Fdd's overnight brief

June 17, 2020

In The News


An Iranian businessman accused of conducting financial transactions that violated U.S. sanctions has pleaded guilty, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday. – Wall Street Journal

The United States believes an extension of an arms embargo on Iran, currently due to expire in October under a 2015 nuclear deal, should be done so indefinitely without a fixed date, a top U.S. official overseeing diplomacy with Tehran said on Tuesday. – Reuters

The United States would like a face-to-face meeting with Iran to discuss prisoner releases and it wants the U.N. Security Council to impose an indefinite arms embargo on the Islamic Republic, a senior U.S. diplomat said on Tuesday. – Reuters

France said it was working with Britain and Germany to see the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog board of governors push Iran this week to cooperate fully and immediately to grant its inspectors access to sites Tehran has so far refused them to visit. – Reuters

The black-turbaned senior cleric first heard that coronavirus might have spread to Qom about two weeks before official confirmation that the holy city had become the second global centre for the disease after China’s Wuhan. – Financial Times

An exhibition of anti-U.S. cartoons in Tehran titled “I Can’t Breathe,” that opened June 12, 2020, was billed by its organizers as a condemnation of the U.S. racism exemplified by the May 2020 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis while in police custody. – Middle East Media Research Institute

Iran has criticized a plan to put forward a resolution at a meeting of the UN’s nuclear watchdog urging the country to allow inspectors access to two disputed sites. European states are expected to submit the resolution at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) board of governors meeting in Vienna this week. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

Mariam Memarsadeghi writes: The West must see disinformation from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and other regime officials about their power — and about American weakness — as signs of their growing desperation, and must act concertedly now to strategize Iran’s impending transition so that it is one toward human dignity and peace with the world, not chaos and instability.  – The Hill


New US sanctions against the Syrian government aim to “starve” the country and its neighbor Lebanon, the head of the Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah said Tuesday. – Times of Israel 

Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Tuesday that dollar injections were needed to shore up the pound currency and accused the United States of preventing dollars from reaching the crisis-hit country. – Reuters

As the economic crisis in Lebanon worsens, Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah warned that if the situation becomes one of starvation versus weapons, the terrorist movement will keep its weapons. – Jerusalem Post


New U.S. sanctions on Syria are set to take effect Wednesday, targeting anyone who aids the government of ­President Bashar al-Assad or provides assistance to certain industries operating inside ­government-held territory. – Washington Post 

The United States will impose sanctions on Wednesday aimed at cutting off revenue for Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s government in a bid to push it back into United Nations-led negotiations and broker an end to the country’s nearly decade-long war. – Reuters

On June 11, 2020, OGN TV (Syria) uploaded to its YouTube channel an interview with Chechen military contractor Ali Shishani, the leader of Malhama Tactical, a group based in Syria that trains Syrian rebels. […]Shishani said that the Jihad in Syria has tremendous potential and that the factions should unite into a single military-political force with a unified army and competent leadership. – Middle East Media Research Institute

A notorious Islamic State recruiter who has been linked to terrorist attacks in Sweden, Russia, and Tajikistan, has gone missing from a prison in northern Syria, according to people with knowledge of his detention. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty


Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited Israel on Tuesday in a show of confidence in the countries’ anti-coronavirus measures which Athens hopes can be translated into a resumption of tourism. – Reuters

Almost 50 UN human rights experts have condemned Israel’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, calling it a “vision of a 21st Century apartheid”. – BBC 

A top Hamas official denounced on Tuesday Israel’s planned annexation of parts of the West Bank and called for an “intifada” in response. – Algemeiner

The Yesha Council has published US President Donald Trump’s annexation map to show how a road system could eliminate the danger of enclave settlements and prevent both a building freeze and the ultimate demolition of at least 15 settlements. – Jerusalem Post

Differences between the two main parties in Israel’s unity government could end up derailing the plan to annex parts of the West Bank, with associates of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fearing the internal disagreements will cause the United States to back out of supporting the move, a report said Wednesday. – Times of Israel

Palestinian security services have been destroying secret documents, fearing possible Israeli raids on their offices as the Jewish State weighs annexing parts of the occupied West Bank, Palestinian security sources say. – Agence France-Presse

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday that Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank would “amount to a breach of international law.” – Associated Press

Joshua Mitnick writes: Though it’s the Israel-China infrastructure projects that most often grab headlines—experts say they expose Israel to remote cyberstrikes from China—many others believe that Chinese investment in Israeli technology represents an even more serious concern. The United States is increasingly trying to block China’s access to cyber-innovations, artificial intelligence, and digital health technologies. – Foreign Policy 

Matthew Mainen writes: After years of refusing to negotiate in good faith, the Palestinians have adopted a strategy of extracting concessions from Israel through pressure in the international arena. In this regard, the Palestinian Authority joined the ICC and requested an examination of its conflict with Israel. The court has proven to be an all-too-sympathetic forum. – Washington Examiner


Jordan’s King Abdullah has turned to the US Congress to help halt Israeli annexation plans, holding conference calls with its leaders to underscore the danger it poses to the region and to his country’s peace treaty with Israel. – Jerusalem Post

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations urged King Abdullah of Jordan to extradite Ahlam Tamimi, the terrorist behind the 2001 Sbarro bombing in Jerusalem that murdered 15 innocent people, including two American citizens. – Jerusalem Post

King Abdullah’s Jordan seems to have a weakness for terrorists who kill Israelis, so much so that it appears to be on a collision course with its greatest ally, the United States, over the extradition of Ahlam Tamimi. – Jerusalem Post 

Alex Winston and Omri Nahmias write: Will the US consider withholding assistance to Jordan as leverage to secure the extradition of a terrorist wanted in connection with an attack that killed American citizens? Henry Wooster, US President Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as ambassador to Jordan, said in a response to questions posed by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) that “all options” are on the table. The story was first reported by AP. – Jerusalem Post

Gulf States

A World Trade Organization panel ordered Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to adhere to global intellectual property rules in a ruling on a dispute with Qatar which accuses Riyadh of blocking its broadcaster after the Gulf neighbours fell out in 2017. – Reuters 

The United Arab Emirates can work with Israel on some areas, including fighting the new coronavirus and on technology, while still having political differences with the state, a senior official said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said it intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile fired by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement towards the south of the kingdom on Tuesday after intercepting several drones launched the previous night. – Reuters

A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition fighting in Yemen asked the United Nations on Tuesday to share details of its accusations that the coalition was responsible for 222 child deaths or injuries last year so it could investigate. – Reuters


Bodies of children were among those found in the Libyan town of Tarhouna after eastern-based forces and their local allies withdrew this month, Red Crescent and Tripoli government officials said on Tuesday. – Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the conflict in Libya and the situation in the eastern Mediterranean in a video call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Merkel’s spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday. – Reuters

Turkey angrily accused France on Tuesday of exacerbating the crisis in Libya and violating U.N. and NATO decisions by supporting the forces of Khalifa Haftar against the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA). – Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that Moscow would welcome efforts by Washington to use its influence to help reach a ceasefire in Libya, the RIA news agency reported. – Reuters

It is nearly nine years since the death of Muammar al-Gaddafi, splintering Libya into a protracted conflict of contested rulers and warring militias. […]Compounding the LNA versus GNA war theater is the notion that Libya is also beleaguered by scores of terrorist militia groups, including an ISIS presence, all competing for land, resources, fighters and control. – Fox News

Middle East & North Africa

Turkey says it has airlifted troops for a cross-border ground operation against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq. A Defense Ministry statement said Wednesday the airborne operation in Iraq’s Haftanin region was launched following “intense” artillery fire into the area. – Associated Press 

The European Union’s foreign policy chief effectively rejected President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan and asked the United States to join a new international effort to broker a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. – Jerusalem Post 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: The more Ankara seeks to channel this message of Islamic unity on world issues, the more it appears to be gravitating toward Iran – even though the countries are ostensibly on different sides in Syria. For example, Turkey’s one-time objections to the role of Shi’ite militias in Iraq have dissipated. Ankara is currently laser-focused on fighting the PKK in Iraq and Syria, and on using a new role in Libya to gain military bases and an energy foothold. – Jerusalem Post

Barah Mikail writes: Iraq today is marked by a hybrid form of politics wherein nationalism and sectarianism coexist. When Iraqis flood the streets in protest, they put nationalism over sectarian feelings; however, when they go to the polls, they tend to favor candidates that reflect their ethnoreligious affinities. Whereas fears of a looming sectarian-based territorial fragmentation of the country might be justified, the hybridity of Iraq’s identity politics may be the best guarantee for preserving Iraq’s territorial integrity, and for limiting the damage caused by the mediocrity of the political elite. – Middle East Institute 

Korean Peninsula

North Korea on Wednesday rejected South Korea’s offer to send special envoys to ease escalating tensions over defector activity and stalled reconciliation efforts and vowed to redeploy troops to border areas. – Reuters

The Kremlin said on Tuesday it was concerned about the situation on the Korean peninsula and called for restraint from all sides after North Korea destroyed an inter-Korean liaison office. – Reuters

China’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that Beijing hopes for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, amid escalating tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang. – Reuters

North Korea fields a dizzying number of weapons, both small arms and more complex systems like tanks and airplanes. The common thread connecting these weapons together? Almost all of them are copies of other country’s designs. Tanks? Soviet copy. Airplanes? Soviet surplus. Standard issue rifles? Soviet copy. But, one of their own indigenous inventions is a large-capacity magazine. – The National Interest 

Salvatore Babones writes: For the truth is that almost anything could happen in a febrile North Korea, ranging from a missile shot over Japan to a complete collapse of the Kim regime. The North’s nominal reason for the cutting of the phone lines and demolition of the liaison office is that South Korea has allowed North Korean defectors to float anti-regime leaflets (along with bottles of water and bags of rice) over the border in an improvised balloon airlift, but the South has actually arrested many of those responsible. – The National Interest


U.S. lawmakers and policymakers should be wary of China’s moves to target vulnerable U.S. assets and expand its market share in the wake of the global economic crisis triggered by the novel coronavirus, according to a study prepared for a U.S. trade group and released on Tuesday. – Reuters

A Harvard University professor pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges that he lied to U.S. authorities about his ties to a China-run recruitment program and funding he received from the Chinese government for research. – Reuters

Michael Sobolik writes: No one knows how the U.S.-China relationship will evolve in the next month, let alone the coming decade. In this way, policymaking is always a gamble of sorts. But if you know your opponent has a losing hand, playing the odds becomes easier. When it comes to China, Pompeo has this diplomatic acumen in spades. – The Hill

Peter Suciu writes: For China to gain naval dominance would require that it could launch and maintain more than the 11 aircraft carriers the United States Navy now operates, but would also need to keep pace with the carriers in service with the Royal Navy, France and Australia. As long as NATO exists it isn’t just the 11 U.S. carriers and potentially nine LHAs in the U.S. fleet, but all of those other carriers. – The National Interest

South Asia

India said 20 of its soldiers died in a clash with Chinese troops along the two countries’ disputed border in the Himalayan Mountains, the worst military confrontation between the nuclear-armed neighbors in decades. – Wall Street Journal

The killing of 20 Indian soldiers at the hands of Chinese troops armed with rocks and wooden clubs along a disputed border high in the Himalayas was a startling culmination of years of skirmishes between military forces from both countries. – New York Times 

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization) has set its conditions for the intra-Afghan talks to begin, saying that it will not accept the Western system of democracy and elections, according to an Urdu-language daily. The intra-Afghan talks are mandated as part of the U.S.-Taliban deal that was signed on February 29, 2020 in Doha. The talks are expected to give the Islamic Emirate a share of power in Kabul. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

As some commentators clamored for revenge, India’s government was silent Wednesday on the fallout from clashes with China’s army in a disputed border area in the high Himalayas that the Indian army said claimed 20 soldiers’ lives. An official Communist Party newspaper said the clash occurred because India misjudged the Chinese army’s strength and willingness to respond. – Associated Press

India’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday the face-off that led to the deaths of three Indian troops along its disputed border with China was a result of an attempt by Beijing “to unilaterally change the status quo there”. – Reuters

Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a loan of $750 million to help India battle the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on vulnerable households, the bank said on Wednesday. – Reuters

James Stavridis writes: The U.S. has limited capital to engage in this particular dispute. Although President Donald Trump offered to mediate in a recent tweet, the chances of China accepting such assistance are negligible. A better approach is for the U.S. to continue moving closer to India, making it clear to Beijing that it will not allow New Delhi to be pressured out of greater alignment with Washington. – Bloomberg

Arif Rafiq writes: Indian officials often speak of a two-front war with China and Pakistan. […]China’s ingresses along the LAC provide an opportunity for both India and the United States to assess the second-order effects of their policies in South Asia. That reassessment must begin with Kashmir. – The National Interest 


China and Russia were using the heightened anxiety around the coronavirus pandemic to undermine Western democracies by spreading disinformation online, Australia’s foreign minister said. – Associated Press

The Trump administration has offered a muted and belated expression of “concern” over the convictions of two Philippine journalists on criminal libel charges. – Associated Press

Both Australia and New Zealand announced Wednesday they are starting free-trade talks with the United Kingdom, as each country seeks to rekindle a trading relationship that was severely tested nearly 50 years ago. – Associated Press

The Armenian parliament voted Tuesday to strip the leader of an opposition party of his immunity as a lawmaker and to allow his arrest on tax evasion charges. – Associated Press

Taiwan air force jets “drove away” a Chinese fighter plane that briefly entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone on Tuesday, the defence ministry said, reporting the third intrusion in a week. – Reuters

Armenian lawmakers have voted to strip the leader of the country’s main opposition party of his parliamentary immunity from prosecution and allow his arrest. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

Michael Sobolik writes: Imposing national security legislation on Hong Kong could imperil critical OBOR projects throughout Europe, but China could be counting on Europe’s economic equities to prevail against human rights sensibilities. The muted response from Germany and France to the Hong Kong situation thus far suggests that this calculation could be correct. – Newsweek

Joseph Bosco writes: By requiring a constant strengthening of U.S. capabilities, explicitly devoted to the defense of Taiwan, the TDA would signal clearer U.S. intentions. The very filing of the legislation puts the China-Taiwan-U.S. triangular relationship at a new inflection point. If it passes Congress and is signed into law by the president, it will move U.S. policy just one step short of an open defense commitment to Taiwan, equivalent to the former U.S.-Republic of China Mutual Defense Treaty. – The Hill 

Fang-Yu Chen, Austin Wang, Charles K.S. Wu and Yao-Yuan Yeh write: Thus, it is incorrect to describe Tsai as either pro-status quo or pro-independence. Some scholars argue that Tsai’s pro-sovereignty mindset and policies, which have been seen as a direction of seeking independence by China, should be described as a form of “anti-annexation.” This is by far the best and most accurate approach to describe Tsai’s stance on cross-Strait relations. – The National Interest


A group of Russia-based hackers used sophisticated new techniques to spread disinformation in the U.S. and avoid detection by social media companies for years, according to a new report from an information research firm. – Wall Street Journal

Participants in the Open Skies treaty will hold a conference on July 6 in light of the planned exit of the United States, Russia’s RIA news agency reported the foreign ministry as saying on Wednesday. – Reuters

The attorney for Michigan native and former Marine Paul Whelan, sentenced to to 16 years of hard labor in Russia for allegedly spying, said Russian officials should be sanctioned if his client is not set free. – Washington Examiner

At the most acute stage of the pandemic crisis in Russia, towards the end of April 2020, Russian anti-liberal philosopher Alexander Dugin wrote what he called a “realist analysis” of the “post-corona virus world order”. According to Dugin, Russian President Vladimir Putin mishandled the situation by making several significant mistakes in relation to the quarantine. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Georgia’s Service for State Security (SUS) says a Russian citizen who was arrested in Tbilisi last week allegedly planned to kill a Georgian journalist who used vulgar words to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin in a broadcast last year. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

The Russian military has conducted drills and exercises regularly in recent months, and last week engaged in three separate training maneuvers, state media reported. This included anti-submarine warfare operations against simulated targets in the Barents, which were conducted by the Northern Fleet’s warship Severomorsk; while nearly a dozen aircraft from the Baltic Fleet’s naval aviation wing took part in strikes against a notional enemy’s amphibious assault ship. – The National Interest 

Eli Lake writes: As important as it is to bring Whelan home, it sets a dangerous precedent for the U.S. to negotiate for Whelan’s release as if he were a spy. It would be lending legitimacy to a sham trial and encourage Russia to make more sham arrests going forward. A better approach would be to impose sanctions on the FSB officials responsible for framing Whelan. – Bloomberg


Hungary’s Parliament voted to end a state of emergency that gave Prime Minister Viktor Orban the right to rule by decree, after leaders in the U.S. Congress and the European Union accused him of using the coronavirus pandemic to amass authoritarian-like powers. – Wall Street Journal

The European Union on Tuesday voiced grave concern about U.S. President Donald Trump’s June 11 decision to authorise sanctions against the International Criminal Court, saying any punitive measures were “unacceptable and unprecedented”. – Reuters

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday played down concern that the United States will rush to pull thousands of its troops out of Germany, as doubts swirled in Europe about when such a withdrawal might take place. – Associated Press

European Union regulators opened two investigations on Tuesday into Apple’s mobile app store and payment platform over concerns its practices distort competition, opening a new front in the EU’s battle against the dominance of big tech companies. – Associated Press

The European Union’s top diplomat called for the bloc to resist pressure to “pick a side” between China and the United States. – Washington Examiner

The leader of France’s main far-left political party has continued to face criticism for dismissing chants of “Dirty Jews!” that were heard at last Saturday’s huge anti-racism demonstration in Paris as “gossip.” – Algemeiner

Serbia’s ruling right-wing populists are expected to dominate this weekend’s national elections following a campaign that has featured a lot of flag-waving. It’s just not the flag that most would expect to see in the Balkans, where the wedges of ethnically fueled nationalism and regional influence are countered by the economic and political allure of Western integration. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Latin America

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Tuesday stripped the license of one of the country’s largest political parties and handed control to a pro-government ally, the latest in a string of measures to further weaken the opposition. – Wall Street Journal

The U.S. plans to nominate a White House official who was an architect of tightening sanctions on Venezuela and Cuba to lead Latin America’s main development bank. – Wall Street Journal

A fifth-generation (5G) telecoms tender in Brazil should not be contaminated by ideological battles with China and more competition will lead to better prices for consumers, the head of the lower house said on Tuesday. – Reuters

The families of six US oil executives detained in Venezuela are pleading for their release as concerns mount over their health amid the global coronavirus pandemic. – CNN 

Venezuela’s oil exports have collapsed since the U.S. placed sanctions on its state producer, but some crude from the OPEC member is still making its way to buyers in Asia. – Bloomberg 

North America

Mexico will stop sending temporary workers to Canadian farms that have registered a coronavirus outbreak and that do not have proper worker protections, Mexico’s labor ministry said on Tuesday, although it will not completely suspend the program. – Reuters

A petition that calls for the Trump administration to designate the Ku Klux Klan as a terrorist organization as of Tuesday night had racked up more than 1.6 million signatures, but the designation is impossible, according to two government officials. – Washington Examiner 

The Justice Department filed a federal lawsuit against John Bolton on Tuesday, seeking to block the publication and sale of his new White House memoir, arguing the former national security adviser’s book contains classified information that cannot be released to the public.  – Washington Examiner

The Pentagon budget chief who questioned the Trump’s administration for its holding on aid to Ukraine last year will leave her post at the end of the month, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced Tuesday. – The Hill 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: The reality is a world order that is now changing as the US indicates it is done doing the heavy lifting. While US sanctions still bite on Syria and China and US aircraft carriers are sent to the Pacific in a show of force to deter Chinese meddling, the overall posture is to reduce the willingness of the US to seek to play a major role in various areas. – Jerusalem Post 

Dennis Ross writes: Washington can help reinforce this message. To be sure, the court is unlikely to heed direct entreaties from the Trump administration given the sanctions and travel restrictions that the president has authorized against ICC personnel involved in investigating American troops. But the administration can still work quietly with governments that are members of the court to convey the long-term costs of pursuing what appear to be politically motivated cases. Ultimately, such engagement could help preserve the ICC’s international role. – Washington Institute  


A number of European nations have released, or are testing, Covid-19-tracing apps, including France, Italy, the U.K. and Iceland, but fewer people have opted to use them than scientists and doctors had hoped. The apps also don’t work across borders, which could hamper their efficiency on the tightly integrated continent. – Wall Street Journal

The theft of top-secret computer hacking tools from the CIA in 2016 was the result of a workplace culture in which the agency’s elite computer hackers “prioritized building cyber weapons at the expense of securing their own systems,” according to an internal report prepared for then-director Mike Pompeo as well as his deputy, Gina Haspel, now the director. – Washington Post

Twitter won’t give up its court fight to allow the company to release information about FBI and Justice Department requests for data on its users, though a federal judge previously agreed with the government’s claim it would be a national security risk. – Washington Times 

Lawmakers on Tuesday received a loud warning about the danger of hackers zeroing in on financial institutions as prime targets during the COVID-19 pandemic. – The Hill

Jude Blanchette and Seth G. Jones write As Washington and Beijing feud over the origins and implications of Covid-19 in a rapidly escalating information war, the U.S. is at a significant disadvantage. China invests substantial resources in efforts to translate and explore the contours of American culture and politics. But unlike during the Cold War, the U.S. government and private sector have failed to invest in the language skills and expertise to compete effectively with the Chinese Communist Party. – Wall Street Journal


A Sikorsky-Boeing team announced today that the experimental helicopter prototype competing to replace the Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk has completed a flight at nearly 205 knots, or 236 miles per hour, and is just months away from exceeding 250 knots, nearly 290 mph. – Military.com

It took six German police officers to haul off a cowboy boot-wearing American soldier who called them Nazis, kicked them and later bit one of them in the leg, police said. – Military.com

Alaska’s governor and the mayor of Anchorage asked the U.S. Air Force to consider the city as the location for the permanent headquarters of the new U.S. Space Command. – Military.com

The fighter pilot who died after crashing off the coast of northern England has been identified as 1st Lt. Kenneth Allen, the U.S. Air Force said Tuesday. – Military.com

The U.S. State Department has cleared Canada to purchase a package of upgrades for its fleet of CF-18 Hornets, including upgraded radars and weapons, intended to serve as a bridge between the legacy fleet and Canada’s future fighter. – Defense News

Two contractors have revealed new details about demonstration satellites that will be launched later this year to reduce risk for a project known as Pit Boss, an autonomous mission system that will power the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Project Blackjack. – C4ISRNET

The Navy announced new leaders for its various information warfare entities June 6, including a new officer to lead the service’s information warfare efforts. – C4ISRNET

Carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) is back in Norfolk after a deployment to the Middle East and a two-month sustainment cruise off the coast of Virginia, totaling more than seven months at sea, the Navy announced on Tuesday. – USNI News 

Seth Cropsey writes: Since learning the danger of allowing powerful U.S. and allied forces to gather and strike from nearby waters and land in the two Gulf Wars, our potential foes continue to adapt using cyber, space, grey zone tactics, lawfare and compromised 5G technology, a widening spectrum that leads to an unlimited expansion of the battlefield. To assure its dominance, the U.S. must lead in all. The technological means to do so in grey zone tactics, particularly in ISRT, is one category where our advantage is established. We should use it to the hilt. – The HIll