Fdd's overnight brief

June 29, 2022

In The News

Russia & Ukraine

The Group of Seven rich democracies ended their summit with an agreement to discuss a batch of new sanctions against Russia, but the gathering underlined the limits of using economic tools to punish Russia four months after its invasion of Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal

The U.S. has banned imports of Russian gold, broadening sanctions against the country following the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the U.S. Treasury Department said Tuesday. – Wall Street Journal

Russia threatened to station ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons on its border if Sweden and Finland are allowed to join NATO, and warned that Ukrainian membership of the military alliance could trigger World War III. – Wall Street Journal

At a school where Russian forces had set up a base in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region, three of their armored personnel cars remained on the property — for now. They were damaged when Ukraine’s military recently forced the occupying soldiers back from this area. Over the weekend, three locals hammered at one vehicle to salvage spare parts. –  Washington Post

Ukraine’s president issued a fiery call at the United Nations on Tuesday for world leaders to punish Russia amid a surge in attacks on civilian targets in recent days. – Washington Post

Dozens of people were still missing on Wednesday after a Russian missile strike on a shopping mall in central Ukraine two days ago that killed at least 18, while a regional governor said the situation was “very difficult” in Lysychansk in the east. – Reuters

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said on Tuesday Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a warning to nations around the world that they cannot be hostage of oil-rich autocratic governments to meet their energy needs. – Reuters

Russia’s space agency published the coordinates of Western defence headquarters including the U.S. Pentagon and the venue of NATO’s summit on Tuesday, saying Western satellite operators were working for Russia’s enemy – Ukraine. – Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy accused Russia of being a “terrorist state” at the United Nations on Tuesday, prompting Russia to charge that he was using a Security Council address as a “remote PR campaign” to solicit more Western weapons. – Reuters

France’s president denounced Russia’s fiery airstrike on a crowded shopping mall in Ukraine as a “new war crime” Tuesday and vowed the West’s support for Kyiv would not waver, saying Moscow “cannot and should not win” the war. – Associated Press

A Ukrainian paratrooper shot down a Russian attack helicopter with a well-aimed shot from a British-made Starstreak rocket launcher. – Newsweek

In a rare break from the Russian president, Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska warned this week that Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine could be a “colossal mistake” for Russia. – Newsweek

Ukraine said Tuesday that its “Kraken” Special Ops unit destroyed a Russian headquarters. – Newsweek

Russian authorities are accused of abducting a pro-Ukraine official from Enerhodar, an occupied city near Ukraine’s Donbas region, as fighting continues. – Newsweek

Louisiana-based company Metal Shark announced Tuesday that the U.S. would send six of its maritime combat vessels to Ukraine as part of the $450 million aid the White House announced last week. – USNI News

Editorial: No one knows how the war will end. President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine reportedly told G-7 leaders he wants it over by winter. However, the worst outcome — outright Russian victory — has been prevented, thanks to Ukraine’s steadfast resistance and the West’s firm stance. If both continue, more success will follow. – Washington Post

Editorial: The larger truth is that sanctions won’t stop Mr. Putin’s war plans, at least not soon. Wars are won by military force. The way to hasten the war’s end is by giving Ukraine all the weapons it needs as quickly as possible. To adapt Winston Churchill, maybe Europe and U.S. will do the right thing after trying everything else. – Wall Street Journal

Jillian Kay Melchior writes: Unlike in World War II, there’s no plausible scenario for Ukrainian victory that would give Kyiv the power to compel reparations from Moscow. The best case is restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty over all its territory. Given the political and legal difficulty of securing recompense, the U.S. should make a priority of limiting the injustice and destruction by helping Ukraine win quickly. – Wall Street Journal

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. writes: Of course a big caveat is an unspoken presumption among some Western officials that the war is already over except the shooting; a settlement is already in view, notwithstanding any Ukrainian offensive that might come in the fall, acquiescing in Mr. Putin’s unlawful occupation of eastern Ukraine. This may be the biggest reason members of the Western alliance are not in a hurry to inflict a new defeat on Mr. Putin by freeing up grain from Odessa. – Wall Street Journal

Alex Kingsbury writes: Mr. Putin’s war of choice in Ukraine is changing the security balance in Europe, though not in the way he imagined. In this fateful moment, NATO must take a serious look not only at deterring Russia but also at itself, its purpose and its readiness to really share that burden. – New York Times

Kirstin J. H. Brathwaite and Margarita Konaev write: As the war in Ukraine has transformed into one of attrition, the importance of sustainment has been elevated, perhaps above all else. Although a decisive military victory in which the Ukrainians expel Russian forces from their entire territory seems increasingly unlikely, Kyiv could still stymie Moscow’s progress and strengthen its position for future negotiations by continuing to surge reinforcements and supplies to the frontlines. […]The United States and its allies must do their part to help Ukraine sustain the fight. – Foreign Affairs

Jordan Becker, Douglas Lute, and Simon Smith write: While experts have long described NATO as perpetually in crisis, the current Russo-Ukrainian war presents a unique military, political, and strategic challenge that truly merits the use of the term. So far, it has helped create a clear consensus around collective defense. But allies’ strategic priorities continue to differ in secondary areas. […]If approached wisely, this document can articulate a division of labor for competing with Russia and China, while also improving high-tech protection, general resiliency, burden-sharing, and counter-terrorism capacity. – War on the Rocks

Guy B. Roberts writes: For most nations, the current “new world order” remains strong and pervasive, and much preferable to the autocratic model prepared by Russia and no doubt endorsed by China, Iran, and others who chaff at a rules-based legal order. The cost of aggression must exceed the benefit. […]But even if it’s doable, would it be enough? Only time will tell but the alternative would be vastly worse; a chaotic, disordered world where only power prevails. – The National Interest


Efforts to revive the Iranian 2015 nuclear agreement resumed Tuesday in Qatar’s capital, with U.S. and Iranian officials playing down expectations of a quick breakthrough that would open the way to a restored deal. – Wall Street Journal

For more than a decade, he was a feared presence in Iran, presiding over a vast intelligence apparatus. He crushed domestic dissent and political rivals, and expanded covert operations beyond Iran’s borders to target dissidents and enemies abroad. Hossein Taeb, a 59-year-old cleric and chief of intelligence for the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, seemed untouchable. – New York Times

Iran, which holds the world’s second largest gas reserves, has applied to join the BRICS group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa that Beijing and Moscow cast as a powerful emerging market alternative to the West. – Reuters

An Iranian appeals court upheld the eight-year prison sentence of a French tourist for taking photos in a prohibited area and asking questions about Iran’s obligatory Islamic hijab for women, his lawyer said Tuesday. – Associated Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during a visit to Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, on Wednesday, the Kremlin said. – Reuters

The recent detainment of a Venezuelan cargo plane in Argentina could be linked to attempts by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to attack Israelis abroad, according to independent Israeli intelligence analyst Ronen Solomon, who runs the blog Intelli Times. – Jerusalem Post

Countries negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program, including France, the U.K., and the U.S., as well as European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, should condemn the Iranian judiciary’s blatantly unlawful prison sentence against French tourist Benjamin Brière, said the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). – Center for Human Rights in Iran

Eric R. Mandel writes: Will the administration enforce the sanctions on Iran’s other malevolent behavior, or will they minimize enforcement, as they do now with nuclear-related sanctions? Partial sanction relief for a 25-year pause in their nuclear program is the deal we should be demanding. Full sanctions relief for a permanent nuclear weapons program end is the goal. – Jerusalem Post

Seth J. Frantzman writes: Turkey tells Iran it will support it taking over southern Syria so it can threaten Israel. Turkey then tells Israel’s foreign minister that it will work against Iranian plots on Turkey soil. Encourage Iran to use Syria instead – that is how Ankara thinks of this policy. In this way, Turkey uses each country against the other – NATO against Russia, and Iran versus Israel – and Ankara plays both sides for its own benefit. – Jerusalem Post

Alex Vatanka writes: At the moment, there is nothing to suggest Raisi is about to secure a better deal in Doha. Nonetheless, here is another opportunity for Tehran to face some hard realities about its own bleeding economy, angry population, and Israel’s growing determination to find ways to push back against Iran, which in turn is pitting factions inside the regime in Tehran against one another. The upcoming U.S.-Iran talks in Doha are not just a sink-or-swim moment for the hopes of the Americans and the Europeans to keep the 2015 nuclear deal alive, but also a pivotal moment for Tehran and the future of the Islamic Republic. – Middle East Institute

Siamak Namazi writes: Mr. Biden, I implore you to put the lives of innocent American detainees above Washington politics and make the tough decisions necessary to free all of us immediately. While political backlash is inevitable, the prolonged suffering and potential deaths of hostages are not. It is hard to imagine my now 85-year-old father surviving the wait for another opportunity. End this nightmare. – New York Times


Senior Biden administration officials are working with Taliban leadership on a mechanism to allow Afghanistan’s government to use its central bank reserves to deal with a severe hunger crisis without giving the former militant group free rein, aiming to avert a humanitarian disaster that aid groups estimate could harm millions, according to three people briefed on the matter. – Washington Post

The United States will provide nearly $55 million in immediate aid for Afghanistan in response to an earthquake that last week struck a remote southeastern region, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Tuesday. – Reuters

The Taliban is trying to establish its control over Afghanistan’s institutions, but there is a big grey area. Most of the country’s 70 or so diplomatic missions still functioning are doing so independently of the hardline regime – which isn’t recognised by other countries – and without any direct funding from Kabul. The BBC’s Zubair Ahmed reports from Delhi. – BBC


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is on a course to admit Finland and Sweden following an agreement with Turkey, a move that would add vast territory and new military abilities in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal

Earlier this month, a ship called the Fedor steamed south through the Bosphorus before stopping at Bandırma, a Turkish port just south of Istanbul. The Russian bulk carrier was hauling 9,000 tonnes of corn, which it delivered to local buyer Yayla Agro, one of Turkey’s leading producers of pulses, grains and rice. – Financial Times

Michael Rubin writes: Appeasement will not work. Blackmailers seldom have personal honor. Bargaining with Erdogan will only encourage further demands. Rather, it is time for a united front in which the United States and Europe are willing to use sanctions and other elements of coercion until Erdogan understands holding NATO hostage will bring Turkey not glory but only pain. – Washington Examiner

Soner Cagaptay writes: Regarding U.S.-Turkish relations, Erdogan and President Biden held a phone call earlier today and mentioned meeting at the Madrid summit. Erdogan craves engagement from Washington, though not much dialogue has taken place with Biden since he took office last year. In some ways, then, Sweden’s accession troubles can be regarded as collateral damage from U.S.-Turkish tensions. […]Whatever happens with this issue, the Biden administration is mindful of the fact that America’s partnership with Turkey is important and worthy of close attention. – Washington Institute


Israeli officials are expected to showcase an experimental laser air-defense system for President Biden during his Middle East visit next month in an effort to enlist American support for a project envisioned as a shield for Israel and its Arab neighbors against any Iranian attacks. – Wall Street Journal

For more than a decade, he was a feared presence in Iran, presiding over a vast intelligence apparatus. He crushed domestic dissent and political rivals, and expanded covert operations beyond Iran’s borders to target dissidents and enemies abroad. Hossein Taeb, a 59-year-old cleric and chief of intelligence for the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, seemed untouchable. – New York Times

The National Security Council lowered the threat level in its travel warning to Israelis visiting Istanbul from high to medium on Tuesday, after Israeli and Turkish authorities cooperated to counter Iranian terrorist cells. – Jerusalem Post

Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday condemned the Hamas terror group after it released a video showing an Israeli civilian captive hooked to a ventilator, calling it an “abhorrent and deplorable” act. – Algemeiner

The Hamas terror group offered to exchange an Israeli captive for sick Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, the Lebanese Al Mayadeen channel reported on Tuesday. – Ynet

A Palestinian man was reportedly shot dead during clashes with Israeli forces who were conducting an arrest raid early Wednesday in Jenin. – Times of Israel

A Palestinian man was detained Tuesday night on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City after he allegedly attempted to stab officers before fleeing the scene, police said. – Times of Israel

Outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned Tuesday, a day after Iran’s major steel companies were hit by a cyberattack, that anyone who attempts a cyberattack against Israel will “pay a price.” – Times of Israel

Iran has become our dominant rival in cyber together with Hezbollah and Hamas, Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) Chief Gaby Portnoy said on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post

A new poll of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip released on Tuesday shows that the Islamist organization Hamas has edged ahead of Fatah, the PLO’s main nationalist faction, in terms of public support, though backing for both groups is in decline. – Algemeiner

The 24th Knesset is poised to dissolve itself Wednesday, in a move that will mark the end of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s term in office. – Arutz Sheva

Saudi Arabia

Biden’s upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia, scheduled for July 15-16, 2022, is being widely discussed in the Arab media and particularly in the Saudi media, especially as it comes amid tension between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia that has prevailed since the beginning of Biden’s presidency. America’s current policy in the region, including towards Iran and its militias in the Arab countries, is perceived in Saudi Arabia as a betrayal of the strategic alliance between the two countries and as a threat to the security and stability of the region. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Against the backdrop of sweeping change in Israel-Arab relations, a group of 13 American Jewish leaders toured Saudi Arabia last week to learn about Islam and teach the Saudis about Judaism, the first trip of its kind for federation leaders and clergy to the Arab kingdom. – Jewish Insider

Anna Borshchevskaya writes: Russia’s revanchism is here to stay, China remains a long-term adversary, and the pursuit of a reset with Riyadh is the right goal. But the Biden administration may not realize what it would take to reach it, especially as Biden downplayed the upcoming meeting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. […]Moreover, only by improving the relationship can the U.S. help the Saudis better see the Western position on Russia. Otherwise, as things stand now, it is hard to see how Biden’s trip will end in a strategic success. – The Hill

Gulf States

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Emirati President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on a visit to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, showcasing deep ties between the major trade partners. – Associated Press

The United Arab Emirates has canceled a death sentence issued earlier this year to an Israeli woman who was convicted of cocaine possession, her lawyer said Tuesday. – Associated Press

Israeli radars will be deployed in the United Arab Emirates in order to detect Iranian missiles and drones, N12 reported Tuesday, citing foreign reports. – Jerusalem Post

Munqith Dagher writes: All the political signs emerging from the corridors of the Green Zone on one hand, and from discussions of the parties that will form the next government on the other, indicate that the chances of the volcano erupting once more are strong. This time, I believe a better understanding will be held between the Tishreen of the independent youth and the Tishreen of the Sadrist youth, who together unleashed the 2019 movement together, then later disagreed. If that happens (which I expect), the extent of the effect and rate of change will be deeper and faster than before, and the actual impact of Tishreen will move to most of Iraq’s governorates north of Baghdad. – Washington Institute

James Jeffrey, Matthew Amitrano, and Bilal Wahab write: In addition to this year’s Federal Supreme Court order and the various legal summons against oil companies operating in the KRG, Baghdad’s tough approach includes the threat of budget cuts. Meanwhile, unclaimed missile and drone attacks have appeared to complement the federal government’s interests. Yet Baghdad may be pushing against an open door this time […]. Even at home, Erbil’s promising energy sector has become unpopular because of the estimated $20 billion in debt and arrears it has accumulated and the fiscal deficit it continues to run. In short, the KRG’s external challenges are now matched by its petty internal politics. – Washington Institute


The U.S. ambassador to Libya said on Tuesday that it could be possible to hold national elections without resolving a standoff between two rival governments and that a mechanism to oversee spending could help with governance for an interim period. – Reuters

The heads of Libya’s two rival legislative chambers met in Geneva on Tuesday for negotiations aimed at restoring a U.N.-led election process that fell apart last December. – Reuters

Libya’s state oil company suspended shipments from the key eastern port of Ras Lanuf, according to people familiar with the matter, amid a worsening political crisis in the OPEC member. – Bloomberg

Middle East & North Africa

A year after Tunisian President Kais Saied’s power grab upended the country’s fledgling democracy forged from the Arab Spring, opposition to him is growing as he prepares a constitutional referendum to solidify his one-man rule. – Washington Post

The presence of Russia in North African countries is increasing in a region where political instability and militant activity are spreading, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said on Tuesday, defending a foreign policy shift towards Africa. – Reuters

The first 10 years of Syria’s conflict, which started in 2011, killed more than 300,000 civilians, the United Nations said Tuesday — the highest official estimate to date of conflict-related civilian deaths in the country. – Associated Press

Egypt has warned Iran against targeting Israelis on Egyptian soil, U.K.-based publication al-Araby al-Jadeed reported on Wednesday, citing Egyptian sources. – Haaretz

Fadil Aliriza writes: While police have continued to enjoy impunity, they have also pushed back against prosecutors working to establish even a modicum of accountability. In the current moment, President Saied’s stated goal of “cleansing” the judiciary seems to align with the police’s own institutional interests of consolidating power and maintaining impunity. For now, it is not certain whether this concerted project from a unified executive branch will succeed in the face of pushback from judges and other public servants who have gone on strike. It is also unclear whether the executive branch will remain unified between its component parts or if this is merely temporary. In the meantime, the police are using the current constellation of forces to consolidate their power. – Middle East Institute

Bobby Ghosh writes: The largest Arab security forces belong to states in North Africa, which have historically regarded the threat from Tehran with degrees of ambivalence corresponding to their distance from Iran. Egypt, the largest of them all, was the first to bolt from the ill-fated MESA project. All this means that the task of holding back Iran, whatever the outcome of the nuclear negotiations, will fall mainly to the US and Israel. Any proposal for a Middle Eastern NATO is a dead letter. – Bloomberg

Korean Peninsula

The nosedive in cryptocurrency markets has wiped out millions of dollars in funds stolen by North Korean hackers, four digital investigators say, threatening a key source of funding for the sanctions-stricken country and its weapons programmes. – Reuters

North Korea says it has been compelled to bolster its defenses against U.S. moves to create an “Asian version of NATO” in a statement that echoed similar attempts by China to undermine the postwar alliance system in the region. – Newsweek

South Korea’s new leader has opted for a tougher approach toward North Korea than his predecessor, but his administration does envision a potential path to a peaceful future for the two rivals and their shared peninsula. – Newsweek

South Korean unification minister Kwon Young-se harshly criticized North Korea for its reported plans to test a nuclear weapon in the coming weeks, arguing that the administration of South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol would respond with far greater severity to such an incident than Yoon’s predecessor, President Moon Jae-in, had. – The National Interest

Robert A. Manning writes: Pressure for action could tempt the Biden administration to explore such talks. They may be worth exploring, but Kim’s consistent refusal to provide a full declaration of his nuclear program (how can you freeze what you don’t know is there?) and to refuse necessary International Atomic Energy Agency verification and full monitoring would make a credible deal unlikely. That is the lesson of a long history of failed U.S. diplomacy, most recently former President Trump’s two failed summits with Kim. – The Hill


Wang’s outlook mirrors that of many of her compatriots. Around the world, ideological lines are hardening. In the United States, politicians and lay citizens alike increasingly view international affairs through the lens of great-power competition against China and Russia. The same is the case in China, where many see the Ukraine war as a proxy conflict with the United States. – Washington Post

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration added five companies in China to a trade blacklist on Tuesday for allegedly supporting Russia’s military and defense industrial base, flexing its muscle to enforce sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine. – Reuters

Pro-Chinese agents posed as concerned local residents on social media to try and spark protests over the opening of rare earth mines in the US and Canada, cybersecurity researchers said in a new report. – Bloomberg

Ever since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, China has blamed NATO for antagonizing Russia and accused the US of seeking to set up a similar alliance in the Asia-Pacific. The presence of four leaders from the region in Spain this week will only make Beijing more paranoid. – Bloomberg

As the US military’s focus on competition with China grows, the US special-operations community is investing in a softer skill to counter Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region. – Business Insider

Michael Rubin writes: During his first meeting with Premier Zhou Enlai, Kissinger was conciliatory. “If the Korean War hadn’t occurred…Taiwan would probably be today a part of the PRC,” he said. Kissinger may have wanted to ingratiate with a historical hypothetical, but history is not on Communist China’s side. It is tragic that a half-century later, Sullivan appears willing to embrace a Beijing narrative that Communist authorities wove out of whole cloth rather than call his Chinese counterparts out on a lie built on repetition rather than fact. – 19fortyfive

James Curran writes: Given the domestic turmoil that will likely accompany the race towards the next presidential election, time is running out for the president to bed down his China policy with a more integrated approach that rebuilds America’s economic credibility in Asia. – The National Interest


When Russia first invaded Ukraine, the United States warned India against buying more Russian oil, saying that New Delhi could face “consequences.” Now the West is softening its stance, emphasizing that India doesn’t need to choose sides. – New York Times

Russian President Vladimir Putin received a warm welcome in the authoritarian Central Asian state of Tajikistan on Tuesday, on the inaugural leg of his first foreign tour since the invasion of Ukraine in February. – Bloomberg

When the British handed its colony Hong Kong to Beijing in 1997, it was promised 50 years of self-government and freedoms of assembly, speech and press that are not allowed Chinese on the Communist-ruled mainland. – Associated Press

Hong Kong police confirmed Tuesday that Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit the city this week for the 25th anniversary of the former British colony’s return to Chinese rule. – Associated Press

Newly-minted Australian defense minister Richard Marles today announced a striking — though not unprecedented — extension of the terms of the senior military leadership, including the chief of defence force, Gen. Angus Campbell. – Breaking Defense

Quietly but consistently, the Kremlin is exerting pressure on Kazakhstan in a way that, in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine, could foreshadow trouble for the world’s largest landlocked country. In particular, Vladimir Putin’s displeasure with certain less than adulatory attitudes from the Kazakh capital, Nur-Sultan, has been a feature of relations between Russia and the former Soviet republic for years and has lately intensified. – New York Sun

Keith B. Richburg writes: China can always send in replacements for the people leaving in droves, a pressure valve for the growing number of mainland university graduates facing a bleak employment market. Hong Kong will indeed survive by changing and adapting, as it always has. It will likely even prosper. It just might not be recognizable to anyone who knew it, and loved it, before. – Washington Post

Steven Horrell and Ivanna Kuz write: The Madrid Summit is a historic opportunity for the alliance to address security in the Black Sea region. To do so, allies should outline concrete measures to build a long-lasting Black Sea Strategy. – Center for European Policy Analysis


When leaders of the Group of Seven nations gathered one recent night in the Bavarian Alps to pose for a photo after a long day of meetings, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson enthused, “Ride for life, G-7!” — as if the three-day summit were a whimsical adventure for the transatlantic allies. – Washington Post

Bulgaria said on Tuesday it was expelling 70 Russian diplomatic staff over espionage concerns and had set a cap on the size of Moscow’s representation as tensions between two countries that were once close allies fractured over Ukraine. – Reuters

Germany and the Netherlands will deliver six additional howitzers to Ukraine, the defence ministers of both countries said on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Madrid on Tuesday. – Reuters

The United Kingdom is the U.S.’ closest ally. It also has one of the world’s largest economies. And, needless to say, Britain’s a democracy that plays by the rules. – Washington Examiner

British military leaders warned Tuesday that UK armed forces must “mobilize” in response to the threat posed by Russia, with the army’s new chief invoking the Allies’ struggle against Nazi Germany. – Agence France-Presse

The Biden administration plans to station two more forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in Rota, Spain, the White House announced Tuesday. – USNI News

The American treasury secretary is looking to a major shipping crossroads of the Mediterranean, Cyprus, for help in stopping Russia from dodging sanctions. In a call yesterday to the Cypriot finance minister, Constantinos Petrides, Secretary Yellen expressed “the U.S. desire to align with the European Union’s sixth package of restrictions and prevent evasion,” according to an official statement from the Department of the Treasury. – New York Sun


Sudan’s armed forces fired heavy artillery during clashes in a disputed eastern region bordering Ethiopia, an Ethiopian official said, the latest salvo in a long-running feud over their shared border. – Reuters

Suspected separatist rebels in western Cameroon attacked rural villages, killing at least 30 people, say health workers in the Akwaya district. – Associated Press

Ethiopian authorities have named a team of seven negotiators for possible peace talks with Tigray forces. – Associated Press

The Americas

U.S. prosecutors this week dropped charges against two people accused of attempting to bribe officials in Haiti after new evidence came to light regarding lost recordings of calls that undercover agents conducted with one defendant. – Wall Street Journal

U.S. authorities have stopped a ship traveling from Russia to Louisiana with a cargo of fuel products, say people familiar with the matter. – Wall Street Journal

A panel investigating atrocities during Colombia’s epic civil war called for overhauling the country’s armed forces and critiqued the U.S.-backed war on drugs as part of its final report. The president-elect said he would consider the recommendations. – Wall Street Journal

U.S. President Joe Biden will host Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Washington on July 12, the White House said on Tuesday, a visit that was initially planned after the Mexican president snubbed a U.S.-hosted regional summit earlier this month. – Reuters

Sadek Wahba writes: These steps add up to a unified domestic/foreign policy strategy, with infrastructure at its heart. It can benefit the U.S. economy, strengthen our global strategic presence and put our relationship with China on a more stable footing — all with the support of the private sector, a strong message to deliver on behalf of Western democracies. If managed correctly, it can be a victory for all concerned. – The Hill


– The Group of Seven leaders agreed on Tuesday to strengthen their countries’ defences against foreign disinformation and cyber attacks, including threats posed by Russia. – Reuters

Russian hacker group Killnet told Reuters that it was continuing a major cyber attack on Lithuania on Tuesday in retaliation for Vilnius’s decision to cease the transit of some goods under European Union sanctions to Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave. – Reuters

A Canadian man arrested early last year for his role in the NetWalker ransomware attacks agreed to plead guilty to four charges that could earn him a maximum of 40 years in prison, according to a court document filed Tuesday. – CyberScoop

Nadiya Kostyuk and Erik Gartzke write: It is quite possible that in the future other nations will behave differently than Russia has in Ukraine. Despite this, our systematic analysis of global military and cyber campaigns and descriptive anecdotes from the Russo-Ukrainian war suggest that cyber war cannot replace traditional forms of combat. […]Differences in these respective arenas mean that the future of warfare will likely not be fundamentally altered by cyberspace. Instead, the objectives of states are already evolving in an informational world. Nations will not use cyber war in the place of more traditional war, but they will rely increasingly on cyberspace as a domain for pursuing these new, informational objectives. – Texas National Security Review


The NATO military alliance faces its biggest challenge since World War II amid the war in Ukraine, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday. – Associated Press

The U.S. Army on Tuesday selected General Dynamics Land Systems to build a light tank meant to improve mobility, protection and direct-fire capabilities for Infantry Brigade Combat Teams. – Defense News

The Navy will order fewer F-35C jets in fiscal year 2023 than manufacturer Lockheed Martin could produce under a pandemic catch-up plan, with officials hoping to use the lull to spend money on other priorities. – Defense News

The U.S. Army announced Tuesday its effort for a next-generation, software-centric ground system is transitioning to another phase. – C4ISRNET

Lockheed Martin is poised to demonstrate an offensive electronic warfare capability scaled for smaller vessels in the coming weeks during the international Rim of the Pacific exercise onboard a US Navy ship, a company official told Breaking Defense in an interview today. – Breaking Defense

The US Army has selected Raytheon and Palantir to build dueling prototypes for the Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node, a program that’s critical to the military’s ability to rapidly turn battlefield intelligence into targeting information in the future. – Breaking Defense

Charles A. Kupchan writes: NATO remains an essential pillar of an enduring transatlantic community of shared interests and values. It has amply demonstrated its relevance, efficacy, and unity in marshaling a resolute response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. It is now time for NATO to start moving toward a cease-fire and diplomatic endgame in Ukraine, in no small part to maintain transatlantic solidarity and guard against homegrown threats to liberal democracy that may pose an even greater threat to the Atlantic community than Putin. This pivot needs to be part of a broader effort to build a transatlantic architecture fit for purpose amid the interdependence of the twenty-first century. – Foreign Affairs

Kelly A. Grieco writes: Finally, Biden should use his well-earned reputation as a staunch atlanticist to allay fears that strengthening European capabilities and force readiness would come at the expense of American security guarantees. The Russia-Ukraine crisis has heightened old anxieties and fears among NATO countries in Eastern Europe. Put simply, the task of the Biden administration is to convince NATO’s Eastern European members that these reforms are in their core national security interests, given the competing demands on U.S. military resources elsewhere. – Defense News

Sean Monaghan writes: Yet resetting NATO’s defense and deterrence posture is not simply a military-strategic matter. It is above all a political one, requiring unity and solidarity. In facing this crucial task, the allies of NATO must recall one of the basic principles from its founding strategic concept, taken from the North Atlantic Treaty itself: “They are resolved to unite their efforts for collective defense and for the preservation of peace and security.” – Center for Strategic and International Studies

Long War

The trial of suspects in the attack that killed 130 people across Paris in 2015 will come to an end on Wednesday when judges hand in their verdict, in what victims said will be a relief after nearly 10 months of harrowing hearings. – Reuters

The first American to be convicted in a U.S. jury trial of joining the Islamic State had his prison term reduced Tuesday from 20 years to 14 years after an appeals court ordered a new sentencing hearing. – Associated Press

An Egyptian court sentenced 10 people to death and more than 50 others to life in prison on Tuesday after they were convicted of supporting or carrying out attacks against security forces and sabotage of state infrastructure. The prosecution linked the attacks, which took place in Cairo between 2013 and 2015, to the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. – Reuters