Fdd's overnight brief

July 12, 2021

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


As Western forces exit Afghanistan, Iran is watching with alarm. The resolution of one long-standing aim, the withdrawal of U.S. troops, is unleashing a separate challenge: what to do about the Taliban, another longtime problem for Iran, swiftly regaining power and territory next door. – Washington Post  

A loud blast rocked northern Tehran near the headquarters of the state broadcasting company in the early hours of Saturday morning, according to security authorities speaking to official state media. – New York Times 

The Iranian government has expressed anger over the appearance of senior European and U.S. politicians at a rally in support of an opposition group that has long sought to overthrow Iran’s theocratic rulers — and which was once considered a terror organization by the West. – Associated Press 

Supporters of Iran’s exiled opposition rallied in Berlin and elsewhere on Saturday to demand the prosecution of the Islamic Republic’s newly elected president, Ebrahim Raisi, whom they accuse of crimes against humanity. – Reuters 

In a bizarre irony and twist of fate it appears Russia and Iran are concerned about the US leaving Afghanistan and the rapid rise of the Taliban in parts of the country. – Jerusalem Post 

The former head of Iran’s Commission of National Security and Foreign Policy claimed on Sunday that recent cyberattacks on Iranian infrastructure are the work of Israel’s Mossad security service. – Algemeiner  

Bobby Ghosh writes: Although Iran has stepped up its diplomatic outreach to the Taliban, the government of incoming President Ebrahim Raisi, facing growing discontent at home amid fading hopes of quick economic relief from the West, must now reckon with renewed perils in the east. The Taliban may have no interest in bringing down the Iranian regime, but its ascendancy in the Afghan civil war is sure to send fresh waves of refugees flooding across the 900-kilometer (560-mile) border between the countries, accompanied by a spike in drug and human trafficking, as well as increased terrorist activity. – Bloomberg 

Malik al-Hafez writes: Iran’s shift in focus to eastern Syria demonstrates that focused pressure—in this case via the United States and Israel—has a clear impact on Iranian operations in Syria. However, it also demonstrates that Iranian-backed forces have little intention of going quietly from Syria. […]Hopefully, with successful coordination, removing Iranian militias and their influence can bring Syria closer to a viable solution for sustainable peace. – Washington Institute 


The United Nations Security Council reauthorized humanitarian aid deliveries to millions of people in a rebel-held section of Syria on Friday, ending a monthslong standoff between the U.S. and Russia after Moscow threatened to veto the relief operation. – Wall Street Journal 

Syrian President Bashar Assad issued a decree Sunday giving hundreds of thousands of civil servants and military members a 50% salary increase amid a harsh economic and financial crisis and price increases for vital products. – Associated Press 

U.S. forces in eastern Syria took indirect fire on Saturday but initial reports did not indicate any casualties or damage, a U.S. defense official told Reuters. – Reuters 

Chloe Cornish writes: Just weeks after Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was re-elected in a poll widely seen as farcical, some smaller European countries are tentatively warming their relations with the regime. […]These are small steps, not turning points, and EU member states, especially its juggernauts France and Germany, are unlikely to follow any time soon. But the moves, tentative as they are, make clear the challenge the bloc will face as the situation in Syria normalises over time. – Financial Times  


Israel’s Security Cabinet on Sunday froze nearly $200 million in tax transfers to the Palestinians that it said represented the amount of money the Palestinians transferred to the families of alleged attackers last year. – Associated Press

Six Palestinians who opened fire at Israeli Border Police were shot during clashes with the security forces who were operating in the West Bank city of Jenin on Sunday night. – Jerusalem Post 

Does the US public support continued aid to Israel in light of Israeli-Palestinian conflict this year? Gallup polls show that over the last 20 years, majorities have always rated Israel as “very” or “mostly positive;” and those evaluations peaked prior to the May 2021 conflict with 75% of respondents ranking their impression as positive. – Jerusalem Post 

Israel on Monday announced a series of relief measures for the Gaza Strip, expanding the coastal enclave’s fishing zone and approving additional imports and exports as relative calm persisted along the border. – Times of Israel 

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced Sunday the appointment of a former senior Mossad official to the position of Israel’s national security adviser and head of the National Security Council. – Haaretz  

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will officially inaugurate its embassy in Tel Aviv on Wednesday with President Isaac Herzog in attendance. – Arutz Sheva  

Simon Plosker writes: All examples of where Michael Fakhri, the UN Human Rights Council’s “right to food” monitor should be taking a keen interest. Yet Fakhri has never issued a press release on any of these. Instead, his attention has recently turned to attacking Israel as an “apartheid state” and calling for it to be boycotted. – Jerusalem Post 

Naomi Grant writes: Instead of allowing Hamas to regulate itself, which is, in essence, no regulations at all, an ad hoc body run by Egypt – which borders Gaza – or the UAE, should be created to distribute all international aid. It is crucial that the body be ad hoc with ever-changing members so that Hamas won’t be able to infiltrate it, as they did with the UNDP. – Jersusalem Post 

Joseph Nichol writes: There’s research that can explain the psychological mechanisms that account for the different shades ignorance, belief, and denial at play in the minds of conspiracy theorists. But the data on Jewish — Israeli and otherwise — QAnon adherence and the broad social factors that influence it is scanty. What we do know for certain is that QAnon’s influence has been documented in a number of violent incidents in recent years, so it should be looked at seriously. – Times of Israel 


Now, Iraqi investors who had focused on projects outside the country over the past 18 years are bringing some of their profits back to Anbar, while foreign companies are taking a new look at a city largely rebuilt after the fight against the Islamic State. – New York Times 

Katherine Lawlor and Nicholas Carl write: Iran’s proxies in Iraq and Syria will likely continue to escalate against US forces and facilities until the United States withdraws its forces or reestablishes deterrence. Escalations will likely include simultaneous rocket and drone attacks to better evade US defenses in Iraq and Syria, the use of larger, more lethal munitions like 122 mm rockets, and the continued targeting of alleged US intelligence assets in Iraqi Kurdistan. Proxies will increasingly aim to inflict US casualties to create a politically untenable situation for the Biden administration, thereby catalyzing a US withdrawal. – Institute for the Study of War 

Trevor Filseth writes: The low-level conflict in Iraq has the potential to further sour relations between the United States and Iran in the run-up to Raisi’s accession to the presidency. It has also been strongly condemned by Iraqi leaders in Baghdad, who have expressed indignation at Iraq’s use as a battleground for proxy conflict between Iran and the United States. Iran has denied issuing orders to Shi’a militias in Iraq, although experts on Iraqi militias in Washington have previously doubted these claims. – The National Interest 


A Jordanian state security court is expected to announce a verdict Monday in the trial of two former officials accused of plotting with the half-brother of King Abdullah II to foment unrest in the Western-allied kingdom. – Associated Press 

A U.S. citizen and former top aide to Jordan’s King Abdullah II alleged he was tortured in Jordanian detention and fears for his life, his U.S.-based lawyer said Sunday, on the eve of a verdict in the high-profile sedition trial linked to a rare public rift in the kingdom’s ruling family. – Associated Press 

Editorial: Israel is obviously interested in extending a helping hand to its neighbor. Jordan, for its part, should accept the hand in friendship. Good ties between the two countries benefit both – and the region. – Jerusalem Post 


For the seventh time in a year, Lebanon’s economy ministry announced on Saturday new prices for bread, slowly removing subsidies as the country sinks deeper into a dire economic and political crisis. – Associated Press 

A Lebanese minister has denied a request by the judge probing the Beirut port explosion to question a top security official, a document seen by Reuters on Friday showed, as attempts to deliver justice over the catastrophe continue to flounder. – Reuters 

Balwan Nagial writes: Now amidst a unique crisis, Lebanon merits assistance, and I think there is no better country than Israel to extend the helping hand in this need of the hour. Defense Minister Benny Gantz has offered to assist Lebanon as it suffers from a deteriorating economic disaster. – Times of Israel 


Egypt is objecting to efforts by Ethiopia to start operating a $4.8 billion dam on a major tributary of the Nile, a hydroelectric project that it hopes will power a social and economic transformation of the country, without a binding agreement that preserves Cairo’s rights to the waters. – Wall Street Journal 

The Egyptian government has denied a report by The New York Times that women who encounter the country’s justice system risk sexual abuse during searches by state authorities. – New York Times 

Egypt’s highest appeals court on Sunday upheld the life sentences of 10 leaders of Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, including the group’s head, the state-owned MENA news agency reported. – Associated Press 

Arabian Peninsula

Oman’s sultan arrived in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, starting the first visit by an Omani ruler to the kingdom in years against the backdrop of intensified efforts to end the war in Yemen and the sultanate’s worsening economic woes. – Associated Press 

Two lawsuits pitting Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler against a former intelligence czar threaten to expose highly sensitive US government secrets, prompting Washington to consider a rare judicial intervention, documents show. – Agence France-Presse 

Vuk Vuksanovic writes: Weapons sold to the UAE and Saudi Arabia tend to end up in the hands of militants fighting in Syria and Yemen. The UAE’s agricultural investments are also controversial as the land sales to UAE firms went ahead in spite of the opposition of the Serbian military. Despite these controversies, the partnership will survive because the elites in Belgrade and Abu Dhabi profit from it — and it also provides a good photo-op for next year’s elections. – Middle East Institute 

Nabil Hetari writes: In his special briefing, the U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Timothy Lenderking summarized what critical times Yemen is going through. Lenderking also pointed out that the international community holds a responsibility in solving the Yemeni issue. In fact, it seems very difficult for Yemenis to come together by themselves. As such, an exerted approach by the international community is perhaps the only way to resolve the disastrous Houthi siege on Marib. – Washington Institute 

David Sheppard writes: Disagreements between Opec members have been a feature of the oil cartel since it started just over 60 years ago. But what has happened in the past week stands out not just because it came against a backdrop of rising prices or because it pitted traditional allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE against each other. It stands out because it is a preview of what is to come. – Financial Times 

Middle East & North Africa

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid underscored the need for Hamas to release the Israeli hostages held in Gaza, when he met with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, in Brussels on Sunday night. – Jerusalem Post

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul Saturday to discuss bilateral ties, reconciliation between rival Palestinian factions, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to reports. – Times of Israel 

Kathya K. Berrada and Nouh El Harmouzi write: While there is undeniably no shortage of suggested approaches, in the Arab world, at least, strong polarization will continue to make it difficult to endorse a specific approach, and even more complicated to implement it on the ground. Until these issues are addressed head-on by those in power, and as antagonistic parties remain unwilling to compromise, brighter futures for their countries will continue to be an elusive goal. – Washington Institute 

Korean Peninsula

Kim Jong Un, more so than his predecessors, has spread out responsibility among an elite group of North Korean government officials. Now, facing the worst home-front crisis of his nearly decadelong reign, the young dictator is making sure to share the blame. – Wall Street Journal 

The North Korean and Chinese leaders expressed their desire Sunday to further strengthen their ties as they exchanged messages marking the 60th anniversary of their countries’ defense treaty. – Associated Press 

U.S. humanitarian aid is a “sinister political scheme” to put pressure on other countries, a North Korean researcher said, after suggestions from U.S. allies such as South Korea that coronavirus vaccines or other help could promote cooperation. – Reuters 


China said on Sunday it “resolutely opposes” the addition of 23 Chinese entities to a U.S. economic blacklist over issues including alleged human rights abuses and military ties. – Reuters  

The Biden administration on Sunday upheld a Trump-era rejection of nearly all of China’s significant maritime claims in the South China Sea. The administration also warned China that any attack on the Philippines in the flashpoint region would draw a U.S. response under a mutual defense treaty. – Associated Press 

Robert McFarlane writes: And, the response in the arena need not be to mimic China or Russia’s State-Owned Industries (SOEs).  Rather, by teaming with our allies in technology and by tapping our plentiful capital markets, we can better mobilize innovation and private capital partnerships for clean energy and national sovereignty.  Just the United States, UK, and Japan together comprise more than 60 percent of global capital markets.  China is less than 5 percent, and Russia is insignificant.   We have the edge – let’s use it… Our way, with allies. – The National Interest 

Robbie Gramer writes: U.S. President Joe Biden declared the United States would export up to 80 million vaccines to other countries, and in recent weeks, his administration announced a slew of deliveries to countries in Central and South America. […]The flurry of announcements signal the United States is turning a corner in vaccine diplomacy in Latin America after lagging behind both Russia and China for months in early vaccine exports to the region. – Foreign Policy 

Bret Schafer writes: The same risks certainly apply today. As the world continues to grapple with vaccine skepticism and reluctance toward other public health measures aimed at curbing COVID-19’s spread, efforts to manipulate information about the virus’s origins can cause real harm—including within China and, most acutely, Russia, where vaccine skepticism has contributed to a deadly new wave of cases. […]Beijing should heed these risks—if not for the sake of the world’s pandemic recovery, then for the sake of its own citizens. – Foreign Policy 


President Biden’s decision to pull U.S. forces out of Afghanistan means placing a heavy burden on the shoulders of Afghan security forces. In a speech Thursday, Biden expressed confidence in the Afghan military to face a resurgent Taliban — a view that remains contested within the executive branch. – Washington Post  

A surge of fighting in northern Afghanistan has the country’s Central Asian neighbors scrambling to prevent the conflict spilling across the borders as the withdrawal of U.S. troops moves into its final stages. Russia, too, is watching with alarm in a region Moscow considers part of its sphere of influence. – Washington Post  

The top U.S. general in Afghanistan will step down on Monday, marking a symbolic end to 20 years of American military involvement here — and coming as an ascendant Taliban threatens to topple the central government. – Washington Post  

Afghan security forces, with the help of air strikes, repelled an assault by Taliban fighters on the provincial center of a key northern province bordering Tajikistan on Sunday, officials said. – Reuters 

Now president himself, Biden has not only unapologetically reaffirmed his plan to get troops out of the country after a record-breaking two decades, he has aggressively expedited their withdrawal. – Politico 

In addition to pulling out all but a handful of troops from Afghanistan, the Pentagon has also flown thousands of contractors out of the country in recent weeks, leaving a skeleton force of several hundred behind to do everything the Afghans can’t — including fixing their own airplanes and helicopters and handling logistics. – Politico 

Nearly 20 U.S. senators now back legislation to help protect Afghan civilians who supported U.S. forces during the 20-year-long war in their country, a lead sponsor of the bill said on Friday, a day after President Joe Biden set a target date of Aug. 31 for withdrawal. – Reuters 

At least seven Afghan pilots, including Zamaray, have been assassinated off base in recent months, according to two senior Afghan government officials. This series of targeted killings, which haven’t been previously reported, illustrate what U.S. and Afghan officials believe is a deliberate Taliban effort to destroy one of Afghanistan’s most valuable military assets: its corps of U.S.- and NATO-trained military pilots. – Reuters 

Farah Stockman writes: Interpreters were among the most influential people in the country. Nearly everything foreign journalists knew about Afghanistan was filtered through guys like Fareed who ferried us around and explained, between drags on their cigarettes, what was really going on. Without them, we were helpless — blind and deaf. […]It’s only now that I look back and wonder how representative they were of the country as a whole. – New York Times

Michael Rubin writes: The White House might spin the Afghanistan withdrawal as an opportunity for peace, inconsequential beyond Afghanistan itself, or a sign of President Joe Biden’s desire to end “endless wars.” In reality, however, it will mark the beginning of a far bloodier chapter, one in which the stakes are not Afghan democracy or an end to terrorism emanating from that country, but rather a terrorist and revisionist challenge to the rules-based world order. – American Enterprise Institute  

Judith Miller writes: A key lesson of the “forever war” is that Biden could — and should — have done far more early on to protect not only the Afghans who worked with Americans, but also the Afghan government and forces charged with protecting the country’s 38 million people. […]There may be no good way to withdraw from a war. But there is a wrong way to do so if it is likely to result in a military fiasco, political collapse, and the squandering of American influence and credibility at home and abroad. In adhering to Trump’s politically driven withdrawal schedule, Biden now risks just that. – The Hill 

Frederick Starr and EldorAripovwrite: The U.S. declared its commitment to Central Asia by establishing the so-called “C5+1” dialogue (Central Asia plus the United States). But it has yet to translate that step into effective strategy, let alone to acknowledge Afghanistan as an integral part of the region of which it has been a key part for 3,000 years.  If America fails to do this now, and in a convincing manner, Washington can rest assured that other world powers will seize the opportunity. In fact, that’s already happening. – The National Interest 

Andrew Milburn writes: What will be the consequences of the hasty US departure? It’s too early to say, but the signs are not good. Violence in Afghanistan had escalated dramatically even before the US withdrawal. Taliban attacks on Afghan forces and civilians have intensified and the group has taken control of more than 100 district centers. The government still controls most cities, but several, including Kabul, are under siege and racked by suicide-bombings. – Military Times 


Taiwan is struggling with the pandemic, short on vaccines and locked in a geopolitical fight with China over access to the shot BioNTech SE co-developed with Pfizer Inc. Now, in a twist, two of the world’s most important technology players—who also happen to be Taiwan’s two best-known homegrown companies—are stepping in to buy millions of BioNTech doses on behalf of the Taiwanese government. – Wall Street Journal 

In the year since China imposed a sweeping national security law on its territory of Hong Kong, a former British colony, tens of thousands of people have made plans to leave the city. And like Ms. Kwong, many are headed for Britain, where holders of British National Overseas (B.N.O.) passports have been given a pathway to work and citizenship. In the first quarter of the year, 34,300 people applied for the special visa, according to Britain’s immigration department. – New York Times 

One of Hong Kong’s most established pro-democracy civic organizations said it is letting go its paid staff and halving the size of its steering committee after Beijing stepped up its crackdown on opposition activity in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. – Associated Press 

Hong Kong protesters who escaped to Taiwan have become entangled in a web of restrictions designed to protect the democratically governed island from an increasingly assertive China. – Financial Times  

The United States and 20 other nations issued a joint statement Saturday condemning Beijing over its closure of Hong Kong pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily. – The Hill 

Turkmenistan has begun moving heavy weaponry, helicopters, and other aircraft closer to its border with Afghanistan, and reservists are being put on alert in the capital, a further sign of the worry spreading across Central Asia as Taliban fighters continue major offensives. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty  

Frederick Starr and Michael Doran write: The Tashkent conference thus offers the U.S.—as well as Europe, India and Japan—the best available option for a postmilitary strategy for Afghanistan and the region, one based on trade, commerce and diplomacy. The southern route that the Central Asians propose will enable all their states to balance moves by Beijing, Moscow and Tehran with constructive support from Washington. If the U.S. fails to play a leading role in sponsoring Central Asia’s new regionalism, China, Russia and Iran will be all too glad to do so. – Wall Street Journal

Husain Haqqani and Aparna Pande write: China views India as an inward-looking democracy that has yet to focus on economic growth or military prowess. Only an expansion in India’s economy and military capability would convince China’s leaders to view it differently. Moreover, the two decades of celebrating convergence of democratic values and voicing of strategic concerns by Washington and Delhi now needs to be followed up with specific steps to counter Chinese hard power with Indian muscle. – The Hill 


President Biden told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday that the United States will take “any necessary action” to defend U.S. infrastructure, the White House said, after Russia-based hackers carried out the largest known ransomware attack to date. – Washington Post 

Ukraine said Friday that it believes Russian-linked hackers were responsible for hacking the Ukrainian navy’s website and publishing a series of fake reports about its ongoing Sea Breeze military drills taking place in the Black Sea. – The Hill 

Leon Aron writes: Nuclear missiles and bombs are again the sum total of the relations between Russia and the United States. We are back to the pre-Gorbachev era. The “this is not the Cold-War” mantra is wearing thin. It is time to admit: It is a Cold War. – The Dispatch 


Lithuania will propose on Monday expanding European Union sanctions on Belarus for sending illegal migrants across the border into the EU, its foreign affairs minister’s spokeswoman told Reuters on Friday. – Reuters 

The United States is concerned about the flow of Middle Eastern and African migrants from Belarus into Lithuania, a U.S. diplomat said. – Reuters 

U.S. President Joe Biden will host a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel next Thursday to affirm “deep and enduring” ties between the NATO allies while also tackling some areas of disagreement, the White House said on Friday. – Reuters 

Warsaw and Brussels have clashed over the rule of law ever since Poland’s conservative-nationalist Law and Justice party embarked on a series of contested judicial reforms five years ago. – Financial Times  

The United Nations said torture and ill-treatment of detainees in territory controlled by Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine is happening every day. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

Poland’s Defense Ministry is reportedly preparing to buy about 250 M1 Abrams tanks from the United States, two months after it announced plans to buy 24 Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones. – Defense News 

France’s message to Europe on how to deter aggressive behavior from great powers and counter terrorists requires investment in security and operating abroad, the French defense minister said on Friday. – USNI News

David Wilezol and Dan Negrea write: But meaningful cooperation will become harder in a post-Brexit world if Chinese money can constrain the UK from joining with the United States in confronting CCP aggression, malign influence, and human rights abuses. America must use diplomacy to convince its best friends that an injection of the famous British courage in the economic space is necessary for protecting the UK’s sovereignty, security, and values. A special relationship that is able to do less is a realistic consequence of inaction. – The National Interest

Andreas Kluth writes: One option is for Germany to make clear that it would turn off the gas coming through Nord Stream 2 if ever Putin does cut out Ukraine. But that sounds implausible. Putin would turn off the Ukrainian taps in winter when western Europe is most dependent on Russia’s gas and can’t afford to throttle Nord Stream 2. And anyway, what’s the logic of building a pipeline to supplement existing ones only to pretend you could shut them all off at once? – Bloomberg 


The downing of the plane on June 22 offered bracing evidence that the conflict in the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia was about to take a seismic turn. A Tigrayan guerrilla army had been fighting to drive out the Ethiopian military for eight months in a civil war marked by atrocities and starvation. Now the fight seemed to be turning in their favor. – New York Times 

But while the start of Mr. Zuma’s 15-month prison sentence for contempt unfolded smoothly, the road ahead for one of Africa’s storied liberation parties may be anything but easy. The incarceration of Mr. Zuma, 79, drove a deeper wedge through the governing African National Congress party, long fractured between allies of the former president and the current one, Cyril Ramaphosa, according to party members and political analysts. – New York Times 

Violent rioting has erupted in two South African provinces against the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma, with supporters blocking roads and looting shops. At least 62 people were arrested, South Africa police said Sunday. – Associated Press 

Latin America

Just days after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti, a high-stakes battle for control of the country is heating up, and the president of the Senate, Joseph Lambert, is among those jockeying for power. – New York Times 

A Haitian-born doctor based in Florida has been arrested as a “central” suspect in the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, and the national police chief suggested at a Sunday news conference that he believes the suspect was plotting to become president. – New York Times 

 Communist Cuba erupted in its largest-scale demonstrations in decades on Sunday as thousands of people chanting “freedom” and “yes, we can” took to the streets from Havana to Santiago de Cuba in a major new challenge to an authoritarian government struggling to cope with increasingly severe blackouts, food shortages and a spiking coronavirus outbreak. – Washington Post 

Haitian opposition leader Pierre Reginald Boulos has hired a lobbyist as part of an effort to build support for his political party and encourage President Joe Biden to support an interim Haitian government. – Politico 

Amy Wilentz  writes: Haiti still needs the cooperation of international friends who pay attention to the character and the goals of those to whom they extend financial and political support, rather than choosing a convenient candidate in a quickie election, with the catastrophic results for the country that we’ve seen in the past. – New York Times 


United States

Britain’s Trade Secretary Liz Truss is headed to the United States for a five-day visit where she’ll try to forge new ties with the country’s tech giants. – Politico 

Editorial: The Biden administration has condemned antisemitic attacks as “despicable” but has yet to nominate a new special envoy. As Eric Goldstein, acting executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division, wrote, “Filling that post would provide a focal point for calling out and combating antisemitism in the US and worldwide.” – Jerusalem Post 

Bruce S. Ticker writes: I am usually reluctant to accuse harsh critics of Israel of antisemitism. By invoking the phrase “Jewish supremacy,” what more evidence do we need that these teachers are antisemitic? They should know what it means, and if they do not they are too dense to teach on a college level. – Jerusalem Post 


China’s internet regulator moved Saturday toward requiring data-rich tech companies to undergo cybersecurity reviews ahead of any foreign listings, making explicit for the first time a data-security requirement that marred last week’s U.S. initial public offering by Didi Global Inc. – Wall Street Journal 

Websites of Iran’s transport and urbanization ministry Saturday went out of service after a “cyber disruption” in computer systems of its staff, the official IRNA news agency reported. – Associated Press 

Emily Harding, Riley McCabe, and James Andrew Lewis write: When the Obama administration equivocated in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine, Moscow learned that it could operate with relative impunity. The Biden administration cannot make the same mistake. This ransomware attack hardly rises to the same level as those transgressions, but this is nonetheless a test of the administration’s will to follow through. The United States should be clear in its calculation, bold in the rapidity of its response, and decisive in demonstrating that its rhetoric is not empty, but backed up by action. – Center for Strategic and International Studies 


The U.S. Air Force wants to make a digital twin of the F-16, hoping to cut down the time and money it takes to sustain its most prolific fighter. – Defense News 

On Congress’ agenda when members return from the July 4 recess: late-arriving defense spending and policy bills as well as President Joe Biden’s pick for Navy secretary, among other Pentagon nominees. – Defense News 

In partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory, NewSpace New Mexico has launched a new innovation hub in Albuquerque with $11 million in federal funding to facilitate growth in the emerging space industry around Kirtland Air Force Base. – C4ISRNET 

For years, the Pentagon said it needed one giant enterprise cloud environment to bring big data and advanced artificial intelligence to the battlefield, and it pursued one company to provide it. – C4SIRNET 

The Defense Information Systems Agency is seeking prototypes “for a radically new set of capabilities” in Joint Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations (JEMSO) needed to improve planning, management, situational awareness, maneuverability, and data sharing. – Breaking Defense 

Digital ‘transformation’ is allowing each uniformed service to determine whether new weapon systems can integrate smoothly into joint operations — a foundational requirement for implementing DoD’s Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) strategy, say senior Air and Space Force officials. – Breaking Defense 

Kate Bachelder Odell writes: China will be the big topic when Carlos Del Toro, President Biden’s nominee for Navy secretary, appears before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Perhaps Mr. Del Toro, a former destroyer captain, can shake the Navy awake. As the new report notes in closing, there isn’t much time for learning once war is under way. – Wall Street Journal 

Victoria K. Holt and Marla B. Keenan write: By including the protection of civilians in its strategic concept, and by recognizing the broad importance of protecting civilians to the alliance, NATO will meet multiple goals. […]Together, these proactive measures will ensure that NATO sees protecting civilians as a core task for future alliance missions, not only out-of-area ones but also any that occur in the territory of allies and partners. As the old proverb says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” NATO can take more strides now to enable it to protect civilians in future conflicts. – War on the Rocks 

Timothy Bean writes: To stay ahead of its international adversaries, two important things that need to happen are an acceleration of the adoption of artificial intelligence innovations into defense programs, as well as support from Congress to enable these technologies beyond just preserving jobs at antiquated factories making the big iron used to fight our fathers’ wars. – C4SIRNET 

Col. Mark Gunzinger writes: If America’s senior military leaders are not willing to advocate for resources they know are needed, then Congress must. The alternative is to continue the cycle of cuts that diminish America’s military and increase risk that China or Russia can prevail in a war with the United States. – C4SIRNET 

Long War

Rwanda on Friday said it would immediately deploy 1,000 members of its armed forces and police to northern Mozambique to help battle an Islamic extremist insurgency that has caused than 700,000 residents to flee for their lives. – Associated Press 

A large car bomb targeting a prominent police official exploded on Saturday in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, killing at least five people, the police and witnesses said. – Agence France-Presse 

Michael Rubin writes: While the Central African Republic may have stabilized, Mozambique has increasingly teetered against the backdrop of an Islamic State insurgency it has had difficulty stamping out. China is more interested in extracting resources than ensuring stability and neither President Joe Biden nor Secretary of State Antony Blinken have shown any interest in Africa. Neglect, however, is not a counterterrorism strategy. Enter Rwanda. – 19fortyfive