Fdd's overnight brief

May 22, 2024

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News

Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main challenger has positioned himself as a leader who can unite the country, but Benny Gantz’s lack of decisiveness is alienating voters and costing him support in opinion polls. – Wall Street Journal

With Israel’s war against Hamas now in its eighth month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a rising crescendo of criticism at home and abroad over his management of the conflict — threatening his leadership and his country’s place on the world stage. – Washington Post

Palestinians in Gaza expressed mixed feelings after the chief prosecutor at the world’s top criminal court said he was seeking arrest warrants for leaders of both Israel and Hamas on war crimes charges, a move that many said equated victim with perpetrator. – New York Times

Israeli forces thrust deeper into Jabalia in northern Gaza on Tuesday, striking a hospital and destroying residential areas with tank and air bombardments, residents said, while Israeli airstrikes killed at least five people in Rafah in the south. – Reuters

The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said on Tuesday that food distribution in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah were currently suspended due to lack of supplies and insecurity. – Reuters

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) called on Tuesday for Israel to lift restrictions on aid into Gaza, saying that the primary pipeline for emergency medical aid into the enclave from Egypt had been cut off. – Reuters

Israel on Tuesday urged “nations of the civilised world” to oppose the International Criminal Court prosecutor’s request for arrest warrants against its leaders, and to declare they would ignore the warrants. – Reuters

Norway will recognise an independent Palestinian state in the hope that this will help to bring peace with Israel, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said on Wednesday. Ireland and Spain will also announce the recognition of a Palestinian state, sources said on Wednesday. – Reuters

The Israeli government will return a camera and broadcasting equipment it had seized from The Associated Press on Tuesday, reversing course hours after it blocked the news organization’s live video of Gaza and faced mounting criticism for interfering with independent journalism. – Associated Press

The US has softened its earlier resistance to a broader Israeli military operation in Rafah following efforts by Israel to reduce the civilian toll of the assault, a US official said. – Bloomberg

Crowds of desperate people in the Gaza Strip have intercepted almost all of the aid sent over a temporary pier built by the US military, officials said, forcing a temporary halt to deliveries and complicating an already dire humanitarian crisis. – Bloomberg

Four ships from the United States and France are transporting aid from Larnaca port to the Gaza Strip amid the spiralling humanitarian crisis there, the Cyprus presidency said on Tuesday. – Agence France-Presse

A video of the instances in which female IDF observers were kidnapped from the Nahal Oz base to the Gaza Strip on October 7 is set to be published on Wednesday evening, the Hostage and Missing Families Forum announced. – Jerusalem Post

A day after his ministry issued a statement of support for the International Criminal Court when its prosecutor announced he was seeking arrest warrants for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and three Hamas leaders, French Foreign Minister Stephane Séjourné told parliament on Tuesday, “These simultaneous requests for arrest warrants should not create an equivalence between Hamas and Israel.” – Times of Israel 

The office of International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan said Tuesday he had recommended issuing arrest warrants for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant because he had not seen compelling evidence that Israeli courts were probing alleged violations of international law in Gaza. – Times of Israel

Editorial: International investors may see increased risk in doing business with Israel, leading to reduced foreign investment and lower economic growth. Israel has consistently maintained that it is operating within the laws of war and that it seeks to keep civilian casualties to a minimum while pursuing legitimate military objectives but this does not appear to have any effect on the ICC. For the court, it’s October 7 all over again. – Jerusalem Post

Seth Cropsey writes: All this could have been avoided with a modicum of strategic coherence. Had the White House provided Israel the political cover to execute its Rafah operation two months ago, Hamas might not have been able to reconstitute in northern Gaza. Hamas might now be damaged enough to incapacitate itself, enabling legitimate discussions around postwar reconstruction. Instead, the White House has chosen to dishonor its allies and force them to accept a strategic disaster. War is coming, sooner or later. – Wall Street Journal

Gil Troy writes: Until then, let’s win this war against Hamas, free the hostages expeditiously but intelligently, and crush Hezbollah up North – as soon as we’ve stabilized the South. And I promise – no more sniping at our military leaders, no more libeling rivals, no more attack machine. I demand that my allies follow my lead. We all know we need one another. We all know that fostering unity is our only recipe for victory. – Jerusalem Post

Eli Lake writes: But the fact that the prosecutor recommended the arrests for Israeli and Hamas leaders suggests that both parties are equal violators of international humanitarian law. President Biden rebuked the court on Monday for making that parallel. “Let me be clear,” he said. “Whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence—none—between Israel and Hamas.” – The Free Press

Iran

As the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi brings forward urgent questions surrounding the country’s leadership, Mojtaba Khamenei, the powerful and secretive son of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, is poised to play a central role. – Wall Street Journal

Western officials say they are braced for a period of increased volatility with Iran as the country prepares to choose a successor to President Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash over the weekend. But they said they don’t expect Tehran to make major foreign-policy shifts. – Wall Street Journal

While uncertainty surrounds political succession in Iran after its president and foreign minister died in a helicopter crash, analysts say it is unlikely their deaths will alter the country’s projection of power through heavily armed allied groups in the Middle East. – New York Times

For decades, Iran’s leaders could point to high voter turnouts in their elections as proof of the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic’s political system. But as voter turnout has plummeted in recent years, the election they will be now obliged to hold after the death of President Ebrahim Raisi will force the political establishment into a decision it does not want to make. – New York Times

Funeral commemorations for Iran’s president and foreign minister were underway in Iran on Tuesday as investigators looked into the helicopter crash that killed them and the country grappled with the shock of losing two of its most prominent leaders at a volatile moment. – New York Times

The General Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces on Wednesday downplayed the role played by a Turkish drone in finding the crash site of President Ebrahim Raisi’s helicopter, highlighting instead the performance of its own drones. – Reuters

Human rights groups and emigre opposition factions expressed regret that Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi’s death meant he never saw justice for crimes they say he committed during decades as a leading figure in the Islamic Republic. – Agence France-Presse

Bret Stephens writes: But none of those need put the deepest convictions of Zionism at stake: that Jews have the right to rule themselves as a sovereign state in their original homeland. For Iran’s rulers, the risks are graver. They’ve always claimed to be the vanguard of an Islamic revolution, but they seem to have forgotten that revolutions have a history of consuming their own. Iran’s people, by and large, don’t want to be Islamists. But Israel wants, and will fight, to remain itself. – New York Times

Ben Dubow writes: The leading candidates are all exemplars of these pathologies. After all, they would not otherwise have reached such senior positions. While the new president won’t represent a change in the Islamic Republic’s policy, he will continue to push the Iranian people’s tolerance for corruption to its limit. With no signs of unrest dissipating, the ayatollahs and their allies are playing a deeply dangerous game. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Russia & Ukraine

Russian forces on Tuesday inched closer to the central part of Vovchansk, a town in Ukraine’s northeast that they have been attacking for the past 10 days as part of a new offensive in the region. – New York Times

Russian physicist Anatoly Maslov was convicted of treason and sentenced to 14 years in a penal colony on Tuesday in the latest of several cases against experts working on the science underpinning Russia’s development of hypersonic missiles. – Reuters

The Ukrainian military said on Tuesday it destroyed the last Russian warship armed with cruise missiles that was stationed on the Moscow-occupied peninsula of Crimea during an operation over the weekend. – Reuters

Russian forces have started the first stage of exercises ordered by President Vladimir Putin to simulate preparation for the launch of tactical nuclear weapons, the Defence Ministry said on Tuesday. – Reuters

The Kremlin said on Tuesday it was very curious that the United States appeared ready to use sanctions against the International Criminal Court whose prosecutor requested arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his defence chief and three Hamas leaders over alleged war crimes. – Reuters

Ukrainian forces shot down 28 out of 29 drones used by Russian forces in an overnight attack on seven regions, Ukraine’s air force said in a statement on Tuesday. – Reuters

A Russian general who was relieved of duty last year after complaining about problems faced by his troops in Ukraine has been arrested on charges of widescale bribery, Russian news reports said Tuesday. – Associated Press

Sending air defense systems to Ukraine to help protect it from Russian cruise missiles, rockets and drones is an “absolute priority,” Germany’s foreign minister said in Kyiv on Tuesday after visiting a local power plant that was largely reduced to ruins by a recent barrage. – Associated Press

William A. Galston writes: Republicans from redder districts and states have made similar comments. There’s no excuse for a repetition of this sorry episode, no matter who wins the presidential election. The outcome of Ukraine’s war will determine whether other countries believe it is advantageous, or even safe, to be America’s friend. – Wall Street Journal

Eric Ciaramella writes: And the Russian leadership must understand that its leverage over Kyiv will continue to shrink as Ukraine’s capabilities grow, backed by an unshakeable Western commitment to the country’s long-term security. Whether one believes the war will end on the battlefield or at the negotiating table, a strategy to build Ukraine’s defense and deterrence capacity while signaling the West’s staying power is the best way to create a durable peace in Europe. – Foreign Affairs

Samuel Ramani writes: While the deaths of Raisi and Amir-Abdollahian are unlikely to alter the short-term trajectory of Russia-Iran cooperation, the Kremlin is keeping a watchful eye on the instability that might follow their demise. The swift completion of the trade agreement between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which will lead to 50-75% tariff reductions, will be Russia’s initial priority as it seeks to reinforce the image of a business-as-usual relationship. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Egypt

Egypt’s respect for treaties does not prevent it from using “all scenarios to preserve its national security and the historical rights of Palestinians”, the state-affiliated Al Qahera News TV quoted what it termed a high-level source as saying on Tuesday. – Reuters

Since the Israel Defense Forces entered Rafah earlier this month — shutting down Gaza’s southern border crossing with Egypt — Cairo has reportedly refused to let fuel trucks pass through into the enclave. And two senior administration officials say Egypt has stopped all aid shipments through the Kerem Shalom crossing.  – Politico

Egyptian intelligence quietly changed the terms of a ceasefire proposal that Israel had already signed off on earlier this month, ultimately scuttling a deal that could have released Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners, and set a pathway to temporarily end the fighting in Gaza, according to three people familiar with the discussions. – CNN

Middle East & North Africa

Biden administration officials said Tuesday that a U.S.-brokered deal to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia was within reach, but that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government might balk at the historic agreement rather than accept Riyadh’s demands for a new commitment to a Palestinian state and a halt to the Gaza war. – Wall Street Journal

Yemen’s Houthis downed a U.S. MQ9 drone over al-Bayda province in southern Yemen, the Iran-aligned group’s military spokesperson said in a televised statement on Tuesday. – Reuters

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman promised stable oil supplies to Japan in a video conference with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said in a media release. – Reuters

Turkey’s energy minister held talks with Chinese authorities and companies on mining projects, nuclear and renewable energy this week, his ministry said on Tuesday, and the two countries signed a preliminary pact on energy conversion. – Reuters

Korean Peninsula

North Korea’s cult of personality appears to have entered a new phase by elevating the portrait of Kim Jong Un next to that of his grandfather and father, showing him in a similar status as its two former leaders regarded as demigods at home. – Bloomberg

The first 16 companies have signed up to voluntary artificial intelligence safety standards introduced at the Bletchley Park summit, Rishi Sunak has said on the eve of the follow-up event in Seoul. – The Guardian

One or more hacking groups linked to North Korea has breached the personal emails of more than 100 people in the South, including the accounts of senior defense officials, according to local reports. – Newsweek

China

Guo Wengui, a showy Beijing property-developer-turned-critic of China, will face trial Wednesday in New York on federal racketeering charges that allege he leveraged opposition to the Chinese Communist Party into a $1 billion fraud that funded his own lavish lifestyle. – Wall Street Journal

For the past few years, the West has been trying to break China’s grip on minerals that are critical for defense and green technologies. Despite their efforts, Chinese companies are becoming more dominant, not less. – Wall Street Journal

A senior Chinese Communist Party official plans to visit Tokyo this month to meet with leaders from Japan’s ruling parties and discuss resuming regular talks between the parties for the first time since 2018, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported on Wednesday. – Reuters

The Vatican would like to establish a permanent office in China in what would be a major upgrade of diplomatic relations with Beijing, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called Taiwan’s newly-inaugurated President Lai Ching-te “disgraceful” on Tuesday, stepping up Beijing’s rhetoric just a day after he took office. – Reuters

China has banned former U.S. lawmaker Mike Gallagher from entering the country and taken other measures in response to his words and actions that “interfered in China’s internal affairs,” the foreign ministry said on Tuesday. – Reuters

China is accelerating the forced urbanization of Tibetan villagers and herders, Human Rights Watch said, in an extensive report that adds to state government and independent reports of efforts to assimilate rural Tibetans through control over their language and traditional Buddhist culture. – Associated Press

Zhang Zhan was released from prison after serving four years for charges related to reporting on the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China, according to a video statement she released Tuesday, eight days after her sentence ended, though there are concerns about how much freedom of movement she has. – Associated Press

Tim Culpan writes: Whether half-finished cars and disassembled PCs are entering Mexico for minimal assembly work, or local factories truly are replacing China as a production hub, manufacturers must still bring tons of goods into the country. Most of this comes from Asia, notably the world’s second-largest economy. Even if Americans increasingly drive Mexican-made cars, talk on Mexican-made smartphones and sit on Mexican-made furniture, the materials and components will still come from China. And global shipping companies will be hauling it there by the boat load. – Bloomberg

South Asia

India’s Russian oil imports rose a nine-month high in April after shipments on non-sanctioned tankers operated by Russia’s largest shipping company Sovcomflot resumed, tanker data obtained from shipping and trade sources showed. – Reuters

A top ally of Pakistan’s imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan was released from prison Tuesday after nearly a year when a court granted him bail in a corruption case, his party said. – Associated Press

Australia and Bangladesh on Tuesday said that the two countries would work to expand trade and cooperation on areas including security and the Rohingya refugee crisis. – Associated Press

Mihir Sharma writes: Already, activists in some states have started demanding jobs be reserved for locals and have attacked shops that failed to put up signs in regional languages. For decades, as in the US, the scope and strength of states’ rights has helped knit together a huge and diverse nation. If federalism itself becomes the subject of divisive partisan politics, then this long compromise will end — and India will be in real trouble. – Bloomberg

Michael Rubin writes: In the meantime, India must be realistic. If the White House undercuts Israel’s legitimate counterterror efforts because Blinken, Sullivan, or Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer irrationally hate Netanyahu, then can New Delhi ever be sure that the United States will truly have India’s back when Pakistan-backed terrorists again sponsor terrorism in Kashmir, Punjab, or even Mumbai? – FirstPost

Asia

Japan has lodged a protest against the Chinese ambassador’s “extremely inappropriate” comments relating to Taiwan, chief cabinet secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Taiwan is paying close attention to interactions between the Vatican and China, the island’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday, adding that China had “repeatedly violated” a 2018 agreement on the appointment of bishops. – Reuters

Protesters and a thousand French police reinforcements were playing a “game of cat and mouse” in New Caledonia, ahead of the arrival of France’s President Emmanuel Macron after the worst riots in 40 years in the French territory, pro-independence groups said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Vietnam’s parliament elected police minister To Lam as the state president on Wednesday, in a move analysts see as a “stepping stone” for Lam to bid later for the position of chief of the ruling Communist Party, the country’s top job. – Reuters

The Australian military has flown 115 passengers on two flights from the restive French Pacific territory of New Caledonia and a French government flight was expected to evacuate another 100 stranded passengers on Wednesday, an Australian government minister said. – Associated Press

A senior Philippine military official at the center of an alleged audio recording with a Chinese diplomat denied entering into an agreement with Beijing on handling the two countries’ territorial dispute in the South China Sea. – Bloomberg

Michael Rubin writes: Rather than grouse at the U.N.’s overwhelming support for “Palestine,” the State Department should openly cite the vote as reason to recognize Taiwan formally. While Beijing’s bribery and bullying might make Taiwan’s application dead on arrival at the United Nations, this does not matter for a simple reason: What happens in Washington means far more than what happens at Turtle Bay. It is time to use the Palestinian precedent to give the Taiwanese independence. Taiwan should be free from the Zhuoshui River to the South China Sea. – Washington Examiner

Shirato Keiichi writes: China and Russia, which are despotic regimes, will see the situation in which African countries oppose the West as an opportunity to expand their influence. Under these circumstances, Japan, the only Asian country in the G7, has an important role to play in engaging Africa on its own terms while developing partnerships to maintain a world order based on liberalism. – Center for Strategic and International Studies

Europe

Since the earliest weeks of Russia’s war in Ukraine, Western allies have debated how to make the Kremlin pay. On Tuesday, the European Union made a precedent-setting move, formally agreeing to use windfall profits from frozen Russian assets to buy arms for Kyiv. – Washington Post

A former British marine charged with spying for Hong Kong’s intelligence service has died, according to a police statement released on Tuesday evening. – New York Times

Nearly a year after one of the deadliest shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea, off southern Greece, a court in Kalamata dropped criminal charges on Tuesday against nine Egyptians charged in connection with the tragedy. The court deemed that Greece did not have the jurisdiction to try the case, as the trawler sank in international waters. – New York Times

France is open to the United Arab Emirates investing in its nuclear power and artificial intelligence industries, its finance minister said on Tuesday, ahead of signing a strategic partnership with the Gulf state on AI. – Reuters

Moldova has signed a security and defence partnership with the European Union, the first country to agree such a deal with the bloc, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Spain declared the withdrawal of its ambassador to Buenos Aires “permanent” on Tuesday in an escalation of its response to Argentine President Javier Milei’s derogatory comments about the wife of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. – Reuters

Germany plans to ramp up military aid for Ukraine by another 3.8 billion euros ($4.13 billion) this year, a source told Reuters on Tuesday, confirming a report by top-selling Bild. – Reuters

Finland’s government proposed emergency legislation on Tuesday to block asylum seekers entering across its vast and often snow-bound border with Russia which it believes Moscow is promoting due to political antagonism since the Ukraine war. – Reuters

Poland’s prime minister announced on Tuesday the re-establishment of a commission to look into undue Russian influence, as Warsaw grapples with what it says is an intense campaign by Moscow to destabilise the country. – Reuters

Slovakia’s Parliament voted unanimously on Tuesday to condemn politically motivated violence following an assassination attempt on Prime Minister Robert Fico, who is recovering from multiple wounds from last week’s shooting, hospital officials said. – Associated Press

Lionel Laurent writes: Even once the truth serum wears off, Americans should support it as the path to a more balanced NATO, as Max Bergmann of the Center for Strategic and International Studies has argued, and a more robust stance on China. Could the threat of Trump 2.0 do more for strategic autonomy than all of Macron’s speeches on Europe? Maybe the truth really does hurt. – Bloomberg

Jussi M. Hanhimäki writes: Leaders in Helsinki and Stockholm must push back on these distortions. Finland and Sweden did not join NATO to be part of a U.S.-led plot to encircle Russia; they were reacting to cumulative evidence of aggressive Russian imperialism. Russian military aggression is what killed off Finnish and Swedish neutrality, with the invasion of Ukraine delivering the final blow. – Foreign Affairs

Africa

Kenyan President William Ruto’s state visit to Washington this week — the first by an African president since 2008 — highlights the deepening ties between Nairobi and Washington even as Russian mercenaries, Chinese loans, wars and coups are rolling back U.S. influence elsewhere on the continent. – Washington Post

At least 22 people kidnapped by gunmen from the suburban Dawaki district of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, were rescued, police and residents said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Human rights group Asylum Aid said on Tuesday it had filed a legal challenge to Britain’s policy to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. “Asylum Aid has filed a claim in the High Court challenging the Home Office’s ‘Safety of Rwanda’ guidance,” the group said in a statement. – Reuters

Ghana will select by December a company to build its first nuclear power plant from contenders including France’s EDF, U.S.-based NuScale Power and Regnum Technology Group, and China National Nuclear Corporation, an energy ministry official said. – Reuters

Hundreds of hostages, mostly children and women, who were held captive for months or years by Boko Haram extremists in northeastern Nigeria have been rescued from a forest enclave and handed over to authorities, the army said. – Associated Press

At least 85 people were reported dead at a hospital in the capital of Sudan’s North Darfur state, an early indication of the human toll from fighting between the army and an opposition militia around the last major city in the region still held by the government. – Bloomberg

Nigeria’s federal cabinet last week approved construction work on the second section of a $13 billion highway awarded to an ally of President Bola Tinubu, a project that’s ignited a political firestorm in Africa’s most populous country. – Bloomberg

The Americas

Haiti’s national police force will take charge of a much-awaited U.N.-backed security mission set to launch by the end of this month, Haiti’s transition council said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Colombian President Gustavo Petro is weighing whether to fully suspend a ceasefire with the Estado Mayor Central (EMC) rebel group, Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez said on Tuesday, after two bombings attributed to the group in the southeastern province of Cauca. – Reuters

As she runs to replace outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Claudia Sheinbaum is struggling to construct her own image, leaving many wondering whether she can escape the shadow of the larger-than-life incumbent. – Associated Press

Editorial: The United States can influence the situation, given its role as Mexico’s largest trading partner and the Mexican military’s chief source of arms and equipment. During the Cold War, the United States often tolerated or supported military regimes; afterward, however, it invested, with some success, in demilitarizing and democratizing Latin America. All the more reason to resist a new foothold for militarism where it never previously existed, right next door. – Washington Post

Maria Fernanda Bozmoski writes: As President Arevalo weighs the options for addressing his Attorney General dilemma—from public consultation to a reformed law—he treads a fine line between harnessing public demand for accountability and preserving the long-term integrity of judicial institutions. The allure of direct democracy must be balanced with the need to prevent undermining the foundations of Guatemalan democracy in the long run or setting a precedent that a future administration could abuse. – The National Interest

United States

The U.S. is leaning on Europe to help defend against a surge of Chinese exports on global markets, trying to achieve unity among allies that hold distinct views of how to respond to Beijing’s economic might. – Wall Street Journal

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged German bank executives on Tuesday to step up efforts to comply with sanctions against Russia and shut down efforts to circumvent them to avoid potential penalties themselves that would cut off dollar access. – Reuters

Joe Biden came into office thinking the Middle East wouldn’t be a top priority, but turmoil there has now become a central issue for his presidency and one that threatens his chances of reelection. – Bloomberg

Kenyan President William Ruto’s trip to Washington this week is rejuvenating a fight between top Republican lawmakers and the Biden administration, who disagree on how to handle the worsening chaos unfolding in Haiti. – Politico

The Joe Biden administration will work with Congress on possible sanctions against the International Criminal Court after its prosecutor announced it was seeking arrest warrants for senior Israeli and Hamas officials, US secretary of state Antony Blinken said on Tuesday. – Financial Times

“Squad” Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars since being elected to Congress to a consulting firm led by an anti-Israel activist working on behalf of groups linked to Palestinian terrorist factions, records show. – Washington Examiner

The Tides Foundation, which backs several organizations involved in anti-Israel protests on college campuses and beyond, is facing scrutiny from the House Ways and Means Committee for serving as a conduit to hide the identity of donors to its grantees. – Jewish Insider

Editorial: The U.S. will have to spend the money to harden and diversify its satellite networks, as well as develop counter measures. Xi Jinping’s Chinese Communist Party is making its own space advances and is increasingly allied with Mr. Putin. Credit to Mr. Turner for trying to educate Americans about this rising threat, even if many in Washington don’t want to hear it. – Wall Street Journal

Editorial: “The American people do not have the luxury of playing partisan blame games,” Schumer wrote in his letter to colleagues announcing the new vote. “They want bipartisan action to secure the border.” Unfortunately, the bill wouldn’t do that. It would make the crisis worse. Schumer should call up the House-passed Laken Riley Act, which not only received more than 30 Democratic votes but also would have prevented the death of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley. – Washington Examiner

Steven Rattner writes: However, we also need to resume removing trade barriers, not increase them. Among other things, we need the World Trade Organization to function, but the Trump and Biden administrations have blocked all candidates for its appellate body and chosen to act unilaterally, rather than through the W.T.O. I’m hoping that when the election dust settles, we can get back to what David Ricardo explained so clearly two centuries ago. – New York Times

Andreas Kluth writes: For his part, Biden could clarify US intentions, with respect to Taiwan and more, and reduce the potential for miscalculation by Xi. It wouldn’t even matter whether the Chinese pledges are 100% credible. As Biden himself said in that speech in 2017, the US needs arms-control treaties “precisely because we do not trust our adversaries.” – Bloomberg

Marc L. Busch writes: And that’s exactly what the bill offers them, short of the U.S. increasing its bound rates, and redoing the rules of origin on textiles under USMCA and CAFTA-DR, neither of which is going to happen. The Americas Act does not tackle serious questions about China or supply chain resiliency. It won’t spur U.S. manufacturing and it won’t help countries like Costa Rica and Uruguay modernize their economies. – The Hill

Cybersecurity

The United Arab Emirates and the United States are strategic partners and there will be more joint investments in artificial intelligence between them, the UAE’s state minister for AI Omar Sultan Al Olama told Reuters on Tuesday. – Reuters

Hacktivist operations are using leaked ransomware builders to launch attacks on critical infrastructure in the Philippines — part of a trend among politically motivated groups who are increasingly trying to disrupt life in the Southeast Asian nation. – The Record

Officials in Britain are set to propose a major overhaul of how the country responds to ransomware attacks by requiring all victims to report incidents to the government, and then obliging those victims to seek a license before making any extortion payments. – The Record

David Kirichenko writes: The West should be prepared for more of its critical infrastructure to come under Russian cyber-attack. But it should also take bolder steps to support Ukraine on the digital and physical battlefields, as Russia’s hybrid war against the West all connects back to its battlefield objectives in Ukraine. – The Hill

Defense

The Defense Department is proposing legislation that would allow it to establish an Indo-Pacific Security Assistance Initiative to deliver weapons to Taiwan and other friendly militaries in the region, modeled after a similar program used to arm Ukraine. – Defense News

The U.S. Marine Corps is developing new radars and leveraging its counter-drone systems as it looks to modernize and expand key capabilities. – Defense News

Senior defense officials are putting the final touches on the first official Security Classification Guidance to direct what can and cannot be disclosed publicly about the Pentagon’s high-stakes Replicator initiative, DefenseScoop has learned. – DefenseScoop

Dana Stroul writes: Therefore, the U.S.-GCC working groups are a critical mechanism to maintain focus on air defense and maritime security even amid regional crises. U.S. officials should continue meeting under the auspices of these groups, while concurrently convening partners within and outside the GCC who are willing to work with Israel in other venues. Partners who do not have diplomatic ties can still be invited to observe multinational exercises that include Israel. They should also be offered briefings on the success of the April 13 defensive coalition. – Washington Institute

Todd Harrison writes: Congress and the executive branch should heed the warnings about China’s space capabilities. The United States enjoys a substantial lead in space technology, but China is moving quickly to copy our technology and counter the advantage it provides. It is time to get serious and to make the hard choices. It is time to unleash the Space Force. – MilitaryTimes