Fdd's overnight brief

July 3, 2019

In The News


French President Emmanuel Macron urged Iran on Tuesday to reverse its decision to exceed the limit for low-enriched uranium laid out in the 2015 nuclear deal “without delay” as fellow signatories Russia and China called on Tehran to show restraint. – Washington Post

As the Trump administration’s sanctions on Iranian oil and petrochemical products have taken hold, some of the world’s shipping fleets have defied the restrictions by “going dark” when they pick up cargo in Iranian ports, according to commercial analysts who track shipping data and intelligence from authorities in Israel, a country that backs the Trump crackdown. – New York Times

Iran will “take the next step” on Sunday in enriching uranium beyond the levels specified under its 2015 accord with the United States and other global powers, President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday, according to state news outlets. – New York Times

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards killed two members of an “anti-revolutionary terrorist” group in a security operation in the northwest of the country, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Tuesday. – Reuters

Iran has breached a cap on its enriched uranium stockpile set in a 2015 deal with major powers and said it plans to further flout the nuclear agreement, moves which ultimately could lead to the return of all international sanctions on Tehran. Most U.N. sanctions were removed in January 2016 when the deal was implemented. It is formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and was agreed by the United States, Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. – Reuters

Israel is preparing for its possible military involvement in any escalation in the Gulf confrontation between Iran and the United States, the Israeli foreign minister said on Tuesday. – Reuters

The head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday the enemy was worried about the prospect of war and was focused instead on an economic conflict, according to the semi-official Fars news agency. – Reuters

While opinions differ across Tehran’s Grand Bazaar about the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and Iran over its unraveling nuclear deal, there’s one thing those in the beating heart of Iran’s capital city agree on: American sanctions hurt the average person, not those in charge. – Associated Press

Iraq is establishing a financial “loophole” to continue buying vital gas and electricity from Iran despite US sanctions, AFP has learned, mirroring a European mechanism that came into effect Friday. – Agence France-Presse

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi has ordered the Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias in his country to come under the control of the official state military by July 31, while severing their ties with “political forces.” With the order’s publication on Monday, Abdul-Mahdi explained that all Iran- backed Shi’ite militias shall operate as integral parts of the Iraqi armed forces, and that whatever “applies to the armed forces shall apply to them, except as provided in a special note.” – Jerusalem Post

The head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday the enemy was worried about the prospect of war and was focused instead on an economic conflict, according to the semi-official Fars news agency. Tensions between the United States and Iran have increased since Trump pulled Washington out of a nuclear deal last year and moved to bar all international sales of Iranian oil. – Reuters

A leading US Senator, Republican Lindsey Graham, plans to unveil an alternative to the Iranian nuclear deal that would allow for Tehran to have nuclear power plans but without the ability to enrich uranium. The nuclear power plan without fuel would also be include Arab states in the region, Graham said. – Jerusalem Post

Mojtaba Zonnour, the chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian Majlis, said in a June 30, 2019 interview on Al-Alam TV (Iran) that America has 36 military bases in the region, the closest of which is home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain and the most remote being on Diego Garcia island in the Indian Ocean. He said that all these bases are within range of Iran’s missiles. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Simon Henderson writes: The latest surprise ingredient perhaps is President Trump’s weekend meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The North Koreans have a far more advanced nuclear program than Iran’s, having mastered both uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing, tested weapons several times, and developed missiles capable of carrying such warheads as far as the continental U.S. – The Hill 


Turkey is providing military assistance to Libyan authorities that has allowed the United Nations-backed government in Tripoli to contain the advance of a powerful militia commander but also opened a deadly new front in conflicts pitting Ankara against Middle East rivals. Turkey’s role in the Libyan conflict was exposed this week when troops loyal to Khalifa Haftar, the military commander supported by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, claimed to have destroyed a Turkish-made drone near Tripoli. – Wall Street Journal

The Trump administration still plans to impose sanctions on Turkey and remove it from a critical fighter jet program if the NATO ally acquires Russian air defenses, U.S. officials told Reuters, despite the Turkish president’s assurances to the contrary. – Reuters

Stronger cooperation between Turkey and China will boost global stability, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday during a visit to Beijing that comes as both nations’ relationships with the United States are tested over economic and diplomatic disputes. – Al-Monitor

Klaudio Llusku writes: As political uncertainty over the future of AKP rule mounts, Erdoğan—the central authority in Turkey for the past fifteen years—will need to seek political solutions which can guarantee his future and the future of his AKP party. For Erdoğan, Gülen—and the Gülen Movement—is the opposition which just so happens to reside near Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. – The National Interest


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that he informed U.S. President Donald Trump in advance of what Israel has described as a spy mission in Tehran last year to capture a secret Iranian nuclear archive. – Reuters

White House hopeful Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said Monday she would not reverse President Trump’s 2017 decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “I think it would have been better if that was done as part of a negotiation for a two-state solution. I think it’s unfortunate it was done the way it was done but I wouldn’t reverse it,” Klobuchar told Jewish Insider Monday. – The Hill

President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday awarded Israel’s top security prize to the Mossad agents behind the operation to steal Iran’s nuclear archive last year, along with teams from the Israel Defense Forces, Shin Bet security service and defense industries, each for their own contribution in the past year to the country’s protection. – Times of Israel 

The U.S. administration has warned Israel of security risks involved in introducing Chinese 5G cellular network technology, a senior Pentagon official told Haaretz. – Haaretz

The head of the Mossad intelligence service said Monday that Israel was renewing ties with Oman. “Just recently, renewal of formal relations with Oman was declared and the establishment of a representative office of the foreign ministry in that country,” Yossi Cohen said at the Herzliya Conference, hosted by the Interdisciplinary Center this week. – Times of Israel

Residents in the Binyamin Regional Council recently sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other cabinet ministers, pleading with the Israeli government to halt work being done in Area B, which is controlled by the Palestinian Authority, due to a fear of security concerns. – Jerusalem Post

A rocket alarm was heard in the Gaza border communities area on Wednesday morning was eventually declared a false alarm by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, while several rockets were reported to have been fired towards the sea, according to media reports. Although no rocket was launched towards Israeli territory, it was revealed that shortly before the alarm was heard, Hamas tested several rockets by launching them towards the sea north of Gaza, according to Ynet. – Jerusalem Post

Gulf States

The United Arab Emirates is aiming to pull most of its forces out of the Saudi-led campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen, extricating itself from a four-year war that has provoked congressional opposition and has become a flashpoint with Iran in the region. – Wall Street Journal

The lead investigator for the U.N. probe into the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said on Tuesday that the world’s wealthiest nations have done little to hold Saudi Arabia to account and suggested the kingdom lose the privilege of hosting next year’s Group of 20 summit. – Washington Post 

Canada’s export financing agency has lifted its suspension on Saudi Arabia-related activity, citing an improving environment for the nation’s businesses since a diplomatic blowout with the kingdom last summer. Export Development Canada its position on Saudi Arabia on Tuesday from “off cover” to “open on restricted basis,” ending a 10-month halt on business. – Bloomberg

Elana DeLozier writes: Such a rift between the two Gulf partners would be concerning, but not surprising. Despite maintaining a common public face, their forces in Yemen generally do not operate in tandem, instead splitting their responsibilities. The Saudis usually run operations in the north while the Emiratis run operations in the south, and when one enters the opposite zone, the other leaves. For example, when the Emiratis took over operations in Hodeida province, the Saudis drew down to a token presence; when the Saudis entered al-Mahra province, the Emiratis left. – Washington Institute


An airstrike hit a detention center for migrants early Wednesday in the Libyan capital, killing at least 40 people, a health official in the country’s United Nations-supported government said. Eighty other migrants were wounded in the strike on the detention center in the Tajoura neighborhood of Tripoli, said Malek Merset, a spokesman for the health ministry. Mr. Merset posted photos of migrants being taken in ambulances to hospitals. – Associated Press

The United Arab Emirates denied ownership of weapons found in Libya, a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said on Tuesday. – Reuters

In western Libya, finding clean water has become difficult because both the power grid and water control system have been damaged in an offensive by forces loyal to eastern-based Khalifa Haftar on Tripoli, where the UN-backed government is based. The United Nations has warned all sides that water should not become a weapon of war, but the water system is already badly damaged in western Libya where the capital is located, according to unpublished reports by the water authority and the United Nations Childrens’ Agency.  – New York Post

Middle East & North Africa

Following a series of air strikes on Syrian targets, which have been attributed to Israel, the Assad regime’ deputy foreign minister has threatened the Jewish state with retaliation. According to Hebrew daily Yediot Ahronot, Faisal Mekdad warned Israel on Tuesday, “Don’t be relaxed. Syria will change its method of retaliation in the future.” – Algemeiner

A wanted militant wearing an explosive belt blew himself up in the Tunisian capital after being surrounded by police, the government said on Wednesday, but there were no other casualties. The third such incident within a week comes months ahead of an election and at the peak of a tourist season in which Tunisia is hoping for a record number of visitors. – Reuters

The Trump administration hasn’t revealed the full details of its Middle East peace plan in order to prevent “spoilers” from undermining it, U.S. special envoy Jason Greenblatt said days after a U.S.-backed economic conference in Bahrain sought to drum up support for American peace efforts. “We understand we’re protecting something extremely delicate.” – Bloomberg

Edward M. Gabriel writes: Lebanon and Israel do not have a peace agreement and often refer to each other as the “enemy.” However, it is scarcely known that Israeli and Lebanese generals have been meeting in a building on the Blue Line about every six weeks for more than a dozen years, discussing infractions and disagreements on the demarcation of the Blue Line. UNIFIL chairs and facilitates the discussion. – Middle East Institute 

Korean Peninsula

When President Richard M. Nixon met in Beijing almost 50 years ago with Mao Zedong, China’s totalitarian strongman and a nuclear-armed adversary, the two leaders knew they were setting their countries on a new path. – New York Times

Chinese President Xi Jinping urged US President Donald Trump to “show flexibility” towards North Korea, including the “timely” easing of sanctions, at the G20 summit last week, China’s foreign minister said Tuesday. – Agence France-Presse

Uri Friedman writes: His advisers will deny it, but when Donald Trump stepped into North Korea on Sunday, he effectively stepped away from his administration’s stated goal of fully eliminating Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons. There were many remarkable aspects of the U.S. president’s surprise meeting with the North Korean leader at the border, but perhaps the most notable was the absence of the issue that brought Trump and Kim together in the first place one year ago: Pyongyang’s development of a nuclear-weapons arsenal that directly threatens the United States and its allies, and which Trump’s advisers once vowed to remove by 2021. – The Atlantic

Bruce Klingner writes: In continuing negotiations, the Trump administration should insist on a comprehensive roadmap to denuclearization, enforce sanctions, resume military exercises, uphold human rights, and refrain from harsh rhetoric or escalatory threats. – The Hill


China’s government signaled its fraying patience with protesters in Hong Kong after they stormed the city’s legislature, calling the violent turn a direct challenge to Beijing’s authority and suggesting it would have to be answered. – Wall Street Journal

The protests in Hong Kong, leaderless but well coordinated, took a destructive turn on Monday, complicating what had been a mostly cohesive movement. Scenes of protesters shattering glass to break into the Legislative Council building, followed by demonstrators scrawling graffiti on the walls inside and damaging furniture, caused some residents to question some of the tactics used. – New York Times

A top Chinese leader made an unusually public effort on Tuesday to ease trade tensions somewhat with the United States, woo foreign investors and reassure his own country’s citizens that their economy remained on track. – New York Times

Turkey recognizes the fact that the people of China’s Xinjiang lead happy lives, Chinese state media on Tuesday cited Turkish President Tayip Erdogan as saying, a region where China has been running a controversial de-radicalization scheme. – Reuters 

The Pentagon said on Tuesday a recent Chinese missile launch in the disputed South China Sea was “disturbing” and contrary to Chinese pledges that it would not militarize the disputed waterway. – Reuters

The United States and Germany slammed China during a closed-door United Nations Security Council meeting on Tuesday for detaining more than one million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims, accusing Beijing of depriving them of their rights, diplomats said. – Reuters

Canada’s prime minister said on Tuesday he is “confident” U.S. President Donald Trump made good on his promise to raise the cases of two detained Canadians during recent discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping. – Reuters

A new front is opening in the intensifying economic and diplomatic competition between the United States and China: human DNA. “I think we’re just seeing the leading edge of it,” retired Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense, told the Washington Examiner. “Everybody knows that we ought not to be sharing technical data on hypersonics, directed energy, things like that. This is one of those things that people haven’t thought of.” – Washington Examiner

An army-linked newspaper in China has run photos of a week-old military drill in Hong Kong, a move analysts described as a warning to Beijing’s critics as the city grapples with a wave of anti-government protests. – Agence France-Presse

Chinese authorities are reportedly installing surveillance apps on tourists’ phones at certain border crossings that collect data and scan for a range of files, according to a sweeping new investigation. The New York Times, Vice’s Motherboard, The Guardian, Süddeutsche Zeitung and the German broadcaster NDR collaborated on an investigation into the methods used by China in its Xinjiang region, where the government has ramped up surveillance targeting its Uighur Muslim minority, forcing thousands into “reeducation” camps. – The Hill

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said Tuesday that he does not believe President Trump will be able to strike a trade deal with China, particularly if Chinese telecom firm Huawei is involved.  After a months-long stalemate, Trump announced this week that talks with Beijing had resumed with a goal of striking tariffs and resuming more open trade, but Scott, a former Florida governor, called Huawei a non-starter. – The Hill

Scott Kennedy writes: Beyond commerce, the Trump administration has framed the relationship with China in highly competitive terms, raising alarm bells about China’s growing military prowess, the South China Sea, greater repression at home and efforts to pilfer U.S. technology from universities and companies. Although there is no consensus in the United States on how to respond, many in Congress and the policy world echo these concerns. – Washington Post 

James Andrew Lewis writes: Does the Trump concession damage national security? No, not in the near term. Caving on trade will damage national security but allowing commodity or end items (for example, the Android software Huawei uses or the finished chips that power its phones) does not increase the risk to national security. It is important to deny Huawei and China access to technologies that provide more advanced production capabilities and avoid errors such as allowing Advanced Micro Devices’ (AMD) transfer of semiconductor technology. – Center for Strategic and International Studies 


Even by the standards of Afghanistan’s long war, the Taliban attack near a school that wounded dozens of schoolchildren on Monday stood out as unusually brutal, and expressions of outrage came thick and fast from governments around the world. – New York Times

Rival Afghans will meet Sunday in Qatar, officials said, in a fresh attempt to make political headway as the United States seeks a peace deal with the Taliban within three months. President Donald Trump said in an interview broadcast Monday that he wants to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan, but will leave a strong intelligence presence there to counter what he termed the “Harvard of terrorists.” – Agence France-Presse

Nearly two decades after a major U.S.-led military campaign toppled Afghanistan’s hard-line Taliban regime for hosting Al-Qaeda, senior U.S. and NATO officials are saying that the ultra-radical Islamic State (IS) militants in Afghanistan are a major threat capable of inspiring attacks in the West. – Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty

An all-Afghan peace summit has been set for July 7-8, although the talks in Qatar will apparently be held without the official participation of the Afghan government. – Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty


During the long month at the hospital, it was always the same nightmare. A deafening noise, followed by the world blasting into pieces. Then suddenly, Naresh Denilson’s eyes would open, his mind frozen with fear. In the daytime, his relatives came to visit. His parents were recovering, they told him, and his elder sister was in the intensive care unit. Just focus on getting better. – Washington Post

Japan’s decision to use its technology exports as a weapon in diplomatic combat signals a strategy upheaval for a resource-poor country long aware of its vulnerability in an interconnected world. A day after Tokyo said it would curb exports to South Korea of materials used by semiconductor and display makers there, concern was rising in Japan about damage to the global technology supply chain as well as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s carefully nurtured image as a standard-bearer of free trade. – Wall Street Journal

The Chinese government decried protests in Hong Kong as a “flagrant challenge” to the system under which it allows the territory a degree of autonomy, and it backed a crackdown on the “violent criminals” who rampaged through Hong Kong’s legislature. In another sign that it is increasingly tiring of restraint, Beijing also issued strong warnings to world powers to stay out of its domestic affairs, noting that Western countries have used “extremely strict” measures to quell protests. – Washington Post 

Confrontations and outbreaks of lawlessness in Hong Kong could damage its reputation as an international business hub and seriously hurt its economy, China’s top newspaper, the People’s Daily, said in an editorial on Wednesday. – Reuters

Chaotic scenes of protesters rampaging through Hong Kong’s legislature, trashing furniture and daubing graffiti over walls have sent jitters through the business community, which worries about the impact on the city’s status as a financial hub. – Reuters

Myanmar security forces and insurgents are committing human rights violations against civilians in restive western states that may amount to fresh war crimes, a United Nations investigator said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Christopher Clay writes: While New Delhi’s ultimate solution to the Trump puzzle is unclear, the government of India appears to have concluded it needs to make a tactical move, and point out that it can pull levers against the United States. In June, India imposed retaliatory tariffs on the United States. And in a generally upbeat visit by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to New Delhi last week, India’s new foreign minister appeared to suggest that U.S. arms sales to India — a multibillion-dollar priority for the Trump administration — could only “continue to grow” if “we display trust and confidence in each other.” – Washington Post 

Henri Féron writes: While Chinese president Xi Jinping may not have been physically present at the DMZ summit on June 30, he certainly loomed large over the historic gathering between President Donald Trump and the leaders of the two Koreas. The summit was not a simple photo-op arranged on the whim of a tweet. Instead, it was the culmination of a complex diplomatic process, which included a decisive intervention by Xi ten days earlier and a series of high-stakes meetings at the G20 in Osaka. The Chinese leader’s historic state visit to Pyongyang made it particularly urgent for the United States to act before any further erosion of its sanctions leverage in Korea. – The National Interest

Joseph Bosco writes: The anti-Beijing attitudes of the Hong Kong and Taiwan populations now are set in stone and there is no way the communist government can win back hearts and minds in either place, short of fundamentally changing its own anti-democratic mindset and behavior. As for the views of the mainland Chinese, that was demonstrated in the most vivid way by the tens of millions who protested for reform in over a hundred Chinese cities in 1988 and1989, as well as in the thousands of civil protests that occur each year over local or national issues. – The Hill 


Italy’s populist government, when it took power last year, appeared to present Russian President Vladimir Putin with everything he could want from a major Western European country. The new Italian leaders were anti-establishment chaos agents who were dubious about the European Union, NATO’s buildup in Eastern Europe and sanctions on Moscow. – Washington Post 

Russian President Vladimir Putin pulled out of an event on Tuesday to meet with his defense minister after a deadly incident involving a secretive Russian submarine. Around the same time Vice President Mike Pence abruptly canceled an event in New Hampshire to deal with affairs in Washington, the Kremlin announced Putin was meeting Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu after canceling an appearance at a tourism event. – Washington Examiner

The U.S. is ill-equipped to counter the increasingly brazen political warfare Russia is waging to undermine democracies, the Pentagon and independent strategists warn in a detailed assessment that happens to echo much bipartisan criticism of President Donald Trump’s approach to Moscow. – Politico 

Dimitri Alexander Simes writes: Moscow lauded last Friday’s meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Osaka as a modest victory. Although top Russian officials acknowledged that little had changed as a result of the meeting, they expressed tempered optimism about the tone of the two leader’s conversation. They are hopeful that if they show patience and manage to keep U.S.-Russian tensions from spiraling out of control, then Washington will eventually accept new détente without Moscow having to alter its course. – The National Interest


European leaders on Tuesday proposed awarding the powerful presidency of the European Commission to German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, putting a forceful advocate of transatlantic ties into the job at a time of international uncertainty. – Washington Post

European leaders on Tuesday tapped Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, to become the next head of the European Central Bank, a surprise choice that places a savvy politician and lawyer in a job typically held by an economist. – Washington Post 

The Trump administration has proposed placing tariffs on an additional $4 billion of imports from the European Union, including cherries, whiskey and coiled copper, in a further escalation of a 14-year fight over government aid for aviation companies. – New York Times

Italian F-35s flew training flights with American and British F-35s over southern Italy on Tuesday, ending a busy few days for joint training by nations flying the stealth fighter. – Defense News


Ethiopia’s mediator in the Sudan crisis urged the military rulers and the opposition coalition to hold direct talks on Wednesday to strike a deal on handing over power to civilians. – Reuters

The United States is resuming some assistance to a unit of the Somali military that is not working directly with U.S. forces, U.S. officials said on Tuesday, around 18 months after aid was suspended to such units over widespread corruption concerns. – Reuters 

The mass marches held in Sudan this week breathed new life into the uprising that toppled long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir, but the protesters and the ruling military council remain at an impasse amid fears the country could slide into further chaos. – Associated Press

Giorgio Cafiero and Khalid Al-Jaber write; Riyadh and Abu Dhabi have acted decisively in Sudan, driven by fear that a truly democratic revolution there could trigger popular protests in their own backyard. The Saudis and Emiratis believe that through continued support for Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC), the junta will have little incentive to share power with the protesters demanding civilian rule and democratization. – Middle East Institute


The longtime maker of license-plate scanners and other surveillance equipment used along the U.S. border was suspended Tuesday from federal contracting by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, who cited “evidence of conduct indicating a lack of business honesty or integrity,” federal records show. – Washington Post 

Beware the phishing attempts. An election security official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday warned top state election officials nationwide to safeguard against fraudulent emails targeting state and local election workers. The emails appear as if they come from a legitimate source and contain links that, if clicked, can open up election data systems to manipulation or attacks. Geoff Hale, director of the department’s Election Security Initiative, told a gathering of secretaries of state that the nation’s decentralized voting systems remain especially vulnerable to emails that can trick unsuspecting workers into providing access to elections databases. – Associated Press

Editorial: Today, it is clear those views were naive — as the people of Sudan, Myanmar and Ethi­o­pia recently discovered. The Internet in all three countries went dark after their governments decided to kill it when faced with internal crises. The disruptions showed that the Internet is not truly global; it can be switched off by national rulers. And maybe not just in relatively isolated corners of the world. Russia is also pondering whether it can build a kill switch, though the task would be more difficult in a large country with many connections to the world. – Washington Post 


Michael Rollinson rolled around a banked curve on Washington’s Anacostia Riverwalk Trail on his bicycle Tuesday, coming to a stop on a path overlooking train tracks. He’d found his target for pictures: tanks and other hulking military vehicles sitting below on rail cars. – Washington Post

A decorated Navy SEAL was acquitted Tuesday of murder in the killing of a wounded Islamic State captive under his care in Iraq in 2017. The verdict was met with an outpouring of emotion as the military jury also cleared Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher of attempted murder in the shootings of two civilians and all other charges except for posing for photos with the body of the dead captive. – Associated Press

Bipartisan legislation introduced Tuesday in the House seeks to stop the use of Department of Defense computer networks for sharing child pornography. The bill, called the End National Defense Network Abuse Act, was introduced in response to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation that showed over 5,000 individuals used Pentagon networks to access child pornography websites. Reps. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia and Mark Meadows of North Carolina introduced the legislation. – Washington Examiner

Almost nobody knows where they are at any given time, yet nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines quietly patrol dark domains of the undersea realm in strategically vital waters around the globe, bringing the prospect of unprecedented destruction upon potential enemies — all as a way to keep peace. – The National Interest

USS Stethem (DDG-63) returned U.S. 3rd Fleet over the weekend, as the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer steams its new homeport, San Diego, Calif. For the past 14 years, Stethem was part of the forward-deployed U.S. 7th Fleet force operating out of Yokosuka, Japan. In 2005, when Stethem first arrived in Japan, the destroyer operated alongside now decommissioned conventional-powered aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63). – USNI News

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) and its carrier strike group are getting ready for another deployment overseas, after completing a two-part deployment last year. The Truman Carrier Strike Group will begin another composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) soon, ahead of a deployment likely this fall. – USNI News