Fdd's overnight brief

March 25, 2022

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


President Biden said Russia should be expelled from the Group of 20 major economies and pledged the U.S. would take in up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine as he met Thursday with world leaders to discuss new sanctions and humanitarian aid in response to Moscow’s invasion. – Wall Street Journal

The United States and the European Commission announced Friday a new joint task force to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian fossil fuels, as the West looks to further punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. The United States will work to deliver additional liquefied national gas for the European market in 2022 and beyond, the White House said. – Washington Post  

Ukraine said it struck the Russian-occupied port in the Azov Sea city of Berdyansk on Thursday, igniting a large fire and hitting a Russian warship at the site, which has become a major logistics hub for Moscow’s invasion forces. – Wall Street Journal 

President Biden and leaders of more than 30 nations convened Thursday to demonstrate united opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, announcing new economic sanctions, aid for refugees, deployment of additional forces to Eastern Europe and grim preparations in case Russia uses chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. – New York Times  

Ukraine’s military has begun a counteroffensive that has altered the central dynamic of the fighting: the question is no longer how far Russian forces have advanced, but whether the Ukrainians are now pushing them back. – New York Times  

Ukraine accused Moscow of forcibly removing hundreds of thousands of civilians from shattered Ukrainian cities to Russia to pressure Kyiv to give up, while President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged his country to keep up its military defense and not stop “even for a minute.” – Associated Press 

The United States assesses that Russia is suffering failure rates as high as 60% for some of the precision-guided missiles it is using to attack Ukraine, three U.S. officials with knowledge of the intelligence told Reuters. – Reuters 

It is “foolish” to believe that Western sanctions against Russian businesses could have any effect on the Moscow government, Russian ex-president and deputy head of security council Dmitry Medvedev was quoted as saying on Friday. – Reuters 

UK officials believe Putin’s conscript or reservist manpower may soon be called upon to to replace the heavy losses Russia has suffered in Ukraine. – Business Insider 

Judy Shelton writes: Mr. Putin put Russian nuclear forces on alert the day after sanctions blocked Russian access to its currency reserves held abroad. Failure to make future payments will constitute default if not cured within 30 days. That gives new meaning to the notion of a grace period. – Wall Street Journal  

Julian E. Barnes writes: Intelligence officials believe the Russian war in Ukraine is failing. But they think President Vladimir V. Putin will adjust his tactics, doubling down on the hard-line attacks he has employed in recent weeks or looking to escalate the situation in a bid to force the West to end its support for Ukraine. – New York Times 

Ben Scott writes: It is bizarre to apply rules against violent conspiracies in the United States and then give the Kremlin a pass for something far worse. The moral lines in this conflict are crystal clear. The Big Tech companies must act. – Washington Post  

Nataliya Gumenyuk writes: And yes, we should keep our lines of communication to the Russians open — even if there is little cause for hope right now. And we do. But so far, we are told that Putin seems to believe that he can still force Ukraine to succumb by creating more victims among Ukrainian civilians, and that he is ready to sacrifice more Russian soldiers’ lives. Talks have their place — but not when your opponent is simply trying to destroy you. – Washington Post  

David E. Sanger writes: A month ago President Biden’s talk of making democracy prevail over autocracy seemed like a gauzy ideological sheen surrounding his plans to take on China. Today, as Mr. Biden got the leaders to endorse a new program to bolster other fragile democratic states worried that they will be in Mr. Putin’s cross hairs next, it has a different meaning. – New York Times 

James Stavridis writes: As we reach the one-month mark in this war, Putin is primarily using the strategies of ancient warfare: destroying cities and terrorizing populations. But in the background loom the most modern tools of combat: cyberattacks, hypersonic missiles — and perhaps chemical weapons and or even tactical nukes. The U.S. and its allies need to plan now how they will react to any or all of them. – Bloomberg 

Nathan Sales and Marshall Billingslea writes: Moderate sanctions have not induced moderation from Putin on the battlefield. To the contrary, he has escalated dramatically, launching scorched earth attacks on civilian targets like maternity hospitals and a theater sheltering civilians (clearly marked with the word “children”). Biden says it will take several months for the sanctions he’s announced to have an effect. Ukraine doesn’t have that long. In the face of Russia’s war crimes, the time for half-measures is over. – The Hill 

Andrew Lohsen writes: Global leaders should also demand the immediate release of local officials, journalists, and activists who have been arrested or kidnapped by occupation forces in southern Ukraine and should pressure Russia in international fora to account for their whereabouts and well-being. These civilians are boldly standing up to the occupation at great personal risk to make Russia’s 2014 playbook unworkable. – War on the Rocks 


Iran’s foreign minister claimed Thursday that his country is ready to reach a lasting agreement with world powers, blaming the latest failure to revive Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal on an allegedly “unrealistic vision” by the United States. – Associated Press 

Iran has received contradictory statements from Saudi Arabia on the renewal of bilateral relations, the country’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Thursday. – Reuters  

Russia’s war on Ukraine is reshuffling Middle East diplomacy and forcing the U.S. to reassess the political costs of reviving the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran. – Bloomberg 

The Biden administration is considering allowing Russia to buy Iran’s excess enriched uranium under the terms of a new nuclear deal, U.S. officials said this week. – Fox News 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: The meeting also showcases the continued strong relations between Tehran and Damascus. Reports in Turkish media recently said that Iran may be increasing its role in Syria as Russia is focused on Ukraine. This could have implications for Israel. As Iran gets closer to a deal, it will likely increase its attacks against Israel using drones and missiles, as well as its entrenchment in Syria. – Jerusalem Post

Mohammed Hassan and Samer al-Ahmed write: Moreover, Iran arguably wants to push the U.S. to further redeploy its military presence in Syria and Iraq, in order to ultimately lead to a complete withdrawal, similarly to what occurred in Afghanistan. – Middle East Institute  


Women in Afghanistan are struggling with new Taliban rules requiring them to be accompanied by a male relative, one in a series of measures that they say threaten to squeeze them out of public and professional life. – Wall Street Journal 

China hopes Afghanistan would fulfill its commitment of not allowing any external forces to use its territory as a tool to oppose neighbours, or harm the security of other nations, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday. – Reuters 

The United States and other Western countries on Thursday condemned the Taliban’s decision to shut girls secondary schools in Afghanistan just hours after reopening them, and urged the hardline Islamist movement to reverse course. – Agence France-Presse  

Syed Irfan Ashraf writes: Soaked in fear and terror, Afghanistan cannot be ruled like a jihadi madrassa – a weaponized space with no room for political and cultural rights. What the Taliban need is a step in the right direction: developing the capacity to transform their militancy into political rule. Instead of looking outside the country for recognition, in other words, the Taliban leadership must respect the history and rights of the Afghans. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Vinay Kaura writes: Whatever the outcome of the upcoming foreign ministers’ meeting in Beijing, there should be no doubt that political disagreements will mar China’s discussions with Western countries on the issue of the Taliban’s possible reintegration into the global system. – Middle East Institute  

Noah Rothman writes: The Biden White House’s expressions of indignation are unlikely to reassure advocates for women’s rights in Afghanistan, most of whom were consumed with white-hot rage even before the Taliban’s latest assault on human dignity. […]Neither the global community nor the Afghan people, having experienced 20 years of democracy, would stand for such oppression. It is terribly regrettable that she may have been wrong. – Commentary Magazine 


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on NATO allies to end arms embargoes on his country after a summit meeting of bloc leaders, pointing to Ukraine’s successful use of Turkish-made drones in its war with Russia. – Bloomberg 

Turkish energy minister Fatih Dönmez hopes to travel to Israel next month to discuss possible Israeli-Turkish cooperation on a gas pipeline, he told Energy Minister Karin Elharrar on Wednesday. – Jerusalem Post  

Mark Regev writes: Vehement anti-Israelism has been so much a part of Erdogan’s political persona that many see its abeyance as strictly temporary, expecting a resurgence with the next inevitable outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence or as a domestic political tool to energize the AKP base. […]Those interested in healthier ties need to hope, in contrast to his past practice, that Turkey’s strongman now persists in his espoused goal of rebooting the relationship. – Jerusalem Post  

Javairyah Kulthum Aatif writes: The glorification of this Turkic union, coupled with Turkey’s authoritarian regime, is detrimental not just to Turkey and the region, but also to Pakistan. Extremist groups, especially organizations like the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, benefit from this glorification. Can a country like Pakistan handle more extremist groups that are capable of using this neo-Ottoman and pan-Turkic ideology for other means? Pakistan must soberly observe Ankara and not take Erdogan’s policies as just authoritarian gimmicks aimed at solidifying his power base at home. – National Interest 


Israel was among 140 countries supporting a UN General Assembly resolution on Thursday demanding an end to Russia’s war against Ukraine and calling for civilian protection. – Jerusalem Post  

The Palestinians, who like to think of themselves as being at the center of the world’s attention, are once again disappointed. The Russia-Ukraine war, the rapprochement between Israel and some Arab countries, and a US administration that has taken a low-profile approach toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have added a sense of frustration to the Palestinians’ discontent. – Jerusalem Post 

The UN has conditioned Israel’s request for an exhibit on the Knesset at the organization’s headquarters in New York on the removal of some content, including references to Jerusalem as the country’s capital, Israeli television reported Thursday. – Times of Israel  

The IDF and Israel Police on Thursday, successfully foiled the largest arms smuggling operation across the Lebanon border, in the country’s history the police said. – Ynet 

One of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s top advisors told Israeli media on Thursday that Ukraine wants Israel to be “one of the countries to give a guarantee for any future agreement between Ukraine and Russia.” – Algemeiner 

The Israeli military on Thursday said that its navy completed a multinational exercise in the Mediterranean Sea to foster operational cooperation between allies and exchange knowledge on confronting threats. – Algemeiner  

Advanced talks are currently underway to hold a summit in Jerusalem between the foreign ministers of the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Kan 11 News reported on Thursday. – Arutz Sheva  

Gil Hoffman writes: By contrast, on global issues, Bennett has looked more comfortable. He helped bring home the Oknin couple from Turkey, made historic visits to Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, improved ties with Egypt and Jordan and has now become the only international figure trusted by the leaders of Russia and Ukraine to mediate between them. – Jerusalem Post 

Amos Harel writes: In any event, security will have to be increased both in the West Bank and inside Israel. The most conspicuous element missing in the Be’er Sheva attack, in comparison with the many attacks in East Jerusalem, was police officers. In Jerusalem, armed officers arrived at the scene in seconds (in many cases, they themselves were the terrorist’s target). In Be’er Sheva, several long minutes passed before armed civilians shot and killed the attacker. No police were in sight. – Haaretz 

David M. Weinberg writes: In short, the discourse about Israel in corrupt international institutions and in some aspersive western campuses and capitals couldn’t be more different than the discourse in Arab capitals, and other calm and considered decision-making centers. It’s confrontation versus cooperation, demonization versus solidarity. It is time for more Western leaders and democratic activists to discover the true, new Middle East, and the real Israel: a force for peace, progress, security and stability. – Jerusalem Post 

Arabian Peninsula

The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale to Bahrain of M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems Upgrade and related equipment for an estimated cost of $176 million, the Pentagon said on Thursday. – Reuters  

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are pushing the US for deeper security support as the Biden administration seeks the two Gulf powers’ co-operation on everything from energy and the Ukraine crisis to the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran. – Financial Times  

French anti-terror prosecutors have opened a preliminary inquiry into torture and acts of barbarism allegedly committed by Emirati General Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi who in November became president of Interpol, judicial sources said on Thursday. – Agence France-Presse  

The United Arab Emirates will host a festive dinner and soccer game next week with top players from Abraham Accords countries, in a bid to promote peace between Israel and Arab nations through their shared love of sports and food. – Algemeiner 

Middle East & North Africa

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to the Middle East and North Africa starting on Saturday in a trip that will be heavily dominated by discussion of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. – Reuters

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi received a phone call from Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday, where Sisi stressed the importance of dialogue and diplomatic solutions to the ongoing crisis, the Egyptian presidency said in a statement. – Reuters 

U.S. refiners have begun snapping up fuel oil cargoes from the Middle East this month after U.S. President Joe Biden banned Russian oil imports over the country’s invasion of Ukraine, shipping data showed. – Reuters    

Russian Ambassador to Syria Alexander Efimov warned Thursday that Israeli strikes in Syria are “provoking” Russia to react, in one of the strongest Russian condemnations of Israeli operations in Syria. – Jerusalem Post  

Egypt has asked for support from the IMF, the fund said, as the country struggles to weather the economic impact of Russia’s invasion on Ukraine. – Financial Times  

Alexander Loengarov writes: In such circumstances, political rationales often trump legal considerations. For instance, Turkey’s eagerness for energy collaboration with Israel cannot be discussed in isolation from questions about the Ukraine war and international reliance on Russian gas. Likewise, the question of whether renewed Israel-Turkey ties will lead to more legal clarity and economic cooperation in the East Mediterranean is bound to depend on political developments above anything else. Notably, Israel was represented by its president at the recent Ankara meeting, while the government ministers who define policy remained at home. – Washington Institute 

Korean Peninsula

Even by North Korean standards the hoopla and media coverage around the test firing of the country’s most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile to date was impressive — at times seeming to take cues from Hollywood blockbusters. – Washington Post

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his South Korean counterpart agreed that firm responses, including at the United Nations, were necessary after North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile test, the Pentagon said on Thursday. – Reuters 

South Korean president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol said North Korea has nothing to gain from provocation, a day after the nuclear-armed North test-fired its largest intercontinental ballistic missile ever. – Reuters 

The launch leaves the diplomatic legacy of former U.S. President Donald Trump and outgoing South Korean President Moon Jae-in in tatters. Both had touted North Korea’s self-imposed moratorium on such testing as a key success from several years of engagement. – Reuters 

The United States has imposed sanctions on two Russian companies and a North Korean entity for transferring sensitive items to North Korea’s missile program, the State Department said on Thursday. – Reuters 

After U.S. President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, his future policy chief for the Indo-Pacific region said the new administration would have to decide quickly its approach to North Korea and its nuclear and missile programs. – Reuters 

South Korea’s military said on Thursday it had conducted a live-fire test of multiple ballistic and tactical missiles immediately after what it called an intercontinental ballistic missile launch by North Korea. – Reuters 

Kim Jong Un personally oversaw Thursday’s launch of North Korea’s longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile as Pyongyang warned that its nuclear forces were “fully ready to thoroughly check and contain any dangerous military attempts of the US imperialists”. – Financial Times  


A leaked document has revealed that China and the Solomon Islands are close to signing a security agreement that could open the door to Chinese troops and naval warships flowing into a Pacific Island nation that played a pivotal role in World War II. – New York Times  

China’s ministry of defence said on Thursday it was completely false to say that China had “prior knowledge” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and that such claims were a smear. – Reuters 

U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday said that China knows its economic future is tied to the West, after warning Chinese leader Xi Jinping that Beijing could regret siding with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. – Reuters 

European Union officials suspect that China may be ready to supply semiconductors and other tech hardware to Russia as part of an effort to soften the impact of sanctions imposed over the invasion of Ukraine. – Bloomberg 

Editorial: Our advice to the Solomons and other smaller nations is to think twice before getting in bed with Beijing or Moscow. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s support for Russia are helping to clarify who are friends of the free world and who isn’t. China stands with North Korea and Russia with Syria. – Wall Street Journal 

Matthew Brooker writes: The antipathy demonstrated to liberal values in Hong Kong is instructive when considering why Beijing hasn’t been a more forceful defender of the global rules-based order in Ukraine. China’s economy depends on this Western construct, but the Party has no love for its principles. Countries should bear this in mind when considering how Beijing may refashion the global system in the future, when and if it has the power to do so. – Bloomberg 

Alicia Garcia-Herrero writes: Against the backdrop, Covid cases continue to pile up in China and lockdowns and other zero Covid-related policies continue to weigh on economic growth. The Ukraine war also will hit global demand for Chinese goods and Beijing’s ambiguous position on the conflict increases the risk of the country being caught up in Russia-related sanctions. – Financial Times  

Mark C. Storella writes: If China changes its position on support for Russia, it will not be out of abhorrence for Putin’s savagery. One can imagine Chinese leaders shifting support to a successor regime in Moscow with a simple message to Putin. To paraphrase “The Godfather” — It’s not personal, Vladimir. It’s strictly business. – The Hill 

South Asia

At least four Pakistani soldiers were killed in an attack by militants in northwestern Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan early on Thursday, the military said. – Reuters 

India has friendly relations with both the United States and Russia that stand on their own merit, the foreign ministry told parliament on Thursday, in reply to a query whether the Ukraine war had affected ties. – Reuters 

A former Maldives president jailed on corruption charges has returned to politics with a campaign against Indian influence in the country, worrying New Delhi, which is battling China for supremacy in its own back yard. – Reuters 

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his Indian counterpart and the national security advisor on Friday as part of continuing efforts to disengage thousands of Indian and Chinese forces involved in a tense faceoff and occasional clashes along their disputed border. – Associated Press 

Mihir Sharma writes: Until civilian leaders can break free of the military’s expectations and of populist anti-Western rhetoric, Pakistan will be condemned to regular economic and political crises. And Khan will not be the last prime minister to find his hold on power slipping away. – Bloomberg


Australia expressed alarm at the prospect of one of its closest neighbors falling more under Beijing’s sway after a document circulated online suggesting China and the Solomon Islands are crafting a new security pact. – Wall Street Journal  

Japan will freeze the assets of an additional 25 Russian individuals and prohibit exports to 81 Russian organisations, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday. – Reuters 

Australia on Friday placed sanctions on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and members of his family, and 22 Russian individuals, who it called “propagandists and disinformation operatives.” – Reuters 

Myanmar’s junta chief created a special command a day after last year’s coup that was solely responsible for deployment and operations of troops in urban areas, and authorised lethal attacks on unarmed civilians, human rights investigators said. – Reuters 

Myanmar’s military did not commit genocide against minority Rohingya Muslims during 2017 operations in Rakhine state, but crimes may have been committed by personnel on an individual level, an army spokesman said on Thursday. – Reuters 

Japan has lodged a stern protest against North Korea after Pyongyang fired what Tokyo believes is a new model of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Thursday. – Reuters 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has underscored the serious threat that China poses to Taiwan as its military ratchets up pressure on the island, the top US military commander in the Indo-Pacific region has warned. – Financial Times  

Josh Rogin writes: The Biden administration and Congress should ramp up their engagement on the Myanmar crisis to prove to the world that this genocide declaration is more than empty words. The United States should initiate new talks with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and countries dealing with Myanmar’s refugees — especially Bangladesh, India, and Malaysia. – Washington Post

Bi-khim Hsiao writes: Whatever claims and threats the Chinese authorities make over Taiwan, the ironclad reality is that Taiwan has never been, at any point in time, a part of the PRC. The future of Taiwan must be determined peacefully and democratically. For all of the PRC’s military might, any invasion attempt will fail to break the solidarity and resiliency of the Taiwanese people. – Washington Post  


The U.K. government said that Russian mercenary company Wagner Group is being used by Russia to try to assassinate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. – Wall Street Journal  

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought allegations of war crimes against President Vladimir Putin and his army, including accusations from the U.S., raising the question of whether he or his commanders will ultimately be charged. It is a complex legal issue, compounded in part by the fact that Russia, like the U.S. and China, isn’t a party to the International Criminal Court, which usually hears war-crime cases at its headquarters in the Netherlands. – Wall Street Journal 

Ukrainian troops are recapturing towns east of the capital Kyiv and Russian forces who had been trying to sieze the city are falling back on their overextended supply lines, Britain said on Friday. – Reuters 

Russia accused Poland on Thursday of trying to destroy bilateral relations by expelling 45 of its diplomats, and said it would respond harshly. The Russian ambassador said Poland, which said on Wednesday it was expelling the diplomats on suspicion of working for Russian intelligence, had also blocked the embassy’s bank accounts. – Reuters 

Germany’s federal prosecutor on Thursday charged two former soldiers with trying to form a terrorist organization by allegedly attempting to build a mercenary group that would have intervened in the military conflict in Yemen. – Associated Press 

President Joe Biden’s visit to Poland as his final stop in Europe this week offers a chance to underscore U.S. commitment to protect a key NATO member on Ukraine’s doorstep, and thank Poles for their generous welcome to refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion. – Associated Press 

European leaders are bucking Russian strongman Vladimir Putin’s demand that the European Union and United States pay for Russian natural gas in rubles. – Washington Examiner 

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has demanded that Belarus cut the number of diplomats at its embassy in Kyiv to five. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine heads into its second month as fighting rages and Western allies unleashed another set of crippling sanctions on Moscow while promising more military support and aid to Kyiv. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty  

Describing Russia’s invasion of his country as a “war against freedom,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is calling for worldwide protests to end the conflict as it enters its second month. – Newsweek

The United Nations atomic watchdog agency is hoping to send some of its staff to Ukraine as concerns about the safety of its nuclear facilities rise. – The Hill 

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has denied Belarus’s application to become a member of the organization, citing its involvement with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NBC News reported. – The Hill 

Sweden and Finland are participating in NATO military exercises this week, NBC News reported on Thursday, despite the fact that neither country is a member of the military alliance. – The Hill 

Karolina Wigura and Jaroslaw Kuisz write: Leaders in the region are in a unique position to spell out the stakes of Mr. Putin’s aggression and so help the West to better understand the level of risk. Yet the fact remains that Central and Eastern European countries would like to involve NATO in the conflict on a broader scale, while the West continues to prioritize global peace. – New York Times  

Arthur Herman writes: The fate of NATO’s southern flank may depend on how quickly its leaders, including President Biden, respond to this challenge—at sea as well as on land and in the air. – Wall Street Journal  

Michael T. Osterholm and Mark Olshaker write: To paraphrase former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, you go to war with what you have, not what you might want or wish you had at a later time. But what the international community has at present, both in resources and preparations, is utterly inadequate to meet the potential challenge. Officials must think about the unthinkable now, because the costs of doing otherwise will be far higher. – Foreign Affairs 

Oxana Schmies writes: The question of whether Germany is ready to leave the path of dependence on Russia, a path which has brought us to where we are today, and which visibly and catastrophically failed, is still waiting for a definite answer. – Center for European Policy Analysis 


Ethiopia’s government on Thursday announced what it called an immediate “humanitarian truce” with forces it has been fighting for 17 months in the northern Tigray region, where millions are hungry and food aid has not been delivered since December. – New York Times 

Sudanese riot police fired tear gas on Thursday at thousands of protesters who were rallying in Khartoum against the country’s military rulers and demanding an immediate handover of power to civilians. – Associated Press 

The court of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) on Thursday ordered suspension of the eight-nation body’s sanctions against Mali, imposed in January after the junta delayed elections. – Reuters 

The Americas

The U.S. ambassador to Mexico on Thursday urged Mexican lawmakers to join the United States in supporting Kyiv against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a day after his Russian counterpart encouraged Mexico to defy “Uncle Sam.” – Reuters 

The United States has requested the extradition from Jamaica of a suspect in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, the suspect’s lawyer said on Thursday. – Reuters 

The government of Nicaragua has expelled the representative of the International Red Cross Committee, a local Red Cross spokeswoman said Thursday. – Associated Press 

Anthony Faiola writes: Restarting the Mexico talks was a key request by the U.S. delegation that visited Caracas. But the opposition remains so fractured that progress without direct U.S. talks would be slow. Maduro, meanwhile, has cracked a U.S.-backed isolation campaign, already earning a softening stance from the European Union. […]The question for the administration is whether it’s willing to close a door it just opened, and whether that gives Putin room to expand his reach in a country that sits three hours by plane off the coast of Florida. – Washington Post  

Brett D. Schaefer and Danielle Pletka write: Some in Congress argue that US arrears allow China more influence in the United Nations. China has indeed been gaining influence, infiltrating U.N. specialized agencies, and strategically placing Beijing loyalists in key positions. But US arrears are a small part of that dynamic; American influence within the U.N. depends far more on the decisiveness of the president of the United States than on the status of bookkeeping arrears. – 19fortyfive 


Negotiators from the European Parliament and EU member states agreed Thursday on a landmark law to curb the market dominance of US big tech giants such as Google, Meta, Amazon and Apple. – Agence France-Presse 

U.S. and British officials on Thursday accused the Russian government of running a years-long campaign to hack into critical infrastructure, including an American nuclear plant and a Saudi oil refinery. – Reuters

Hacking group Anonymous took responsibility for the hacks into the Central Bank of Russia, as well as three other companies “that continue to operate in Russia.” – Washington Examiner

Satellite communications companies said this week that new guidance from the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency asking industry to lower its threshold for reporting signs of possible cyber intrusions is a good step toward raising awareness of malicious activity and holding bad actors accountable. – Defense News 

Western leaders committed Thursday to ratcheting up defenses against Russian cyberattacks on Ukraine and other allies, vowing to improve threat information sharing and punish those responsible. – CyberScoop  

Two distinct sets of North Korean hackers were exploiting the same remote code execution vulnerability in the Chrome web browser — one targeting news media and IT companies, the other aimed at cryptocurrency and fintech organizations — Google’s Threat Analysis Group announced Thursday. – CyberScoop  

Large and highly organized cybercrime groups like Conti are helping to drive up the overall cost of ransomware attacks, according to the latest annual analysis of the cybercrime method by Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42. – CyberScoop  


The Army’s next Warfighter Exercise will feature a scenario in the Pacific for the first time, according to Col. Bryan Babich, the service’s Combined Arms Center’s Mission Command Training Program commander. – Defense News 

The engine for the U.S. Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program has begun initial testing, the service and the engine’s developer announced March 23. – Defense News  

Terry Traylor and David Nass write: Current efforts fall short of empowering the lowest tactical level with the tools, training, and organization necessary to be effective in the information, cyber, and space environments. A solution to this problem is to learn from the evolution of military aviation. Pairing information experts at mid-level commands with ground multi-domain terminal effects controllers at the edge of the battlefield is an effective technique. – War on the Rocks