Fdd's overnight brief

May 13, 2019

In The News


The Pentagon will deploy a Patriot antimissile battery to the Middle East to shore up defenses against Iranian threats, part of a series of carefully calibrated deployments intended to deter attacks by Iranian forces or their proxies, Pentagon officials said on Friday. – New York Times

A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said on Sunday the U.S. military presence in the Gulf used to be a serious threat but now represents a target, the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported. – Reuters  

The European Union fully supports the international nuclear accord with Iran and wants rival powers to avoid any further escalation over the issue, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday. – Reuters  

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is to visit Brussels on Monday to discuss “pressing matters” including Iran, a State Department official said Sunday. – Agence France-Presse

An Iranian official said that President Trump should not be expecting a call to discuss the ongoing tension between the two countries, rejecting a suggestion from the president. – Washington Examiner

Iran’s parliament struck a blow for women’s rights by overwhelmingly voting to confer citizenship on children born to an Iranian mother and foreign father. Currently, children of “mixed marriages” are only eligible for citizenship if their Iranian parent is a man. – Bloomberg

U.S. sanctions are biting harder into the Iranian economy, with new signs that Iran’s key oil exports are faltering, while its trade figures with Europe’s biggest economy and with the United States are shrinking. – Voice of America  

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Saturday the U.S. has put in the work to make sure global oil markets are stable and have enough supply — and he’s “convinced” that will continue. – CNBC  

Renewed US sanctions had led to worse economic conditions than during the country’s 1980-88 war with neighbouring Iraq, Mr Rouhani said. His comments came amid rising tensions with the US, which last week deployed warships and warplanes to the Gulf. – BBC  

An Israeli cabinet minister warned on Sunday of possible direct or proxy Iranian attacks on Israel should the stand-off between Tehran and Washington escalate. – Reuters

Iran‘s Revolutionary Guards said on Friday Tehran would not negotiate with the United States and a senior cleric warned that a US navy fleet could be “destroyed with one missile,” as a US aircraft carrier headed toward the Gulf. – Reuters

Julian Lee writes: The other Arab producers are not in that position. For them, boosting supplies means breaching the terms of December’s agreement. That is unlikely to stop them from taking advantage of Iran’s difficulties. The crude from around the Persian Gulf is a much better substitute for the sanctioned Iranian barrels — both in terms of quality and location — than additional U.S. supplies. – Bloomberg

Joseph Lieberman and Mark Wallace write: Iranian regime officials know this loophole exists and there is evidence suggesting that companies are actively trading in Iranian petrochemicals in these different forms. The U.S. must also provide companies with more information about the ways in which Iranian petrochemicals are flowing through the global economy so they can better defend against the products entering into their supply chains and opening them up to secondary sanctions. – Fox News

Kathy Gilsinan writes: In the meantime, the Trump administration is perfectly happy to keep sanctioning the Iranians, which officials say deprives the regime of money to fund terrorism across the region. The administration believes that the sanctions campaign is already successful; officials point to the fact that Iranian proxy groups such as Hezbollah have asked for donations and that Iranian-backed militia fighters are complaining of salary cuts. – The Atlantic


Syrian security officers hung Muhannad Ghabbash from his wrists for hours, beat him bloody, shocked him with electricity and stuck a gun in his mouth. Mr. Ghabbash, a law student from Aleppo, repeatedly confessed his actual offense: organizing peaceful antigovernment protests. But the torture continued for 12 days, until he wrote a fictional confession to planning a bombing. – New York Times

Dressed in camouflage and sipping tea, the Syrian commander who emerged as America’s closest ally in the battle that defeated Islamic State looked to an unsettling future. The commander, the Kurdish leader of the Syrian Democratic Forces, known by the nom de guerre Mazlum Kobani, praised his alliance with the United States in a rare interview recently and said he hoped American troops would stay in Syria. But if they do not, he said, he is still fully prepared to defend his militia’s hard-fought gains during years of fighting the terrorist group. – New York Times

The Syrian army is launching “intensive strikes on dens of Jabhat al-Nusra,” a group formerly affiliated with al Qaeda, in a village in southwestern Idlib province Sunday, Syrian state media is reporting. – CNN

A panel establish by Congress warned lawmakers this month against the U.S. withdrawing any more troops from Syria. The Syria Study Group, a bipartisan panel composed of 12 experts, sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, with recommendations on the U.S. strategy in Syria. – Washington Examiner

Syrian government forces expanded their ground offensive in northwestern Syria, pushing Saturday into the last rebel stronghold and regaining control of a number of villages along its southern corner, activists and media said, despite calls for honoring a cease-fire put in place in September. – Associated Press


The call to prayer at Emine Inanc mosque brings together immigrants who have found sanctuary in Istanbul’s working-class Zeytinburnu neighborhood. With no room inside the overcrowded mosque, dozens of worshippers spill onto the street. For some, like Ishqiyar Abudureyimu, praying openly would have been unimaginable just a few years ago when he was living in China. – CNN

Abdullah Aydogan writes: The opposition may try to attract pro-AKP voters and politicians. Former president Abdullah Gül’s tweet making an analogy between the Constitutional Court’s decision that created a huge crisis in 2007 and the YSK’s latest decision is an important step. This was followed by former prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. If more former AKP figures join them, the opposition may gain a huge advantage. While the CHP won in Istanbul even with irregularities correlated with increased vote share for the ruling AKP, there is a possibility of increased fraud strategies. – Washington Post

Selim Koru writes: And in Mr. Imamoglu voters have somewhere to go. Every misstep or misfortune Mr. Erdogan’s government suffers — from the economy to foreign policy — increases Mr. Imamoglu’s support. He is the perfect opponent, created by Mr. Erdogan himself. Mr. Erdogan has devoted his life to the relentless expansion of the political sphere, subsuming the bureaucracy in the process. But what if the political sphere turns against him? – New York Times

Henri J. Barkey writes: He has become another run-of-the-mill despot—except one who’s in charge of an important, and potentially unstable, member of the Western alliance. Erdogan will come to bitterly regret his decision to overturn the Istanbul election, primarily because it demonstrates that he is losing power and is running scared. He is terrified of any potential mobilization of civil society. His paranoia leads him to see plots everywhere and to incessantly purge the bureaucracy, military, and society of real but mostly imaginary enemies. – Foreign Policy  


Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy is accusing the Palestinian leadership of trying to kill the US president’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan even before its unveiling and urges them instead to hold fire until they see the details, saying it would be a mistake to declare it “dead on arrival.” – Reuters

Poland’s foreign ministry said it had cancelled a visit from an Israeli delegation, amid a smouldering row over the restitution of Jewish property lost in the Holocaust. – Financial Times

As host of this year’s Eurovision, Israel has tried to use the hugely popular song contest to present itself as a tolerant and cosmopolitan country that is winning increased acceptance on the world stage. But despite Israel’s best branding efforts, the kitschy festival is clouded in political conflict and controversy. – Associated Press

Germany on Saturday said it was deeply troubled by anti-Israel bias at the United Nations and vowed to oppose “any unfair treatment” of the Jewish state in international fora. – Times of Israel  

The former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, warned White House officials last week that there could soon be a violent escalation in the West Bank, and he recommended that the Trump administration take this into account as part of its calculations for the upcoming release of its peace plan. – Axios  

Indictments have been filed against three residents from east Jerusalem who planned to carry out a terrorist attack on behalf of Hamas, The Jerusalem District Prosecutor’s Office said on Sunday, ynet reported. – Jerusalem Post  

The Qatari envoy Mohammed al-Emadi arrived at the Gaza Strip through the Erez Crossing and handed over $30 million to Hamas on Monday, and families are now being asked to check whether they received the $100 grant they deserve. – Jerusalem Post

Robert Satloff writes: Any intelligent U.S. peace proposal should begin with how to build upon the existing edifice, taking pains to ensure that nothing is done to risk the fragile status quo. But Kushner’s remarks lacked any appreciation for this gray reality. At one point during our conversation, Kushner used a medical metaphor to boldly assert his plan will “cure the disease” fueling Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but his real challenge will be to ensure his proposal doesn’t violate the Hippocratic Oath—do no harm. This indifference to the potential implications of failure is why I not only believe that his plan poses a danger to U.S. interests but that it is reckless for the Administration to even give it a try. – The American Interest   

Arabian Peninsula

Two Saudi Arabian oil tankers suffered significant damage in an attack over the weekend near the Strait of Hormuz, the kingdom’s energy minister said, amid heightened military tensions in the Persian Gulf. – Wall Street Journal  

Houthi rebels in Yemen withdrew forces Sunday from the country’s most strategic port, the United Nations said, a step toward salvaging a peace deal that hasn’t been implemented since it was brokered by the U.N. in December. – Wall Street Journal  

The U.N. said Sunday it is monitoring the redeployment of rebel forces from three key ports in Yemen after the government dismissed the withdrawal as a “farce.” The rebels, known as Houthis, said Saturday they began the long-delayed redeployment of their forces from the key port of Hodeida, as well as the two smaller ports of Salif and Ras Issa, as part of a cease-fire reached in December. – Associated Press

Saudi security forces have killed eight people during an operation in the predominantly Shi’ite eastern Al-Qatif region, state news agency (SPA) said on Saturday. – Reuters  

A Saudi ship, prevented by rights groups from loading an arms cargo at the French port of Le Havre on Friday, arrived at the Spanish port of Santander early on Monday. – Reuters

The United Arab Emirates said Sunday that four commercial ships off its eastern coast “were subjected to sabotage operations,” just hours after Iranian and Lebanese media outlets aired false reports of explosions at a nearby Emirati port. – Associated Press

Middle East & North Africa

The leaders of Saudi Arabia and Egypt successfully lobbied President Trump to shift U.S. policy in Libya and reach out to the general leading an offensive against the country’s United Nations-backed government, a senior U.S. administration official and two Saudi officials said. – Wall Street Journal  

When the leaders of the Islamic State declared their caliphate in Iraq and Syria, no nationality from outside those countries heeded the call to come fight for it like the Tunisians did. Now, weeks after the caliphate’s defeat, Tunisia is confronting that legacy. Thousands of Tunisian fighters and their family members are believed held in Syria and Iraq, as well as in Libya. – Washington Post

In Kuwait, the Muslim Brotherhood is vocally pro-American. In Iraq, the Brotherhood’s political party has steadfastly supported the American-backed political process and still forms part of the governing coalition. And in Yemen, the Brotherhood-linked party is cooperating with some of America’s closest Arab allies in a war against a faction backed by Iran. – New York Times

Few in Iraq’s oil capital, Basra, look forward to the fetid humidity of summer, when temperatures can soar to 55C. But for Adel Abdul Mahdi, Iraqi prime minister, the coming months will be especially nerve-racking, as his government races to prevent a repeat of protests over electricity blackouts that brought Basra to its knees last year. – Financial Times


Korean Peninsula

China’s detention of a 9-year-old girl and six other North Koreans who tried to escape their country has triggered a public outcry here for South Korea’s president, while pursuing peace talks, to confront Pyongyang about rights abuses. – Wall Street Journal  

US President Donald Trump said Friday that North Korea’s recent missile tests were not a “breach of trust.” – Agence France-Presse

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said North Korea is unlikely to ever give up all its nuclear weapons, and that President Donald Trump was right to walk away from deal with leader Kim Jong-un in February. – Politico

A North Korean cargo ship seized by the U.S. because of suspicion it was used to violate international sanctions arrived at the capital of this American territory, where it will undergo inspections. – Associated Press

South Korean violinist Won Hyung Joon took the stage, nodded once to his North Korean soprano partner, and placed his instrument on his shoulder. With a flick of the conductor’s wrist, she began to sing, and he began to bow — the beginning of a rare joint performance Sunday that they hope will bring the Koreas closer amid deadlocked nuclear diplomacy. – Associated Press

South Korea is making a last-ditch attempt to win an exemption from US tariffs on cars and auto parts, as the country struggles to shield its export-driven economy from rising US protectionism and the fallout from Donald Trump’s trade war with China.Financial Times


The U.S. and Chinese governments both sent signals ahead of their trade talks in Washington last week that a pact was so near they would discuss the logistics of a signing ceremony. – Wall Street Journal  

Anger over a proposal that would let people suspected of crimes be extradited to mainland China led to pandemonium in Hong Kong’s legislature on Saturday, as lawmakers scuffled and at least one was carried out of the chamber on a stretcher. – New York Times

Federal prosecutors are seeking the removal of the lead defense lawyer for a Chinese firm charged with bank fraud and sanctions violations, alleging he has a conflict of interest arising from his supervision of a “substantially related” case while he served in a prior position as the Justice Department’s second-highest-ranking official. – Washington Post

Flaring tensions between Washington and Beijing are raising the prospect of new global diplomatic and economic fault lines, with consequences that analysts say could pose unfamiliar challenges to world leaders. – Agence France-Presse

President Trump said Saturday that China’s recent move to walk back concessions it had made in trade talks was an attempt to sabotage the deal so they could wait until a Democrat could replace him as president. – Washington Examiner

China’s intensified tariff war with the Trump administration is threatening Beijing’s ambition to transform itself into the dominant player in global technology. – Associated Press

Michael C. Davis writes: Despite its commitment to defend the autonomy promised under the “one country, two systems” framework, the Hong Kong government has a history of enabling interference from Beijing. In other recent cases, the Hong Kong government has prosecuted protesters, expelled pro-democracy legislators and banned political parties — actions many in Hong Kong see as moves on Beijing’s behalf. – Washington Post


Taliban militants overran a cluster of government outposts in northwestern Afghanistan on Friday, leaving more than a dozen Afghan soldiers dead, including several troops from an elite police unit, officials said. – New York Times

A leading Afghan journalist has been shot and killed in Kabul nearly a week after she expressed fears for her own life. Mina Mangal, a former TV presenter and adviser for the lower house of parliament, was killed in broad daylight on her way to work Saturday morning. – Fox News

Officials from the United States and Taliban representatives have held six rounds of direct talks since October in Qatar’s capital Doha in a bid to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan. – Al Jazeera  

Rod Nordland writes: A Taliban attack on two aid organizations last week, the deadliest episode in a recent surge of violence against humanitarian workers in Afghanistan, is a signal to many that as peace talks falter, the insurgents are lashing out against so-called soft targets. – New York Times  

South Asia

Sri Lanka is temporarily blocking some social media networks and messaging apps, including Facebook and WhatsApp, it said on Monday after attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned businesses in the worst unrest since Easter bombings by Islamist militants. – Reuters

Islamic State (IS) claimed for the first time that it has established a “province” in India, after a clash between militants and security forces in the contested Kashmir region killed a militant with alleged ties to the group. – Reuters  

Editorial: As the top civilian leader of Burma, a k a Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi has worked so hard at un-earning her Nobel Peace Prize, it’s time the committee takes it back. After all, peace doesn’t look like actively keeping two just-released journalists imprisoned unjustly. As a former political prisoner herself, she should know something about this. – New York Post


Pakistan’s military said Sunday that five people, including a navy sailor, were killed in an assault by gunmen on a luxury hotel frequently used by Chinese guests and high-ranking officials in southwestern Pakistan a day earlier. – New York Times

Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund announced Sunday that they had reached a preliminary agreement on a $6 billion bailout for the country’s emaciated, debt-ridden economy, a rescue that Prime Minister Imran Khan had opposed before taking office but has since reluctantly embraced. – New York Times

An attack on a luxury hotel in the southwestern city of Gwadar was a bid to “sabotage prosperity”, Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan said Sunday, as police confirmed all the attackers had been killed. – Agence France-Presse


Voters in the Philippines will head to the polls Monday for midterm elections that are expected to deliver a win for allies of President Rodrigo Duterte, weaken the independence of the Senate and allow him to advance his agenda despite international condemnation. – Washington Post

An inquiry into Christchurch’s mosques shooting massacre began hearing evidence on Monday, as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern prepared to co-host a meeting in France that seeks global support to tackle online violence. – Reuters  

Vietnam is increasingly jailing “prisoners of conscience” for comments made on social media platforms such as Facebook Inc., Amnesty International said, urging the U.S. to challenge the government over the growing arrests during talks this week. – Bloomberg

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s name is not on the ballot, but Monday’s midterm elections are seen as a crucial referendum on his rise to power with a brutal crackdown on illegal drugs, unorthodox style and contentious embrace of China. – Associated Press


The Russian network RT America aired the segment, titled “A Dangerous ‘Experiment on Humanity,’” in covering what its guest experts call 5G’s dire health threats. U.S. intelligence agencies identified the network as a principal meddler in the 2016 presidential election. Now, it is linking 5G signals to brain cancer, infertility, autism, heart tumors and Alzheimer’s disease — claims that lack scientific support. – New York Times

Less than two weeks before pivotal elections for the European Parliament, a constellation of websites and social media accounts linked to Russia or far-right groups is spreading disinformation, encouraging discord and amplifying distrust in the centrist parties that have governed for decades. – New York Times

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo leaves for Moscow on Sunday night, with President Donald Trump again calling for improved ties now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finished his investigation. – Bloomberg

But on May 6, a Russian firm announced it was bringing a Gjis UAV, a drone powered by hydrogen fuel cells, to the massive Army-2019 exposition in June. Though not without risk, if the fuel cell drone works at promise it could pack a surprising amount of capability into its small frame. – C4ISRNET

Eli Lake writes: In Venezuela, it looks like Russia is once again playing a weak hand well. The U.S. has imposed crippling sanctions on the state-owned oil company and lifted them on officials who have joined the opposition, such as the intelligence chief. And yet, with the support of Russia, Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro survives. – Bloomberg


Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is visiting President Trump at the White House on Monday, marking a policy reversal for an administration worried that the Central European nation is slipping away from Washington’s orbit. – Wall Street Journal  

As President Trump and his inner circle appear increasingly focused on Ukraine as a potential tripwire for Joe Biden and other Democrats, officials about to take power in Kiev are pushing their own message: Leave us out of it. – Washington Post

Emmanuel Macron won the French presidency in 2017 on a decidedly pro-European platform. He sold voters a “Europe that protects” and took the stage at his victory party to the sound of “Ode to Joy,” the official anthem of the European Union. – Washington Post

Hundreds of far-right supporters marched in Warsaw on Saturday to protest against a U.S. law on the restitution of Jewish property seized during or after World War Two, an issue increasingly featuring in campaigns for upcoming Polish elections. – Reuters

Antisemitism and virulent Israel-hatred were rife on Saturday at a pro-Palestinian demonstration in London endorsed by UK Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn. – Algemeiner

A major Jewish group has sent a letter of protest to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) President, Aleksander Čeferin, after soccer fans in the Netherlands committed an antisemitic assault. – Algemeiner

There is increasing support for a so-called mosque tax in Germany to stem the tide of foreign funding for Islamic institutions that could come from anti-democratic sources. – Politico

French police will next week hold a reconstruction of the 2018 killing of Mireille Knoll — the 85-year-old Holocaust survivor who was robbed and brutally murdered in her Paris apartment by two intruders, in a crime apparently rooted in an antisemitic motive. – Algemeiner


Gunmen killed at least six people at a Catholic church in the West African nation of Burkina Faso on Sunday and then torched the worship space, town officials told local reporters. – Washington Post

When the first winds of a revolution blew across Sudan last winter, threatening to upend decades of corrupt and destructive rule, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir needed to find a scapegoat. He got Ayob Omer. Mr. Omer, a 28-year-old veterinary student from Darfur, was scooped up by intelligence thugs outside his university dorm in Khartoum on Dec. 22, days after the first anti-government protest. He was spirited away to a safehouse where he said he was interrogated, tortured with electricity and, after a few days, forced to sit before a camera and read a prepared statement. – New York Times

A raid led by French armed forces rescued four hostages in northern Burkina Faso on Friday, as a group of kidnappers were attempting to take them to Mali, the French authorities said. Two French soldiers died in the overnight raid. – New York Times

Islamic State (IS) killed 11 Nigerian soldiers in an attack on the northeastern town of Gajiganna, the group claimed through its news agency AMAQ on Saturday. – Reuters  

North America

House Republican leaders took aim at Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) on Sunday for a podcast interview in which she discussed her support for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. – Washington Post

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday linked for the first time China’s ban on imports of Canadian canola seed to the broader trade and geopolitical dispute between the U.S. and China. – Wall Street Journal  

A formal letter demanding the removal of Shelby County Criminal Court Judge James Lammey, who shared antisemitic content on his personal Facebook, has been filed by Laurie Cardoza-Moore, founder and president of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN). – Jerusalem Post

Karol Markowicz writes: It’s hard to imagine similar attacks on any other group, no matter the perpetrator, going similarly ignored. The worst joke is that the larger Jewish community would never stand by while another group was singled out for violence in this way. Yet there are no marches, no speeches and no ­demands made by the liberal Jewish community in defense of our Orthodox co-religionists. That’s part of the issue. The victims in these cases are people ­described as “ultra-Orthodox.” That “ultra” implies something sinister about them. – New York Post

Peter Schweizer writes: Will the Senate investigate Joe and Hunter Biden’s actions in China and Ukraine? We don’t know, but they should. If a two-year investigation of President Trump, Russia and the Trump family was justified to ensure the president isn’t compromised, an investigation into Joe Biden, China, Ukraine and the Biden family is imperative. – New York Post

Latin America

Some Florida Republicans are warning that President Trump’s Venezuela policy risks creating political problems in the must-win state, where the fate of that Latin American nation is hugely important to large Venezuelan and Cuban immigrant communities. – Washington Post

The Trump administration warned Venezuela’s military and intelligence officials that continued support of President Nicolás Maduro’s regime puts them at risk of targeted sanctions, in a fresh effort to encourage defections to the U.S.-supported political opposition. – Wall Street Journal  

The Cuban government has begun widespread rationing of chicken, eggs, rice, beans, soap and other basic products in the face of a grave economic crisis. Commerce Minister Betsy Díaz Velázquez told the state-run Cuban News Agency on Friday that the rationing would begin in order to deal with shortages of staple foods. She blamed the hardening of the American trade embargo by the Trump administration. – Associated Press

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Saturday urged his supporters to reject fear and maintain nationwide protests against President Nicolas Maduro, who has been ratcheting up pressure on the lawmaker since a failed military uprising. – Agence France-Presse

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido told an emissary to meet with U.S. military officials in a bid to establish “direct” cooperation, a signal he’s warming to the idea of intervention by force after months of failed attempts to topple President Nicolas Maduro. – Bloomberg

From the lush tropical garden of the Chilean ambassador’s residence, Venezuelan opposition leader Freddy Guevara takes a much-anticipated call from a foreign diplomat and asks him to protect a fellow lawmaker fleeing President Nicolás Maduro’s latest crackdown. – Associated Press

Jackson Diehl writes: In theory, the Venezuelan opposition, the Trump administration and others seeking to leverage Maduro out could resolve to forgive all this. The opposition has spoken about amnesty for military leaders who turn on the regime, and last week, the Treasury Department lifted sanctions from Venezuela’s intelligence chief after he defected. – Washington Post

Oliver Stuenkel writes: The U.S. government is on the warpath against Huawei. For months, the Trump administration has pressured its allies in Europe to exclude the Chinese technology firm from their 5G telecom systems, insisting that Huawei’s products may pose a security threat to Western countries. So far, these warnings have fallen on deaf ears. Now the campaign against Huawei has reached a new frontier: Latin America. – Foreign Affairs


San Francisco is on track to become the first U.S. city to ban the use of facial recognition by police and other city agencies, reflecting a growing backlash against a technology that’s creeping into airports, motor vehicle departments, stores, stadiums and home security cameras. – Associated Press

The best way to achieve future cybersecurity is scrapping the web of today and start over by baking protections into the new version, according to the top security official at the Maritime Administration. However, a dramatic shift to a new web is unlikely to occur any time soon, Cameron Naron said on Tuesday at the 2019 Sea-Air-Space symposium. – USNI News

Facebook is suing South Korean data analytics firm Rankwave to make sure it isn’t breaking the leading social network’s rules, the US company said Friday. – Agence France-Presse

If you think it’s hard to secure your systems and data on the ground, think about adding the complications of doing it with satellites forming a space cloud. The answer is going to be complicated, but will rely heavily on resiliency rather than traditional cybersecurity. – Breaking Defense

A new study on online disinformation and harassment has found that a “coordinated vilification” campaign against Jewish Americans is likely during the 2020 US election. – Algemeiner

Nick Clegg writes: When does a company become too big or too successful to exist? Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook, argues that Facebook should be dismantled because “big” poses a risk to society. In my view — and that of most people who write about technology’s impact on society — what matters is not size but rather the rights and interests of consumers, and our accountability to the governments and legislators who oversee commerce and communications. – New York Times


The acting defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, notified Congress on Friday that he intended to shift $1.5 billion that had been designated for the war in Afghanistan and other projects to help pay for work on President Trump’s border wall. – New York Times

The Navy by next month will have an idea of what its proposed assistant secretary of the Navy for information management office would look like, after an ongoing study to define the new office and its mission wraps up, the undersecretary of the Navy told USNI News. – USNI News

The Defense Department is seeking alternate suppliers for parts of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter currently provided by Turkish companies, as Turkey’s pursuit of a Russian air defense system threatens its continued participation in the jet program. – USNI News

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the military would not pull troops tasked with putting up barriers and planning logistics from the U.S.-Mexico border. – Washington Examiner

Faced with Chinese tactics of creating private equity firms and investing in American technologies, the Pentagon is preparing a new tool, one it hopes will lead domestic investors to increase spending in companies vital for the defense-industrial base. – Defense News

The Army conducted an elaborate robotic combined arms breach exercise at Yakima Air Base in Washington State this month to figure out how robots can best take on the dangerous and dirty work and the technology, tactics, techniques and procedures that are needed for unmanned vehicles to be effective on the battlefield. – Defense News

The next deal between the U.S. government and F-35 fighter jet manufacturer Lockheed Martin is expected to be finalized by July, potentially putting the contract announcement around the time of a major annual air show. – Defense News

The final preparatory meeting for next year’s review of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty ended Friday with deep divisions, and U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood said reaching agreement at the 2020 conference “will be an incredibly difficult task.” – Associated Press

Despite mounting frustration here, a wary Pentagon has blown past a 60-day window imposed by Congress to deliver a plan for a long-debated East Coast ballistic missile interceptor site. – Breaking Defense

Global satellite industry revenue grew by 3 percent from last year to $277 billion, with revenue from US government customers making up a large portion of that growth, according to a new study by the Satellite Industry Association (SIA). – Breaking Defense

Long War

Murder charges were dropped against a Jewish suspect in the Duma terror case, after he cut a plea-bargain deal for reduced charges with the State Prosecutor’s office. – Jerusalem Post

The assassination of Jihadi John was “personal” and not a strategic goal, spy chiefs have admitted as they detailed the painstaking methods used to catch him. – Telegraph

A year and a half after the Islamic State group was declared defeated in Iraq, the militants still evoke fear in the lands of their former so-called caliphate across northern Iraq. The fighters, hiding in caves and mountains, emerge at night to carry out kidnappings, killings and roadside ambushes, aimed at intimidating locals, silencing informants and restoring the extortion rackets that financed IS’s rise to power six years ago. – Associated Press

Trump Administration

Three nations that have long defined themselves as bitter adversaries of the United States — North Korea, Iran and Venezuela — decided this week they could take on President Trump. – New York Times

Donald Trump wants his attorney general to consider investigating Joe Biden, a potential opponent in next year’s presidential election, over Biden’s ties to Ukraine, Trump’s personal lawyer said on Sunday. – The Guardian