Fdd's overnight brief

May 24, 2022

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


Since launching its large-scale invasion of Ukraine three months ago, Russia has sought to cross several rivers using temporary floating bridges so its troops could advance. Many of the attempts went badly. – Wall Street Journal 

A Russian soldier was convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison on Monday in Ukraine’s first war-crimes trial since the invasion began in February, a verdict that prosecutors hope will provide momentum to bring more cases to court. – Wall Street Journal 

Hoping to shore up international resolve, Ukraine’s president told global political and business leaders Monday that as far as they have gone to punish Moscow for invading Ukraine, it was not far enough. – New York Times 

Three months after the Feb. 24 invasion, many ordinary Russians are reeling from those blows to their livelihoods and emotions. Moscow’s vast shopping malls have turned into eerie expanses of shuttered storefronts once occupied by Western retailers. – Associated Press 

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that the crisis in Ukraine was a global issue which heightened the importance of maintaining international order, territorial integrity and sovereignty. – Reuters 

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said late on Monday that Kyiv was ready for an exchange of prisoners with Russia “even tomorrow” and called on his allies to put pressure on Moscow. – Reuters 

The Russia-appointed administration of Ukraine’s Kherson region will ask Moscow to set up a military base on its territory, Russia’s RIA news agency quoted a local government official as saying on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Russian forces on Tuesday stepped up their offensive on the last pocket of resistance around Lugansk in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, as the conflict entered its fourth month. – Agence France-Presse 

A Russian diplomat has resigned in protest against Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, describing himself as “ashamed” of his country in a rare rejection by a government official of President Vladimir Putin’s war aims. – Financial Times 

Ukrainian troops bombed a Russian hangar and destroyed a 2S4 Tyulpan 240-mm self-propelled mortar that was used to attack local homes and a bridge, Ukrainian military officials say. – Newsweek 

A nuclear bomb simulator website has experienced a huge increase in visits since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, the creator told Newsweek. – Newsweek 

Max Boot writes: We who sit safely and watch the war from the sidelines have no right to tell the Ukrainians what their war aims should be. We have a moral and strategic obligation to simply support them. The Ukrainians need more weapons from the West, including HIMARS rocket artillery and F-16 fighter planes. They don’t need lectures from second-guessers who claim to know better than they do what is in their own self-interest. – Washington Post 

Gideon Rachman writes: Freedom of speech is so entrenched in America that even a re-elected Trump would not be able to insist — as Putin does — that every citizen of his country must endorse his lie or face imprisonment. But for the politics of the big lie to once again be blasted out from the White House would degrade America and endanger the world. – Financial Times 

Cristof Ruhl writes: It would not be wise for Europe to replace Russian imports in one fell swoop. In addition to the frail global supply and demand balance, spatial bottlenecks and global product mismatches will take time to resolve. But oil is available to start curtailing Russian supplies immediately; and there is certainly enough below ground to replace them, eventually. It is not efficient, but the process can — and should — be set in motion. – Financial Times 

Rebecca Grant writes: If Ukraine holds open the jaws of Kramatorsk, Ukraine can push Russia out of Izyum and start taking back other towns along the 100-mile front. Zelenskyy’s new total victory plan will eventually require Ukraine to increase the pressure, such as by striking Russian military targets in Crimea, for example. It will be much harder to win if Kramatorsk falls. – Fox News 

Dominic Tierney writes: If Ukraine ultimately emerges as a stable democracy, rebuilt with billions of dollars in foreign funds and frozen Russian assets, bonded together by narratives of a great patriotic war, then the country will stand as a living testament to Putin’s recklessness. Ukraine will be a beacon of freedom, and its heroic resistance may dissuade other countries from acts of aggression. And memories of a failed war in Russia could spur doubts about the Kremlin’s judgment that, in time, undermine Putin’s regime—just as Afghanistan helped bring down the Soviet system. – Foreign Affairs 

Elaine Dezenski and John Austin write: The U.S. must also address remaining dependencies in areas like advanced manufacturing, semiconductors, medical technologies and supplies, which create serious ongoing vulnerabilities and potential sources of conflict with authoritarians. Shifting away from dependencies on Russia is currently adding to the inflation pain, but we won’t see price pressure reduced until the genius of the private sector reworks the highly efficient global supply chains with, reliable, freedom-loving partners. To whip both inflation at home and authoritarians abroad, we must lean into our relationships with those we trust. – Newsweek  

James Foggo and Benjamin Mainardi write: Yet as the conflict continues and the blockade worsens, the issue of Ukrainian food exports will only become more acute. What this episode reveals is that Russia has once again politicized a resource, as it did with oil and natural gas, vital to dozens of states abroad. The Kremlin thus appears to have enhanced its Russia’s geostrategic position at the expense of the international community’s wellbeing. – Center for European Policy Analysis 

Edward Lucas writes: It is also worth remembering that weaponized migration works because of the gulf between the rich and poor worlds. Given that Western decision-makers have had thirty unhindered years after the collapse of communism to sort out the world economy and trading system, the blame for this must largely land with them. Instead of reform, they pursued selfish protectionist policies that hobbled poor countries’ growth. […]Countries like Ukraine may rightly complain about short-sighted and disrespectful Western behavior. It will be little consolation to hear that others fared even worse. – Center for European Policy Analysis 

Joshua Rovner writes: Someday the war will be over — every war must end. Yet the peace will be tenuous because the conflict has deep roots. Ukrainians will worry that Russia seeks not a real peace but only a temporary pause to lick its wounds. For their part, Russians will worry that Ukraine is moving toward an ever-expanding NATO. Monitoring a fragile peace via intelligence will require clandestine collection and careful analysis. If the current conflict is a guide, open sources and public intelligence will be important, but they will not be enough. – War on the Rocks 


The death toll from the collapse of a commercial building still under construction in southwestern Iran reached 10 on Tuesday, after more bodies were retrieved from the rubble in the city of Abadan, Iranian media reported. – Associated Press 

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the dual British-Iranian citizen detained by Iran for nearly 6 years, said Iranian authorities forced her to sign a false confession as a condition of her release. – CNN 

The Abraham Accords offer a better future for the Middle East and are “one of the best answers” to Iran, Israeli Ambassador to the US Mike Herzog said on Sunday. – Jerusalem Post 

Colonel Hassan Sayad Khodayari from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force who assassinated in Tehran on Sunday, was linked to several high-profile assassination attempts on Israeli diplomats and figures across the world, Saudi-sponsored news outlet Iran International reported on Monday. – Jerusalem Post 

Following meetings with top American defense officials, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Sunday that the US remains hopeful for a deal with Iran, but is standing firm against Iran’s demand to delist the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terror organization. – Times of Israel  

Farhad Rezaei writes: Since its inception, the Iranian regime has managed to defy international norms and evade serious punishment. The academic community in the West needs to protest the egregious conduct of Iranian universities. Remaining silent would legitimize the practices of the theocratic regime, and encourage more academic abuse. – Algemeiner 

Yossi Yehushua writes: Assuming the foreign media reports are accurate, any many of them appear to be so, Israel, through its Mossad Intelligence Agency has been operating against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps not only in Syria, but also inside the Islamic Republic. – Ynet 

Ron Ben-Yishai writes: It is very likely that Iran’s semi-official report on Sunday that members of an Israeli intelligence service network had been exposed and arrested by the IRGC, was a desperate attempt to cover up that embarrassment. It was not the first successful assassination conducted by foreign forces on Iranian soil, making it seem the regime is struggling to thwart them, which in turn may also embolden the opposition elements at home. – Ynet 


The Taliban is handing over control of the country’s airports to a state-run United Arab Emirates company, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office Tuesday. – Washington Post 

The UK’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was a “disaster” and “betrayal” of its partners in the country caused by systemic failures of intelligence, diplomacy, planning and preparation, according to a parliamentary report into last year’s pullout of British troops. – Financial Times 

Afghanistan’s lead resistance group, the National Resistance Front (NRF), has one message for the Biden administration: don’t ignore terror threats coming from Afghanistan. The group noted that mistake was made by the Clinton administration in the lead up to the 9/11 terror attacks. – Fox News 


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday he would cease talking to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and cancel a key meeting between their two governments, accusing the Greek leader of antagonizing Turkey. – Associated Press 

Turkey is ready for energy cooperation with Israel after years of enmity, reviving a project to pipe Israeli gas to Europe as Ankara seeks to reduce its dependence on Russia. – Agence France-Presse 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened Monday to launch a new military operation in Syria to secure Turkey’s southern border. – Associated Press 


Israel’s army said Monday that if an Israeli soldier fired the shot that killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, it did not appear that the soldier was guilty of criminal misconduct. – Agence France-Presse 

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu is expected to visit the Temple Mount on Wednesday as part of his two-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories that begins Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post  

The state plans to appeal a Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ruling on Sunday regarding Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount which reignited accusations that Israel violated the status-quo agreement that permits only Muslim worship at the holy site. – Jerusalem Post 

As the IDF continues its month-long Chariots of Fire exercise, a senior IDF official in the Northern Command warned that Israel will continue to protect its citizens from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, which persists in planning terror attacks against Jews around the world. – Jerusalem Post 

In an unusual message to the media, Israel’s Judicial Authority stressed on Monday that a controversial ruling the day before by a Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court juvenile judge did not indicate a change in policy at the flashpoint Temple Mount holy site. – Times of Israel 

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki said Monday that the PA had referred Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s death to the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor’s office on Saturday. – Times of Israel 

Sources in Gaza warned Israel the Palestinian enclave’s terrorist groups are preparing for possible confrontations, including the launching of rocket fire, if Israel’s nationalist flag parade goes through next Sunday. – Ynet 

Herb Keinon writes: The second reason for the dichotomy is that Israel apparently does not believe it has an antidote to deal with a religious war triggered by Islamic furor over something having to do with al-Aqsa Mosque. Israel is not spooked by Iranian threats, because it feels it can deal with them. It is, however, frightened by threats of a global jihad over al-Aqsa, because of the uncertainty of how exactly it would beat that back. – Jerusalem Post 

Anna Ahronheim writes: Yet the targeting of personnel in Iran is something new – likely a decision made by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government to bring the war home. It’s a signal that, while Iran continues to use proxies to retain plausible deniability after its attacks, Israel will continue to go after the Iranian instigators. – Jerusalem Post 

Arabian Peninsula

The Biden administration is reportedly brokering talks aimed at finalizing the transfer of two Red Sea islands from Egypt to Saudi Arabia in an agreement Israel hopes will include steps by Riyadh toward normalizing ties with the Jewish state. – Times of Israel 

Yemen’s Houthi rebels said Monday that three people were killed in the country’s capital when a drone aircraft crashed in a neighborhood after being shot down. – Associated Press 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is planning a trip to Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, Jordan and Egypt where he will discuss regional and international issues and ink agreements in energy and trade, four sources familiar with the plans said on Monday. – Reuters 

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan said on Monday pro-Iranian Syrian army units and militias loyal to Tehran are stepping up their attempts to smuggle hundreds of millions of dollars worth of drugs across the Jordanian border to wealthy Gulf markets. – Reuters 

The phone has not stopped ringing since political novice Ibrahim Mneimneh won a seat in Lebanon’s parliamentary election this month. Strangers, journalists, old friends, new colleagues: everyone wants to congratulate him and his fellow reform-minded newcomers whose victory has shaken the status quo in a country long dominated by political elites. – Financial Times 

Egypt, host of the next United Nations summit on climate change, will push countries to make good on their pledges to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions, facilitate “non-adversarial” talks on compensation to developing countries for global warming impacts and allow climate activists to protest, said the incoming president of COP27. – Associated Press 

Bilal Wahab, Amberin Zaman, and Vance Serchuk write: Indeed, praising the achievements of the U.S.-Kurdish partnership is no longer enough—one must also be willing to have tough conversations about Iraqi Kurdistan’s politics and economics, which are not on a good course. The past decade has been particularly troubling. The KRG is more corrupt, less free, and less economically dynamic than it was ten to fifteen years ago. We need to discuss why that is. Only the people of Iraqi Kurdistan can change the current dynamic. – Washington Institute 


President Biden on Monday signaled a more confrontational approach to China on multiple fronts, issuing a sharp warning against any potential attack on Taiwan at the same time his administration is embroiled in wide-ranging efforts to beat back aggression by another superpower, Russia. – Washington Post 

Airbnb, a home rental company, plans to shut down its domestic business in China, in a further sign of the internet decoupling between China and much of the rest of the world. – New York Times 

China’s foreign minister met with the U.N.’s top human rights official on her visit to the country and shared with her that China opposes “politicizing” human rights and imposing double standards, its foreign ministry said. – Associated Press 

Uyghurs have urged UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet to avoid falling victim to a public relations stunt as her trip to China enters a delicate new phase on Tuesday with a visit to the remote Xinjiang region. – Agence France-Presse 

Henry Olsen writes: Should China decide to wage war with the United States today, it would be doing so with modern weaponry purchased with U.S. money and often built with U.S.-designed technology. No president would want to face an American public under such circumstances. Biden has surprised many of his conservative critics with his harsher-than-expected policy toward China. But in for a dime, in for a dollar. Biden should ratchet up military and economic pressure on Beijing and fully abandon the failed approach of the past. – Washington Post 

Paul Heer write: Rudd’s bottom line is exactly right: “In the world of ideas, systems, and governance, may the best team win.” And the “liberal-democratic-capitalist world” should feel at least as confident as China apparently does. The two biggest dangers for the United States are that America will lose its confidence, or that either side will assume that “winning” necessarily requires vanquishing the other. – The National Interest 

South Asia

The key opposition party led by recently ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan accused police of detaining dozens of its supporters Monday in an attempt to foil a planned protest seeking to force Pakistan’s government into calling early elections. – Associated Press 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden reached “substantive outcomes” on Tuesday in talks to strengthen their trade, technology and defence ties. – Reuters  

Hamza Azhar Salam writes: Relations with Israel can now be seen as a good fit for Pakistan’s geoeconomic vision: we should see ourselves as a country seeking to build strong trade and economic ties with other countries, for the welfare of our own citizens, no matter how politically complex or misaligned those partners may be. – Haaretz 


President Biden said he would maintain longstanding U.S. policy toward Taiwan, a day after triggering global confusion when he said the U.S. would respond militarily to any effort by China to take the island by force. – Wall Street Journal 

When Anthony Albanese, Australia’s new center-left prime minister, sits down with President Biden at this week’s Quad summit it will bring together two leaders who emphasized their working-class upbringings in their pursuit of power. – Wall Street Journal 

Maybe President Biden isn’t speaking off script after all. Maybe he just doesn’t think much of the script. Offhand remarks that vary from the official talking points have become a feature, not a bug, of the Biden presidency, as he demonstrated again on Monday when he dispensed with decades of “strategic ambiguity” and indicated that he would militarily defend Taiwan against attack by China. – New York Times 

Outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sharply criticized Russian leader Vladimir Putin for the killings of innocent civilians in Ukraine, saying while the two of them have been tagged as killers, “I kill criminals, I don’t kill children and the elderly.” – Associated Press 

Leaders of Japan, India, Australia and the United States met in Tokyo on Tuesday, looking to put China on notice as it expands its military and economic influence in the region. – Agence France-Presse 

Group is now operating in the East China Sea after conducting drills in the Pacific Ocean and the Philippine Sea for more than two weeks, the Japan Ministry of Defense said over the weekend. The majority of the group transited the Miyako Strait on Saturday, the Japanese government said in news releases on Friday and Saturday. – USNI News 

Japan’s top government spokesman said on Tuesday that leaders from Japan and United States had called for a peaceful resolution of issues regarding Taiwan. – Reuters 

Australia’s relations with China will remain challenging, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said on Tuesday amid reports the Chinese premier had congratulated the new Labor government on its weekend election victory. – Reuters 

Editorial: At least the new framework is an attempt to get back in the Pacific mix on matters other than defense and security. But it still has a long way to go to restore U.S. economic leadership in the world’s fastest-growing region. – Wall Street Journal 

Editorial: If there’s a flaw in Mr. Biden’s approach to countering China, it’s the vagueness of the plan for regional commercial integration he’s offering — the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. It is no substitute for the market-opening Trans-Pacific Partnership that was negotiated by President Barack Obama and then abandoned by President Donald Trump. Mr. Biden has China guessing about U.S. intentions toward Taiwan. Maximizing Beijing’s worries, however, would require much more robust economic engagement with East Asia, India and Australia. – Washington Post 

Editorial: Biden’s waffling also encourages Australia’s new and likely more Beijing-friendly Labor government to adopt a more concessionary stance in its own trade conflict with China. Biden’s very words undermine U.S. efforts to put up a coordinated, united front against Chinese bullying and rule breaking. Put simply, Biden is presenting exactly the kind of leadership for which Democrats so scathingly, and sometimes rightly, attacked Trump — that of placing narrow political interests before far greater national concerns. – Washington Examiner 

Adam Taylor writes: But despite fierce anti-China rhetoric in public, President Donald Trump offered little firm support for Taiwan and is reported to have privately taken a dim view of U.S. support for Taiwan in the event of an invasion. […]If this is accurate, Biden’s comments could be an attempt to remind China that the threat of military intervention could be real. It’s still a policy built on ambiguity, just with a little more strategy to back it up. – Washington Post 

Joseph Cella and Heino Klinck write: Immediate action is necessary to blunt Communist China. The Biden administration has an opportunity, and an obligation, to keep Beijing at bay in the all-critical Pacific Island countries. Following President Biden’s meeting with the Quad is the perfect time to recommit publicly to this effort and region. If not, the U.S. may find itself fighting a war over countries like the Solomon Islands in the region once again. – Washington Examiner 

Chuck DeVore writes: The Biden administration is faltering and uncertain, reflecting the leadership at the top. Republicans are likely to sweep the midterm elections due to Biden’s terrible track record on inflation, domestic energy and the economy. But one area where Republicans must do all they can to bolster the Biden administration is Taiwan policy. A Chinese takeover of Taiwan is fatal to America’s standing in the Pacific—the most important region in the world for our country in the 21st Century. – Fox News 

Michael Rubin writes: Whether Albanese’s Labor government governs with a majority or a coalition, it will have little political margin for error. The Biden administration will be tempted to co-opt Canberra to support its worst diplomatic instincts but, should Albanese comply, […]To confuse the loudest on social media with mainstream society and its innate appreciation for democracy, liberty, and a willingness to stand up to terrorists and their sponsors would be to condemn Albanese’s government to be one of Australia’s shortest. – American Enterprise Institute 


Rape accusations against a newly appointed minister disrupted the start of President Emmanuel Macron’s second term on Monday, with the allegations coming amid a growing reckoning over sexism and sexual abuse by French political figures. – New York Times 

Lithuania, Slovakia, Latvia and Estonia will call on Tuesday for the confiscation of Russian assets frozen by the European Union to fund the rebuilding of Ukraine after Russia’s invasion, a joint letter written by the four showed on Monday. – Reuters 

Greece said on Monday it had prevented around 600 migrants from crossing the Aegean Sea into its territorial waters from neighbouring Turkey, in the largest attempted entry this year. – Agence France-Presse 

Copenhagen’s pledge of Harpoon anti-ship missiles and a launcher to Ukraine, announced by the United States on Monday, is the first sign since the Russian invasion in February that Kyiv will receive U.S.-made weapons that significantly extend its striking range. – Reuters 

A group of 47 nations met Monday and pledged new weapons shipments, including anti-ship missiles, as part of an intensifying effort to arm Ukraine in its nearly three-month-old war with Russia, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said. – Military.com 

Kyiv has released a video in which Vladimir Putin’s top ally in Ukraine accuses the country’s former president Petro Poroshenko of serious crimes, a move that suggests political infighting has returned to Kyiv three months into the Russian invasion. – Financial Times 

Auditors and tax advisers in the UK are lobbying the government for exemptions from a ban on working for businesses in Russia imposed after the invasion of Ukraine. – Financial Times 

Three days after Russia invaded Ukraine, the German government said it would spend €100bn on modernising its army, the Bundeswehr. For Renzo Di Leo, a captain in Germany’s 37th armoured infantry brigade, the big question is: what took it so long? – Financial Times 

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a key ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has warned that Western countries supplying weapons to Ukraine could lead to World War III. – Newsweek 

The Danish Armed Forces are sending long-range anti-ship missiles to Ukraine, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told reporters on Monday. The range of Denmark’s coastal defense Harpoons could put Russian ships at risk in the Northern Black Sea, a naval analyst told USNI News. – USNI News 

Europe backs Israel’s right to exist and stands strong with it against rising antisemitism, the head of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola told the Knesset during a special address on Monday. – Jerusalem Post 

France’s Jewish community has called on the authorities in the city of Lyon to retain the possibility of an antisemitic motive in the investigation of the chilling murder last Tuesday of an 89-year-old Jewish man. – Algemeiner 

Victoria Lupton writes: The requirement now is for policies that will help not only Ukrainians but the refugees of the future. Until we get our approach right, refugees will struggle to integrate and thus continue to be used as bargaining chips and geopolitical weapons, eroding the principles of universal human dignity on which our democracy is founded. – Financial Times 

Alina Polyakova, Edward Lucas, Bobo Lo, James Lamond, and Lauren Speranza write: In the medium term, Russian defeat in Ukraine would not sweep away internal European political frictions, including those between Hungary and the EU, the continuing repercussions of Brexit, and doubts about Germany’s leadership role. But a clear win for Kyiv would likely engender greater goodwill toward compromises that were unimaginable before. To be sure, multilateral institutions, most notably NATO and the EU, would need to directly address the core issue areas outlined here, while building more agile capabilities for crisis response. But these challenges would be more surmountable on the heels of victory. – Center for European Policy Analysis 


At least 300 people are believed to have been killed in the man’s town of Moura, in central Mali, though he and other witnesses suggest the toll could be far higher. Similar accounts have emerged across the West African nation since hundreds of Russian mercenaries joined the Malian army this winter in the fight to reclaim territory from groups loyal to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. – Washington Post 

At least 50 people were killed by militants on Sunday around the town of Rann in Nigeria’s Borno state, in the country’s northeastern tip near the border with Cameroon, witnesses told Reuters by phone on Monday. – Reuters  

At least 11 civilians were killed in attacks on two villages in northern Burkina Faso on Sunday, a regional governor said in a statement. – Reuters 

Ethiopian security officials are conducting a massive operation across the country that has led to the arrests of more than 4,500 people in one region alone. The crackdown on journalists, activists and others, dubbed a “law enforcement operation,” came into effect after the administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on May 20 cited the need to “protect citizens and ensure the survival of the nation.” – Associated Press 

The U.N. envoy for Somalia urged the country Monday to build on last week’s election of a new president and work on national reconciliation, improve relations between the central government and states, and confront the growing threat from the al-Shabab extremist group. – Associated Press 

Germany wants to intensively pursue gas and renewable energy projects with Senegal, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday during his first trip to Africa, against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and its impact on energy and food prices. – CNN 

The Americas

A major French bank will hire researchers to delve into its history in Haiti, the head of its parent company said Monday, after The New York Times published what he called a “sad illustration” of the bank’s role in an “ecosystem of colonialism.” – New York Times 

A local Indigenous leader and his son died in a gunfight with land invaders who tried to run them off their land near Nicaragua’s northern Caribbean coast, an environmental group said Monday. – Associated Press 

A team of Colombian soldiers will travel to Europe to train their Ukrainian counterparts on de-mining techniques, the South American country’s defense minister said on Monday. – Reuters 

The United States said Monday it was looking for ways to represent the people of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua in a summit next month following threats to boycott over their governments’ exclusion. – Agence France-Presse 

Editorial: Mr. Biden’s policy tweak might help Cubans who have access to foreign remittances withstand the harsh economic privation on the island, which is laudable as far as it goes. Meanwhile, the most important thing those outside the island can do for its people is to maintain unwavering, vocal solidarity with them — and moral clarity about the true source of their poverty and oppression. – Washington Post 

United States

The Pentagon has denied a Ukrainian official’s claim that the United States is planning to attack Russia’s naval fleet in the Black Sea. – Jerusalem Post 

Walter Russell Mead writes: The faltering American commitment to trade liberalization, a blundering energy policy and the administration’s history of blindness to inflation have substantially diminished international confidence in the administration’s capacity for economic leadership. Abroad as well as at home, “It’s the economy, stupid!” is a good slogan for Presidents to keep in mind. – Wall Street Journal 

Hal Brands writes: Finally, Biden should answer a question he has avoided so far: How does this end? A free-world strategy doesn’t require a goal of regime change, although Biden’s ad-libbed comments about Putin haven’t clarified the issue. Democracies can moderate tensions with hostile autocracies, as détente showed during the Cold War. […]A free-world strategy can eventually produce a happy ending. But “eventually” may be a very long time. – Foreign Affairs 

Hal Brands writes: To be fair, the Biden administration is working on these problems. The question is whether the US is moving fast enough to deter a conflict that may be much closer than many Americans realize. Clarifying, albeit in a muddled way, America’s commitment to Taiwan is useful. Showing that America can actually defend that island would be even better. – Bloomberg 


D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine (D) on Monday sued Mark Zuckerberg, seeking to hold the CEO of Facebook parent company Meta liable for data abuses and for misleading Facebook users about their privacy protections. – Washington Post 

The Russian disinformation effort in Ukraine is so extensive that it now includes a hyperlocal Telegram network which spews disinformation customized to resonate in individual towns across occupied Ukraine, according to recent research published by the Ukrainian think tank Detector Media. – Cyberscoop 

The crypto industry’s deepening ties to banks and asset managers will pose a risk to financial stability, the European Central Bank has warned, in the latest sign of how central banks and governments are stepping up their scrutiny of the market. – Financial Times 


The United States said on Monday that it would supply Romania with a training simulator in preparation for building a new type of nuclear power generating plant in the country. – New York Times 

The U.S. Air Force conducted its first testing exercise with an E-7 Wedgetail, the Boeing Co. aircraft now used by Australia’s military that will begin to replace retiring E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System planes this decade. – Defense News 

America’s military leaders state time and again that China’s forcible assault on Taiwan, and therefore our response to it, is a near-term challenge. Given the lengthy time to plan, program, build and field credible combat power, a 2027 problem is really one of today. Alarm bells should be ringing in Congress as the president’s latest defense budget cuts readiness. – Defense News 

The U.S. Army has decided to cancel the science and technology research effort for a potential program to develop a strategic long-range cannon, the service confirmed. – Defense News 

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has begun prototype development of a new system to automate data flow and dissemination of combat information across myriad service-centric networks, regardless of domain. – Janes 

On 2 October 2021, CONNECTICUT grounded on an uncharted bathymetric feature while operating submerged in a poorly surveyed area in international waters. This mishap was preventable. It resulted from an accumulation of errors and omissions in navigation planning, watchteam execution, and risk management that fell far below U.S. Navy standards. Prudent decision making and adherence to required procedures in any of these three areas could have prevented the grounding. – USNI News 

Heather Williams writes: The United States should also engage with international risk reduction efforts, such as the Stockholm Initiative. The invasion of Ukraine is a reckoning about the practicality and utility of existing risk reduction forums and recommendations. […]Risk reduction, arms control and security cooperation are not mutually exclusive from a strong deterrent. An integrated arms control strategy, to reflect integrated deterrence, can offer a new approach to risk reduction and identify a broader, more agile set of tools. – The Hill 

Long War

Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency thwarted a Hamas terror cell of East Jerusalem residents who planned to carry out attacks on various Israeli targets including MK Itamar Ben Gvir. – Jerusalem Post 

Overnight, IDF, ISA and Israel Border Police forces conducted counterterrorism activity to apprehend terror suspects in Judea and Samaria, including the towns of Ni’lin, Zababdeh, Rumana, Bayt Liqya, Tuqu’ and Balata Camp. – Arutz Sheva 

Israel charged three Palestinians with plans to carry out attacks against Israelis, including intentions to assassinate Kahanist lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir. According to the indictment served Tuesday against the East Jerusalem residents, they were led by a prominent Hamas figure. – Haaretz