Fdd's overnight brief

July 19, 2022

In The News

Russia & Ukraine

Russia ordered its forces to target the long-range missiles and artillery weapons that Western countries have recently supplied to Ukraine, a sign of how Kyiv’s additional firepower has begun to reshape the conflict. – Wall Street Journal

The mother of a Russian paratrooper detained for refusing to fight in eastern Ukraine has posted an unusual video message online appealing for support to bring him home. – Washington Post

The flat steppe in the south — the feature that makes for such prime farmland — has only complicated the effort to oust Russian forces. Ukrainian fighters must maneuver through open fields with little natural camouflage and sparse hard cover. – Washington Post

Russia has promised hundreds of teachers big money to go to occupied Ukraine and give students there a “corrected” education — with Russia’s take on Ukraine’s history — in the coming school year. – Washington Post

Even as it engages in fierce fighting with Russia on the battlefield, Ukraine is also waging war on a different, more shadowy front: rooting out spies and collaborators in government and society who are providing crucial help to the invading forces. – New York Times

In the grinding battle for eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk Province, Russia has intensified attacks on the next line of cities that stand in their sights — Sloviansk, Kramatorsk and Bakhmut, among others. – New York Times

British military intelligence said on Tuesday Russia has struggled to sustain effective offensive combat power since the start of its invasion of Ukraine and the problem is likely becoming increasingly acute. – Reuters

The United States will continue to provide intelligence to Ukraine after recent personnel changes in the inner circle of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the U.S. State Department said on Monday. – Reuters

A gas pipeline has been damaged as a result of a strike by the Ukrainian armed forces near the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant in Ukraine’s Kherson, a region currently controlled by Russian forces, TASS reported on Monday, citing the regional administration. – Reuters 

Ukraine’s foreign ministry accused Russia on Monday of treating Ukrainian prisoners of war illegally and using them for political purposes, and demanded humane treatment of captured foreigners fighting for Ukraine. – Reuters 

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday vowed to overcome the “colossal” high-tech problems his country is facing due to the onset of unprecedented Western sanctions over Ukraine. – Agence France-Presse

British military intelligence said on Monday that Russia has used the private military contractor Wagner to reinforce its frontline forces in the Ukraine conflict. – Reuters  

Russia is seeking payment in United Arab Emirates dirhams for oil exports to some Indian customers, three sources said and a document showed, as Moscow moves away from the U.S. dollar to insulate itself from the effects of Western sanctions. – Reuters 

Ukraine’s farmers will plant up to two-thirds less wheat later this year if the country’s main export route is still blocked, prolonging the global food crisis, its agriculture minister predicted. – Financial Times

The EU’s chief diplomat said he hoped there would be a deal this week to allow Ukrainian grain to be exported from Black Sea ports, amid fresh efforts to avert a global food crisis in the wake of Russia’s invasion of the country. – Financial Times

The war in Ukraine has prompted European governments to reverse the course of years of shrinking defence spending. Now, they want to do more to confront a newly aggressive Russia — and the companies at Farnborough hope to benefit. – Financial Times

Russia’s defense minister told his generals that knocking out Ukraine’s long-range missiles supplied by the U.S. and other NATO allies should be their priority, indicating that Moscow believes weapons, such as the American-made M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, are playing a critical role on the battlefield. – Washington Times

The commander of Russia’s Chechen forces appeared on Russian state TV to argue that Russia is engaged in a “holy war” in Ukraine. – Washington Examiner 

More than 1,000 Ukrainian children have been injured or killed since Russia invaded, the Ukrainian Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office said on Monday. – Washington Examiner 

The Russian leadership has tried to convince its citizens that the countries imposing sanctions upon Russia in response to the war in Ukraine do not represent the majority of the world’s nations, and that most of the world does not subscribe to the sanctions policy. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska will address Congress on Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced on Monday. The first lady will deliver remarks in the congressional auditorium of the Capitol Visitor Center and all members of the House and Senate are invited. – The Hill

Carl Bildt writes: The conflict in Ukraine has been going on for nearly two decades, but it is now in an acute, dangerous and possible decisive kinetic phase. Europe and the world’s democracies need to start making the financial, economic and political commitments to guarantee that Ukraine will push away the Russian threat and emerge stronger and more prosperous than before. – Washington Post

Liana Fix and Michael Kimmage write: The Russian military suffers under countless and increasing constraints, whereas the war in Ukraine will constantly turn up new, uncertain, disturbing, and frightening contingencies. The world will have to learn to live with it. The Cuban missile crisis lasted for 13 days. The crisis generated by the war in Ukraine will last for a long time to come. – Foreign Affairs

Oleg Korenok, Swapnil Singh, and Stan Veuger write: Import tariffs on oil and gas might play a similar role and have the advantage of generating tax revenue that can be used to alleviate cost-of-living concerns. More indirect approaches include the imposition of an escrow regime, outside immediate Russian control, to capture Russian earnings or intensified targeting of firms that help Russia export seaborne oil to non-European countries. On the finance front, sanctions could target the remaining major Russian banks, investments by Western firms in Russia, and transactions that take place in rubles. – Foreign Policy

Elisabeth Braw writes: However the problem is defined, the EU will have to limit the current disruption triggered by Russia. The first step is clearly to help countries from Egypt to Bangladesh get wheat from other sources. For his part, U.S. President Joe Biden has already announced $1 billion in U.S. food aid to the Middle East and North Africa. And in the longer term, countries should learn that in a globalized world, regimes with little to lose can benefit from unleashing waves of disruption that are cheap, involve little risk, and are virtually impossible to retaliate against. – Foreign Policy


Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Tehran on Tuesday for a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the first trip by the Kremlin chief outside the former Soviet Union since the invasion of Ukraine. – Reuters 

In a rare display of public solidarity, Iran’s intelligence minister and the Revolutionary Guard’s intelligence chief this month posed for a photograph, vowing to work together to boost security — widely understood to mean combat Israeli operations in the Islamic state. – Financial Times

In his second trip abroad since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to visit Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran on July 19. – Deutsche Welle

In her speech, Haley slammed US President Joe Biden’s attempts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, saying, “The president is desperate to get back into the Iran nuclear deal.” – Arutz Sheva

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said on Sunday evening that the IDF is continuing to prepare vigorously for an attack on Iran. – Arutz Sheva

Ron Ben-Yishai writes: Such an announcement make by Kochavi in the wake of the Biden visit was meant to increase fears among Iran’s leaders of an Israeli-American-Arab scheme to attack Iran in the not-too-distant future. Perhaps, there is no need for Biden to make an overt threat of the use of force for Iran to recalibrate its next move. – Ynet

Amos Harel writes: Iran is almost no longer bothering to play games. In an unusual statement on Sunday, a senior Iranian official announced that his country has the ability to make a nuclear bomb if it so chooses. “We can easily produce 90-percent enriched uranium,” the level needed for a bomb, he told Al Jazeera television. – Haaretz


Israel’s military said on Monday it had intercepted a small drone that crossed into the country from Lebanon, adding that it had likely been sent by the Iranian-backed group Hezbollah. – Reuters 

US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt and the US State Department spokesman Ned Price paid tributes on Monday to the victims of the AMIA bombing at the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. – Jerusalem Post

July 18, 2022 marks 10 years since the Burgas bus bombing, a terrorist attack at Sarafovo Airport in Bulgaria that killed five Israelis and one Bulgarian while injuring 32 more Israelis. – Jerusalem Post

A Lebanese minister affiliated with the Hezbollah terror group demanded Monday that Israel give Lebanon control over a long-shuttered rail tunnel that goes from Israel’s northern border town of Rosh Hanikra and stretches hundreds of meters into Lebanon. – Times of Israel


Decades of progress in maternal and neonatal healthcare, once a flagship indicator of the West’s success in Afghanistan, are eroding due to hunger, fleeing hospital staff and curbs on women’s freedom, doctors and international organizations say. – Wall Street Journal

The Pentagon leadership is reviewing an assessment of the military’s role in the Afghanistan conflict but hasn’t decided if aspects of the highly classified document will be released, according to people familiar with the issue. – Wall Street Journal

An earthquake shook a remote area of eastern Afghanistan on Monday, injuring at least 10 people, a Taliban official said. It struck in the same region where an earthquake last month killed hundreds of people and caused widespread devastation. – Associated Press

As the Biden administration approaches the one-year anniversary of its chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in August of 2021, it is struggling with how to mark the milestone and try to make progress in understanding America’s longest war through several study efforts. – CNN

The United States will simplify the application process for Afghan special immigrant visas with applicants only needing to file one form, according to a statement issued on Monday by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).Reuters


Iran hopes that by hosting Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan that it will receive backing from Russia and Turkey and that Iran can also be a key broker to what is happening in Syria. The Iranian media reports on Monday night indicated the basic agenda of the meetings, as Turkey’s leader arrived in Iran. – Jerusalem Post

Turkey can still “freeze” Sweden and Finland’s membership in NATO unless the two countries take steps that meet Ankara’s security demands, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday. – Associated Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan will discuss the export of Ukrainian grain at their meeting in Tehran on Tuesday, a Kremlin aide has told reporters. – Reuters

Ishtar Al Shami writes: Turkey has clear ambitions to take control the border city of Ayn al-Arab/Kobani, which is one of the main bases for Kurdish leadership. This would allow it to link the areas captured during Operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch into a new area and expand its control along the Syrian border. Ankara is interested in carrying out an operation to bolster its border security, undermine Kurdish militias and their forces in Syria, which are hostile to Turkey, and stamp out the Kurdish state at its border. – Washington Institute 

Soner Cagaptay and Andrew J. Tabler write: If by chance an incursion is delayed because of Russian or Iranian objections, Washington will have a little more breathing room to work toward its optimal result in the long run. In broad terms, this would entail recognizing Turkey’s concerns in Syria while limiting its displacement of SDF forces so long as the fight against IS continues. – Washington Institute


The chief of Israel’s armed forces will visit Morocco on Monday in the highest-profile military engagement between the countries, which upgraded ties in 2020 under a U.S. diplomatic drive. – Reuters  

The European Union Foreign Affairs Council has decided to resume the Association Council meetings with Israel, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced on Monday. – Times of Israel

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell held up a key forum between Israel and the EU because of the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in May, a senior European official told The Times of Israel on Monday. – Times of Israel

IDF, Israel Security Agency (Shabak), and Israel Police forces conducted counterterrorism activities in a number of locations in Judea and Samaria, including in the towns of Ramun, Bayt Liqya, Dayr Dibwan, Kifl Haris, Deir Abu Masha’al, Dayr Samet, and in the city of Tulkarm. – Arutz Sheva

MEMRI quoted former PA cabinet member Hassan Asfour as telling Alghad TV that unlike previous American presidents, including former President Trump, Biden is so weak that he is incapable of presenting a plan of action for resuming peace talks [that the PA would end up rejecting in any case], providing direct financial assistance to the PA, or removing the PLO from America’s terror list. – Arutz Sheva

As Israel’s government gathered for its weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, two days after the conclusion of President Joe Biden’s inaugural trip as president to the country, Prime Minister Yair Lapid proudly hung a framed copy of the newly signed “Jerusalem U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration” on the wall in the cabinet room. – Jewish Insider 

The Philippine Army has taken delivery from Israel of two armored vehicle-launched bridges (AVLB), based on the Merkava 4 chassis. – Jerusalem Post

Jeff Dunetz writes: A new President is returning to the old ways that didn’t work. Particularly, before Israel makes peace with any Arab countries, it must first make peace with the Palestinian Authority. In other words, thanks to Biden and his team, the Abraham Accords will not expand to other countries. The peace process which was showing results, is dead. – Arutz Sheva

Aviel Sheyin-Stevens writes: The PA has significantly escalated its lawfare to delegitimize Israel’s existence in international forums, and to demonize Israel and Israel’s Jewish supporters worldwide. And Biden has become complicit in the Palestinian lawfare against Israel. President Biden is not a friend of Israel. His presidency is the third Obama term, as far as Israel is concerned. – Arutz Sheva

Emily Schrader writes: President Biden has always been a staunch supporter of Israel, and any criticism Israelis have against him should be centered on the issues that actually push peace further away, such as funding UNRWA – not insinuations about what it might mean that a flag was removed from a vehicle. The US-Israel relationship is too important to be dragged through the media cycle for such inconsequential issues. – Jerusalem Post

Seth J. Frantzman writes: The overall context of Israel-Morocco ties, from defense to tourism, culture and diplomatic relations, appears to be one of the major fruits of the Abraham Accords. So far, it also appears to lack the controversy and complexity that can erupt in the Gulf due to the Iranian issue. – Jerusalem Post

Arabian Peninsula

State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday that the United States is requesting “additional information” from the United Arab Emirates about the arrest of Asim Ghafoor, a U.S. citizen and former attorney for slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. – Washington Post 

The United Nations is pushing Yemen’s warring parties to agree a six-month truce extension, two sources familiar with the talks said, which would be the longest in the seven-year-old conflict as international pressure grows on both sides to end the war. – Reuters 

France and the United Arab Emirates on Monday signed an agreement on energy cooperation to ensure oil and natural gas supplies from the Gulf country as Europe prepares for the possibility of a total gas cutoff from Russia in retaliation for sanctions over the war in Ukraine. – Associated Press

It began with a message that appeared on Danah al-Mayouf’s phone from an anonymous Instagram account — a promise to help her “crush” a $5 million lawsuit she faced from a pro-government Saudi fashion model. – Associated Press

Despite the name of the street, and the presence in Jeddah of US President Joe Biden, who had flown straight from Tel Aviv hours earlier following a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine did not seem to be at the top of the minds of people out for a night on the town. – Times of Israel

An Israeli television reporter recently visited the holy Muslim city of Mecca, his network reported Monday, days after US President Joe Biden wrapped up a trip that included a direct flight from Israel to the coastal Saudi city of Jeddah. – Times of Israel

Guy Reschenthaler writes: Presidents from Franklin Roosevelt to Donald Trump understood the tremendous potential of a strong U.S.-Saudi relationship. Unfortunately for America and its allies, Biden is learning that lesson the hard way. Thankfully, our friends in Saudi Arabia take a patient and deliberate approach to dealing with this administration. Better relations appear to lie ahead. – Washington Examiner

Middle East & North Africa

The leader of Tunisia’s main opposition party is due to be questioned by the country’s anti-terrorism unit on Tuesday on suspicion of money laundering and terrorist financing through an association charity. – Associated Press

Editorial: Likely more impressive to Mr. Saied was the Biden administration’s threat in April to cut bilateral military aid from $122 million to $61 million next year, but that has not yet been enacted into law. More leverage exists in the form of bilateral U.S. economic aid and Tunisia’s potential need for an International Monetary Fund bailout. Western governments must use it, or the cause of Arab democracy will lose. – Washington Post

Karim Elgendy writes: At COP27, set to be held in Sharm el-Sheikh in November, Egypt is expected to highlight its solar and wind farms, energy efficiency initiatives, and green hydrogen projects — not just to showcase its green credentials but also to attract foreign direct investment into these sectors. This opening presents an opportunity to nudge Egypt toward low-carbon energy sources. If Egypt is to be won over to the climate cause, its unique circumstances must be recognized; and if it is to be meaningfully engaged on energy transition, 2022 is the year to start doing so. – Middle East Institute 

Simon Henderson writes: The president’s adviser then switched the conversation to climate change, and the bill that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) doesn’t want to support. It was, he said, about investing “in the future” and whether we want “the U.S. to lead or the Chinese to lead us.” That’s fighting talk, and a reminder of the adage that all politics are local, i.e., domestic. Despite a shift of focus, the Biden trip to the Middle East does represent a range of possible other non-oil diplomatic advances. These will need to be worked on in coming months, but without presidential involvement. – The Hill 

Shmuley Boteach writes: The first potential Muslim senator in the United States should be a vocal proponent of freedom in the Middle East. Mehmet’s position of publicly endorsing a Palestinian state is at odds with even President Joe Biden, who just told Mahmoud Abbas that now is not the right time. – Jerusalem Post

Dan Perry writes: In that light, perhaps the fist-bump with MBS is not the most important image of the trip, but rather the one of Biden coming off the plane at Ben-Gurion: ramrod straight he stood, taller by at least a head than the trio of Lapid, Naftali Bennett and Isaac Herzog. What could be more presidential than that? – Jerusalem Post

Seth J. Frantzman writes: The Biden administration has pursued a traditional sense of US security policy, minus Turkey, in the region. The difference for the Biden administration is that today, unlike in the 1990s, Saudi Arabia and Israel appear to be converging on interests. For some, that tectonic shift is shocking; for others, it means the chance to anchor the US in several strong states in the region and not need to act as a shield for those countries. – Jerusalem Post

Mohammad Abu Ghazleh writes: We are facing a real dilemma. The formation of a NATO-style Middle Eastern alliance is necessary, and there appear to be logical arguments calling for it. But at the same time, it is not possible due to realities on the ground, especially the divergent viewpoints of the concerned countries, not only regarding whether Iran actually poses a threat or not, but also on how to deal with it. There are those who cling to dialogue as the only way, while others believe pressure and perhaps force—at some stage—is the only thing that will stop Iran and eliminate its threat. – Washington Institute 

Korean Peninsula

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Tuesday the U.S. and South Korea should deepen their trade ties to avoid letting other countries use their market positions to unfair advantage — calling out China by name. – Associated Press

Foreign ministers from South Korea and Japan tried to resolve a dispute over compensation on wartime conscripted labor that has sent ties to new depths, causing difficulties for the US which relies on the cooperation of its two allies for security in the region. – Bloomberg

South Korea has confirmed its intention to expand its fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighters to 60 by 2028. – Janes


The European Union and China will hold a high-level economic and trade dialogue on Tuesday amidst tensions over a number of issues including the war in Ukraine, Xinjiang and an as yet unratified investment agreement. – Reuters  

U.S. allies appear committed to following Washington’s lead banning forced labor goods from China’s Xinjiang region, a senior U.S. official told Reuters on Monday, warning companies they could not maintain “deliberate ignorance” about their supply chains. – Reuters 

A senior Chinese envoy used former White House national security adviser John Bolton’s claim to have “helped plan coups” as an argument against the U.S.-led international system. – Washington Examiner

Robert Lighthizer writes: The White House may think that trying anything to limit inflation, even if it’s ineffective, will help the president’s sinking approval ratings, but rescinding these tariffs isn’t going to win Mr. Biden any popularity. […]Workers recognize how dangerous this policy would be. The AFL-CIO, America’s largest federation of labor unions, has stated that cutting Section 301 tariffs would “weaken US enforcement of trade laws that are necessary to stop China’s illegal trade practices.” One can only hope the Biden administration makes the choice that supports American workers, businesses, and fair trade across the world. – Wall Street Journal  

Justin Fow writes: The US faces no such prospect, at least not for demographic reasons. One can even envision it returning to population growth through a renewed embrace of immigration, a more supportive environment for parents or both. At a time of great pessimism among Americans, that’s an interesting prospect to contemplate. – Bloomberg 

Ben Weingarten writes: America’s institutions of higher learning—much like Woke Capital, Big Tech, and the media—clearly will not sever their relations with the CCP for the good of the country of their volition. It would appear legislative action is the only solution. It is incumbent on Congress to act, and if Congress is itself too compromised on China to do so, Americans must elect a new one that will not subordinate our national interests to those of our greatest adversary. – Newsweek

Axel de Vernou writes: Thus, Western Europe is not exempt from Beijing’s outward shift. Countries in Central and Eastern Europe, like Hungary and Greece, are particularly vulnerable. Practically every EU and NATO member, including the United States, has been the subject of Chinese commercial interests. The pandemic has been the only respite from such a consistent trend. With businesses hesitant to complete sizable transactions and incapable of traveling to European countries, China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) has gradually decreased in recent years. – The National Interest

South Asia

Less than four months after Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted from power in Pakistan, his party has won a sweeping victory in elections in the most populous province, proving that Mr. Khan remains a powerful force and adding to the political uncertainty that has embroiled the country since his defeat. – New York Times

Sri Lanka’s acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Monday that the country had almost concluded negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a day after he declared a state of emergency in the island nation.Reuters 

India is willing to make more investments in neighbouring Sri Lanka after supporting it with $3.8 billion this year, New Delhi’s envoy in Colombo told the Indian Express newspaper. – Reuters 

Donald Camp writes: None of this assures a good outcome in the near term. Sri Lanka faces the prospects of years of privation and scarcity. But it has strengths as well—an educated workforce, a social safety net, and a long history of democratic governance. The international community needs to help Sri Lanka build on those strengths and try to prevent another descent into self-destructive violence that would threaten the country’s future for the long term. – Center for Strategic and International Studies


As much as Mr. Abe’s death, geopolitical circumstances will dictate Mr. Kishida’s choices. The war in Ukraine and rising military threats from China and North Korea have prompted Mr. Kishida, who had previously cast himself as a liberal-leaning, dovish member of the Liberal Democrats, to take on a more hawkish mantle. – New York Times

China has demanded that the United States immediately cancel its latest arms sale to Taiwan, the Chinese state broadcaster reported on Monday, citing the country’s Ministry of National Defence. – Reuters 

The Japanese government has not yet received word that a new Russian company set to operate the oil and gas Sakhalin-2 project has been established, industry minister Koichi Hagiuda said on Tuesday. Reuters 

Nancy Pelosi plans to visit Taiwan next month to show support for Taipei as it comes under mounting pressure from China, in what would be the first visit by a Speaker of the US House of Representatives to the country in 25 years. – Financial Times

The United States will not be moving its military presence from the Western Pacific any time soon due to Beijing’s “continued bad behavior” toward Taiwan and its bullying of immediate neighbors like Japan and South China Sea nations, the Marine Corps second in command said on Monday. – USNI News


The race to succeed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was whittled down to four candidates Monday, with former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak continuing to lead the highly unpredictable contest to find the country’s new leader. – Wall Street Journal

As a deadline approaches for Russia to resume supplying natural gas to Germany this week, European officials and executives are growing concerned about a cascading economic fallout that would spread across the continent should Moscow keep the tap shut. – Wall Street Journal

European leaders rushed to secure a handful of energy-supply deals Monday, part of a broader, monthslong effort by the continent to reduce its reliance on energy from Russia. – Wall Street Journal

European officials hit back at critics of their sanctions policies on Monday, arguing the measures were inflicting pain on Russia, as worries grow inside the bloc about the impact of Kremlin’s energy cuts and other countermeasures on EU economies and citizens. – Wall Street Journal

The German government said Monday that a turbine at the center of uncertainty about future gas deliveries through a major pipeline from Russia to Europe was only supposed to be installed in September, underlining its insistence that there should be no technical obstacle to the gas flow. – Associated Press

Officials from 40 countries met Monday in Berlin to discuss how to stay focused on fighting the increasing impacts of climate change while the world reels from the economic fallout of the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The U.N. secretary general admonished countries to take action instead of playing a “blame game.” – Associated Press

Greece filed an official complaint with Serbia on Monday after a cargo plane carrying mortar ammunition crashed while attempting an emergency landing in northern Greece. – Associated Press

European Union foreign ministers promised another 500 millions euros in military aid to Ukraine’s war chest to beef up the defense of the nation as the bloc’s foreign policy chief exhorted member states not to waver in their commitment to sanctions against Russia. – Associated Press

Russia’s Gazprom has told customers in Europe it cannot guarantee gas supplies because of “extraordinary” circumstances, according to a letter seen by Reuters, upping the ante in an economic tit-for-tat with the West over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. – Reuters   

Britain said on Monday it was collaborating with Japan and existing partner Italy on its next-generation fighter jet programme, with joint concept analysis expected to lead to decisions on deeper partnerships by the end of the year. – Reuters 

Germany may extend the life of its three remaining nuclear power plants, the economy ministry said on Monday, as public support rises in the face of a possible cut-off of Russian gas. – Reuters

Hungary is in talks with Russia about redirecting all of its gas shipments under a long-term supply deal to the Turkstream pipeline that brings gas to Hungary via Serbia, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday. – Reuters 

The House approved a resolution on Monday that expressed support for Finland and Sweden joining NATO, exactly two months after the Nordic countries submitted applications to become part of the military alliance amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. – The Hill

The chief of the Swedish Air Force said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Sweden’s membership in that NATO alliance are driving the service to develop a new strategy for its next-generation fighter aircraft. – Defense News

European Union member nations must soon deliver shopping lists of weapons and ammunitions expended in Ukraine that they want Brussels to help restock, according to EU and industry officials. – Defense News


Chinese-led Winning Consortium Simandou (WCS) has put workers on forced leave with the prospect of layoffs if a dispute with Guinea’s government over infrastructure for a massive iron project is not resolved, three sources told Reuters. – Reuters 

An explosion of violence in South Sudan is raising fears that the country’s fragile peace agreement will unravel before elections the international community hopes can be held next year. – Associated Press

Democratic Republic of Congo will offer 27 oil blocks and three gas blocks, nearly double as many as previously planned, in a licensing round next week, the hydrocarbons ministry said on Monday. – Reuters

Latin America

Thirteen prisoners were killed at a prison in the Ecuadorean city of Santo Domingo on Monday, Ecuador’s prison agency said, the latest incident of deadly jail violence in the Andean country. – Reuters 

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro on Monday invited dozens of diplomats to the presidential palace to present claims regarding supposed vulnerabilities of the country’s electronic voting system, which electoral authorities have already debunked repeatedly. – Associated Press

Among the many things Gustavo Petro wants to change as Colombia’s next president is his country’s fractured relationship with Venezuela — its most important neighbour but for years a bitter political foe. – Financial Times

Editorial: Faced with a weak government in hock to Peronist populism and failed economic policies, the fund would have done better to insist on tougher targets to inspire business confidence and investment. Tough love, rather than sticking plaster, is what Argentina needs. – Financial Times

North America

Drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, captured by Mexican forces, was notified this weekend that a process to extradite him to the United States for crimes including the murder of a DEA agent in 1985 has begun. – Associated Press

A Mexican court on Monday temporarily blocked the extradition of a drug lord wanted for the murder of a US undercover agent, dimming Washington’s hopes of a quick handover. – Agence France-Presse

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday he gave a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden where he defended Julian Assange’s innocence and renewed a previous offer of asylum to the WikiLeaks founder. – Reuters 

Henry R. Nau writes: Meet their challenge and win on the principles of Reagan’s legacy. Unite Republicans around the conservative triad of individual freedom, learning, and faith. Pursue domestic economic policies that expand individual choice. Trade with free nations only and then only on grounds of reciprocity and more-balanced burden-sharing. Prioritize defense responsibilities to defend the “new Berlins” of both Kyiv and Taipei. And find a place in the system that adversaries can eventually accept. On these terms, America’s engagement in the world is not only morally sound but materially sustainable. – National Review


British cybersecurity firm Darktrace Plc (DARK.L) said on Tuesday it raised its full-year profit margin forecast to about 19.5%, buoyed by steady customer growth. – Reuters

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced on Monday that it will open its first attaché office in London later this month. – The Hill 

The government of Albania has been forced to take its websites offline due to a cyberattack, just a few months after shifting most public sector services to an online portal. – The Record

Tim Culpan writes: Yet the internet has no borders, so the best way to keep networks secure from hacks and data leaks is to adhere to best practices and continually share ideas in order to improve. Tight control over information flow, and even punishing those who speak up, is anathema to the secure internet China wants to build. – Bloomberg


The United States has successfully tested a Raytheon Technologies Corp (RTX.N) air-breathing hypersonic weapon capable of speeds faster than five times the speed of sound, making it the third successful test of that class of weapon since 2013, the Pentagon said in a statement on Monday. – Reuters 

The US Marine Corps carried out a series of tests using its Medium-Range Intercept Capability (MRIC) prototype with components from Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. – Jerusalem Post

The Marine Corps wants to increase its rapid prototyping fund by nearly a factor of six in 2023 as it leans hard into development of new and customized unmanned aerial systems and devotes serious resources to human performance improvements and other high-tech capabilities. – Defense News

Officials in the Air Force’s mobility enterprise are considering amending rules to allow just two crew members onboard the Boeing KC-46 Pegasus tankers during dangerous missions, raising eyebrows among airmen. – Defense News

The Pentagon’s plan to defend the U.S. homeland from cruise missiles is starting to take shape after a prolonged period of development because until recently, the threat was perceived as a more distant regional one, a senior Air Force official said. – Defense News

The National Reconnaissance Office, the Pentagon agency that designs, builds and operates U.S. spy satellites, said it launched the NROL-162 mission with a Rocket Lab Electron rocket on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. – Defense News

L3Harris Technologies and Northrop Grumman Strategic Space Systems won a U.S. Department of Defense contract to furnish multimillion-dollar satellites that help detect, identify and target missiles and other cutting-edge threats, including hypersonics. – Defense News

The Navy Reserve is developing a mobile app to make it easier for reservists to report for duty using a solution that will come in handy if it ever activates the entire 50,000-member Selected Reserve. – USNI News

Lt. Amanda Lee will be the first female demonstration pilot for the Blue Angels, the Navy announced Monday. Lee, who goes by the call sign “Stalin,” is among six officers that will join the Blue Angels for its 2023 show season, the demo squadron announced via Facebook. – USNI News

The Coast Guard must invest in its workforce, providing opportunities for training and promotion at modern shore facilities and on updated ships and aircraft, Commandant Adm. Linda Fagan told members of Congress last week. – Military.com