Fdd's overnight brief

July 27, 2023

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


An Iranian chess player who moved to Spain in January after she competed without a hijab and had an arrest warrant issued against her at home has been granted Spanish citizenship, Spain said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Iran said Wednesday it gave new details to the United Nations about two sites near Tehran that inspectors say bore traces of manmade uranium, part of a wider probe as tensions remain high over the Islamic Republic’s advancing program. – Associated Press

Iranian authorities have in recent months launched an intensified crackdown against women deemed to have violated the Islamic Republic’s strict dress rules, Amnesty International said on Wednesday. – Agence France-Presse 

Officials in the State Department are expected to meet with the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week to answer questions on the suspension of President Joe Biden’s Iran envoy, Rob Malley. – Washington Examiner

Iran has announced the production of artificial intelligence-powered missiles, which officials claim have the ability to avoid obstructions and hit a target with pinpoint accuracy, but experts remain skeptical the weapons can perform as promised. – Fox News

American F-35 fighter jets arrived in the Middle East to beef up deterrence against Iran amid a string of ship seizures in the Strait of Hormuz. – Fox News

Goli Ameri, a former assistant secretary of state who grew up in Iran, argued that partisanship in the U.S. is the major impediment to any substantial progress on Iran policy that could truly help the Iranian people. – Jewish Insider

The Iranian Supreme Court has revoked the death sentences of Mohammad Ghobadlou and suspended the execution order against Abbas Deris. – Iran International

The House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) on Wednesday approved a bipartisan bill to indefinitely sanction Iran’s missile and drone programs before United Nations sanctions expire in October. – Algeimeiner

Amin Soltani, Annika Ganzeveld, and Andie Parry write: Iranian media framed Iran’s accession into the organization as part of “the transformation of the world order.” CTP previously assessed that Iran’s membership in this organization may enable it to circumvent sanctions by conducting non-US dollar financial transactions with other SCO countries. Iranian officials have additionally expressed support for Chinese regional infrastructure projects and sought to attract Chinese infrastructure investments in recent weeks. – Institute for the Study of War 

Russia & Ukraine

Ukrainian forces have launched a new push in their counteroffensive against Russian invaders and made advances south of Orikhiv in the country’s Zaporizhzhia region, officials said Wednesday. – Washington Post

Fears have grown along Ukraine’s northern border about the potential for new military attacks since Yevgeniy Prigozhin’s Wagner mercenaries relocated to Belarus after last month’s short-lived mutiny against Moscow’s military leadership, with Ukraine — and even Poland — tightening security and stepping up defenses. – Washington Post 

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with African leaders in St. Petersburg on Thursday in a piece of diplomatic theater designed to portray Russia as a great power with many global friends, despite its destabilizing war in Ukraine. – Washington Post

Such AI technology, under development by a growing number of Ukrainian drone companies, is one of several innovative leaps underway in Kyiv’s domestic drone market that are accelerating and democratizing the lethality of unmanned warfare — especially crucial for Ukraine’s outgunned military, which is fighting a larger and better-equipped Russian enemy. – Washington Post

Ukraine’s counteroffensive is “not a stalemate” even if it is not progressing fast enough, White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Wednesday. – Reuters

Ukraine’s domestic intelligence agency claimed responsibility for the first time on Wednesday for a sabotage operation that badly damaged the Russian-made Kerch Bridge linking occupied Crimea with Russia last October. – Reuters

The surge of wounded soldiers coincides with the major counteroffensive Ukraine launched in June to try to recapture its land, nearly one-fifth of which is now under Russian control. Surgeons at Mechnikov are busier now than perhaps at any other time since Russia began its full-scale invasion 17 months ago, according to doctors at the hospital, who declined to be more specific. – Associated Press

A Russian court on Wednesday convicted a top cyber security executive of treason and jailed him for 14 years in a case that state news agency TASS said centred on allegations he had passed classified information to foreign spies. – Reuters

Russia hit port infrastructure in Ukraine’s Odesa region in overnight missile attack, killing a security guard and damaging a cargo terminal, the region’s governor said on Thursday. – Reuters

Ukraine’s president has warned government officials and lawmakers that “personal enrichment” and “betrayal” will not be tolerated, after the arrest of a military recruitment chief on embezzlement charges and an MP accused of collaborating with Russia. – Financial Times

Russia’s regional governors have acquired the legal authority to form their own “private military companies,” just weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin faced down the Wagner Group’s abortive march on Moscow. – Washington Examiner

Russia’s so cut off from the global financial system that even the New Development Bank, or NDB — a multilateral lender it cofounded —  doesn’t want to start new projects there amid sweeping sanctions against the nation. – Business Insider

The British Ministry of Defense warned Wednesday that Russia could be planning a naval blockade of Ukraine. The blockade would prevent ships from pulling into Ukraine and the Kremlin’s latest move in the Black Sea since Moscow withdrew from a U.N. brokered grain deal. – USNI News

Editorial: Taxpayers deserve to know where their money is going, which is why IG oversight is a worthy project. But aid to Ukraine is in America’s national interest. Among other things, it is degrading Russian military power and forcing the Chinese Communist Party to think twice about provoking the U.S. or its allies in a military confrontation. – Wall Street Journal 

Editorial: Putin’s demands for sanctions relief should be rejected so long as his assault on Ukraine continues. In taking vital food supplies hostage, Russia will cause suffering not just in Ukraine but for vulnerable people around the world. Rewarding such behavior would be a grave mistake. – Bloomberg

Huw Dylan, David V. Gioe, and Daniela Richterova write: In issuing their invitations for clandestine cooperation, Moore, Marlowe, and Burns have adopted a practice that Putin’s minions have embraced in recent years: trolling. Even if the public calls from MI6 and the CIA for more clandestine sources do not yield additional agents, Putin may hobble his own intelligence and security apparatus by pulling it apart trying to root out traitors, just like Joseph Stalin before him. From a Western intelligence perspective, that’s also a fine outcome. – Foreign Policy 

Amy Mackinnon writes: “Nobody wants jihadist groups sieging Bamako—neither the West nor the region,” she said. The effort to brand the group as a terror organization, Bax said, is “very much based around what’s happening in Ukraine, and is less based on what’s happening in Africa.” – Foreign Policy


Israel’s Supreme Court said Wednesday that it would review a contentious new law that diminishes the court’s own role, setting the stage for a constitutional crisis and renewed social turmoil if the judges end up overturning the legislation. – New York Times

A Lebanese military analyst recently said on local television that the Lebanese army and Hezbollah are prepared for war with Israel. – Arutz Sheva 

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has recently sent an official démarche to Jordan in protest of the kingdom’s treatment of religious Jewish tourists, Israel Hayom has exclusively learned. – Israel Hayom

Editorial: Overall, the old system made Israel a radical outlier among true democracies, with a court uniquely unconstrained from public accountability via the selection process or scope of authority. Whether or not to rein it in, and how to do so, is a matter for Israelis to decide. It certainly isn’t the purview of a U.S. president, much less one who, for decades, has undermined his own nation’s court system with sleazy partisan tactics. – Washington Examiner

Editorial: The government must take the economic fallout from the past six months of political chaos seriously and it must consider the potential economic impact of any future developments in its judicial reform. Israel can scarcely afford to be plunged into an economic crisis alongside the deep social and political crises in which it finds itself enmired.Now is the time for the country’s leaders to pay attention to the warning signs coming from banks, companies, investors, and credit rating agencies and adjust their priorities accordingly. – Jerusalem Post

Dov S. Zakheim writes: America owes it to Israel not to stand idle as it wrecks all that the Jewish State has accomplished in the 75 years of its existence. American friendship demands that Washington do whatever it can to prevent Israel’s enemies from realizing their evil ambition to see the state destabilize itself. – The Hill 

Omer Dostri writes: Already recognized as the most influential and prominent elected member of the Likud party and the conservatives, Levin is well-poised to be a leading candidate for the prime minister in the post-Netanyahu era, once the legislation to strengthen democracy is successfully enacted. – Jerusalem Post

Lev Stesin writes: The old divide of Israel’s politics was about war and peace. It is clear, based on the makeup of the pro- and anti-reform camps, that this is no longer the case. The question of what Israel is, not even who is a Jew, is the new political divide. No matter if some or all proposed reforms pass, the crisis will only deepen. – Algemeiner

Matthew Levitt and Lauren von Thaden write: In the final analysis, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt all see counter-smuggling and border security as a shared interest and a security function they perform for their own benefit. Many of the circumstances that have contributed to the increase over the last two years in detected smuggling are highly likely to persist, from regional instability and the ready availability of guns to the massive profits criminals stand to make from narcotics sales. Commercial incentives mean that smugglers will likely become more violent and more creative, from digging tunnels under border fences to deploying drones to transport packages over them. Cooperation between the three countries will continue to be crucial. – CTC Sentinel

Paul Scham writes: In other words, as bad as the July 24 vote was, if we look at it more closely, its consequences were by no means set in stone. What is most impressive to me is that Israel’s civil society organizations seem to be rising to the challenge in a way that is unprecedented in any other country facing a right-wing populist challenge. – Middle East Institute

Aaron David Miller writes: The Biden administration has wisely let the Israeli protesters do the walking and talking. Biden’s rhetorical interventions to date have been correct and necessary, and may have even slowed down—but not stopped—the Netanyahu juggernaut. That is hardly surprising given the prime minister’s obsession with remaining in power. This isn’t a 100-yard dash. The battle for Israel’s democracy is a marathon. And in the end, no matter how much Biden cares about the future of Israel, the fate of Israeli democracy must surely be left in the hands of Israelis. – Foreign Policy


Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas together with Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Ankara on Wednesday, Erdogan’s office said. – Reuters

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi discussed Ukraine with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara and met President Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday during his first foreign trip since being appointed, a Turkish foreign ministry source said. – Reuters

Steven A. Cook writes: Erdogan (and his opposition) do not want Turkey to be treated merely as a security asset on Europe’s southeastern flank. If Erdogan could hold up NATO’s expansion long enough to extract a commitment from Biden to provide Turkey with new F-16s as well as convince EU leaders to renew cooperation with Turkey, which could potentially lead to an enhanced customs union agreement—and then be hailed as a statesman after agreeing to Sweden’s NATO membership, the Turkish leader could fairly declare “mission accomplished.” And that’s exactly what he did. – Foreign Policy

Middle East & North Africa

While the world’s attention has been focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, new Russian attacks against U.S. drones have made Syria a fraught arena for military competition between Moscow and Washington. – Wall Street Journal

Saudi Arabian authorities have detained five relatives of a U.S. citizen, rights groups said on Wednesday, arguing that the detentions were retaliation for his family’s failed lawsuit against the Saudi government in the United States. – Reuters 

Fourteen Iraqi private banks sanctioned by the United States over allegedly helping siphon U.S. dollars to Iran said on Wednesday they were ready to challenge the measures and face audits and called on Iraqi authorities to provide assistance. – Reuters

Iraq’s currency has fallen against the U.S. dollar because some traders are sourcing hard currency in the black market instead of using the central bank’s official exchange platform, central bank governor Ali al-Allaq told Iraqi state media on Wednesday. – Reuters

Khalil El Hasse writes: Libyans now seem to be living out the Afghan experience in confronting a religious state similar to the one that the Taliban formed in the 1990s. In light of Libya’s decade of civil war and fragmented economic, social, and political life, many analysts have argued that it is not currently possible to move forward in talking about Libyan religious liberties—most would consider this to be an elitist issue imported from abroad. Achieving religious liberties in Libya, therefore, will be dependent on reaching an effective political compromise among warring factions and forming a unity government that could establish a truly democratic system respectful of the principles of citizenship and equality. – Washington Institute

Sabina Henneberg and Ben Fishman write: As Washington seeks to shift funding away from direct support to the Tunisian government, policymakers should channel assistance to international groups who help migrants and to civil society groups that focus on countering anti-migrant attitudes. It should also continue supporting the reforms required for gradual Tunisian economic stabilization and growth—the only means of substantially stemming migration in the long term. To preserve the country’s future prospects, Washington will need to make clear to key EU partners that they should not give Saied a blank check. – Washington Institute

Orwa Ajjoub writes: The most viable short- and long-term solution appears to be the repatriation of these combatants, ensuring prosecution in their home countries. Although this is challenging due to difficulties in proving involvement in terrorist activity, cooperation between the AANES and national justice systems could facilitate the process, enabling fair trials and mitigating future legal implications for the detainees. – Middle East Institute

Korean Peninsula

North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, vowed to expand military cooperation with Moscow in its confrontation with the United States as the Russian defense minister, Sergei K. Shoigu, led a delegation to Pyongyang, the North Korean state news media reported on Thursday.​ – New York Times

Russia’s defence minister accompanied North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to a defence exhibition that featured the North’s banned ballistic missiles as the neighbours pledged to boost ties, North Korean state media reported on Thursday. – Reuters

South Korea’s biggest defence company Hanwha Aerospace (012450.KS) on Thursday beat Germany’s Rheinmetall (RHMG.DE) to win an Australian contract worth up to A$7 billion ($4.74 billion) for building 129 infantry fighting vehicles. – Reuters

Frank Aum writes: As we mark the 70th anniversary of the cease-fire on the Korean Peninsula, we should take the occasion to reflect on the potential power of diplomacy. The Biden administration and the governments in North and South Korea need to elevate diplomacy over deterrence to restart negotiations over the fate of the peninsula — and sooner rather than later. – Washington Post


Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Wednesday the Biden administration is seeking to carefully target U.S. controls on exports to China, but rules will cost firms some revenue. – Reuters

U.S. Treasury Undersecretary Jay Shambaugh said on Wednesday the Biden administration will not hesitate to take targeted actions against China to secure the national security interests of the U.S. and its allies and to protect human rights, but added that the two countries must cooperate on global challenges. – Reuters

The sudden ouster of Xi Jinping’s handpicked foreign minister is the latest example of how the Chinese president’s strengthened grip on power has failed to insulate him from setbacks on some of his biggest policy priorities. – Bloomberg

China’s military has launched an inquiry into corruption linked to procuring hardware going back more than five years, urging the public to step forward with tips on wrongdoing. – Bloomberg

Matt Ridley and Alina Chan write: To adjust the conclusions in a scientific paper for political reasons isn’t part of the scientific process. The world was misled with serious consequences. If experts hadn’t shut down the rational possibility of a laboratory origin of Covid-19, a credible investigation might have taken place (it still has not), the World Health Organization might not have taken Chinese government assurances at face value, and governments might have done more to detect and deter laboratory-based outbreaks in the future. – Wall Street Journal

Alan Beattie writes: Geopolitically, China also unbalances the club. It’s in an economic, technological and strategic rivalry with the US, while other Brics members are trying to stay on good terms with Brussels and Washington. Brazil wants access to European consumers by finalising a trade deal between the EU and the South American Mercosur bloc; India is part of the US’s Quad security alliance in the Asia-Pacific. If Beijing tries to force the other members of Brics to drop their non-aligned strategy and join a China-oriented camp, the strains on the grouping will become intense. – Financial Times

South Asia

India’s parliament on Wednesday authorised a no-confidence vote against Narendra Modi’s government by an alliance of opposition parties, to force the prime minister to address in detail concerns about ethnic clashes in a northeastern state. – Reuters

Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Thursday that China has rolled over a $2.4 billion loan to Islamabad for a period of two years, a boost to the South Asian economy as it tries to build its foreign reserves after clinching an IMF deal. – Reuters

U.S. officials will meet Taliban representatives and “technocratic professionals” from key Afghan ministries during a visit to Doha this week, the State Department said on Wednesday, adding they will discuss economic issues, security and women’s rights. – Reuters

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected former prime minister Imran Khan’s plea that his trial on charges of unlawfully selling state gifts be halted on concerns over the merits of the trial and that the judge hearing it was biased. – Reuters

Mihir Sharma writes: The central prong of India’s case for leadership to the Global South was always that, unlike the West or China, it saw other developing countries as equals. Indian policymakers should rethink arbitrary export bans that leave those nations feeling like supplicants instead. Global leadership requires taking on responsibility for the world, too. – Bloomberg


Asia’s longest-serving nonhereditary ruler, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, is stepping down and handing over power to his son, Gen. Hun Manet, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy. – Washington Post

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Papua New Guinea leaders on Thursday to discuss developing the Pacific Island nation’s military strength and deepening security ties, as the United States competes with China for influence in the Indo-Pacific region. – Associated Press

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim unveiled a plan Thursday to reset the Southeast Asian economy’s growth trajectory, with an eye on boosting incomes and participation of women in the workforce while lowering the budget deficit to reduce stress on government finances. – Bloomberg

Gearoid Reidy writes: Kishida will have no such plans. But he should not be so quick to dismiss the discussion. In a world where conflict between the US and China seems increasingly possible, Japan must not be afraid to have real talks about how it would respond, including what part atomic weapons would play — and what might happen if the US nuclear umbrella (perhaps in the hands of a less reliable White House) was no longer extended over the country. Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine has powerfully demonstrated that at least some of the post-Cold War assumptions were wrong; Japan can’t afford to be left in a decades-old debate when conflict around Taiwan seems closer than ever. – Bloomberg

Timothy P. Carney writes: Eisenhower told his biographer that he expressed to War Secretary Harry Stimson his “grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face.’” – Washington Examiner


The European Union on Wednesday agreed to ban exports of battlefield equipment and aviation parts to Belarus, expanding sanctions on the Kremlin ally for its involvement in Russia’s war against Ukraine. – Reuters

NATO said Wednesday it was stepping up surveillance of the Black Sea region as it condemned Russia’s exit from a landmark deal that allowed Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea. – Associated Press

Sweden is the target of a disinformation campaign by “Russia-backed actors” intended to hurt the image of the NATO-candidate country by implying it supported recent burnings of the Koran, its Minister for Civil Defence said on Wednesday. – Reuters

David Broder writes: Success is hardly inevitable. Ahead of last week’s election in Spain, Ms. Meloni addressed her nationalist ally Vox, declaring that the “patriots’ time has come”; in fact, its vote share fell and right-wing parties failed to secure a majority. Even so, Vox has become an enduring part of the electoral arena and a regular ally for conservatives. Despite their growing success, such forces have for years been painted as insurgent outsiders representing long-ignored voters. The more disturbing truth is that they are no longer parties of protest, but increasingly welcome in the mainstream. For proof, just look to Washington on Thursday. – New York Times

Théophane Hartmann and Alina Clasen write: The new strategy calls for German schools, universities, teachers, and researchers to ensure that Chinese government-sponsored Confucius Institutes uphold “the principle of the freedom of science, research, and academic teaching.” Germany is waking up to the perils of overreliance on China. It is on board with the Western strategy of “de-risking.” The unanswered question is whether is consensus-based coalition government can achieve this goal. – Center for European Policy Analysis


Military officers in the West African nation of Niger ousted the country’s president on Wednesday, they said in an address on national television, throwing into uncertainty the future of one of the West’s few reliable partners in a region marred by coups and widespread insecurity. – New York Times

African leaders will look to Russian President Vladimir Putin for concrete promises on grain supplies at a summit starting on Thursday, with some also likely to seek clarity and assurances on the future of Wagner mercenaries in the continent. – Reuters

Nigeria’s Department of State Services (DSS) on Wednesday said it is investigating an “unfortunate” clash between its officers and prison officials on court premises after a bail ruling for the suspended central bank governor Godwin Emefiele. – Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday called for the immediate release of Niger President Mohamed Bazoum. – Reuters

Islamist militants killed at least 25 people and wounded others in attacks on two villages in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state, a hotbed for insurgency, a police source and two residents said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Somali authorities have arrested several military officers for allegedly helping a suicide bomber gain entry to a military academy in the capital Mogadishu this week and kill at least 30 soldiers, an officer said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Russia should strengthen ties with Africa as Western nations shun relations in response to its invasion of Ukraine, according to South Africa’s envoy to the country. – Bloomberg

Adam Taylor writes: Often investment in Africa is framed in geopolitical rivalries — though generally, the attention has been not on Russia, but the far more economically relevant power of China, which dwarves Moscow’s meager investment in the continent. Until the West can come up with a more persuasive argument of its own, African nations are unlikely to jump into line behind it. But that doesn’t mean the continent is aligning with Putin’s Russia either. – Washington Post


Latin America

El Salvador’s Congress on Wednesday approved group trials for the tens of thousands of people arrested during President Nayib Bukele’s crackdown on criminal gangs, which has given the country one of the world’s highest incarceration rates. – Reuters

The Organization of American States (OAS) chief Luis Almagro will meet with authorities and politicians in Guatemala next week, he said on Wednesday, as concerns escalate over alleged government interference in the upcoming presidential runoff vote. – Reuters

Brazil is set to launch a green transition plan worth hundreds of billions of dollars in public and private investments that officials hope will become the signature policy of leftwing president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s third term. – Financial Times

North America

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled much of his cabinet on Wednesday with the aim of increasing focus on economic issues like a housing shortage and the rising cost of living that have hurt his standing with voters. – Reuters

Canadian diplomats were denied access to the start of Canadian pop star Kris Wu’s appeal trial in Beijing, the Canadian government said, following his sentencing in 2022 to more than a decade in prison for crimes including rape. – Reuters

Mexico and the United States have agreed to step up oversight of arms trafficking with a system to electronically track firearms seized from criminal organizations, Mexican Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodriguez said on Wednesday. – Reuters

United States

U.S. President Joe Biden hosts Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the White House on Thursday, with the Ukraine war and Italy’s relations with China expected to be among the top items on the agenda. – Reuters

U.S. President Joe Biden has ordered his administration to begin sharing evidence of alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine with the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC), a U.S official said on Wednesday. – Reuters

The Biden administration is poised to increase outreach to western trading houses, insurers and tanker owners to remind them to abide by the Group of Seven’s price cap on Russian oil as the crude trades over that level, sources and experts said. – Reuters

The U.S. is concealing a longstanding program that retrieves and reverse engineers unidentified flying objects, a former Air Force intelligence officer testified Wednesday to Congress. The Pentagon has denied his claims. – Associated Press


Legislation championed by crypto advocates that sets clearer rules for the nascent industry was approved by a key US House panel on Wednesday. – Bloomberg

The FBI is keenly focused on threats emanating from the rapid development of artificial intelligence, particularly from China, top agency officials said Wednesday. – CyberScoop

The Securities and Exchange Commission approved rules on Wednesday that will require publicly traded companies to disclose cybersecurity breaches that pose a material risk to a firm’s bottom line. – CyberScoop

China’s state-controlled newspaper the Global Times reported on Wednesday that “hacker groups and lawbreakers with governmental backgrounds” from the United States were suspected of compromising network equipment at an earthquake monitoring station in Wuhan. – The Record


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday the door was open for New Zealand to engage with the AUKUS weapons development and procurement project between the United States, Britain and Australia. – Reuters

The Pentagon plans to issue a first-time contract to US or Canadian companies by year-end to recover gallium, a mineral used in semiconductors and military radar systems, after China curbed exports this month. – Bloomberg

The Senate on Wednesday inched closer to wrapping up work on its version of the annual defense policy package as lawmakers push to complete their work by Thursday night and leave for their month-long recess. – The Hill

The Baltic states have presented a joint contribution to the emerging NATO air defense rotational model in the region, a recent alliance policy mean to create a beefier defensive posture in Europe’s north-eastern flank. – Defense News

President Joe Biden has tapped Gen. David Allvin as his nominee to serve as the next Air Force chief of staff, the White House announced Wednesday. That puts Allvin, who has served as Air Force vice chief of staff since November 2020, in line to lead the service in the midst of a massive paradigm shift to prepare its troops and equipment for a new era of war. – Defense News

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and NASA selected Lockheed Martin and BWX Technologies to develop an experimental nuclear propulsion system that could provide a more efficient power source for future in-orbit maneuvering and Mars-bound spacecraft. – Defense News

Emily Harding writes: The challenge of ubiquitous technical surveillance will make human operations difficult and dangerous. Operators will need to go beyond living their cover; they will need to appear to exist in two places at the same time, or no places at all. To meet these challenges and succeed in the competition with China, the intelligence community needs to reimagine how it takes new technologies from concept to creation to implementation at scale. We created a website called Tech Recs to help the U.S. government find a list of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ recommendations for how to create smart tech policy for intelligence and defense. Implementing these recommendations will give the U.S. the best possible shot at getting to the vision of a modern, capable, cutting-edge technology ecosystem that Director Burns described. – Defense News