Fdd's overnight brief

May 25, 2021

In The News


Iran agreed on Monday to a one-month extension of an agreement with international inspectors that would allow them to continue monitoring the country’s nuclear program, avoiding a major setback in the continuing negotiations with Tehran. – New York Times

Iranian state television announced Tuesday that only seven candidates have been approved by the country’s constitutional watchdog to run for president next month, drastically narrowing the field of hopefuls for who will replace outgoing President Hassan Rouhani. – Associated Press

Weary negotiators appear increasingly unlikely to revive a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers before the Islamic Republic’s June presidential election, but an extension of talks could reap political gains at home for the supreme leader. – Reuters

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif urged the US administration on Monday to lift current sanctions against Iran which were imposed under former US President Donald Trump. – Yeni Safak

Israel may act on its own to counter the Iranian nuclear threat, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Monday night, as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken headed to the region. – Jerusalem Post

As it does every year, the Iranian regime marked Qods Day (Roz-e Qods) – Jerusalem Day – on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan and called for the annihilation of Israel. This year, Qods Day fell on May 7, and Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and other regime officials, in addition to calling for Israel’s annihilation, encouraged the Palestinians to rise up against Israel. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: As evidence of Hamas abilities some point to claims that some 5,000 places were damaged in Israel, including many cars and buildings. […]680 Hamas rockets misfired. Nevertheless pro-Iran statements note that dozens of rockets did impact. Their argument is this is a victory and they got around the Iron Dome air defense system and inflicted more damage and killing than in the 2014 war. The main point is that Iran wants to take credit for this round of fighting against Israel. It sees it as a major victory. Its media is making various argument towards this end. – Jerusalem Post


Host Sedat Peker is garrulous, menacing and more than a little grandiose. His stories — about the nexus of organized crime and politics in Turkey — are earthquakes, rumbling dangerously close these days to the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. – Washington Post

Turkey and Poland have signed a deal for the sale of Turkish-made combat drones, making Poland the first NATO and European Union member country to purchase Turkey’s Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday. – Associated Press

Turkey may drill more boreholes in its search for gas in the eastern Mediterranean, Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said on Monday, an area where its search and drilling operations led to a standoff with Greece and Cyprus last year. – Reuters

Russia’s foreign minister on Monday warned Turkey against what he said were attempts to fuel “militaristic sentiment” in Ukraine after Ankara moved to boost cooperation with Kyiv. – Reuters

President Tayyip Erdogan will meet executives from some 20 large U.S. companies on Wednesday to discuss investing in Turkey, three sources told Reuters, with one saying it was meant as a prelude to a June meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden. – Reuters

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) announced on 22 May that it is sending pilots and maintenance crew to Turkey to undergo training on the Turkish Aerospace (TA) T129B ATAK helicopter: an indication that the PAF’s acquisition of the twin-engined combat rotorcraft is progressing. – Janes


President Biden sent Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the Middle East in an effort to safeguard the cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas following 11 days of intense fighting. – Wall Street Journal

Syria’s foreign minister blamed Israel for mysterious attacks over more than a year targeting oil tankers heading to Syria, saying they violate international law and will not go unpunished. – Associated Press

A Hamas official has said the Palestinians won the latest war against Israel thanks to the support provided by Iran. In an interview with Press TV on Monday, Hamas representative in Iran Khaled al-Qaddoumi said rockets fired from Gaza were in response to Israeli atrocities against Palestinians at al-Aqsa Mosque and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem al-Quds. – Press TV

Growing up, Emirati student Mansoor Mohamed Bin Shamekh Al Marzooqi never imagined he would pursue his higher education in Israel. Today, he has made history by becoming the first Emirati student to get admission in an Israeli university. – Gulf News

Israeli naval vessels have been engaged in both defensive and offensive manoeuvres during the ongoing conflict with the Gaza-based militant group Hamas. Local media reports suggest the Israeli Navy has carried out more than 100 attacks using ship-based guns for naval bombardment and ship-launched missiles for precision strikes. – Janes

US President Joe Biden on Monday denounced the global rise in antisemitic violence that has accompanied the recently renewed hostilities between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza. – Algemeiner

Former State Department official Thomas Nides has accepted an offer from the Biden administration to serve as the next US ambassador to Israel, a source familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel on Monday. – Times of Israel

The State Prosecutor’s Office is expected to charge the deputy leader of the northern faction of the Islamic Movement in Israel for incitement, after the sheikh allegedly made incendiary remarks about clashes at Al-Aqsa mosque. – Haaretz

At Israel Aerospace Industries, a variety of technologies for confronting drone threats are in operation. Yoav Tourgeman, CEO of IAI subsidiary Elta Systems, said the company is now in its fourth generation of c-UAS solutions with the Drone Guard, which he said has been sold to 100 customers. Israeli companies usually don’t identify customers, and IAI did not specify in this case. – Defense News

Defense Minister Benny Gantz declared two companies that help transfer tens of millions of dollars from Iran to Hamas as terrorist organizations on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post

Editorial: Democrats wring their hands over the death of innocents, including 63 Palestinian minors, amid Israeli retaliation for Hamas’s 4,000 rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. But what is the United States selling? The answer is guidance systems, without which the innocent death toll would rise, not fall. Sanders and the Squad are so appalled by the carnage that they’re taking steps to make it worse. – Washington Examiner

Editorial: First create new conditions on the ground that could enable negotiations to succeed where they failed so often in the past. […]Hamas is badly bruised from the battering it took over the last two weeks, and as such this may be an opportunity – if America leads and the Arab world and Europe follow – to condition the reconstruction of Gaza on pushing Hamas to the side. It’s a tall order. But if another round of Gaza devastation is to be avoided – and if real hope for a better future is to be provided – then it’s a critical one. – Jerusalem Post

Bret Stephens writes: This ought to be whistling loudly in the ears of progressives who claim to be horrified by every form of prejudice. Instead, they have indulged an anti-Israel movement that keeps descending into the crudest forms of anti-Semitism. […]After a while, it becomes clear that the outrage is cheap, if it isn’t simply fake. Progressives will have to come to their own reckoning about what to do about the burgeoning anti-Semitism in their midst. As for Jews, they should take the events of the last few days less as an outrage than as an omen. – New York Times

Gerard Baker writes: There’s something especially unsettling about the newest eruption of the oldest hatred. Anti-Semitism has been so routine and enduring a part of human history that it’s easy to become almost numb to fresh instances of it. – Wall Street Journal

Gregg Roman writes: Israel is attacked by seemingly disparate groups, from the far Left to the far Right to Islamist extremists. Each of these groups uses historic anti-Semitic motifs against Israel unique to their tradition, such as a lust for blood, killers of children and the pursuit of global power. Israel is also the only Jewish homeland and the only nation-state where Jews constitute a majority in the entire world. No one can seriously claim anymore that this is all just a mere coincidence. – Newsweek

David Harris writes: It’s our duty, above all, to pray for Palestinian leaders who will, at long last, reverse the repeated rejections of a two-state solution that began, in 1947, with their opposition to a UN recommendation for a two-state deal. In fact, we could have been celebrating this year the 74th anniversary of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and harmony. But, that would require a certain degree of introspection on the part of Rep. Tlaib who, until now, has shown far more inclination to blame Israel for everything but the weather — and maybe I just missed that criticism, too. – Algemeiner

Oded Revivi writes: What will Biden’s overall approach to Israel be? […]President Biden should learn an important and simple lesson from the past few weeks: When the United States puts “daylight” (as President Obama said) between itself and Israel, the result is not an opening of diplomatic possibilities, but a perception from bad actors in the region that the time is ripe to attack. For the sake of Israelis and Palestinians alike, we hope President Biden learns this lesson, and soon. – Jerusalem Post

Jeff Mendelsohn writes: In the face of terrorist attacks, calls to cut aid, add unnecessary conditions and stop emergency assistance are irresponsible and dangerous. Countries like Iran and their proxies in the region continue to seek Israel’s destruction. […]When they hear members of Congress seek to limit security assistance and cooperation with Israel, they are emboldened. We must continue to condemn in the strongest terms the recent attacks on Israel from Hamas terrorists, and we must do everything in our power to continue to support the enduring safety and security of our ally Israel. – Times of Israel

Anshel Pfeffer writes: With its remarkable success rate, Iron Dome is as close as possible to being the perfect defense system. It illustrates Israel’s remarkable technological prowess and the country’s unwavering focus on the defense of its citizens. But Iron Dome’s tremendous capabilities paper over more fundamental challenges—ones that Israel’s leader seems unwilling to resolve. – The Atlantic

Leon Hadar writes: The antipathy towards the Jewish State exhibited by some realists and their attempts to draw the United States into a never-ending conflict despite the high costs involved prompt me to ask a simple question: What gives? – The National Interest


A single rocket struck close to a military base hosting U.S. troops in western Iraq on Monday without causing any injuries, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition said. – Associated Press

Hamdi Malik and Crispin Smith write: AAH will certainly have been aware of a major protest concerning the conflict in Gaza (an important topic for the Iraqi militias), prominently held in Baghdad with significant media coverage.  It is unlikely that AAH’s lack of involvement in the event (and its disinterest in covering the event) was accidental or lacking in significance. […]In this case, he may have made his leadership claim felt by staying away, rather than sharing the spotlight. Or he may have been excluded from the event. The question remains: who snubbed whom?  – Washington Institute

Crispin Smith writes: In sum, Saturday’s statement may indicate further escalation down the line for the muqawama.  A similar statement followed the U.S. strikes on Al-Bu Kamal in February and KH retaliation against Al-Asad Airbase on March 3.  The present statement follows months of claimed convoy attacks, occasional indirect fire on airbases, and a new campaign of targeted suicide drone attacks.- Washington Institute


U.S. President Joe Biden called Egypt’s President Abdelfattah al-Sisi on Monday and they discussed strengthening the Gaza ceasefire, urgent humanitarian aid to the strip and international reconstruction efforts, the Egyptian presidency said. – Reuters

Italian prosecutors asked a judge on Tuesday to have four senior members of Egypt’s security services sent for trial over their suspected role in the disappearance and murder of student Giulio Regeni in Cairo in 2016. – Reuters

The Egyptian delegation has suggested Hamas renew talks with Israel regarding prisoner swaps, Israel Hayom reported. – Arutz Sheva

Arabian Peninsula

A mysterious air base is being built on a volcanic island off Yemen that sits in one of the world’s crucial maritime chokepoints for both energy shipments and commercial cargo. – Associated Press

Qatar’s grades 1-12 curriculum contains extremely positive views of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, according to a new report, even as the Gulf state is being looked to as a major source of cash for the reconstruction of Gaza following Hamas’ latest war on Israel. – Algemeiner

Yoel Guzansky and Zachary A. Marshall write: Arab-Israeli relations established during the Abraham Accords process open the door for a level of regional collaboration that until last year was only a dream. However, for this to occur, strong political leadership in Israel, the Arab world, the United States, and the international community is required. – The National Interest


The Biden administration has recommended to the WHO that it lead a fuller investigation into the possibility of a lab leak, backing a call by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has offered to deploy specialists. An investigation should include other laboratories in Wuhan, not just the WIV, and the team conducting it should include laboratory safety experts, according to a U.S. health official. – Wall Street Journal

The Biden administration’s solar power ambitions are colliding with complaints the global industry depends on Chinese raw materials that might be produced by forced labor. – Associated Press

China on Tuesday denounced plans for a people’s tribunal in Britain on allegations of genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim people in China’s Xinjiang region. – Associated Press

Founder of Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies (HWT.UL) Ren Zhengfei has called on the company’s staff to “dare to lead the world” in software as the company seeks growth beyond the hardware operations that U.S. sanctions have crippled. – Reuters

Cryptocurrency mining operators are shutting down aspects of their China operations after Beijing promised a “severe” crackdown on the growing industry. – Washington Examiner

Editorial: Last year Chinese authorities detained Australian TV anchor Cheng Lei on allegations of providing state secrets to foreign forces. And two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, were snatched in December 2018 following the arrest in Canada of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. China blocked Canadian diplomats from attending their trial; the men await a court judgment. These tactics may scare some monkeys, but they have also awakened the world to the reality that, under Chinese hegemony, everyone could become the chicken. – Wall Street Journal

Sen. Rick Scott writes: Communist China’s intentions for world domination are clear in its recent $400 billion, 25-year deal with Iran to provide the Ayatollah with a steady military partner, investment source and oil customer. Communist China has now secured a pathway to further extend the reach of its Belt and Road Initiative into the Middle East, while strengthening its relationship with the world’s greatest state-sponsor of terror. – Fox News


Myanmar’s military junta detained an American journalist on Monday as he was trying to leave the country, the man’s employer said, as the regime steps up a crackdown that has already forced many media workers to flee. – Washington Post

The U.N. special envoy for Myanmar warned Monday of possible civil war in the country, saying people are arming themselves against the military junta and protesters have started shifting from defensive to offensive actions, using homemade weapons and training from some ethnic armed groups. – Associated Press

The governments of the United States and South Korea announced on 21 May that they have agreed to scrap the ‘Revised Missile Guidelines’ agreement that had limited the range of South Korean ballistic missiles to 800 km. – Janes

Chinese fishing is increasing security risks near South Korea’s tense nautical border, said a top cabinet member in Seoul, pledging to deploy advanced technology to crack down on illegal trawling. – Bloomberg

China barred Taiwan from participating in the World Health Assembly to punish its elected government for “obstinately” resisting Beijing’s efforts to assert control over the island democracy, a senior Chinese diplomat acknowledged. – Washington Examiner


Last year, on one of the northernmost air bases in the world, Russia’s military laid the final stretch of reinforced concrete on a runway to make it long enough to handle modern jet fighters and strategic bombers. – Wall Street Journal

U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will meet in Switzerland for their first summit, newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reported on Monday, citing “reliable sources”. – Reuters

While many international leaders condemned Belarus’ diversion of a passenger plane over the weekend to detain journalist and government critic Roman Protasevich, Russian officials approved the unusual measure. – Newsweek

U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are set for a potential showdown during a scheduled summit next month, as rising tensions between the countries were amplified with Belarus’ aggressive move Monday to divert a Ryanair flight in order to offload a dissident journalist. – Newsweek

Russia is developing an array of autonomous weapons platforms utilizing artificial intelligence as part of an ambitious push supported by high-tech cooperation with neighboring China. – Newsweek

Melinda Haring writes: So far, the West has done little other than to bluster impotently. Policymakers will suggest the inutile instruments they always turn employ: sanctions. Further sanctions aren’t likely to alter Lukashenko’s behavior. The measures that Europeans are proposing, including a ban on flights from Belavia, the country’s national carrier, will simply serve to further isolate Belarus, which received a $1 billion loan from Russia in December. Incremental policies may provide a moral salve, but they will not lead to fundamental change. Quite the contrary. – The National Interest


European Union leaders agreed to impose a new round of sanctions against Belarus and ban its airlines from entering the bloc’s airspace and airports, a day after the country’s president forced a plane carrying a dissident journalist to land and then arrested him. – Wall Street Journal

Democratic President Joe Biden has called Belarus’ arrest of Raman Pratasevich, a 26-year-old journalist who had criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin, a “shameful” assault on the freedom of the press. – Newsweek

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Monday that Spain is an ally of Morocco, and Madrid will defend both countries’ common interests at the European Union, in remarks that came a week after bilateral relations dipped to a decades-old low over migration and Western Sahara. – Associated Press

Several members of the lower house of the Irish Parliament have submitted a motion to expel Ophir Kariv, the Israeli ambassador to Ireland, that is expected to be brought to a vote this week. – Algemeiner

Editorial: The Biden administration should consider imposing a new round of sanctions from those authorized by Congress aimed at those who carry out repression in Belarus. […]As a ruler, Mr. Lukashenko resembles a driver careening crazily down a freeway in the wrong lane with a hostage in the back seat. Mr. Protasevich appeared in a sketchy 29-second video posted on pro-government channels Monday evening, saying he was in Detention Center No. 1 in Minsk, where many political prisoners are held. His comments sounded coerced, and he had a bruise on his forehead. He must be freed, and the West must respond to the thuggery. – Washington Post

Editorial: Mr. Lukashenko has gone too far, and the response should be swift. But the episode also underscores a troubling reality: Autocrats looking to extend their repressive ways across international borders are increasingly emboldened to do so. Deterrence, in far too many instances, has failed. – New York Times

Editorial: Beyond the holdouts, there have been several laggards in providing meaningful assistance to the project, key among them Slovenia, whose prime minister, Janez Jansa, has no love lost with the EU. The country has so far failed to put forward prosecutors for the office[…]. Slovenia’s failure is particularly unfortunate, given that the country will hold the rotating presidency of the EU Council from July. Kovesi is right to call the Alpine country out on it. It will be the first of many tough calls during her tenure. – Financial Times

Frida Ghitis writes: The moves could — and should — be only the beginning of meaningful sanctions to punish Lukashenko and signal to other tyrants who might find inspiration in his behavior that the penalties will be severe for this most outrageous affront against every norm of international coexistence. – CNN

Anthony B. Kim and Terry Miller write: An FTA between the U.S. and the UK would also provide a great and timely opportunity to reinvigorate the global free-trade agenda. Unfortunately, the negotiations—a high priority for both President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress—have been more or less derailed at this particular juncture. That needs to change. It’s time for Washington to recommit to putting a bilateral free-trade pact with London on the express track to completion. – Heritage Foundation

Benjamin Schmitt writes: The rationale for opposing Nord Stream 2 is sound, which explains why for nearly seven years, three consecutive U.S. Administrations have opposed the implementation of the project, as have both chambers of Congress on a bipartisan basis. […]Moreover, the project has become the embodiment of broader concerns about the way in which President Vladimir Putin’s Russia continues to use critical energy infrastructure investments abroad to advance strategic corruption and elite capture, which are thereby used to erode Western resolve against resurgent authoritarianism worldwide. – Center for European Policy Analysis


Members of the Malian military arrested the country’s acting president and prime minister Monday, regional officials said, raising the specter of a second coup d’etat in nine months and drawing a fierce rebuke from the African Union and others in the international community. – Washington Post

Growing American frustration over the war in the Tigray region of Ethiopia spilled over into an open confrontation on Monday when Ethiopian officials lashed out at Washington over new restrictions including aid cuts and a ban on some Ethiopians traveling to the United States. – New York Times

The World Bank said Monday it has allocated $2 billion to cash-stripped Sudan as the transitional government has struggled to address the county’s decades-long economic woes. – Associated Press

The Security Council condemned killings and attacks against U.N. peacekeepers in the strongest terms Monday and called for prompt prosecution of those responsible. The council underscored the critical importance of safety and security for the U.N.’s more than 90,000 peacekeepers serving in 12 missions from Congo, South Sudan and Mali to the Middle East and India-Pakistan. – Associated Press

Jerome Tubiana writes: For too long, France’s view remained short-sighted and purely military: Chad was no more than a provider of troops for regional wars. Déby used the rent to cling to power. His sudden death could finally be an opportunity for dialogue and change. France’s leverage could help if Paris is willing to turn its unconditional military support into political pressure. If France renews with a new junta the same deal it had with Déby—fighters in exchange for political, financial, and military backing—it will miss that long-awaited turning point when democratic change in Chad could actually become a reality. – Foreign Policy

United States

The Biden administration said Monday that it would appeal a judge’s order directing it to release in its entirety a legal memo on whether President Donald Trump had obstructed justice during the Russia investigation. But it also agreed to make a brief portion of the document public. – Associated Press

Hundreds of Democratic staffers, many of whom served on President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign, are calling on the White House to “unequivocally condemn Israel’s killing of Palestinian civilians” and “take concrete steps to end the occupation in pursuit of justice, peace, and self-determination for Palestinians.” – Washington Examiner

U.S. officials acknowledged coming American aid for Palestinians could rehabilitate Hamas after several weeks of fighting with Israeli officials as Secretary of State Antony Blinken works to seal the ceasefire between the warring sides. – Washington Examiner

The U.S. is experiencing a rise in violent and disturbing attacks targeting the U.S. Jewish community amid the latest conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. – The Hill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is warning that Republicans want additional changes to legislation aimed at combating China’s competitiveness before a final vote. The warning shot comes as Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) wants to wrap up the bill before the Senate leaves for a one-week break in a matter of days. To get the bill to the finish line, Schumer will need the support of at least 10 GOP senators. – The Hill

A Democratic congressman from Minnesota has called out the progressive wing of his party for what he says is their “deafening” silence on the rising anti-Semitic attacks in America. – Fox News

Walter Russell Mead writes: The Biden administration would like Israel to soften its approach. It’s urging Jerusalem do more to accommodate Palestinian hopes and support Washington’s efforts to negotiate a peaceful compromise with Tehran on its nuclear program. Last week’s shocking scenes won’t help make that case. […]As anti-Semites in both parties try to claw their way into mainstream American politics, Israelis will be more skeptical than ever about the value of U.S. commitments—and of the strength of American ideals. – Wall Street Journal

Tiana Lowe writes: Evidently, the increasingly quiet pro-Israel wing of the Democratic Party has sounded the alarm to leadership. This is why both President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were suddenly offering unequivocal condemnations solely of antisemitic attacks on Twitter Monday morning. […]Likewise, a shocking series of assaults on Jews does not represent an occasion to draw equivalences to Islamophobia. This much is obvious, and surely the Squad knows it. Evidently, however, they just don’t care, and it doesn’t take a genius to understand why. – Washington Examiner

Rep. Carlos Gimenez writes: As Israel continues to defend itself from thousands of missiles launched by Hamas from Gaza, and now more recently provocative rocket launches by Hezbollah from Lebanon, the United States must make a firm, bipartisan commitment to both the state of Israel and the Jewish people. For that reason, I introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives to condemn the terrorist attacks from Hamas and to reaffirm our crucial support for the U.S.-Israeli alliance. – Washington Examiner

Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes: The resurgence of anti-Semitism Europe, in many ways, is unsurprising; it has been simmering under the surface for over a decade. Yet despite a number of terrible anti-Semitic attacks in recent years, America, by comparison, has felt relatively immune — immune, that is, until now. Indeed, I have friends who moved to the US from Europe a decade ago to escape anti-Semitism. This month, for the first time, they are now questioning whether it is safe to walk to synagogue or wear their kippahs. – Unherd


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Monday that aims to punish social media companies for their moderation decisions, a move that Silicon Valley immediately criticized and likely sets the stage for potential legal challenges. – Washington Post

Islamists hackers made use of a known exploit to try to hack the phone of a far-right Jewish official who serves as Jerusalem’s deputy mayor, highlighting the risks of the technique which allows anyone to block a victim out of the popular WhatsApp messaging service. – Haaretz

A Russian man was sentenced Monday to what amounted to time already served and will be deported after pleading guilty to trying to pay a Tesla employee $500,000 to install computer malware at the company’s Nevada electric battery plant in a bid to steal company secrets for ransom. – Associated Press

Bruce Schneier and Trey Herr write: Policymakers can help address the challenge by setting clear expectations for the security of cloud services—and for making decisions and design trade-offs about that security transparent. The Biden administration, including newly nominated National Cyber Director Chris Inglis, should lead an interagency effort to work with cloud providers to review their threat models and evaluate the security architecture of their various offerings. – Foreign Policy


By the end of this fiscal year, one company could rake in a contract worth up to $490 million to provide the U.S. Air Force with technologies to counter the threat of small, commercially made drones. – Defense News

The Russian military is more technologically advanced than the U.S. realized and is quickly developing artificial intelligence capabilities to gain battlefield information advantage, an expansive new report commissioned by the Pentagon warned. – C4ISRNET

The US Air Force (USAF) is progressing its Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) Internet of Things (IoT) programme, with the service announcing on 21 May that it is pushing the concept “into a new and more operational phase”. – Janes

The Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has awarded BAE Systems a USD325 million deal to provide the US armed forces with Military Code (M-Code)-enabled GPS modules, according to a company statement. – Janes

The US Army is pressing forward with plans to develop a new network of space-based tactical sensors and ground stations, as senior service brass continue talks with US Space Force (USSF) counterparts on how to divvy up space requirements and capabilities for future conflicts. – Janes

The U.S. Air Force could retire some of its older-model F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, which are used for training, over the next decade in favor of acquiring the most advanced variants of the jet, according to a top general. – Military.com

Hal Brands writes: Counterterrorism isn’t going away: There will still be dangerous work in the austere locales of the Middle East and Africa. But the primary problem for U.S. security now takes the form of great-power struggles that are waged mostly through means short of war, even though the threat of war is perpetually present. U.S. policymakers will want to know what their elite units can do to help Washington win these competitions. For special operations forces to remain relevant, they must go back to basics. – Bloomberg

John Tierney and Samuel M. Hickey write: The Biden administration should not give Russia an excuse to walk away from the negotiating table by refusing to discuss missile defense. There’s no time to lose — the White House has a few years to try to negotiate an extremely complex arms control agreement and figure out how to verify it. By demonstrating an openness to addressing missile defenses in strategic stability talks, the United States will remove one of Putin’s pretexts to evade serious negotiations with the Biden administration. This posture will put the United States in the driver’s seat. – War on the Rocks