Fdd's overnight brief

May 4, 2022

In The News


Russia has stepped up missile attacks across Ukraine, striking railways and power stations in the latest sign that the Kremlin may be trying to restrict the flow of weapons and supplies to battlefields in the east — just as Western countries are boosting Ukraine’s arsenal. The attacks Tuesday hit at least six train stations in central and western Ukraine and three electrical substations in Lviv, officials said. – Washington Post 

One of Russia’s top propagandists threatened Britain with annihilation by nuclear strike twice on his Sunday prime-time show — once by air and once by sea — ramping up the war of words against Britain over its vow to oust Russian forces from Ukraine. – Washington Post 

On Monday, the CIA published instructions for how Russians can covertly volunteer information using an encrypted conduit to the agency’s website. The hope is to attract intelligence — and potentially gain more access to official Russian secrets — from disaffected people who have been trying to contact the CIA since the war began, officials said. – Washington Post 

Russian forces on Tuesday began storming the steel mill containing the last pocket of resistance in Mariupol, Ukrainian defenders said, just as scores of civilians evacuated from the bombed-out plant reached relative safety and told of days and nights filled with dread and despair from constant shelling. – Associated Press 

Russia may have invaded Ukraine on February 24, but President Vladimir Putin has insisted that his troops are carrying out a “special military operation” instead of declaring war. However, Western officials and analysts believe that could change on May 9, a symbolic day for Russia, with a formal declaration of war that will pave the way for Putin to step up his campaign. – CNN  

Russia isn’t planning to withdraw from its partnership in the International Space Station despite recent rhetoric from the nation’s space agency, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told a Senate hearing. – Bloomberg 

Russia is preparing to evacuate the families of Russian officers from Transnistria, according to a report by a report by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. – Jerusalem Post 

Several Western leaders have predicted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could end in under a week, drawing a sharp contrast with Russia’s reported plans to escalate the conflict. – Washington Examiner 

Top U.S. military leaders have not attempted to reach their Russian counterparts in “several weeks” after their previous efforts were rebuffed. – Washington Examiner 

A gruesome image has emerged of the bodies of four apparent Russian soldiers arranged in a Z — a symbol of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. – New York Post 

Pope Francis has said that he’s willing to visit Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. – The Hill 

On April 27, 2022, the Director of Russian Foreign Intelligence Service [SVR], Sergey Naryshkin, (whom Vladimir Putin publicly humiliated on the eve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine) claimed that the Polish authorities are planning to take control of Ukraine. Russia has made these charges before but Naryshkin now claimed that the assessments were backed by trustworthy sources. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

A Russian propagandist has presented on state TV a simulation of a hypothetical nuclear strike that would wipe out the UK and Ireland. – Business Insider 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an executive order allowing Russia to halt exports and cancel existing contracts for people and entities on an upcoming sanctions list. – Business Insider 

President Joe Biden has proposed looser visa restrictions for highly educated Russians looking to enter the US, a move the White House hopes will draw the country’s “best brains” away from Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s regime. – Business Insider 

David Ignatius writes: Among Russia’s most costly mistakes when it invaded Ukraine was the expectation that it would dominate the electronic warfare part of the battle. Instead, Russia has stumbled and lost its way in the little-known realm of intercepting and jamming communications, an increasingly essential element of military success. – Washington Post 

Hal Brands writes: As the war drags on, the U.S. and its friends will ratchet up the coercion of Russia, to increase the price Putin pays and gradually deprive him of the wherewithal to keep fighting. Yet the closer they get to succeeding, the more they will sharpen the choice Putin faces between accepting a humiliating defeat and intensifying his aggression in hopes of salvaging a victory. – Bloomberg 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: The war with Ukraine has unearthed old ghosts and Russia’s tendency to believe its own propaganda about enemies all being “Nazis” has not gone over well. Russia isn’t convincing the global south or countries where being a “Nazi” isn’t controversial. Russia’s propaganda also isn’t convincing Russians, it is primarily designed as slander and to convince a few voices in the West. – Jerusalem Post 

Natia Gamkrelidze and Tinatin Japaridze write: If in the coming weeks Putin loses the battle of Donbas, much like he lost the battle of Kyiv several weeks ago, in order to save face in Russia, he has very few tools left in his arsenal other than turning to the use of WMDs. By using such weapons, he would be able to justify to his domestic audience that Russia’s original goals pertaining to the areas of land, security, and identity have been achieved. – Middle East Institute 


A member of Iran’s syndicate of car parts manufacturers says Iranian producers have an opportunity to export their wares to a Russian carmaker, state media reported. – Associated Press 

At an April 20, 2022 ceremony for schoolgirls in Tehran marking their first fast day, Iranian Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Ensieh Khazali told nine-year-old girls to “begin planning” now “to start a family in order to raise [the next generation] to be like the martyr [IRGC Qods Force commander Qassem] Soleimani.” – Middle East Media Research Institute  

White House officials believe Iran is inching closer to becoming a nuclear threshold power and could be just weeks away from producing both sufficient fissile material and the necessary technology to weaponize and deliver a nuclear payload. – Arab News 

At least eight people have died in southern Iran after drinking toxic homemade alcohol, a medical official in Hormozgan province has said. – Times of Israel 

Relationships between Israel and its Gulf allies that were forged in the Abraham Accords can serve as a buffer against Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East, Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) said on Monday. – Jewish Insider 

Saeid Golkar and Kasra Aarabi write: At present the doctrine of Mahdism in the IRGC remains a complete blind spot for Western policymakers, yet it could have major implications for the Islamic Republic’s militia network, ballistic missile program, and even its nuclear program. Of course, no one knows for sure if devout adherents of the ideology will attain senior command positions in the IRGC. The objective of this paper, however, is simply to point out that it would be unwise not to prepare for this scenario given the huge implications it would have for U.S. and global security. – Middle East Institute 

Bob Feferman writes: The parallel events of Yom Hashoah at Auschwitz and Quds Day in Iran provide us with important choices. If we want to see a better future for the Middle East, we must confront Iran and its forces of evil while supporting the forces of peace and reconciliation. – Algemeiner 


As the power vacuum left by the U.S. following the Biden administration’s hasty withdrawal last year continues to be filled by some of America’s adversaries, Afghanistan’s former ambassador to Washington said Monday the relationship between Beijing and the country’s Taliban rulers is an evolving one, describing it as a push-and-pull type, especially given China’s fears of extremism spreading. – FOX News 

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the resulting cut in international aid has led to a worsening humanitarian crisis, according to the latest report by a Pentagon watchdog that has spent more than a decade tracking conditions in the war-torn nation. – Bloomberg 

The Taliban are finding it’s much more difficult being the governing authority of Afghanistan than it was waging an insurgency campaign against the previous internationally backed government of Ashraf Ghani. – New York Post 


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to return a million Syrian refugees to their country, as the political and economic cost of hosting the world’s largest refugee population threatens his popularity before elections. – Bloomberg 

Armenia and Turkey have agreed to move forward with efforts to normalize relations “without conditions,” a move that could lead to the reopening of their shared border, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry says. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

Neville Teller writes: Turkey routinely carries out attacks in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, where the PKK has bases and training camps in Sinjar, and on the mountainous border with Turkey. But the offensives have strained Turkey’s ties with Iraq’s central government in Baghdad. Iraqi President Barham Salih termed the latest incursion “unacceptable,” describing it as a threat to the country’s national security and a violation of its sovereignty. He is certainly not wrong about that. – Jerusalem Post 


Nearly six years after Israel accused Mohammed el-Halabi of diverting tens of millions of dollars from an international charity to Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers, he has yet to be convicted in an Israeli court and is still being held in detention. – Associated Press 

The White House and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office discussed holding a regional leaders’ meeting as part of President Joe Biden’s visit to the Middle East toward the end of June, two Israeli officials told Axios on Tuesday. – Times of Israel 

The US ambassador to Israel said Tuesday that he gives Israel’s government “a lot of credit” for its handling of tensions in Jerusalem over the past month, which saw a rare confluence of Passover, Ramadan and Easter. – Times of Israel 

A delegation of senior Hamas leaders went to Moscow to meet with Russian officials, following the conflicts on the Temple Mount, to discuss what is happening in Jerusalem, according to a report from Walla on Wednesday morning. – Jerusalem Post  

According to a wave of reports, arrests of multiple Iranian agents in both Europe and then Iran itself have helped crack a plot to assassinate three individuals. One was an Israeli diplomat in Turkey, the second was a US general in Germany and the third was a French journalist. – Jerusalem Post 

Realizing their potential for deep regional changes, the European Union is increasingly interested in the Abraham Accords, Blue and White Knesset member Ruth Wasserman Lande said Monday in Paris. As such, she called upon the EU to establish an inter-governmental body dedicated to promoting the accords and policies related to their implementation. – Jerusalem Post 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: Russia might exercise restraint regarding tensions over Israel and wait to use them, playing the “tensions card” later this summer, or it might wait and see if there are new Israeli elections and then do something to try to get what it wants from Jerusalem. – Jerusalem Post 

Ben Caspit writes: The Shin Bet security agency announced on May 2 that it had uncovered a fake Iranian Facebook profile used to recruit Israelis for intelligence collection and possible violence against targets within Israel. The Iranians reportedly made up a Jewish woman they named Sara Puppi who was said to have business connections in Israel and promised payment in bitcoin. – Al-Monitor  

Zev Chafets writes: Instead, Israel’s overriding war aim is to maintain its relationship with America. For that it is risking strategic independence, tactical advantage over Iran and its hard-won national agency. No Israeli government has ever put its security so decisively in the hands of others. Such a significant policy evolution should have been debated openly and acknowledged outright, rather than ambled into. But even if Israel had given it more thought, it would have arrived at the only plausible conclusion — that aligning itself with the U.S. during this crisis was the best of its bad options. – Bloomberg 

Gulf States

CIA Director William Burns made an unannounced trip to Saudi Arabia last month to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, U.S. and Saudi officials said, as the Biden administration pushes to repair ties with a key Middle East security partner. – Wall Street Journal 

The world’s largest independent oil trader, Vitol, loaded a cargo of Russian ESPO Blend crude for the United Arab Emirates this week, the first such voyage for the grade, data from several analytics firms showed. – Reuters 

Iraqis in a northern town still traumatized by memories of the Islamic State group feared more violence Tuesday after hostilities between the military and a local militia erupted, people internally displaced by the fighting said. – Associated Press 

Karen Elliott House writes: What the Biden administration and its progressive supporters need to realize is that Mohammed bin Salman is likely to rule Saudi Arabia for many decades—half a century if he lives to 86, his father’s age. […]His ambition to transform Saudi Arabia into a modern technological leader won’t be realized absent Saudi security. Foreign investment and expertise won’t come if missiles or desperate migrants from neighboring nations are a constant threat. While the world needs Saudi oil, the crown prince needs the West—and the security that only the U.S. can provide. – Wall Street Journal 

Middle East & North Africa

It’s been nearly a decade since Debra and Marc Tice have seen their son, Austin. On Monday, US President Joe Biden hosted the couple at the White House and assured them he is committed to bringing home the 40-year-old journalist thought to be held captive in Syria. – Jerusalem Post 

David Pollock writes: Consistent with other polls from recent years, only a very small minority of the Egyptian public says that good relations with Iran are even “somewhat” important for their country. Conversely, the solid majority (60%) agree with this purposely provocative proposition: “Wherever Iran intervenes, it hurts the local Arabs and doesn’t help the Palestinians.” Yet Egyptian are exactly evenly split (45% vs. 47%) regarding the prospect of a renewed nuclear deal with Iran. On this issue, Egyptian popular attitudes closely mirror the most recent findings from parallel surveys in Jordan and in the Arab Gulf states. – Washington Institute   

Sabina Henneberg writes: Finally, President Biden should expedite efforts to appoint a new ambassador to Tunisia. In January, current ambassador Donald Blome was nominated to serve in Pakistan instead, so replacing him promptly would send a meaningful signal of U.S. commitment to Tunisia during this tumultuous time. – Washington Institute 

David Pollock, Catherine Cleveland and Munqith Dagher write: April polling in Iraq echoes many of The Washington Institute’s survey results from other Arab countries. When it comes to great power competition, the United States is seen as an unreliable partner that fails to uphold its values and goals in the region, while China consistently fulfills its goals (albeit more limited ones) and its promises to regional partners. […]U.S. policymakers must not fumble this last drop of goodwill; instead, they should leverage it to fulfill policy goals. – Washington Institute 

Korean Peninsula

North Korea fired an unknown projectile off its east coast on Wednesday, Seoul’s military said, a weapons launch that comes just days before a more hard-line South Korean president takes office. – Wall Street Journal 

North Korea’s isolated economy will not be insulated from global economic headwinds caused by the Ukraine war and the COVID-19 lockdowns in China, analysts said, with recently resumed border trade taking a hit and inflation exacerbating food shortages. – Reuters 

The United States would like the U.N. Security Council to vote during May to further sanction North Korea over its renewed ballistic missile launches, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said on Tuesday. – Reuters 


Like his predecessors who built the Great Wall to thwart foreign threats, Chinese leader Xi Jinping is raising ramparts to make his nation more self-reliant, a mission Russia’s war in Ukraine has made more imperative. – Wall Street Journal 

The Biden administration is split on whether to pare back tariffs on imports from China in an effort to cut consumer costs and reduce inflation, as the White House gives renewed consideration to a step that has divided officials. – Wall Street Journal 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will deliver a speech on Thursday outlining U.S. policy towards China, the State Department said. – Reuters 

Two months after warning that Beijing appeared poised to help Russia in its fight against Ukraine, senior U.S. officials say they have not detected overt Chinese military and economic support, a welcome development in the tense U.S.-China relationship. – Reuters 

China’s independent refiners have been discreetly buying Russian oil at steep discounts as western countries suspend their own purchases and explore potential embargoes because of the war in Ukraine. – Financial Times 

U.S. President Joe Biden accused China of trying to interfere in congressional negotiations over a broad competition bill that would bolster domestic semiconductor manufacturing. – Bloomberg 

Chinese defense strategists are making “very creative” efforts to develop a military that can defeat American forces, and they are hastened by regime policymakers who move faster than Washington bureaucracies, according to the U.S. Air Force’s top civilian. – Washington Examiner 

Gerard DiPippo writes: If economic deterrence were to fail in a crisis, there is the potential that U.S. forces might be engaged directly in the event of a Chinese attack on Taiwan. For political reasons, Washington might impose sanctions to destabilize or degrade the Chinese economy irrespective of their chances of success. […]Even with such planning, Western leaders should not delude themselves into believing that economic deterrence is a substitute for credible military deterrence. – Center for Strategic and International Studies  

Alex Stephenson and Ryan Fedasiuk write: It is a tall order to predict if or how the United States and China may find themselves embroiled in a conventional war. However, the United States needs to be prepared to leverage AI for such a contingency. Failing to do so risks ceding the advantage to Chinese military planners. While the contest for “AI dominance” may only marginally affect the outcome of a near-term U.S.-Chinese conflict, that battle is America’s to lose. – War on the Rocks 

South Asia

Sri Lanka plans to replace its current “unrealistic” budget and is in talks with the World Bank to extend its support by $300 million to $700 million, the country’s finance minister said on Wednesday. – Reuters 

Sri Lanka’s main opposition party on Tuesday issued a no-confidence declaration aiming at ousting Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Cabinet and blaming them of failing in their constitutional duty to provide a decent living standards amid the island nation’s worst economic crisis in memory. – Associated Press 

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called for a ceasefire in Ukraine and peace talks between Kyiv and Moscow. – Reuters 

Pakistan’s economic crisis would be the most effective way for Sharif to parry a resurgent Khan. But with the fate of Pakistan’s IMF programme uncertain, depleted foreign reserves and double-digit inflation, observers said Sharif’s multi-party coalition needed to show quick economic results or risk losing more voters like Astori. – Financial Times 


Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense has announced a years-long delay for the delivery of U.S. howitzers, citing limited American production capacity, in a blow to the island democracy’s military upgrades. – Washington Post 

Police in Armenia on Tuesday detained more than 200 anti-government protesters as opposition parties upped pressure on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan over his handling of a territorial dispute with Azerbaijan. – Agence France-Presse  

Eleven suspected gangland killings have taken place in the last two years in Sydney’s south-west, with police telling a parliamentary committee the situation is “unacceptable”. – The Guardian 


Pentagon officials on Tuesday praised Ukraine’s use of weapons supplied by the United States and its allies as European leaders signaled fresh support for the embattled country amid continued Russian attacks. – Washington Post 

Global companies have a critical role to play in isolating Russia and helping Ukraine restore its economy, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday, addressing The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit in London. – Wall Street Journal 

Invoking the words of Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged Tuesday to send more weapons to Ukraine in its underdog campaign to fend off the Russian invasion. – Wall Street Journal 

The European Union’s top official on Wednesday called on the 27-nation bloc to ban oil imports from Russia in a sixth package of sanctions targeting Moscow for its war in Ukraine. – Associated Press 

German opposition leader Friedrich Merz had an hour-long meeting with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv on Tuesday, amid a background of growing tension between the governments in Berlin and Kyiv. – Bloomberg 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is considering sending seven rapid-fire artillery systems to Ukraine in another step to shore up the country’s efforts to fend off Russian forces. – Bloomberg 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged his support for a potential bid from Sweden and Finland to join the NATO defense alliance as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. – Bloomberg 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has laid bare a deep rift among leaders in NATO member state Croatia, offering a glimpse into how the war has upended the political calculus across Europe and undermined unity within the military alliance. – Bloomberg 

Europe needs more gas from Norway, and from Equinor (EQNR.OL), as the continent tries to wean itself from Russian gas, Equinor Chief Executive Anders Opedal said on Wednesday. – Reuters 

French President Emmanuel Macron told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call on Tuesday that he is willing to work with international organisations to help lift the Russian embargo on Ukrainian food exports via the Black Sea, Macron’s office said. – Reuters 

The armed forces of Belarus began sudden large-scale drills on Wednesday to test their combat readiness, the defence ministry of Ukraine’s neighbour said. – Reuters 

Slovakia and Hungary said Tuesday that they will not support sanctions against Russian energy that the European Union is preparing over the war in Ukraine, saying they are too reliant on those supplies and there are no immediate alternatives. – Associated Press 

The Italian prime minister told the European parliament on Tuesday that the EU needed to embrace “pragmatic federalism” in multiple policy areas including defence, foreign policy and economic burden-sharing given the crisis unfolding to its east. If the reforms required the EU to reopen its treaties then it should be prepared to do so, he added. – Financial Times 

Romania will not extradite Israeli citizen Roman Dorfman to Belarus due to the minimal human rights in the country, Ynet reported late Tuesday night, citing a Romanian Supreme Court ruling. – Jerusalem Post 

Editorial: The Pope is the spiritual leader of more than one billion Catholics, but the moral authority behind the papacy—damaged as it is—can still transcend religion from time to time. This makes Francis’s equivocating on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine all the more frustrating for those who recall how powerful a force for good a Pope can be. – Wall Street Journal  

Joseph Bosco writes: Biden should declare three “red lines” of his own: (1) no use of nuclear weapons, (2) no use of chemical or biological weapons, and (3) immediate safe passage to Ukrainian lines for all civilians and soldiers trapped in Mariupol. If either of the first two occurs or if the third does not, the U.S. will remove its self-imposed restraints in Ukraine and push NATO for immediate Ukraine membership. – The Hill 

Andreas Kluth writes: That said, the brutality of Putin’s current war has shaken even Austria out of its long Russophile romance. […]And yet, the rest of the West will be forgiven for wondering how much it can rely on Austria as the conflict drags on or escalates. Will Vienna support a boycott of Russian oil and gas? Will it bid adieu to its neutrality — as Sweden and Finland are about to do — to side with the West? Orban may be too far gone for Western appeals to reason. But in Vienna, there’s still a chance. – Bloomberg 

Tom Mockaitis writes: Moscow may not be willing to negotiate if it sees a chance of winning on the battlefield, but heated rhetoric from the West will make peace talks even less likely. The United States has backed the Russian bear into a corner. Poking it with a stick is a bad idea. – The Hill 

Jason M. Blazakis writes: As Ukraine’s south and east are under siege and Russia’s human rights abuses and terrorism escalate, President Biden should immediately accede to Zelensky’s request to add Russia to the rolls of State Sponsors of Terrorism. It is a moniker that Russia and Putin have earned, and it is past time for them to join the world’s hall of shame. – The Hill 

Kimberly Marten writes: It is impossible to know for sure how Putin and his military forces will react to a Finnish bid to join NATO. […]Given Finland’s long-standing membership in the EU community and defense ties with NATO, to join the alliance officially seems more like a logical next step than a sea change, but Putin’s reaction remains unpredictable. In the face of that unpredictability, it is probably safer for Finland to be inside the alliance than out. – Foreign Affairs 


Heavily armed Al-Shabaab jihadists stormed an African Union (AU) base in Somalia on Tuesday, triggering a fierce firefight that left an unknown number of casualties, a local military commander and witnesses said. – Agence France-Presse  

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday he fully supported moves to expand facilities to reintegrate surrendering Islamist insurgents in northeastern Nigeria because it was a key step to achieving peace in Africa’s most populous nation. – Reuters 

Ethiopian officials say they have arrested 76 suspects following unrest that erupted in the capital, Addis Ababa, during Eid al-Fitr prayers on Monday. – Associated Press 

Dozens of passengers kidnapped five weeks ago from a train near Nigeria’s capital are being used as human shields by their abductors, President Muhammadu Buhari said. – Associated Press 

Michael Rubin writes: Whack-a-mole strikes will never eliminate terrorism if militants can rearm themselves easily from poorly maintained government weapons depots. Perhaps the time has come for the White House, State Department, and Pentagon to more fully resource assistance to the security of weapons depots in Nigeria and across the Sahel. While regional problems are complex and there is no magic formula to their resolution, relatively small investments in Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria might go a long way to enable Biden and Blinken to fulfill their promises to end “endless wars.” – Real Clear Defense 

Guled Ahmed writes: The United States and EU can also assist Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble by providing additional security measures, such as incorporating Somali, U.S., and British special forces into election security. For Somalia, a post-civil war country where there is strong precedence of political violence and destruction, it is critical to secure the political process to ensure that Somalia avoids a repeat of past failures. – The National Interest 

Latin America

Colombian presidential candidate Federico “Fico” Gutierrez, the main challenger to leftist Gustavo Petro, is planning a tax reform to gradually increase revenue over 10 years, according to one of his top advisers. – Bloomberg 

Mexico is working with governments of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile to create a lithium association so the countries can share their expertise to exploit the battery mineral, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Two blocs of Central American and Caribbean countries condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine and warned about the impact of the conflict on the region Tuesday, following meetings between diplomats and a high-ranking European Union representative. – Reuters 

Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) has withdrawn an invitation for the European Union to send observers for the October election after President Jair Bolsonaro’s government objected, the EU and the election body confirmed on Tuesday. – Reuters 

The Dominican Republic reinforced surveillance on the border with Haiti on Tuesday and announced an urgent search for one of its diplomats who disappeared there a few days ago. – Reuters 

North America

Protesters across the country expressed their fury on Tuesday night about the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that strongly suggests Roe v. Wade will soon be overturned. Crowds marched and chanted in support of abortion rights in San Francisco and New York, in Chicago and Atlanta, in Houston and Salt Lake City. In Los Angeles, videos shared on social media showed some confrontations between police officers and demonstrators. – New York Times  

President Biden on Tuesday visited the Lockheed Martin Corp. plant in Troy, Ala., where the defense company is hunting for workers in the tightest labor market in 50 years to assemble Javelin antitank missiles for Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal  

Canada’s Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister affirmed on Tuesday their support of women’s right to choose after a leaked draft ruling suggests the U.S. Supreme Court is prepared to strike down a landmark decision legalizing abortion. – Reuters 


Chinese government-linked hackers have tried to steal sensitive data from some three dozen manufacturing and technology firms in the US, Europe and Asia, security researchers said Wednesday, in findings that shed new light on Beijing’s alleged use of hacking to buttress its powerhouse economy. – CNN  

State-backed hackers from Russia and China are increasing their efforts to target critical infrastructure in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, according to a latest cyber threat update from Google. – The Hill 

Dr. J. Robert McClure III writes: Of course, Dorsey decamped to build on Bitcoin before he could see Blue Sky built out to completion. But if forces at Twitter would prevent Musk from making the platform more free speech-friendly, would they allow Blue Sky to do the same? If nothing else, Musk’s tumultuous bid to make Twitter more open to free speech shows just how many are opposed to the concept in principle. When people tell you what they believe, we should believe them. – Washington Examiner 


Gen. Christopher Cavoli, the current head of US Army forces in Europe and Africa has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as the top US general in Europe as head of US European Command, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced Tuesday. – CNN  

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will host his Japanese counterpart Wednesday for face-to-face talks about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as the war’s ripple effect creates fresh tensions between Tokyo and Moscow. – Defense News 

Mackenzie Eaglen writes: When asked about identifying efficiencies across platforms, especially the F-35 program, Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall stated that “sustainment provides a great opportunity for this and continued savings, because [sustainment] is over 50 percent of lifetime costs.” This is exactly why the Pentagon should not plan on cutting costs by cutting new fighter purchases. Rather, they should identify continued savings to bolster modernization efforts in the maintenance of weapons platforms. – 19fortyfive 

Long War

A defense lawyer urged jurors Tuesday to reject a prosecutor’s claims that his client is a terrorist who photographed U.S. landmarks as potential targets, saying the government didn’t prove anything during a two-week trial. – Associated Press 

A Maryland man has become mentally competent to stand trial more than two years after he was charged with planning an Islamic State-inspired attack at a shopping and entertainment complex near Washington, D.C., a federal judge ruled Tuesday. – Associated Press 

A defense lawyer urged jurors Tuesday to reject a prosecutor’s claims that his client is a terrorist who photographed US landmarks as potential targets, saying the government didn’t prove anything during a two-week trial. – Times of Israel 

General Staff Reconnaissance Unit (Sayeret Matkal) commando St.-Sgt. Barak Sharabi died in 1984 “deep inside Syria.” That fact, which had been classified, was revealed by Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev in an interview with KAN radio on Tuesday morning, ahead of Remembrance Day. – Jerusalem Post  

A teenager said to have lionised Hitler and who allegedly believed he was part of a race war against “totalitarian” liberal democracy has gone on trial accused of preparing to commit a terrorist act. – The Guardian