Fdd's overnight brief

June 4, 2020

In The News


Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that the killing of George Floyd in police custody had exposed the true nature of the rulers of the United States. – Reuters

Iran has signed a two-year contract with Iraq to export electricity to the neighbouring country, Iranian state news agency IRNA on Thursday quoted the country’s Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian as saying. – Reuters

An Iranian professor who was acquitted in the United States of stealing trade secrets arrived in Iran on Wednesday, Iranian media reported. – Reuters

As American cities convulse with protests, U.S. adversaries are taking advantage of the situation on social media to advance their agendas and troll U.S. government officials, according to a report released Wednesday. – Bloomberg

Iran has decided to channel one billion dollars from its national reserves to prop up its ailing automakers amid a deep economic crisis gripping the country since 2018. – Radio Farda

In what appears to be candid remarks, Mohammad Qasemi, the head of the Iranian Parliament’s Research Center, has painted a bleak picture of Iran’s economy. He told parliament that structural flaws and weak management have plagued the Iranian economy during the past 40 years. – Radio Farda

Iran’s regular Army on Tuesday claimed that “envious and hostile enemies” misrepresented the remarks of its Coordinating Deputy in an interview to damage the unity of the Army and the Revolutionary Guard. – Radio Farda 

Saied Golkar and Kasra Aarabi write: COVID-19 presents a set of unique challenges for the Islamic Republic. The virus grew in the context of political dissent, economic turmoil, and social unrest, and will only add fuel to the fire of Iranian grievances. There is every reason to believe that there will be more unrest in Iran in the near future; expressions of dissent are already starting to surface, especially on social media. Until now, the regime has been dependent on its security apparatus’ capacity and appetite to neutralize threats to its survival. However, this can change. – Middle East Institute

Claire Jungman and Daniel Roth write: Similarly, Iranian Suezmax STARK I appeared in the Strait of Malacca on May 16 with a draft indicating it was full of about 1m bbl of crude. The vessel disappeared from tracking east of Singapore on May 17 and reappeared heading west on May 22 with a lower draft, again indicating the cargo had been discharged. […]As UANI has previously documented, it seems Malaysia has no intention of stopping its facilitation of Iranian sanctions evasion through these ongoing transshipment (and now blending) operations. – United Against Nuclear Iran

Raz Zimmt writes: But if the U.S. decides to abandon the restrictions against Iran, it will find it hard to shape a favorable deal in the future.In any event, it is right that both presidential candidates formulate an alternative plan to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat and are prepared for Tehran’s refusal to even return to the negotiating table, let alone sign a new and improved agreement.  – Ynet


The Syrian government condemned Wednesday a new wave of U.S. sanctions against the country, calling the measures “economic terrorism” that will increase the suffering of the Syrian people. – Associated Press

One of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ most important headquarters in Syria is once again being used despite being hit by Israeli air strikes last year. – Algemeiner

Russia has confirmed the delivery of more MiG-29 fighter jets to Syria, just days after the U.S. military accused Moscow of using Syria to transfer warplanes to Libya. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty


Police in Istanbul have dispersed a small group of demonstrators who gathered in the Turkish city to denounce police violence and to stand in solidarity with protesters in the United States. At least 29 demonstrators were detained, Turkey’s state-run agency reported. – Associated Press

Russia’s ambassador to Ankara said Turkey is free to turn on or mothball the advanced Russian S-400 missiles it received last year after delaying a plan to activate the weapons in April. – Bloomberg

Zvi Bar’el writes: Regardless of whether or not Turkey ever produces oil or gas from the exclusive economic zone its agreement with Libya gave it, it has already achieved its diplomatic goal – becoming a key player in the Mediterranean. The question facing Erdogan now is how to convert this diplomatic achievement into domestic political capital at a time when Turkey is facing one of the worst economic crises it has ever known. – Haaretz

Peter Suciu writes: Despite being suspended from the F-35 program, Turkish-based subcontractors were still producing and delivering parts for the Joint Strike Fighter as late as April. […] The situation apparently will continue to be a complicated one. – The National Interest


Nickolay Mladenov might just be the last person left with any shot at advancing peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Political relations between Israel and the Palestinians are stalled. The Palestinian leadership refuses to meet with U.S. officials. – Washington Post

The Palestinians said on Wednesday they were rejecting taxes collected on their behalf by Israel, an escalation of measures in protest of Israel’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. – Reuters

Half of Israelis support annexing parts of the occupied West Bank, although they are divided over whether to take the step without U.S. support, an opinion poll showed on Wednesday. – Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has harshly criticized Jewish West Bank settler leaders for disparaging President Donald Trump over what they perceive to be his less than adequate plan allowing Israel to annex parts of the West Bank. – Associated Press

MK Avi Dichter (Likud) on Wednesday blasted the government for delaying the offsetting of the salaries of terrorists from the money that the State of Israel passes on to the Palestinian Authority. – Arutz Sheva

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been urged by various former ministers and diplomats to “raise the tone” in the face of Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Canada-based outlet Le Devoir reported on Wednesday. – i24 News

The American unit of Astroscale Holdings is entering the satellite life-extension market with the purchase of an Israeli company that specializes in developing on-orbit servicing solutions. – C4ISRNET

Oded Gour-Lavie writes: A clear line on where and when to engage with China – or not – should be drawn at vulnerable, strategic sites. Vulnerability and strategy should serve as the guiding lighthouses for Israel’s future engagement with China, and Israel’s relationship with America must remain the clearcut priority. – Jerusalem Post

Gulf States

The Trump administration is taking a new tack in trying to resolve a three-year-old feud between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors by pressing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to halt their bans on Qatari airlines flying over their countries, according to U.S. and Gulf officials. – Wall Street Journal 

As the coronavirus epidemic sweeps through Yemen, rebels who control the north of the country have been threatening medical workers to keep them quiet, part of an effort to cover up the true toll of the outbreak, humanitarian officials say. – Washington Post

The family of a former senior Saudi intelligence official have told of their anguish over the disappearance of two of his adult children in Riyadh, in what has been described to the Guardian as an act of vengeance by the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to force the official’s return from exile. – The Guardian

A State Department inspector general abruptly fired by President Donald Trump last month confirmed on Wednesday that he was investigating the declaration of a “national emergency” to justify arms sales to Saudi Arabia when he was dismissed, members of the U.S. Congress said. – Reuters


Libya’s internationally recognised government recaptured Tripoli’s main airport on Wednesday, all but driving an eastern commander’s forces from the capital ahead of what appeared to be moves towards talks on a truce. – Reuters

Libya’s internationally recognised leader will meet President Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey on Thursday as the allies seek to lock in recent gains on the battlefield near Tripoli ahead of a new round of talks on a potential ceasefire. – Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that the presence of Russian prisoners in the Libyan capital of Tripoli was the main obstacle to cooperation between the countries. – Reuters

Seth J. Frantzman writes: Turkey is an impassioned foe of the Sisi government, having backed the previous Muslim Brotherhood dominated government. This likely creates an existential threat in the eyes of Sisi, not wanting Turkey near his border. But the main issue will be what Russia does next. There could be more discussions in Europe, based on the previous Berlin model for a ceasefire. This may hinge on France and Turkey also discussing Libya. With the US distracted by protests and the pandemic, what happens next in Libya is being determined by all these players. – Jerusalem Post

Middle East & North Africa

China is an ever-more important customer for Middle Eastern oil producers as they scramble to find buyers in the wake of the coronavirus. – Bloomberg

China’s propaganda machine is telling the Arab world that the coronavirus pandemic will propel the communist regime to a “leading role in the new world order,” supplanting the United States. – Washington Times

Military personnel will shift to 12-month unaccompanied tours in Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula, according to the Department of Defense. – Military Times

Mahpari Sotoudeh writes: As it currently stands, in the absence of a compelling reform narrative or realistic, clearly-articulated plan from the Hirak, the Tebboune-fronted version of Algeria’s pouvoir is creating a new normal while changing very little of the power structure the Hirak railed against. Nevertheless, both the successes and shortcomings of Algeria’s Hirak present several takeaways for Lebanese protesters to better position themselves to drive long-term political change. – Middle East Institute

Korean Peninsula

South Korea said Thursday it planned to push new laws to ban activists from flying anti-Pyongyang leaflets over the border after North Korea threatened to end an inter-Korean military agreement reached in 2018 to reduce tensions if Seoul fails to prevent the protests. – Associated Press

Kim Yo-jong, the powerful sister of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, has warned South Korea to stop propaganda leaflets coming over the border, warning it could wreck an agreement to reduce military tensions. – The Guardian

North Korea on Thursday said the United States is in no position to criticise China over Hong Kong or human rights when Washington threatens to “unleash dogs” to suppress anti-racism protests at home. – Reuters


With testing underway on five experimental vaccines in China and four in the United States, the race to produce a vaccine for covid-19 has taken on political dimensions that echo jockeying for technological dominance during the Cold War, including the space race after the launch of Sputnik in 1957. – Washington Post

At least two U.S. senators said Wednesday that China hid data from the World Health Organization that could have altered the course of the coronavirus outbreak, even as a Chinese official denied delays in sharing information and said the government acted openly and transparently. – Associated Press

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he was not considering placing sanctions on Chinese President Xi Jinping personally over Beijing’s push to impose national security legislation in Hong Kong. – Reuters

The United States is expected to designate at least four additional state-run Chinese media outlets as foreign embassies, increasing restrictions on their operations on American soil, three people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. – Reuters

The U.S Commerce Department said on Wednesday that new restrictions on 33 Chinese firms and institutions it announced last month will take effect Friday. – Reuters

The U.K. is heading for a damaging showdown with China as it takes on Beijing over Hong Kong and Huawei Technologies Co. – Bloomberg

At least 39 people have been injured in a knife attack on a nursery in southern China, state media has said. […]The attack was an eerie throwback to deadly attacks at schools in China over past years that prompted security upgrades. – Sky News (UK)

Dan Glickman writes: It’s time for responsible politicians to step forward and to come up with a real actionable strategy for the United States to both work with and confront China on a diverse array of issues. Hearing politicians bashing China may make us feel good, but the real challenge for America is using our inherent strengths like human rights, ingenuity and entrepreneurship to compete with China, and continue to lead the world. – The Hill

James C. Grant writes: The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting China’s global Belt and Road Initiative hard, jeopardizing President Xi Jinping’s multi-trillion dollar foreign policy agenda. Developing nations across the Belt are struggling as Chinese resources dry up and critical infrastructure projects are put on hold. However, Beijing is wasting no time during this crisis to recalibrate its soft power in pursuit of long-term strategic objectives. – Washington Times

Paul Wolfowitz writes: But perhaps that can best be explained by the fact that it has always been forbidden in China to tell truth about Mao, or about his successor today, Xi Jinping. […]Today, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Xi Jinping seems intent on turning the clock back, if not to the days of the Cultural Revolution, then to something that might be called “Maoism with up-to-date surveillance technology.” – American Enterprise Institute

Walter Lohman, Thomas W. Spoehr and Ambassador Terry Miller write: The great advance in the 2017 National Security Strategy was its recognition of the great-power competition between the U.S. and China. From that flows the assessments in the Strategic Approach about Chinese intentions and the threats they pose to American interests. […]That’s good; overdue, really. What has often been overlooked is the subtlety of the administration’s approach. It’s these subtleties, not the restatements of well-known hard lines, that make the Strategic Approach remarkable. – The Daily Signal


This week, the two military widows received another shock: Abdul Basir Salangi, the police officer who admitted murdering their husbands in Kabul in 2012, was freed from prison last week after serving less than four years of a 20-year sentence. – New York Times

The Taliban boasted of their readiness to fight the deadly coronavirus when it first reached Afghanistan, but now the insurgents are struggling to curb its spread in their strongholds. – Agence France-Presse

Anthony H. Cordesman writes: The analysis then addresses a range of critical failures in effective governance and a decline in the economy’s ability to meet popular needs and create job opportunities. […]These broader problems illustrate the severe limits to the value of the current peace agreements and the ability to accomplish a meaningful peace within the time limits they set. – Center for Strategic and International Studies

South Asia

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison have agreed to upgrade their nations’ ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership as both nations navigate fraught relations with China. – Bloomberg

With more than 90 percent of its trade seaborne, Pakistan’s geostrategic location at the head of the Arabian Sea adjoining the Arabian Gulf trade routes — coupled with its ambitions to become a trade conduit to China and Central Asia via the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor — demand it play an increasingly significant role in ensuring regional maritime security. – Defense News

Both China and India are unlikely to turn to the United States for mediation over an ongoing border dispute high in the Himalayas, a political commentator told CNBC. – CNBC

Chinese troops have moved into a tense, disputed section of the Himalayan border shared by China and India, according to a high-ranking Delhi official. – CNN


Three decades after China massacred pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, almost 200,000 people filled Hong Kong’s Victoria Park, holding candles in an annual commemoration that has come to symbolize the fragility of the city’s freedoms from Beijing’s encroachment. – Washington Post

Hong Kong’s most prominent activist said he had no plans to leave in the wake of U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s offer of citizenship to millions of residents, saying he would prefer Britain to impose harsh sanctions against China. – Bloomberg

Hong Kong’s legislature approved a contentious bill Thursday that makes it illegal to insult the Chinese national anthem. – Associated Press

The U.N. human rights office called on the Philippine government in a new report Thursday to end all violence targeting suspected drug offenders and to disband private and state-backed paramilitary groups. – Associated Press

Canberra Airport opened a register for travelers interested in flying from the Australian capital to New Zealand on July 1 in a proposed resumption of international travel. – Associated Press

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam accused foreign critics on Wednesday of displaying “blatant double standards” over moves by Beijing to strengthen control over the semi-autonomous territory. – Associated Press

Japan has not yet established its position on a U.S. proposal for adding countries to the Group of Seven summit to be held later this year, Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Wednesday. – Reuters

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft put the world body on notice this week that Chinese maritime claims in the South China Sea are illegal and must be rejected. – Washington Times

Hong Kong officials are invoking the unrest in the United States to justify government crackdowns on protesters who have denounced the Beijing-backed local government over the last year. – Washington Examiner

China is tightening its grip on disputed claims in the South China Sea by beefing up its military capability and planting the seeds of long-term habitability on the artificial islands at the core of its regional economic influence strategy. – USNI News

Adam Brandon writes: The way to put pressure, then, on the Chinese is with more trade, not less. […]We hurt ourselves just as much, if not more, than we hurt China. However, Xi Jinping has the benefit of governing an authoritarian state where he’s not obligated to maintain a certain standard of living and is not subject to any real re-election challenge. In a protracted trade war, the Chinese hold the cards. Where we take back the cards is liberalizing trade across the globe. – Washington Times

Michael Mazza writes: The People’s Republic of China seeks to exert its will on the world. We can no longer afford ambiguity regarding our commitment to Taiwan’s defense. That ambiguity only serves to convince Beijing that it might be able to get away with a move on Taiwan. It cannot and it will not. Asia’s long peace is a singular American achievement. It is a peace we must seek to sustain, and it is in this light that we make this commitment to Taiwan today. – Global Taiwan Institute

Richard Kauzlarich and David J. Kramer write: The U.S. and its Western allies should be pressing for the release of political prisoners everywhere, especially these days, when being sent to jail could endanger the lives of these innocent individuals. The only time the U.S. Embassy in Baku and the State Department in Washington should be welcoming developments in Azerbaijan is when the regime stops mistreating its citizens. For good. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Anthony B. Kim writes: Azerbaijan has been and will continue to be a country of geopolitical importance and economic competition. More than ever, continuing to adopt reform measures and advance economic freedom in a time of uncertainty is critical to Azerbaijan. Washington can help its important partner in the Caspian Sea area by increasing the frank, open, and constructive dialogue between the two countries on issues of mutual concern. – The Daily Signal

Frederick Starr writes: Central Asia, including Afghanistan, represents geopolitically important real estate. Building on their rich indigenous cultures, its countries now look to the United States to provide a balance to other major powers in the region. […]The new strategy indicates that, at long last, Washington is beginning to take Central Asia seriously. Having taken important first steps, however, it should now finish the job. – American Foreign Policy Council

David Brennan writes: Hong Kong activists plan to hold small events today to remember the Tiananmen Square tragedy and to bolster their own resolve for the future. Victoria Park may look empty, but the protestors and their movement have not gone away. – Newsweek

Peter Suciu writes: Given that Beijing is ramping up an amphibious force, has a second carrier that is undergoing sea trials and continues to expand its presence in the region it is no wonder that Taipei seeks to ensure that it has the right counter-measures in place. – The National Interest


Russia’s Rosneft which closed its oil trading arm after sanctions were imposed by U.S. authorities in February, has set up a new Geneva-based trading business, four trading sources familiar with the matter said. – Reuters

President Trump on Wednesday defended his plans to invite Russia to the Group of Seven (G-7) summit this year despite its expulsion from the group in 2014, arguing that it’s “common sense” to do so. – The Hill

The Russian government has extended the residence permit of renegade National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. – Washington Times

Just a few days ago, Russia’s Sevmash Shipyard christened their latest product, a Borei-II-class submarine, as the Knyaz Vladimir. It was named after Vladimir the Great and promptly put into the Russian service.  The National Interest

The Russian Navy has continued to conduct maneuvers and exercises on an increasingly regular basis, and this week warships from its Black Sea Fleet were deployed to naval ranges for drills, the Fleet’s press office announced. During the week, the ships’ crews will reportedly conduct sole and joint artillery and missile firings against naval, coastal and air targets. – The National Interest

Janusz Bugajski writes: Ultimately, American domestic unrest and civil conflict is not an end in itself for the Kremlin. The main goal is to restrict the U.S. to its own hemisphere, diminish America’s international alliances and enable authoritarian states to carve up the rest of the world into spheres of predominant influence.  – The Hill


Germany adopted its second economic-stimulus package since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, bringing their total cost to €1.3 trillion ($1.5 trillion), by far the largest in Europe as a share of gross domestic product. – Wall Street Journal

Thousands of people demonstrated in London on Wednesday against police violence and racial injustice following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which has set off days of unrest in the United States. – Associated Press

The European Union and China have agreed to postpone a summit planned for this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic, German officials said Wednesday. – Associated Press

he number of anti-Semitic incidents in the Czech Republic doubled last year, the Jewish community said Wednesday. – Associated Press

The European Defence Agency (EDA) is to hand over proposals for its Generic Open Soldier System Reference Architecture (GOSSRA) to NATO in May, as the alliance considers adopting it as a standardisation recommendation (STAREC). – Jane’s 360

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson called George Floyd’s death “inexcusable” in his first public comments on the incident, which has sparked protests across the U.S. and London. – The Hill

Krystyna Sikora writes: With both an increasingly aggressive and cyber sophisticated Russia and China, NATO countries need to review their critical infrastructure and measures to protect it. It is in times of peace that countries must ensure their capabilities, so they can be prepared for times of conflict. – Center for European Policy Analysis


Gambia, the smallest country in continental Africa, is calling for a “transparent, credible and objective” investigation into the death of one of its citizens who was fatally shot by police last week in Georgia. – Washington Post

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok pledged justice on Wednesday for scores of pro-democracy protesters killed a year ago when security forces broke up a sit-in outside the defence ministry. – Reuters

Protestors in Dakar set tyres on fire and threw stones at security forces on Wednesday night during protests over a nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed almost three months ago because of the coronavirus pandemic. – Reuters

Sudan is seeking its first staff-monitored International Monetary Fund program since 2014 as the one-time pariah works toward reintegrating with the global economy. – Bloomberg

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to move ahead toward ending the joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force in Sudan’s vast western Darfur region and replacing it with a civilian mission focusing on the country’s democratic transition, diplomats said. – Associated Press

Sixteen civilians, five of them children, were killed overnight in a fresh massacre in the eastern DR Congo province of Ituri, a local official and a UN source said on Wednesday. – Agence France-Presse

North America

When asked what he thought of President Trump’s call for military action against American protesters and the tear gassing of peaceful demonstrators to make way for a photo-op, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paused at his podium for 21 uncomfortable, televised seconds. He opened his mouth, then shut it — twice. He softly groaned. – New York Times

After long refusing to explicitly criticize a sitting president, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis accused President Donald Trump on Wednesday of trying to divide America and roundly denounced a militarization of the U.S. response to civil unrest. – Reuters

The Trump administration is suspending passenger flights to the U.S. by Chinese airlines, saying it was retaliating after Beijing barred American carriers from re-entering China amid escalating tensions between the two nations.- Bloomberg

The UN rights chief on Wednesday decried “structural racism” in the United States, and voiced alarm at the “unprecedented assault” on journalists covering protests across the country after George Floyd’s death in custody. – Agence France-Presse

Three far-right extremists arrested by an anti-terror unit at Las Vegas protests over the killing of an African American man by police were charged Wednesday with inciting violence, officials said. – Agence France-Presse

Congressional Republicans on Wednesday stood behind Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who dramatically broke with President Trump by declaring he opposed deploying U.S. military forces to put down rioting in American cities. – The Hill

President Trump on Wednesday said he doesn’t think it will be necessary to send military forces to U.S. cities to quell protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. – The Hill

Eli Lake writes: Add it all up, and it’s clear that the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged coordination with Russia was out of control. It was bad enough that Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe never shared this exculpatory information with the public as Washington became obsessed with the prospect that the president was a traitor. Comey and later McCabe also kept all this from the deputy attorney general. In both cases, it was an egregious breach of the public’s trust. – Bloomberg


The U.K. is in talks with a rival to Huawei Technologies Co. as Boris Johnson’s officials revise the British government’s stance toward China in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic. – Bloomberg

Christopher Krebs, the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency, said in an interview released this week that he expects to see “every intelligence service” attempt to target and steal COVID-19 research and data. – The Hill

A federal watchdog’s review of 15 major information technology investments at the Department of Defense found that many programs were below cost estimates, though several had delays in their original timelines, shortfalls in cybersecurity testing and software development workforce challenges. – C4ISRNET


The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is calling for answers from Pentagon leaders about the use of the military in Washington, D.C., in response to protests against police violence and racial injustice. – The Hill

USS Nimitz (CVN-71) is pier-side in California after completing its final series of exercises ahead of a planned deployment to the Western Pacific, USNI News has learned. – USNI News

No protests have been filed over the Navy’s decision to award Fincantieri a detail design and construction contract for the FFG(X) program, clearing the way for work to begin, the Navy confirmed to USNI News. – USNI News

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and its embarked air wing are ready to go back on deployment after completing carrier qualifications, following a two-month fight against a COVID-19 outbreak on the carrier, U.S. 7th Fleet announced. – USNI News

The Columbia (SSBN-826) class program is a program to design and build a class of 12 new ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the Navy’s current force of 14 aging Ohio-class SSBNs. The Navy has identified the Columbia-class program as the Navy’s top priority program. – USNI News

Several promotions last week kicked off an unofficial start to this summer’s season of flag officer moves. On Friday, the Navy ushered in the service’s new Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Lescher who relieved former VCNO Adm. Robert Burke in a small ceremony overseen by CNO Adm. Mike Gilday. The same day Vice Adm. Yancy Lindsey relieved retiring Vice Adm. – USNI News

A pair of Georgia lawmakers voiced consternation with the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System, criticizing the service Wednesday for being late to submit information about the program. – C4ISRNET

Congress’ watchdog agency, the Government Accountability Office, found that the Navy has yet to fully demonstrate critical technologies in the mid-band portion of the service’s future airborne electronic jamming system. – C4ISRNET

The US Army Contracting Command award, announced by the DoD on 29 May, covers production and engineering services of the 70 mm rockets, and will run through to 30 September 2026. The DoD did not disclose the numbers of rockets being acquired. – Jane’s 360

Trump Administration

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe criticized former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for providing “false” testimony Wednesday on the 2016 Russia investigation. – The Hill

Steven Linick, the ousted State Department inspector general, told lawmakers that he was investigating Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for allegations of misusing government resources and that he had discussed the probe with other State Department officials.  – The Hill

As the country is gripped by civil unrest over racial injustice and the death of George Floyd, the U.S. Senate has been poised to confirm the first black chief of a military service branch. But the nomination was being quietly delayed by one senator as leverage in a basing decision for the KC-46 aerial refueling tanker. – Defense News