Fdd's overnight brief

November 18, 2022

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


Hopes for a revived nuclear-containment deal with Iran dimmed further on Thursday, as the board of the United Nations’ atomic-energy agency formally rebuked the Islamic Republic, ordering it to cooperate with the agency’s investigation into the country’s nuclear activities. – Wall Street Journal

The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on over a dozen companies based in China, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates that Washington accused of facilitating the sale of Iranian petrochemicals and petroleum products to buyers in East Asia. – Reuters

The United Nations atomic watchdog’s 35-nation Board of Governors passed a resolution ordering Iran to cooperate urgently with the agency’s investigation into uranium traces found at three undeclared sites, diplomats at Thursday’s closed-door vote said. – Reuters

The U.N. nuclear watchdog is aware of all of Iran’s activities, the head of country’s atomic energy organisation said on Friday, a day after the atomic agency’s Board of Governors demanded explanation for traces of uranium at three undeclared sites. – Reuters

The United States is skeptical of reports suggesting Iran had developed a hypersonic missile, a Pentagon spokesperson said on Thursday. – Reuters

Iran’s foreign minister accused Israel and Western intelligence services of planning to divide Iran and start a civil war on Thursday, a day after seven people were killed in the southwestern city of Izeh in what state media presented as a “terrorist attack”. – Reuters

John Bolton has not given up his hopes for regime change in Iran. That will likely come as no surprise for those who know the man, a foreign policy veteran who is a former national security advisor and ambassador to the UN. – New York Sun

Jonathan Spyer writes: Inside Iran, the clashes between protesters and the government are growing in violence and intensity. So why is the regime targeting the bases of small dissident Kurdish political groups in northern Iraq? These groups are playing an auxiliary role in the protests, and no one—themselves included—thinks they are running the show. The mullahs may be hoping to shore up their story that foreigners and separatists are behind the unrest. The drones firing deadly missiles on Koya and Suleimaniya are merely servicing this lie. – Wall Street Journal

Anthony Grant writes: Ukrainian grain going out, Russian gas coming in: Are these indicators that on the economic as well as political front there is a quiet push for cooler heads to prevail in Ukraine, and to keep the fighting contained? Possibly, though winter in eastern Europe is never easy, and could yet bring some frigid surprises of its own. – New York Sun

Farzin Nadimi writes: To begin with, the United States should ask European governments to impose similar sanctions on the Iranian airlines mentioned above—and on Conviasa if its involvement in transferring drones and other arms to Russia is proven. In addition, officials should persuade Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to close their airspace to direct flights from Tehran to Moscow across the Caspian Sea, thereby rendering that span of the Venezuela-Iran-Russia air bridge inoperative. […]Yet such routes can be more readily monitored, and using them would incur more costs on the states involved. – Washington Institute

Benjamin Weinthal writes: Human Rights organizations have long argued that the Iranian regime’s opaque judicial system is woefully inadequate and does not meet international norms for fair judicial proceedings and trials. – Jerusalem Post

Seth J. Frantzman writes: The drone attacks today are not a new type of policy by Iran – and it’s not a unique policy that it invented. But drones pose a new type of threat and it’s unclear how Tehran has been able to program the drones to carry out these missions. A moving ship is difficult to strike with a drone that relies on coordinates or way points during its mission. – Jerusalem Post

Anchal Vohra writes: More recently, any appetite to restart talks with Iran has diminished in Washington and Brussels after drones supplied by Iran to Russia were deployed to devastating effect against civilian targets in Ukraine and after protests inside Iran were met with deadly force by gangs of riot police and plainclothes security forces. […]The United States, meanwhile, wants to wait to see the effect on the stability of the Iranian regime of the protests triggered by the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested for not wearing her hijab properly – Foreign Policy

Russia & Ukraine

Smarting from military failures and its evident isolation in a week of key global meetings, Russia on Thursday unleashed its second major missile barrage against Ukraine in three days, accusing Kyiv of refusing peace talks and warning of further attacks on critical infrastructure. – Washington Post

Russia and Ukraine agreed on Thursday to extend a deal allowing Kyiv to export grain through the Black Sea, officials said. The pact, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July, is meant to ease hunger and soaring global food prices exacerbated by the invasion. Russia and Ukraine are among the world’s top producers of wheat, as well as key commodities such as cooking oil and fertilizer. – Washington Post

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday denied that this week’s deadly missile explosion in Poland and subsequent disagreements over the missile’s origin revealed a lack of communication and coordination with Ukraine after contradictory statements between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Western leaders. – Washington Post

Russian forces launched another barrage of missiles across Ukraine targeting the capital Kyiv and other cities on Thursday, killing at least 15 people days after the Kremlin’s military carried out some of the heaviest bombing of the entire war, officials said. – Wall Street Journal

Support for separatists in eastern Ukraine was a key part of President Vladimir V. Putin’s stated justification when he gave the order to invade in February this year, and many bereaved relatives have drawn a direct connection between the downing of the flight and the war. The verdict may also set an example for possible prosecutions of Russian crimes during the current war. – New York Times

The attack, which killed four people, was a critical moment in the war. It dealt an embarrassing blow to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, who presided over the bridge’s opening in 2018, and it underscored Russia’s inability to protect a critical strategic asset and a potent symbol as its only connection to Crimea. – New York Times

Russian missiles and shells hit Ukrainian positions in several regions and there was no let up in heavy fighting in Donetsk in the east, the Ukrainian military said as Moscow’s occupying forces appeared more active. – Reuters

U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner, facing nine years behind bars in Russia after being convicted on drug charges, has been transferred to a penal colony about 500 km (300 miles) southeast of Moscow, her lawyers said on Thursday. – Reuters

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he was informed following the U.S. – Russia talks held earlier this week in Ankara that neither party would use nuclear weapons, according a readout of his comments to reporters. – Reuters

When Russia’s top military brass announced in a televised appearance that they were pulling troops out of the key city of Kherson in southern Ukraine, one man missing from the room was President Vladimir Putin. – Associated Press

The long border between Finland and Russia runs through thick forests and is marked only by wooden posts with low fences meant to stop stray cattle. Soon, a stronger, higher fence will be erected on parts of the frontier. – Associated Press

China and India, after months of refusing to condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine, did not stand in the way of the release this week of a statement by the world’s leading economies that strongly criticizes Moscow. – Associated Press

Members of the Group of 20 leading economies ended their summit Wednesday with a declaration of firm condemnation of the war in Ukraine and a warning that the conflict is making an already delicate world economy worse. – Associated Press

The Illinois Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved withdrawing state investments in Russia to protest its nearly nine-month war against Ukraine. – Associated Press

Ukraine’s air defenses are playing a key role in countering Russia’s invasion, preventing Moscow’s forces from gaining control of the skies and helping shield the country against missile and drone attacks. But with Russia stepping up strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure as it faces growing losses on the ground, Kyiv is pressuring its supporters — in particular the United States — to provide advanced equipment such as Patriot missiles and F-15 warplanes. – Agence France-Presse

For months from late summer, Ukraine’s forces pursued a meticulous counteroffensive to retake the southern city of Kherson from occupying Russian troops — without having to fight street by street. – Financial Times

The Biden administration asked Congress on Tuesday to provide $38 billion in funding to Ukraine, as the eastern European nation remains embroiled in a war to defend its territory against Russia and drive its military forces from its borders. – Newsweek

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly been forced to reprioritize his long-term military industrial projects to equip and arm his troops in Ukraine. – Newsweek

Russia has failed to achieve any of its strategic, operational and tactical objectives in its invasion of Ukraine, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a press briefing on Wednesday. – Jerusalem Post

​​Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wednesday that Israel’s prime minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to look at supplying Ukraine with much-needed air defense systems as it battles to fend off Russia’s invasion. – Times of Israel

Tara D. Sonenshine writes: Poland is a major American ally and one of our strongest partners in this war. U.S. troops are stationed there, working closely with NATO not just on the Ukrainian war effort but on overall global security, nonproliferation, energy and all the issues that impact our daily lives. The missile hitting Poland is a wake-up call. This was a fire drill for how the world will respond if a World War III scenario begins to unfold. We need to have tough conversations about a wider war while there is time — before we are under pressure to decide how far America wants to go to protect Ukraine. – The Hill

Tatiana Stanovaya writes: Given all the horrible things Russia has done, this outcome would not be terribly satisfying for Ukraine or its Western partners. But under the current circumstances, Putin believes he has no choice but to continue bombing and attacking Ukraine. […]Signaling to the realists that peace with Ukraine will not inevitably cause Russia to collapse is a dramatically challenging task. But it may be the only way to get the Kremlin to end its catastrophic invasion. Until then, even the realist elites have no choice but to bet on the strong state and the strongman. – Foreign Affairs

Nicolas Tenzer writes: Here is what they must accept — the absolute defeat of the Russian regime is not only necessary for Ukraine, but also for Belarus, Syria, Georgia, Moldova, Myanmar, parts of Africa and Latin America, the Balkans, and Hungary, and for the integrity of our democracies. […]It could also only have ripple effects on the People’s Republic of China and on a multitude of issues, such as anti-corruption and good governance. Not to do so would be a sign of great intellectual and strategic short-sightedness and, ultimately, of terrible irresponsibility. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Seth G. Jones and Philip G. Wasielewski write: In light of these developments, the United States and its Western partners need to be prepared to aid Ukraine over what could be a protracted conflict. Washington cannot be cowed by Putin’s bluster. The war is now one of grinding attrition, and the Ukrainian military needs weapon systems that will make a difference on the battlefield so it can continue to counterattack and reclaim its sovereign territory. […]Churchill ended his speech by reciting several lines of a poem by Lord Byron, which paid tribute to those that fell in battle. It has direct relevance to the war in Ukraine today. – Center for Strategic and International Studies

Gregory Mitrovich writes: The Korean War demonstrates that nuclear weapons offered no panacea for American battlefield setbacks. Nor do they in the Russo-Ukraine war, where Putin’s strategic failures have ruined Russia’s military and left the Kremlin a global pariah on the verge of a terrible defeat. Indeed, nuclear use would vastly magnify Russia’s crisis by turning what few allies it has against it. […]It should be the goal of the international community to convince Putin that the greatest threat to his political survival would instead come from nuclear use. – The National Interest

Lasha Tchantouridze writes: Even though an armistice would benefit the United States and Russia, a quick peace agreement might be tough to achieve. For one, Ukraine would not agree, and its NATO neighbors (save Hungary) would strenuously object as well. Moscow may not make a strong push for peace either and decide to play for time by perpetuating a battlefield stalemate. Hope is not a strategy, but if something in Washington changed in Russia’s favor, it would help the Kremlin achieve its long-term objectives. – The National Interest


“Everyone involved with this debacle should be fired or impeached — all the way up to Attorney General Garland,” Senator Cruz of Texas wrote in a statement. Congress could also look beyond Washington: Did a foreign power finance, orchestrate, and propel a campaign to undermine American-Israeli relations? – New York Sun

Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu plans to prioritize moves allowing Israel to enter the US Visa Waiver Program, his spokesman said on Thursday. – Jerusalem Post

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki paid a rare visit to the Holocaust memorial in Berlin while in Germany on Thursday for a diplomatic visit. – Times of Israel

A ship-mounted version of the Iron Dome air defense system has been declared operational following a recent test, the Defense Ministry and the Israeli Navy announced Thursday. – Times of Israel

Palestine’s crumbling government in the West Bank is fueling a worsening trend of violence among Israelis and Palestinians, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation. – Daily Caller

American officials have expressed their concern over the possible appointment of far-right Religious Zionist leader Bezalel Smotrich to head the Defense Ministry. – Ynet

Defense Minister Benny Gantz spoke on Thursday evening with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Gantz thanked the Secretary of Defense for strengthening cooperation and for lending an attentive ear in dozens of dialogues between the two countries’ defense establishments and with him personally during the past two years. – Arutz Sheva

Seth J. Frantzman and Anna Ahronheim write: In our initial attempt to investigate this question it became clear that many organizations do not monitor the illegal weapons trade in the West Bank or take note of the presence of firearms. This would appear to be an overlooked problem, especially considering that a plethora of human rights groups, international organizations and governments are active in the West Bank and Palestinian Authority areas. – Jerusalem Post

Lazar Berman writes: Israel views Jordan as a reliable buffer against hostile states to the east — once Iraq, now Iran. Israel’s border with Jordan, and the Israel-controlled frontier between the West Bank and Jordan, remained an oasis of quiet, even as Iran’s armed proxies entrenched themselves from Baghdad to Beirut, and jihadist groups grew in the Sinai Peninsula. – Times of Israel

Melanie Phillips writes: Dependency, however, is not all one way. America needs Israel—and it will need it more and more. It’s not just that Israel is America’s beachhead and intelligence arm in the Middle East against the enemies of the West. In many respects, Israel—with its strong economy, high birthrate and unshakeable commitment to defend the nation—has become far stronger than America, where all those features are fast eroding. The real question may not be whether Israel can survive without support from the United States, but whether the United States itself can survive at all. – Arutz Sheva


The Taliban will stick to their strict interpretation of Islamic law, or Sharia, a spokesman said Thursday, underscoring the group’s intention to continue hard-line policies implemented since they took over the country more than a year ago. – Associated Press

The first thing you see walking out of Kabul’s airport is a billboard advertising Chinatown, which, if you visit, turns out to be a plain, off-white trio of 10-story towers in the Afghan capital’s Taimani district. On the ground floor are shops selling Chinese products, including lights, office furniture, fans, electric bicycles, kitchen equipment, garden tools, pipe fittings, solar panels, toiletries, clothes, decorations and Clean Laundry detergent, which promises “disintegration of the stain.” – Military.com

Six main factors led to the collapse of the Afghan government as the U.S. drew down its last troops in the country, according to a report released Wednesday. Chief among them was key Afghan officials’ refusal to believe the U.S. would keep its promise to leave the country. – Military Times


Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Israel’s former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who won an election this month, that it is important to maintain relations on a basis of respect for mutual interests, the Turkish presidency said on Thursday. – Reuters

Turkey has claimed the U.S. is complicit in the deadly bombing that occurred in Istanbul earlier this week. – Fox News

Simon A. Waldman writes: ​​However, after Sunday’s blast, these faint glimmers of hope for diplomatic progress appear obscured. The biggest casualty of the recent terrorist attack is the hope for peace talks between Turks and Kurds. Instead, more violence and conflict are on the imminent horizon. – Haaretz

Gulf States

Russians have always been part of the odd cultural mosaic of Dubai’s marina, with its yachts and chain cafes, gyms and cosmetic surgery clinics, mosques and bars. But since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, a torrent of newcomers has arrived — no longer seeking refuge from bitter winters, but from war and international sanctions. – Washington Post

The Biden administration has determined that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who the CIA has held responsible for the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi, is immune from a civil lawsuit filed in the United States by Khashoggi’s fiance and a human rights organization he founded. – Washington Post

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol hoped for greater cooperation with Saudi Arabia — including on its $500 billion futuristic desert city project — as he met the kingdom’s powerful crown prince Thursday, Seoul officials said. – Associated Press

David Ignatius writes: The president’s fist bump during that trip has become a symbol of political accommodation to the Saudi leader and his demands. The grant of immunity will give him not just a friendly welcome, but a legal shield that will hard to break. – Washington Post

Middle East & North Africa

As world leaders arrived last week in Egypt for the U.N. Climate Change Conference, the country’s most famous political prisoner — on a hunger and water strike in a prison outside of Cairo — was in such distress that he repeatedly smashed his head against his cell wall, prompting prison officials to put him on suicide watch, his family said Thursday. – Washington Post

Rockets on Thursday targeted coalition forces at the Green Village base in northeast Syria resulting in no injuries or damage to the base, the U.S. military’s Central Command said in a statement. – Reuters

An oil tanker associated with an Israeli billionaire has been struck by an Iranian bomb-carrying drone off the coast of Oman amid heightened tensions with Tehran, officials said Wednesday. – Associated Press

Greece’s foreign minister called off the first leg of a visit to Libya on Thursday, refusing to disembark from his plane after landing in the capital of Tripoli, Greek authorities said. Instead, he flew to the city of Benghazi, in the country’s east. – Associated Press

The Biden administration is pushing the Omani government to follow Saudi Arabia in allowing Israeli flights to use its airspace, in a move that would significantly shorten the distance for flights to the Far East. – Times of Israel

During his Gulf tour on 4-5 December 2022, Israeli President Isaac Herzog will meet with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain and then will travel to Abu Dhabi, where he will attend President Mohammed bin Zayed’s Abu Dhabi Space Debate. – Arutz Sheva

The Israeli and Jordanian governments on Thursday signed an agreement to cooperate on environmental matters. – Arutz Sheva

Korean Peninsula

North Korea fired a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile Friday, South Korean and Japanese officials said, as tensions between Pyongyang and Washington escalated further amid U.S. efforts to strengthen coordination with its allies in Seoul and Tokyo. – Washington Post

Threats to peace and stability were dominating the agenda at a summit of Pacific Rim economies Friday in Bangkok, as leaders warned that war and tensions among the big powers threaten to unravel the global order. – Associated Press

South Korea and the United States held joint air force drills on Friday, using F-35A fighters, in response to North Korea’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, South Korea’s defense ministry said. – Reuters


Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sought to steady ties with Beijing in his first meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, reflecting the importance to Japan of economic links with China and Tokyo’s worries of being drawn into a conflict over nearby Taiwan. – Wall Street Journal

US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer, said that invading Taiwan militarily would prove “very difficult” for the People’s Republic of China in a Wednesday press conference, citing the logistics and realities of combat. – Jerusalem Post

Diana Fu writes: The Chinese Communist Party’s “patriotic education” is designed to indoctrinate the country’s younger generation. The strategic American response is to ensure that Chinese students maintain access to Western free thought and the institutions that safeguard it, rather than block those students at the gates. – New York Times


Australia’s prime minister said Friday he remained committed to building a fleet of submarines powered by U.S. nuclear technology despite the French president describing the plan as a “confrontation with China.” – Associated Press

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris arrived Thursday in Thailand, where she plans to affirm America’s commitment to Southeast Asia and drive home the message that the region can count on the United States. – Associated Press

President Emmanuel Macron on Friday urged an end to “confrontation” as he outlined his vision for France’s engagement with the Asia-Pacific region. France wants to play a stabilising role in the region to avert confrontation, the French president told a gathering of business leaders on the sidelines of the summit. – Agence France-Presse


The U.K. government announced sweeping tax increases and spending cuts on Thursday, becoming the first major Western economy to start sharply limiting its spending growth after years of ramped-up fiscal stimulus during the pandemic and recent energy subsidies. – Wall Street Journal

The European Union is expected on Friday to signal to new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak that his government must resolve the long-running dispute over Northern Ireland, EU diplomats said. – Reuters

The foreign minister of ethnically divided Cyprus offered a bleak outlook Thursday for resuming stalled peace talks any time soon even though a senior United Nations official affirmed the commitment of the world body’s chief to remain engaged in resolving one of Europe’s most intractable conflicts. – Associated Press

Ostrava has been working for decades to end its legacy as the most polluted area of the country, transitioning from an industrial working-class stronghold to a modern city with tourist sights. But Russia’s war in Ukraine has triggered an energy crisis in Europe that as paved the way for coal’s comeback, endangering climate goals and threatening health from increased pollution. – Associated Press

Germany has warned of local oil shortages when the EU-wide ban on Russian oil comes into force in January, in a further sign of the disruption Europe’s energy crisis is wreaking on the continent’s largest economy. – Financial Times


The United Nations Security Council voted Thursday to maintain an arms embargo on Somalia over strong objections from its government, saying the al-Shabab “terrorist group” still seriously threatens peace and stability in the region and sanctions are needed to degrade its activities. – Associated Press

Bill Gates, on a visit to Kenya, has announced his foundation will spend $7 billion to improve health, gender equality and farming in Africa. The new pledge will be spent over the next four years and is in addition to existing Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funding to strengthen health systems across the continent. – Associated Press

A man reputed to be one of Israel’s most wanted gang leaders was arrested during a raid of a home in a posh Johannesburg suburb where South African authorities said they also found guns, drugs, and a van equipped for torture. – Associated Press

Latin America

The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions Thursday on Mexico’s Familia Michoacana drug cartel, which it accused of manufacturing “rainbow” fentanyl pills purportedly aimed at children. – Associated Press

Iran and Venezuela have allegedly been orchestrating a years-long influence campaign to free Alex Saab, a well-known Colombian businessman with ties to both countries. In a report from Recorded Future published Thursday, researchers said they found a widespread influence campaign centered around Saab, who was arrested in Cape Verde and extradited to the U.S. where he awaits trial on money laundering charges. The Record is an editorially independent unit of Recorded Future. – The Record

Arturo McFields Yescas writes: As of now, the dictatorship of Venezuela has not changed any of its actions against its people. So, why the world should give Maduro a red carpet, a strong handshake and full amnesty? I believe that dialogue is important to help return democracy, not to oxygenate dictators, to uphold justice and the rule of law, not to promote impunity, to empower the people’s rights and not the abuses of a dictatorship. This kind of dialogue is a great opportunity for peace lets give it a chance. – The Hill

United States

President Biden will confront new challenges in advancing his global agenda following the midterm elections, as Republican gains are expected to deepen congressional skepticism about U.S. support for Ukraine, renew scrutiny of America’s posture abroad and initiate polarizing probes into his handling of Afghanistan and immigration. – Washington Post

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who broke Congress’s glass ceiling as the first woman to hold the post, announced Thursday she will not seek reelection as the House Democratic caucus’s top leader, ending one of the most consequential leadership tenures in American political history. – Washington Post

Richard Fontaine writes: This new strategic era spurs a dire need among policymakers to ruthlessly prioritize and identify which issues and regions the United States will ignore, try merely to mitigate, or assign a small fraction of its considerable attention and resources to. Against its instincts and intentions, the United States has backed its way into simultaneous contests against two major powers that define their interests globally. If it wants to succeed, the United States is going to have to pick its battles carefully. – Foreign Affairs


Ransomware incidents in the United Kingdom are now so impactful that the majority of the British government’s recent crisis management COBRA meetings have been convened in response to them rather than other emergencies. – The Record

The Defense Department has largely won out in a long-running bureaucratic battle with the State Department over retaining its broad powers to launch cyber operations, according to two sources familiar with the matter. – CyberScoop

The federal enforcement office that oversees more than 1,600 offshore oil and gas facilities has done little to address growing cybersecurity risks, according to a watchdog report released on Thursday. – CyberScoop

A group of Senate Democrats including Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., are calling on Federal Trade Commission to investigate potential security issues at Twitter since Elon Musk purchased and took over the company late last month. – CyberScoop

Michael P. Ferguson and Nicholas A. Rife write: The United States is uniquely positioned to use creativity as a mechanism that targets the weaknesses of its pacing challenge. A nexus camp could link futurists and traditionalists in joint force transformation with creativity as its nucleus. […]After all, future war conditions are not often apparent until war is present, at which time those in the fight must adapt to them. A creative, well-balanced military that fuses the acumen of prophets and historians will, like the Ukrainian Army, get results on the battlefields of tomorrow. – The National Interest


What happens when old atomic bombs are retired? Last month, the Biden administration announced its intention to withdraw the nation’s most powerful weapon from the U.S. nuclear arsenal. – New York Times

The U.S.-made M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is a breakout star of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, used by Ukrainian defenders to inflict devastating damage on Moscow’s troop concentrations and supply hubs as Kyiv’s forces push multi-pronged counteroffensives. – Newsweek

The head of U.S. Marine Corps budgets said he’s more confident the Corps’ needs will be addressed in the upcoming fiscal 2024 budget than he was at this time last year about the FY23 budget. – Defense News

Mackenzie Eaglen writes: The armed forces need more equipment, higher readiness, and greater urgency to deter Beijing. The imbalance in the three-legged stool of capability, readiness, and capacity is sure to invite the very aggression that trading capacity for capability is intended to avoid. – War on the Rocks

Thomas Spoehr writes: Lawmakers and their staffs have labored to make the 2023 NDAA a bill that would strengthen national defense, and it shows. National defense remains one of the few areas where some bipartisanship still exists. Deciding these seven issues in favor of increased warfighting capability will help make a good bill better and will demonstrate Congress’s effective oversight of our armed forces. – Breaking Defense