Fdd's overnight brief

June 28, 2024

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


A group of sick children and their companions left the Gaza Strip on Thursday in the territory’s first medical evacuation since an Israeli offensive shuttered the Rafah crossing with Egypt last month. – Washington Post

Israeli forces ordered residents to evacuate the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City as Palestinian media reported intensified strikes in the area Thursday. – Washington Post

Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled on Thursday that the United Kingdom can submit legal arguments to judges mulling the prosecution’s request for arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant. – Reuters

Israel’s hard-line finance minister said on Thursday that the government would promote West Bank settlements and punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority in response to Palestinian moves against Israel on the international stage. – Reuters

The United States is discussing with Israel the release of a shipment of 500-pound bombs that was suspended in May over worries about the military operation in Rafah, a U.S. official said on Thursday. – Reuters

Anti-government protesters gathered in Jerusalem on Thursday and converged on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s home, lighting a bonfire on the street outside and calling for his resignation. – Reuters

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men blocked a major highway in central Israel for two hours on Thursday to protest a recent Supreme Court decision ordering young religious men to enlist for military service. – Associated Press

North Israel is a series of ghost towns — abandoned houses and scorched forests from Hezbollah missiles. Parts of south Lebanon have been hit so hard by Israeli bombs that they’ve been reduced to rubble. Tens of thousands of residents have been driven from homes on both sides. – Bloomberg

The imam of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque denounced on Thursday a “fabricated” campaign against him after being charged with inciting terrorism for allegedly praising Palestinian gunmen who killed four Israelis, including a soldier. – Agence France-Presse

The Security Cabinet authorized five West Bank outposts and imposed further sanctions on the Palestinian Authority, according to Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich who published information on the measures late Thursday night. – Jerusalem Post

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Iran sought to conquer the Middle East as the number of countries urging its citizens to leave Lebanon grew, amid heightened concern that the IDF-Hezbollah cross-border war would widen. – Jerusalem Post

The International Criminal Court Pre-Trial Tribunal on Thursday postponed its decision-making process about whether it will allow ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan to issue arrest warrants against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for alleged war crimes. – Jerusalem Post

Editorial: If they wish to have a fighting chance against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bloc – and, indeed, to have enough voices in a potential Center-Left coalition to advance their policies – the parties must unite and start campaigning early. If they do not do so, they may be digging the grave of the Israeli Left. – Jerusalem Post

Elliot Kaufman writes: Eran Massas, an Israeli lieutenant colonel in the reserves, says, “Hamas are not people, they are animals.” In response, the liberal Western instinct is to worry about dehumanization. When Mr. Massas tells of how he rescued civilians on Oct. 7, and how he remains haunted by one woman he found, her green clothing left beside her butchered corpse, the same Western instinct is to look away—anywhere but his eyes. – Wall Street Journal

David Ignatius writes: But Netanyahu sees the growing political pressure to move toward an endgame in Gaza. His gambit to blame Biden for major arms delays appeared to have failed this week, and his political rivals are gathering. Netanyahu has always been a nimble, shape-shifting politician. His options for political survival are narrowing. – Washington Post


Iran’s presidential election on Friday will decide not only who leads a country increasingly antagonistic to the West but also help shape succession plans for the next supreme leader and indicate whether Iranians are giving up on their system of Islamic governance. – Wall Street Journal

With the rest of the world distracted by wars in Gaza and Ukraine, Iran has moved closer than ever to the ability to produce several nuclear weapons, dramatically bolstering the speed at which it can produce nuclear fuel in recent weeks inside a facility buried so deep that it is all but impervious to bunker-busting bombs. – New York Times

The United States on Thursday issued fresh sanctions targeting Iran in response to “continued nuclear escalations,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. – Reuters

Two hardline candidates dropped out of Iran’s presidential election on Thursday, a day ahead of the landmark vote, and called for unity among forces supporting the country’s Islamic revolution, state media reported. – Reuters

Maryam, a 37-year-old fitness instructor in Tehran, used to put her disdain for Iranian politicians to one side for elections on the basis her vote could help to bring about change. This year, she says she has “zero” interest. – Bloomberg

Pity the islamic republic’s elected presidents. For over three decades their fates have ended in censure, ignominy or early death. The last, Ebrahim Raisi, died in May in a mysterious helicopter crash. – Economist

Jason Rezaian writes: In all likelihood, therefore, this is a race between Pezeshkian and Qalibaf. The system would most prefer high turnout for legitimacy reasons and a runoff between these two. Ultimately, it can live with either one, as neither is a mortal threat. And paradoxically, if the hard-liner wins, it will show the regime is at its lowest point, perhaps ever. – Washington Post

Nazee Moinian writes: One university student who confronted Pezeshkian to his face insisted that “90 percent of youth are trying to convince others not to vote at all…Whether or not you become the president, for four years or eight years, this country will not be fixed…The young generation in this country say ‘we do not want this regime in its entirety.’” Sadly, the facts surrounding the upcoming election suggest that the great Iranian people will remain saddled with this Islamist dictatorship for the foreseeable future. – The Hill

Patrick Clawson writes: If Pezeshkian prevails, Western officials can assume that the Supreme Leader wants Iran to sound less threatening. But if the past is any indicator, the regime would not hesitate to continue its most problematic policies even under a reformist president, as seen when it pursued an explicitly weapons-focused nuclear program during Khatami’s presidency. – Washington Institute

Saeid Jafari writes: To avoid this, reformists should learn from recent history. Either they clear the path for extremists, hoping the Islamic Republic will collapse or amend its approaches—a stance strongly advocated by proponents of regime change—or they acknowledge and communicate to voters that the reformists’ ability to reshape the Islamic Republic’s structures and approaches is limited. Failing to heed these lessons risks repeating past frustrations and escalating public discontent. – Foreign Policy

Russia & Ukraine

But despite its losses, Russia is recruiting 25,000 to 30,000 new soldiers a month — roughly as many as are exiting the battlefield, U.S. officials said. That has allowed its army to keep sending wave after wave of troops at Ukrainian defenses, hoping to overwhelm them and break through the trench lines. – New York Times

Around two years after Ukraine started asking allies for F-16 fighter jets to help it fight Russian forces, the first planes are set to arrive by next month. The length of the process, from procuring the U.S.-designed aircraft and training Ukrainian pilots to fly them, has frustrated Kyiv. – Reuters

Russia is considering a possible downgrading of relations with the West due to the deeper involvement of the United States and its allies in the Ukraine war, but no decision had yet been taken, the Kremlin said on Thursday. – Reuters

More Ukrainian army recruits could receive basic training in Germany from next year if Kyiv moves some further military education back to Ukraine, an EU commander told Reuters, as the requirement for troops grows amid the ongoing war with Russia. – Reuters

Ukraine’s president called on European Union leaders on Thursday to live up to their promises to provide military equipment to his war-ravaged country, as the bloc pledged to support the government in Kyiv long term. – Associated Press

In the months that followed its invasion of Ukraine and punitive Western restrictions imposed in response, Russia amassed a shadow fleet to ferry its oil around the world. Now there is growing evidence Moscow has begun to do the same for liquefied natural gas. – Bloomberg

Russian Defense Minister Andrey Belousov instructed the army’s General Staff to take “rapid response measures” against US drones over the Black sea as their increased activity raises the likelihood of incidents in airspace. – Bloomberg

Editorial: Nonsense: Putin is pure evil; only fear can deter him; only outright battlefield defeat can stop him. Washington should double-down on efforts to bring Evan home; we can’t abandon an American journalist who was fearlessly doing his job. But don’t pretend that treating Russia like a sane state does anything but empower Mad Vlad. – New York Post

Alexander J. Motyl writes: Such a defeat could be anything from a Ukrainian march on Moscow (highly improbable) to another forced withdrawal from some of the occupied territory (perfectly plausible). Losing all or part of Crimea would be especially demoralizing. The moral for Ukraine and its allies is simple: Hang in there. The Russians expected to do the dying are refusing to die. – The Hill

Jeffrey Sachs writes: Ukraine can still be saved through neutrality, even as hundreds of thousands of lives have been squandered by the failure to negotiate. The rest of the issues, including boundaries, can also be resolved through diplomacy. The killing can end now, before more disasters befall Ukraine and the world. As for the United States, 30 years of neoconservative misrule is long enough. – The Hill

John Hoehn and William Courtney write: In warfare, silver bullets are rare. Fighting often requires multiple capabilities and innovative or flexible use. More of both will be needed to enable Ukraine to defeat the glide bomb threat. Long-range tactical missiles, F-16s and AEW&C aircraft, plus advanced electronic warfare tools — and more flexible U.S. policies for their use — could give Ukraine a potent force. – Defense News

Mikhail Zygar writes: As a result, the invasion means there is less pressure on Putin than ever before. The notion of an endless war in Ukraine terrifies Russia’s elite, who still hope that the invasion will conclude. They dream of returning as quickly as possible to the peaceful time of February 23, 2022. But for now, they are silent. They see no way back. – Foreign Affairs


Satellite images showing much of the Lebanese village of Aita al-Shaab in ruins after months of Israeli air strikes offer a glimpse of the scale of damage in one of Hezbollah’s main bastions in south Lebanon. – Reuters

A large-scale confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah is likely to break out in the next several weeks if Jerusalem and Hamas fail to reach a cease-fire deal in Gaza, U.S. intelligence indicates. – Politico

Hezbollah launched a barrage of some 40 rockets at northern Israel on Thursday afternoon, in what the terror group said was a response to recent Israeli airstrikes in Lebanon, including the killing of one of its operatives earlier in the day. – Times of Israel

The United States on Thursday joined a growing list of countries that have advised their citizens to leave Lebanon due to the risk of war as tensions between Israel and the Hezbollah terror group continue to spiral. – Times of Israel

Middle East & North Africa

The wealthy petrostates of the Persian Gulf have big plans for the future, hoping to increasingly attract tourists and investors, host marquee sporting events, build new cities and diversify their economies away from oil. – New York Times

Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek will speak at the Financial Action Task Force meeting in Singapore, Turkish state media said on Thursday, ahead of a decision by the international crime watchdog on whether to remove Turkey from a “grey list”. – Reuters

Iraqi authorities in Baghdad and the administration in the semi-autonomous northern Iraqi Kurdish region have been arbitrarily detaining and deporting Syrian refugees to their country, a leading international rights group said Thursday. – Associated Press

A ship traveling through the Red Sea on Thursday reported being hit in an attack carried out by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, authorities said, the latest in the campaign targeting shipping over the Israel-Hamas war. – Associated Press

The U.N. Security Council on Thursday approved a resolution demanding Yemen’s Houthi rebels halt all attacks on ships and urged that the disruption to maritime security in a critical Middle East waterway be urgently addressed. – Associated Press

Saudi Arabia is exploring the possibility of requesting China’s mediation to solve the ongoing crisis in the Red Sea, as the Houthis continue their attacks against transiting commercial shipping. – Times of Israel

Korean Peninsula

South Korea’s military on Friday released a video that it said showed a North Korean missile abnormally spiralling early in flight and exploding, a rare publicising of surveillance footage to dismiss the North’s claim of a successful test. – Reuters

The luxury sedan was intended to epitomize Russia’s domestic prowess and reduced dependence on imported technology and goods when unveiled in 2018. But customs records show that the company that builds it uses millions of dollars in imported parts, many arriving in Russia from what Kim has described as his country’s “primary foe”, South Korea. – Reuters

U.S. spy chief Avril Haines will be in South Korea and meet President Yoon Suk Yeol on Friday amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula and a recent pact between Moscow and Pyongyang pledging closer military ties, a news report said on Thursday. – Reuters


China’s Communist Party expelled two former defense ministers for alleged corruption and directed prosecutors to bring charges against them, punctuating a corruption crackdown that has raised questions about the combat readiness of one of the world’s most powerful militaries. – Wall Street Journal

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday called for the building of “bridges” in the global economy, as Beijing grapples with economic and security disputes with its neighbours and trading partners around the world. – Reuters

China hopes negotiations will lead to a “mutually acceptable solution” with the European Union on preliminary tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EV) scheduled to take effect on July 4, its commerce ministry said on Thursday. – Reuters

Chinese leader Xi Jinping called for the Global South to have a greater say in international affairs, stepping up his efforts to challenge US influence around the world. – Bloomberg

Karishma Vaswani writes: These are all good measures. The key focus now is to ensure that Manila can assert its rights in the contested waterway, without being dragged into a dangerous conflict that would almost definitely involve the US and its allies. This round may have gone to China, but this will be a long and drawn out fight. There’s still time to win the next one. – Bloomberg

Tyler Jost writes: There are times when the United States may consider it appropriate, or even desirable, to censure China. But if the type and frequency of its condemnations reach the point of threatening the CCP’s sense of security, Washington should expect a wolf warrior reaction. U.S. policymakers will have to decide whether the costs to diplomatic channels are worth it. – Foreign Affairs

South Asia

Part of the roof at a terminal at India’s busiest airport collapsed early Friday amid heavy thunderstorms and rains, causing injuries and trapping passengers. The airport suspended all departures from the terminal. – New York Times

Sri Lanka’s agreements with China and other creditor nations to restructure about $10 billion in bilateral debt brought it a step closer towards restoring debt sustainability, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Thursday. – Reuters

Hundreds of people attended the funeral on Thursday of a senior monk who was fatally shot by soldiers in an incident that could undermine the cozy relationship that Myanmar’s military government has tried to maintain with the country’s Buddhist clergy. – Associated Press

An appeals court in Pakistan Thursday upheld the conviction and seven-year prison sentence of former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife for their 2018 marriage which was found to be unlawful, officials said. – Associated Press

The Taliban will meet with United Nations officials at Qatar this weekend amidst criticism of the militant Islamic group’s failure to include women in its delegation — a big win for the Taliban. The question on analysts’s minds is whether the Biden administration will sit on its hands. – New York Sun

Imran Khalid writes: Economically and politically, the Taliban find it essential to cooperate with Moscow. For now, having Moscow as an ally is strategically advantageous, offering critical support and resources. Yet it is too early to predict how this strategic alignment will provide Putin with additional room to maneuver. – The Hill


Japan’s Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said the government would take appropriate action against excessive yen moves, although he declined to comment on whether he thinks the recent weakening of the yen is excessive. – Wall Street Journal

Taiwan raised its warning level for travel to China on Thursday, urging its citizens not to visit there unless necessary after Beijing spelled out potential punishments — including execution in extreme cases — for what it called “diehard supporters of Taiwanese independence.” – New York Times

The Philippines and Japan will hold a 2+2 foreign and defence ministerial meeting in Manila on July 8 to discuss regional defence and security matters, Manila’s foreign ministry said on Friday, amid increasing tensions in the South China Sea. – Reuters

Georgia’s parliament on Thursday gave its initial approval to a set of bills containing sweeping curbs on LGBT rights, including bans on the “propaganda” of same-sex relationships and gender reassignment surgery. – Reuters

Voters in the youthful democracy of Mongolia are electing a new parliament on Friday in the landlocked Asian democracy that is squeezed between China and Russia, two much larger authoritarian states. – Associated Press

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has been a fierce critic of Israel over its war against Hamas. Now he’s resisting pressure from his own critics to nix a multi-billion dollar Malaysian airports privatization deal involving BlackRock Inc. over its ties to Israel. – Bloomberg

Wooseon Choi writes: Notably, alongside the annual defense ministers’ dialogue, the role of the Defense Trilateral Talks as an assistant secretary–level consultation group should be strengthened to plan and coordinate trilateral security cooperation more effectively. Furthermore, working groups such as the maritime security working group should be established to coordinate activities in specific priority areas as trilateral security cooperation progresses. – Center for Strategic and International Studies


European Union leaders on Thursday picked three senior politicians to head up the bloc’s institutions for the next five years, signaling commitment to Ukraine and a need for stability amid electoral upsets in Europe and, potentially, the United States. – New York Times

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen is confident her party will win an absolute majority in parliament, form a government and impose limits on what President Emmanuel Macron can do to support Ukraine, she said days before voting starts. – Reuters

Excavators dug through piles of waste at a garbage dump surrounded by sunflower fields in Croatia on Thursday, searching for bodies of victims killed in war more than three decades ago, after remains of 10 people were found earlier this month. – Reuters

The German government is working intensively on the 2025 draft budget, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said on Thursday. – Reuters

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on Thursday reshuffled his top officials in what observers saw as part of maneuvering ahead of the 2025 presidential election. – Associated Press

An Albanian prison cell wouldn’t rank high among choice spots to run a successful campaign for election to the European Parliament. – Associated Press

Slovakia’s Parliament approved a package of legislation Thursday meant to boost security for leading politicians and others following an assassination attempt on populist Prime Minister Robert Fico. – Associated Press

European Union leaders said that Georgia’s refusal to reverse its crackdown on civil society has prompted a “de facto” halt to its efforts to join the bloc. – Bloomberg

France and Germany are used to getting their way on the EU stage. But when the bloc’s two biggest economies turned up at Thursday’s crucial European Union summit distracted by their own domestic troubles, they found it harder to throw their weight around. – Bloomberg

Germany pushed European Union leaders to drop language on joint defense spending, despite opposition from other member states that believe extra resources are needed to ramp up the bloc’s capabilities. – Bloomberg

Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic asked the European Union for financial support to help cover the cost of hosting Ukrainian refugees since the three countries have taken in the lion’s share since Russia’s invasion. – Bloomberg

A Swedish court on Thursday found a 15-year-old boy guilty of possession of a semi-automatic weapon while heading to the Israeli embassy in Stockholm in a taxi. – Agence France-Presse

Joseph C. Sternberg writes: While Mr. Macron loses an election in France, Nigel Farage’s Reform UK has become the second-most-popular party in Britain in some polls, displacing the Conservatives, by fusing immigration restrictionism with the tax cutting the Tories refuse to do. If Jupiter is dead, long live mortal politicians. – Wall Street Journal

Perry Bacon Jr. writes: Reading the polls and staying in the political center seems like it should work. But it doesn’t. I hope those opposed to the far-right figure out a new strategy before all of their countries are run by Trump-style politicians or the Donald himself. – Washington Post

Emiliano Alessandri writes: Precisely because it faces a narrow path in a vast and complex region, the success of NATO’s upcoming Washington Summit will depend on realistic and practical choices. The Alliance must build upon earlier lessons learned and best practices to develop a more streamlined — rather than overly ambitious but vaguely defined — new approach. – Middle East Institute 


At least 750,000 people are on the brink of starvation and death in Sudan, where a devastating civil war has left over half the country’s 48 million people in a situation of chronic hunger, the global authority on famine said on Thursday. – New York Times

Protesters returned to the streets of Kenya on Thursday, some of them demanding the resignation of President William Ruto, despite his announcement a day earlier that he was abandoning a tax bill that drew large-scale demonstrations in which nearly two dozen people were killed. – New York Times

Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani has promised to accelerate investments to spur an energy and mining boom as he takes on six challengers in the June 29 presidential election. – Reuters

Zimbabwean police beat dozens of opposition supporters and arrested several outside a court in the capital Harare on Thursday, after Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party members were denied bail following their arrests two weeks ago. – Reuters

West Africa’s regional bloc needs up to $2.6 billion annually to establish a 5,000-strong security force to combat terrorism, according to one of the options being considered by defence officials at a meeting on Thursday. – Reuters

Ken Opalo writes: And his government must practice what it preaches regarding belt tightening and improving the quality of public goods and services. Ultimately, sustained economic growth is Kenya’s best hope of achieving fiscal stability. That, though, will require political stability built on broad-based government legitimacy, not repression. – Bloomberg

Judd Devermont writes: Nowhere is this more urgent than in Sudan, where suffering is extreme and consistently overlooked as other hot spots around the world claim attention. A successful effort in Sudan could be a test case for a new approach in an era of global disorder. After all, if the course be departed from, the ends will change. – Foreign Affairs

Nina Berman writes: Until then, Kenyans like Samuel and Juma are trapped without options. They have cast their fortunes with the lenders—or, in other words, with the market. It is high time for local and international stakeholders to start repaying their trust with action. Rather than increasing taxes on the poor, they need to create fair conditions that enable citizens to succeed. – Foreign Policy

The Americas

A day after Bolivia’s unpopular president stood down military officers who had launched an apparent coup, his political adversaries and ordinary people are poking holes in the leftist government’s version of events. – Wall Street Journal

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday that his government will seek an agreement with Chinese lithium miner Ganfeng while still defending Mexico’s rights, after the firm filed an arbitration case over a disputed concession. – Reuters

Bolivian President Luis Arce on Thursday denied any involvement or prior knowledge of a failed coup attempt led by the country’s former top military commander who alleged the president had asked him to do something to boost his popularity. – Reuters

Residents in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince expressed cautious hope after a first contingent of Kenyan police officers arrived in the Caribbean country, as part of a long-delayed mission to help police fight armed gangs. – Reuters

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele said on Thursday that the culture ministry would fire 300 employees who he said were promoting agendas “incompatible” with the government’s vision. – Reuters

Mexican President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum named close ally and former Mexico City finance chief Luz Elena Gonzalez as incoming energy minister, tasking her with revitalizing a struggling state oil company and increasing the use of renewables. – Reuters

Canada on Thursday imposed sanctions on seven Israeli settlers it said had taken part in extremist violence in the West Bank, the second time in just over a month Ottawa has taken such a step. – Reuters

Argentina’s Congress approved President Javier Milei’s signature pro-business reforms, marking an inflection point for the outsider to govern with a hostile political class he continues to rail against. – Bloomberg

Michael Taube writes: Mr. Trudeau lost his majority in 2019 and formed a minority government. He called new elections in 2021, but the result was another minority government. The left-wing New Democratic Party, which has kept the Liberals in power via a 2022 agreement that expires at the end of Parliament, will be under pressure to pull the plug and force an election. Even if they stick with the plan, next year’s regular election looks grim for Mr. Trudeau. – Wall Street Journal

United States

President Biden struggled through a raspy voice and uneven delivery Thursday to unleash a charged and deeply personal attack on his longtime rival, former president Donald Trump, who responded in kind with a blizzard of personal jibes and falsehoods at the first presidential debate of the cycle. – Washington Post

The Republican lawmaker who leads the House Armed Services Committee has written to the Biden administration formally demanding it shut down its aid pier off the coast Gaza, calling the operation ineffective, risky and a waste of money. – Reuters

The United States reaffirmed its commitment to the Philippines’ security amid China’s actions in the South China Sea, the White House said on Thursday after talks between the two countries’ national security advisers. – Reuters

The United States will confront Russia at the United Nations Security Council on Friday over violating a North Korea arms embargo, and will push for China’s view on growing ties between Moscow and Pyongyang, said deputy U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood. – Reuters

The Biden administration will allow Iran — designated as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1984 — to set up more than 30 absentee voter stations in America in the upcoming presidential election this Friday to replace President Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash in May. – New York Sun

Editorial: A recent poll from the Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute showed 75% of Americans think a Ukrainian victory is important to the U.S. But a growing share think Russia is prevailing. The obvious political high ground for Republicans, starting with Mr. Trump, is to tune out Ukraine’s loud but few reflexive critics—and highlight President’s Biden’s meandering weapons support as far too weak and halting. – Wall Street Journal


Experts and industry representatives told lawmakers at a Thursday hearing that U.S. businesses face obstacles in obtaining the cybersecurity insurance they need to hedge against the impact of breaches. – CyberScoop

A House panel abruptly canceled its plans Thursday to take action on a sweeping federal privacy bill amid disagreements with Republican leadership and opposition from key interest groups. – CyberScoop

As cyber threats grow increasingly sophisticated and data volumes surpass human analytical capacity, artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging as a game-changer in the ongoing battle for federal cybersecurity, according to a new report. – FedScoop

Hackers believed to be working for the Chinese government are increasingly deploying ransomware in an effort to cause disruption and provide cover for espionage operations — most notably in attacks on the presidential office of Brazil and on a key healthcare platform used by Indian hospitals, according to a new report. – The Record

Tech giant Cloudflare urged customers to remove a popular open source library used to support older browsers after reports emerged this week that the tool is being used to distribute malware – The Record


Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee are lambasting appropriators who want to buy additional F-35 fighter jets in fiscal 2025 above the Pentagon’s budget request. – Defense News

After a grueling eight months leading the Navy’s effort to counter Iran-backed Houthi rebel attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower received a reprieve this month when it transited the Suez Canal and headed into the Mediterranean Sea, on its way back home to Norfolk. – Defense News

In the wake of rapid advancements in artificial intelligence, the Defense Department’s Joint Staff is considering an internal office dedicated to helping the organization leverage emerging AI capabilities. – DefenseScoop

Will McGee writes: Designating one major command to act as the service lead would go a long way toward accomplishing that goal. This proposed command would follow the 18th Airborne Corps’ model of linking the strategic and tactical echelons of the force and implementing new and innovative ways of automating day-to-day tasks and data analysis. Doing so will streamline garrison operations and improve readiness. – War on the Rocks