Fdd's overnight brief

March 28, 2024

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


Zvika Mor’s 22-year-old son Eitan was taken hostage by militants on Oct. 7, but he says he can’t support a cease-fire deal that would allow Hamas to survive, even if it would free his oldest child. – Wall Street Journal

In two days of meetings between the Israeli defense chief and senior officials in the White House and Pentagon, discussions on Israel’s planned military operation in southern Gaza focused not on how to stop it, but on how to protect civilians during its rollout. – Wall Street Journal

Israel’s air force on Wednesday continued to pound the Gaza Strip with strikes, and Hamas fighters kept up attacks against Israeli soldiers, a further indication that a United Nations Security Council resolution this week calling for a cease-fire had failed to persuade either side as attempts for an agreement appeared to falter. – New York Times

After Oct. 7, Israeli intelligence officers in Unit 8200 turned to that surveillance for information on the Hamas gunmen who breached Israel’s borders. The unit also combed through footage of the attacks from security cameras, as well as videos uploaded by Hamas on social media, one officer said. He said the unit had been told to create a “hit list” of Hamas members who participated in the attack.New York Times

A United Nations expert who published a report saying there were reasonable grounds to believe Israel has committed genocide in Gaza during its military campaign against Hamas said on Wednesday she had received threats throughout her mandate. – Reuters

At least eight people including Hezbollah fighters have been killed in Israeli airstrikes in southern Lebanon, security sources told Reuters on Wednesday. – Reuters

Ireland said on Wednesday it would intervene in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel, in the strongest signal to date of Dublin’s concern about Israeli operations in Gaza since Oct. 7. – Reuters

Turkish aid agency Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) presented two new vessels on Wednesday meant to take aid directly to Gaza where Palestinians face famine almost six months into Israel’s devastating military campaign. – Reuters

Spanish military planes air dropped 26 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip on Wednesday and Madrid called on Israel to open land border crossings to prevent a famine, the Foreign Ministry said. – Reuters 

At least 32,490 Palestinians have been killed and 74,889 injured in Israel’s military offensive on Gaza since Oct. 7, the Gaza health ministry said on Wednesday. – Reuters

An international team of doctors visiting a hospital in central Gaza was prepared for the worst. But the gruesome impact Israel’s war against Hamas is having on Palestinian children still left them stunned. – Associated Press

The U.S. on Wednesday imposed sanctions on online media site Gaza Now and its founder Mustafa Ayash for allegedly supporting Hamas. U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control says that after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas against Israel — the online entity began a fundraising effort in support of the militant organization. – Associated Press

The death toll from Israeli airstrikes across southern Lebanon has climbed to 16, including several militants and members of paramedic groups, according to Lebanese state media and the militant organizations. – Associated Press

The United States will only support a pause to the Gaza war that includes the release of hostages, Senator Lindsay Graham (R-South Carolina) told reporters in Israel on Wednesday as he warned Hamas not to misunderstand Washington’s abstention on the recent United Nations Security Council resolution. – Jerusalem Post

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Wednesday with Republican Senator Rick Scott, where he criticized the Democratic administration’s policies under President Joe Biden. – Ynet

Eric Mandel writes: And there must be ironclad security guarantees that the Palestinian entity cannot have any military. And if Biden wants Israel to move on the path toward increased Palestinian autonomy, he must first get serious about Iran. That is the best way to get the U.S.-Israel relationship back on track and advance American national security interests. – The Hill

Yonah Jeremy Bob writes: There is no question that, given an unlimited amount of time, the IDF could eventually eliminate Hamas as a fighting force. But time is not unlimited. Anyone who did not know that was reminded when the US decided not to veto the recent UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire. The US has made it clear that despite that vote, it still supports Israel’s goal of defeating Hamas, but only within certain limits in its actions and probably only within a quickly closing time frame. – Jerusalem Post

Dan Zamansky writes: At the same time, it must explain to Americans at large, and publicly, that a long string of bipartisan failures of American foreign policy has brought the United States to a very low ebb. It is the U.S., not Israel, which is finding Middle Eastern crises increasingly impossible to deal with. It is the U.S., not Israel, which is bitterly divided between supporters of two exceptionally flawed Presidential candidates. – Ynet


Iraq signed a 5-year gas supply deal with Iran, with pumping rates of up to 50 million cubic meters per day according to the needs of Iraqi power stations, state media reported on Wednesday. – Reuters

Human rights monitoring groups concur that executions in Iran have reached unprecedented levels following the widespread protests of 2022, as indicated by figures compiled by these entities. – Iran International

The victory of hardliners in Iran’s March 1 low-turnout parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections will have implications for Tehran’s foreign policy and the selection of the next Supreme Leader. – Iran International

Seth Cropsey writes: Winning the Middle Eastern war means ending Iran’s existence as a regional threat. It requires accepting the current conflict’s fundamentals—specifically, understanding that attrition is the only coherent paradigm to apply. The risk is that absent a real grasp of the challenge they face, Israel and the U.S. will talk past—and at—each other, while both fail to develop an effective strategy. – Wall Street Journal

Mordechai Kedar writes: Not just Iran’s ethnic minority groups are suffering; its religious minority groups, such as Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians, also face systematic discrimination. However, no one suffers more there than the Baha’is. In recent days, it was reported that the Iranians bulldozed some 30-40 Bahai graves in the Kharavan cemetery on the outskirts of Tehran. Unlike Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians, the Baha’i religion is not even granted the right to exist in Iran. Baha’is are systematically denied access to higher education and they are routinely persecuted. “Even death does not bring to an end the persecution,” the Baha’i International Community stated. Indeed, the Baha’is, like all of the other minorities in Iran, will be delighted if this regime falls. – Jerusalem Post

Russia & Ukraine

Reeling from an apparent security lapse that allowed a group of heavily-armed men to massacre dozens of concertgoers in Moscow last week, Russia has gone into overdrive advancing a narrative that pins the blame on a usual suspect: Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal

A Russian court extended the detention of Evan Gershkovich by three months, almost a year to the day since The Wall Street Journal reporter became the first U.S. journalist to be detained there on an allegation of espionage since the end of the Cold War. – Wall Street Journal

Russian authorities on Wednesday raised the official death toll to 143 in the terrorist attack on a Moscow concert venue, and Baza, a Telegram channel close to Russian law enforcement, reported that as many as 95 people are missing and not included on the lists of dead or wounded. – Washington Post

At a memorial service this week outside the concert hall where Islamist extremists are suspected of carrying out a deadly terrorist attack, one of Russia’s most popular pro-Kremlin rappers warned “right-wing and far-right groups” that they must not “incite ethnic hatred.” – New York Times

Ukraine’s foreign minister arrived in New Delhi on Thursday for a two-day visit to boost bilateral ties and cooperation with India, which considers Russia a time-tested ally from the Cold War-era. – Associated Press

Russia may have used a new type of guided bomb in airstrikes on the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv that killed at least one person on Wednesday, local officials said. – Reuters

Russia has no designs on any NATO country and will not attack Poland, the Baltic states or the Czech Republic but if the West supplies F-16 fighters to Ukraine then they will be shot down by Russian forces, President Vladimir Putin said late on Wednesday. – Reuters

Russia has increased gasoline imports from neighbouring Belarus in March to tackle the risk of shortages in its domestic market because of unscheduled repairs at Russian refineries after drone attacks, four industry and trade sources said on Wednesday. – Reuters

In an anonymous warehouse in southern England, engineers at Evolve Dynamics are working on technology that could help keep Ukraine’s reconnaissance drones in the sky even after Russia tries to jam them electronically. – Reuters

Ukrainian lawmakers fear the army and local authorities are not digging quickly enough or building sufficiently formidable defensive fortifications to withstand an expected Russian offensive in the northeast and southeast of the country. – Politico

Russia may have executed more than 30 recently captured Ukrainian prisoners of war over the winter months, according to reports received by the U.N. human rights watchdog. – Politico

Leon Aron writes: Hence Mr. Putin’s uncharacteristically soft-shoe shuffle of a seemingly casual remark on a top-rated evening talk show. He’s preparing the public for what Russian experts called “tax mobilization.” The thin line between keeping social peace and paying for the war, which Mr. Putin has been navigating for two years, became narrower still. – Wall Street Journal

William Mockapetris, Peter Roberto, and Oleksandr Seredyuk write: Disrupting Russia’s recruitment campaigns would minimize the manpower at Putin’s disposal as he continues to seek others to pay the price of his illegal invasion. Sending outsiders to the frontline helps Putin distance the Russian people from the ramifications of his war, a key component of its continuation. If the flow is stopped, that distance will be harder to maintain. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Giorgio Cafiero writes: Moscow, Beijing, and Tehran share interests in preventing extremist groups like ISIS-K from gaining greater clout in post-occupation Afghanistan while also working to counter U.S. influence in Central Asia. Ultimately, Russia’s possible deepening of ties with the Taliban, at least in the framework of fighting ISIS-K, could open the door for China, Iran, and other non-Western powers to take major steps to increase their working relationships with the de facto regime in Kabul. – The National Interest

Keith Johnson writes: But there’s another risk, Henderson warned. Just as the United States and other Western countries have gotten more rigorous at cracking down on Russia’s evasion of oil export bans, Moscow may have an incentive to just export more of its unrefined crude. If it does so, it will mean a return to steep discounts on Russian oil as compared with global benchmarks, which will give shippers and third countries reason to get creative yet again at sidestepping sanctions. – Foreign Policy

Amy Mackinnon writes: Many are now bracing for a backlash from both the authorities and Russian citizens in the wake of Friday’s attack. “The FSB is not going to handle this with more finesse than it handled those early 2000s attacks. And it’s going to create some frightened and angry people who will be vulnerable to recruitment,” Riehle said. “It will make things worse.” – Foreign Policy


Hezbollah militants fired dozens of rockets into northern Israel from Lebanon on Wednesday, in what they said was retaliation for an Israeli strike in southern Lebanon overnight. – New York Times

Tensions between Israel and Hezbollah heightened after the Lebanon-based militant group fired rockets at a northern Israeli town, killing one person. – Bloomberg

The Hezbollah-affiliated Al Akhbar newspaper reported on Wednesday that Israeli and American intelligence has been attempting to infiltrate the military wing of the Sunni Jamaa Islamiya group, an armed militia affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood movement, because of its affiliation to the Hamas and Hezbollah terror groups in Lebanon.  – Ynet


The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide 30 million euros ($32.50 million) in long-term financing to Turkey’s Ronesans Gayrimenkul Yatirim to support regions affected by last year’s earthquakes. – Reuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted at being ready for a possible reconciliation with the country’s Kurdish minority before this week’s local elections. – Bloomberg

The US is in talks to ramp up purchases of explosives from Turkey to boost production of artillery shells as allies scramble to ship badly needed ammunition to Ukraine. – Bloomberg

Middle East & North Africa

A Tunisian court on Wednesday sentenced four people to death and two to life in prison on charges of participating in the murder of prominent political leader Chokri Belaid 11 years ago, which sparked mass protests against the then ruling Islamists. – Reuters

A salvage crew climbing up a fire-ravaged ship lined with barbed wire. A French naval vessel fighting off combat drones. And seafarers navigating through the looming risks of encountering Somali pirates. – Bloomberg

As Yemen’s Houthi rebels continue to target ships in a Mideast waterway, satellite pictures analyzed by The Associated Press show what appears to be a new airstrip being built at an entrance to that crucial maritime route. – Associated Press

Ruwayda Mustafah writes: The KDP and PUK face a stark choice: resume their self-serving squabbles and drawing Baghdad deeper into Kurdish politics as a result, or prioritize the people of Kurdistan. The region’s citizens deserve solutions to pressing issues: timely salaries, reduced inequality, sustainable agricultural policies, economic growth, and education. The time for political maneuvering is over, because any further loss of the KRG’s authority would simply bring an end to its autonomous status. – Washington Examiner

Korean Peninsula

The United States on Wednesday announced sanctions on six individuals and two entities based in Russia, China and the United Arab Emirates, accusing them of channeling funds to North Korea’s weapons programs. – Reuters

A delegation of Russia’s External Intelligence Bureau visited the North Korean capital of Pyongyang between Monday and Wednesday and discussed boosting cooperation against spying, state media KCNA reported on Thursday. – Reuters

Ellen Kim and Salamata Bah write: Regardless of which policy response the two allies pursue, it is crucial to address North Korea’s arm sales whether to Hamas or Russia in a holistic manner as addressing solely one flow of weapons trade is not sufficient in ensuring peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and around the world. – Center for Strategic and International Studies


Chinese leader Xi Jinping, facing a slowing economy and a sharp fall in foreign investment, sought to reassure American chief executives that China’s economy hasn’t peaked and that the country is working to improve its business environment. – Wall Street Journal

China’s industrial profits returned to growth at the start of the year, adding to signs that the world’s second-largest economy is on stronger footing. – Wall Street Journal

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called out China’s ramped-up production in solar energy, electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries, calling it unfair competition that “distorts global prices” and “hurts American firms and workers, as well as firms and workers around the world.” – Associated Press

China hopes the Netherlands would support companies in fulfilling their contractual obligations and ensure “normal” trade of lithography machines, said Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao. – Reuters

China has won a nearly three-year dispute with Australia at the World Trade Organization over tariffs on steel products that began during a low point of bilateral relations between the countries, and Australia’s trade minister said Wednesday his government accepted the ruling. – Associated Press

Editorial: It will do the same in the U.S. once China’s cheap electric cars start arriving. One of the easier predictions to make about 2025 is that whoever wins the U.S. presidential election will put tariffs on Chinese cars. China would be certain to retaliate, and who do you think would be most vulnerable? – Wall Street Journal

Emmie Hine writes: Success will instead require a European-stye tightrope walk. European regulators must provide proactive compliance support, facilitate start-up access to computational resources, and quickly release promised codes of conduct — while ensuring that AI innovation supports the continent’s economy and its values. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Michael Cunningham writes: Far from being a liability, Taiwan is indispensable to the prosperity and security of the United States. While Washington should avoid acting in a way that would inadvertently trigger a military response from Beijing, it must also continue to strengthen Taiwan’s defenses and ensure Beijing knows any attack on the island would not only fail, but cost China dearly. – The National Interest

South Asia

Pakistani authorities have shared with China the preliminary findings of an investigation into a deadly attack that killed five Chinese nationals and their Pakistani driver in the country’s volatile northwest, officials said Wednesday. – Associated Press

India strongly objected on Wednesday to U.S. remarks about its “internal affairs” after the arrest of Delhi’s chief minister, a government rival, and the freezing of opposition Congress party bank accounts ahead of an election. – Reuters

India is open to being a part of trading blocs which include China if Beijing ensures its economy is open, transparent, and complies with the rules of the World Trade Organisation, India’s trade minister Piyush Goyal said at a media event on Thursday. – Reuters

Malaysia will submit an request to India to procure an additional 500,000 metric tons of white rice, its agriculture minister said. – Reuters

Pakistan’s benchmark index touched an all-time high on Thursday, extending a rally following a staff level agreement with the International Monetary Fund earlier this month to free up more financial aid for the country. – Reuters

Lisa Curtis and Hadeia Amiry write: The Taliban are opening new religious schools and implementing new curricula in public schools that teach young men about its radical form of Islam, thus breeding a new generation of extremists. The best way to reverse such developments is for the United States to aid the international community in its fight to keep women and girls in school and maintain their agency in society. – Foreign Affairs 

Marvin G. Weinbaum and Naad-e-Ali Sulehria write: While the government leadership may succeed in consoling some parties, the military cannot be easily appeased; few privileges are more sacred than protecting the Armed Forces’ budget. These challenges may in the end present the current coalition government with a greater threat to its longevity than is posed by either a restive populist movement or terrorist and militant separatist groups. – Middle East Institute 


Malaysia’s government has said it would consider extending a $10 billion China-led rail project to its border with Thailand to boost economic ties between the Southeast Asian neighbours. – Reuters

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to a mutual defense treaty with the Philippines and criticised as “dangerous” China’s use of water cannon and disruption of a Philippine resupply mission last week. – Reuters

Taiwan’s foreign ministry said on Thursday it believes U.S. support will remain unchanged no matter who wins the presidential election, but it will stay on guard for Taiwan-China issues being “manipulated” as the campaign heats up. – Reuters

Myanmar’s ruling general said on Wednesday the junta was holding power only temporarily with the aim of strengthening democracy, and he called for unity among the people and military to fight armed groups seeking to derail plans to hold an election. – Reuters

Foreign correspondents in Manila rejected on Wednesday a claim made by China that the Philippines had journalists manipulate videos taken during resupply missions in the South China Sea to make it look like a “victim”. – Reuters

Taiwan’s plan to field four MQ-9B SkyGuardian drones has advanced thanks to a second contract awarded to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. – Defense News


Protesters in Slovakia formed a human chain around the country’s public television and radio building Wednesday in anger over a takeover plan by the government whose populist, pro-Russia prime minister recently labeled several private media outlets his enemies. – Associated Press

More than 4,600 asylum seekers have arrived in Britain on small boats so far in 2024, a record total for the first three months of the year and giving Prime Minister Rishi Sunak a fresh political headache. – Reuters

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he had discussed an incident of cyberespionage the Netherlands has blamed on the Chinese state during talks with President Xi Jinping on Wednesday. – Reuters

Emmanuel Macron didn’t need to release images of himself walloping a punching bag to tell the world he was up for a fight. Even before he broadcast Raging Bull poses all over Instagram, the French president’s hawkish new stance was evident when he contrived to very publicly refuse to rule out sending troops to Ukraine. – Bloomberg

U.K. lawmakers clashed with Defense Secretary Grant Shapps this week over cuts to next year’s core defense spending, dismissing his counter-argument that the budget would actually rise as political gamesmanship. – Defense News

France’s top defense official warned industry that he’s prepared to requisition “personnel, stocks or production tools” from his nation’s defense industries and their subcontractors if weapons production rates are not improved. – Breaking Defense

Una Mullally writes: Mr. Biden often cites Mr. Heaney’s “The Cure at Troy.” “History says don’t hope/On this side of the grave,” the poem runs. “But then, once in a lifetime/The longed-for tidal wave/Of justice can rise up,/And hope and history rhyme.” As Irish people look across the Atlantic to Ireland’s great-grandson, many are waiting for that rhyme to land. – New York Times

Matej Kandrík writes: While there’s a logical and strong argument for the UK’s involvement due to its close ties with the EU market, broader participation risks diluting the EU’s focus on developing its own capabilities. Balancing the openness of European defense subsidy programs without compromising the EU’s strategic autonomy is a delicate task, and yet it may be the most urgent issue currently facing the bloc. This is not a time to dither. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Robert C. O’Brien writes: Decision-makers around the world must resist the urge to act quickly on tech regulation and instead act soberly and responsibly. If DMA-style laws continue to pass around the world, there will be serious national security implications that will leave everyone, except the CCP, less prosperous and less secure. – The National Interest


Parents of more than 130 Nigerian schoolchildren who were rescued after more than two weeks in captivity said they saw them on Wednesday and that they couldn’t hold back tears of joy during the long-awaited reunion. – Associated Press

Security in Congo’s mineral-rich east has deteriorated since recent elections, with a rebel group allegedly linked to neighboring Rwanda making “significant advances and expanding its territory,” the U.N. special envoy for the conflict-wracked African nation said Wednesday. – Associated Press

President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday announced an overhaul of Nigeria’s economic governance intended to ease financial hardship and boost productivity, establishing a multi-layered framework to bolster coordination, planning and implementation. – Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed security and economic cooperation with Mali’s junta leader Assimi Goita by phone on Wednesday, both countries said, a day after Putin held a similar call with the junta leader in neighbouring Niger. – Reuters

The Americas

French President Emmanuel Macron told Brazilian executives on Wednesday that a proposed deal between the European Union and the South American trade bloc Mercosur is bad for both parties. – Associated Press

Colombia ordered the expulsion of Argentine diplomats from their embassy in the Andean nation, Colombia’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday, citing “denigrating” comments by Argentine President Javier Milei about Colombian President Gustavo Petro. – Reuters

The presidents of France and Brazil on Wednesday launched a submarine built in the South American country with French technology in a program that aims to build Brazil’s first nuclear-powered submarine by the end of the decade. – Reuters

The Dominican Republic has plans to swiftly complete a 250-mile border wall along its shared boundary with Haiti on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, an attempt to protect the country as its land neighbor falls into further chaos. – Washington Examiner

Howard W. French writes: In recent decades, Haitians have been betrayed by the greed, pettiness, and narrow vision of their elites. But history shows us an example of the capacity of its people to rise up against the worst sorts of iniquity, and the Haitian people will somehow need to summon this capacity again. And when they tell the international community what form of assistance would be most helpful, the world should rally to their needs. – Foreign Policy

United States

The United States and China are locked in a new race, in space and on Earth, over a fundamental resource: time itself. And the United States is losing. – New York Times

The United States is asking allies to stop domestic companies from servicing certain chipmaking tools for Chinese customers, a U.S. commerce department official said on Wednesday, as it ramps up efforts to hobble China’s chipmaking capabilities. – Reuters

A U.S. appeals court has kept on hold a Republican-backed Texas law that would let state authorities arrest and prosecute people suspected of illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border – a statute that President Joe Biden’s administration has argued intrudes on the authority of the federal government. – Reuters

President Joe Biden’s top intelligence official faces congressional pressure to review and “expeditiously” declassify Senate findings on Paul Manafort’s ties to Russia’s intelligence operations. – Washington Examiner

A State Department human rights staffer said she is resigning in response to the Biden administration’s policy on Gaza in a CNN opinion piece Wednesday. – The Hill

Andrew Metrick writes: Taking these steps will be increasingly important as the modern missile age expands beyond Ukraine and the Middle East. Although global missile proliferation today relies primarily on Iran and North Korea, it is likely to expand as commercial space activities democratize access to fundamental missile technology. Both state and nonstate groups are increasingly recognizing the coercive power of these missile arsenals. Places such as Afghanistan, Libya, and Myanmar are all plausible new locations for missile proliferation. The United States, its allies, and its partners must understand that the modern missile age—with its pernicious costs and uncomfortable realities—is here to stay. – Foreign Affairs

Rochelle Terman writes: When it comes to trying to change the behavior of adversaries, engagement—not isolation—offers the best chance for promoting human rights in the long term. As for partners, leaders will need to summon the political will required to overcome the costs of shaming a friend. In the service of protecting human rights, the United States must be willing to put strategic interests on the line. – Foreign Affairs


In one of the biggest cybersecurity policy reforms in recent memory, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on Wednesday released its much-anticipated notice of proposed rulemaking to require critical infrastructure organizations to report cybersecurity incidents, a move intended to provide the federal government with better insight about breaches that affect highly sensitive entities, such as water and power utilities. – CyberScoop

Researchers tracking the exploitation of previously undisclosed vulnerabilities found that commercial spyware firms are increasingly responsible for leveraging such zero-day flaws against mobile phones and other consumer-oriented devices, according to a report published – CyberScoop

Researchers have uncovered a new espionage campaign targeting Indian government agencies and the country’s energy industry with a modified version of an open-source information stealer called HackBrowserData that can collect browser login credentials, cookies and history. – The Record

Cuong Nguyen writes: Edge computing, alongside 5G and streaming IoT data, has created the opportunity for more efficient decisioning at the point of events. Regardless of physical location, the edge is where milliseconds matter. By collecting and processing data closer to the network edge, less data needs to travel across the network, which means less data at risk and less required network bandwidth. Data can be continuously ingested and analyzed at real-time speeds, accelerating decisions that impact mission outcomes, ultimately providing an upper-hand advantage. – C4ISRNET


The U.S. Army is speeding up its plan to procure launched effects capable of flying at different ranges and deploying from a variety of air and ground vehicles.With cancellation of the Army’s manned Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, the service has more funding to pursue launched effects, a major unmanned element of a modernized aerial tier that will be able to deliver capabilities such as targeting, reconnaissance, surveillance, network extension and lethality in a complex environment. – Defense News

BAE Systems showed off a universal top plate that allows the Army’s Armored Multipurpose Vehicle to easily swap turrets for different mission roles. The company brought an AMPV complete with a 30mm unmanned turret from Elbit Systems to the Association of the U.S. Army’s Global Force Symposium being held this week in Huntsville, Alabama, to demonstrate the capability. – Defense News

The U.S. Army’s recently completed conventional fires study determined the service should focus on more autonomous artillery systems with greater range and improved mobility, the Army Futures Command chief said Wednesday. – Defense News

The U.S. Army has reexamined its watercraft needs as it prepares for potential complex operations in challenging environments like the Indo-Pacific theater, according to the head of Army Futures Command. – Defense News

As the Space Force looks to improve its live testing and training capabilities, the service is considering upgrading existing satellites with more robust sensors to support that mission.Through a partnership with the Pentagon’s Test Resource Management Center and the Defense Innovation Unit, Space Training and Readiness Command, or STARCOM, plans to install new space domain awareness sensors on satellites in orbit as soon as 2025. – Defense News

Faced with flat budgets for the foreseeable future, the Navy’s top officer wants to devote the resources she has to develop capacity for shipbuilding and munitions to preserve the existing industrial base. – USNI News

Adam Lowther and Curtis McGiffin write: Ensuring that Russia and China understand that the United States can always respond to a nuclear strike is critical. The development of an artificial intelligence-enabled nuclear command, control, and communications system — with the ability to either speed up presidential decision-making (manual mode) or respond automatically — is one way to address this problem. – War on the Rocks 

Mark Kennedy and Jeffrey Kucik write: The list of America’s maritime vulnerabilities is long. The time available to address them is short. The United States should urgently act to develop and execute a national maritime strategy, one that prioritizes speed and effectiveness — and one that recognizes the value of cooperation with key allies. – War on the Rocks

Harrison Kass writes: Can the Chinese beat America or the Europeans to sixth-generation technology? Probably not. The United States is peerless with respect to aerospace development. While China is rapidly expanding its military capabilities, it seems unlikely that Beijing could outpace the U.S. timeline to the sixth generation. – The National Interest