Fdd's overnight brief

June 14, 2022

In The News


Ukrainian troops struggled to repel Russian advances in the country’s Donbas region on Monday, as Kremlin forces pushed into areas key to Moscow’s goal of cementing its control of eastern Ukraine. – Washington Post  

The decline in nuclear weapon stockpiles seen since the Cold War is most likely coming to an end, an international arms research group said in a new report that noted the war in Ukraine as a factor. – Washington Post  

Losing ground to Russia’s brutal advance in the east, Ukraine on Monday demanded an arsenal of sophisticated Western weapons many times greater than what has been promised, or even discussed, underscoring the rising pressure on Western leaders to reconsider their approach to the war. – New York Times 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered global condemnation and tough sanctions aimed at denting Moscow’s war chest. Yet Russia’s revenues from fossil fuels, by far its biggest export, soared to records in the first 100 days of its war on Ukraine, driven by a windfall from oil sales amid surging prices, a new analysis shows. – New York Times 

The battle for Sievierodonetsk, which could fall to the Russians within days, is about far more than one city. Its capture would give Russia a key victory in its drive to seize the entire Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. – New York Times 

These are some of the questions testing the international alliance that swiftly rallied around Ukraine in the days after the Russian invasion but that, three months into the war, is straining. – Reuters 

Russian forces cut off all routes for evacuating citizens from the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk by destroying the last bridge linking it to a Ukrainian held city on the other side of the river, a Ukrainian official said. – Reuters 

Russia’s main goal of its military operation in Ukraine is to protect the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, the Kremlin said on Monday, after the leader of one of the separatist regions asked for additional forces from Moscow. – Reuters 

The Wikimedia Foundation, which owns Wikipedia, has filed an appeal against a Moscow court decision demanding that it remove information related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, arguing that people have a right to know the facts of the war. – Reuters   

Day after day, Russia is pounding the Donbas region of Ukraine with relentless artillery and air raids, making slow but steady progress to seize the industrial heartland of its neighbor. – Associated Press 

As 10-metre high mounds of sunflower meal smoulder among the blackened ruins of one of Ukraine’s top agricultural terminals, farmers in this front-line region are scrambling to survive a harvest under Russian fire. – Reuters 

Russia’s relentless shelling of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv with cluster munitions and scatterable land mines amounts to a war crime that indiscriminately killed hundreds of civilians, Amnesty International said on Monday. – Reuters   

At least five people were killed on Monday in the Russian-backed separatist Ukrainian region of Donetsk in what separatist officials said has been an upsurge in Ukrainian shelling. – Reuters 

Russia’s Defence Ministry said on Monday its missiles had destroyed a large quantity of weapons and military equipment in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, including some that had been sent by the United States and European nations. – Reuters  

Ukraine has lost a quarter of its arable land since Russia’s invasion, notably in the south and east, the deputy agriculture minister said Monday while insisting that food security is not threatened. – Agence France-Presse 

Ukraine’s National Guard has destroyed three of Russia’s multiple rocket launch systems (MLRS) using M777 howitzers, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry on Monday. – Newsweek 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has “dismissed” an official who spoke out against his invasion of Ukraine. – Newsweek 

Some Russian oligarchs are worried that attending Vladimir Putin’s annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will make them targets for Western sanctions amid the ongoing Ukraine war, according to a report. – Newsweek 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been waging a devastating war in Ukraine for over three months now. But if Ukraine falls, he won’t stop there, Mikhail Kasyanov, who served as Putin’s first prime minister, said in an explosive new interview on Monday. – The Daily Beast 

Russia’s seaborne crude flows are taking on a new pattern as Moscow seeks to deal with impending European sanctions on its exports. India has moved from being an insignificant buyer of Russian crude to the second-biggest destination for shipments, behind only China. – Bloomberg  

The US government is quietly encouraging agricultural and shipping companies to buy and carry more Russian fertilizer, according to people familiar with the efforts, as sanctions fears have led to a sharp drop in supplies, fueling spiraling global food costs. – Bloomberg  

Russia has increased its occupied territory in neighboring Ukraine threefold since its invasion began over three months ago. – Washington Examiner  

Russian forces could be just weeks away from seizing control of the key Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine — as Ukrainian officials continued to appeal for more heavy weapons and ammunition from the West. – New York Post 

National police in Ukraine are investigating more than 12,000 civilian deaths since the start of the Russian invasion in February. – New York Post   

Max Boot writes: Don’t worry about depleting our stockpiles; we can always produce more later. And don’t worry about provoking Putin; nothing would be more provocative than a Ukrainian defeat. We have a strategic and moral imperative to step up now to help Ukraine prevail in its fight for freedom. It is our fight, too. – Washington Post 

Max Strasser writes: This project doesn’t just reflect on history and memory or the layers of destruction and oblivion in Ukraine. It also helps us understand why the work that Rokmaniko, Weizman and their colleagues do is crucial — because the collection and preservation of evidence, the written and visual record for history, are acts of resistance, ways to fight against brutality. They are also acts of hope. – New York Times 

Jagoda Marinić writes: The longer Germany, the most powerful and influential country on the continent, hesitates, the more devastation Mr. Putin can unleash. There should be no more time for delay. – New York Times 

Alexei Bayer writes: Time will come when NATO will have to fight Russia. Today, it still has a chance to do so under favorable conditions – the way Britain and France could have done when Hitler threatened Czechoslovakia. The alternative for NATO, just like for Britain and France back then, is to wait and hope that Putin will be satisfied with Ukraine and then to fight a longer, bloodier war against a stronger, emboldened Russia, which like Hitler after his early successes will have more allies and more resources. Ironically, trying to avoid a nuclear confrontation now will greatly increase the likelihood of one later. – Jerusalem Post 

Paul M. Barrett writes: Given YouTube’s scale — users post more than 1 billion hours of video daily — and the unfortunate human appetite for incendiary, bigoted and conspiratorial material, the platform is never going to be free of troubling content. But it is high time that YouTube takes more responsibility for decreasing the negative side effects that its lucrative business imposes on the U.S. and societies around the world. – The Hill  

Ben Dubow writes: Surrounded by yes-men and deluded by the success in Crimea eight years earlier, Putin expected Ukrainians to welcome invading Russians as liberators and brothers. What he found instead was a people proud of their independent history and willing to fight for their homeland. Now, to make reality of his illusions, Putin must rewrite his neighbors’ history. And thus, a Russian army straining every fiber, bogged down with materiel shortages and diminishing manpower must devote resources to elementary school history classes, or else lose all rationale for its unwanted and bloody presence. – Center for European Policy Analysis  


Shortly after Iran signed its landmark nuclear deal with world powers, experts at the UN atomic watchdog travelled across the nation, installing tamper-proof surveillance cameras at the Islamic republic’s nuclear facilities. – Financial Times 

Iran said Monday that all measures it has taken to roll back its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers are “reversible.” – Agence France-Presse 

An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said Monday that any “response” the Islamic Republic would make against Israel would take place inside Israel, a day after it was reported that Israeli and Turkish security agencies last month uncovered an Iranian plot to kidnap Israeli tourists in Turkey. – Times of Israel 

Two IRGC Aerospace Force officers whose deaths were announced Sunday were engaged in “developing arms for Lebanon’s Hezbollah,” Iran International has learned. Ali Kamani and Mohammad Abdus, both Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace engineers, “were not killed in accidents” as the Islamic Republic claimed, an informed source told Iran International on Monday. – Iran International 

Iran has denied that a Boeing 747 impounded in Argentina over links with the Revolutionary Guard belongs to any Iranian aviation company. – Iran International 

Iran said an agreement with the US that could help revive the 2015 nuclear deal was “within reach,” days after its decision to further restrict monitoring of atomic sites prompted warnings that the pact was almost beyond saving. – Bloomberg  

Fred Shaheen writes: The Iranian people aren’t America’s enemy and deserve to travel on safe aircraft that aren’t held together with government-approved black-market parts and operated long past their life expectancies. Unfortunately, a change in that reality can’t happen under the current Iranian regime without imperiling U.S. national security. – Wall Street Journal 


Throughout the country, millions of lives are similarly threatened. Childhood malnutrition is on the rise, and nearly half of all Afghans don’t have enough to eat, according to the latest figures from the United Nations. – Washington Post 

The Air Force has cleared the crew of an American military C-17 cargo plane that took off from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul last August with people hanging onto the wings, during the frenzied days of the Afghanistan evacuation. – New York Times 

Natalie Gonnella-Platts and Teresa Casale write: The ongoing exclusion of at-risk women from U.S. and global evacuation and resettlement pathways is a glaring failure even as the world pays lip service to the ideals of the women, peace and security agenda. Afghan women are fighting for their lives against both the brutality of the Taliban and the indifference of the international community. While we can’t change what has happened, we can commit to do far more to support them and their families. – The Hill  


NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday he was “glad” that the Swedish government has confirmed its “readiness to address Turkey’s concerns as part of assuming the obligations of future NATO membership.” – Associated Press 

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Turkey will be relieved of the burden caused by inflation and will leave behind its problems from February-March next year. – Reuters 

Count NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg among the early adopters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s preferred name for his country. – Washington Examiner 

Elisabeth Braw writes: Either way, if governments create a maritime corridor, a small group of shipping companies and maritime insurers are likely to take on the challenge. They will, of course, do so for a price, which will be passed on to consumers. But before assuming that a diplomatic deal will release the trapped grain, Turkey would do well to consult the maritime industry. It would be an anticlimax if Ankara thought it was solving a looming food crisis and no ships turned up to transport the grain. – Financial Times 

Abigail R. Esman writes: All of which leaves Turkey – and potentially Europe – at a critical turning point. Looking toward next year’s elections, it’s clear that Erdogan is truly vulnerable for the first time in his 22 years in power. His poll numbers already suffer from the country’s economic woes. At the same time, should he be re-elected and the immigrant problem continue, it is Turkey’s secularism that will be most at risk. – Arutz Sheva 


Hussein al-Sheikh, a senior Palestinian official increasingly seen as a successor to the 86-year-old President Mahmoud Abbas, says relations with Israel have gotten so bad that Palestinian leaders cannot go on with business as usual. – Associated Press 

Israel raised its Istanbul travel advisory to the highest level on Monday because of what it said was a threat of Iranian attempts to kill or abduct Israelis vacationing in Turkey. – Reuters  

Israel and India are preparing to resume talks on a free trade agreement, Israel’s Economy Ministry said on Monday, adding that an Indian delegation had arrived in Jerusalem to discuss framework rules and coordinate expectations for negotiations. – Reuters  

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi landed in Israel on Monday, as the EU seeks to wean itself off Russian fossil fuel imports. – Agence France-Presse 

Several Israelis visiting Istanbul were reportedly whisked out of Turkey last week by Israeli security officials, who were acting on intelligence showing that the visitors were at immediate risk from Iranian assassins. – Times of Israel 

Nine members of the German Bundestag’s Interior and Homeland Committee are in Israel to enhance security cooperation in meetings with Israeli officials. – Jerusalem Post  

Israel on Monday secured the opposition of 22 nations to the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) against it, as the probe’s chairwoman blamed it for the conflict with the Palestinians and called for an arms embargo against the Jewish state. – Jerusalem Post  

The political ground beneath the leaders of both Israel and the U.S. looks shaky. In Israel, the year-old coalition government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett appears to be losing its grip on power amid several defections — including one from a member of his own party. – Jewish Insider 

Editorial: Israel proposed such a test — with Palestinian Authority participation and under U.S. observation. The Palestinian Authority has unfortunately refused to release even imagery of the bullet, seeing an opportunity not to call Israel’s bluff but “to deprive them of a new lie, a new narrative,” as the Palestinian Authority attorney general put it. We do not see how Israel could manipulate the process if U.S. experts were indeed involved at every step. It’s the best realistic alternative — and the Biden administration should engage with both parties to make it happen. – Washington Post 

David Makovsky writes: A few main lessons have emerged from the coalition government’s first year in power. First, it has demonstrated that parties can work together across the aisle when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not center stage—and that doing so can improve ties with Washington and the Gulf states. Paradoxically, however, this conflict affects too much of Israel’s daily life for it to be ignored altogether, especially when members of the right-wing political opposition are willing to exploit the situation tactically by voting alongside parties that run counter to their central tenets. – Washington Institute  

Omri Nahmias writes: “Biden should be telling [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas: You can join normalization efforts and lead your people into greater prosperity and security or you can continue to obstruct, incite and deflect,” said Dubowitz. “That will guarantee only more misery and violence, the collapse of the PA and the rise of Hamas on the West Bank.” – Jerusalem Post 

Jenny Aharon writes: The bottom line is, if the EU really believed that voluntarily settling in what it considers as an occupied area is contrary to international law, it would have used the same legal language to condemn all settlers in all occupied territories, starting with the Turkish settlers in Northern Cyprus as this is EU soil. Israel needs to defend its legal rights by exposing the singular legal standard the EU uses to only condemn Israel. It is time to push back and set the record straight before the EU applies its discovered powers against Israel. – Jerusalem Post 

James M. Dorsey writes: The question for Saudi Arabia and Pakistan is not whether either country will recognize Israel, but when and who will go first. For the past two years, Saudi Arabia was believed to want a Muslim state in Asia to recognize Israel first. Asian recognition would give the kingdom a welcome fig leaf. – Algemeiner 

Gulf States

Seven months of efforts to form a new government in Iraq were in turmoil on Monday, a day after the powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr directed members of Parliament who are loyal to him to resign from the seats they won in an October election. – New York Times 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visited Kuwait on Monday and spoke to the small, oil-rich nation’s crown prince, state media reported. – Associated Press 

Editorial: Western democracies’ reliance on oil-rich autocrats was always something of a Faustian pact as they turned a blind eye to rights abuses. In the rush to secure alternative supplies to Russian oil and gas they should avoid replicating the mistakes of the past — and not give the likes of MBS a free ride. – Financial Times 

Middle East & North Africa

Algeria’s decision to suspend a friendship treaty with Spain last week was not surprising because Algiers is increasingly aligning itself with Russia, Spanish Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said on Monday. – Reuters 

Lebanon is preparing to offer a compromise to U.S. energy envoy Amos Hochstein to resolve a dispute with Israel over maritime gas resources, three Lebanese officials with knowledge of the negotiations told Reuters. – Reuters 

The chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces on Sunday warned that Hezbollah has placed Lebanon in great danger by spreading itself across the country and embedding weapons in civilian areas. – Algemeiner 

Israel has threatened Syrian President Basher al-Assad with bombing his palaces if he does not cease or reduce military cooperation with Iran within his territory, the Arabic news site Elaph late Monday reported. – Jerusalem Post 

Ahmed Charai writes: Washington and Moscow vied for influence, but then Washington undercut Soviet economic influence and ousted Moscow from the region with the Camp David Accords in 1978.  A similar bold move could help to prevent America’s great-power enemies from penetrating the region today. Biden’s upcoming visit presents perhaps the greatest opportunity of his presidency to make a positive and historic achievement. He should take it. – The Hill 

Nima Khorrami writes: Equally significant, failure could also cost the United States a great deal of strategic, diplomatic, and commercial influence in the region as Beijing might very well seek to fill the leadership vacuum. […]Above all, however, Washington’s indifference toward the looming environmental crisis in the Middle East could have serious repercussions for its technological rivalry with China. Technologies like AI and smart infrastructure are set to play a key role in shaping states’ understanding of the effects of climate change as well as preventive efforts, and therefore passive engagement with regional actors could further boost China’s status as the region’s leading technology supplier and partner of choice. – Middle East Institute  

Korean Peninsula

North Korea fired artillery shells into the sea on the heels of a major party meeting in Pyongyang during which leader Kim Jong Un called for boosting the country’s military, according to the South Korean military. – Washington Post 

The Biden administration is “prepared to make both short and longer-term adjustments to our military posture” to respond to provocations from North Korea, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday. – CNN 

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan has raised concerns with China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi over Beijing’s veto at the United Nations of a U.S.-led push to impose more sanctions on North Korea, a senior U.S. official said. – Reuters 

The United States will maintain pressure on North Korea until Pyongyang changes course, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday, while his South Korean counterpart urged China to persuade the North not to resume nuclear testing. – Reuters 

South Korea’s top diplomat said Monday that North Korea has completed preparations for a new nuclear test and that only a political decision by the country’s top leadership can prevent it from going forward. – Associated Press 


The United Nations’ top human-rights advocate said she wouldn’t seek a second term, following a barrage of sharp criticism from Western officials and activists over her handling of alleged rights violations in China. – Wall Street Journal 

China’s defence minister began his speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue security conference by claiming inaccurately that China had never started a war against another country. – Financial Times 

A bipartisan group of lawmakers said on Monday they have agreed on a proposal that would give the U.S. government sweeping new powers to block billions in U.S. investment into China, although the measure is part of a broader bill with an uncertain future. – Reuters 

China’s bid to set up a security pact with Pacific island countries should be considered by a regional forum, the leaders of Samoa and New Zealand said on Tuesday, weeks after the Solomon Islands sparked uproar by signing a deal with China. – Reuters 

China’s ambassador to Australia says relations between the two countries are at a “new juncture” with the election of a new Australian government and the first minister-to-minister talks in more than two years. – Associated Press 

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Monday that his meeting with China’s defense minister was an important step in efforts to develop lines of communication between the two militaries. – Reuters 

President Joe Biden’s administration is looking to foster renewed diplomacy with China with a close eye on the nuclear threat looming over the Korean Peninsula, a subject of the latest talks between top officials from Washington and Beijing. – Newsweek 

China’s semiconductor industry is showing signs of flourishing even in the face of Biden administration efforts to counter its growth, raising alarm bells in Washington. – Bloomberg 

China’s assertions that the Taiwan Strait doesn’t qualify as international waters raises tensions over the nautical flash point, through which US warships transit in a symbolic challenge to Beijing’s territorial claims over the democratically governed island. – Bloomberg  

Rivals for centuries, China and Russia now have a partnership that has “no limits,” Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin said in early February. – Bloomberg  

Rana Foroohar writes: But government has a still bigger role to play. Passing the Bipartisan Innovation Act to support chip production and using federal budgets to support as much domestic demand as possible is a no-brainer. Whatever happens with tariffs and inflation, America’s biggest long-term opportunity and challenge is to rebalance production and consumption. – Financial Times 

Andrew Bremberg writes: No one expects the Human Rights Council to become a beacon of freedom and justice. Yet we should still expect the council to do its job and debate real human rights abuses, particularly the most egregious violations. The latest evidence decisively dispels Beijing’s longstanding denials and obfuscations. If the U.S. and its international partners don’t make Communist China’s oppression in Xinjiang a main focus of the council’s new session, then it’s hard to see it ever happening. – Newsweek 

Mihir Sharma writes: Each Chinese fumble reminds policy makers in capitals such as New Delhi or Jakarta that even if the US is inwardly focused and Europe is self-righteous, these may in the long-term be less deadly sins than China’s determined unwillingness to compromise. The US isn’t the only great power that should be reflecting on its mistakes and missed opportunities right now. – Bloomberg  

Benedict Rogers writes: The United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights is one of the world’s custodians of justice, civil liberties, and accountability. Navi Pillay initiated a U.N. inquiry into crimes against humanity in North Korea. Zeid Raad Al Hussein called for an International Criminal Court probe into atrocities committed against Rohingyas in Myanmar. In contrast, Michelle Bachelet, who has just announced she won’t stand for a second term as high commissioner, whitewashed the crimes of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. – Foreign Policy  

Janko Scepanovic writes: Significantly, in a show of solidarity and respect for Russia’s nominal role of a “sheriff,” China expressed support for the Collective Security Treaty Organization’s peacekeeping mission in Kazakhstan. This and Russia’s lack of objection to China’s bilateral security assistance to Tajikistan are part and parcel of the two states’ synchronized vision for Central Asian security. – War on the Rocks 


Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine has jolted Taiwan into confronting the specter of a sudden attack from the island’s own larger and more powerful neighbor: China. – New York Times 

One Tajik border guard was killed and three were wounded in a clash with Kyrgyz border guards on Tuesday, four Tajik security sources told Reuters, a new bout of violence between Russia’s Central Asian allies. – Reuters  

For more than two decades, Australia’s republican crusade to replace Queen Elizabeth as head of state with one of its own citizens was waged by a handful of “winter soldiers fighting to keep the flame alive”. – Financial Times 

China needs to lift its sanctions on Australia to improve relations, Australia’s prime minister said on Tuesday, as he welcomed as “a good thing” the first talks between ministers from the two countries in almost three years. – Reuters 

China and New Zealand foreign ministers spoke on a video call late on Monday and discussed China’s role in the Pacific region, the two countries confirmed in separate statements. – Reuters 

A Cambodian court handed down jail sentences on Tuesday to about 60 opposition figures including prominent lawyer Theary Seng for conspiring to commit treason, in a mass trial condemned by the United States and rights groups as politically motivated. – Reuters 

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with Thailand’s prime minister on Monday as part of an effort to strengthen what Austin says is Washington’s “unparalleled network of alliances and partnerships” in the region. – Associated Press 

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has downplayed the possibility of a reset in relations with the Chinese government after a high-profile meeting between the two countries on Sunday, saying Beijing must first lift sanctions on a wide-range of Australian exports. – Bloomberg   

Emily Schrader writes: The implications of their success would be profound not just for Kazakhstan, which is Central Asia’s economic motor, but for the whole region and beyond. The Tokayev reforms present an opportunity to set an example of a true alternative to authoritarianism. – Jerusalem Post 

Lucas Myers writes: The Solomon Islands would certainly constitute a prime location for a Chinese military base. A formal base–or more likely in the short term, guaranteed military access to logistics facilities–would facilitate Chinese power projection into Oceania within striking distance of vital sea lines of communication (SLOCs) near Australia and New Zealand – Foreign Policy 


Boris Johnson’s government on Monday introduced legislation that threatens to rip out a central plank of the very Brexit deal the prime minister hailed as a victory — the agreement with the European Union that controls how goods move between Britain and Northern Ireland. – Washington Post 

For decades, European industry relied on Russia to supply low-cost oil and natural gas that kept the continent’s factories humming. – Wall Street Journal  

Britain told the European Union on Tuesday there was no reason for its negative reaction to London’s plan to override some post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland, after Brussels threatened legal action. – Reuters 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy asked Olaf Scholz to show full-throated support for Kyiv, charging the German Chancellor with being too concerned about the repercussions that would have for Berlin’s ties with Moscow. – Reuters 

The EU should focus on providing immediate help to Ukraine rather than engaging in “legal debates” about whether to designate the country as a candidate for membership, according to Portugal’s prime minister. – Financial Times 

The European Union in May registered a steep rise of illegal entries from the Western Balkans into the 27-nation bloc, the EU border agency Frontex said on Monday. – Reuters  

The European Union will not renegotiate the Northern Ireland protocol agreement, European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic said on Monday, in response to Britain’s decision to override some of the post-Brexit trade rules for the region.- Reuters  

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told his British counterpart Liz Truss on Monday that her plans to override parts of the Northern Ireland protocol would create a whole new set of uncertainties and mark a low point in its approach to Brexit.- Reuters 

British foreign minister Liz Truss told the European Union’s Maros Sefcovic on Monday the bloc must be willing to change post-Brexit rules governing trade with Northern Ireland, repeating that London wanted a “negotiated solution”. – Reuters     

French President Emanuel Macron is calling on neighboring nations to support the continent’s defense-industrial base before looking abroad. – Defense News 

Gideon Rachman writes: Unfortunately, however, there is no guarantee that Ukraine can achieve this kind of victory — or that either side will stop fighting, if the February 24 lines are reached. In Ukraine, as in Vietnam, the definition of victory is dangerously elusive and the result may be a long, brutal war of attrition. – Financial Times 


After 10 years of outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta’s rule, a faltering economy and rising prices, shopkeeper Betty Kagwiria wants to vote for change in this year’s elections in Kenya. – Financial Times 

Armed men killed at least 100 civilians in a rural district of northern Burkina Faso close to the border with Niger over the weekend, a security source said. – Reuters 

Tribal clashes over the past week in Sudan’s war-ravaged Darfur have killed around 100 people, the U.N. refugee agency and a tribal elder said Monday, the latest surge in violence in the restive region. – Associated Press 

Joe Bruhl writes: While the United States is playing catch-up in many areas, all is not lost. The United States still holds comparative advantages over Russia and China. Developing a strategy that leverages these advantages — by focusing on what it does best — will enable the United States to make up ground quickly and emerge as a leading partner with Africa in building the next century. – War on the Rocks 

The Americas

Mexico’s president slammed NATO’s policy on the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Monday, calling it “immoral.” – Associated Press  

Cuba said on Monday it has sanctioned 381 people, including 16 young people between the ages of 16 and 18, who participated in last summer’s protests, the Communist-run island’s largest since Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution. – Reuters  

The U.S. State Department imposed visa restrictions Monday on 93 more Nicaraguan officials for their role in supporting the regime of President Daniel Ortega. – Associated Press 


The U.S. Army will double the size of its active-duty cyber forces by the end of the decade as the Pentagon shifts its focus from counterinsurgency and prepares for future fights with technologically savvy opponents, officials said. – C4ISRNET 

An established Chinese hacking group known for targeting telecommunications, finance and government organizations around the world has developed a “new, difficult-to-detect” remote access trojan it is using as part of its espionage activities, researchers with Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 said in research published Monday. – CyberScoop 

Ransomware groups and nation-state actors have begun exploiting a widespread zero-day vulnerability in all supported versions of Atlassian Confluence Server and Data Center unveiled late last month, according to Microsoft. – The Record 


Russia’s war in Ukraine is making clear to the U.S. Department of Defense that it must get logistics and sustainment right in the Pacific theater, the Pentagon’s No. 2 civilian said Monday. – Defense News  

HII has combined its expertise in building ships and unmanned vessels to create a launch and recovery system that will allow the U.S. Navy’s amphibious fleet to serve as unmanned motherships. – Defense News 

The Navy’s top civilian leader issued formal administrative punishments to five senior officers for their part in the fatal 2020 sinking of a Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicle that killed eight Marines and a Navy corpsman, officials confirmed Monday. – USNI News 

The Navy and Marine Corps are holding aviation safety standdowns following three crashes this month, including two that were fatal. The Navy’s standdown is so the service can “review risk-management practices and conduct training on threat and error-management processes,” according to a Saturday statement from Naval Air Forces. – USNI News 

Carlos Del Toro writes: In my years of service, I learned one hard and fast rule of leadership: You must lead with empathy and from a place of commonality. A leader’s duty is to be a force for positive change, even under the most difficult of circumstances. The Navy-Marine Corps team has a proud tradition of leading — and succeeding — even when the odds seem long. I see the same instinct in my fellow Pacific leaders. We know that by working together we can contribute to and learn together as we face the climate crisis together. – Defense News  

Dan Caldwell and Russ Vought write: This is particularly true when neither state enhances U.S. security and both have benefited from neutrality for decades. The lack of robust debate around this important topic and the smearing of those who dare to question the benefits of NATO expansion only raises the risk that the United States will become overextended, or worse, potentially sleep-walk into a war with a nuclear-armed Russia. After decades of foreign policy failures that have cost the United States dearly, America’s elected officials owe the American people better than more costly security commitments disconnected from our safety and economic prosperity. – Fox News 

John E. Whitley writes: The Army has the clearest and most consistent modernization plan in the Pentagon, and it is producing results. The Army is testing directed energy weapons this year, will field the first U.S. hypersonic weapon battery next year, and is leading the world in advancing capabilities in vertical lift, armored vehicles, artillery and small arms. […]Our soldiers and marines will pay the price if we fail to prepare for the next war. Let’s not let them down. – The Hill 

Zachary Kallenborn writes: Ultimately, preventing autonomous weapons proliferation is likely to be a vexing challenge in which the technical and geopolitical context will play a major role. But if AI and autonomous weapons are the future of warfare, then the United States has no choice but to grapple with these complexities. – The National Interest 

David Johnson writes: There is a great deal at stake, not only for the Army but more broadly for the United States and its allies. Given the centrality of land forces in viable deterrence and defense regimes, the Army must get it right with multi-domain operations. – War on the Rocks 

Long War

The mutinous soldiers who ousted Burkina Faso’s democratically elected president early this year vowed they would do a better job at stopping the jihadi violence rocking the country. Five months later, however, attacks are increasing and patience with the junta appears to be waning. – Associated Press  

On the Islamic State (ISIS)-operated rocket.chat server, a user on the channel dedicated to topics of information security published a post on June 10, 2022 describing the work and capture of Moises Luis Zagala Gonzalez, a Venezuelan hacker who was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice in May with designing, using, and selling ransomware. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

In reaction to statements by leaders of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against Muhammad, the founder of Islam, the Islamic State’s Khurasan Province (ISIS-K) has released a magazine urging Muslims to wage jihad against those it deems blasphemers, and questions the Afghan Taliban’s commitment to Islam for their failure to send teams to India to kill them. – Middle East Media Research Institute