Fdd's overnight brief

November 1, 2023

In The News


U.S. intelligence agencies all but stopped spying on Hamas and other violent Palestinian groups in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S., instead directing resources to the hunt for the leaders of al Qaeda and, later, Islamic State, according to U.S. officials familiar with the shift. – Wall Street Journal

Israel said Tuesday it hit a Hamas command and tunnel network in northern Gaza, causing widespread casualties and damage in a crowded Palestinian refugee camp. Israel said it killed dozens of militants, including a commander who it said led the Oct. 7 attacks in Israel. Hamas said hundreds were dead or wounded but didn’t say how many were militants, while hospital officials in Gaza reported receiving scores of bodies. – Wall Street Journal

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Jack Lew to be the next U.S. ambassador to Israel at a critical moment in U.S.-Israeli relations, despite vocal opposition to President Biden’s nominee by Republican senators over his defense of the Obama-era Iran nuclear agreement. – Washington Post

The latest hostage video released by Hamas is disturbing, manipulative and revealing. Three women sit on cheap plastic chairs pushed against a tiled wall, somewhere in Gaza. It looks like a waiting room for some fearful appointment. – Washington Post

The United States and other countries are looking at “a variety of possible permutations” for the future of the Gaza Strip if Hamas militants are removed from control, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday. – Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Israel on Friday for meetings with members of the government there and then make other stops in the region, the State Department said on Tuesday amid the Israel-Hamas conflict. – Reuters

Hamas has told mediators it will release a number of foreign captives in the coming days, Abu Ubaida, the spokesman of the group’s armed wing, al-Qassam Brigades, said in a video on its Telegram account on Tuesday. – Reuters

In the case of the antisemitic incidents, most consist of verbal abuse, online slurs or threats, graffiti, and defacing of Jewish properties, businesses or sites of religious significance. Physical assaults represent a significant proportion. One common thread is that anger over the deaths of thousands of Palestinians as a result of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza is invoked as justification for verbal or physical aggression towards Jews in general, often accompanied by the use of slurs and tropes rooted in the long history of antisemitism. – Reuters

The IDF has put extensive censorship on what can be reported from its military tactics in Gaza at the moment. The Jerusalem Post is subject to the censor but can share several IDF tactics to help understand what is happening in the Gaza Strip. – Jerusalem Post

Nine soldiers were killed in fighting deep inside the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the Israeli military announced early Wednesday, bringing the day’s death toll among troops to 11 as leaders warned of the “heavy toll” being paid as the army presses its offensive aimed at eliminating the Hamas terror group. – Times of Israel

Antony J. Blinken writes: We don’t have to choose between defending Israel and aiding Palestinian civilians. We can and must do both. That is the only way to stand firmly by one of our closest allies, protect innocent lives, uphold the international rules of the road that ultimately benefit the American people, and preserve the sole viable path to lasting peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians: two states for two peoples. Any member of Congress who cares about Israel’s enduring security — or America’s, for that matter — should support both defense and humanitarian assistance to address this conflict. – Washington Post

Adam Taylor writes: Similarly, the context for discussion of war crimes in this conflict is sharply different now than it was in 1945. Much of what we now call International Humanitarian Law, sometimes dubbed the rules of war, would only be formalized after World War II. That’s because they were a response to it. – Washington Post

David Ignatius writes: I hate Hamas for poisoning that spirit of shared humanity. I’m angry at Israel, too, when it forgets that there are Palestinians like Kashkeesh who share universal values — and would build something decent, if they had a chance. – Washington Post

Shadi Hamid writes: When the fighting stops, the United States, Israel and the international community must give Palestinians reasons to think otherwise. A nonviolent path to an independent Palestinian state must be made unmistakably clear. If such a path doesn’t appear, then defeat of Hamas on the battlefield will be a Pyrrhic victory. Because its ideas — and its belief in the power of violence — will remain, perhaps more alive than ever. – Washington Post

Michael Eisenstadt writes: At any rate, if past is prelude, the longer the war, the more likely that political and perhaps military constraints may hinder Israel’s ability to achieve its war aims. Managing these tensions will likely prove increasingly difficult, but will be necessary if Israel is to achieve its goal of eradicating Hamas as a military actor and political entity. – Washington Institute

J. Alex Tarquinio writes: But even that might have relatively little practical import in Gaza. There’s a long history of the U.N. calling for cease-fires that have at best led to brief reductions in hostilities—for example, in Bosnia or Syria, not to mention the many U.N. resolutions addressing the Palestinian question, which dates back to almost the very founding of the United Nations. In the long run, the potential realignment of voting blocs might be of greater import to global peace and security. – Foreign Policy


Now Iran faces a dilemma, weighing how it and its proxy militias — known as the axis of resistance — should respond to Israel’s invasion of Gaza and the killing of thousands of Palestinians, and whether to bolster its revolutionary credentials at the risk of igniting a broader regional war. – New York Times

Jailed Iranian women’s rights activist Narges Mohammadi has smuggled out a letter of thanks for her Nobel Peace Prize awarded earlier this month, saying it marked a turning point in “empowering protest and social movements worldwide”. – Reuters

The UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran said Tuesday that the Israel-Hamas war has emboldened “repression” inside the country, whose ruling clerics have championed the Palestinian terrorists. – Agence France-Presse

Israel should hunt down any Iranian whose “filthy hands” were involved with the Simchat Torah massacre, former Mossad director Yossi Cohen said Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post

Leaders of Israel Allies Caucuses in 12 European nations jointly issued a resolution denouncing Iran’s state-sponsored terrorism and urging the European Union to promptly address critical issues related to Iran. – Jerusalem Post

Press release of statement by Department of State spokesperson Matthew Miller condemning the detention of Iranian human rights defenders. – State Department

Editorial: For starters, direct overwhelming kinetic force against Iran’s proxies, the IRGC commanders who give them their marching orders and the local infrastructure they rely on — coupled with the clear and credible threat of devastation to come. Iran and its paramilitaries only understand one language: force. The longer Biden refuses to face that fact, the more carnage will come — and the deeper and graver the risk of truly disastrous escalation will grow. – New York Post

Jonathan Sweet and Mark Toth write: Iran must be held accountable for the deaths of American citizens Oct. 7, the fate of American hostages Hamas holds in Gaza and for any proxy attacks on US military bases throughout the Mideast. Khamenei and the IRGC must know they are in the crosshairs. Washington must respond kinetically to eliminate the threat — not after the fact. The response cannot be limited to Israel, Syria or Iraq. The Pentagon’s calculus must include IRGC bases in Iran. There can be no quarter and no sanctuary. Tehran must fear and feel America’s active defense. – New York Post

Gil Troy writes: Biden’s affirmative, eloquent support for Israel suggests he might be finally ready to confront Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran’s theocrats who oppress the Iranian people, wreak havoc in the Middle East, and threaten America too. Let’s hope so, before it’s too late, er – before these evil forces do even greater damage. – Jerusalem Post

Benny Morris writes: As far as is known, Iran does not have advanced missile and aircraft interception capabilities, while Israel does. It is possible that in the near future the Iranians will be able to reach parity in these capabilities, and if Israel does not act in the coming months it will miss the current moment of superiority. Western diplomacy and the use of economic sanctions in recent decades to stop Iran’s nuclear program have not succeeded, and the only way remaining to stop Tehran’s advance to nuclear bombs is a military strike. – Haaretz

Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar writes: Such communication could prevent a broad catastrophic confrontation between Iran and Israel. But even if this conflict goes no further, the Hamas attacks—and Iran’s response—show that the region has already transformed. The collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the Iranian nuclear agreement have empowered hardline forces in both the Palestinian territories and Tehran. This war is unlikely to dislodge them—and it risks making them stronger. – Foreign Affairs

Russia & Ukraine

Two Russian soldiers have been detained in connection with the killing of nine people, including two children, in Ukrainian territory controlled by Moscow, Russian authorities said, in a rare admission that occupying forces may have committed a crime against Ukrainian civilians. – New York Times

Russia tightened security in its Muslim-majority North Caucasus region on Tuesday after a weekend anti-Semitic riot there, and the Kremlin-backed leader of Chechnya ordered that rioters be shot dead if they fail to heed warnings. – Reuters

Ukraine’s attacks on the Russian Navy in the Black Sea have crippled Moscow’s war efforts, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Tuesday, seeking to rally his troops even as the outside world expects instant successes. – Reuters

Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven epitomized the Russian oligarchs who used their fortunes to integrate into the global economy and shake off association with President Vladimir Putin’s regime. Now the wheel of fortune is turning full circle. – Bloomberg

Richard Kraemer writes: Decoupling the proposed Ukraine aid from aid for Israel does not serve their best interests nor America’s. Yes — push the Biden administration to give Americans a road map for these conflicts. Meanwhile, Ukraine is bleeding dry the perpetual menace that is Russia, while Israel has launched its anticipated ground offensive in Gaza. They’ll be striking hard and fast towards this axis’s collective decline — provided we continue to give them both the weapons to do the job. – The Hill


Firefighters in Lebanon were battling wildfires late on Tuesday that Lebanese civil defense said had been sparked by Israeli shelling, with the flames visible for miles as darkness fell. – Reuters

The human rights group Amnesty International said Tuesday that civilians in southern Lebanon were injured this month when Israeli forces hit a border village with shells containing white phosphorus, a controversial incendiary munition. – Associated Press

The IDF will have to eliminate the threat from Hezbollah against Israel on its northern border, but only once it has ousted Hamas from Gaza, National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi told reporters in Tel Aviv on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post

Nearly a third of Lebanese citizens favor joining Hamas in its war against Israel, according to new polling data on Lebanese attitudes toward the war. – Jerusalem Post


Qatar has mediated an agreement between Egypt, Israel and Hamas, in coordination with the U.S., to allow for the movement of foreign passport holders and some critically injured people out of besieged Gaza, a source briefed on deal told Reuters on Wednesday. – Reuters

The General Authority for Crossings and Borders in Gaza said Egyptian authorities told it that 81 Gazans who were severely wounded will be allowed to enter Egypt on Wednesday to complete treatment. – Reuters

An Israeli government ministry has drafted a wartime proposal to transfer the Gaza Strip’s 2.3 million people to Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, drawing condemnation from the Palestinians and worsening tensions with Cairo. – Associated Press

Arabian Peninsula

Saudi Arabia became the sole bidder for the 2034 men’s World Cup, according to the world’s governing body of soccer Wednesday, after Australian representatives of the sport said they would not pursue hosting rights for the event. – Washington Post

The Israeli military said Tuesday it had thwarted an aerial attack by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, as fears rise across the region that the Israel-Hamas war could widen. – CNN

Saudi Arabia is still open to a normalization deal with Israel despite the Gaza War, US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters in Washington on Tuesday. – Times of Israel

The Abraham Accords are not at risk amid the war between Israel and Hamas, said Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, chairman of the Defense, Interior, and Foreign Affairs Committee of the United Arab Emirates Federal National Council on Tuesday, according to the European Jewish Press. – Jerusalem Post

Mossad Chief David Barnea and former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen made a secret trip to the Arab Gulf State of Qatar over the weekend, Israeli media reported on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post

Yoel Guzansky writes: However, these and other courses of action depend, firstly, on Israel’s ability to bear the economic, social, and military costs associated with the end of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip. It’s uncertain whether this can be achieved, so the Qatari dilemma will continue to haunt Israel even after the war ends. – Jerusalem Post

Middle East & North Africa

The United States is sending an additional 300 troops to the Middle East with a focus on providing support in areas like explosive ordnance disposal and communications, the Pentagon said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Two armed drones targeted Iraq’s Ain al-Asad airbase, which hosts U.S forces and other international forces in western Iraq, a security source and a government source told Reuters on Tuesday. – Reuters

Jordan’s request for Patriot air defence systems from Washington reflects its growing concern about being caught in the crossfire if the war in Gaza pulls in Iran and its well-armed regional militias on the kingdom’s borders. – Reuters

Russia condemned increased Israeli airstrikes on Syria as “unacceptable” on Tuesday, saying they risked triggering a spillover of the Israel-Hamas war into a wider regional conflict, while ignoring the Syrian fire toward Israel that preceded them. – Agence France-Presse

Thailand’s foreign minister began an urgent visit to Qatar and Egypt on Tuesday for talks on the fate of the Thais taken hostage by Hamas in its devastating attack on Israel earlier this month, when the terror group killed over 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and abducted at least 241. – Agence France-Presse

Hamas’s green banners are prominent on America’s city streets and Europeans are pushing Israel to pause, or even halt, its Gaza operation. In contrast, many in the Arab world are quietly urging the Jewish state to finish off Hamas, as they consider the Gaza war a region-wide fight against extremism. – New York Sun

Zeynep Tufekci writes: But to credibly demand that war crimes be stopped and lives respected requires equal concern extended to all victims, including the two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The victims are real — all of them — and that’s where all efforts to rebuild credibility or to seek a solution must begin. – New York Times

Yonah Jeremy Bob writes: So there are still many questions about new threats Israel may see from Iran and its proxies before this war closes, but at least Jerusalem has embarrassed the Shi’ite axis one time, and maybe this one time will force the ayatollahs to think harder about whether pulling out more ballistic missiles is worthwhile. – Jerusalem Post

Sinem Adar writes: This is partially due to the fragility of Turkey’s relations with Israel, Hamas, and the United States. Turkey’s position also diverges from that of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are both careful in openly condemning Hamas violence and simultaneously criticizing Israel’s disproportionate retaliation and the position of the Western countries. Yet Ankara’s seemingly little influence also concerns Turkey’s lack of leverage vis-à-vis the warring parties in the current conflict. – War on the Rocks

Korean Peninsula

North Korea is poised to close as many as a dozen embassies including in Spain, Hong Kong, and multiple countries in Africa, according to media reports and analysts, in a move that could see nearly 25 percent of Pyongyang’s missions close worldwide. – Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit South Korea on Nov. 8 and 9 to discuss North Korea and alliance issues with Foreign Minister Park Jin, South Korea’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday. – Reuters

South Korean authorities on Tuesday detained a man after two police officers were stabbed outside a compound housing the presidential office in the capital, Seoul, city police said. – Reuters

Timo Kivimäki writes: Russia’s credibility in non-proliferation diplomacy diminishes, while its “justification” for the war in Ukraine becomes contradictory with its close cooperation with North Korea, the primary proliferator. Concurrently, North Korea’s insistence on sovereignty and non-interference in its internal affairs loses credibility when it supports Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. – The National Interest


Tensions between the U.S. and Chinese militaries continue to simmer even as their leaders prepare for a likely summit in the coming weeks, a sign of the difficulties the two global powers face in managing one of the most sensitive aspects of their relationship. – Wall Street Journal

Two Chinese icebreaker research vessels and a cargo ship set sail on Wednesday for the Antarctic with more than 460 personnel on board to help complete construction of China’s fifth station on the world’s southernmost continent. – Reuters

China hopes that the European Union (EU) will adopt a more pragmatic and rational attitude in cooperation with China, its foreign minister Wang Yi said. – Reuters

China’s spy agency is cracking down on weather stations with foreign links it says pose a threat to national security, the latest sign the secretive group is becoming more assertive under President Xi Jinping. – Bloomberg

Minxin Pei writes: Having witnessed the abysmal performance of Russia’s corruption-ridden military in Ukraine, Xi must be genuinely worried about what might happen if he orders an army commanded by venal and incompetent officers into battle. Arresting more generals won’t solve his problem. He must make the PLA less politicized and more transparent. Otherwise China risks losing not just the battle against corruption, but its next war. – Bloomberg

Michael Mazza writes: The world is entering a phase of widespread disorder. The dams have already burst in Europe and the Middle East. Now, China is testing the strength of leaky levees in Asia. If the United States does not reinforce the embankments now, it will face a global deluge. – The Hill

Mackenzie Eaglen writes: Year after year the U.S. Navy remains saddled with shrinking and increasingly uncertain budgets. A strong Navy big enough to change the calculus of Xi Jinping regarding the benefits of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan will require robust budgets enacted on time. This will be far cheaper than any war in the South China Sea. – 19FortyFive

South Asia

Apple notified a number of Indian opposition lawmakers this week that their phones were likely targets of state-sponsored attackers, prompting several of the individuals to express concern about the possible use of surveillance by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. – Wall Street Journal

Western embassies and the United Nations are urging Pakistan to incorporate into its plan to deport hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants a way to identify and protect Afghans who face the risk of persecution at home, officials told Reuters. – Reuters

U.N. experts on Tuesday demanded the Taliban immediately release two women rights defenders who have been in detention for more than a month with no reason given for their arrest. – Associated Press

Abhinav Pandya writes: In a conflict situation, Washington would, at most, share intelligence, weapons, and equipment with New Delhi, albeit strictly according to its own strategic convenience. The intelligence would be crucial; however, the deployment of the equipment and weapon systems would be a challenging task in the rugged Himalayan terrain. Most likely, there will be procurement delays. By the time the weapon systems reach the front, the fighting will most likely be over. – The National Interest


Taiwan said Wednesday that China sent 43 military aircraft and seven ships near the self-ruled island, the latest sign that Beijing plans no let-up in its campaign of harassment, threats and intimidation. – Associated Press

The U.S. on Tuesday imposed a form of sanctions on Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), the U.S. Treasury Department said, but stopped short of imposing full blocking sanctions on the ruling junta’s main source of foreign revenue. – Reuters

Japan’s top government spokesperson said on Wednesday that Japan is in the final stages of negotiations with the Philippines on what equipment to offer to Manila and when to sign an agreement under Tokyo’s official security assistance programme. – Reuters

A high-ranking official from China has made a visit to military-ruled Myanmar to discuss security along the countries’ shared border, Myanmar state media reported Tuesday. – Associated Press

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Wednesday he will raise the plight of a detained democracy blogger with Chinese leaders during a state visit to China. – Associated Press

After finding itself suddenly unwelcome in its traditional sphere of influence, France is casting further afield. That’s why president Emmanuel Macron will travel to energy-rich Central Asia this week to visit Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, two suppliers of the uranium that powers the country’s nuclear reactors. – Bloomberg

Jim Geraghty writes: That democratic quality will be on display in January, when Taiwan elects a new president. Government officials say they are seeing considerable Chinese meddling and intimidation tactics — the military harassment is perceived as not only saber-rattling by a country that has repeatedly threatened to seize Taiwan but also election-season interference. – Washington Post


Perhaps not since the Holocaust, which saw the annihilation of about two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish community, have the Jews of Europe lived in an atmosphere of fear so acute that it feels like a fundamental shift in the terms of their existence. – New York Times

The Biden administration is trying to ease European concerns about America’s new climate and tax law, which some allies view as a protectionist industrial policy that threatens their economies. – New York Times

Cyprus is working out with partners in the European Union and the Middle East the logistics to establish a sea corridor to deliver a stream of vital humanitarian aid to Gaza from the island’s main port of Limassol once the situation on the ground permits it, authorities said Tuesday. – Associated Press

The European Commission’s top official on Tuesday urged Montenegro to push ahead with its European Union integration process after the NATO member country elected a new government, ending a political stalemate that stalled its EU bid. – Associated Press

The European Union is weighing a new round of restrictions that would hit some €5 billion ($5.3 billion) in trade with Russia as part of a sanctions package targeting Moscow for its war against Ukraine. – Bloomberg

Sweden still expects Hungary to ratify its NATO application before Turkey, and is therefore focused on making sure that Ankara doesn’t hold up the Nordic country’s accession to the western military alliance, according to Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom. – Bloomberg

Dominic Green writes: Support for Europe’s nationalist and anti-immigration parties has risen for three decades. Establishment figures such as the archbishop of Canterbury call this democratic movement the return of fascism. Governments can tighten Europe’s already restrictive speech laws, as the head of London’s police suggested in response to calls for “jihad” in London, but they can’t escape a reckoning, socially or electorally, for their failure to control their borders and assimilate their immigrants. – Wall Street Journal


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday said his country and the European Union as a whole were committed to boosting security in West Africa, and could provide training and equipment to support operations against a jihadist insurgency spreading through the region. – Reuters

Angola should let its currency float, International Monetary Fund officials said on Tuesday during a visit to the southern African country, where authorities have kept the kwanza in a tight range for months. – Reuters

Mali’s northern Tuareg rebels said they had seized a base in Kidal vacated by the United Nations on Tuesday, potentially leading to a showdown in the strategic city where Mali’s army is hoping to wrest back control. – Reuters

An alliance of nations that push for more solar power worldwide are set to announce nearly $35 million for projects such as mini grids and rooftop installations, mainly in Africa, according to the group’s director general. At the sidelines of the group’s annual meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday, Ajay Mathur said the International Solar Alliance expect a $25 million investment from the Indian government, alongside its own cash injection of $10 million for smaller solar power infrastructure. – Associated Press

A record 6.9 million people have been displaced by conflict across Congo, the United Nations migration agency said, making it one of the world’s largest displacement and humanitarian crises. – Associated Press

Germany will open talks with Tanzania about the legacy of its three decades of colonial rule in the East African nation, the two countries’ presidents said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Latin America

Bolivia’s government said it is severing diplomatic ties with Israel in response to its ongoing attacks on Gaza, as human rights groups continue to express outrage over civilian casualties and a worsening humanitarian crisis in the territory. – Washington Post

Chile’s government recalled its ambassador to Israel for consultations on Tuesday after what it described as Israel’s violations of international humanitarian law stemming from its recent military attacks on the Gaza Strip. – Reuters

The United Nations expert on human rights in Haiti said Tuesday that he is alarmed by the rapid spread of gang violence and the bleak future awaiting children in the embattled country. – Associated Press

North America

Leaders from the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum will meet in San Francisco this month for the 30th APEC summit, the first hosted by the United States since 2011. – Reuters

John Bolton writes: Even worse, Biden’s policies have likely put Venezuela’s opposition in an untenable position. They can only hope Maduro’s regime is so unpopular that even massive cheating cannot keep it in power. Otherwise, widespread Chavista fraud and White House acquiescence will lead to Maduro’s 2024 reelection. – Washington Examiner

Andres Martinez-Fernandez writes: Ecuador’s rapid descent into chaos is symptomatic of the dysfunction of Latin America’s politics. Whether it’s uncontrollable massive migration flows, erosion of national sovereignty, or unprecedented narco-violence, many countries of the hemisphere risk becoming failed states. This directly threatens America’s national security. If the Biden administration does not act, the task will once again fall to Congress, which should shift security aid and funding toward Ecuador and other willing partners and away from countries like Colombia and Mexico, whose current leadership refuses to face the narcotrafficking threat seriously. – Heritage Foundation

United States

The F.B.I. director warned Tuesday that the Israel-Hamas war had raised the potential for an attack against Americans to a new level and escalated threats against Jews and Muslims in the United States. – New York Times

Speaker Mike Johnson’s decision to force a stand-alone vote on aid for Israel, peeling off a request from the Biden administration for money from Ukraine and coupling it with spending cuts, has set up a confrontation between the House and Senate over how to fund U.S. allies during the conflicts. – New York Times

Congressional Republicans appeared split on Tuesday over how to handle President Biden’s $106 billion request for international priorities, including military aid for Israel and Ukraine, as key GOP senators appeared at odds with House Speaker Mike Johnson’s strategy to corral his raucous caucus. – Washington Post

Some Muslim and Arab American groups are threatening to withhold donations and votes towards President Joe Biden’s 2024 reelection unless he takes immediate steps to secure a Gaza ceasefire. – Reuters

Editorial: He should also be willing to make compromises on GOP priorities such as reforming the “credible fear” asylum standard that has become an essentially open door to anyone who claims it. There are two wars going on, Mr. President. Do you want the money to help our allies win them, or do you want to sacrifice Ukraine and U.S. defenses for broadband subsidies? – Wall Street Journal

William A. Galston writes: The internationalists will ask Americans to bear the continued burdens of global leadership, and this will be a hard sell in 2024. It is easy to see the upfront costs of aiding beleaguered friends and allies in distant lands, harder to understand the long-term costs of failing to do so. But one thing should be clear: Abandoning Ukraine would send shock waves through the American-led alliances that have defended democracy and kept peace among the great powers since World War II, with incalculable consequences for us all. – Wall Street Journal


Iranian hackers are waging a sophisticated espionage campaign targeting the country’s rivals across the Middle East and attacking key defense and intelligence agencies, according to a leading Israeli-American cybersecurity company, a sign of how Iran’s quickly improving cyberattacks have become a new, important prong in a shadow war. – New York Times

Vice President Kamala Harris plans to announce on Wednesday a slew of additional measures to curb the risks of artificial intelligence as she prepares to take part in a global summit in Britain where world and tech leaders will discuss the future of the technology. – New York Times

Digital attacks against the U.S. by Iran and non-state actors could worsen if the conflict between Israel and Hamas grows, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned on Tuesday. – The Record

Canadian state officials are now banned from using the messaging app WeChat and the antivirus program Kaspersky on government-issued mobile devices due to “unacceptable” privacy and security risks because of their associations with China and Russia, respectively. – The Record

A group of pro-Ukrainian hackers claims to have breached Russia’s national card payment system this week and obtained its user data. – The Record

Steve Petersen writes: And blowing more resources on AI development just fans the fire — especially when combined with talk of “American leadership,” which can just taunt other countries into an AI arms race that’s more likely to lead everyone into reckless development. – New York Post


President Joe Biden’s $106 billion defense spending supplemental request to Congress aims in part to bolster munitions production capacity to continue rushing arms to Ukraine and Israel. – Defense News

The Space Force’s newest technology accelerator, aimed at speeding improvements in space domain awareness, is kicking off with a focus on developing software to help protect satellites in geosynchronous Earth orbit from anti-satellite missiles, the service announced today. – Breaking Defense

Paul Krugman writes: More important, it turns out that the era of large-scale conventional warfare isn’t over after all, and there are real concerns about whether our weapons production capacity is large enough to deal with the potential threats. By all means, let’s have good-faith arguments about how much America should spend on its military. But repeating 60-year-old clichés about the military-industrial complex doesn’t help the discussion. – New York Times

Raanan Horowitz and Stan Crow  write: The U.S. National Defense Strategy recognizes this need and places appropriate focus on building allied capability. Moreover, as the United States takes a “small yard, high fence” approach to focusing controls around the most sensitive technologies, it should readily seek cooperation in areas outside the scope of those restrictions. Implementing this approach will be challenging as it revisits long-ingrained practices and policies that have their own constituencies. – War on the Rocks

Long War

Five Islamist prisoners convicted of killing two secular politicians and policemen escaped from a Tunisian jail on Tuesday, in a rare security breach for the North African country, prompting the government to dismiss top intelligence officials. – Reuters

French police on Tuesday shot and seriously wounded an unarmed woman who was making threats at a train station in Paris during morning rush hour. The incident came with the country on its maximum alert for potential attacks but with the police also under scrutiny over recent fatal shootings of suspects.  – Agence France-Presse

Jim Harper writes: The weakest geopolitical actors use terrorism to induce their opponents into wasting blood and treasure, weakening themselves, and undercutting their own moral authority. Politics being zero-sum, tricking an enemy into mistakes is a gain. The lesson? Don’t do things that aren’t clearly effective. – American Enterprise Institute