Fdd's overnight brief

June 5, 2024

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News

Israel

Israel and Hezbollah are moving closer to a full-scale war after months of escalating hostilities with the Lebanese militant group, adding pressure on Israel’s government to secure its northern border. – Wall Street Journal

President Biden said he was “uncertain” whether Israel was committing war crimes in Gaza, telling Time magazine in an interview published Tuesday that “a lot of innocent people have been killed” and that Israel was investigating alleged war crimes itself. – Washington Post

After eight months of devastating bombardment by Israeli forces, some Gazans are urging Hamas to accept a cease-fire plan outlined by President Biden, but many remain deeply skeptical that the United States, as Israel’s chief ally, would truly bring an end to the war. – New York Times

The House voted mostly along party lines on Tuesday to impose sweeping sanctions on officials at the International Criminal Court in a rebuke of efforts by the court’s top prosecutor to charge top Israeli leaders with war crimes in connection with the offensive against Hamas. – New York Times

Israeli shelling and airstrikes killed at least 19 people in central and south Gaza on Tuesday including two policemen who were helping protect humanitarian aid deliveries in the southern city of Rafah, Palestinian medics said. – Reuters

Hamas cannot agree to any deal unless Israel makes a “clear” commitment to a permanent ceasefire and a complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, a senior official from the Palestinian militant group said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s biggest coalition partner said on Tuesday it would support a prospective deal to free hostages from Hamas captivity even if it entails an overhaul of Israel’s Gaza war strategy. – Reuters

Israel believes that more than a third of the remaining Gaza hostages are dead, a government tally showed on Tuesday, as the United States sought to advance their recovery under a proposal to wind down the war with Hamas. – Reuters

A response from Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Israel’s ceasefire proposal that U.S. President Joe Biden revealed on Friday is still being awaited, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Tuesday. – Reuters

Israel is phasing out the use of a military-run detention camp for Palestinians captured during the Gaza war where rights groups alleged there has been abuse of inmates, justice officials said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Qatar said on Tuesday it delivered an Israeli proposal to Hamas that reflected the positions stated by U.S. President Joe Biden, adding that the paper was now much closer to the positions of both sides. – Reuters

Deep divisions will limit progress at reconciliation talks between Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah this month, conversations with five sources in the groups indicate, but the meetings highlight that the Islamist group is likely to retain influence after Israel’s war in Gaza. – Reuters

World Central Kitchen has delivered more than 50 million meals in Gaza and hopes to continue to expand in the wartorn area, according to the aid group, which suspended operations in April when seven of its workers were killed by an Israeli strike. – Reuters

Slovenia recognized a Palestinian state on Tuesday after its parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the move, following in the recent steps of three other European countries. – Associated Press

Israel will start receiving a fresh batch of F-35 fighter jets from the US in 2028 after the two sides finalized a deal that affirmed their close alliance despite friction over the war in Gaza. – Bloomberg

The son of an Israeli hostage who was announced on Monday to have died in the captivity of the Hamas terror group in Gaza demanded on Tuesday that Israel not place any soldiers in danger to retrieve his father’s body. – Times of Israel

The IDF claimed Tuesday afternoon local time that fighter jets were attacking Hamas targets in the Bureij area “at the same time as ground forces that are operating in a targeted manner and with intelligence guidance,” in the same area. – CNN

“Palestine depends on the destruction of Israel. If there is any definition of Palestine, it means the absence of Israel,” Mossab Hassan Yousef, otherwise known as the Green Prince, told Dr. Dan Diker, The Jerusalem Center for Foreign Affairs President at The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference on Tuesday.  – Jerusalem Post

Editorial: Mr. Biden’s decision to pressure Israel, while going soft on mediators Egypt and Qatar, has also given Hamas reason to draw out hostage talks and continue the war. As the President acknowledged earlier in his Time interview, Hamas is to blame for the lack of a deal. “Hamas could end this tomorrow,” he said. “The last offer Israel made was very generous,” he added. “Bibi is under enormous pressure on the hostages, and so he’s prepared to do about anything to get the hostages back.”The latest Israeli hostage offer is evidence of that. Mr. Biden’s criticism of Israel, on the other hand, suggests frustration with his own policy failure. – Wall Street Journal 

Editorial: Granted, the ceasefire agreement is full of flaws: it does not provide an alternative to Hamas, and it wrongly assumes that Hamas is no longer capable of inflicting damage on Israel. But it does create a mechanism to free some hostages and provide some relief to the North, assuming that Hezbollah will refrain from attacking Israel during the implementation of the ceasefire plan. Of course, ultimately, in an ironic twist of fate, the decision about where we go next isn’t even in our hands. It’s up to Hamas, which hasn’t yet officially responded to Biden’s ceasefire statement. – Jerusalem Post

Michael Rubin writes: If war is to spread in the region, it will likely next flare between Israel and Hezbollah. That Iranian proxy masses more than 100,000 rockets along Israel’s northern border. While the international media focus on Gaza, they ignore that Hezbollah harassment and rocket fire have forced the evacuation of tens of thousands in northern Israel within range of Hezbollah sniper and artillery fire. The danger of an Israel-Hezbollah war, meanwhile, is that it brings a sustained Israel-Iran conflict one step closer. – Washington Examiner

Noa Tishby writes: Rather than condemning Israel, the focus should be on holding Hamas accountable for its actions and supporting efforts to achieve a lasting peace that addresses the security concerns of both Israelis and Palestinians. Only by confronting the true provocateurs of the conflict can we hope to pave the way for a peaceful resolution and a better future for all those affected by the brutal violence of Hamas and its jihadi allies. – Newsweek

Iran

Iran’s acting foreign minister Ali Bagheri Kani met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Tuesday and discussed Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza with his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad. – Reuters

Iranian media said an IRGC general was killed in an early Monday Israeli strike on Syria’s northern city of Aleppo, which a war monitor said killed 16 members of pro-Iran groups. – Times of Israel

John Bolton writes: Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is old and ailing. President Ebrahim Raisi’s still-unexplained demise has already launched a succession struggle that could transform Iran. The U.S. and its allies should help the Iranian opposition fracture the Islamic Revolution at the top […] Sending Tehran what diplomats call a “strong message” from the IAEA isn’t much, but treating Iran as if it calls the shots is far worse. Praying that Mr. Biden wakes up to reality may be the world’s only hope. – Wall Street Journal

Joseph Epstein writes: The key for the Biden administration to win back the region is simple—support U.S. allies and deter enemies. As the Saudi analyst Mohammed Alyahya wrote, “the world order created and long sustained by the United States can’t be destroyed by any global actor… [but] only be destroyed by the United States itself.” – Newsweek

Patrick Clawson writes: In all likelihood, none of the final candidates permitted to participate in this month’s truncated campaign period will propose a different path on the nuclear file or other foreign policy issues […] This year’s campaign is unlikely to see such free-flowing debates—the regime generally prefers more formal, stilted, “safer” exchanges. In light of these factors, the West has little reason to hope for much change from whoever wins this election. – Washington Institute

Russia & Ukraine

Just days after the Biden administration granted permission for Ukraine to fire American weapons into Russia, Kyiv took advantage of its new latitude, striking a military facility over the border using a U.S.-made artillery system, according to a member of Ukraine’s Parliament. – New York Times

The Ukrainian air force said it shot down 22 of the 27 Shahed-type drones launched over five Ukrainian regions in Russia’s overnight attack on Wednesday. – Reuters

The United States and its G7 partners are making progress on finding ways to provide more urgently needed funds to Ukraine by tapping the value of profits earned on frozen Russian assets, a senior U.S. Treasury official said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Manufacturers and distributors need to step up compliance with Russia-related sanctions amid the war in Ukraine, U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told CNBC on Tuesday. – Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s chief of staff said on Tuesday that using Western weapons to strike inside Russia was a vital decision that would impact Moscow’s tactical aviation and its capability to operate in border areas. – Reuters

Ukraine will not extend a five-year deal with Russia’s Gazprom on the transit of Russian gas to Europe when it expires at the end of the year, prompting recipient countries to seek alternatives. – Reuters

Ukraine will continue to import large amounts of electricity on Tuesday even as one of the lines connecting Ukraine to the European energy system undergoes repairs, Ukrainian power grid operator Ukrenergo said. – Reuters

Any French military instructors in Ukraine would be a “legitimate target” for Russian armed forces, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday during a tour of Africa, where frustration with the West has swayed several countries toward Moscow. –  Associated Press 

Tom Rogan writes: The Russians see weakness as bloodied prey in the water, a salivating prospect for further attack. But as in the Cold War, they respect strength designed to counterforce their own aggression. Excluding elements of Russian nuclear command and control (to include the Russian political leadership), Ukraine should thus be allowed to use Western weapons against military targets supporting Russia’s war effort. – Washington Examiner

Taras Kuzio writes: Pashinyan’s rhetoric on European integration will not lead to anything concrete because a hyper-nationalistic and imperialistic Kremlin will never allow an Armexit. The West is foolishly encouraging Armenia’s withdrawal while ignoring the possible severity of Russia’s response. As seen in Ukraine, Putin will fight long and hard to keep his neighbors from asserting their independence from Russian control. – National Interest

Maya Carlin writes: Throughout Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Backfire has been used to barrage the front lines and support the Kremlin’s offensive war efforts. According to Kyiv officials, the airframe has used KH-22 missiles to launch attacks targeting Ukrainian cities in the past, which is why the destruction of these bombers is key for the country. The London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies estimated that Russia’s air force possessed a total of fifty-seven Backfires today. However, as the war progresses, this number will likely dwindle further. – National Interest

Hezbollah

Military Chief of General Staff Herzi Halevi said on Tuesday that Israel was ready for a military offensive along the northern border with Lebanon and that it was nearing a decision point. – Reuters

A global human rights group claimed that Israel has used white phosphorus incendiary shells on residential buildings in at least five towns and villages in conflict-hit southern Lebanon, possibly harming civilians and violating international law, in a report published Wednesday. – Associated Press

Overnight, Israel Air Force (IAF) jets struck Hezbollah terror targets in five different locations in southern Lebanon, the military said on Wednesday. In the areas of Zibqin and Ayta ash Shab, the aircraft targeted two Hezbollah launchers, and in the areas of Odaisseh, Blida, and Markaba, they struck three Hezbollah military structures. – Jerusalem Post

Turkey

Russia welcomes Turkey’s reported desire to become part of the BRICS group of nations, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday, saying the subject would be on the agenda of the organisation’s next summit. – Reuters

Lawmakers from Turkey’s ruling AK Party and the pro-Kurdish DEM Party brawled in parliament’s general assembly on Tuesday over the detention and replacement of a DEM Party mayor in southeast Turkey. – Reuters

Ankara stated on Monday that Kurdish groups’ plans to hold self-managed local elections in northern Syria are impermissible and will not be allowed to materialize on account of threatening both regional stability and Turkey’s national security.  – Jerusalem Post

Egypt

Egypt’s net foreign-exchange reserves climbed to an all-time high following a landmark deal with the United Arab Emirates that’s been dubbed the North African country’s biggest-ever inward investment. – Bloomberg

According to the report, Egypt is not satisfied with the rate at which humanitarian aid is entering Gaza, and has passed Israel and the US messages stating that it may be time for Israel to take on the burden of paying for and transferring Israeli merchandise, purchased by the Israeli government itself, to Gaza. – Arutz Sheva

Ruth Wasserman-Lande writes: Or is there more to it and like South Africa, whose ruling party, the ANC has “sold its soul to the Iranian devil” in exchange for clearing its accumulated debts, is Egypt also expected to reap some sort of reward from Tehran for its efforts? Assumptions should be examined more closely and one should not rely on speculations. What is clear, however, is that official Egypt could not help but know about and/or allow what took place in the large-scale tunnels discovered in Rafah. – Jerusalem Post

Middle East & North Africa

The U.S. Embassy in Lebanon was targeted with gunfire early on Wednesday, and an attacker was wounded before being arrested, the country’s army said. The embassy said that no staff had been harmed in the attack and that Lebanese security forces and the embassy’s security team had responded to “small-arms fire” near the entrance. – New York Times

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has agreed to buy a 10% stake in China’s second-largest mutual fund company, two sources said, underscoring Beijing’s increasing ties with the Middle East amid rising tensions with the West. – Reuters

Healthcare systems of neighbouring countries are feeling the strain as thousands of critical patients from the Gaza Strip are evacuated for treatment of complex injuries and ailments, a top WHO official said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Iran-backed Shi’ite armed groups in Iraq have ramped up rocket and missile attacks on Israel in recent weeks, raising concerns in Washington and among some Iranian allies of potential Israeli retaliation and regional escalation should they draw blood. – Reuters

Closer international cooperation between naval missions in the Red Sea has reduced the number of attacks by Yemen’s Houthis over the past week, Greek Shipping Minister Christos Stylianides told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. – Reuters

Korean Peninsula

Nearly 50 deals and agreements have been signed during South Korea’s first summit with leaders from 48 African countries to cooperate in areas such as mining, energy and manufacturing, South Korea’s industry ministry said on Wednesday. – Reuters

South Korea’s military on Tuesday said it would resume all military activities along the demarcation line separating the two Koreas and the North West Islands after suspending an inter-Korean military agreement. – Reuters

The United States flew a long-range B-1B bomber over the Korean Peninsula on Wednesday for its first precision-guided bombing drill with South Korea in seven years, the South said Wednesday. – Associated Press

China

Chinese people know their country’s internet is different. There is no Google, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. They use euphemisms online to communicate the things they are not supposed to mention. When their posts and accounts are censored, they accept it with resignation. – New York Times

Hong Kong police detained several people and Chinese authorities restricted access to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on Tuesday on the 35th anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, as cities in Taiwan and elsewhere marked the date. – Reuters

China’s Chang’e-6 probe has lifted off from the far side of the moon, starting its journey back towards Earth, China’s national space agency announced on Tuesday. – Reuters

Chinese security equipment company Nuctech is taking the European Commission to court over raids at its Dutch and Polish offices, saying there was no evidence to support allegations it benefited from illegal state support. – Reuters

Taiwan President Lai Ching-te on Tuesday said he will work hard to make historical memory last forever and reach out to everyone who cares about Chinese democracy, on the 35th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing. – Reuters

Joseph Bosco writes: China must be made to understand that, this time, the U.S. and its allies will respond with force sufficient to defeat any military action against Taiwan, including blockades or embargoes, and will certainly respond against China if it attacks a U.S. ship, plane or facility anywhere. America will also honor its security commitments to Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Thailand and Australia. – The Hill

Dmitri Alperovitch writes: In sum, there is a scenario in which Taiwan could face an economic blockade by China, but such a blockade would only make strategic sense if China had already mobilized its military for a full-scale invasion in anticipation of the need to escalate or at least have the blockade buttressed by the threat of force. In either case, Taiwan arrives at practically the same place: staring down the full military might of the People’s Republic of China. – War on the Rocks

South Asia

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is poised to keep power for a third term even after voters dealt the Hindu nationalist a stunning setback by denying him an outright majority following an election dominated by high unemployment and inflation. – Wall Street Journal

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was set to meet his allies on Wednesday to discuss forming the government, a day after his Hindu nationalist party lost its outright majority in parliament in a surprise election verdict. – Reuters

The U.S. said on Tuesday it expects continued close ties, along with discussions on human rights concerns, with India after elections in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi looked set to retain power but with a surprisingly slim majority. – Reuters

A jailed Sikh separatist leader who stood in India’s election won a seat in parliament on Tuesday with over 400,000 votes in what aides and relatives said was a sign of public anger over the “injustice” of his incarceration. – Reuters

The leader of the United Arab Emirates met Tuesday with an official in the Taliban government still wanted by the United States on an up-to $10 million bounty over his involvement in an attack that killed an American citizen and other assaults. – Associated Press

India’s massive electoral process culminated on June 4, 2024, with the counting of votes for the Lok Sabha elections. Involving over 900 million eligible voters, the world’s largest election was a logistical marvel. – Newsweek

Editorial: The election result suggests that Indians have high expectations for their leaders, and have again used the world’s largest democracy to warn those leaders to do better. The question now will be whether Mr. Modi takes this election warning to heart, or retreats into even more sectarian and authoritarian methods. – Wall Street Journal

Anjali Mody writes: But there is cautious hope that his government, dependent for survival on coalition partners who do not espouse Hindutva, will have less latitude to undermine democracy, or terrorize Muslims and government critics, and that parliament and state institutions such as the courts will once again function as they should. On the ground, the changes wrought by Mr. Modi’s Hindutva movement over the last 10 years have not been uprooted; there is much work to be done. But supporters of a secular democratic India can now breathe a bit easier. – New York Times

Andy Mukherjee writes: As would the media. Anchors and editors politely nodded when Modi, during the recent election campaign, spoke of a 1,000-year vision and claimed that he had been sent by God. The next person to make such outlandish statements will hopefully be stopped before they reach high office. So who after Modi? Maybe nobody like him. Or at least that’s the preference of voters. Financial markets should just get used to it. – Bloomberg

Asia

Myanmar’s junta is cracking down on gold and foreign exchange traders and agents selling foreign real estate, with 35 arrests announced in the last two days as part of efforts to stabilise its rapidly depreciating currency. – Reuters

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met Cambodia’s leadership on Tuesday and discussed resuming military training programmes, in a visit aimed at reversing gains made by China amid concern about its growing presence at a Cambodian naval base. – Reuters

The Australian military will begin recruiting some noncitizens in a bid to boost troop numbers, the government said Tuesday. Only people from other members of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partnership who hold Australian permanent residency will be eligible. – Associated Press

The Philippine military chief on Tuesday said the Chinese coast guard seized one of four food packs dropped by a plane for Filipino navy personnel at a territorial outpost that has been surrounded by Chinese vessels in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. – Associated Press

A Philippine fishing vessel was traversing Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea when two Chinese Coast Guard ships fired water cannons at both sides of the boat – Defense News

Praveen Donthi writes: But it is in the interest of both Beijing and New Delhi not to let this crisis escalate. China does not want to divert resources from its primary security concern in the east, the near seas in the Pacific, to its western front with India. Modi does not want to get caught in a prolonged crisis with a more powerful neighbor that would impede his domestic and global ambitions. Returning stability to the border between China and India falls short of rapprochement, but it would be a far better outcome than overt war. – Foreign Affairs 

Europe

A staid British election campaign has been suddenly energized by the arrival of a now familiar troublemaker: Nigel Farage, a Trump ally who pushed Britain to leave the EU and is now on a mission to destroy the ruling Conservative Party and rebuild it in his own populist image.  – Wall Street Journal

When President Biden lands in France on Wednesday, he will be rallying European leaders to his side and showcasing the resolve he has helped to foster on behalf of Ukraine. But he will also be defying the very same leaders and standing virtually alone among Western democracies still firmly in support of Israel as it wages war in Gaza. – New York Times

The verdant patch of Bialowieza Forest that spans the border is among the flashpoints of a monthslong standoff between Belarus and its main backer and ally Russia, and the 27-member European bloc, which has seen a surge in migrant flows toward the frontier ahead of EU parliamentary elections that start on Thursday.Associated Press

European Union finance ministers will hold a videoconference on Wednesday on a G7 proposal to leverage Russian central bank assets immobilised in the West to allow Kyiv swiftly to receive a loan of around $50 billion, senior euro zone officials said. – Reuters 

The man hoping to challenge Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s 14-year iron grip over Hungarian politics is actively wooing Roma voters ahead of next weekend’s European Parliament (EP) election – and his message of change seems to be striking a chord. – Reuters

Georgia’s parliament will shortly begin debating a wide-ranging “family values” bill that will include bans on “LGBT propaganda” and gender reassignment surgery, the speaker of parliament was quoted as saying on Tuesday. – Reuters

Over 700 police searched properties in three German states on Tuesday associated with two suspects in the far-right “Reichsbuerger” group that plotted to overthrow the government, the federal prosecutor’s office said. – Reuters

Germany is considering deporting Afghan migrants who pose a security threat back to Afghanistan, the interior minister said on Tuesday, after the killing of a police officer in a knife attack last week drew calls for a tougher line on migration. – Reuters

A British police officer was sentenced on Tuesday to 18 months of community service for sharing messages on WhatsApp supporting the Palestinian terror group Hamas. – Agence France-Presse

William A. Galston writes: After decades of exceptionalism, Portugal has a political situation resembling much of the West. Public discontent is high, while voters’ confidence in established center-left and center-right parties is low. Because the appeal of the far left dwindled after the Soviet Union’s collapse, the populist right has emerged as the main vehicle for the expression of public ire.  – Wall Street Journal

Bret Stephens writes: Trump’s ideas about NATO, his zero-sum attitudes about winning, his fondness for strongmen and his ignorance of and indifference to history are all, rightly, causes for European alarm. But people, and nations, succeed or fail to the extent that they refuse to hand over responsibility for their fates to others. “The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it,” V.S. Naipaul once warned. It’s good advice for Europe on this solemn anniversary of their previous liberation. – New York Times

Africa

The African National Congress was holding high-stakes internal talks on Tuesday about which parties it should approach to form South Africa’s next government, with diametrically opposed Marxists and free-marketeers on the menu of options. – Reuters

More than three-and-a-half years, or 1,300 days, after resource-rich Zambia formally declared itself bankrupt it is about to drag itself out of default, leaving some hard lessons for richer nations about how their much-vaunted debt relief plan performed. – Reuters

Uganda has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the past decade on biometric tools that document a person’s unique physical characteristics, such as their face, fingerprints and irises, to form the basis of a comprehensive identification system. – Bloomberg

North America

Haiti’s new interim Prime Minister Garry Conille said on Monday members of the new administration were setting aside their differences to work for the good of the country, which is battling a devastating crisis fuelled by gang wars. – Reuters

Mexican President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum’s ruling coalition is close to securing a two-thirds majority in both chambers of Congress, which would pave the way to passing controversial constitutional reforms on its own. – Reuters

Mexico’s newly elected president, the first woman to win the job, faces a long list of challenges, including persistent cartel violence, a deeply divided country, cash-straitened social programs and the long shadow of her mentor, outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. – Associated Press

Editorial: Indeed, financial markets on Monday already gave Mexico a scare, sending the peso sharply down against the U.S. dollar. Mr. López Obrador would have Mexicans believe that checks and balances are a right-wing plot against him to stymie efforts to advance social justice. They are not. It’s Ms. Sheinbaum’s job to convince him of this, explaining that Mexico would not be well-served by the return of the untrammeled power of the PRI. – Washington Post

Mohammed Soliman writes: The Kenyan deployment in Haiti presents a strategic opportunity. By leveraging this model, Washington can enlist other capable allies with a surplus of military resources. This approach fills security vacuums around the globe where direct U.S. troop commitment is untenable. Envision Egypt assuming a stabilizing role in Sudan, Morocco in West Africa, or Arab partners in Libya and Gaza. American power in this era of great-power competition hinges on strategic ingenuity. – Newsweek

United States

Columbia University will provide safety escorts and take other steps to protect its students, to settle a lawsuit claiming its campus had become unsafe during recent pro-Palestinian protests. – Reuters

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on Tuesday quadrupling import duties on Chinese electric vehicles to over 100% in August as planned is crucial to the health of the U.S. auto sector. – Reuters

Zachary Faria writes: Some international organizations are worth defending, but many are not. The ICC is close to the top of the latter list. Democrats going out of their way to protect the ICC are degrading global stability under the mistaken assumption that “independent” global organizations are good just by their very existence, and that the United States should subject itself to the whims of those anti-American bureaucracies – Washington Examiner

Cybersecurity

A former Meta engineer on Tuesday accused the company of bias in its handling of content related to the war in Gaza, claiming in a lawsuit that Meta fired him for trying to help fix bugs causing the suppression of Palestinian Instagram posts. – Reuters

Australia’s cyber safety regulator on Wednesday decided to drop a legal challenge against Elon Musk-owned X over the removal of videos of the stabbing of an Assyrian church bishop in Sydney, after a setback last month in the federal court. – Reuters

Australia’s privacy regulator said on Wednesday it had filed a lawsuit against the country’s biggest health insurer Medibank over a data breach that exposed personal information of millions of customers on the dark web. – Reuters 

Short video app TikTok has taken measures to stop a cyberattack targeting several brand and celebrity accounts, including news network CNN, a spokesperson for the company said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

A ransomware incident is having a significant impact on the delivery of services at some of London’s busiest hospitals, the region’s health service said on Tuesday. – Reuters

The Danish Centre for Cyber Security (CFCS) has raised its threat level assessment for destructive cyber attacks against Denmark to “middle” from “low” due to increasing threats from Russia, the defence minister said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Rare earths miner Northern Minerals on Tuesday said some of the company’s data has been compromised and released on the dark web from the cyberattack it faced in late March this year. – Reuters 

A suspected state-sponsored hack of government systems in British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province, is believed to have affected 22 email inboxes containing sensitive information about 19 people, a minister said on Monday. – The Record

This summer’s Olympic Games in Paris could be an attractive target for hackers from Russia, China and Iran pursuing political goals, researchers are warning. – The Record

Releasing an audio recording of a special counsel’s interview with President Joe Biden could spur deepfakes and disinformation that trick Americans, the Justice Department said, conceding the U.S. government could not stop the misuse of artificial intelligence ahead of this year’s election. – C4ISRNET

Kristen Csenkey and Alexis Rapin write: This quest for resilience is ultimately rooted in an inconvenient yet inescapable truth — that electric vehicles simply cannot be rendered digitally unassailable. Cyber security is an intrinsically dynamic process, in which defenders and attackers perpetually develop responses to each other’s moves. Future electric/connected military vehicles, as well as their charging infrastructures, will therefore inevitably be subject to a constant updating process to remain secure. – War on the Rocks

Defense

A proposed defense spending bill the House of Representatives released Tuesday would fund eight more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in fiscal 2025 than the military originally planned. – Defense News

The House’s annual Pentagon spending bill only funds the procurement of one Virginia-class attack submarine for fiscal 2025 instead of two vessels as it has in previous years. – Defense News

House lawmakers want to allocate more than $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2025 toward Pentagon initiatives such as the Defense Innovation Unit — part of a continued push from Congress to field commercial technology at a faster clip. – C4ISRNET

Editorial: Any solutions should be easy to update, given the speed at which countermeasures can blunt their effectiveness. All troops should be trained to fight through intense jamming efforts. Despite budget caps and competition for resources, electronic warfare deserves more funding; there’s no sense in spending $100,000 per Excalibur shell if they can’t hit their targets. America’s adversaries recognize the value in such technologies. After Ukraine, the US should, too. – Bloomberg

David Ignatius writes: The Pentagon has managed for half a century to keep radical change from breaching its five walls. Carriers, bombers, tanks and fighter jets were built to last forever, and in a cozy world without peer competitors, it seemed that they could. But now, Hicks said, we’re in an era in which the Pentagon needs “deliberate discomfort” and “collaborative disruption.” It’s a revolution that’s long overdue. – Washington Post

Bruce McClintock and Anca Agachi write: Russia’s extensive use of electronic warfare and its multiyear effort to develop a space-based nuclear weapon provide clear motivation and use cases to jump-start this important effort. Ideally, NATO will “throttle up” and undertake all these initiatives as part of a comprehensive package of actions announced at the NATO summit. Adopting just a few would be better than none, but failing to act now in the face of a proactive and capable Russia risks falling short of a mature NATO space enterprise at a time when the geopolitical environment needs it most. – Defense News

Thomas G. Mahnken writes: The United States, of course, cannot share everything—physical or ideational—with its partners. Some weapons should never be shared. But history shows that Americans perform best when they fight side by side with allies. They are most likely to win wars on multiple fronts when they work with multiple partners. As Washington faces growing dangers in three regions, it must learn how to better cooperate and share with its many friends. In major wars, no country, not even the world’s strongest, can go it alone. – Foreign Affairs

Brent D. Sadler writes: For too long, the United States has neglected a core element of its security and prosperity: its historic maritime strength. As a result, American shipping and shipbuilding have atrophied. Yet America’s domestic industry and capacity for innovation remain strong. To capitalize on this advantage, it is imperative that we restore American maritime competitiveness in pursuit of a new multimodalism. Doing this as we simultaneously harden our maritime infrastructure will do much to enhance the ability of the United States to deter Chinese economic coercion and military adventurism. – Heritage Foundation