Fdd's overnight brief

March 30, 2023

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told lawmakers Wednesday that China, Russia, and Iran would be a problem for the US “for many years to come” as the three are working more closely together. – CNN

In the wake of the reports that two men have been detained in Greece, accused of plotting attacks on a Jewish site, it is worth looking at the broader context of Iran’s threats throughout Europe. The following are ten recent plots by Iran in Europe. – Jerusalem Post

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian claimed Iran acted in a decisive and clear way against the US in Syria after recent tensions grew between US forces and pro-Iranian militias in eastern Syria in March. The Iranian diplomat arrived in Moscow late Tuesday for meetings with Russian counterparts. – Jerusalem Post 

Top military leaders revealed yesterday that U.S. forces have launched just four “major responses” to 83 attacks on U.S. forces by Iranian proxies in Iraq and Syria during the Biden administration’s tenure. – Jewish Insider 

An oil tanker owned by a major U.S.-traded transportation company appears to be taking on Iranian crude oil in a key Asian maritime strait in violation of American sanctions, an advocacy group alleges. The firm allegedly involved, Euronav, said Wednesday it will “take appropriate action when necessary.” – Associated Press

Anna Brown writes: Mike Singh wrote that “something like the Saudi-Iran normalization should be judged based on the deal’s content and impact, both in the Middle East and Asia.” However, only time will tell what the impact of the deal will be on Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the wider region. – Washington Institute 

Meir Javedanfar writes: And who can blame them? The Iranian public even harbors deep suspicion that the regime’s latest crackdown on anti-regime protesters might have included the poisoning of hundreds of girls in schools across the country in revenge for the “Woman, Life, Freedom” protest movement that began in September 2022. Not even Saddam did that. It’s understandable that most Iranians see the regime as their biggest enemy. They also see Israel as the biggest enemy of their oppressor, and as the saying goes, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. – Middle East Institute

Russia & Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is urging Chinese leader Xi Jinping to meet with him as Beijing maneuvers itself as a potential peacemaker with strong ties to Moscow. – Wall Street Journal 

The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi, arrived at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in southern Ukraine on Wednesday to discuss conditions at the facility that has been shelled several times since Russian troops seized it last March. – New York Times 

Russia and Ukraine are ramping up their military forces in southern Ukraine amid signs that the fighting may soon escalate, a United Nations official said on Wednesday after crossing a front line held by the Ukrainian military to inspect a nuclear power plant seized by Moscow. – New York Times 

Russia’s Federal Security Service, the FSB, said Thursday that it had detained a Wall Street Journal reporter, Evan Gershkovich, a U.S. citizen assigned to the newspaper’s Moscow Bureau, and had opened an “espionage” case against him. – Washington Post

Russian forces have had some success in the eastern frontline city of Bakhmut, Ukrainian military officials said, adding that their fighters were still holding on in a months-long battle in which both sides have suffered heavy casualties. – Reuters

The German government has agreed to send an additional 12 billion euros ($13.01 billion) worth of military support to Ukraine. – Reuters

Russia has begun exercises with its Yars intercontinental ballistic missile system and several thousand troops, its defence ministry said on Wednesday, in what is likely to be seen as another attempt by Moscow to show off its nuclear strength. – Reuters

The Biden administration is offering support for the creation of an international court to prosecute alleged crimes of aggression by Russia against Ukraine. – Associated Press  

Russia will no longer give the U.S. advance notice about its missile tests as envisioned under a nuclear pact the Kremlin has suspended, a senior Moscow diplomat said Wednesday, as its military rolled missile launchers across Siberia in a show of the country’s massive nuclear capability amid fighting in Ukraine. – Associated Press 

President Vladimir Putin conceded Wednesday that sanctions imposed on Russia for its intervention in Ukraine could bring about “negative” consequences for the country, after insisting Moscow was adapting to the penalties. – Agence France-Presse

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called for even greater unity among democratic nations, which he said would enable those committed to the rules-based international order to fend off the threat of tyranny. – Reuters

Congressional Republicans said billions of dollars in US assistance for Ukraine risks being misspent and could be better used for domestic priorities, a fresh sign of the party’s growing ambivalence regarding American support for the war. – Bloomberg 

China is still “testing the ground” of whether it wants to engage fully in a peace process to end Russia’s war against Ukraine, the Ukrainian foreign minister has said. – Financial Times 

Russia’s newest army corps, less than a year old, is quickly losing tanks as it tries to take new ground in eastern Ukraine. That’s because it’s likely repeating tactics that have failed Russia’s military in the past, according to UK intelligence. – Business Insider

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said a European ally provided Ukraine with a faulty air defense system, although he withheld which country was responsible. – Business Insider

Russia is attempting to make a show of its nuclear capabilities, running nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile drills in Siberia.  – Fox News

Editorial: Governments can’t do this on their own. Free societies have an advantage that autocrats don’t: authentic civil society that can be agile and innovative. In the run-up to the Ukraine war, all across Central and Eastern Europe, civil society groups were sharpening techniques for spotting and countering Russian disinformation. […]The asymmetries in favor of malign use of information are sizable. Democracies must find a way to adapt. […]As an old saying has it: “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” – Washington Post 

Karl Rove writes: If the U.S. abandons Ukraine after all its courage and sacrifice, it would be a strategic, economic and moral catastrophe that would reduce our influence around the world and damage our economy. Aiding Ukraine is putting America’s interests first. – Wall Street Journal 

Earle Mack writes: The world, and especially Europe, has lived through the horror of appeasement and must awaken to what is at stake in Ukraine. The time to act is now, and we must act decisively to prevent Ukraine from falling to Russia. – The Hill 

Bruce W. Jentleson writes: Ukraine will not be the most important issue in 2024; that spot will likely be taken by domestic problems, culture wars, and personas. There’ll be some competitive China-hawking as well. But given margins such as 2020’s 0.23 percent in Georgia, 0.63 percent in Wisconsin, and 1.16 percent in Pennsylvania, if even a few percent of the electorate vote based on Ukraine, the marginal difference could be decisive. – Foreign Policy

John Venable writes: The success of Ukraine’s military in its war with Russia relies on Western weapons systems and munitions that will shape the battlefield. Providing Ukraine with fourth-generation fighters like the F-16 would be a huge public relations win for both the U.S. and Ukraine, but it would ultimately be a costly mistake that would deliver virtually no impact on the war. U.S. strategy should focus on giving the Ukrainians more air defense systems, such as the Patriot system, to deny Russian airpower, while continuing to supply them with the artillery, rockets, and tanks required to take the fight to that enemy. – Heritage Foundation

András Tóth-Czifra writes: Nowadays, this depends almost entirely on the impulses of the man at the top and the strongly filtered information that reaches him. And he seems to be assuming two things about the current situation: that there is no alternative to the war; and that quite soon, Russia will outlast the West. The first belief locks in a huge amount of priorities in governance and spending; the second commit the government to sticking-plaster solutions with no long-term outlook in mind. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Tom Rogan writes: The Russians are not stupid. Facing American resolve and, if necessary, superior American firepower, they will allow the drones to operate as they have been doing. Biden’s present strategy reeks only of a very obvious and unproductive weakness. – Washington Examiner


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to overhaul his country’s justice system has stirred tensions with the U.S., with President Biden and congressional Democrats criticizing the proposal and Israeli lawmakers firing back that the legislation is an internal matter. – Wall Street Journal 

When President Biden bluntly warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he “cannot continue down this road” of overhauling his country’s judiciary, he touched off the kind of response usually expressed by America’s adversaries rather than its allies. – New York Times 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced confidence on Wednesday that he would find compromise with the political opposition over his judicial overhaul after the contested reforms drew a strong reproach from U.S. President Joe Biden. – Reuters

Israel has not met eligibility requirements to join the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP), the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expected his country to join soon. – Reuters

Amal Oraby is usually a fixture at street protests. But as tens of thousands of Israelis have demonstrated for months against a contentious government plan to overhaul the judiciary, Oraby is sitting this one out. – Associated Press

Azerbaijan became the first Shia Muslim country to open an embassy in Israel on Wednesday, as the Jewish state looks to tighten military ties between the two countries against Iran. – Jerusalem Post 

Nissim Vaturi, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, blamed former U.S. President Barack Obama for the deaths of Israeli soldiers during the 2014 Israel-Gaza war, claiming they were the result of a weapons embargo placed by Obama. – Haaretz

Israel for the first time sent F-35I Adir fighter jets to the American-led Red Flag exercise in Nevada, which ran March 12-24. – Defense News

Editorial: Mr. Biden has already alienated our friends the Saudis, who are busy hedging their American bets by getting closer to the Chinese. The President also isn’t helping Israel, or U.S. security interests, by further roiling the domestic politics of America’s best remaining friend in the Middle East. – Wall Street Journal 

Editorial: The president spoke passionately, with all his heart, as a supporter and lover of Israel – just like the hundreds of thousands of Israeli patriots who demonstrated in the last three months against Netanyahu’s attempted judiciary coup.[…]Even if there’s no one listening in Jerusalem, the Israeli public must pay close attention and understand that the fight for Israeli democracy is far from over. – Haaretz

Tom Rogan writes: Unlike other close U.S. allies, including even the French DGSE (which loves to steal U.S. intellectual property), Mossad engages in aggressive recruitment of human sources and very bold technical access operations across the U.S. In short, as tensions over Iran’s nuclear program continue to escalate, expect the Mossad to play a heavy role in whatever comes next. – Washington Examiner 

Yonah Jeremy Bob writes: In other words, so far, there have been no concrete indications of the security realm being negatively impacted by the political realm, but Israeli security officials are tense about the future. The firing of Gallant with whom Austin just invested time and energy during a visit to Israel which likely will not happen again for a year or more did not help. As Biden said, all of what is happening now may be his administration’s game of “wait and see” – meaning if no compromise is reached and Biden does not like the new shape of Israeli democracy in the coming months, the hammer could drop, even impacting Israeli-US defense cooperation. – Jerusalem Post 

Mohamed Aldhuhoori writes: With the above in mind, there needs to be a serious reevaluation of the current approach of the Israeli government, if the Israelis hope to be taken seriously and to preserve Israeli interests internationally. Zooming out and using a new lens to see the future of the region is imperative. The old rhetoric, which has been used to preserve hatred among the region’s people, must change. It is vital for Israel to take the international steps with honesty and bravery by favoring the interests and the future of the next generations above all else. – Jerusalem Post

Amnon Cavari writes: An election campaign that would highlight the differences between parties in their attitudes toward Israel would create considerable polarization, which would be hard to undo. Israeli leaders may be accepted in the US due to their official capacity; however, they should not expect favorable treatment from a Democratic administration. Israelis should get used to American support for Israel being contingent on the political affiliation of the President and the Congress majority. – Jerusalem Post 

Netanel Flamer writes: Past misjudgments indicate that Hezbollah and Hamas should be cautious when making strategic assessments about Israel. In their analyses of Israeli society and its political system, they rely almost exclusively on open source media. Consequently, their strategic situation assessments about a possible Israeli attack, whether proactive or in response to an attack on their part, has not worked out very well for them in the past. […]Despite the great turmoil Israeli society is now experiencing, Hezbollah and Hamas might discover once again that the Israeli spiderweb might appear thin and fragile, but its strength is considerable. – Algemeiner 

Michał Bilewicz writes: The commonly accepted values of peace, harmony, and reconciliation can effectively be used to silence protests. Such demobilization could open the door to further attacks on the judiciary and, ultimately, other violations of human rights by a populist government. This is, at least, the lesson from Poland. – Haaretz


Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin may visit Turkey on April 27 for the inauguration of the country’s first nuclear power reactor built by Russia’s state nuclear energy company Rosatom. – Reuters

Turkey’s parliament will vote to approve Finland’s membership in NATO on Thursday, following through on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s promise to let the Nordic nation into the defense alliance. – Bloomberg 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed interest rate increases for the current turmoil in developed markets, saying that monetary tightening risks dragging the global economy into recession. – Bloomberg

Gulf States

Saudi Arabia is strengthening its commercial and security ties with China, as U.S. influence wanes in the Middle East region. – Wall Street Journal  

The Senate voted on Wednesday to repeal authorizations from 1991 and 2002 for combat operations against Iraq, moving with broad bipartisan support to advance a yearslong effort to claw back congressional war powers. – New York Times 

Four years after they first linked arms — forging an unlikely alliance to claw back war powers in Iraq — Democrats’ ex-vice presidential nominee and Republicans’ former Senate campaigns chief are closing in on victory. – Politico

Middle East & North Africa

Morocco is struggling to balance its alliance with Israel with support for the domestically popular Palestinian cause, an increasingly complex challenge with Israel ruled by its most right-wing government ever. – Agence France-Presse

Syrian state media said Israel staged airstrikes in the Damascus area early Thursday, wounding two soldiers and causing material damage. – Associated Press 

Attacks on U.S. forces in Syria are pulling Washington’s attention back to the Middle East as it seeks to shift its focus and resources toward Russia and China. – The Hill

Dore Gold writes: In the past, Tehran took an interest in improving its access to Iranian religious sites in southern Jordan, hoping to expand Shi’ite tourism there. The Iranians were looking to swap enhanced access for supplies of Iraqi energy. The Jordanians were reluctant to give Iran new positions in their kingdom. The prospects of a Jordanian-Israeli diplomatic crisis could not come at a worse time. These relations need to be solidified, not weakened. If Israeli ministers cannot accept that reality, they need to be replaced. The most vital of Israel’s interests along its eastern front is at stake. – Jerusalem Post

Korean Peninsula

South Korea will host a third “Summit for Democracy”, President Yoon Suk Yeol said in a statement with U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday. – Reuters

North Korea uses public executions to strike fear into its public and tramples over the freedom of its people, South Korea said in a report on human rights abuses by its neighbor almost certain to draw Pyongyang’s anger. – Bloomberg 

American and South Korean Marines carrying heavy weapons and packs roared ashore 170 miles southeast of Seoul in a display showing they are pumped and primed for a second Korean War. – New York Sun


The White House urged China on Wednesday not to use a “normal” stopover in the United States by Taiwan’s president as a pretext to increase aggressive activity against Taiwan. – Reuters

Honduran President Xiomara Castro will travel to China “soon,” the Honduran foreign ministry said on Twitter on Wednesday, without providing a date for the trip. – Reuters

The United States is working hard to counter China’s influence in international institutions and in lending to developing countries, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Premier Li Qiang called China an “anchor for world peace” while expressing optimism about the recovery in the world’s second-biggest economy in a keynote speech at a forum that included business and government leaders from around the globe. – Bloomberg 

The US is urging the European Union and other allies to sanction a Chinese satellite company for allegedly supporting Russia’s military operations in Ukraine, according to people familiar with the matter. – Bloomberg 

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), the chair of the House Select Committee on China, said on Wednesday that he sees an “underappreciated amount of continuity” between the Trump and Biden administrations on Beijing. – The Hill 

Andrew J. Harding writes: The Chinese Communist Party has made it clear that it intends to restructure the global order in its image and it does not intend to let United States stand in its way. Avoiding this fate will require a comprehensive plan of action, including going on the offensive to hold the People’s Republic of China accountable, diminish its capacity to harm the U.S., and win the New Cold War. – Washington Examiner 

Matthew P. Goodman and Matthew Reynolds write: Directly punishing China for its obnoxious behavior may feel good but is less likely to get Beijing to cease and desist. Rather, as George Kennan said at the end of his “Long Telegram,” it is better for the United States to be true to itself and show China up as the main disruptor of the global order. – The Hill 

Rep. Mike Gallagher and Rep. Pete Stauber write: The United States has the best workforce, the best technology, and the best environmental and labor standards in the world. Let’s get politics out of the way, pass H.R. 1, start domestic mining, and unleash the full potential of American resources. Only then can we hold the CCP accountable and secure our future. – Fox News

Blake Herzinger writes: While NATO’s mutual defense treaty obligations do not extend to the Indo-Pacific, its members’ interests are deeply intertwined with the region’s future. Like Japan and South Korea, other regional states including Australia and New Zealand are increasingly attracted to deepening engagement and exchanges with NATO as an avenue for internationalizing deterrence of would-be aggressors, including the issue of Chinese revisionism on its borders and upon the oceans. While Beijing has long opposed the internationalization of its many disputes with its neighbors, Russia’s war has dashed any chance of keeping others out of its quarrels. – Foreign Policy

South Asia

A senior security adviser to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia met with India’s prime minister in Delhi on Wednesday to discuss their nations’ “mutual interests,” officials said, as Moscow continued its campaign to build stronger alliances with trading partners outside the bloc of Western countries helping Ukraine resist Russia’s invasion. – New York Times 

Twitter has blocked the Pakistan government’s account from being viewed in India in response to a legal demand, according to a notice on the social media platform on Thursday. – Reuters

China is working on a request by Pakistan to roll over a $2-billion loan that matured last week, a top finance ministry official told Reuters. – Reuters

Russia and India are looking at expanding the use of the Northern Sea shipping route that passes through the Artic and which could include the building of processing facilities, Russia’s Interfax agency reported on Wednesday. – Reuters

 Pakistan announced Tuesday it will not participate in this week’s U.S.-led Summit for Democracy, a move seen in part as an effort by the impoverished Islamic nation to assuage longtime ally China, which was not invited. – Associated Press

Taliban militants in a pair of attacks killed four police officers by targeting a police vehicle with a roadside bomb and wounded six in an attack on a police station in northwest Pakistan early Thursday, police and the insurgents said. – Associated Press 

Calls mounted Wednesday for the Taliban to free a girls’ education activist arrested earlier this week in Kabul, as a minister in the Taliban-led government defended the detention. – Associated Press 

Syed Mohammad Ali writes: Biden administration officials have cautiously welcomed Chinese efforts to try to de-escalate tensions in the troubled region while expressing reservations about Iran’s likelihood to stick to the deal. Yet for many Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan, Beijing’s diplomatic endeavors are more immediately relevant and beneficial than those undertaken by Washington to bring the Gulf states and Israel together to deter Iran. – Middle East Institute


Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen arrived in New York on Wednesday for her first visit to the U.S. in more than three years, in the face of threats from Beijing that American politicians who engage with her could trigger unspecified retaliation. – Wall Street Journal 

Days before being named president for an unprecedented third term, Chinese leader Xi Jinping let loose with an unusually blunt attack on what he said was a U.S.-led effort to contain China. At the top of Mr. Xi’s list of concerns is Washington’s relationship with Taiwan. – Wall Street Journal 

The Biden administration is preparing for China to lash out in response to next week’s highly anticipated meeting in California between Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R), who would become the highest-ranking U.S. official to meet with a Taiwanese leader on American soil. – Washington Post 

When Lee Teng-hui, then the president of Taiwan, traveled to New York in 1995 to visit his alma mater, Cornell University, it set off a chain of events that became known as the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis. China, angrily accusing the United States of betraying its own “one-China policy,” carried out months of military drills, including conducting missile tests in the direction of Taiwan. – Washington Post

Azerbaijan’s State Security Service said on Wednesday that it was investigating “a terror attack” after a lawmaker with strong anti-Iranian views was shot and wounded at his home. – Reuters

Taiwan expects a less severe reaction from China to an expected meeting between President Tsai Ing-wen and U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and has not seen any unusual Chinese military movements, a senior Taiwan security official said on Thursday. – Reuters

The chief of Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed in a telephone call on Wednesday to “promote, develop and deepen” ties, Vietnam’s state media reported. – Reuters

The United States, Britain, Japan and Australia on Wednesday expressed their concern over the dissolution of Myanmar’s former ruling party and urged a more inclusive process to return the country to democracy. – Reuters

Indonesia could lose its chance to host a global youth soccer tournament, and its chance to qualify for the 2026 World Cup, after refusing to welcome a team from Israel. – Associated Press 

China’s premier Li Qiang has warned against allowing “chaos and conflicts” to erupt in Asia and jeopardise the region’s prosperity amid soaring tensions with Washington. – Financial Times 

Southeast Asian leaders warned against the economic cost of the growing US and China rivalry during a big ticket forum in Hainan on Thursday, and urged the two sides to cooperate to avoid further bifurcation that would be felt across global markets. – Bloomberg 

President Joe Biden wants to bring the world’s most sophisticated chipmakers to the US. Taiwan says he should offer them a better tax deal –- one that could infuriate China. – Bloomberg 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he sees no sign that China plans to attack Taiwan anytime soon, even as Pentagon officials warned that Beijing is on a path to have a more powerful military than the US by 2050. – Bloomberg 

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said that the security of the world hinges on the self-ruled island’s fate, her first remarks on a US trip that may further escalate tensions in the already fraught relationship between Washington and Beijing. – Bloomberg 

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim made a pitch for China to reinvigorate its Belt and Road Initiative, as he urged for collaboration among countries. – Bloomberg 

Hu Ping and Perry Link write: Beijing would surely denounce a U.S. move to recognize Taiwan; the party doesn’t miss opportunities to bolster its prestige by stoking nationalism. But a more sober response could lie beneath the surface. It is hard to imagine that planners in Beijing have not anticipated the world’s responses to the way its stance toward Taiwan has gradually shifted. In real terms, the change wouldn’t alter the status quo so much as acknowledge it. – Wall Street Journal 

Tom Rogan writes: While it’s highly unlikely that this visit will precipitate a deliberate act of force against Taiwanese interests by China, a PLA military overflight of the island is feasible if Beijing becomes enraged. We’ll just have to see how next week’s visit plays out. – Washington Examiner


Britain’s King Charles III is visiting Germany this week on his first official foreign trip since ascending to the throne, part of the British government’s wider charm offensive with its European neighbors to move past years of feuding caused by Brexit and bolster Western support for Ukraine.  – Wall Street Journal 

Sweden’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday it will summon Russia’s Stockholm ambassador to complain about an “attempt at interference” with the Swedish NATO application process. – Reuters

Austria’s president on Wednesday urged rival political parties in North Macedonia to end a dispute over a proposed amendment to the constitution, as European Union leaders continue to encourage the small Balkan country to clear hurdles toward membership in the bloc. – Associated Press 

Greek authorities said police were continuing searches in Athens and other parts of the country Wednesday following the arrest of two suspects accused of planning an attack at Jewish center in a busy downtown area of the Greek capital. – Associated Press

Seven people were imprisoned in Belgium Wednesday in two investigations into “possible terrorist attacks,” the federal prosecutor’s office said. – Agence France-Presse

Sweden’s pending admission to the NATO alliance is being held up by Hungary until a number of “grievances” are addressed, a government spokesperson said this week. Among them are complaints that Swedish officials routinely “bash” Budapest in the diplomatic space. – Business Insider 

Editorial: The democratic opposition to Mr. Lukashenko,[…]has opposed stationing nuclear warheads in Belarus and demanded that Russian troops be ejected from the country. On a recent visit to the United States, Ms. Tikhanovskaya, who has spoken out frequently in defense of Ukraine, reaffirmed a vision of Belarus as independent and free. She told us that the West must not ease up the sanctions on Belarus at this pivotal moment. [..]Hopefully, this will happen soon. Belarus needs all the help it can get in the struggle to be free of a Kremlin-owned dictatorship that is putting it at the front lines of the war in Ukraine. – Washington Post

Dr. Mark T. Esper writes: Such accomplishments would not only invigorate NATO and diminish Moscow, but would also give all allies greater cause to continue assisting Kyiv while delivering a major blow to Putin’s strategy of outlasting Western resolve. It would also be a fitting tribute to do this all in Lithuania, a sturdy ally that has punched above its weight and pushed back against Russian aggression for hundreds of years. – Fox News

Dr. Aura Sabadus writes: Would Russia do such a thing? It is worth remembering that in 2009, Gazprom was accused by Turkmenistan of doing precisely this — of triggering an explosion bearing many similarities to the Nord Stream sabotage. Turkmen authorities claimed at the time that this was designed to help Russia escape its contractual obligations. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Michael Peck writes: Yet it is clear that Europe’s existing armed forces and defense industrial base are neither sufficient to sustain Ukraine, nor to meet domestic requirements. Nations must beef up their military capabilities – and that requires choosing how to fight the next war.  – Center for European Policy Analysis


The Biden administration is pushing hard for American businesses to invest in Africa despite the obstacles they face there, more than a decade after China began expanding its economic and political ties with countries across the continent. – Wall Street Journal 

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris met with Ghanaian women entrepreneurs on Wednesday to discuss economic empowerment and leadership before heading to Tanzania to continue her week-long African tour. –Reuters

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will step onto the front lines of the battle for democracy in Africa on Thursday, spending time in Tanzania as it makes fragile progress toward restoring its reputation as a more inclusive government. – Associated Press


Elon Musk’s proposed temporary halt in AI development would give China the freedom to surpass the U.S. and develop “the most powerful tool” in the 21st century, according to an industry expert. – Fox News

The U.S. government will provide Costa Rica with $25 million in assistance to bolster its cybersecurity efforts, a senior administration official said Wednesday, nearly a year after the country suffered a series of devastating ransomware attacks at the hands of a Russian-linked cybercrime group. – CyberScoop 

Hackers modified an enterprise communication company’s installation software in an attack that could steal credentials and other information from companies around the world, according to an analysis published Wednesday. – CyberScoop


Federal agencies are relying on the same sort of Chinese-made surveillance drones being used by the Russian military on the Ukraine battlefield — despite the United States government sanctioning the Beijing company. – Washington Examiner 

The U.S. Army is creating a new modernization team that will develop contested logistics capability, Gen. James E. Rainey, head of Army Futures Command told Defense News. – Defense News

The U.S. Army must adapt its approach to logistics to prepare for an adversary such as China, military officials say, and the service is taking steps to tackle the challenge, standing up a team tasked to develop capability that will enable troops and large amounts of equipment to deploy even in constantly contested environments. – Defense News   

US defence companies have begun competing for the fourth increment of the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM Inc 4), officials said on 27 March. – Janes 

Editorial: National defense should not be a partisan issue. All Americans share the common interest in a strong U.S. military and should be united in reducing obstacles that thwart the highest levels of readiness. The panel expresses its appreciation for the men and women serving in the Armed Forces and for their sacrifices. It is in their names and interest that the panel fervently hopes that the changes recommended in this report will be implemented as soon as possible. – Heritage Foundation