Fdd's overnight brief

January 26, 2021

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


Newly inaugurated US President Joe Biden’s administration will launch an initiative through European mediators to open a direct dialogue with Tehran, a source in Washington told Sky News Arabia on Monday. – Times of Israel

In an unprecedented interview, a former senior Iranian cleric and current opposition figure spoke with an Israeli television news channel Monday night from Tehran, and called for an end to hostilities between the countries. – Times of Israel

Iran’s foreign ministry on Monday said that Tehran does not intend to expel the UN nuclear watchdog’s inspectors, clarifying the implications of a controversial law approved by parliament last month. – Agence France-Presse

Kambiz Foroohar writes: The Iranian government has been interfering in sports for years, but international sporting bodies are only now pressing for reform. […]Iranian sports are dominated by military and intelligence entities. It remains to be seen if FIFA and other international bodies can loosen their grip. It will take a major effort. – Middle East Institute 

Jacob Magid writes: Addressing senators at his confirmation hearing last week, Biden’s nominee for secretary of state Antony Blinken called it “vitally important” for the US to engage with Israel and its Arab allies “at the takeoff, not the landing” of its negotiations with Iran. Now it’s Israel’s turn to decide how it wants to move forward with the Biden administration. The process is at an embryonic stage, but a pair of reports leaked to Israel’s most prominent TV network last week suggest that Netanyahu may once again be heading toward a confrontational approach, suspicious that Israel’s concerns will not truly be heard by Washington. – Times of Israel

Lahav Harkov writes: Overall, the way Iran comes through in these readouts show that the Biden administration’s interlocutors are much more interested in focusing on the nuclear threat immediately than they are. […]For those reasons, and others, the Biden administration’s message in its written and spoken statements is clear: We’re not dealing with Iran yet. – Jerusalem Post


The Israel Defense Forces are demanding an extra three billion shekels ($920 million) for military procurement in the 2021 defense budget, after having already received their requested 2.5 billion shekels for this year. – Haaretz

Two rights groups on Monday urged the new US administration of Joe Biden to reverse former President Donald Trump’s last-minute easing of sanctions on an Israeli billionaire accused of corruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo. – Agence France-Presse

A resident of the Har Bracha settlement in the northern West Bank who was out jogging was attacked by Palestinians near the village of Burin, medics said Monday. – Times of Israel

The Armed Forces, the land body of the Syrian Arab Army, were spotted on the Lebanese side of Mount Hermon in the north of Israel on Monday night, Syrian state-media reported. – Jerusalem Post

The Dubai based Emirates airlines became the first UAE company to enjoy an Israeli status on Monday using a novel procedure. – Jerusalem Post

For Ambassador Eitan Na’eh, the excitement of being Israel’s first senior diplomat in the United Arab Emirates began even before he landed in the Gulf state this week. – Jerusalem Post

The Prime Minister’s Office and the National Security Council have been working with officials from the Dar al-Makhzen Palace in order to arrange a visit of King of Morocco Mohammed VI in Israel once the coronavirus lockdown is lifted, Yedioth Ahronoth reported. – Jerusalem Post

Israeli F-35s are never seen in combat, but on Monday they seemed to have been captured by a Lebanese photographer patrolling the skies over Lebanon. – Jerusalem Post

Harold Waller writes: All Israeli citizens, Jews and Arabs, have political and civil rights. The Arab minority is represented in the Knesset, Arabs serve as judges, including on the Supreme Court, there are Arabs in the diplomatic service, in the police and even in the army. Economic and educational opportunities are available to the minority, including higher education. Generally speaking, the areas in which South African apartheid applied are open to Arab Israelis. Has Israel achieved a state of total equality? Clearly not, but attempts to draw analogies to apartheid South Africa are wildly off the mark and frankly disingenuous. – Jerusalem Post

Arabian Peninsula

The U.S. military has been using an array of ports and air bases in Saudi Arabia’s western desert, developing basing options to use in the event of a conflict with Iran, according to the top American military commander in the region. – Wall Street Journal

Tens of thousands of Yemenis marched in Sanaa on Monday, heeding a call by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement to condemn the United States for labelling it a terrorist group and backing the Saudi-led military coalition that is battling it. – Reuters

The United States on Monday approved all transactions involving Yemen’s Houthi movement for the next month as Washington reviews a Trump administration designation of the Iran-aligned group as a foreign terrorist organization. – Reuters

Andrew England and Simeon Kerr write: His rise over the past decade epitomises the nexus between power, business and national strategic interest in Gulf states such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, where a younger, tech-savvy and security-minded generation of royals have come to the fore. It also offers a glimpse into the inner workings of Abu Dhabi’s absolute monarchy, where the ruling family and a clique of trusted lieutenants dominate security and key sectors of the economy, blurring the lines between state and private enterprise. – Financial Times

Mustafa Naji and Ibrahim Jalal write: Over the past two decades, Yemen has become a matter of interest and concern for countries in the region and around the world for a variety of different reasons. […]As long as weapons transfers to armed non-state actors are not adequately restricted and the monopoly of violence is not exclusively in the hands of the government, it will be impossible to build sustainable peace in Yemen. – Middle East Institute

Middle East & North Africa

A Tunisian protester injured during clashes with police has died in hospital, state media reported on Monday, leading to more violent confrontations between demonstrators and security services in the town of Sbeitla. – Reuters

Pfizer or Sinopharm? The US or China? In the Middle East and North Africa, coronavirus vaccine orders are driven by diplomatic and logistical considerations, reflecting Beijing’s growing regional influence. – Agence France-Presse

A Rosbalt article, featuring an interview with the Russian Middle East expert Mikhail Magid and titled “Things Are Heading Towards ‘Arab Spring 2.0’, argues that while the world is focused on the turbulence in the United States and the fight against Covid-19, the Middle East is headed towards another blowup. – Middle East Media Research Institute

The Lebanese Hizbullah took a series of measures and held numerous events to mark the first anniversary of the death of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Qods Force in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, deputy-commander of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in Iraq, who were assassinated in a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad airport in January 2020. – Middle East Media Research Institute

Lazar Berman writes: The sea change is being driven by global and regional shifts that have pushed Ankara’s back against the wall: isolated from Europe and many Arab states, it is facing a potentially unfriendly White House, while its economy continues to get buffeted by the pandemic. Opening a new chapter with Israel could help bring it back in the West’s good graces and restore a fruitful military relationship. But Israel’s place in the region has also changed, driving up the price of friendship.- Times of Israel

Hazem Albassam and Coline Ferrant write: Moreover, within the Egyptian collective memory, the 2011 revolution may become codified as the onset of a roller-coaster of hopes betrayed and dreams deferred—not the definitive democratic moment that the revolutionists envisioned. Going forward, a collective sentiment of disillusion and apathy will likely be the shared perspective of this moment in Egyptian history, cutting across those conflicting views of what the 2011 revolution represented and who was involved. – Washington Institute

Alexander Griffing writes: While Trump vowed to end America’s “endless wars” in the region, the U.S. still has troops or advisers in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. While his administration scored historic successes, brokering normalization deals between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, his broader legacy in the Middle East, including the transactional politics that led to those deals, is far more dubious.From Iran to Israel, Damascus to Dubai, here is a look at how four years of Trump impacted the Middle East. – Haaretz


Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a veiled warning against the new Biden administration’s preparations to rally allies to challenge Beijing on a range of issues, urging multilateral coordination to tackle global challenges such as the pandemic. – Wall Street Journal

President Biden has said he plans to work with allies to keep pressure on China, but at the World Trade Organization the U.S. will be facing a rival in Beijing that has become a more dominant force in recent years. – Wall Street Journal

Now, after neutering the democracy movement with disqualifications and mass arrests, Beijing is tacitly effecting a shake-up of the pro-China camp, reflecting dwindling faith in its erstwhile allies amid its ongoing effort to remake Hong Kong. – Washington Post

Biden won’t confront Beijing right away, economists say, because he wants to focus on the coronavirus and the economy. However, Biden looks set to renew pressure over trade and technology grievances that prompted President Donald Trump to hike tariffs on Chinese imports in 2017. – Associated Press

China said on Tuesday it will conduct military exercises in the South China Sea this week, just days after Beijing bristled at a U.S. aircraft carrier group’s entry into the disputed waters. – Reuters

Hong Kong authorities are scrutinizing the financial records of pro-democracy activists as they crack down on political opposition, according to some activists and a senior bank executive. – Reuters

China’s President Xi Jinping on Monday called on the world to strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination and bolster the role of the G20 in global economic governance as he pointed to a “rather shaky” recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. – Reuters

Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe argued on Monday that the Biden administration’s approach to the Chinese government is flawed because it is “inconsistent” with what intelligence demands. – Washington Examiner

Hong Kong is unlikely to see an exodus under a U.K. visa program for holders of special British passports, a top government adviser said, predicting that some would be offset by arrivals from mainland China. – Bloomberg

President Joe Biden’s administration is approaching its relationship with Beijing with “patience” and plans to review hard-line policies that were a hallmark of Donald Trump’s presidency, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. – Bloomberg

President Xi Jinping called on the world to abandon “ideological prejudice” and shun an “outdated Cold-War mentality” as he signaled that China will continue to forge its own path regardless of western criticism. – Bloomberg

The Biden administration on Monday signaled that it will continue to “hold China accountable” on technology-related concerns, though final decisions around its stance on social media app TikTok and telecom group Huawei have not yet been made. – The Hill

But in countries where the checks and balances are even more limited, the effects are amplified. The epitome of cyber surveillance is China, with its Golden Shield project, which has evolved into the “Great Firewall” system of internet controls. – Financial Times

Editorial: The contrast between Mr. Xi’s Monday sweet talk and the weekend Taiwan incursions is designed to throw the world off balance. The test for the Biden team is whether it will be tripped up by the feints toward international norms and comity that punctuate Mr. Xi’s pattern of regional aggression. – Wall Street Journal

Walter Russell Mead writes: It remains to be seen whether the administration will attempt to tone down the strong message sent by its early actions. The combination of the hard line on Taiwan and the genocide designation could be the foundation of a policy mix that is significantly more provocative than even some China hawks in the new administration wanted—and far more hawkish than the human-rights advocates supporting the genocide designation understood. – Wall Street Journal

Rushan Abbas writes: At a bare minimum, I hope the Biden administration ensures the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, which passed with nearly unanimous bipartisan support and imposes sanctions on entities and individuals involved in these human rights abuses, will be enforced to the full extent. The Biden administration must also prioritize Section 307 of the Tariff Act — which outlaws forced labor imports — and ensure that thorough and effective enforcement is applied to every ban on products originating from the Uighur homeland. – Washington Post

Tim Culpan writes: Should Biden take up some of these proposals, he’d send a message that not only is he taking an interest in Taiwan but that he views it as an issue with support across both sides of Congress. A bipartisan Washington is not the united front Beijing would like to see. – Bloomberg

John Pomfret writes: This attack on entrepreneurs sets China back politically as well. Xi seems to have embraced Leninist logic essentially unchanged since the days of Mao: Only in times of crisis does the party loosen its grip, allowing more free enterprise and more freedom. It always does so reluctantly and then reverts to form. – The Atlantic


Tensions between China and India have flared up in the past year as disputes over many parts of their long, shared border have turned violent as both exchanged accusations the other’s troops crossed into their territory. – Wall Street Journal

Armed and ready to go, Taiwan air force jets screamed into the sky on Tuesday in a drill to simulate a war scenario, showing its fleet’s battle readiness after dozens of Chinese warplanes flew into the island’s air defence zone over the weekend. – Reuters

China and New Zealand signed a deal on Tuesday upgrading a free trade pact to give exports from the Pacific nation greater access to the world’s second-largest economy. – Reuters

Iran has asked Indonesia to provide details about the seizure of an Iranian-flagged vessel, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday, a day after Jakarta said it had seized Iran and Panama-flagged tankers in its waters. – Reuters

The Iranian and Panamanian-flagged vessels seized by Indonesian authorities for suspected illegal oil transfers are making their way to dock at Batam island in the country’s Riau Islands Province for further investigation, a Indonesia coast guard spokesman told Reuters. – Reuters

Vietnam’s secretive, twice-a-decade political transition kicked off Tuesday, with the Communist Party poised to select its future leaders who will have to contend with an increasingly assertive China and ramped-up trade tensions with the United States. – Agence France-Presse

Jeffrey W. Hornung writes: Japanese officials may be watching with bated breath as the Biden administration begins its term. Efforts to mend the country’s political wounds, combatting COVID-19 and the continuing deterioration of U.S.-China relations may dominate the agenda of the incoming Biden administration. But quick wins with Japan are possible and could be necessary to ensure the alliance begins on a positive footing so it can tackle more difficult challenges in the years ahead. – The Hill


In his first comments since mass protests erupted across Russia over the weekend, President Vladimir Putin denied on Monday that he owns a billion-dollar palace on the Black Sea and called the demonstrations illegal and “dangerous.” – Washington Post

President Joe Biden has been quickly thrown into a high-wire balancing act with Russia as he seeks to toughen his administration’s stance against Vladimir Putin while preserving room for diplomacy in a post-Donald Trump era. – Associated Press

U.S. President Joe Biden will keep all options on the table as it considers responses to Russia’s detention of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday. – Reuters

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Monday the United States is concerned about Russia’s treatment of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny while also seeking an extension of the New START nuclear weapons agreement with Russia. – Reuters

But after the arrest of opposition activist Alexei Navalny prompted Saturday’s protests — the largest anti-Putin rallies in years — the Kremlin’s own heavy-handed crackdown risks misjudging public sentiment and legitimising a national movement against it much as Mr Lukashenko’s did, analysts say. – Financial Times

Editorial: The statement should be accompanied by actions. All those in the Putin regime who bear responsibility for the imprisonment of Mr. Navalny or the repression of protests should be sanctioned. Financial authorities in the United States, Britain and elsewhere should identify and, if possible, freeze looted Russian assets stashed in Western banks and real estate. At stake is not just Mr. Navalny’s movement, but the need for democracy to prevail in what has become a fateful new contest with autocracy. – Washington Post

Alexey Kovalev writes: Yet what happened on Saturday matters. Crackdown and coercion are no longer enough to discourage Russians from protesting: According to sociologists who studied Saturday’s demonstrations, at least 42 percent of all participants were first-time protesters. Mr. Navalny has clearly struck a chord well outside his regular circle of supporters. The Kremlin, its room for compromise limited, is likely to respond with further escalation. What that might lead to, no one can say. But one thing’s certain: It doesn’t bode well for anyone. – New York Times

Bret Stephens writes: How can Joe Biden move history toward the second version? By pursuing a foreign policy that puts dissidents first. […]It needn’t be that way. A dissidents-first foreign policy would immediately revive America’s moral leadership after its squandering under Trump. It would force our adversaries to choose between their material interests and their habits of repression. And it would provide a margin of safety and maneuver for the dissidents we’d one day like to see in power. As foreign policy doctrines go, it’s more than decent. It’s smart. – New York Times

Tom Rogan writes: The evidence of what happened to Navalny is clear. The Biden administration should therefore stop wasting time that Navalny might not have. Biden has good options — he can sanction FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov and threaten more wide-ranging economic sanctions if Navalny’s life or long-term freedom is jeopardized. Like all the top officials in Putin’s inner circle, Bortnikov has assets that he wants to protect from U.S. sanctions. But Psaki is deliberately misleading the public when she implies that the intelligence picture is unclear. – Washington Examiner

Gideon Rachman writes: In Washington, President Joe Biden has now broken with his predecessor Donald Trump’s studied indifference to the fate of democracy and human rights in Russia. The Biden White House has urged the immediate release of Mr Navalny and his supporters. The Kremlin will not listen. But US expressions of support for Mr Navalny and the protests will anger Mr Putin. One of the reasons that the Russian leader detested Hillary Clinton — and worked to defeat her — was the support that she expressed for anti-Putin demonstrators in 2012. – Financial Times


Despite pressure from some European Union countries on Monday to sanction Russia further after the arrest of the Kremlin critic Aleksei A. Navalny and thousands of his supporters, the bloc’s top foreign policy official will go ahead with a visit to Moscow early next month and meet with Russian officials first. – New York Times

President Joe Biden told German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday that he is looking to revitalize the transatlantic alliance with Germany, a relationship that became strained under former President Donald Trump. – Associated Press

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed in a phone call on Monday that the COVID-19 pandemic and other global challenges could only be tackled through closer cooperation, a government spokesman in Berlin said on Monday. – Reuters 

EU countries on Monday doubled down on their decision to downgrade the status of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, drawing immediate criticism from the European Parliament. – Politico

The Brexit agreement brokered on Christmas Eve between the UK and the EU on trade issues is leaving both parties diminished in their efforts to fight terrorists and cross-border crime gangs, experts have warned. – Financial Times

The Greek and French defense ministers in Athens today witnessed the signature of the contract to buy 18 Rafale fighter aircraft after Greek parliamentarians approved the €2.5 billion ($3.04 billion) deal earlier this month. – Defense News

German officials are scrambling to build a common approach to China as a cornerstone of Europe-U.S. defense relations. – Defense News

The mayor of  Antwerp has claimed that the Belgian city’s historic community of Orthodox Jews risk bringing a “wave of antisemitism” upon themselves because of non-compliance with COVID-19 social distancing and testing requirements. – Algemeiner

The president of one of Europe’s top Jewish organizations called on Monday for European Union member states to ensure Holocaust survivors are vaccinated for the coronavirus as soon as possible. – Algemeiner

Martin Sandbu writes: In their different ways, they both mark new milestones on a path Brussels has been treading for some time. The EU’s trade and commercial agreements have slowly but surely broadened their perspective from merely promoting cross-border economic activity to committing trade partners to environmental, social and regulatory goals. […]If London and Beijing are banking on the EU’s inability to shift from legal treaty negotiator to political actor, their gamble may be riskier than they think. – Financial Times


Pirates off Nigeria’s coast kidnapped 15 sailors from a Turkish-crewed container ship in the Gulf of Guinea on Saturday in a brazen and violent attack that was farther from shore than usual. – Reuters

An Israeli cabinet minister on Monday for the first time led an official delegation to Sudan to discuss moving forward on a U.S.-brokered deal in October to normalise relations. – Reuters

Since then, under a hybrid military-civilian transition, Sudan has set about trying to repair both its deep domestic wounds and its international relations. Multi-party elections are supposed to take place in late 2022. – Financial Times

Now that Bashir has been ousted, say foreign policy experts, the task is to re-establish relations with foreign capitals from Riyadh to Washington, without allowing outside actors undue influence over its internal affairs. For a nation flat broke and in desperate need of help, that is no simple task. – Financial Times

Officials in the Central African Republic say government troops have killed 44 rebel fighters who had surrounded the capital, Bangui, in an attempt to overthrow the new administration. – BBC

Somalia is marking 30 years of conflict. Specifically, it’s marking the moment the government of President Siad Barre collapsed in January 1991, setting Somalia on a rapid path to fragmentation and anarchy. – BBC 

United States

The House sent over the article of impeachment of former President Donald Trump to the Senate Monday evening, officially starting the countdown to a trial expected to highlight the rifts within the GOP over Mr. Trump’s legacy and his future influence over the party. – Wall Street Journal

Federal law enforcement officials are examining a number of threats aimed at members of Congress as the second trial of former President Donald Trump nears, including ominous chatter about killing legislators or attacking them outside of the U.S. Capitol, a U.S. official told The Associated Press. – Associated Press

Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley denounced the U.N.’s Human Rights Council after President Biden announced his intention to rejoin the international governing body. – Washington Examiner


In the months leading up to the November election, the social media platform Parler attracted millions of new users by promising something competitors, increasingly, did not: unfettered free speech. “If you can say it on the streets of New York,” promised the company’s chief executive, John Matze, in a June CNBC interview, “you can say it on Parler.” – New York Times

The messaging app Telegram has long been an engine of resistance and an annoyance for tyrants. Authoritarian leaders in Russia and Iran have tried to ban it. When protests broke out recently in Belarus and Hong Kong, Telegram was the glue that held democracy movements together in the face of violent onslaughts by powerful security services. – New York Times

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, publicly wrestled this month with the question of whether his social media service had exercised too much power by cutting off Donald J. Trump’s account. Mr. Dorsey wondered aloud if the solution to that power imbalance was new technology inspired by the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. – New York Times

Google has warned it has uncovered an “ongoing” state-backed hacking campaign run by North Korea targeting cyber security researchers. – Financial Times

Joshua Rovner writes: For years, critics of U.S. cyber security policy have called for more centralization. Government efforts are spread across many organizations, we are told, making effective coordination inefficient and ineffective. […]No real progress can occur without a clear whole-of-government effort, spearheaded by an official who can bear the brunt of presidential and congressional scrutiny. As Sen. Angus King put it, the government needs “one throat to choke.” – War on the Rocks


The White House on Monday lifted restrictions against transgender service members in the U.S. military, marking President Biden’s first major military personnel decision and reversing a directive by former President Donald Trump. – Wall Street Journal

The Navy today has 15 unmanned underwater vehicles and seven unmanned surface vessels of all shapes and sizes in fabrication today, Small said during a briefing at the annual Surface Navy Association symposium. – USNI News

The U.S. Army’s new Infantry Squad Vehicle is a cramped ride and offers limited protection from certain threats, according to a recent report from the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester, but it still meets the service’s requirements in tests and evaluations, the product lead told Defense News. – Defense News

One of the first queries posed to President Joe Biden’s new administration was whether the president would seek to undo a controversial change to the iconic Air Force One paint scheme proposed by his predecessor, Donald Trump. – Defense News

The Army is testing a solution to address overheating and toxic gas production in the newest version of the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle’s turret battery, but its release has been delayed by almost a year, the service’s program office told Defense News. – Defense News

Theo Lipsky writes: As a remedy, the Army should prescribe its company-grade officers a curriculum that teaches the Army ethic through historical case study. Teaching ethics through history would preempt the skepticism with which hypothetical dilemmas are often met in class. It would walk the ground between what is right and what is merely legal. […]In short, teaching the Army ethic through historical case study promises better results. – War on the Rocks

Tim Chrisman writes: There is a constant risk that the U.S. will be left behind in an accelerating new space race. That’s why the U.S. needs a third office to support the efforts of NASA and the Space Force and to bridge the civil, military and federal space innovation and investment divide[…]. The next 100 days will set the tone for the future of space infrastructure and our national role in providing it. There are clear logistical voids that prohibit extended space operations, but if the right building blocks are put in place, it will set the foundation for which all subsequent space operations will be supported. – The Hill

Everett Pyatt writes: The Constitution directs Congress “to provide and maintain a Navy.” This direction is open to many interpretations, but Congress resolved the current policy with direction to build a 355-ship Navy with 12 carriers and defined other categories of ships. The president signed the law, but the last administration did nothing to implement it. Now is the time to start implementation. – Defense News

Erica Gaston writes: There are ample examples of Western states partnering with or supporting non-state, substate, or quasi-state forces where expedient to do so. However, a still state-centric bias in the presumptions and working tools of statecraft, and the politics surrounding some of these groups, bars anything more than a short-term or reactive approach. This leaves Western states with few long-term strategies or options for addressing the generational challenge posed by hybrid actors. – War on the Rocks

Long War

A terrorist stabbing attack was foiled in Samaria Tuesday morning, according to initial reports. – Arutz Sheva

In 2013, Nasser Muthana and Reyaad Khan left their lives in Cardiff to fight for Islamic State in Syria. Three months later Nasser’s younger brother Aseel also went out to join them. – BBC

Bennett Ramberg writes: Although offshore American forces could execute operations against jihadis — they failed in Somalia and Afghanistan but proved more successful in hitting ISIS in Libya — there is no substitute for an American counterterrorism ground presence working with locals to collect actionable intelligence. The result would allow U.S. homeland security to be the last layer of defense, rather than the first. – The Hill