Fdd's overnight brief

January 9, 2024

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News

Israel

Secretary of State Antony Blinken outlined a series of requirements for the future of the Gaza Strip after meetings Monday with leaders of key Gulf Arab states, during a diplomatic tour of the region aimed at preventing a broader war. – Wall Street Journal

Violence that included sexual atrocities committed during the Hamas-led attacks on Oct. 7 in Israel amounts to war crimes and may also be crimes against humanity, two United Nations human rights experts said on Monday, following months of frustrated accusations from Israel and women’s groups that the U.N. was ignoring the rape and sexual mutilation of women during the Oct. 7 invasion. – New York Times

As Israel prepares this week to face accusations at the International Court of Justice that it has committed genocide in the Gaza war, it has appointed one of the country’s most prominent jurists as the ad hoc judge to sit on the bench on its behalf. – New York Times

Israel said its military is starting to shift from a large-scale ground and air campaign in the Gaza Strip to a more targeted phase in its war against Hamas, and Israeli officials have privately told their American counterparts that they hoped the transition would be completed by the end of January, U.S. officials said. – New York Times

Israeli forces located what they said was the largest weapons production site so far found in Gaza, with underground workshops they said were used to produce long-range missiles capable of hitting targets in northern Israel. – Reuters

Israeli President Isaac Herzog said on Tuesday that “there is nothing more atrocious and preposterous” than a lawsuit filed in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) accusing Israel of genocide against Palestinians in its Gaza offensive. – Reuters

In the last week alone, an Israeli airstrike has killed a Hezbollah commander in Lebanon, Hezbollah struck a sensitive Israeli base with rockets and Israel killed a senior Hamas militant with an airstrike in Beirut. Each strike and counterstrike increases the risk of the catastrophic war in Gaza spilling across the region. – Associated Press

Three Gaza residents were arrested on Monday after they were found pretending to be Israeli citizens and working in a southern factory, contravening employment laws, Israel Police announced Tuesday morning. – Jerusalem Post

The American public remains deeply divided over the extent of the United States’ role in resolving the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, and especially over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s performance as leader, according to the latest Gallup poll conducted last month. – Jerusalem Post

Editorial: This could be Barak’s and Netanyahu’s moment to unite Israel and turn what was a toxic ideological debate into a bridge between those who despise each other’s views. It could be a moment when Israelis unite around the fact that Israel has a right to defend itself and that the IDF truly is the most moral army in the world. – Jerusalem Post

Iran

Canada, Britain, Sweden and Ukraine on Monday formally complained to the U.N. aviation council in their bid to hold Iran accountable for the downing of a passenger airliner in January 2020 that killed 176 people, they said on Monday. – Reuters

Iran hopes technical problems preventing Iranian Muslims from making the Umrah pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia will soon be resolved, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said on Monday. – Reuters

Since late last year, various Iranian-backed groups have struck U.S. troop positions in Iraq and Syria, tried to bomb merchant vessels in Middle East waterways, and aimed rockets at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. […]Here are where the biggest potential powder keg moments are taking place. – The Hill

Iran’s Chief Justice has threatened people who criticize the government in the aftermath of last week’s deadly terror bombings with legal consequences. – Iran International

Iran says the United States has conveyed a message through an Arab Persian Gulf country aimed at addressing the comprehensive resolution of the regional crisis. – Iran International

Nazee Moinian writes: The destruction of the state of Israel was the first step in Khomeini’s vision of a global Islamic government. What country is next on the Islamic regime’s target and what militant group would be funded and trained to do its bidding? As Tehran has become the ideological and financial reservoir for Islamist militants, perhaps it is time to take the regime’s words both literally and seriously, and act accordingly. – The Hill

Erfan Fard writes: In conclusion, Iran’s actions in the Red Sea represent a significant challenge to regional stability and global maritime security. The strategic importance of this vital waterway, coupled with Iran’s support for the Houthi rebels and its broader regional ambitions, creates a complex geopolitical puzzle. The involvement of regional powers, each with their strategic interests and the interest of global actors, adds layers to this complexity. It is imperative for the international community to closely monitor and address the multifaceted challenges posed by Iran in the Red Sea, as the repercussions of these activities extend far beyond the region, impacting international trade routes and global security dynamics. Resolving these tensions requires a nuanced, collaborative approach that balances regional aspirations with global security needs. – Algemeiner

David Albright writes: Accelerating action at the IAEA will also help ensure that the Iran nuclear issue does not slip off the front pages as other pressing security matters dominate. After all, Iran’s possession of a nuclear weapon will enormously complicate most of those other issues. The United States and its allies know how to deter Iran from building nuclear weapons. That effort should accelerate and sharpen as the hope of a revived nuclear deal evaporates and the threat of Iran building nuclear weapons increases. – Institute for Science and International Security

Russia & Ukraine

Ukrainian troops along most of the 600-mile front line are officially in defensive mode. Only in the southern region of Kherson are they still on the offensive in a tough assault across the Dnipro River. – New York Times

Russia launched a large-scale air attack against Ukraine on Monday, Ukrainian and Russian officials said, pounding several regions with missiles that killed at least four people, wounded more than 30 others and heavily damaged residential buildings and industrial sites. – New York Times

Ukraine has a deficit of anti-aircraft guided missiles nearly two years after Russia’s full-scale invasion, Air Force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat said on Tuesday. – Reuters

A Russian court said on Tuesday that a U.S. citizen had been detained on drugs charges which can carry up to 20 years in prison. – Reuters

White House officials met with executives from Palantir Technologies Inc., Anduril Industries Inc., Fortem, Skydio Inc. and other defense companies on Monday to discuss battlefield technologies that can aid Ukraine in its bid to combat Russia’s invasion. – Bloomberg

Janusz Bugajski writes: The Kremlin has lost much of its influence even outside Europe and North America, and its former satellites in Central Asia and the Caucasus are asserting their independence from Moscow. As Russia weakens militarily and economically, its global position will further shrink, with an increasing number of Russians now fearful that it will simply become China’s “younger brother” or will need to surrender its eastern regions to Beijing. Russian imperialism, much like Soviet communism, will collapse when its delusional lies can no longer disguise harsh reality. – Washington Examiner

Alexander J. Motyl writes: Moreover, it’s not at all clear from a correct reading of his comments that Putin thinks of the West as an enemy with whom he should negotiate Ukraine’s fate. Indeed, his comments are, upon closer inspection, nothing new. He’s been berating the West and ridiculing Ukraine for decades. Which brings us back to Western commentators. Perhaps their misreading of the website’s mistranslation is reflective more of their own desire for a quick end to a genocidal war and less of the Russian dictator’s? – The Hill

Hezbollah

A senior Hezbollah commander was killed in Lebanon in what the group said was the second recent assassination by Israel of a militant leader there, as Israel showed it is willing to target Iran-backed forces across the border while avoiding an all-out war. – Wall Street Journal

The elite Hezbollah commander who was killed in an Israeli airstrike Monday in southern Lebanon fought for the group for decades and took part in some of its biggest battles. – Associated Press

Three members of Hezbollah were killed in an Israeli UAV attack on a vehicle in southern Lebanon, according to media reports on Tuesday morning. – Jerusalem Post

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz confirmed Monday evening in an interview with Channel 14 that Israel is behind the assassination of the commander of the Radwan Force, Wissam al-Tawil, despite Jerusalem not officially taking responsibility for the assassination, Ynet reported on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post

Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s Taliban-appointed prime minister met Monday with one of Pakistan’s most senior politicians in an attempt to reduce lingering tensions between the two countries, a spokesman for the Taliban government said. – Associated Press

When high-profile Afghan women’s rights activist Mahbouba Seraj received Finland’s International Gender Equality Prize in the country’s second-largest city, Tampere, on Dec. 11, she knew the recognition would be controversial in her home country. – Forbes

Aqil Shah writes: Pakistan seems unlikely to reverse its expulsion policy unless the Taliban regime can credibly address its demands, mainly by denying sanctuary to the TTP. But the Afghan Taliban are in no rush to alienate their comrades-in-arms to placate Islamabad. Pakistan callously embroiled Afghan refugees in a diplomatic dispute without any regard to their suffering or safety. 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

Syria

Israel is carrying out an unprecedented wave of deadly strikes in Syria targeting cargo trucks, infrastructure and people involved in Iran’s weapons lifeline to its proxies in the region, six sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. – Reuters

Jordanian jets conducted four strikes inside Syria on Tuesday in the second such raid within a week against suspected farms and hideouts of Iran-linked drug smugglers, regional intelligence sources said. – Reuters

Israel’s military said on Monday it killed a central figure in Syria who was responsible for Hamas rocket attacks against Israel. – Reuters

Iraq

The Pentagon said on Monday it was not currently planning to withdraw its roughly 2,500 troops from Iraq, despite Baghdad’s announcement last week it would begin the process of removing the U.S.-led military coalition from the country. – Reuters

Iran on Monday threw its weight behind calls from Iraq to oust the US-led anti-Daesh coalition from its territory after a US strike killed a militia commander in Baghdad. – Agence France-Presse

Renwar Najm writes: As the February 2024 elections approach, the quest for a new political era in Iraqi Kurdistan is encountering formidable challenges. The dissident politicians, motivated by a fervent desire for change and armed with lessons from the past, are striving to overcome internal divisions and build a united front against the existing duopoly. The outcome remains uncertain, but the opposition’s unwavering determination reflects a broader shift in the political dynamics of the KRG. – Washington Institute

Arabian Peninsula

Antony J. Blinken, the U.S. secretary of state, said on Monday that the leader of Saudi Arabia told him that establishing diplomatic recognition between the kingdom and Israel was still possible, but it required an end to the war in Gaza and practical steps toward a Palestinian state. – New York Times

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

Container shipping giant China Cosco Shipping Corp. is to stop delivering goods into Israel because of the threats and attacks that Houthi militants have made against vessels that sail there. – Bloomberg

Yemen

Artem was one of three people on the bridge that afternoon in early December navigating the giant commodity freighter through the southern Red Sea. The stretch of water has been a danger zone since late November as Houthi militants have targeted dozens of ships. […]“It’s not a joke: we can die,” said Artem. Some of his crew mates were in tears, he added, in a conversation over a WhatsApp call. “They sit on the chair and really cry because it’s very, very scary.” – Bloomberg

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Houthi militants in Yemen must know they’ll face “consequences” for continued attacks on ships in the Red Sea, even as a top regional leader warned against military action by a US-led coalition. – Bloomberg

Kenneth M. Pollack and Katherine Zimmerman write: These two factors combine in one clear strategic necessity: The U.S. needs to begin military support to the Yemeni government. That is the only way to ensure the Houthis won’t consolidate their grip on the country and be able to project more power abroad. And it is the only thing that might cause the Houthis and Iranians to rethink their current strategy. […]That successive U.S. administrations largely ignored the Houthis was understandable but unsuccessful. It’s time for Washington to adopt the only promising strategy by threatening the one thing the Houthis hold dear. – Wall Street Journal

Korean Peninsula

As Kim Jeoung-hee huddled in a bomb shelter on South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island, scared and confused with around 250 other people, memories flooded back of the day in 2010 when North Korean troops shelled near their homes. – Reuters

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has just turned 40, but North Korea’s propaganda machine has said not a word about the fairly young leader’s birthday. Instead, he’s ordered the war machine of his impoverished country, in what may have been a birthday celebration of sorts, to expend at least 300 artillery shells in three days in an exercise in muscle-flexing. – New York Sun

Jennifer Ahn writes: The United States and South Korea should clarify whether the two countries will reaffirm the concept of strategic flexibility in the event of a Taiwan contingency or maintain U.S. strategic forces in South Korea to prevent North Korean opportunism. – Council on Foreign Relations

China

China has taken into custody an alleged British spy, the country’s national security agency said Monday, as Beijing steps up warnings over national security and the infiltration of foreign spies in the country. – Wall Street Journal

At an “Invest Maldives” forum in a southern Chinese port city, Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu shook hands and exchanged words with smiling local officials on a China visit set to deepen bilateral ties as the archipelagic nation pirouettes away from India. – Reuters

A U.S. Navy sailor was sentenced to 27 months in jail on Monday for accepting nearly $15,000 in bribes from a Chinese intelligence officer in exchange for photos of unclassified private U.S. military information. – Reuters

China will conduct live firing drills in some areas in the East China Sea from 10 a.m. (0200 GMT) to 3 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, according to the China maritime safety administration. – Reuters

President Xi Jinping vowed to deepen an anti-corruption campaign spanning several critical sectors, a move that risks freezing spooked decision makers and hampering China’s fragile economic recovery. – Bloomberg

South Asia

It started with a postcard-perfect snapshot. An image of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, lounging in a chair on a secluded white-sand beach, provoked heated words from officials in the Maldives, a tiny archipelago nation in the Indian Ocean. Indians on social media reacted with a ferocious wave of indignation, causing ripples all the way to Beijing. – New York Times

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Monday overturned a law that barred politicians with past convictions from seeking political office, in a move that paves the way for former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to run in parliamentary elections in February. – New York Times

A roadside bomb exploded Monday near a van carrying police assigned to protect workers in an anti-polio immunization campaign in restive northwestern Pakistan, killing at least six officers and wounding 10 others, officials said. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. – Associated Press

The US said the Bangladesh elections were not free or fair amid reports of vote irregularities and violence, potentially testing ties between the South Asian country and its top trading partner. – Bloomberg

Asia

Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said on Tuesday her country is ready to work with other Southeast Asian nations to finalise a long-delayed code of conduct for the South China Sea, where many of its neighbours have overlapping claims with China. – Reuters

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa met with top officials in Poland on Monday to strengthen ties with the NATO nation, which borders Ukraine. – Associated Press

Taiwan’s leading presidential candidate William Lai said Tuesday he hopes for a reopening of dialogue with China following almost eight years of Beijing’s near-complete refusal to communicate with leaders of the self-governing island it considers its own territory. – Associated Press

War over Taiwan would have a cost in blood and treasure so vast that even those unhappiest with the status quo have reason not to risk it. Bloomberg Economics estimate the price tag at around $10 trillion, equal to about 10% of global GDP — dwarfing the blow from the war in Ukraine, Covid pandemic and Global Financial Crisis. – Bloomberg

Taiwan sent out an air raid alert after China apparently launched a satellite over the southern part of the island, an event that caused some anxiety days before a pivotal presidential election. – Bloomberg

Editorial: The affront to the Party isn’t Mr. Lai’s policies, and Taiwan’s voters won’t have stoked tensions with Beijing by electing him. The problem is that Beijing can’t tolerate Taiwan’s example of a thriving Chinese-speaking democracy in which voters settle political differences at the ballot box. If a conflict breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, this will be why. And Taiwan’s voters know it as they head to the polls. – Wall Street Journal

Sean Durns writes: A Sino-American conflict would be the most devastating war to confront the world in eight decades. Taiwan is a vital partner, its importance extending beyond semiconductors and democracy; should Taiwan fall, America’s position in both the Indo-Pacific and the world itself would be severely affected. But by any metric, a successful defense of Taiwan hinges on the Taiwanese themselves. – Washington Examiner

Europe

France’s bruising battle over immigration has cost President Emmanuel Macron his cabinet. On Monday, French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne resigned after her ranks fractured over the passage of a contentious immigration bill that boosts authorities’ power to deport foreigners and limits access to welfare and citizenship. – Wall Street Journal

Polish officials have resisted cooperating with an international probe into the sabotage of the Nord Stream natural-gas pipelines and failed to disclose potentially crucial evidence, according to European investigators working on the case. – Wall Street Journal

Two F-16 fighter jets will fly over Bosnia on Monday to underline U.S. support for its territorial integrity against “secessionist activity” by Serbs at odds with the country’s 1990s Dayton peace accords, the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo said. – Reuters

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Monday the majority of countries in the European Union were not delivering sufficient weapons to Ukraine to help it battle a Russian invasion, calling upon allies to increase their efforts. – Reuters

Belarusian authorities on Monday said they will not invite observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to monitor the country’s parliamentary and local elections, scheduled for Feb. 25. – Associated Press

Serbia and Kosovo defused a dispute over the recognition of each other’s automobile registration plates in a rare sign of progress in a simmering conflict between the Balkan states. – Bloomberg

Adrian Wooldridge writes: Blair is the only global statesperson with the talent to deliver an eloquent speech or make a moving intervention on behalf of liberal values. The US is too consumed by domestic culture and too riddled by domestic pressure groups to take the sort of stand that it took during the Cold War; the EU is too addicted to gray apparatchiks who say nothing and say it badly. It’s time for Sir Anthony Charles Lynton Blair to assume the mantel of a new and improved Dr. Henry Kissinger. – Bloomberg

Africa

Shortly after a military coup in the West African country of Mali, senior U.S. officials traveled to Paris for a discreet meeting with French counterparts, who presented them with a list of names. – Wall Street Journal

For roughly 16 years Ousman Sonko wielded sweeping power in Gambia’s security apparatus, crushing opposition to the West African country’s authoritarian president. On Monday, Mr. Sonko entered a Swiss court accused of crimes against humanity, in what lawyers call a significant milestone for Gambia, Switzerland and the wider international effort to prosecute war crimes and those who facilitated them. – New York Times

The International Monetary Fund’s executive board has completed the third review of Mozambique’s three-year loan program, allowing for an immediate disbursement to Maputo of about $60.7 million, the fund said. – Reuters

Somaliland’s defense minister has resigned to protest his government signing an agreement to allow landlocked Ethiopia to access Somaliland’s coastline. – Associated Press

President Hassan Sheik Mohamud of Somalia warned neighboring Ethiopia he would take “all necessary measures” to defend his country should it make strides toward securing direct passage to the Red Sea via Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia. – Bloomberg

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud officially invalidated breakaway region Somaliland’s agreement to grant landlocked Ethiopia access to the Red Sea in exchange for a stake in Ethiopian Airlines. – Bloomberg

Lawmakers in Somalia’s oil-rich semi-autonomous region of Puntland reelected Said Abdullahi Deni as president. – Bloomberg

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he always backed the Conservative Party’s plan to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda, despite asking “tough questions” about the policy when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer. – Bloomberg

Latin America

They were two shocking attacks on the Western Hemisphere’s two largest democracies, both broadcast around the world and both prompted by presidents who had questioned their legitimate election losses. Each posed an extraordinary test of the country’s democracy, and each raised the question of how a deeply polarized society would move forward in the wake of such an assault. With time, the answer to that question is becoming clear: The parallel attacks have had nearly opposite aftermaths. – New York Times

A top U.S. defense official will visit Guyana on Monday and Tuesday, the U.S. embassy in the South American country said, as tensions between Guyana and neighboring Venezuela simmer in a border dispute over the oil-rich Esequibo region. – Reuters

A judge in Haiti has issued arrest warrants for more than 30 high-ranking officials accused of government corruption, including numerous former presidents and prime ministers. – Associated Press

Argentina is set to make a near $1 billion payment to foreign bondholders this week while the government of President Javier Milei continues talks with the International Monetary Fund as he seeks to restore investor confidence in the serial-defaulting nation. – Bloomberg

Walter Russell Mead writes: President Biden often seems to be a woke Perónist, hoping to build a new American economy around the diktats of green economic planners and diversity consultants, protected manufacturing industries and loyal unions basking in government favor. It takes two to tango, though, and Donald Trump and some GOP populists have also embraced the economics of Argentine decline. Some of the harshest criticism of Mr. Milei’s victory came from those on the so-called new right. […]Fortunately, suspicion of an overreaching state is one of the enduring elements of American populism. Modern America has its problems, but what wrecked Argentina won’t fix the U.S. – Wall Street Journal

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva writes: Brazil assumed the presidency of the Group of 20 last month, and we have placed the fight against inequalities in all their dimensions at the center of our agenda under the motto “Building a Just World and a Sustainable Planet.” I hope political leaders can meet in Brazil throughout this year, seeking collective solutions to these challenges that affect all of humanity. – Washington Post

United States

Donald Trump is set to return for the first time in months to the federal courthouse in Washington as an appeals court hears arguments Tuesday on whether the former president is immune from prosecution on charges that he plotted to overturn the results of the 2020 election. – Associated Press

President Biden isn’t considering firing Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin after he failed to disclose that he was hospitalized, a White House official confirmed Monday. – The Hill

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley on Monday night called for President Biden to be fired after the Pentagon did not disclose that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had been hospitalized until days later. – The Hill

Zachary Faria writes: It is certainly something Biden has earned, given that he doesn’t want to fire Austin and doesn’t appear to have canned any of those entitled interns either. But it is an undeniable and unavoidable reality that he is not respected by members of his own staff, illustrating once again just how ill-equipped Biden is to continue to serve as president. – Washington Examiner

Cybersecurity

OpenAI publicly addressed a lawsuit from the New York Times in a strongly worded blog post on Monday, saying the newspaper’s complaint was “not telling the full story” about its use of Times data. – Bloomberg

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Elon Musk to lift a ban on X from disclosing who the federal government is surveilling on its platform. – Washington Examiner

Parmy Olson writes: Facebook’s policy of only taking down faked videos is out of date. As we head into what could be tumultuous national elections in the UK, India, the US and elsewhere, made all the more messy by AI tools generating all kinds of media and information, the platform should start taking down deceptive audio too. – Bloomberg

Defense

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin declined to inform the White House both times he was hospitalized and transferred authority to run the Pentagon to his deputy, military officials said Monday, episodes that call into question Austin’s judgment amid heightened tensions in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. – Wall Street Journal

Former President Donald Trump called for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to be fired for “dereliction of duty” on Monday after Austin failed to notify the White House and other important figures of his hospitalization last week. – Washington Examiner

Hard-line House Republican Matt Rosendale (Mont.) on Monday announced plans to introduce an impeachment resolution against Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin over his failure last week to notify the White House and Congress he had been hospitalized for several days, as well as the troubled withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 and the Chinese spy balloon that flew over parts of the country last year. – The Hill

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) on Monday called for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to resign after he kept administration officials and Congress in the dark about a multiday hospital stay last week. – The Hill

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Eric Smith on Monday underwent open heart surgery to repair a defect valve that caused his heart attack in late October, the Marine Corps announced. – The Hill

Editorial: To senators skeptical of granting a waiver so he could become secretary, Mr. Austin swore he’d accept “meaningful oversight” from Congress and pledged: “We will be transparent with you.” Those promises are why his statement Saturday — admitting he “could have done a better job” communicating about his illness and committing “to doing better” — will not, and cannot, be the last words on this subject. – Washington Post

Editorial: It says much about the administration that Biden wasn’t even aware that his top defense executive was unavailable. It shows either that Biden doesn’t discuss the military challenges facing our nation or that the president and his staff don’t notice when Austin goes AWOL. Either way, this saga is a testament to an administration in chaos. – Washington Examiner

Nia-Malika Henderson writes: Congress is already heavily scrutinizing the Biden administration in sometimes purely political plays that go beyond necessary oversight. They are, for instance, set to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and have opened an impeachment inquiry into Biden. This is political overreach. But Congress should absolutely look into what happened with Austin’s failure to disclose. It’s unfortunate that Austin gave Biden’s political opponents an opening. – Bloomberg

Joshua Steier writes: The future of military medicine lies in harnessing these technological advancements while maintaining the ethical integrity and human touch essential to medical care. As we navigate this new frontier, a balanced approach that embraces innovation and upholds our responsibilities to security, ethics, and humanity is crucial. – The Hill