Fdd's overnight brief

March 15, 2022

In The News


Diplomatic efforts to end Russia’s war in Ukraine showed no signs of progress on Monday as fighting for the capital intensified, with Russian missiles destroying an aircraft factory and an apartment building in Kyiv and a television tower in the western city of Rivne. – Wall Street Journal

Russian forces are killing civilians and looting stores and homes across occupied parts of southern Ukraine, residents said, as Moscow arrested elected local leaders and sought to replace them with pro-Russian collaborators. – Wall Street Journal  

The heads of three governments in the European Union — the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia — are set to travel to Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The visit, at a moment when Europe is engaged in an extraordinary effort to isolate Russian President Vladimir Putin, was meant to “confirm the unequivocal support of the entire European Union for the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine,” the Czech prime minister said in a Facebook post. – Washington Post 

When Russian forces seized control of a military airport in Hostomel, a few miles north of Irpin, on the first day of the war, many military observers expected a rapid takeover of Kyiv. But more than two weeks later, Russian troops have struggled to advance. – Washington Post  

A state television employee burst onto the live broadcast of Russia’s most-watched news show on Monday evening, yelling, “Stop the war!” and holding up a sign that said, “They’re lying to you here,” in an extraordinary act of protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. – New York Times  

Russian forces pounded Ukrainian cities early Tuesday in a bombardment that was deepening the humanitarian crisis as the countries kept open a narrow diplomatic channel with more planned talks. – Associated Press 

Ukraine will make a new attempt to deliver supplies to civilians trapped in the encircled city of Mariupol on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said. – Reuters  

Russia said on Tuesday there was no risk of a food shortage on the domestic market and cautioned consumers against rushing out to stock up on staples after the West slapped sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. – Reuters  

The International Court of Justice announced on Monday that it would issue a ruling on Wednesday in the case regarding “Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation).” – The Hill 

Martin Griffiths, the United Nations humanitarian chief, announced on Monday that the U.N. would allocate $40 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to increase aid to some of the most vulnerable people affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. – The Hill 

A Fox News journalist in Ukraine was injured on Monday while covering the ongoing Russian invasion of the country and his status is currently unknown, the US news outlet reported. – Jerusalem Post  

Editorial: The time for a different U.S. policy — toward either the fighting or the negotiations — might yet come. Certainly, the war’s catastrophic impact on civilians is a reason to search urgently for new and better ideas. For now, though, Washington’s best course is the one it’s on. – Washington Post   

Editorial: As a matter of domestic politics, a humanitarian airlift might also head off some of the public pressure on Western leaders that will surely increase as Russia’s siege of Ukraine’s cities escalates. President Biden has been forced more than once in this crisis to bow to Congressional pressure to take action that he didn’t want to take. The airlift is a chance to lead in a way that could save countless lives—and do something more than let Ukrainians fight and die alone to the bitter end. If there are better ideas, please let’s hear them. – Wall Street Journal  

Walter Russell Mead writes: The world is a tough place. Geopolitics rule, and if you get power politics wrong, the rest doesn’t matter. […]America and its democratic allies, even at their best, are not strong and united enough to handle the world’s geopolitical challenges without enlisting the help of nondemocratic and even antidemocratic partners. We can’t do that while simultaneously virtue-signaling about how much we loathe them, and their help comes at a price that must be paid on time and in full. – Wall Street Journal 

Douglas J. Feith and John Hannah write: Russian forces are encircling Kyiv, and U.S. intelligence says the Ukrainian capital could run out of food and water in days. Having refused to establish a no-fly zone, President Biden needs more options to deal with enormous and urgent humanitarian needs. We propose an international airlift, organized and supported by the U.S. Wall Street Journal 

Victor Pinchuk writes: You have a chance to stand up to evil. Take a risk. Trust your conscience. Save the values and ideals of the West. In this moment of crisis, Ukrainians don’t say SOS, “save our souls.” Ukrainians’ lives are in danger, but their souls are safe. We say to you: Save your souls. – Wall Street Journal 

Joe Scarborough writes: If Putin believes his future is inside a cage at The Hague, he will have no incentive to end this war. The same holds true for senior U.S. senators calling for regime change. Providing Russia’s nuclear-armed president an off-ramp from the military catastrophe he created remains the best hope for the people of Ukraine and the world. – Washington Post 

Josh Rogin writes: Gamaliy is right that appeasement always backfires when dealing with expansionist, militaristic dictators. But he also is smart not to count on the West to save his people from Putin’s cruel plans. His people are training every day to fight a Russian force that wants nothing less than to take over the country. He wants the West to know there is no way Ukrainians will ever stop fighting, even if they are abandoned by the world. – Washington Post 

Peter Coy writes: For negotiators who are trying to stop the war, the challenge is to know which, if any, of these factors is motivating Putin’s murderous campaign. It may be all three, said Fiona Hill, who served as the deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council under President Donald Trump and as a national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasian affairs under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. – New York Times 

Caroline C. Cowen writes: Worst case scenario: Moscow may view gains in Nicaragua as payback for U.S. and European interference in Ukraine. Make no mistake, what now seems like an isolated trend could allow Moscow to gain control in the Caribbean basin, and the relationships could become a tie breaker in the regional military balance. The U.S. will need to act, beyond mere words. – The Hil 

Mark N. Katz writes: Yet, even if there are those within the Russian military leadership who recognize the need for Putin to go — as a group of retired Russian military officers called for just prior to the invasion of Ukraine — doing so would be an extremely risky enterprise. What they need to consider, though, is whether the risks incurred by Putin’s remaining in power and continuing his reckless policies are even greater for Russia and the Russian military itself. – The Hill 

Oona A. Hathaway writes: Even if Ukraine’s government falls, the unified and sustained legal condemnation of the invasion is essential not only to sustaining hope for a future in which Ukraine is free and independent but also to maintaining an international legal order founded on the principle that might cannot make right. – Foreign Affairs 

Edward Lucas writes: It was the Kremlin, not NATO, that changed the relationship, with the cyberattack on Estonia in 2007, the war in Georgia in 2008, and also with a large, aggressive military exercise in 2009. […]Mearsheimer claims “Western leaders rarely described Russia as a military threat to Europe before 2014”. He has the date wrong: the rethink started years earlier. In this story as in much else, Western experts’ failure to notice something does not mean it didn’t happen. – Center for European Policy Analysis 

Anthony H. Cordesman writes: Accordingly, the U.S. needs to do far more than simply react to the war in Ukraine and help to rebuild NATO. The challenge is global, and it will increase every year. The real lesson of the war in Ukraine is that the U.S. must now plan to work with its strategic partners indefinitely into the future and in ways that meet both authoritarian threats. – Center for Strategic and International Studies 

David C. Hendrickson writes: The sudden and brutal divorce signified by the sanctions, including the abolition of contracts, will wrench and contort the world economy and hit Europe the worst—at first. As divorce does generally, it will make both parties poorer and will be cruel and unfair to the little people hurt most. The interdependence that allowed the West to execute such a devastating blow against Russia in the initial phases of this economic war leaves the West and the world acutely vulnerable to very serious retaliatory costs. – The National Interest 

Alexander J. Motyl writes: But whatever the outcome, the history of other fascist regimes suggests that Putin’s Russia will follow in their footsteps. Russia will be either aggressive and victorious or aggressive and humiliated. Either way, the war in Ukraine is not the end of the West’s troubles with Putin. – Politico 


Iran will stay in the Vienna nuclear talks until its demands are met and a “strong agreement” is reached, Iran’s top security official Ali Shamkhani said on Monday. – Reuters  

Washington would be open to “diplomatic alternatives” to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon if a deadlock sparked by sanctions against Russia makes a formal return to the 2015 nuclear deal impossible, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Monday. – Reuters  

Iranian state television said on Monday its security forces had thwarted a planned sabotage at the country’s major Fordow nuclear site by a network it accused Israel of recruiting. It said the forces made arrests. – Reuters 

The United Arab Emirates and Israel are lobbying the U.S. to formulate a security strategy for the Middle East should the Iran nuclear deal be revived, with the war in Ukraine and surging oil prices providing leverage to obtain guarantees they failed to secure in 2015. – Bloomberg  

The United States needs to make a decision to wrap up a deal to salvage Iran’s 2015 nuclear accord with world powers, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson said on Monday amid fears that talks in Vienna might collapse. – Reuters  

Billed by Tehran as a warning to Israel, Sunday’s attack on an Iraqi city was also a pointed reminder of Iran’s armed clout for its U.S. and Arab foes at a delicate moment for the Islamic Republic, Iraqi and Western officials and independent analysts say. – Reuters  

A UAV attack in the middle of February reportedly caused major damage to Iran’s drone fleet, prompting Iran to fire missiles this week at a site in Iraq that it claims was an Israeli intelligence base. – Times of Israel  

Editorial: Iran will therefore find increasing confidence to demand the absolute maximum in concessions from the U.S. in exchange for the absolute minimum in concessions. Don’t, for example, expect any restored nuclear accord to include improved inspections protocols or restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program. Second, Iran will also likely conclude that its diligent pursuit of American bloodletting can happily coexist with U.S. diplomatic engagement. – Washington Examiner 

Nahal Toosi and Stephanie Liechtenstein write: U.S. officials acknowledge that time is running short and that a revived nuclear deal probably won’t be as strong as back in 2015. But those who support restoring it point out that it’s better than the current situation: Iran’s breakout time is now roughly a month. They say it’s critical to revive the deal if only to give the United States and its allies some breathing room and the time to come up with a future plan for dealing with Iran’s other troubling activities. – Politico 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: From the cyber realm to the ballistic missiles, drones and Iranian media reports of combating “sabotage” Iran is constantly stirring the pot of tensions, heating it up some months, lowering the temperature other months; trying to gauge the US response and also gauge Israel’s actions. With the Ukraine war, an emboldened Iran could also be a more dangerous Iran. The last week has shown that this could be part of the Tehran plan. – Jerusalem Post  


Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday it was too early to comment on Turkey’s possible purchase of more Russian weapons given Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. – Reuters 

Turkey’s central bank is expected to hold its policy rate at 14% this week, a unanimous Reuters poll showed on Monday, despite the Ukraine conflict and soaring energy prices that are set to send domestic inflation well beyond last month’s 54%. – Reuters  

Turkey’s drone powerhouse Baykar Makina is accelerating two advanced programs, including development of what the company brands as Turkey’s first unmanned fighter jet. – Defense News  


When Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett jetted to Moscow this month, offering himself as a broker between Russia and Ukraine, it marked an unlikely initiative for Israel. – Washington Post  

Israel said its government websites were hit by a cyber attack on Monday but that service had since been restored. – Reuters  

The Israeli government on Monday approved the deployment of a $6.4 million field hospital in western Ukraine to provide aid and medical assistance to refugees. – Algemeiner  

Israel Police arrested an 18-year-old resident of east Jerusalem on Monday after he posted a video on TikTok where he seemingly threatened to carry out a terrorist attack. – Jerusalem Post  

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s adviser said on Monday it is “realistic” for negotiations to end the war in Ukraine to take place in Israel’s capital of Jerusalem. – Ynet 

Ariel Harkham writes: This same vantage should be taken in how we observe Israel’s burgeoning energy power. Israel has a real opportunity to be the bridge between East and West, bypassing the Bosporus, as one of the most important energy corridors on the planet. – Jerusalem Post  


Iraq’s prime minister met with Kurdish officials on Monday and inspected the site of an Iranian missile attack near the American consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil. – Associated Press 

Iranian-backed groups in Iraq continue to claim that there is a “Zionist presence” in northern Iraq’s Kurdistan autonomous region. This is not a new talking point, but they have upped it in the last days in the wake of a major Iranian missile attack on Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region. – Jerusalem Post 

Ali Al-Mikdam writes: Iraq’s current political scene fluctuates between two scenarios: either there will be a consensus government that means a return to the option that Iraqi politicians know well, or an attempt to try another political option—the majority option with a true opposition block—that the Iraqi state has not yet dealt with. The first option would inflame the street, which is barely calmed down after the October uprising. As for the second option, its mechanisms and consequences are unknown. – Washington Institute 

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has invited Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit Riyadh as the kingdom looks to deepen ties with Beijing amid strained relations with Washington, people familiar with the plan said. – Wall Street Journal 

The UN human rights chief on Monday condemned Saudi Arabia’s execution of a record 81 people in a single day, and urged the kingdom to stop using the death penalty. – Agence France-Presse  

Simon Henderson writes: There is still the possibility that President Biden will make a trip to the Middle East in the next few months, to include Saudi Arabia. In the meantime, however, Johnson’s likely visit reflects the urgency of the Ukraine crisis and the need to take diplomatic advantage of almost any opportunity to resolve it. – Washington Institute 

Middle East & North Africa

As the world takes in the grim realities of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — the once-vibrant neighborhoods bombed out, the civilians killed by shells while trying to flee, the speculation about whether Russia will use chemical weapons — many Syrians have watched with a horrifying sense of déjà vu and a deep foreboding about what lies ahead. – New York Times 

The Saudi-based Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is considering inviting the Houthi movement and other Yemeni parties for consultations in Riyadh this month as part of an initiative aimed at backing U.N.-led peace efforts, two Gulf officials told Reuters. – Reuters 

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said on Monday he would not seek re-election in a parliamentary election scheduled for May 15. – Reuters   

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and discussed concerns about volatility in the energy market created following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a Downing Street spokesperson said. – Reuters 

In another step toward strengthening ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, the first agreement of its kind for academic cooperation was signed on Thursday between the Younes and Suraya Nazarian Library of the University of Haifa and the National Library and Archives (NLA) of the United Arab Emirates. – Jerusalem Post  

Ben Fishman writes: Turkey and the UAE could start by fulfilling the demand of the October 2021 ceasefire agreement and remove their own and associated forces, although legitimate training and other activities, such as demining support, should be allowed to continue. Following their own actions, Turkey and the UAE could also press Russia to follow suit and remove their mercenary forces. With such steps, it is possible that past interference in Libya could be transformed to facilitate much-needed political breakthroughs. – Washington Institute 

Korean Peninsula

North Korea described two recent missile launches, which soared higher than the International Space Station, as satellite tests. The U.S. and South Korea, taking the rare step of declassifying military intelligence last week, said the activity was part of a buildup toward a full-length intercontinental ballistic missile launch. – Wall Street Journal 

North Korea appears to be “restoring” its Punggye-ri nuclear test site, South Korea has said, with signs of new construction spotted in satellite imagery for the first time since it was shuttered in 2018. – Reuters  

After winning a bitterly contested presidential election, South Korean conservative Yoon Suk Yeol will enter office facing a quickly growing North Korean nuclear threat — and with few easy choices ahead to deal with it. – Associated Press 

U.S. forces stationed in South Korea said on Tuesday they have enhanced the intensity of exercises for their Patriot missile air defence system amid signs that North Korea might soon conduct another long-range missile test. – Reuters  


National security adviser Jake Sullivan issued a direct warning to his Chinese counterpart Monday about the potential consequences of any assistance that Beijing might provide Russia in its war with Ukraine, officials said, following Moscow’s recent request for military equipment and aid. – Washington Post  

The war in Ukraine is far from over, but a consensus is forming in Chinese policy circles that one country stands to emerge victorious from the turmoil: China. – New York Times  

While the U.S. presses China over its support for Russia, China is trying to shift the attention toward its effort to help prevent the Ukraine crisis from deepening. – Wall Street Journal 

The submarine that China is building for Thailand is missing something: engines.The deal calls for China to equip the submarine with diesel engines made by Germany’s MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH, according to a Thai navy spokesman. But Germany is barring export of the engines to China, strictly applying a European Union arms embargo imposed in 1989, after Chinese authorities used deadly force against protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. – Wall Street Journal 

China wants to avoid being impacted by U.S. sanctions over Russia’s war, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, in one of Beijing’s most explicit statements yet on American penalties that are contributing to a historic market selloff. – Bloomberg 

China denied on Tuesday claims by U.S. officials that Russia had sought military assistance in Ukraine and accused Washington of spreading “malicious disinformation” that risked escalating the conflict. – Reuters  

As President Joe Biden’s administration put Russia’s war in Ukraine front and center after talks between White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Chinese Central Foreign Affairs Commission Director Yang Jiechi, Beijing regarded Taiwan as a priority in China’s own account of the high-level discussions. – Newsweek  

Following Russia’s claims that the U.S. is financing biological weapons labs in Ukraine—an allegation the U.S. calls “disinformation”—China is adding more fuel to the fire by repeating the same talking points and calling on the U.S. to prove the rumors are false. – Newsweek

John Marks writes: Particularly now, as Russia replaces China as America’s main international foe, the U.S. would be wise to act to counter the recently proclaimed China-Russia “no limits” partnership. Both strategically and in practical terms, the U.S. would be hard-pressed to simultaneously confront both Russia and China. As Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon demonstrated 50 years ago, driving a wedge between these two countries can make for good policy. – The Hill 

 Wess Mitchell writes: In short, the United States should act decisively now, but in ways that are not just dealing with “the now.” The United States will have one big chance to create a demonstration effect in Europe that will help avoid a war in Asia. By dealing with the wolf closest to the sled, it will be in a better position later to deal with the larger wolf watching from the hilltop. – The National Interest


A Taiwanese jet fighter plunged into the sea Monday, the second such incident this year and the seventh since the start of 2020, leading the island’s air force to ground some of its military aircraft amid growing tensions with China. – Wall Street Journal 

While Russia’s war in Ukraine dominates global attention, Myanmar’s military is targeting civilians in air and ground attacks on a scale unmatched in the country since World War II, according to a longtime relief worker who spent almost three months in a combat zone in the Southeast Asian nation. – Associated Press

India is conducting a review of its procedures for operations, maintenance and inspection of weapons systems after accidentally launching a missile into Pakistan last week, its defence minister said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Japan has decided to freeze assets of an additional 17 Russian individuals, bringing the total number targeted by sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to 61, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday. – Reuters  

In a sign of deepening military cooperation between Japan and the United States, amphibious Japanese troops and U.S. Marines on Tuesday practiced airborne landing assaults together for the first time. – Reuters 

The impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on the Philippine economy is expected to be temporary, Economic Planning Secretary Karl Chua told a media briefing on Tuesday. – Reuters  

Riley Walters and Eleanor Shiori Hughes write: While Abe doesn’t expect the new prime minister to rock any boats, vis-a-vis either Taiwan or the PRC, he’s confident that Kishida will make the right decision when it comes to the future of Japan-Taiwan relations. And just as importantly, that Abe’s efforts in reshaping the Japan-Taiwan relationship can continue with the next generation of leaders from Tokyo and Taipei. – Hudson Institute 

Adm. Lee Hsi-Min (Ret.) and Michael A. Hunzeker write: The Taiwanese people are taking note. Many are eager to play an active role in providing for their own defense. What they need now are leadership and resources. We offer one blueprint for moving forward. There are surely others. Any plan will do. The only wrong choice is to squander the moment and momentum which the war in Ukraine has created at an unimaginable price. – War on the Rocks 


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky plans to take his case for more military gear directly to Congress on Wednesday, just as many lawmakers are trying to prod the White House to move more aggressively to repel Russia’s invasion. – Wall Street Journal 

In the middle of the night, protesters on Monday broke into a white stucco mansion in central London belonging to the family of a Russian oligarch, unfurled a Ukrainian flag, and declared the property “liberated” and ready for refugees. – Washington Post  

The mood is tense in Lithuania, one of the three small Baltic States and NATO members that spent half of the 20th century under Soviet rule. Everyone here heard the recent warning by President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine: “If we are no more, then God forbid, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will be next.” – New York Times  

Britain’s Supreme Court on Monday said it had refused the latest appeal by Julian Assange, the embattled WikiLeaks founder, to prevent his extradition to the United States. – New York Times  

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine and his push to upend the broader security order in Europe may lead to a historic shift in American thinking about defense of the continent. Depending on how far Putin goes, this could mean a buildup of U.S. military power in Europe not seen since the Cold War. – Associated Press 

The government in Kyiv continues to function, the banking system is stable and debt payments are viable in the short term, but the Russian invasion could plunge Ukraine into a devastating recession, the IMF said Monday. – Agence France-Presse  

A Soviet-era drone that crashed near Croatia’s capital city Zagreb last Thursday was not a scout drone as previously thought, with explosive traces and bomb parts found in the crater where it crashed, Croatian Defense Minister Mario Banozic said, according to Croatian media. – Jerusalem Post  

Germany will buy up to 35 copies of the U.S.-made F-35 fighter jet, reversing years-long plans that saw the fifth-generation warplane eliminated from consideration, defense leaders announced Monday. – Defense News 

William Nattrass writes:  The looming transformation of the European energy sector presents enormous problems for Hungary, and other Central and Eastern European countries are equally skeptical about the strategy put forward by the E.U. Proposals to cut out Russian gas through an accelerated green revolution don’t strengthen the bloc’s unity; they put a significant chink in its armor. – Washington Post 


Soldiers in Mali have been responsible for killing at least 71 civilians since early December, a leading rights group said in a report on Tuesday. – Reuters  

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday said the former Central African Republic’s militia leader Maxime Jeoffroy Eli Mokom Gawaka had been surrendered to the court by the authorities of Chad for crimes against humanity and war crimes. – Reuters  

Sudanese protesters decried sliding economic conditions as they marched in cities across the country and the capital Khartoum on Monday in continued demonstrations against military rule. – Reuters  

United States

A dissident legal scholar who was jailed for two years in China after participating in the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement was killed Monday in his law firm’s office in New York, where he had settled after seeking asylum in the U.S., police said. – Associated Press 

A Seattle man has pleaded guilty to allegedly trying to leave the U.S. and join the terrorist organization ISIS. – The Hill 

Editorial: Why not do everything possible to expand American energy production instead? The question will give the President a choice. If he says yes, we can hold him to that policy standard. But if Mr. Biden says no, we’ll know he’s siding with his climate emissary John Kerry and the progressive left against the urgent economic and strategic interests of the United States. The voters can judge accordingly. – Wall Street Journal 



South Africa’s Competition Commission on Monday said it had referred Facebook and WhatsApp owner Meta Platforms (FB.O) to a tribunal for allegedly abusing its dominant position in the market. – Reuters  

Facebook owner Meta Platforms (FB.O) will help train Australian political candidates on aspects of cyber security and coach influencers to stop the spread of misinformation in a bid to boost the integrity of an upcoming election, it said on Tuesday. – Reuters  

U.S. intelligence officials have gone “way beyond their traditional comfort zone” over the past few weeks in publicly relaying intelligence almost in real time to hinder Russian operations in Ukraine, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Monday. – CyberScoop  

The Russian war on Ukraine’s impact on the cybercrime underground is starting to become clearer, with the fallout having significant implications for cyberattack targeting and an increased threat to Western nations’ critical infrastructure, according to new research. – CyberScoop 

Meta’s social media firm Facebook is losing its popularity among teens and young adult users across its key markets, according to numerous studies. – Business Insider  


The U.S. Space Force is offering few details on its decision to delay the launch of its Wide-Field-of-View Testbed, which was set to lift off this spring. – Defense News  

If you’re confused about the size of the future U.S. Navy fleet, you’re not alone. The service and Pentagon officials have teetered between multiple plans for the last three years, moving back-and-forth between different approaches. – Military Times  

The risks associated with nuclear weapons are rising once again, the heads of three U.S. intelligence agencies told lawmakers last week, as Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine intensified. – Defense One  

Patty-Jane Geller writes: The Biden administration is expected to release its Nuclear Posture Review soon. If it has not already considered future adjustments to U.S. nuclear forces, it must do so immediately. In particular, it should review options to add more nuclear warheads to our current forces as well as to develop additional kinds of tactical weapons. With something as dangerous as nuclear war – the only existential threat to the United States – the United States cannot afford to skimp on deterrence. – The Hill 

John Teichert writes: Improvements and emphasis in the areas described above would be particularly beneficial to strategic competition. In accordance with a strategy of integrated deterrence in such an environment, the United States should aggressively and effectively find new ways to utilize its most significant strategic asset: properly applied and structured security cooperation with its broad network of allies and partners. Doing so would allow the United States to fully enjoy a unique American advantage. – War on the Rocks