Fdd's overnight brief

March 8, 2024

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News

Israel

President Biden said in his State of the Union speech Thursday that the U.S. military will install a temporary pier off the coast of the Gaza Strip for cargo ships to unload food, water and other emergency supplies, boosting the direct American role in addressing the enclave’s humanitarian crisis. – Wall Street Journal

Hamas said it was pausing its participation in talks aimed at securing a cease-fire in Gaza, after its leader in the enclave emerged from days of silence to deliver a hardened negotiating position amid signs of increased tension between Israel and the U.S. – Wall Street Journal

When Benny Gantz, a member of Israel’s war cabinet, met David Cameron, Britain’s foreign secretary, in London on Wednesday, he got a sharp message that Israel must do more to allow humanitarian aid to flow into Gaza. – New York Times

Hunger is most acute in northern Gaza, which has been isolated by Israeli forces and has suffered long cutoffs of food supply deliveries. At least 20 people have died from malnutrition and dehydration at the north’s Kamal Adwan and Shifa hospitals, according to the Health Ministry. Most of the dead are children – including ones as old as 15 – as well as a 72-year-old man. – Associated Press

As the U.S. navigates involvement in the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, few Americans want the country to take a more active role in solving the world’s problems, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. – Associated Press

But it still faces a dilemma that was clear from the start of the war and will ultimately determine its outcome: It can either try to annihilate Hamas, which would mean almost certain death for the estimated 100 hostages still held in Gaza, or it can cut a deal that would allow the militants to claim a historic victory. Either outcome would be excruciating for Israelis. Either would likely seal an ignominious end for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s long political career. And either might be seen as acceptable by Hamas, which valorizes martyrdom. – Associated Press

Israel’s halt in renewing visas for international aid workers in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli occupied West Bank is kneecapping aid work just when it’s needed the most, a coalition of humanitarian and nongovernmental groups says. – Associated Press

Israel will push on with its offensive against Hamas, including into the southern Gaza city of Rafah, despite growing international pressure to stop, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday. – Reuters

A U.N. expert said on Thursday that Israel was destroying Gaza’s food system as part of a broader “starvation campaign” in its war against Hamas militants and berated a U.N. human rights body for not doing more. – Reuters

An Army reserves soldier serving as a member of the security staff at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem died Monday, “found unresponsive in his residence,” the Pentagon revealed Thursday. – The Hill

Bearing food aid and wearing “Don’t Starve Gaza!” t-shirts, dozens of left-wing activists drove towards the border of the war-torn territory on Thursday in a show of support for Palestinian civilians amid Israel’s war with the Hamas terror organization. – Agence France-Presse 

The IDF submitted its findings on Friday regarding the humanitarian aid convoy catastrophe late last month wherein dozens of Palestinians were killed in a giant crush while attempting to get aid. […]The command review found that IDF troops did not fire at the humanitarian convoy but did fire at a number of suspects who approached the nearby forces and posed a threat to them. – Jerusalem Post

Israel transferred on Thursday several dozens of bodies to the Gaza Strip, which were taken from the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis during an operation conducted by the 98th Division last month. As the IDF Spokesperson told international media, suspicions arose that within the Nasser hospital were held the bodies of Israel hostages. – Jerusalem Post 

Senior Biden administration officials on Thursday accused Hamas of holding up a six-week ceasefire deal with Israel by refusing to release the sick, elderly and female hostages that it’s holding in Gaza. – Times of Israel

Israel has told mediators that it will escalate its military operations against Hezbollah, the Iran-backed terrorist group in Lebanon, to the point of a full-scale war if the two sides fail to reach a diplomatic agreement next week, according to a new Lebanese news report. – Algemeiner

Israel accused South Africa on Thursday of acting “as the legal arm of Hamas” after Pretoria again petitioned the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to take measures against Israel. – Algemeiner

On Thursday night, a number of rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel, prompting sirens in the city of Sderot and communities near the Gaza Strip.Within minutes, IDF artillery struck the sources of the fire and a weapons storage facility assessed to be the source of the rockets fired toward Nahal Oz. IDF fighter jets struck other terror targets in the vicinity, including a launch post used to fire toward Israel, a military compound and a tunnel shaft. – Arutz Sheva

The US, UK, and France on Thursday night officially requested that the United Nations Security Council convene an emergency meeting to discuss the sexual atrocities committed by the Hamas terror group on October 7. – Arutz Sheva

The Foreign Ministry officially canceled the appointment of former Ma’ale Adumim mayor Benny Kashriel as ambassador to Italy following the Italians’ refusal to approve the appointment. – Ynet

The Israeli army announced Wednesday that it has begun an internal investigation into the events of the Hamas attack on Gaza border communities on October 7. – Haaretz

Editorial: Like Ukraine’s, Israel’s fight is for survival. Mr. Biden is quibbling from afar over IDF tactics that are no more inhumane than America’s during its war on ISIS. Strategically, America has a lot to lose if Israel fails to end Hamas’s military capabilities. It would, for one, signal to Iran and its militias that the war to erase Israel off the map is on the right track. Smelling success, they will intensify efforts to obliterate America’s most reliable ally in the region. – New York Sun 

Editorial: The abusive terrorist group targeted women, especially during the attack and in the kidnappings, and it has demanded a higher “price” for them in the hostage talks. This is all part of how Hamas views Jewish women as specific targets. A key part of genocidal organizations is often the targeting of women and children. The UN report presents further evidence of how Hamas has carried out these crimes. We expect world leaders to support Israel in this time of trauma. We expect that countries will mobilize to recognize Hamas’s crimes on October 7 and highlight the abuse of women that Hamas carried out. – Jerusalem Post

Ian Kingsbury writes: I asked if the Israeli Air Force has any initiatives to increase diversity in its ranks. The officer chuckled, then said that while there are efforts to recruit a broad swath of Israeli citizens, assignments and promotions are based on ability. A person has to earn the pilot’s seat in an F-35, because when Israel is at war, Israel must win. It can’t afford to embrace such a divisive and destructive ideology. Neither can the U.S., the leader of the free world. – Wall street Journal

Yaakov Katz writes: And here is one more point to bear in mind: If the attacks on October 7 taught us anything, it is the need for humility. The hubris of Israel’s intelligence community and political echelon and their failed appreciation of Hamas’s capabilities led us to where we are today, almost 155 days into this war. Israel should not think that it can just break away from the US or dictate to Washington the way things need to happen. This would again be a case of negligent hubris. – Jerusalem Post

Caroline de Gruyter writes: If both sides are unable to broker a compromise, someone else needs to make sure things don’t spiral out of control, with Israel’s neighbors and other regional powers, including Iran (which is a theocracy itself), getting more directly involved. One can only hope that intensive diplomatic efforts, mainly by the United States and some Gulf states, behind the screens will eventually bear fruit. But thanks to books such as Barnavi’s, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: Compromise is now harder than ever. – Foreign Policy

Iran

The United States on Thursday threatened future action against Iran at the U.N. nuclear watchdog if Tehran keeps “stonewalling” the watchdog by denying it the cooperation and answers it seeks on issues including long-unexplained uranium traces. – Reuters

Jailed Iranian dissident rapper Saman Yasin, who was detained during the nationwide protests in 2022 and has since detailed harrowing accounts of physical and psychological torture he has endured, has once again been moved from prison to a psychiatric institution. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

Iran is forging ahead with its plan to build a nuclear warhead, Israeli officials said on Friday. They said rather than continuing their uranium enrichment, the Iranians were now working to obtain the elements needed to produce the war head with “very concerning actions.” – Ynet

Russia & Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday appointed his former military chief, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, to become Ukraine’s ambassador to Britain — a next step outside of the military for Zaluzhny a month after he was replaced. – Washington Post

Yuriy Tretiakov, the mayor of this formerly occupied village, clambered into the ruins of the village hall one recent morning in search of a critical document: an old ledger of electricity payments. – Wall Street Journal

More than two years into their wartime alliance, the bond between the United States and Ukraine is showing signs of wear and tear, giving way to mutual frustration and a feeling that the relationship might be stuck in a bit of a rut. – New York Times

Ukrainian air defence shot down 33 out of 37 Russian drones launched in an overnight attack that damaged an infrastructure facility in the southern Odesa region, officials and the military said on Friday. – Reuters

The U.S. embassy in Russia has warned U.S. citizens to avoid large gatherings in Moscow due to what it said were reports that extremists had imminent plans for an attack. – Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will visit Turkey on Friday and meet Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Presidency said. – Reuters

Russia’s FSB security service said Thursday it had killed Islamic State militants who were planning a “terrorist attack” on a Moscow synagogue, Russian state news agencies reported. – Agence France-Presse

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned U.S. Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy on Thursday, warning Washington not to interfere in the nation’s upcoming elections. – The Hill

Jillian Kay Melchior writes: He added that Russian forces have “started to reinforce their Crimean defenses by moving air-defense systems from other regions, like from the region of the Northern fleet and from the far east.” They are also trying to reinforce their electronic-warfare presence to thwart drone attacks on Crimea. In Crimea and elsewhere, Ukraine has proved it can make progress against Russia when it has the necessary weapons. The U.S. risks squandering that potential with politically driven delays. – Wall Street Journal

Dara Massicot writes: The Russian military’s long-term weaknesses will not matter if Ukraine is not supported this year. Ukrainian frontline soldiers are in mounting jeopardy—not because they lack the will to fight or do not know their enemy’s weaknesses, but because of shortfalls in ammunition and manpower. If the West, specifically the United States, does not want to see the frontline in Ukraine continue to bend or—even worse—break, it must urgently approve aid. And if Kyiv wants to sustain its efforts, it has to make difficult choices about how to generate more manpower. Time is running out. – Foreign Affairs  

Aaron Bateman writes: If Russia does decide to deploy a nuclear antisatellite weapon, there is very little that can be done to change its course. Taking unprecedented measures to deploy a space-based nuclear capability would signal that the Kremlin views proliferated constellations as such a clear and present danger to its national security that Moscow is willing to ignore the interests of other spacefaring states. Once the Kremlin has made up its mind, it is hard to imagine that even China, Russia’s “no limits” partner, could talk it down. – Foreign Affairs

Elina Beketova writes: She says she is determined not to let the Russians break her psychologically. In January she wrote a letter to all Ukrainians and thanked them for their support. “They can take away my freedom, put me in a cage, turn my life upside down, but they cannot deprive me of my values ​​and principles,” she wrote. “These times are challenging for all Ukrainians. Let us proudly overcome our difficulties and reclaim all that is dear to us.” – Center for European Policy Analysis 

Nicolas Tenzer writes: Most importantly, this change would end Western passivity and its belated, response-based policy. It would put uncertainty into the mind of Putin and his generals, and show our Ukrainian friends that when we say we’re determined to save their country from the invader, we mean it. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Middle East & North Africa

Turkey signed an offshore oil and natural gas cooperation deal with Somalia on Thursday, the Turkish Energy Ministry said, further strengthening bilateral ties after agreeing a defence deal last month. – Reuters

Two civilians have been killed in a Turkish airstrike in the mountainous Sheladiz area in northern Iraq’s Duhok province, two security sources said on Friday. – Reuters

CIA chief William Burns arrived in the region to visit Egypt and Qatar as the U.S. goes to great lengths to secure a hostage release deal in exchange for a cease-fire before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins early next week. Burns is not expected to visit Israel. – Ynet

Bassam Alahmad writes: Yet even with the limited attention on Syria right now, there are still options to better Syrians’ lives. Until an international consensus on Syria matures, the United States, European countries, and UN organizations can prevent the exacerbation of the conflict and humanitarian crisis by genuinely pressing for a stop to military escalations across Syria and alleviating Syrians’ suffering by halting the targeting of deteriorating infrastructure. Such stop gap measures are necessary for preventing Syria from becoming a haven for extremism and will help efforts to reinforce Syrian identity across territorial lines. – Washington Institute 

James F. Jeffrey writes: In the interim, Washington and Ankara, now enjoying improved relations, could better coordinate policies toward Syria, including the U.S. presence and the future of the Syrian Democratic Forces. This could include deepening of the October 2019 ceasefire involving the United States, Turkey, and the Kurds, ultimately returning to the coordination against ISIL among the three in 2014–15, and thereby allow withdrawal of much of the U.S. force while maintaining each actor’s key security interests. – War on the Rocks

China

Under pressure from Beijing, officials in Hong Kong are scrambling to pass a long-shelved national security law that could impose life imprisonment for treason, insurrection and colluding with external forces, stiff penalties aimed at further curbing dissent in the Asian financial center. – New York Times

China’s foreign minister accused the U.S. on Thursday of devising tactics to suppress China’s rise and criticized the Biden administration for adding more Chinese companies to its sanctions lists. – Associated Press

China believes that India’s move to add more troops at a disputed border with India is “not conducive to easing tensions”, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry said on Friday at a regular news briefing. – Reuters

Xinjiang’s top Communist Party official said on Thursday that the “Sinicisation” of Islam in the Muslim-majority region in northwestern China, where Beijing is accused of human rights abuses, is “inevitable”. – Reuters

China’s top legislators on Friday vowed to enact a slew of new laws to “modernise China’s system and capacity for national security” while safeguarding sovereign interests, a sign of what some analysts say is a heightened focus on perceived security threats. – Reuters

A U.S. Army intelligence analyst was arrested on Thursday and charged with conspiring to sell sensitive defense information to China. – Reuters

Li Hui, the Chinese government’s special representative for Eurasian affairs, visited Ukraine and met with Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in Kyiv Thursday. It was the envoy’s second visit to Kyiv within a year. – Bloomberg

Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the military to dovetail its maritime strategy with economic development, comments that came in a meeting with defense lawmakers at the country’s annual legislative session. – Bloomberg

Mordechai Chaziza writes: While China’s military strength is steadily growing, its ability to project power diplomatically and militarily in the Middle East is significantly less pronounced than that of the United States. China’s military capabilities, although advancing, still lag behind its strategic competitor, particularly in terms of projecting air and land power beyond the western Pacific. China’s three commissioned aircraft carriers have yet to venture beyond this region, limiting their ability to exert significant influence in the Middle East. Chinese marines stationed in Djibouti, near the Red Sea, have yet to be deployed beyond participating in counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. – The National Interest

Howard W. French writes: The United States, by contrast, has steadily decayed as an industrial power, with its capacity for manufacturing in more and more key sectors dependent on barriers of one kind or another or on outright financial support from the state. By endlessly seeking market share, China is bound to cheat itself, and by desperately trying to hold on in industries it once proudly led, the United States will do the same. – Foreign Policy

South Asia

From transporting voting machines on camelback to remote corners of its vast western desert to bolstering control rooms for monitoring malicious deepfakes, India is preparing to run the world’s largest election due by May. – Reuters

The Himalayan region of Jammu and Kashmir has been transformed and integrated with the rest of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday, crediting the change to his government’s contentious decision to revoke its special status. – Reuters

Afghan lawyer Benafsha Yaqoobi has been chosen as one of the winners of the U.S. State Department’s 2024 International Women of Courage Award. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

Shanthie Mariet D’Souza writes: Although highly inadequate, these enterprises and secretive educational operations are providing women in Afghanistan with some sources of income, training, and solace. And while voices in the Afghan diaspora raising the alarm on women’s rights find resonance with the international media, it is time to refocus on the efforts inside Afghanistan to strengthen the agency for women living under Taliban rule. Beyond symbolism, women’s rights need to be protected by engaging and aiding such grassroots initiatives and social enterprises to help Afghan women escape from the deep morass they now find themselves in. – Middle East Institute

Asia

A rebel group in Myanmar’s northern state of Kachin said its troops on Thursday attacked more than 10 army outposts along the main road to the state capital of Myitkyina, increasing the pressure on the military government from pro-democracy resistance forces and ethnic minority armed organizations. – Associated Press

Japan’s and India’s foreign ministers on Thursday agreed to step up security and economic cooperation as the two Asian countries look to boost their ties in the face of China’s growing influence in the region. – Associated Press

Malaysia’s prime minister said Thursday that the United States has become more “transactional,” using rewards and punishments to achieve aims with other countries, and should be encouraged to enhance cooperation with China in the Asia-Pacific region. – Associated Press

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised artillery firing drills aimed at boosting combat readiness, state media reported Friday, days after his country vowed to take corresponding military steps against the ongoing South Korean-U.S military training that it regards as an invasion rehearsal. – Associated Press

Europe

Sweden officially joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on Thursday, a historic shift that highlights how Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine is transforming European security in ways he may not have foreseen. – Washington Post

At least once a year, Britain’s top financial official stands up in Parliament to lay out his — it has always been a his to date — tax and spending plans that are normally intended to bolster economic growth and keep a check on the nation’s debt. This year, Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor of the Exchequer, had to consider another priority: the upcoming general election. – New York Times

Attacked at home and abroad for his statement last month that sending troops to Ukraine “should not be ruled out,” President Emmanuel Macron faced a torrent of outrage from the left and right on Thursday when he met with leaders of major political parties to hammer home his new position. – New York Times

Kati Marton, a Hungarian-born American writer, thought she was talking with a friend of Gen. Wesley Clark, NATO’s former commander in Europe. The man, who had sent her a résumé describing himself as a “results-oriented wealth and investment manager” living in Switzerland, said he was exploring green energy opportunities in Eastern Europe. – New York Times

Sweden’s Security Service said Thursday it had arrested four people on suspicion of preparing “terrorist offenses” with links to Islamic extremism and organized crime. – Associated Press

The United Nations’ atomic watchdog reiterated demands for Russia to return Europe’s largest nuclear power plant to Ukrainian control amid concern that deteriorating safety could lead to a meltdown. – Bloomberg

Portugal will hold an election this weekend after the sudden resignation of Prime Minister Antonio Costa, giving voters a chance to either stick with the Socialists or opt for change and join the shift to the right seen across Europe. – Bloomberg

Former Prime Minister Theresa May won’t seek another term as a member of Parliament, one of the most senior Conservatives to step aside as the ruling party braces for an uphill election battle later this year. – Bloomberg

A seemingly mundane purchase by the Romanian military on January 16 for Chinese-made surveillance equipment could have far-reaching national-security implications. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

Emily Schultheis writes: Not only are these parties growing in many countries, Halikiopoulou said, but they are also becoming increasingly normalized. In Europe, the far right is in power in Hungary and Italy; it has joined governing coalitions in Finland and previously in Austria; and it has informally supported governments across the continent, such as in Sweden, where the far-right Sweden Democrats are not officially part of the governing coalition with the center-right Moderate Party but support its legislation. – Foreign Policy

Africa

South Africa’s Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, will retire after this year’s general elections on May 29, he told Reuters on Friday. – Reuters

Namibian communities whose ancestors were massacred by German colonial forces and had their property seized more than a century ago are calling for fresh talks with Berlin to negotiate the return of ancestral land. – Reuters

US businesses may re-examine their stance on Zimbabwe following the adoption of a new sanctions program which places only three entities and the nation’s top leaders including Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa under restrictions. – Bloomberg

The Americas

President Biden delivered a fiery State of the Union address Thursday night, making a forceful case for a second term while attacking former president Donald Trump as a threat to individual rights, freedom and democracy. – Washington Post

Thirty years ago, a U.S.-led multinational force of some 25,000 troops landed in Haiti backed with air support and two aircraft carriers to restore Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power. – Wall Street Journal

The government of Canada has reached a financial settlement with one of two Canadian men it contends were arbitrarily detained for nearly three years by China in a retaliatory move, the man’s lawyer said. – New York Times

Venezuela’s presidential election so far is a one-horse race for incumbent President Nicolás Maduro. That’s not for a lack of potential challengers, or because of any great affection from voters. It’s because he’s the only politician with the means for a campaign and a guaranteed spot on the ballot. – Associated Press

Haiti’s government said Thursday that it was extending a state of emergency and nighttime curfew to try and curb violent gang attacks that have paralyzed the capital of Port-au-Prince in a fierce battle for political power. – Associated Press

U.S. intelligence officials are planning to brief Donald Trump on national security matters if he secures the GOP nomination this summer — despite concerns about his handling of classified information. – Politico

Cybersecurity

Into the depleted field of journalism in America, a handful of websites have appeared in recent weeks with names suggesting a focus on news close to home: D.C. Weekly, the New York News Daily, the Chicago Chronicle and a newer sister publication, the Miami Chronicle. – New York Times

U.S. House Democrats are investigating SpaceX over whether it was doing enough to prevent Russia from utilizing Starlink satellite internet service as part of Moscow’s ongoing war against Ukraine, two lawmakers said on Thursday. – Reuters

So goes the sordid wheeling and dealing that takes place behind the scenes in China’s hacking industry, as revealed in a highly unusual leak last month of internal documents from a private contractor linked to China’s government and police. China’s hacking industry, the documents reveal, suffers from shady business practices, disgruntlement over pay and work quality, and poor security protocols. – Associated Press

A White House advisory board is recommending the federal government create new economic incentive programs to prod critical infrastructure owners and operators to raise their cybersecurity standards, develop new liability protections around information sharing and simplify an increasingly complex national cyber regulatory regime. – CyberScoop

Swiss authorities have found that 65,000 government documents holding classified information and sensitive personal data were leaked following a ransomware attack last year on one of its IT vendors. – The Record

An Iranian state-backed hacking group recently infiltrated a company that makes academic administration software and used that access to intimidate other Israeli organizations, analysts said on Thursday. The overall goal of the operation appeared to be hacktivism and not necessarily financial gain, according to OP Innovate, the Israeli company that investigated the incident. – The Record

Defense

The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps will move forward with the existing design of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship in fiscal 2025, a top leader said, after the Defense Department last year raised the specter of scaling down the ship’s design or not buying any more at all. – Defense News

The U.S. Army is looking for additional input from industry about its nascent radio-as-a-service initiative, a move away from the traditional method of acquiring and maintaining communications gear. The service has hundreds of thousands of radios, too many to quickly and cost-effectively modernize given looming security deadlines and cat-and-mouse competition with Russia and China, world powers with sophisticated signals intelligence capabilities. An as-a-service model may provide the military with the latest radios and support networks while driving down costs and promoting hardware and software flexibility. – Defense News

The Pentagon needs to replace its entire resourcing process or it risks falling behind its top adversary: China. This was the assessment of a group Congress mandated to study the Defense Department’s Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution system, better known as PPBE. – Defense News

Sen. Roger Wicker came to a Heritage Foundation event in January with a big request. He wanted the conservative think tank’s help mustering public and congressional support for a $1.4 trillion defense budget, nearly 50% higher than fiscal 2023 spending levels. The Mississippi Republican said this figure, equal to 5% of U.S. gross domestic product, is necessary given multiplying threats across the world. – Defense News 

Fresh off a Western Pacific tour of South Korean and Japanese shipyards, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro called for more allied foreign investment in U.S. shipyards and doubled down on criticizing the build rates of U.S. shipyards. – USNI News

If Congress continues to fail to pass a fiscal 2024 defense budget and instead rely on a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the Pentagon’s lights on, it could cost the Space Force as much $3.9 billion, service vice chief Gen. Michael Guetlein said today. – Breaking Defense

As the US Army prepares to field a slew of longer-range missiles, it is standing up a new deep sensing office to help identify technology and formation needs to help soldiers with targeting, according to service chief Gen. Randy George. – Breaking Defense

Anne Pierce writes: The United States and Europe generally neglected the idea of “peace through strength” and, for the most part, lacked grand strategy and moral clarity. Delayed or denied responsibility has become the norm. Some on the left would double down on diplomatic outreach to and appeasement of the world’s worst dictators and aggressors. Some on the right would revert to selfish isolationism in spite of the severity, complexity, and convergence of threats we now face. Either course would be disastrous. – The National Interest

John Venable writes: The stakes with China are much, much higher. It will take an exceptionally driven and talented leader at least two years, if not longer, to prepare the Air Force to dominate that looming fight. Let’s hope the Service’s leadership doesn’t wait for a series of losses before it starts that process. – The National Interest