason to reject any new nuclear deal or rapprochement with the West. Iran’s support for Hamas’s October 7 attack heralds its final break with the West and is the harbinger of a new world order—one that will likely lead to significant pain and violence in the years to come. – The Altantic 

Russia & Ukraine

This workshop in western Ukraine is one of dozens of startups producing cheap weapons that are helping Ukrainian troops against the Russians. Short on ammunition with additional military aid from the U.S. stalled, Ukraine is trying to compensate by producing an army of a million explosive FPV, or first-person-view, drones. – Wall Street Journal

Nearly two years into the invasion of Ukraine, polls show Putin is assured of victory in a vote that will give him six more years at Russia’s helm and could make him Moscow’s longest-running leader since Stalin. – Wall Street Journal

Four days after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told his top general that he would soon be fired, a replacement still has not been selected, a senior defense official said Friday, leaving the warring country uncertain why its popular military chief is being sacked and who will lead its troops amid intensifying Russian attacks. – Washington Post

The top court of the United Nations ruled on Friday that it would take up the question of whether Ukraine committed genocide in its Donetsk and Luhansk regions, an accusation at the heart of Russia’s argument for its 2022 full-scale invasion. – New York Times

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited Ukrainian troops on the southeastern front and handed out medals, his office said on Sunday, and his spokesperson said he came very close to exchanges of fire on the front line. – Reuters

Around 20 journalists were detained by police in central Moscow for several hours on Saturday at a rally of Russian soldiers’ wives calling for their men to be returned from the front in Ukraine, a Reuters witness said. – Reuters

Two Ukrainian attack drones struck the largest oil refinery in southern Russia on Saturday, a source in Kyiv told Reuters, detailing the latest in a series of long-range attacks on Russian oil facilities. – Reuters

Ukrainian shelling killed at least 28 people at a bakery in the Russian-occupied city of Lysychansk, Moscow-installed officials said. At least one child was among the dead Saturday, local leader Leonid Pasechnik wrote in a statement on Telegram. A further 10 people were rescued from under the rubble by emergency services, he said. – Associated Press

Stephen J. Hadley and Matthew Kroenig write: Supporting Ukraine isn’t an act of philanthropy. If Ukraine and the West falter, Russia may succeed in conquering Ukraine. Mr. Putin wants to restore the Russian empire—a revanchist ambition that may drive him to invade a NATO member. The result would be war with NATO and the U.S., something no one should want. – Wall Street Journal

Hezbollah

Israeli fighter jets struck several targets in southern Lebanon on Saturday, successfully destroying Hezbollah infrastructure, the IDF spokesperson’s unit said. Among the Hezbollah infrastructure targeted by the IDF were military headquarters and outposts. – Jerusalem Post

The Israeli military has killed 200 Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, IDF spokesman Rear-Admiral Daniel Hagari stated during a Saturday evening press briefing. “Instead of one division, we deployed three divisions along the border, with tens of thousands of soldiers,” Hagari said. – Jerusalem Post

Hezbollah fired a barrage of rockets at cities and towns all over northern Israel on Sunday, leading to the sounding of 33 air raid alerts, the most in the recent period. – Jerusalem Post

US special envoy Amos Hochstein was in Israel this weekend for talks with Israeli officials on a developing framework to push Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy, away from Israel’s northern border amid roiling tensions and daily exchanges of fire. – Times of Israel

Iraq

The White House on Sunday urged Iraq’s government to act more quickly against Iran-backed militias operating in the country after senior officials in Baghdad raised an outcry over a wave of airstrikes that the United States launched in retaliation for the deaths of three U.S. soldiers. – Washington Post

Iraq has banned eight local commercial banks from engaging in U.S. dollar transactions, taking action to reduce fraud, money laundering and other illegal uses of U.S. currency days after a visit by a top U.S. Treasury official. – Reuters

No attack on the al-Harir air base hosting U.S. forces in northern Iraq was detected on Saturday, three security sources told Reuters, shortly after Islamic Resistance in Iraq militants claimed to have targeted the base. – Reuters

Turkey

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey appointed a new central bank governor early Saturday, hours after the abrupt resignation of his previous appointee, who said she was stepping down because of “a major reputation assassination campaign.” – New York Times

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will discuss a new mechanism to allow Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during his upcoming visit to Turkey, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Sunday. – Reuters

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on Sunday signaled a preference to retain Russian air defenses which Washington wants Ankara to ditch if it wants to buy F-35 fighter jets. – Bloomberg

Turkey’s head of national intelligence, Ibrahim Kalın, discussed cease-fire prospects with senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday, the Turkish state broadcaster TRT reported. – Bloomberg

Egypt

Turkey agreed to provide its increasingly popular drones to Egypt after the two countries normalised ties following a decade of rupture, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Sunday. – Reuters

Egypt’s Suez Canal revenue plunged by almost half in January, a top official said, after attacks by Yemeni militants on Red Sea vessels forced major shipping firms to avoid the waterway. – Bloomberg

Jerusalem has given explicit assurances to Cairo that any military operation along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt will not result in the mass migration of Palestinians to Egyptian territory, according to the Kan public broadcaster. – Times of Israel

Yemen

The U.S. and U.K. launched a fresh wave of strikes against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen in response to their attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea, as Secretary of State Antony Blinken prepared to head to the Middle East in hopes of brokering a pause in Israel’s war in Gaza. – Wall Street Journal

Iranian-backed Houthis vowed to respond to US and British-led airstrikes after dozens of targets of the Yemen-based rebel group were struck overnight. The US and its allies targeted Houthi sites at 13 locations in Yemen, part of an effort to end the militant group’s attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea. – Bloomberg

A video published Sunday by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebel group showed soldiers drilling for a raid on an Israeli “command and control center” and taking soldiers hostage. – Times of Israel

 

Middle East & North Africa

The U.S. is facing monumental challenges as it deepens its diplomatic and military involvement in the Middle East to try to bring an end to the brutal war in Gaza and roll back Iranian influence. – Wall Street Journal

Retaliatory U.S. airstrikes on Iranian-backed militias in Syria and Iraq were carefully calibrated to stop attacks on American forces in the Middle East without goading Iran into direct conflict. Whatever response the bombing provokes, it is unlikely to prevent more attacks by Iranian allies on U.S. and Israeli interests. That would require a cease-fire in Gaza, according to regional analysts and officials. – Wall Street Journal

Hal Brands writes: Whatever happens, the demand for US engagement won’t ebb. America’s reward for shortening one war, between Israel and Hamas, may be desperate diplomacy to avoid another, between Israel and Hezbollah. The centerpiece of a more stable balance of power in the region will be a firmer US commitment to Saudi Arabia’s defense. And in the coming years, the Middle East will see a continuing contest between a nuclearizing Iran and its enemies. The latter coalition will surely stumble without American support. – Bloomberg

Korean Peninsula

North Korea tested its cruise missiles as well as new land-to-air missiles off its west coast on Feb. 2, state media reported on Saturday, confirming a barrage of launches for weapons it said are aimed at enhancing defense capabilities. – Reuters

South Korea and Saudi Arabia on Sunday signed a memorandum of understanding to expand defence cooperation, Seoul’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said, as Seoul looks to ink further arms sales in the region. – Reuters

South Korea has called in Russian diplomats to lodge complaints over Moscow’s criticism of President Yoon Suk Yeol for remarks about North Korea’s pursuit of a nuclear arsenal, the foreign ministry said. – Reuters

South Korea will build 40 KF-21 Boramae fighter jets this year with the 238.7 billion won (U.S. $178.6 million) allocated for the Defense Ministry, even as the aircraft makes its way through flight and ground tests. – Defense News

Editorial: Finally, the US should address longer-term dangers. The North Korean threat is helping drive proliferation of long-, medium- and short-range missiles across Asia, heightening the danger of catastrophic accidents and unintended escalation. The US should game out with allies how they plan to use their missiles in a crisis, in order to avoid rash decision-making. – Bloomberg

China

China handed down a suspended death sentence to Australian citizen Yang Hengjun on Monday, five years after he was first detained in the country on national security charges, Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong wrote in a statement. – Wall Street Journal

Nineteen days after taking power as China’s leader, Xi Jinping convened the generals overseeing the country’s nuclear missiles and issued a blunt demand. China had to be ready for possible confrontation with a formidable adversary, he said, signaling that he wanted a more potent nuclear capability to counter the threat. – New York Times

China said on Saturday a small civilian vessel from the Philippines had “illegally placed itself on the beach” of an atoll in the South China Sea that both countries claim. – Reuters

A small but powerful Chinese rocket capable of carrying payloads at competitive costs delivered nine satellites into orbit on Saturday, Chinese state media reported, in what is gearing up to be another busy year for Chinese commercial launches. – Reuters

China launched a graft inquiry into one of its top nuclear fuel experts, a move that comes as a purge roils the nation’s defense establishment. Li Guangchang, a senior adviser to China National Nuclear Corp.’s science and technology committee, was under investigation for “serious legal and disciplinary violations.” – Bloomberg

Michael Beckley writes: The urgency needed to bolster deterrence may be hard to square with the prudence that cross-strait diplomacy requires—especially as China policy gets drawn into the U.S. presidential election campaign. A powerful but troubled China is heading in a bad direction. It will take all the strength and sobriety the United States and its friends can muster to prevent a slide into war. – Foreign Policy

South Asia

As Pakistan heads to the polls on Thursday, its powerful military is using a familiar playbook to sideline its nemesis of the hour, crippling P.T.I. in the first national election since the party’s leader, former Prime Minister Imran Khan, ran afoul of the generals and was ousted by Parliament in 2022. – New York Times

India’s finance minister presented an austere budget last week despite upcoming general elections, a strong display of the administration’s confidence that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would return to power for a third straight term. – Reuters

At least 10 police personnel were killed and six others injured in a pre-dawn attack on Monday by militants on a police station in northwest Pakistan, police said, as violence escalated ahead of general elections this week. – Reuters

India will remove its troops in the Maldives by May, the Maldivian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday, as the two countries seek agreement on a pullout that has strained ties. – Reuters

An employee at India’s embassy in Moscow was arrested for allegedly spying for Pakistan, a development that could sour relations between the South Asian neighbors. – Bloomberg

Asia

The Philippines’ defence minister on Monday vowed to “strictly enforce” the country’s sovereignty, joining the chorus of security officials pledging to defend the nation following secessionist threats made by former president Rodrigo Duterte. – Reuters

A senior U.S. state department official urged Papua New Guinea(PNG) to turn down China’s offer of a potential security pact, warning the Pacific nation that any security guarantee with Beijing comes with consequences and costs. – Reuters

Taiwanese companies are not being affected much by disruptions to the key shipping lane of the Red Sea as it has coincided with the traditional low season in demand for exporters, Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua said on Monday. – Reuters

The Philippine government is ready to use “authority and forces” against attempts to divide the nation, a security official said Sunday, after former President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to separate some southern islands from the rest of the archipelago. – Reuters

The Maldives government says it has asked for clarification of why Indian coast guard personnel boarded three Maldivian fishing vessels operating within its economic zone earlier this week without consultation. – Associated Press

Europe

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has begun warning Germans that they should prepare for decades of confrontation with Russia — and that they must speedily rebuild the country’s military in case Vladimir V. Putin does not plan to stop at the border with Ukraine. – New York Times

France will summon Russia’s ambassador on Monday after the death of two French humanitarian workers following a Russian strike in Ukraine, and what Paris said was an upsurge in Russian disinformation, a French diplomatic source said. – Reuters

Poland’s president declared on Saturday he had always been unwavering in his support for Ukraine after coming under strong criticism for saying he was unsure whether Kyiv would be able to regain control over Russian-occupied Crimea. – Reuters

An explosive device went off outside Greece’s labour ministry in central Athens early on Saturday but caused no injuries, Greek police said. – Reuters

Poland will no longer take the EU to court to attempt to cancel numerous climate change policies, and is preparing to withdraw lawsuits the previous government had filed to do this, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters – Reuters

A British aircraft carrier that had been set to lead the largest NATO exercises since the Cold War will not set sail Sunday after a problem with its propeller was discovered during final checks, the Royal Navy said. – Associated Press

The European Union and the United States expressed their deep concern Sunday after Kosovo banned the use of the Serbian currency and police raided the premises of organizations working with the Serb minority in the north of the country. – Associated Press

Selin Uysal writes: Addressing Iran’s nuclear activities remains crucial as well; they never ceased to be a priority for French officials, who have long advised against the “no deal, no crisis” approach. Yet with President Biden’s current term coming to an end, the two allies may have a limited window of time to meaningfully cooperate on all these issues, since it is too early to assess the foreign policy consequences of a possible administration change. – Washington Institute

Sidharth Kaushal writes: A viable concept of littoral maneuver can help reduce the possibility of a growing spatial gap between fleets operating at reach with strategic capabilities such as cruise missiles and other elements of the joint force and ensure that both marines and maritime forces more broadly can contribute to a multidomain deep battle. – War on the Rocks

Jack Detsch writes: After two centuries of neutrality, a majority of Swedes only began to favor NATO membership in March 2022, one month after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began. A month later, that number surged to nearly 60 percent. In Brussels, NATO allies are ready to welcome them with open arms. But there is still a palpable sense of disbelief at how quickly the tectonic shift has taken place. – Foreign Policy 

 

Africa

Namibian President Hage Geingob, who helped lead his country’s long struggle to free itself from South Africa’s apartheid regime, died Sunday, his office said. – Wall Street Journal

Senegalese President Macky Sall on Saturday announced that elections scheduled for Feb. 25 would be indefinitely delayed, marking a first in Senegal’s history and fueling concerns about the electoral process in a country with one of the strongest histories of democracy in West Africa. – Washington Post

Kenya’s government will not await a court of appeal ruling before deploying its forces to Haiti, a senior government official said, further underscoring the government’s determination to move ahead with the proposed multinational force aimed at bringing stability to the gang-ravaged Caribbean nation. – New York Times

Ethiopia’s parliament on Friday extended by four months a state of emergency declared in August to respond to an insurgency in the northern region of Amhara that has resulted in hundreds of deaths and drawn accusations of widespread human rights abuses. – Reuters

The U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday it was receiving reports of people dying of starvation in Sudan and that the number of hungry people has doubled over the past year as a war has cut off civilians from aid. – Reuters

Thirty-seven people were killed over the weekend in fighting apparently tied to a land feud in the disputed oil-rich region of Abyei, an official said Sunday. The bloodshed came a week after 52 people died in a land dispute in the same region. – Associated Press

Damon Wilson writes: Dismantling the DRC’s kleptocratic networks will enable the more durable peace needed to generate enough jobs for the half of the Congolese population under the age of 20. Winning this herculean battle is central to the challenge of whether the next generation of Africans will conclude that democracy can deliver — or be tempted by the false promise of autocratic alternatives. – The Hill

 

Latin America

Argentine President Javier Milei won approval Friday on his first economic overhaul but was forced by Congress to drop key measures, underscoring the challenge of bringing about his promised free-market revolution. – Wall Street Journal

A convoy of military trucks and armored vehicles set off for Brazil’s northern border on Friday to reinforce the presence of the Brazilian army in response to tensions over Venezuela’s claim to Guyana’s Esequibo region. – Reuters

A diplomatic rift between Ecuador and Russia appeared to intensify over the weekend after the European nation decided to ban some imports of bananas from Ecuador. The two countries have been at loggerheads recently after Ecuador decided to transfer some of its old Russian military equipment to the United States, in exchange for $200 million in new military gear. – Associated Press

Key Biden administration national-security officials traveled to Guyana on Sunday as the US works to prevent the country’s dispute with Venezuela over oil and mineral riches from sliding into armed conflict. – Bloomberg

Paul J. Angelo writes: As the country gears up for another general election in 2025, and as the security situation possibly worsens before it gets better, the goodwill he currently enjoys — and the opportunity to deliver long-needed reforms — may be short lived. By following cartel cash, harnessing the resources of big business, fostering intra-governmental trust, and sustaining legislative consensus, Ecuador stands its best chance at turning the page on runaway crime and proving a model for neighbors struggling to stem regional insecurity. – War on the Rocks

 

North America

The United States has quietly resumed deporting some Mexicans on flights that carry them far from the southern border, U.S. and Mexican officials said, a move designed in part to discourage them from repeatedly trying to cross into the United States. – New York Times

Canada will impose sanctions on Israeli settlers who incite violence in the West Bank and introduce new sanctions on Hamas leaders, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said on Sunday, after the United States took similar action last week. – Reuters

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday condemned an attack against a mosque in the city of Mississauga in Ontario province, which is being probed as a hate crime and which rights advocates described as being part of a rise in Islamophobia. – Reuters

United States

House Republicans are planning to vote on a bill next week that would give billions in military assistance to Israel and U.S. forces in the region, a measure that is destined to come to a head with a Senate proposal expected to package funding for border security with aiding foreign democracies. – Washington Post

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he would impose tariffs on China again if he is elected in November and they could exceed 60 percent. – Reuters

Editorial: The U.S. cannot do everything everywhere. Our nuclear umbrella over Europe remains crucial, as does the sustained readiness of the U.S. Army to fight alongside allies against any Russian attack on NATO. Still, the U.S. government and military must also prioritize the threat posed by China. American aid to Ukraine should continue, but the EU, as with the $54 billion, should take the lead. – Washington Examiner

John Hasnas writes: This is nothing new. Demagoguery dates back to ancient Greece. Demagogues have always been a part of democracy and always will be, even if we now call them populists. They come with the territory. So, please, stop saying Mr. Trump is a threat to democracy simply because he is so good at it. The threat comes not from him but from democracy itself, and it is a threat to freedom. – Wall Street Journal

Haydon N. Parham writes: All of these points highlight a failure of imagination, a failure to seriously consider American interests in the region, and a failure to fully grasp the repercussions of national humiliation on the global stage. The Biden administration’s attitude of inevitability doomed what was already a dire situation. A thoughtful and fresh look at the situation during the stalemate might have prevented the most egregious U.S. foreign policy disaster since the Fall of Saigon. – The National Interest

Cybersecurity

Europe on Friday moved a step closer to adopting rules governing the use of artificial intelligence and AI models such as Microsoft-backed ChatGPT (MSFT.O), opens new tab after EU countries endorsed a political deal reached in December. – Reuters

An Iran-linked hacking group with a history of targeting Albanian state agencies and businesses said on Thursday that it was behind an attack on the country’s Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), which is responsible for census information and other official statistics. – The Record

The U.S. issued sanctions Friday on six Iranian government officials accused of being behind a string of cyberattacks on water facilities using technology made by an Israeli company. – The Record

 

Defense

China’s top memory chip maker YMTC said on Saturday its technology is not for military use after it was added to a Pentagon list of entities assisting China’s military. – Reuters

Christopher C. Miller writes: By transforming the way the Pentagon does business, we can guarantee their sacrifices weren’t made in vain. We can create an effective military that deters aggression, and we can build a force capable of defeating our enemies while returning our troops home safely. – Wall Street Journal

David Zikusoka writes: A new strategy should inform investments as soon as possible, spurring the U.S. military to spend more on developing next-generation camouflage systems and tactics and less on items that will become outdated in this new environment. With advances in space-based intelligence collection moving faster than ever, there is no time to waste. – Foreign Affairs

James Holmes writes: U.S. emissaries should impress upon allies, partners, and friends that the Red Sea and Middle East inhabit a region of middling importance to the United States. That being the case, the region merits middling expenditures of U.S. resources, and on a not-to-interfere basis with higher priorities in East Asia and Europe. Others have to take up the slack. Or not. – The National Interest