Fdd's overnight brief

June 9, 2022

In The News


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has turned cities in the Donbas region into ghost towns. As Moscow’s forces push west, seeking to dislodge Ukrainians from their positions and seize control of the country’s east, residents are fleeing in droves, aided by volunteers who risk their lives to ferry them out. – Wall Street Journal 

Russia has transferred more than 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers taken prisoner in the southern port city of Mariupol to its territory, Russia’s state news agency TASS reported Wednesday, giving Moscow a powerful bargaining chip as its military campaign makes slow progress in eastern Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal 

A Russian radio station’s news bulletin was interrupted Wednesday by Ukrainian anthems and antiwar songs, in the latest example of Russian media outlets apparently being targeted by antiwar hackers. – Washington Post 

Russian forces have restored a piece of Ukrainian infrastructure vital to the “land bridge” that Moscow seeks to establish linking Russian territory to the Crimean Peninsula: a canal that supplies water from southern Ukraine to the peninsula, according to satellite images and a statement on Tuesday by the Kremlin’s defense minister, Sergei K. Shoigu. – New York Times 

Even as Russia hammers eastern Ukraine with heavy artillery, it is cementing its grip on the south, claiming to have restored roads, rails and a critical freshwater canal that could help it claim permanent dominion over the region. – New York Times 

Arctic Council countries Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the United States said on Wednesday they would resume limited internal cooperation that excluded Russia. – Reuters 

Russian forces have increased their efforts to advance to the south of the town of Izium in eastern Ukraine, likely wanting to secure further options in the region, a British military update said on Thursday. – Reuters 

The town of Valuyki in western Russia has become a crucial staging post in the latest phase of Russia’s war over the nearby border in Ukraine. Throughout last month, helicopters buzzed overhead, military vehicles clogged the roads, and soldiers prepared for combat at a huge military base there. – Reuters 

Russian authorities kept up their crackdown against citizens who speak out about the fighting in Ukraine, extending a critic’s detention on Wednesday, confirming charges against two others and prompting Moscow’s chief rabbi to flee the country. – Associated Press 

With Vladimir Putin’s bloody war in Ukraine crossing the 100-day mark, the Kremlin seems to be abandoning any pretense of diplomacy. There are several reasons Moscow aborted its initial half-hearted attempts to negotiate with Ukraine, including tangible gains on the battlefront and Western media’s waning attention span. But if Russian state TV is any indication, another reason Putin’s regime is now rejecting the idea of a diplomatic resolution has to do with the approaching midterm elections in the United States. – The Daily Beast 

Western attention is generally focused on criticism of the war in Ukraine by Russians, who oppose the war. As the majority of Russia’s citizens support the war, it is important to consider the criticism coming from the opposite direction namely by those who believe that the war is not being prosecuted strenuously enough and that it is high time to drop the pretense of a special operation and declare a full-fledged war complete with mobilization. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Editorial: Ukraine’s silos are full, and another harvest is nearing, but the critical port of Odessa is mined to prevent a Russian invasion, and Russia blockades the Black Sea. It would be tricky to create naval convoys to safely export the grain from Ukraine, but all options and routes ought to be examined. There are no easy answers, but the food security of millions of people is at stake, and a root cause of their misery is one man in the Kremlin. – Washington Post 

Anastasia Edel writes: Apart from wreaking physical horror, Mr. Putin’s war in Ukraine is erasing countless intangibles, among them the collective good will of the West toward Russia. In my children’s future, I see no cultural miracles akin to the one that I experienced back in 1989. This is a loss for both countries, and Russia’s will be greater if Mr. Putin continues doubling down on carnage and isolation. That future isn’t set in stone. – New York Times 

Clara Ferreira Marques writes: Yes, there are risks. Russia is a nuclear power that does not want to be backed into a corner, and its economy will, eventually, adapt to a reduced reality. There could be countersanctions, and unintended consequences. But a lack of resolve is more dangerous still. This war can only end at the negotiating table — and there, lasting peace will depend both on strengthening Ukraine’s hand and on weakening Russia’s. – Bloomberg 

Kateryna Stepanenko, Karolina Hird, Mason Clark, and George Barros write: Russian forces are escalating the use of psychological and information operations to damage the morale of Ukrainian soldiers. […]These information and psychological attacks likely seek to lower the morale of Ukrainian servicemen as operations on multiple axes of advance continue to generate high causalities on both the Ukrainian and Russian sides. – Institute for the Study of War 

Jack Detsch writes: Yet the fear of poking Russia is still real in some corners in Washington—and long held. Hodges said fear of provoking Russia inside of Washington dates back nearly a decade to back-and-forth arguments about arming the Ukrainians during the Obama administration. When the United States first provided the AN/TPQ-36 radar to Ukraine in 2015, it was programmed so it could not identify a point of origin for a weapons’ launch if it was inside Russia, Hodges said. – Foreign Policy 

Ben Cahill writes: Over the years, policymakers have learned to deploy energy sanctions with greater precision. But it is not clear that this round of sanctions will accomplish the stated goal: to deprive Russia of revenue that fuels its war machine, while minimizing the cost to European consumers and the global market.  – Center for Strategic and International Studies 


The United Nations atomic agency’s board overwhelmingly passed a resolution rebuking Iran for failing to cooperate with an agency investigation, as Tehran said it had turned off some cameras monitoring nuclear-related activities and warned of further action in its nuclear program. – Wall Street Journal 

Iran has begun further expanding its underground uranium enrichment and said on Wednesday it would switch off two of the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s cameras, as the watchdog’s 35-nation board overwhelmingly passed a resolution criticising Tehran. – Reuters 

Iran plans to install two new cascades of advanced centrifuges that will allow Tehran to rapidly enrich more uranium, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog said Thursday, the latest escalation in the standoff over the country’s atomic program. – Associated Press 

A Greek court on Wednesday overturned an earlier court ruling that allowed the confiscation by the United States of part of a cargo of Iranian oil on an Iranian-flagged tanker off the Greek coast, three sources familiar with the matter said. – Reuters 

As relations deteriorate between Iran and the agency changed with limiting global nuclear arms distribution, Israel is honing its own brand of nonproliferation assurance. – New York Sun 

Iran has significantly intensified its efforts to obtain technology for its illegal nuclear program, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency said in a report released on Tuesday. Fox News Digital reviewed the key passages in the 368-page document outlining security threats to Germany. – Fox News 

Western powers lauded the UN’s nuclear watchdog late Wednesday after its members overwhelmingly voted to formally censure Iran for refusing to disclose parts of its nuclear program, saying the symbolic move had sent a clear message to the Islamic Republic about the need to reform. – Times of Israel 

Zvi Bar’el writes: For Western countries, especially the United States, quitting the negotiations means losing any chance of the big diplomatic achievement for which Biden had hoped. But more importantly, they understand that the alternative diplomatic option – that is, asking the Security Council to renew the international sanctions on Iran – is a dead end. And the military option, which would embroil Washington in a new Middle Eastern front, is currently out of the question, given that the West is already busy with the Ukrainian front and the struggle against Russia. – Haaretz 


Taliban forces have been locked for months in a shadowy on-again, off-again battle with opposition fighters based in the Panjshir Valley. Just a few hours’ drive north of Kabul, the province has long been an anti-Taliban stronghold and remains the only significant pocket of resistance to the group since the fall of Kabul last August. – Washington Post 

A former Afghan minister, who fled as the Taliban took over Afghanistan last year, returned on Wednesday, officials said, following security assurances given as part of the hardline group’s initiative to woo back high-profile individuals. – Reuters 

The U.S. government indirectly pays an airline controlled by the Taliban regime to ferry Afghan refugees out of Kabul, four people familiar with the matter told NBC News. – NBC News 


Israeli tanks shelled an observation post set up by the Syrian military in a demilitarized part of the Golan Heights early Wednesday morning, Syrian reports said. According to several local Syrian sources, the outpost near the village of al-Malgah in the Quneitra region was destroyed in the attack. – Times of Israel 

An unusual surface-to-surface missile attack targeting Damascus International Airport that took place two weeks ago and was attributed to Israel was successful in damaging some runways, preventing large cargo planes from landing at the airport. – Times of Israel 

Nasreddin Ibrahim writes: In sum, present-day Syria will be divided between three decentralized entities, so that the Syria of the future can be officially and constitutionally united among three or more entities, regardless of the names of those entities. As for a centralized and totalitarian Syria, it is a thing of the past and gone forever. – Washington Institute 


Israel last week rejected a US proposal for a regional summit with the Palestinian Authority focused on working toward a peace agreement between Jerusalem and Ramallah, according to a Wednesday report. – Times of Israel 

The Israeli military on Wednesday accused the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist group of conducting clandestine activities along the border with Israel under the guise of an environmental group known as “Green Without Borders.” – Times of Israel 

In face of Iran’s continued development of a nuclear capability, the Israeli Air Force has developed a new capability to be able to fly its F-35 stealth fighter jets from Israel to the Islamic Republic without requiring mid-air refueling. The development is a boost to IAF capabilities and comes as the Israeli military has upped its preparations for a future strike against Iran’s nuclear capabilities. – Times of Israel 

12 Palestinians suspected of terrorism or connection to terrorist activities were arrested overnight Wednesday by Israeli security forces, including IDF, Shin-Bet and Border Police, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit announced on Thursday morning. – Jerusalem Post 

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett praised the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors’ vote to adopt a resolution calling on Iran to provide information about its undeclared nuclear sites. – Jerusalem Post 

Israel is prepared to defend the Karish gas reservoir and rig, which is entirely in Israeli territory, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Energy Minister Karin Elharrar warned on Wednesday, days after Lebanon threatened Israel over it. – Jerusalem Post 

We are implementing the Octopus Doctrine,” says Naftali Bennett, Israel’s prime minister. “We no longer play with the tentacles, with Iran’s proxies: we’ve created a new equation by going for the head.” Talking to The Economist after nearly a year in office, he explains how Israel and its covert services are raising the stakes in the shadowy war they have waged with Iran for nearly four decades. – The Economist  

Seth J. Frantzman writes: Has the last year been a turning point in the struggle with Iran? History will tell us later if this is the case. It could also just be more of the same with Bennett continuing the Netanyahu strategy of the campaign between the wars. This is the “mowing the grass” or “wack-a-mole” strategy. But it’s not one that really rolls back Iran, which continues to threaten to destroy Israel. It is an interesting aspect of history that Bennett’s comments coincide with the anniversary of the raid on the Iraqi Osirak reactor on June 7, 1981. – Jerusalem Post 


Eight months after national elections, Iraq still doesn’t have a government and there seems to be no clear way out of the dangerous deadlock. Political elites are embroiled in cutthroat competition for power, even as the country faces growing challenges, including an impending food crisis resulting from severe drought and the war in Ukraine. – Associated Press 

A drone exploded in Iraq’s northern city of Erbil on Wednesday injuring three people and damaging several cars, according to a statement by Kurdistan’s counter-terrorism service. – Reuters 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: Iran uses drones and rockets because of plausible deniability. It can easily move the pieces to groups in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. Then the groups can fly the systems and Iran can pretend it had nothing to do with the attack. The recent incident appears to have harmed civilians, leaving questions about what has actually occurred. – Jerusalem Post 

Middle East & North Africa

President Biden is looking to visit the Middle East in July, a spokesperson for the National Security Council told The Hill on Wednesday. – The Hill 

Amid the recent spate of ISIS attacks in Sinai, the Egyptian press published several articles that called to eliminate terror by expunging fundamentalist Islam, which forms the basis of the religious ideology espoused by the terrorist organizations.  The articles called to essentially reform the Egyptian school curricula, which they said teach children, staring in kindergarten, values of exclusion, hatred and violence. Instead, they called to develop new curricula focusing on science, humanism, religious tolerance and critical thinking that match the modern age, rather than the Dark Ages. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

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 

The Democratic chairs of six House panels are asking President Biden to lay out a list of priorities ahead of a potential meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman that include addressing humanitarian issues in the kingdom and accountability in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. – The Hill 

Steven A. Cook writes: The Saudis want to make it seem as if the world needs them because of a new dynamism enveloping the country. There are important changes in Saudi Arabia that critics often too easily and breezily dismiss, but that is not the reason Biden plans to go there next month. He is going because of Saudi Arabia’s oil, which was always the basis of the U.S.-Saudi bilateral relationship. And the price Mohammed bin Salman is commanding for his help is a cordial visit from the man who once vowed to make him a pariah. – Foreign Policy 

Korean Peninsula

China and Russia defended their vetoes of a strongly backed U.S. resolution that would have imposed tough new sanctions on North Korea, speaking at a first of its kind General Assembly meeting Wednesday. – Associated Press 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has convened a key political conference where he’s expected to review major state affairs, including a fight against COVID-19, and possibly address external relations with Washington and Seoul amid revived nuclear brinkmanship. – Associated Press 

The United States is watching “very closely” the continued possibility of a nuclear test by North Korea and will have a robust response, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. – Reuters 

North Korea may have spent as much as $650 million on the missiles tested in a record barrage of launches this year, which comes as it battles Covid and food shortages made worse by leader Kim Jong Un’s decision to shut borders due to the pandemic. – Bloomberg 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s regime has made “preparations for a nuclear test,” according to a senior State Department official, that could inaugurate a renewed phase of saber rattling rendered more dangerous by the regime’s upgrades to its nuclear arsenal. – Washington Examiner 


The Commerce Department on Wednesday announced it has frozen the export privileges of three U.S. companies for the illegal export to China of technical drawings used for 3D printing of satellite, rocket and defense-related parts. – Washington Post 

China will help Cambodia expand and upgrade a naval base in the Southeast Asian country, officials from both sides said, heightening concerns U.S. officials have expressed for years that Beijing plans to establish a naval outpost there. – Wall Street Journal 

The United States and China are expected to use Asia’s top security meeting this week to trade blows over everything from Taiwan’s sovereignty to the war in Ukraine, although both sides have indicated a willingness to discuss managing differences. – Reuters 

An online snafu involving China’s most popular e-commerce livestreamer and a cake decorated to look like a tank has raised questions among some Chinese over the crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989. The order to the People’s Liberation Army soldiers to fire on unarmed civilians is a sensitive subject that has long been heavily censored by the ruling Communist Party. – Associated Press 

American officials increasingly see China losing diplomatic ground in Asia as Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin heads to Singapore for a regional security forum that will include a meeting with a top Chinese defense official. – Bloomberg 

China’s appeal as a gold mine for foreign businesses is waning, and while some multinationals ponder their future in the world’s biggest consumer market, one group of companies is already headed for the exit. – Bloomberg 


For decades, many Australians have found it a curious thing that the country’s head of state is a queen sitting on a distant English throne. Occasionally, in times of controversy, they have even batted about the idea of cutting Australia’s final monarchical ties. But more pressing issues have inevitably prevailed. Now, change is on the way. Kind of. – New York Times 

Japan on Wednesday criticized Russia’s announcement that it is suspending an agreement allowing Japanese to fish in waters near disputed islands, as relations between the countries deteriorate over the war in Ukraine. – Associated Press 

India tightened public security on Wednesday after the circulation of a letter warning of Islamist militant attacks to avenge derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammad by an official of the ruling Hindu nationalist party. – Reuters 

Mihir Sharma writes: Under Modi, India’s political leadership still revels in global approval and uses that to maintain the prime minister’s above-the-fray image. But, under a more hardline leader, it could well court global disapprobation instead, which populist politics is perfectly capable of transmuting into domestic popularity. No one would benefit from a world in which a country as consequential as India grows more autarkic and less interested in what others — including Muslim-majority countries — think. – Bloomberg 


Top United Nations officials are leading negotiations on a package deal to ensure that both Ukraine and Russia can export stalled shipments of grain and fertilizer, which would buoy a global market in dire need of food as severe hunger crises loom, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday. – Washington Post 

The U.S. military has devised a plan to train a platoon of Ukrainian soldiers at a time on how to use sophisticated multiple-launch rocket artillery, the Pentagon’s top general said Wednesday, raising the likelihood that more of the weapons could be sent to Ukraine. – Washington Post 

A Dutch appeals court upheld Wednesday the conviction and life sentence of a 67-year-old Ethiopian-Dutch man who was found guilty of war crimes committed under a brutal Marxist regime that ruled Ethiopia in the 1970s. – Associated Press 

Viktor Orbán was clear. His political priority in Europe, Hungary’s prime minister said in April, was better relations with Poland — restoring a close alliance frayed by war in Ukraine. Two months on, though, Hungary and Poland seem further apart than ever because of fundamental differences in responding to Russian aggression towards Kyiv. – Financial Times 

Editorial: Heads of government must make difficult judgments, and some will inevitably be wrong given the known facts at the time. But Mrs. Merkel insisted on her courtship of Mr. Putin even after his annexation of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine in 2014. She made her country more vulnerable by phasing out its nuclear power plants and refusing to honor its NATO pledge to spend 2% of GDP on defense. – Wall Street Journal 

Andreas Kluth writes: Putin inverted that narrative, and thus Merkel’s legacy. The footnotes are now the title. Whatever her reasons at the time, Merkel, like Chamberlain, now stands for appeasement. Her most unforgivable failure was that — if she already understood the threat from Putin as she claims — she did not explain the danger to Germans and Europeans. By not communicating, she left the continent unprepared. – Bloomberg 

Andrew R. Novo writes: Draghi must find a way to work with and around the members from M5S and Lega or Italy will continue its march toward appeasement, further fracturing the already vulnerable European consensus that seeks to hold Putin and Russia accountable for the assault on Ukraine. – Center for European Policy Analysis 

Vali Kaleji writes: Over the past three decades, internal divisions in the Caucasus region between Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as divisions between Armenia, Turkey, and Georgia on one side and Russia on the other, have hindered regional cooperation. The war in Ukraine, with its trans-regional fallout, seems to have nipped in the bud nascent trends in regional cooperation, especially those adopting the 3+3 model. – Middle East Institute 

Andreas Umland writes: Above all, the three states’ designation as potential or even proper EU candidates would be an important morale boost to their citizens. They would finally understand that a European future—not a Russian one—awaits them, their children, and their grandchildren. For no one would that be more uplifting than for the Ukrainians now fighting for their nation’s very existence. – Foreign Policy 


Belgium’s King Philippe expressed his “deepest regrets” for his nation’s abuses in its former colony Congo, telling lawmakers Wednesday on his first official trip to the country that Belgian colonial rule was unjustifiable and racist. – Associated Press 

Talks aiming at ending Sudan’s ongoing political deadlock began Wednesday, the United Nations said, although the country’s main pro-democracy alliance is boycotting them over a continued police crackdown on those protesting last October’s military coup. – Associated Press 

Algeria suspended a 20-year-old friendship treaty with Spain that committed the two sides to cooperation in controlling migration flows, and also banned imports from Spain, escalating a row over Madrid’s stance on Western Sahara. – Reuters 

Latin America

President Joe Biden on Wednesday spoke by phone with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido and expressed U.S. support for restarting negotiations between President Nicolas Maduro’s government and the country’s opposition, the White House said. – Reuters 

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took swipes at Cuban-American Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Bob Menendez during a regular press conference Wednesday morning, piling on from criticism lobbed in recent days. – Reuters 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was welcomed in the Turkish capital on Wednesday just as the foreign minister of Russia, a key ally of the ostracized Latin American regime, was also visiting the city. – Associated Press 

A little more than two years ago, Juan Guaidó was showered with bipartisan applause when President Donald Trump during his State of the Union speech praised the Venezuelan opposition leader as a “very brave man” who carries on his shoulders the democratic hopes of an entire nation. But in a sign of how far his political fate has fallen, and how quickly U.S. geopolitical calculations can shift, the 38-year-old wasn’t even invited to this week’s Summit of the Americas — despite the Biden administration’s persistent promotion of democracy and insistence it recognizes Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president. – Associated Press 

Editorial: China has put business first, turning a blind eye to corruption and governance concerns. That cannot be good for Latin America. Washington is right to insist on democracy and transparency but it needs to offer carrots as well as brandishing a big stick. Unless it can commit to a much bolder agenda on trade and investment, and a rethink of policy on Cuba and Venezuela, the US will find itself increasingly outmanoeuvred in its own neighbourhood by Beijing. – Financial Times 

Daniel F. Runde write: President Duque can take a short term hit in exchange for Colombia’s long-term gain. This would be a “gesto de grandeza” to demonstrate solidarity with Ukraine in its hour of need by cancelling the Russian contract as he walks out the door. […]Cancelling this Russian contract would be a final demonstration of Colombia’s support for global peace and order. – The Hill 

The Americas

President Biden on Wednesday addressed a regional summit that has seen its roster scrambled by boycotts from some leaders, including Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who wanted the U.S. to include autocratic countries at the gathering. – Wall Street Journal 

Migration has taken center stage at an assembly of Western Hemisphere leaders, reflecting its emergence as a top foreign policy issue amid red-carpet drama over who comes and who stays home. – Associated Press 

The British Virgin Islands announced Wednesday that it has avoided direct rule by the United Kingdom for now after its premier was recently arrested on cocaine charges and an unrelated report found widespread corruption in the overseas territory. – Associated Press 

A gang in Haiti has released three of eight Turkish citizens kidnapped nearly a month ago in the country’s capital, an official said Wednesday. Hugues Josue, Turkey’s honorary consul in Haiti, told The Associated Press that three women were released, adding that he had no further details. – Associated Press 


Rep. August Pfluger called on the Biden administration to take steps to better protect the U.S. power grid from cyberattacks and from reserve capacity shortages , warning in a letter shared exclusively with the Washington Examiner that these vulnerabilities risk setting off a nationwide reliability crisis. – Washington Examiner 

Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., is sounding the alarm over what he describes as continued inaction by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to bolster the water sector’s cybersecurity defenses. – CyberScoop 

With the 2022 election season around the corner, campaigns of all sizes need to be prepared for a widened set of potential cybersecurity risks, experts and a top intelligence official said.[…]Joyce noted that NSA tends to play a supporting role to the Department of Homeland Security’s CISA, but both botnets and ransomware fall within the agency’s technical lane and are cause for concern ahead of 2022. – CyberScoop 

Peter Coy writes: Costs go up. Sheltered domestic industries can become inefficient. Neutral trading partners that aren’t admitted to the inner circle are harmed. And international tensions can worsen: Reducing interdependence with China, which is racing to develop technologies such as artificial intelligence and semiconductors, might backfire by giving the Chinese government even less reason to be on good terms with the United States. – New York Times 


Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, is slated to swap its iconic Vietnam War-era helicopters for a modern fleet of MH-139 Grey Wolf rotary aircraft in the coming years, the Air Force announced Tuesday. – Defense News 

The United States has relied almost entirely on China — and to a lesser extent Russia — in recent years to procure a critical mineral that is vital to producing ammunition. The mineral antimony is critical to the defense-industrial supply chain and is needed to produce everything from armor-piercing bullets and explosives to nuclear weapons as well as sundry other military equipment, such as night vision goggles. – Defense News 

The U.S. Air Force has awarded contracts to three companies for the first phase of a new program to develop an air-to-ground stand-in attack weapon that the F-35 jet could use to destroy enemy air defenses. – Defense News 

Jon Sweet writes: At a minimum, the capital city, and the lines of communication coming into it, must be afforded security from Russian artillery and ballistic missile strikes. The U.S. Patriot missile defense system and the U.S.-funded Israeli Iron Dome system can best provide that protection. The brave men and women of our diplomatic corps stationed in Kyiv deserve the protection, as does the military equipment we and other NATO countries are providing to Ukraine. – Washington Examiner 

Long War

A former Maryland man held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center has languished in custody months after his scheduled release despite cooperating with authorities as part of a plea deal, according to a federal suit that seeks his immediate release. – Associated Press 

Khan is not alone in questioning the mostly opaque talks, which senior Pakistani officials say are aimed at ending the TTP’s 14-year insurgency. A deal between Islamabad and the TTP now appears to be in sight after the group declared an indefinite cease-fire this month following months of parleys brokered by the Afghan Taliban. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

Turkey on Wednesday detained at least 14 Islamic State (ISIS) suspects in police raids in two provinces, the Xinhua news agency reported. Police teams in Adana province conducted raids at the residences of the 10 foreign nationals who were earlier active in the ranks of ISIS in Syria, according to state-run TRT broadcaster. – Arutz Sheva