Fdd's overnight brief

June 8, 2022

In The News


Just to enter Sievierodonetsk, Ukrainian soldiers run a gantlet of Russian artillery shells zeroed in on the only access route: a bridge littered with the burned husks of cars and trucks that didn’t make it. – New York Times 

Russia is ramping up oil exports from its major eastern port of Kozmino by about a fifth, aiming to meet surging demand from Asian buyers and offset the impact of European Union sanctions, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. – Reuters 

Russia on Tuesday claimed to have taken control of 97% of one of the two provinces that make up Ukraine’s Donbas, bringing the Kremlin closer to its goal of fully capturing the eastern industrial heartland of coal mines and factories. – Associated Press 

The World Bank has sharply downgraded its outlook for the global economy, pointing to Russia’s war against Ukraine, the prospect of widespread food shortages and concerns about the potential return of “stagflation” — a toxic mix of high inflation and sluggish growth unseen for more than four decades. – Associated Press 

The US Treasury stepped up financial sanctions on Russia by barring investors from buying the country’s debt in the secondary market, bringing trading activity almost to a halt on Tuesday as investors scrambled to understand the new restrictions. – Bloomberg 

Boasting a quarter of the planet’s gas reserves and more than 5 per cent of its crude oil, Russia’s economy has long been dominated by the energy sector. As the country’s isolation intensifies following the invasion of Ukraine, the question now is what next for its most important industry? – Financial Times 

After more than 100 days of Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, Russian troops have now been caught trying to arrange sham marriages to get out of the war, while others say they haven’t even been sent water to survive as the temperatures rise. – The Daily Beast 

Two Russian warships are operating near the international BALTOPs naval exercise in the Baltic Sea, according to photos from ship spotters. A pair of Russian Navy Karakurt-class corvettes were spotted off the coast of Sweden near Stockholm one day after NATO and allied ships departed for the at-sea portion of the BALTOPS drills. – USNI News 

Josh Rogin writes: Western governments need to have a plan for people like Ovsyannikova. There must be space for Russians with imperfect records to oppose Putin and help further erode his internal support. It doesn’t matter how they got here. Now, everyone who is opposed to Putin and his war must set aside their grievances and join together to stop him. – Washington Post 

John Sawers writes: If another round of European diplomacy leaves Russia once again sitting on its military gains in Ukraine, then Putin will regain political strength at home and feel empowered to launch new military adventures in the future. The Ukrainians want to fight on and they need our continued support — advanced weapons and ever tougher sanctions on Russia. That means several more months of ugly fighting. But a premature ceasefire will help Putin snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. No western leader should be his enabler. – Financial Times 

Emiko Terazono writes: Even if there were to be some sort of compromise to shift food out of Ukraine both sides may not strike an agreement until the last minute. The danger is that it turns into a game of chicken, says Ilana Bet-el, political analyst and senior fellow at King’s College London. “At a certain point, with so [many countries] depending on grain out of Ukraine, [the west] will have to take the risk and [come to an agreement with Russia].” – Financial Times 

Daniel Fried, Steven Pifer and Alexander Vershbow write: The Founding Act was an opportunity to build a new Europe by establishing mechanisms for dialogue and cooperation between Russia and NATO. Unfortunately, it has failed. Suspension will leave open the possibility that it might be restored at a future point, when Russia renews its adherence to the principles of the rules-based international order. However, that may only come after Putin has left office and a new generation of Russian leaders demonstrates that Russia once again shares the goal of a stable, peaceful and undivided Europe. – The Hill 

Kateryna Stepanenko, Karolina Hird, Mason Clark, and George Barros write: Russian forces have likely established control over the majority of the residential sector of Severodonetsk and conducted assaults against Ukrainian positions in the industrial zone in the past 24 hours. The operational environment within the city remains fluid. Russian forces continued efforts to advance on Slovyansk southeast from the Izyum area and west from Lyman, attempting to break through Ukrainian defenses that have halted most direct frontal assaults from Izyum. – Institute for the Study of War 

Lee Edwards writes: In either translation, Putin laments the passing of the Soviet Union and its empire. As prime minister and president, Putin has moved again and again to build a new Russian empire, most recently in his invasion of Ukraine. We can deal effectively with Putin only if we accept how much he is in thrall to Marxism-Leninism and its core idea that political power grows only out of the barrel of a gun. – Heritage Foundation 


A passenger train partially derailed in eastern Iran early Wednesday, killing at least 17 people and injuring 50 more, including some critically, authorities said. The report said the number of casualties could rise, though initial details about the disaster involving a train reportedly carrying some 350 passengers remained unclear. – Associated Press 

The United States on Tuesday blamed Iran for both sides’ failure so far to reach an agreement on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, saying Iran’s demands on sanctions-lifting were preventing progress. – Reuters 

The United States, Britain, Germany and France have submitted to the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s board a draft resolution criticising Iran for not fully answering the watchdog’s questions on uranium traces at undeclared sites, a move that is likely to anger Iran. – Reuters 

Iran has carried out a mass execution of 12 inmates at a prison in its southeast, an NGO said on Tuesday, as concern grows over the rising number of executions in the Islamic Republic. – Agence France-Presse 

The chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee are urging the Biden administration to get Americans wrongfully detained in Iran home, while the two sides are struggling in their negotiations to reenter the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal. – Washington Examiner 

The head of the Tehran City Council blamed the Mossad and anti-government groups for a cyberattack against the municipality, the Iranian Mehr News Agency reported on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post 

Iran should withdraw from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), an article on the front page of the Iranian Kayhan newspaper, affiliated with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, urged on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post 

A top Iranian official on Tuesday threatened to “raze Tel Aviv and Haifa”, Ynet reported. “Upon an order of the Supreme Leader of the [Islamic] Revolution, we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground for any mistake made by the enemy (Israel),” the commander of the Iranian Army’s ground forces, Kiumars Heydari, was quoted as having told the Fars news agency. – Arutz Sheva 

Congress is investigating the Meta social media network for censoring Iranian dissidents and pro-democracy advocates amid a wave of protests against Tehran’s hardline government, according to a copy of the probe exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. – Washington Free Beacon 

Salem Alketbi writes: The bad will only lead to more funds, more room to maneuver, more influence and more extension for Iran, only to take us back to the climate of the 2015-2018 era, the results of which we now see in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. – Jerusalem Post 

Rahman Bouzari and Ali Fathollah-Nejad write: Corruption and clientelism are ingrained in the political economy of the Islamic Republic. This labyrinthine system, inscrutable even to Iranians, coupled with the dominance of the IRGC over Iran’s economy, has resulted in systemic corruption in which proximity to the IRGC elite and allegiance to the supreme leader determine success. – Middle East Institute  


Germany will not recognise the Taliban as the legitimate rulers of Afghanistan as long as “dire” conditions under the Islamists persist, Germany’s foreign minister said on Tuesday, calling for a united international call on the Taliban for change. – Reuters 

The Taliban reneged on their initial promise to allow young girls above the sixth grade to return to school. The abrupt reversal hasn’t stopped Afghan women from keeping up the fight for girls’ education. – Fox News 

Lynne O’Donnell writes: The region has been dug over and looted for millennia, and many experts believe that there could be little of value left to be found. Like the empty niches where the Buddhas once stood overlooking Bamiyan’s wheat fields, much of Afghanistan’s cultural heritage could soon be consigned to memory. – Foreign Policy 


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov began talks with Turkish officials on Wednesday toward a possible deal to create a sea lane to export grain from Ukraine as a part of a United Nations-backed effort to address a global food crisis. – Wall Street Journal 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will pay a two-day official visit to Turkey beginning on Tuesday, the Turkish government said. Maduro has repeatedly said he will visit Turkey, one of a handful of countries globally with whom he maintains ties amidst stiff sanctions by the United States. – Reuters 

Turkey on Tuesday called on Greece to withdraw its armed forces from Aegean islands, warning that his country will challenge the status of the islands if it fails to demilitarize them. – Associated Press 

Recently in Turkey there have been reports that in 2019, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government released from prison at least 32 men who had been sentenced to life in prison for their involvement in over 100 murders and membership in a group that in Turkish is referred to simply as “Hizbullah,” but to avoid confusion with the Lebanese group by the same name, is in English alternatively called Kurdish Hizbullah, Turkish Hizbullah, and Hizbullah in Turkey. […] Several facts indicate that this is not the case, and that Hizbullah in Turkey has received funding, logistical support, and training from the Iranian government.  – Middle East Media Research Institute 


Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) sent a request to the State Department on Monday for a “full and transparent investigation” into the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist who was killed while reporting on an Israeli military raid in the West Bank last month. – Washington Post 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that his country was seeking accountability over the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, and would follow the facts from a credible investigation wherever they lead. – Agence France-Presse 

Following weeks of violence in different parts of Israel and the West Bank, Israeli nationalists have targeted the red, green, black and white Palestinian colours in an escalating “flag war” that underscores a struggle over status and identity. – Reuters 

An independent commission of inquiry set up by the U.N. Human Rights Council after the 2021 Gaza war said Israel must do more than end the occupation of land Palestinians want for a state, according to a report released on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has expressed his dissatisfaction with the series of steps the Biden administration is planning to introduce in order to boost ties with Ramallah, deeming the measures insufficient so long as the US consulate in Jerusalem remains shuttered, two US and Palestinian officials told The Times of Israel on Monday. – Times of Israel 

An Israeli military drone crashed in the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday evening, the Israel Defense Forces said. According to the IDF, the reason for the crash was not known, and was still being investigated. – Times of Israel 

The US State Department responded on Tuesday to an initial report by the United Nations’ highly contentious Commission of Inquiry, which charged that Israel is largely to blame for its conflict with the Palestinians, saying that “the COI in its current form is a continuation of a longstanding pattern of unfairly singling out Israel” – Jerusalem Post 

Israeli security forces, including IDF, Shin Bet and Border Police, arrested 21 terrorism suspects in a number of areas in the West Bank overnight Tuesday, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit announced Wednesday morning. – Jerusalem Post 

Israeli activists and IDF reservists launched a protest outside the United Nations office in Geneva on Tuesday at the beginning of its public and legal campaign against what they are claiming is an anti-Israel commission of inquiry by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). – Jerusalem Post 

Kyiv wants to purchase Israel’s Iron Dome air defenses system and for Jerusalem to sign off on the transfer of its Spike SR anti-tank guided missile system from Germany to Ukraine, the country’s ambassador, Yevgen Korniychuk, told reporters on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post 

Both the Israeli government and opposition are morally lost in their position on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, former Mossad director Tamir Pardo said on Tuesday, at the Jewish People Policy Institute’s conference on morality in foreign affairs. – Jerusalem Post 

Oded Eran writes: Fifty years ago, Israel was a mere bystander to the events. Now it is a player, albeit a modest one, and is facing concrete consequences from a failure or success of China and the US to manage their competition. – Jerusalem Post 


The Lebanese military arrested 64 migrants as they were trying to set sail from northern Lebanon on Tuesday in an attempt to get to Europe, the army command said. According to an army statement, the migrants — Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians — were all detained and were being questioned, except for one pregnant woman who was bleeding and was taken to hospital. – Associated Press 

Senior US diplomat Amos Hochstein will travel to Beirut next week to discuss the country’s dispute with Israel over maritime drilling, a top Lebanese politician said Tuesday. The announcement came a day after Lebanon requested US mediation as it protested Israel moving a gas production vessel into an offshore field partially claimed by Beirut. – Times of Israel 

The Hezbollah terror group has recently stepped up construction on military infrastructure near Lebanon’s border with Israel, but the Israeli army will eventually “reduce it to nothing” and make those responsible pay, a senior general threatened Tuesday. – Times of Israel 

Middle East & North Africa

Leading Democratic lawmakers in the House have signed a letter urging President Biden to take a more guarded approach to Saudi Arabia and to warn the kingdom against pursuing more strategic cooperation with China on ballistic missiles. – New York Times 

Federal prosecutors have obtained records indicating that John R. Allen, the retired four-star Marine general who commanded all American troops in Afghanistan and now heads a venerable Washington think tank, secretly lobbied for the government of Qatar, lied to investigators about his role and tried to withhold evidence sought by a federal subpoena, according to court documents. – New York Times 

The State Department and the Defense Department have failed to assess civilian casualties caused by a Saudi-led coalition in the catastrophic war in Yemen and the use of American-made weapons in the killings, according to an internal government report. – New York Times 

The air forces of Russia and Syria conducted a joint drill over the war-torn country Tuesday, the first since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began more than three months ago, Syria’s Defense Ministry said. – Associated Press 

The U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria said Tuesday that they will turn to the government in Damascus for support should Turkey go ahead with its threat to launch a new incursion into the war-torn country. – Associated Press 

A top American diplomat laid out the Biden administration’s vision for engagement with the Middle East in a speech on Tuesday and contested the widely held belief that Washington has sought to distance itself from the region in favor of engagement with Asia. – Jewish Insider 

Korean Peninsula

North Korea’s recent missile tests were “serious, unlawful” provocations, senior officials from South Korea, the United States and Japan said on Wednesday, urging Pyongyang to return to dialogue and accept offers of COVID-19 aid. – Reuters 

North Korea could conduct a seventh nuclear test at “any time” and has shown no interest in returning to negotiations, the U.S. Special Representative for North Korea said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met with her counterparts from South Korea and Japan on Wednesday, emphasizing the U.S. commitment to defend its allies and trilateral security cooperation to confront an accelerating nuclear threat from North Korea. – Associated Press 


Chinese citizens can get rewards of more than 100,000 yuan ($15,000) and special certificates for tip-offs on breaches of national security under measures introduced this week, state media reported on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Italy’s prime minister, Mario Draghi, has vetoed a transfer of technology and software to China in a deal involving industrial robot maker EFORT Intelligent Equipment (688165.SS), according to a Shanghai filing and a source close to the matter. – Reuters 

Old problems in China-Japan relations are intertwined with new ones, and the challenges cannot be ignored if the countries wish to have a “healthy” relationship, China’s top diplomat said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Hong Kong’s largest national security case was sent to trial on Tuesday, after lingering 15 months in pre-trial procedures during which most of the 47 defendants were denied bail. – Agence France-Presse 

China is willing to strengthen its strategic cooperation with Kazakhstan, expand areas of collaboration and develop a new batch of projects for mutual benefit, foreign minister Wang Yi said during his visit to the central Asian country. – Bloomberg 

The US hit back at China over a social media post claiming American officials in Guangzhou downplayed allegations of human rights abuses, saying the behavior puts Washington’s envoys at risk. A spokesperson for the US Embassy in Beijing said Tuesday that China should “stop attributing false statements to US officials or taking other actions that might subject our diplomats to harassment.” – Bloomberg 

Several European lawmakers are pushing to designate alleged human rights abuses against Uygurs and other ethnic Muslims in Xinjiang by China as “genocide.” The resolution will be presented to the European Parliament this week. – Jerusalem Post 

Beijing is denying that People’s Liberation Army forces harassed Australian and Canadian patrol aircraft in the Western Pacific, claiming that in both cases the aircraft endangered China’s security. – USNI News 

Editorial: Some in Congress seem aware of this relative U.S. naval decline, but the U.S. Navy and Pentagon don’t seem alarmed. They should be. The Chinese military is advancing around the world, and the best guarantee of keeping the peace is a U.S. military and Navy that can reassure allies and deter the hawks in Beijing. – Wall Street Journal 

Mordechai Chaziza writes: Even so, as GCC countries become more entangled in China’s transnational digital infrastructure network and welcome the many benefits such digital integration affords, they must also confront the possibility that this could threaten their ties with the US while expanding and deepening the strategic rivalry between the two great powers. – Middle East Institute  

South Asia

Sri Lanka’s prime minister said Tuesday that the United Nations has arranged a worldwide appeal to help the island nation cope with critical shortages of food, fuel and medicines, but the projected funds barely scratch the surface of the $6 billion it needs to stay afloat over the next six months. – Associated Press 

India is facing major diplomatic outrage from Muslim-majority countries after top officials in the governing Hindu nationalist party made derogatory references to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, drawing accusations of blasphemy across some Arab nations that have left New Delhi struggling to contain the damaging fallout. – Associated Press 

Barkha Dutt writes: It goes without saying that all violence, including threats to Sharma, is indefensible. But the irony is that — while terrorists issue threats with impunity, politicians argue and point fingers, great powers joust for strategic one-upmanship and performative television hosts debase the profession — ordinary Indian Muslims and their voices will likely remain on the margins. Sharma might have been disingenuously labeled “fringe” in India’s official clarifications. But chances are that today’s “fringe” is tomorrow’s mainstream. – Washington Post 

Rana Ayyub writes: The world has long viewed India as a nation that has been the melting pot of cultures, religions and customs; a leading light in fighting tyranny and oppression; and a leader on discourse around secular and plural values. India under Modi, however, is coming across as a petty, vindictive nation that seeks pleasure in humiliating the oppressed and the less privileged. The land of Mahatma Gandhi, Abul Kalam Azad and Rabindranath Tagore is being reduced to a caricature of hate on the global stage. – Washington Post 


President Joe Biden’s special envoy for talks with three tiny but strategically important Pacific island nations will lead a delegation to the Marshall Islands next week amid growing U.S. worries about China’s efforts to expand its influence in the region. – Reuters 

Cambodia and Beijing have denied a report that they are building a secret naval facility for the Chinese fleet, as Australia’s new prime minister voiced concern about the project and called for transparency. – Agence France-Presse 

At the Nato summit in Madrid this month, one of the most important meetings could end up being between the leaders of the US and two crucial but fractious allies from East Asia: Japan and South Korea. – Financial Times 

Editorial: Myanmar’s troubled democratic experiment is in shambles and swallowed by civil war. […]This barbarism would mark the first use of the death penalty in Myanmar, also known as Burma, since 1988 and represents yet another step by the military to frighten the resistance and the civilian population into submission. – Washington Post 

Joseph Bosco writes: It remains to be seen whether the weapons the U.S. decides to send Taiwan will be the most advanced and whether their range and use will be as constrained as the arms going to Ukraine.  Such limitations shrink the costs and risks of aggression and reduce deterrence. – The Hill 


Sweden has long been a haven for refugees and dissidents, from Iranians fleeing the Islamic revolution to Chileans escaping dictatorship, helping the country’s reputation as a peacemaker on the world stage. But now this open-door policy is complicating Sweden’s bid to join NATO after Russia invaded Ukraine, with Turkey blocking Stockholm’s plans over its contacts with Kurdish groups hoping to carve out a homeland straddling the borders of Turkey and Syria. – Wall Street Journal 

Angela Merkel, who served 16 years as German chancellor, said she won’t apologize for her failed efforts to diplomatically resolve tensions between Russia and Ukraine, in her first extensive interview since retiring from politics last year. – Washington Post 

The European Union’s chief executive vowed Tuesday that Poland would get no money from the bloc’s vast pandemic relief fund until the right-wing government rolls back measures deemed to limit the independence of the country’s judiciary. – Associated Press 

Ukraine said on Tuesday that it opposed any visit by the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog to its nuclear plant at Zaporizhzhia while it is under Russian occupation. – Agence France-Presse 

More than 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered in the city of Mariupol have been transferred to Russia for investigation, Tass news agency reported on Tuesday, citing a Russian law enforcement source. – Reuters 

Boris Johnson has been warned that his plan to rip up post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland will provoke a new row with Conservative MPs without necessarily restoring the region’s power-sharing executive. – Financial Times 

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said a stalemate in the war with Russia was “not an option for us” as he once more appealed for western military support to restore his country’s territorial integrity. – Financial Times 

German chancellor Olaf Scholz has backed demands by EU Baltic states for a big increase in the number of foreign troops in the region ahead of a crucial Nato summit this month. – Financial Times 

As armored vehicles grab the limelight amid the war in Ukraine, Italy is working on a three-for-one deal that could see a common platform used for tracked, wheeled and amphibious vehicles. – Defense News 

Editorial: A swift concession by Johnson now would allow some time, in theory, for a new leader to seize the legislative reins — though a further leadership contest, given some of the personalities involved, could be damagingly divisive. Yet even if the tarnished Johnson is replaced, the reality is that whoever succeeds him will face an uphill struggle to unite the party, and the government. – Financial Times 

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. writes: Lessons the U.S. and NATO are learning from their close association with the Ukraine fight will probably be useful in the century ahead. Americans may not like what history has in store for them. China’s military buildup is especially worrisome. But—as the Russians have been showing us—there’s nothing like actual fighting to equip a military with lessons to succeed in actual fighting. The U.S., in a certain way, is still a country apart in that regard. – Wall Street Journal  

Robert Shrimsley writes: Johnson has had three years to prove the great campaigner can be an effective premier. Instead he has shown himself distracted, chaotic, weak, self-serving, dishonest and addicted to government by headline. As he fought to save his leadership, what new measure did he wave before his party? A pledge on restoring imperial measurements. – Financial Times 


The world must “widen its gaze from the war in Ukraine” to prevent Somalia sliding into famine, the United Nations’ children’s agency said on Tuesday, warning only a third of the $250 million needed to stave off catastrophe had so far been raised. – Reuters 

The West African regional bloc ECOWAS said on Tuesday that it regretted a decision by Mali’s interim government to extend the transition back to civilian rule by 24 months while negotiations between the two sides were ongoing. – Reuters 

Cameroon’s government said on Tuesday that a group of soldiers killed nine villagers, including an 18-month-old girl, in a “manifestly disproportionate” and “hasty” response to a confrontation in the Northwest region last week. – Reuters 

Militiamen killed 12 people in a night raid on a village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo near the shore of Lake Albert, a local human rights group said on Tuesday. The group and an army spokesman blamed the attack on CODECO, one of many militias operating in Congo’s conflict-ridden east. – Reuters 

Gunmen with explosives killed at least 38 persons including five children in an attack on a Catholic church in southwestern Nigeria, the Ondo State Catholic Diocese has told The Associated Press. – Associated Press 

Belgium’s King Philippe landed in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday, in a historic visit to the central African country his ancestor once ruled brutally as his personal fief. – Agence France-Presse 

David Curry writes: In theory, that’s just the first step. A designation requires the president, with some exceptions, to enact sanctions. Yet in the 24 years since the International Religious Freedom Act was passed, no president has enacted any meaningful sanctions against a CPC country expressly because of religious-freedom violations. Mr. Biden has the opportunity to send a clear signal that the U.S. won’t stand by as the innocent faithful are persecuted. He should make the redesignation and enforce sanctions without delay. – Wall Street Journal 

Latin America

President Biden is scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles on Wednesday to host a three-day summit meeting of Latin American leaders, where he hopes to demonstrate his ability to confront the economic and migration issues that fuel the region’s most serious challenges. – New York Times 

U.S. President Joe Biden became concerned that his Brazilian counterpart was going to skip this week’s summit in Los Angeles, so he dispatched a close adviser to personally deliver the invitation to Jair Bolsonaro. – Associated Press 

US Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday announced a fresh $1.9 billion in private sector funding to boost jobs in hopes of reducing migration from Central America, at a Latin America summit in Los Angeles snubbed by the leaders of Mexico and other affected countries. – Agence France-Presse 

Irene Mia writes: All of these are powerful reasons why Latin America must feature more prominently in the US list of priorities. But they are also powerful reasons for the region to reclaim its seat at the global table after years of punching below its weight geopolitically. To do this will require a more united voice and approach towards the rest of the world. This may well prove the biggest challenge going forward. – Financial Times 


The Ruling Class has used Jan. 6 to wage a jihad against its political opposition, including an assault on our most basic rights such as free speech. Big Tech has reinforced the narrative that views antithetical to regime orthodoxy are dangerous and must be policed accordingly. – New York Post 

U.S. agencies on Tuesday offered new details about how Chinese state-sponsored hackers have used publicly known vulnerabilities to target internet service providers and major telecommunications firms around the globe over the last two years. – The Record 

The FBI on Tuesday seized an illicit marketplace that has made millions selling the personal data of roughly 24 million U.S. citizens, according to the Justice Department. – CyberScoop 

There are not many things that Andrew Crocker, who has long fought against the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) as an attorney at the digital rights nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Aaron Cooper, a former Department of Justice (DOJ) cybercrimes lawyer who prosecuted CFAA cases, would agree on. – CyberScoop 

Editorial: Perhaps most vexing but most essential is the challenge of reaching criminals who operate from ransomware havens. President Biden’s attempts to persuade Vladimir Putin to crack down on gangs operating with impunity on the Russian president’s turf seemed to be yielding results, but the invasion of Ukraine has likely preempted any further collaboration. Diplomatic overtures could still help elsewhere — especially in countries that would take a firmer hand with malicious actors if they could but lack the resources and know-how. Providing them with both should be a U.S. national security priority. – Washington Post 

David Ignatius writes: The internet confrontation is a microcosm of Russia’s larger standoff with the West. Russia yearns for recognition as a great power and global standard setter. But as the war in Ukraine grinds on, Putin has become ever more prickly, isolated and angry at his foes. He is severing Russia’s connections to the world, even as he seeks to dominate cyberspace. His computer is crashing, and he doesn’t seem to know how to reboot. – Washington Post 


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has drawn new attention to the cruise and ballistic missile threat in the European theater, prompting House lawmakers to push for a fresh look at U.S. Army requirements for Patriot air-and-missile defense systems. – Defense News 

The head of U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees the nation’s nuclear arsenal, told Congress he supports the sea-launched cruise missile program despite the Biden administration’s proposal to cancel it. – Defense News 

A House panel wants to protect the amphibious fleet from cuts the Navy planned to make and bolster the sealift fleet in its proposal for the fiscal 2023 defense authorization bill. – Defense News 

The Air Force would be allowed to cut aerial refueling tankers in the initial draft of the National Defense Authorization Act that a House Armed Services subcommittee will consider this week — though not as many as the service had hoped. – Defense News 

The Pentagon’s new chief digital and artificial intelligence officer said the gravity of the situation and the need to get things right motivated him to leave ride-hailing company Lyft Inc. for government work. – C4ISRNET 

Dassault, one of the three primary industrial partners on the trinational Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF), has said that continuing delays to agreeing terms will delay the entry into service of the New Generation Fighter (NGF) element of the programme by at least a decade. – Janes 

The House Armed Services Committee will prevent the Navy from retiring five ships from the fleet and supports the Marine Corps’ call for 31 amphibious warships, according to a summary of the seapower and projection forces subcommittee’s mark of the House’s defense policy bill. – USNI News 


Long War

A 42-year-old woman from Kansas pleaded guilty Tuesday to working with Islamic State to run a female battalion and training more than 100 girls in how to use AK-47s, grenades and other weapons, in one of the first cases to detail an American woman’s extensive operational role in the terrorist group. – Wall Street Journal  

Extremists and conspiracy theorists are praising the deadly May 24 mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that left 21 people dead — and are encouraging others to shoot up schools in similar attacks — the Department of Homeland Security warned on Tuesday. – Business Insider  

On June 4, 2022, the Islamic State (ISIS) Mozambique Province released a series of photographs which document the aftermath of a series of attacks perpetrated by its operatives in late May 2022 against what it describes as “villages of the unbeliever Christians” in Cabo Delgado Province in northeastern Mozambique. […] However, according to previous ISIS reports, it appears that the attacks referred to are those which were carried out against six Christian villages between May 23 and May 31, 2022, in which, according to ISIS, eight people were killed, among them at least four Christian civilians. – Middle East Media Research Institute