Fdd's overnight brief

January 10, 2024

In The News

Israel

Far-right Israeli ministers are increasingly calling for Palestinians to leave Gaza and for Jews to rebuild settlements there, complicating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to maintain diplomatic support for the war against Hamas while also ensuring his own political survival. – Wall Street Journal

The delegation from Israel met Egyptian mediators in the Egyptian capital on Tuesday, weeks after hostage negotiations came to a standstill. The renewed talks are aimed at freeing hostages still held in Gaza in exchange for a prolonged cease-fire, the officials said. – Wall Street Journal

Disagreements between the United States and Israel over the Jewish state’s treatment of Palestinians emerged during Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Israel on Tuesday as leaders aired opposing views over when Palestinians can return to northern Gaza and receive tax revenue collected by Israel. – Washington Post

The threats were sent via Facebook on Oct. 9 to residents of Qusra, a Palestinian community in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. […]A Washington Post review of exclusive visuals of the attack, medical records and interviews with witnesses and first responders reveals that one of the Palestinians killed, 17-year-old Obada Saed Abu Srour, was shot in the back by settlers, probably as he was running from gunfire. – Washington Post

With a vast chasm between how Israelis see the war in Gaza and how much of the world does, Israel’s leaders have taken to adopting different rhetoric when addressing the two audiences about how its military campaign against Hamas will be conducted over the year ahead. – New York Times

The Israeli military said on Tuesday nine more soldiers had been killed in Gaza in one of its biggest 24-hour death tolls in the war against Hamas, bringing total Israeli losses there to 187. – Reuters

Signs of growing Palestinian disaffection with Hamas received new confirmation Monday when a video clip surfaced of Gazan prisoners breaking into spontaneous curses against the jihadi organization after surrendering to IDF troops. – New York Sun

Editorial: The obstacles are evident, as are the failures of past peace talks. But Mr. Biden, Israel, Arab states and all other actors should seek to offer Gazans hope that something better can be made of the ruin. Otherwise, what emerges from the despair will be ugly indeed. – Washington Post

Judith Miller writes: According to Israeli press reports, the Israel Defense Forces know where Mr. Sinwar is but can’t hit him because he has surrounded himself with hostages. Before leaving office in 2009, Mr. Olmert struggled to make peace with the Palestinians. In 2008 he offered to cede almost 90% of the West Bank to establish a demilitarized Palestinian state. Mr. Olmert now calls this “the greatest opportunity for peace the Palestinians ever had.” Mr. Abbas said no. – Wall Street Journal

Michael Rubin writes: Perhaps, then, Russia would be the ideal destination. Young men have become scarce, leaving many Siberian factories idle. If Putin uses Hamas as cannon fodder, so be it. The Kremlin has always been a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause. Now is its time to make good. – Washington Examiner

Iran

A Danish appeals court on Tuesday upheld guilty verdicts for three members of an Iranian separatist group convicted of promoting terror in Iran and gathering information for an unnamed Saudi intelligence service. – Associated Press

A huge fire and explosion, possibly caused by a gas leak, injured 53 people at a cosmetics factory near the Iranian capital of Tehran on Tuesday, state media reported. – Reuters

Islamic State further indicated in its statement that the bombing was aimed at killing Shiite Muslims, whom they accused of “performing polytheistic rituals,” namely visiting a grave – a practice that is strictly forbidden under ISIS’s strict Sunni interpretation of Islam. – Times of Israel

Katulis stressed the importance of bearing in mind “another common denominator between Hamas and Al-Qaida when it comes to financing schemes: Iran. – Haaretz

A Dutch engineer has been named as the individual responsible for unleashing the notorious Stuxnet malware in Iran’s nuclear weapons program in 2008, as part of a joint secret Israeli-American mission. – Haaretz

Dan Diker writes: The Iranian regime’s messianic determination to eliminate Israel as the “Little Satan” as part of its decades-long plan to eliminate the United States, the “Big Satan,” can only be overcome and defeated by eliminating the source of the threat, whose hidden hand continues to threaten Israel’s existence and the stability of the entire region. – Jerusalem Post

Mark Kimmitt writes: Now, 44 years later, President Biden will shortly be delivering his second State of the Union address and facing far greater challenges from Tehran. This address is a singular opportunity to announce a more explicit and resolute U.S. policy toward an increasingly belligerent Iran, and Biden must be just as clear that “an attack on the vital interests of the United States of America by any nation or its proxies will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.” This isn’t a threat, provocation or warmongering. It is statecraft. And it must be done before further Iranian escalation costs American lives and credibility. – Politico

Russia & Ukraine

Russian authorities have arrested a 32-year-old Russian-U.S. citizen over alleged drug charges, the Moscow court press service reported Tuesday. – Washington Post

The planners of Ukraine’s counteroffensive against the country’s Russian invaders last year envisioned that elite forces, like the unit led by Capt. Anatoliy Kharchenko, would sweep in to deliver the final blows of a D-Day-like triumph. But by the time paratroopers in Kharchenko’s company entered the battle on a moonless night last August, the counteroffensive was already skidding toward failure—and his men were about to learn all of the deadly reasons why. – Wall Street Journal

A secret meeting took place last month between Ukraine, its Group of Seven allies and a small group of Global South countries to try to rally support for Kyiv’s conditions for holding peace talks with Russia, according to people familiar with the matter. – Bloomberg

Yaroslav Trofimov writes: But, by then, it was a different war. The Ukrainian offensives of 2023 gained little ground against an entrenched, prepared and more numerous enemy. Putin’s nuclear brinkmanship had gained him time — not just to prevent a military collapse, but also for indispensable military aid to Ukraine to get caught up in the United States’ own domestic politics. – Washington Post

Emma Ashford and Kelly A. Grieco write: But if executed well, a defensive political and military strategy may well be able to persuade Putin that he has no prospects for further conquest in Ukraine, creating an off-ramp for negotiations. And even if this new strategy does not end the war, it will avoid the most catastrophic outcomes, will sustain Ukraine’s fighting capacity, and just might produce a stable equilibrium that allows a largely intact Ukraine to develop economically and integrate with Europe. For Western policymakers feeling stuck between domestic constraints and the prospects of a Ukrainian loss, that should count as a win. – Foreign Affairs

Hezbollah

The Israeli military said it killed a senior Hezbollah commander in an airstrike on Tuesday evening, further heightening tensions with the Iranian-backed militia after a day of back-and-forth attacks and the apparent Israeli killing of another Hezbollah commander on Monday. – New York Times

Hezbollah attacked an Israeli army base with explosive drones deployed from Lebanon on Tuesday, hitting the position for the first time in what the Iran-backed group declared part of its response to recent Israeli assassinations in Lebanon. – Reuters

Since October 7, Hezbollah has fired mortars and rockets, as well as incessant artillery, at IDF outposts and border communities. But what particularly stands out in the current round of fighting is the high proportion of antitank missiles fired from Lebanon. – Haaretz

Tom Rogan writes: Due to the weak U.S. munitions base, any air or naval military action against Hezbollah would diminish finite stocks of armaments that might tip the balance between victory or defeat against China. Put simply, it is Israel’s prerogative to risk war with Hezbollah. But the U.S. should not be a direct party to that conflict if it arrives. – Washington Examiner

Amos Harel writes: These actions appear to be an attempt by Israel to exact an increasingly heavy price from Hezbollah and its allies on the northern front. Three months into the war, it is evident that Israel wants the Shi’ite organization to feel the consequences of its decision to join the Hamas effort, even if Hezbollah only planned a limited response without risking an all-out war. Hezbollah has to date counted close to 160 dead, along with about 20 Palestinian terrorists killed in the Israeli attacks in Lebanon. – Haaretz

Turkey

Turkish hackers are targeting databases in the United States, European Union and Latin America with the Mimic ransomware, according to new research from cybersecurity company Securonix. – The Record

Neville Teller writes: In an interview on Turkish TV at the time, Erdogan said: “This visit could open a new chapter in relations between Turkey and Israel,” adding that he was “ready to take steps in Israel’s direction in all areas.” […]By January 2024, he was backing South Africa’s genocide claim against Israel in the International Court of Justice. In short, Erdogan had reverted to his default mode. – Jerusalem Post

Stavros Atlamazoglou writes: Once the sick man of Europe, Turkey is now the sick man of NATO. And as strong organisms often force out weak parts in order to survive, NATO should consider expelling weak links that hold it behind and run against its ideals and policies. – The National Interest

Lebanon

U.N. experts in international law on Tuesday condemned the killing of Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri and other fighters in drone strikes on Lebanon, saying this amounted to the crimes of extrajudicial killings and murder. – Reuters

Israel said it killed the southern Lebanon commander of Hezbollah’s aerial unit in an air strike on Tuesday, hours after it said he led an attack on an army headquarters base in northern Israel. – Reuters

Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati told a senior United Nations official on Tuesday that his country was ready for talks on long-term stability on its southern border with Israel. – Reuters

Egypt

Egypt has rejected a proposal by Israel for greater Israeli oversight over the buffer zone on the Egypt-Gaza border and is prioritising efforts to broker a ceasefire before working on post-war arrangements, three Egyptian security sources said. – Reuters

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen pledged U.S. support for Egypt’s economy and reforms after meeting with the North African nation’s authorities on Tuesday in Washington amid talks over expanding Egypt’s $3 billion International Monetary Fund loan program. – Reuters

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to declare his innocence on charges that he used his influence to help a businessman seek an investment from the Qatari government and conspired to act as an unregistered agent for Egypt. – Reuters

Jordan’s King Abdullah II will host Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas on Wednesday for talks on “dangerous developments” in war-torn Gaza, the royal palace said. – Agence France-Presse

David Schenker writes: While Sisi understandably wants to avoid being perceived as complicit in Palestinian dispossession, Egypt is the only Arab state bordering Gaza and can no longer reasonably absolve itself of any responsibility for its professed brethren. Sisi talks a lot about supporting Palestinians. As the war in Gaza moves toward a less intensive phase, it’s time for Egypt to act. – Washington Institute

Yemen

Yemen’s Houthi rebels fired one of their largest barrage of drones and missiles targeting shipping in the Red Sea, forcing the U.S. and British navies to shoot down the projectiles in a major naval engagement, authorities said Wednesday. No damage was immediately reported. – Associated Press

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a vote Wednesday on a resolution that would condemn and demand an immediate halt to attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on merchant and commercial vessels in the Red Sea area. – Associated Press

Yemen’s Houthi group Ansarullah targeted a vessel in the Red Sea, a Yemeni military source told Al Jazeera on Tuesday. Earlier on Tuesday, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) organization received a report of an incident in the Red Sea approximately 50 nautical miles west of Yemen’s Hodeidah. – Reuters

Oil and fuel tanker traffic in the Red Sea was stable in December, even though many container ships have rerouted due to attacks by Iran-aligned Houthi militants, a Reuters analysis of vessel tracking data showed. – Reuters

Retailers worldwide are stocking up on goods before China’s Lunar New Year holiday and seeking air or rail alternatives to transportation via the Red Sea in a scramble to avoid empty shelves this spring, executives and experts told Reuters. – Reuters

Victoria Coates writes: Rather than prioritize an elusive Saudi-Houthi deal, the Biden administration should recognize what inaction against the Houthi could cost Americans here at home, and so re-designate them as both a FTO and a SDGT, and take the necessary actions to deter them from further violence. If they fail to do so, voters may well decide to hold them accountable. – Heritage Foundation

Middle East & North Africa

The global economy is at risk of a “wasted” decade and the weakest stretch of growth in 30 years, the World Bank warned on Tuesday, saying a sluggish recovery from the pandemic and crippling wars in Ukraine and the Middle East are expected to weigh heavily on output. – New York Times

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, French President Emmanuel Macron and key Middle East leaders are slated to attend next week’s World Economic Forum, putting talks to end wars in Gaza and Ukraine at the top of the agenda for the global elite. – Reuters

Oil prices climbed around 2% on Tuesday as the Middle East crisis and a Libyan supply outage pared the previous day’s heavy losses. – Reuters

Seth Cropsey writes: Major wars are not typically chosen. They instead spring from a series of crises that put stress on the international system, pushing it from pre-conflict simmer to open combat. It is crucial to control this pre-conflict phase, demonstrating that the U.S. will secure its interests firmly.  Irresolution invites further pressure and raises the odds of catastrophe. Just ask Neville Chamberlain’s ghost. – The Hill

Abdullah Hayek and Ahmad Sharawi write: Amman’s path through the current geopolitical turmoil is fraught with dangers, making support from the United States and other allies more critical than ever. With a combination of greater military assistance and strategic enhancement of its defensive capabilities—including Patriot deployments and other systems—the kingdom would be better positioned to demonstrate once again that it is not the weakest link among America’s Middle East allies. – Washington Institute

Haid Haid writes: Despite the surge in targeted assassinations, they are unlikely to eradicate the pervasive drug-related activities in southern Syria. The power and profit afforded by Daraa’s drug trade have made traffickers heedless of the threats, particularly those posed by local communities. Armed and confident, they continue their illicit trade, unfazed by the risks involved. In this context, these assassinations will likely only add another layer of complexity, further fueling the ongoing violence in an already fragile and unstable region. – Middle East Institute 

HRH Mohammed el-Senussi writes: As we advance and deepen this new Libyan National Dialogue, we are not merely discussing our country’s future—we are actively shaping it. This process vastly surpasses a simple political endeavor; it stands as a renewal of our national spirit, a rekindling of hope, and a compelling testament to the resilience and unity of the Libyan people. Together, we stand at the dawn of a new era, ready to reclaim our destiny and rebuild a nation that honors our proud history, our diverse voices, and our collective aspirations. Long live a united Libya. – The National Interest

Korean Peninsula

The elderly man who stabbed South Korea’s opposition leader last week did so wanting to prevent the progressive politician from winning the country’s next presidential election in three years, police said. – Wall Street Journal

A joint statement by the United States and its partners on Tuesday condemned arms transfers between North Korea and Russia, including what it termed as Russia’s procurement of North Korean ballistic missiles and Moscow’s use of those against Ukraine on Dec. 30 and Jan. 2. – Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited arms factories this week, state media outlet KCNA reported on Wednesday as the United States and its partners condemned the country’s arms transfers with Russia. – Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stepped up a pressure campaign on South Korea by calling it the “principal enemy,” in an apparent effort to influence his neighbor’s upcoming elections. – Bloomberg

Just kidding. That was the sum and substance of a North Korean artillery barrage three days ago, according to the younger sister of North Korea’s leader. The Korean People’s Army “did not fire even a single shell into the relevant waters,” says Kim Yo-jong, who often issues fiery statements that her big brother Kim Jong-un would rather not put out in his own name. – New York Sun

South Korea will provide support to its exporters by securing additional freight space on ships and storage areas, amid concerns about tensions in the Red Sea disrupting shipping routes, the country’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said. – Reuters

Dananjaya, 23, who shares the dorm with Mohamed and four other workers from Sri Lanka and Vietnam, was married shortly before he moved to South Korea for work in November. He too hopes to use his crab fishing earning to build a house back in Sri Lanka. He echoed the concern that any armed clashes might dash their Korean dreams. – Reuters

China

China’s overseas auto sales surged to a record last year, on track to surpass Japan as the world’s biggest car exporter and marking a tectonic shift for the global industry. While China has become acknowledged as a world leader in electric vehicles, traditional gas-powered autos were the main driver of the increase, with demand surging especially in Russia. – Wall Street Journal

The United States and China wrapped up two days of military talks in Washington on Tuesday, the Pentagon said, the latest engagement since the two countries agreed to resume military-to-military ties. – Reuters

The ruling Communist Party has since spent some 610 billion yuan ($85 billion) on the city, more than double the cost of the Three Gorges Dam. On former cornfields now stand a train station, office buildings, residential compounds, five-star hotels, schools and hospitals. Just one thing is lacking: residents. – Bloomberg

Chinese President Xi Jinping, in a recent reply to a letter from an Iowa native whom he first met nearly four decades ago, said the world’s future demanded stability in Sino-U.S. ties, according to Chinese state media on Wednesday. – Reuters

Ali Wyne writes: Debating whether a powerful China has an expansive window in which to realize commensurate ambitions or a shrinking one in which to achieve narrow objectives is more likely to generate analytical whiplash than prudent policy. America’s best bet for competing with China over the long haul is to renew itself, restoring the internal foundations of its strength and ensuring that its alliances and partnerships have affirmative purposes that endure no matter what steps Beijing takes. – Foreign Policy

South Asia

India will increase the number of warships for anti-piracy operations in the Arabian Sea by five times more than last year as the threats of attacks rise. – Bloomberg

Debt-ridden Sri Lanka ’s navy is preparing to join a U.S.-led operation to protect merchant vessels sailing in the Red Sea against attacks by Houthi rebels, a Sri Lankan navy spokesman said on Tuesday. – Associated Press

A social-media post by Prime Minister Narendra Modi promoting an Indian tourism destination has escalated into a diplomatic spat with the Maldives, India’s sand-swept island-chain neighbor.  – Bloomberg

Aqil Shah writes: The policy may yet have the unintended consequence of drawing the two Taliban allies closer and, even worse, incentivize the Afghan Taliban to actively encourage TTP violence. Pakistan can choke Afghanistan’s transit trade and strike across the border. But such acts will only fuel tensions and most likely fail to convince the Taliban to fully abandon the TTP. There seems to be no resolution in sight to a crisis that has uprooted so many refugees yet again. – Foreign Affairs

Asia

The launch of a Chinese satellite that flew over Taiwan, prompting an erroneous air raid alert, sparked a political storm on the island on Wednesday about China’s motives only days out from presidential elections. – Reuters

The leaders of the Philippines and Indonesia met on Wednesday to discuss a range of regional issues including developments in the South China Sea and closer cooperation among member states of the Southeast Asian bloc. – Reuters

Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to the United States met on Tuesday with U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson, Taiwan’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel demonstrators rushed the starting line at a cycling race in Australia earlier this week to protest against an athlete competing for the Israel – Premier Tech team, in the latest instance of anti-Israel protests targeting the sports world. – Times of Israel

Doug Lamborn and Bruce Westerman write: Taiwan is a key bulwark in preserving those values, and deserves our greater engagement. Expanding trade and building on our military and political commitments to Taiwan is the right thing to do, for the Taiwanese, for our own nation, and for the world. – The Hill

David Sacks writes: The outcome of Taiwan’s election may do little to change Xi’s calculus. Indeed, it may not even be the most important election of the year for the island’s security. Rather, that could be the U.S. presidential election in November. A victory for former U.S. President Donald Trump, who has criticized Taiwan for stealing the United States’ semiconductor industry and reportedly asked what benefit could be derived from defending Taiwan, could prompt Xi to conclude that he would not have to factor in U.S. intervention, which would dramatically alter his calculus. Such a development could well upend cross-strait stability. – Foreign Affairs

Robert Peters writes: A $100 million cost is significant, but the defense of Guam is imperative, due to the fact that it is American soil and is the lynchpin of America’s ability to project power in the Western Pacific. Congress should appropriate the resources required to protect Guam in the 2025 National Defense Authorization Act, while long-range plans for a total missile defense for the island go into place. – Heritage Foundation

Dien Luong writes: Although Hanoi’s foreign policy has long been flexible and pragmatic, its diplomatic strategy—now called “bamboo diplomacy”—has evolved in recent years to prioritize making “more friends, fewer foes,” in Trong’s words. This is not merely a reaction to great-power competition. Instead, it’s part of the country’s calculated effort to navigate an increasingly multipolar world—one where diverse global actors, rather than superpowers alone, shape the geopolitical narrative. – Foreign Policy

Europe

Corporate Germany on Tuesday called on Berlin to provide military support to make the Red Sea safe for container vessels, warning that a prolonged disruption of trade may lead to production hiccups in Europe’s top economy. – Reuters

France accused Azerbaijan on Tuesday of holding a French national arbitrarily and demanded his immediate release after Baku’s envoy to France said the man had been arrested on suspicion of espionage. – Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on January 9 discussed further defense cooperation and Ukraine’s air-defense needs in a phone call with Polish President Andrzej Duda. Zelenskiy and Duda also discussed the issue of financial and political support from the European Union and exchanged views on the expected decisions of NATO at its summit in Washington in July, Zelenskiy’s press office said. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty 

Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Serbian entity, Republika Srpska, on January 9 celebrated a holiday deemed unconstitutional as the United States called for an investigation into the event amid international warnings about the secessionist policies of the entity’s leader, Milorad Dodik. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Dalibor Rohac writes: The war in Ukraine provides a perfect opportunity to revitalize our defense-industrial base while reducing Russia’s threat to the world — and all that without any risk to American men and women in uniform. By forgoing this opportunity, our legislators would be letting down not only Ukraine and our allies in Europe and Asia but also the American people, who deserve to live in a safe, stable and prosperous world. – New York Post

Africa

South Africa and Morocco are at loggerheads over the presidency of the United Nations’ top human rights body ahead of a vote on Wednesday, with the former saying Rabat has committed violations in Western Sahara and has no credibility to lead the body. – Reuters

Former U.K. opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn will join a South African delegation for this week’s hearings at the International Court of Justice, where the country accuses Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians in the war in Gaza, the South African government said Tuesday. – Associated Press

Almost 500,000 people fled from West Darfur in Sudan to eastern Chad to escape violence in 2023 and now face a dire humanitarian crisis with limited food, water and health care, Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres said. – Bloomberg

Alan Baker writes: To burden the International Court of Justice with such a false and misleading allegation undermines the very integrity of the Genocide Convention and is both an insult to the Court, to the countries whose judges serve on the Court’s bench, as well as to the United Nations as a whole. – Jerusalem Post

The Americas

Armed gang members broke into a public television station in Ecuador during a live broadcast on Tuesday, threatening employees as the country reels from drug-related violence. – Wall Street Journal

A U.S. veteran who plotted to overthrow Venezuela’s president is proudly standing with a former Venezuelan army general who pleaded guilty in New York on terrorism charges, describing his would-be comrade-in-arms as a patriot and dedicated family man worthy of a reduced prison sentence. – Associated Press

A record-breaking 51,226 Salvadorans living abroad voted in El Salvador’s upcoming presidential election in the first three days after the country opened overseas electronic voting for the first time, two electoral officials confirmed to The Associated Press on Tuesday. – Associated Press

United States

More than a dozen Senate Democrats said Tuesday that they will seek to block President Biden’s request to skirt congressional oversight of arms transfers to Israel, the latest signal of frustration among members of his own political party who have recoiled at the stunning civilian death toll resulting from Israel’s offensive in Gaza. – Washington Post

Editorial: Good. Time for the rich and powerful to realize that there’s no “social justice” being built when they fund the lefty equivalents of the Klan or the American Nazi Party. – New York Post

Joseph Bosco writes: Meanwhile, America’s enemies — China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and their allies and proxies around the world — salivate at the prospect of perhaps the most bitter and divisive presidential election since just before America’s Civil War. Biden and Trump should demonstrate their patriotism by both stepping aside. – The Hill

Steve Forbes writes: After decades of seeing America’s heavy manufacturing base eroded by foreign competition, the Nippon Steel/U.S. Steel alliance is an encouraging example of foreign investment creating U.S. jobs and boosting domestic output instead of moving them offshore. As competing with China becomes ever more difficult, this will bolster an industry that is critical to other manufacturing businesses while providing high-paying jobs for American workers. – Washington Examiner

Cybersecurity

A U.S. congressional committee has asked the Commerce Department to look into whether a giant technology company controlled by the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates should be put under trade restrictions because of its ties to China. – New York Times

Hackers linked to Ukraine’s main spy agency have breached computer systems at a Moscow-based internet provider in retaliation for a Russian cyber attack against Ukrainian telecom giant Kyivstar, a source with direct knowledge of the operation told Reuters on Tuesday. – Reuters

After a year of high-profile cybercrime busts, a senior Justice Department official said Tuesday that he expects more to come in 2024. – The Record

The price of bitcoin briefly spiked on Tuesday after a post from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Twitter account claimed that the agency had approved exchanged traded funds to buy and sell the digital currency — a post the agency’s chairman subsequently said had occurred because its account on the social media platform X had been compromised. – CyberScoop

Defense

The chief of naval operations said Tuesday the service must “get more players on the field” as international crises demand more of the naval force, in her first major address since taking the helm of the Navy two months ago. – Defense News

As the Defense Department works on its own responsible and ethical use of artificial intelligence and autonomy, a senior official said today the Pentagon wants to build international cooperation on the military development of the technologies and could call together dozens of countries in the coming months to do just that. – Breaking Defense

Bret Stephens writes: Pinprick attacks against Iranian proxies aren’t going to deter Tehran from its regional or nuclear ambitions. Failing to dismiss the secretary of defense sends a signal of unseriousness that Americans may not notice but our adversaries do. The challenge of global order is that, hard as it is to preserve, it is harder and usually bloodier to piece together once lost. It bears repeating that we are much closer to losing it than most realize. – New York Times

Cole Livieratos writes: Army Special Operations Command’s plans to cut special operations support, civil affairs, and psychological operations units will make the military less prepared for modern competition and creates greater risk for the joint force in large-scale combat. – War on the Rocks

Long War

A Daesh group attack killed at least 14 soldiers aboard a military bus in the Syrian desert Tuesday, a war monitor said, in the second such attack this year. – Agence France-Presse

A bomb stuck to a minivan exploded in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul on Tuesday, killing at least three civilians and wounding four others, a Taliban official said. – Associated Press

A 14-year-old girl from East Jerusalem wrote a farewell letter to her family declaring her intention to die carrying out a terror attack, but was arrested shortly before she could carry out her plan, police said Tuesday. – Times of Israel

Marc Champion writes: The perception that what Hamas did on Oct. 7 wasn’t just another terrorist attack, but rather marked the return of an absolute threat to the existence of both Palestinians and Israelis, has been evident to anyone who has visited since. The implications will affect not just the two populations, or even just the wider region. On the heels of another total war in Ukraine, they will also impact militaries and governments globally. – Bloomberg