Fdd's overnight brief

November 19, 2021

In The News


Two Iranian men were indicted by the U.S. Justice Department on Thursday, accused of a brazen hacking and disinformation campaign that targeted American voters in the run-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election. – Washington Post 

Iran condemned on Friday U.S. sanctions against six Iranians and one Iranian group for trying to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election. – Reuters  

Iran called on Friday for the depoliticization of the UN nuclear watchdog, after France had urged the organization to “send a strong message to Tehran” over disputed nuclear activities and a lack of cooperation. – Reuters 

France said on Friday that if talks with Iran on Nov. 29 appeared to be a “sham” then negotiators would have to consider the nuclear deal devoid of substance. – Reuters  

In recent years, a growing number of Iranian women have chosen to have fewer or no children — mainly due to economic woes, changing gender norms, the growth of girls’ education, and family planning programs. That trend has seen Iran’s population growth rate drop from over 4 percent in the 1980s to 1.29 percent in 2020, according to the World Bank, a development that has alarmed Iran’s clerical establishment. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Europe 


A group of Afghan teenage girl soccer players and their families arrived in Britain safely Thursday, more than three months after the Taliban swept to power in Afghanistan. – Washington Post  

It is one of the world’s poorest countries and a place where civil war and Taliban rule once kept the national team from playing a game for almost two decades. The country is considered so unsafe, in fact, that FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, has long banned its teams from playing at home. Most of the time, that hardly mattered: Afghanistan is ranked 152nd in the world. – New York Times 

More than 28,000 Afghans have applied for temporary admission into the U.S. for humanitarian reasons since shortly before the Taliban recaptured Afghanistan and sparked a chaotic U.S. withdrawal, but only about 100 of them have been approved, according to federal officials. – Associated Press 

Afghanistan is “on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe” and its collapsing economy is heightening the risk of extremism, the U.N.’s special representative for the country warned Wednesday. – Associated Press 

For more than 70 years, the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C., has held down the corner lot in a neighborhood of grand embassies. […]Nejrabi has let most of the staff go. He and the other 11 diplomats here are working for free, racing to help thousands of Afghans who still want to escape the Taliban and also help refugees get the documents they need to start new lives. – NPR  

Afghan and Australian rights groups have warned the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan must not be allowed to disrupt or delay Australia’s plan to compensate victims of alleged war crimes. – The Guardian  

The Biden administration is considering sending some of the Afghan evacuees at a US military base in Kosovo back to Afghanistan if they cannot clear the intense vetting process to come to the United States, according to three US officials familiar with the matter. – CNN  

When the Taliban seized control of most of Afghanistan in mid-August, one of the inevitable ripple effects was going to be a crackdown on suspect Islamic groups in the Central Asian states north of Afghanistan. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 


An armed drone strike last month on an American military base in southern Syria was Iranian retaliation for Israeli airstrikes in Syria, according to eight American and Israeli officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters. – New York Times  

U.S. Central Command failed to follow Pentagon procedures in handling whistle-blower allegations that dozens of civilians were killed in March 2019 airstrikes in Syria, the Defense Department’s inspector general determined. – Bloomberg  

Jonathan Spyer writes: Closer observation of events in Syria suggests that these claims should be treated with some skepticism. That Ghafari was deployed in Syria and has now departed is not in doubt. But the extent to which his departure reflects a Syrian effort to detach the regime from its Iranian patrons remains deeply open to question. – Jerusalem Post 


A currency crisis is shaking Turkey’s economy, imperiling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s nearly two-decade-long grip on power and upending living standards in a country that had enjoyed years of growth. – Wall Street Journal  

Herb Keinon writes: While that story made a huge splash in Turkey, following as it did reports the previous week that Turkish intelligence uncovered an Iranian spy ring, it barely registered in Israel. No Israeli officials responded, and within a day it disappeared from the news. This, according to Yanarocak, displeased the Turkish intelligence service. It had wanted the arrests to gain the attention of the Israeli intelligence community, and use it as a bargaining chip to get Israel, he speculated, to make concessions. – Jerusalem Post  

Blaise Misztal writes: Erdoğan remains motivated by a singular, overarching vision of transforming Turkish society, state, and international relations all at once. That vision might perhaps be captured by a slogan Erdoğan has used repeatedly over the last five years: “One Nation, One Flag, One Homeland, One State.” In analyzing Erdoğan’s intellectual influences and his public speeches, this paper argues that the most important, but overlooked, word in this motto is that which is repeated: “one.” – Hudson Institute  


The IDF is set to invest NIS 1 billion in combat training drills and exercises for reserves units in 2022, as it began preparations this month toward an operation against Hezbollah and pro-Iranian terrorist militias based in Lebanon and Syria. – Jerusalem Post  

The PA is facing an acute financial crisis, mainly as a result of a sharp decline in financial aid from the international community. The PA says that the crisis is also the result of Israel’s policy of deducting millions of shekels from tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinians. – Jerusalem Post  

Seth J. Frantzman writes: Israel showed Thomas-Greenfield the threats Israel faces in the North. It is a reminder of Iranian drones that now can reach Israel from Iraq. In May during clashes with Hamas, Iran used a drone to strike at the Jewish state from Iraq. The message now is to make it clear that those threats are unacceptable while the US and Israel work closely on the tectonic changes in the region. – Jerusalem Post 


The special repatriation flight marked a first step in possibly easing Belarus’s pressure campaign against the E.U. by opening routes for migrants from the Middle East and elsewhere as retaliation for E.U. sanctions. – Washington Post  

Iraq’s influential Shiite cleric who emerged as a winner in last month’s general elections on Thursday called on the country’s myriad pro-Iran Shiite armed factions to disband if they want to join his upcoming government. – Associated Press 

Iraq’s Prime Minister promised Poland on Thursday to help bring stranded Iraqi migrants back home and to continue a suspension of flights to Minsk, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday. – Reuters  

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, has committed to tacking onto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) a measure repealing the 1991 and 2002 authorizations for use of military force (AUMF) against Iraq. – Washington Times  

Gulf States

The U.S. Treasury Department said on Thursday it sanctioned senior Houthi military officer Saleh Mesfer Alshaer, citing what it called “unlawful tactics” deployed by him. – Reuters 

A group of U.S. senators are opposing the Biden administration’s first major arms sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over Riyadh’s involvement in the conflict in Yemen, three senators announced on Thursday. – Reuters 

Nearly 15,000 Yemeni Houthi fighters have been killed near the strategic city of Marib since June, sources close to the rebels said Thursday, in a rare admission of their casualties during the seven-year war. – Defense Post 

Russian defense giant Rostec is holding talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) about co-producing its Checkmate fifth-generation stealth fighter. – The National Interest   

Dr. James M. Dorsey writes: The competition for foreign talent raises potentially explosive demographic issues, particularly in Gulf states with a citizen deficit where more than half of the population is made up of non-nationals. To some degree, the Gulf states’ efforts to attract foreign talent addresses questions raised several years ago by Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi, an erudite Emirati intellectual and art expert, at a time that discussion of the subject was taboo. – Algemeiner  

Ghaith al-Omari and Simon Henderson write: The deal also demonstrates additional ways to build on the Abraham Accords. So far, most of the diplomatic activity surrounding the accords has focused on adding new countries or deepening bilateral relations between Israel and its new partners. These efforts should be continued, but the solar/water deal shows how the accords can simultaneously deepen Israel’s relations with the first generation of Arab peacemakers. – Washington Institute 

Middle East & North Africa

Libya’s former security chief, a key player in the Tripoli-based government when the country was divided between east and west, on Thursday registered to run in presidential elections set for December, according to state television. – Bloomberg  

Tunisian President Kais Saied said on Thursday he was working non-stop on a timetable for reforms to defuse growing criticism at home and abroad since he dismissed the cabinet, suspended parliament and took personal power four months ago. – Reuters  

An Egyptian court on Wednesday sentenced prominent activist and former member of parliament Zyad Elelaimy to five years in prison and handed two others four-year jail terms on charges of spreading false news, a judicial source said. – Reuters  

The so-called Quartet of Middle East mediators urged Israel and the Palestinians on Thursday to address an array of challenges — ongoing violence in the West Bank, the advancement of new settlement units in Palestinian territories, and “the untenable fiscal crisis within the Palestinian Authority.”. – Associated Press  

Saskia M. van Genugten writes: But the EU’s allies and partners should encourage and support the Old Continent on its renewed quest toward greater military relevance and geopolitical say. For the U.S. it will lead to a partner that can finally share more of the burden. For the region, Europe’s normative approach and long-term, slow-progress engagements full of conditionalities will turn out to be a necessary counterbalance to the more short-term but potentially exploitative deals offered by other geopolitical suitors. – Middle East Institute 


Shortly before President Biden and China’s leader, Xi Jinping, met for a virtual summit this week, the United States sent seven Chinese nationals who had been convicted of crimes back to China, and Beijing lifted an exit ban on an American citizen who had been blocked from leaving for four years. – New York Times  

President Biden said Thursday that his administration is “considering” a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in China, a move that would allow U.S. athletes to compete but keep government officials from attending the Games in Beijing to protest China’s human rights abuses. – Washington Post 

In mainland China, a health code that dictates where citizens can travel has been mandatory since the pandemic hit. Hong Kong’s contact tracing app doesn’t even know a person’s name. That gap in surveillance has become a major sticking point in protracted talks about restarting quarantine-free cross-border travel, which could happen in a limited capacity as soon as December, the South China Morning Post reported late Thursday. – Bloomberg  

Ria Novosti commentator Peter Akopov, who regularly defends Kremlin policies, comments on Xi Jinping’s consolidation of power in China and takes pains to prove to his readers that Xi is no Mao. Mao Zedong is hardly a popular figure in Russian eyes. Mao was perceived in Russia as the person that shattered the unity of the Communist world and Russia and China even engaged in armed clashes. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Henry Olsen writes: American strategic thinking has long underestimated the role the individual thirst for glory plays in international affairs. Leaders who desire fame do not shirk from risk; they thrive on it. Our foreign policy elite should stop thinking they can deter Xi from pursuing his aggressive foreign policy; that policy is in his DNA. They should instead think of how we can win what may be an unthinkable, but inevitable, confrontation. – Washington Post 

Dhondup T. Rekjong writes: Beijing’s assault on Tibetan Buddhism has three goals: to control Tibetan teaching directly by translating sacred texts into Chinese, to transform Tibetan Buddhism into Chinese Buddhism, and to compete with the flourishing of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. In the absence of a unified resistance to China’s most recent efforts, the world puts at risk the vitality of the Tibetan language as a medium of cultural memory and contemporary scholarship, as well as the very existence of Tibetan Buddhist monasticism. – Wall Street Journal  

Abraham Denmark and Caitlin Talmadge write: The accelerating expansion of China’s nuclear arsenal suggests that its leaders have recently decided that its historically small and unsophisticated capabilities were insufficient for Beijing’s needs and ambitions. Although these developments do not necessarily indicate a change in China’s attitude toward using nuclear weapons, they still have profound implications for the United States and its allies and partners across the Indo-Pacific. – Foreign Affairs  

Michael Davidson writes: With multiple global fossil fuel crises underway and the falling costs of low-carbon alternatives, it is advantageous for China and other nations to break with risky fossil fuel investments and embrace climate-friendly energy infrastructure and supporting institutions. Cutting carbon is the pathway—not an obstacle—to control future cycles of price volatility and enhance energy security. – Foreign Affairs  

Joanna Shelton writes: To believe Xi will change direction and seriously consider meeting tough CPTPP disciplines over SOEs, industrial subsidies, and other trade-distorting policies is fanciful. Xi’s stated goal is “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” by 2049. That goal certainly does not include moving away from the “socialism with Chinese characteristics” that has brought China this far. – Center for Strategic and International Studies  

Harrison Prétat and Gregory B. Poling write: A key component of this shift has been the expansion of China’s maritime militia—a force of vessels ostensibly engaged in commercial fishing but which in fact operate alongside Chinese law enforcement and military to achieve political objectives in disputed waters. Over the past year, the CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative and the Center for Advanced Defense Studies conducted a study of China’s maritime militia using remote sensing data and open-source Chinese language research. – Center for Strategic and International Studies  

Matthew Brooker writes: While the Communist Party has appeared increasingly impervious to outside pressure, it has reason to care this time. The Peng Shuai case arrives at an awkward juncture, with the Winter Olympics scheduled to begin in Beijing on Feb. 4. The U.S. will soon announce a diplomatic boycott that will see President Joe Biden and other government leaders stay away in protest at China’s human rights abuses, the Washington Post reported this week. – Bloomberg  

South Asia

Tensions in Kashmir are rising days after four people were killed in a raid by Indian security forces, fueling outraged protests over impunity and stirring fears that the conflict-torn region could be sliding into another especially deadly phase. – New York Times 

In a surprise announcement, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Friday his government will withdraw the controversial agriculture laws that prompted yearlong protests from tens of thousands of farmers and posed a significant political challenge to his administration. – Associated Press 

Years after coming under scrutiny for contributing to ethnic and religious violence in Myanmar, Facebook still has problems detecting and moderating hate speech and misinformation on its platform in the Southeast Asian nation, internal documents viewed by The Associated Press show. – Associated Press 

Relations between China and India have deteriorated partly because Beijing has never offered New Delhi a credible explanation for some actions in recent years, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar says. – Bloomberg  

Ruth Pollard writes: Defiant to the end, farmers are saying they won’t withdraw their protest until the laws are actually repealed in the parliament — a move Modi says will happen later this month. For now, opposition parties like Congress and the Samajwadi Party, which were both critical of the laws and the way they were implemented, are claiming a victory for the democratic process. – Bloomberg  

Saba Sattar writes: The fact that India signed and ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016—an international agreement to limit global warming to 2 or 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels—is a sign of promise. COP26 provides the next avenue for India to genuinely pursue a gradual reduction plan to achieve carbon neutrality. Western states must diplomatically nudge Delhi to keep the promises pledged by Modi at the summit. – The National Interest  


South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected seven Russian and two Chinese military aircraft in the country’s air defense identification zone off its eastern coast. – Associated Press 

Taiwan opened a de facto embassy in Lithuania on Thursday in a diplomatic breakthrough for the Chinese-claimed island, brushing aside Beijing’s strong opposition to the move which again expressed its anger and warned of consequences. – Reuters  

The Biden administration added more U.S. troops to Taiwan over the past few months, according to newly published Defense Department data, leaving nearly 40 troops on the embattled island to protect the de facto U.S. embassy and train Taiwanese troops. – Foreign Policy 

Australia on Friday openly mocked a senior Chinese diplomat’s warnings about its plan to acquire nuclear-powered submarines, saying they were “so silly it’s funny”. – Agence France-Presse 

Former leader Najib Razak is at the center of controversy in Malaysia again, with his request for land and a house worth an estimated $24 million threatening to torpedo a truce between major political parties that has brought stability to the Southeast Asian nation. – Bloomberg  

Josh Rogin writes: The United States’ “strategic ambiguity” about Taiwan’s independence should not stop us from setting out clear policies on how we will help Taiwan to stay free, democratic and prosperous. This objective must be a U.S. national security priority. Deterring China from a military invasion is only one piece of that puzzle. – Washington Post 

Michael J. Green, Nicholas Szechenyi and Hannah Fodale write: This study builds on a report CSIS published in 2020 on ways the United States can partner with allies and partners to enhance democratic partnership in the Indo-Pacific region. This follow-on effort includes case studies on the democracy support efforts of Australia, Japan, India, Indonesia, South Korea, and Taiwan; comparisons of democracy support strategies; – Center for Strategic and International Studies  

John H. Maurer writes: The dangerous decade of the 1930s and the breakdown of arms control thus seems a better fit for understanding the strategic predicament that the United States finds itself in today than the period leading up to the Washington Conference. […]Until China’s rulers are convinced that increases in their nuclear forces do not confer a strategic advantage, the United States cannot expect to have the initiative in arms control negotiations that it possessed a hundred years ago in Washington. – The National Interest  


Maria V. Butina made headlines across America when she was convicted three years ago of operating as an unregistered foreign agent trying to infiltrate influential conservative political circles before and after the 2016 election. She is now focused on playing a prominent role in Russia’s political system — through legal means this time, and with the support of President Vladimir V. Putin’s United Russia party. – New York Times  

France and Germany accused Russia on Thursday of breaking diplomatic protocol after Moscow published their confidential correspondence over Ukraine, the latest sign of deteriorating ties between Moscow and the West. – Reuters 

Russia will lean on France to mend its fraught ties with the European Union when Emmanuel Macron takes over the bloc’s rotating presidency next year. – Bloomberg  

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov called for global unity to prevent a new Russian “escalation” against Ukraine during a visit to the Pentagon on Thursday, as Kiev and Washington warn of what they say is unusual Russian military activity. – Reuters 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized the United States, the European Union, and NATO over their stance on the situation in the territories controlled by Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine and other issues, but said his country is ready “for contacts and a dialogue.” – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty  

Aides from jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny ‘s foundation vowed to continue to pressure President Vladimir Putin , even as they have been forced into exile. – Washington Examiner 

A full-blown war with Russia would not only be tragic for Ukraine; it would also create the deepest security crisis for Nato’s easternmost members on Ukraine’s doorstep since they joined the alliance two decades ago. Indeed, even if Moscow intends its menacing military build-up merely to garner negotiating leverage over Kyiv, western acquiescence risks prompting Russian challenges to Nato’s eastern flank. – Financial Times  

Stephen Blank writes: Europe’s current energy crisis, which the Kremlin is exploiting, is also is relevant here. One of the obvious objectives is to further isolate Ukraine from Europe. And as Timothy Garton Ash recently pointed out, once Russia no longer needs Ukraine for gas transit (following the opening of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea) the likelihood of another invasion rises significantly. – Center for European Policy Analysis  


Wednesday brought a tentative sign of a de-escalation, when Belarus started to move some migrants away from the frontier. By Thursday, freezing temperatures set in and all migrants had left the forest for a warehouse-turned-holding center, Belarus border authorities said. – Wall Street Journal  

Less than six months before the French presidential election, far-right provocateur Éric Zemmour has yet to announce his candidacy. But the possibility that he may run has already upended the race, alarming moderate contenders and far-right competitor Marine Le Pen alike. – Washington Post 

Hungary’s opposition leader wants to restore his country’s frayed ties with the West — and also has a message for American fans of right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban. – Associated Press 

Imprisoned and on hunger strike, Georgia’s former President Mikheil Saakashvili called on the U.S. for help as he warned the former Soviet republic was turning away from the pro-Western path he set it on 18 years ago. – Bloomberg  

The U.K. government on Thursday authorized an investigation into possible Russian involvement in the death of a British woman who was poisoned in 2018 by a Soviet-developed nerve agent, the Associated Press reported. – Newsweek 

Charlotte McDonald-Gibson writes: European officials use the language of moral superiority and humanitarianism without the policies to back it up, weakening their authority to call out countries such as Belarus and Russia. They should start redressing those double standards immediately. In the first instance, the European Commission must pressure Poland — wielding the threat, or even reality, of punishment — to allow humanitarian access to the border zone where necessary and to process asylum claims of people on its territory. – New York Times  

Jackie Goodall writes: Perhaps the horrific examples in Collier’s report would be confined to the extreme fringes of our society, if Ireland wasn’t so obsessively anti-Israel, didn’t give out mixed messages, and didn’t fraternize with terrorists in suits as in the case of Niall Collins TD. – Jerusalem Post  

Dejana Saric and Donatienne Ruy write: Bosnia’s internal crisis is exacerbated by external forces seeking to eliminate the OHR, a move which would further facilitate the country’s fragmentation. Russia threatened to veto a UN Security Council resolution to renew the yearly mandate of EUFOR and the NATO headquarters in Sarajevo unless all references to the OHR were struck. – Center for Strategic and International Studies  

Iulia-Sabina Joja writes: Georgia has no choice but to build up its own defense and rally political support for national and regional security. Its strongest and most supportive ally unquestionably remains the United States. Defense Secretary Austin’s visit has highlighted just that. Without staunch U.S. support for Black Sea deterrence and Georgia’s national security, an upgraded NATO partnership is unthinkable. It is now in the hands of Georgia’s government to rally further NATO support and secure an upgraded partnership, vital for its defense. – Middle East Institute  


U.S. officials warned pilots and operators to exercise caution while flying below 29,000 feet in Ethiopian airspace due to ongoing clashes between opposition groups and military forces. – Bloomberg  

Opponents of the coup in Sudan vowed on Thursday to step up protests after 15 civilians were reported killed in the deadliest day yet since last month’s takeover, risking more confrontation as the junta shows no sign of backing down. – Reuters  

A U.S. special envoy met Ethiopia’s deputy prime minister on Thursday in a bid to revive ceasefire talks, as the government gave permission for 369 aid trucks to enter famine-hit Tigray, where fighting began a year ago. – Reuters  

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday that Washington’s involvement in infrastructure in Africa was not about China, but intended to improve the standard of infrastructure without countries becoming burdened by debt. – Reuters  

The United States is lifting restrictions on four Burundians whom it had sanctioned in 2015 over violence in the country, the White House said on Thursday. – Reuters  

Latin America

After seven years in which the economy contracted 80%—what economists call the biggest collapse in decades for a country not at war—Venezuela’s economy may have bottomed out. Gross domestic product will rise anywhere from 5% to 10% in 2021, the first year of growth since authoritarian leader Nicolás Maduro took office in 2013, business consultants and economists estimate. – Wall Street Journal  

Venezuelans will vote on Sunday to elect state governors, mayors and municipal councillors, in the first elections contested by the opposition since 2017. – Reuters  

Venezuelan petrochemicals produced by joint ventures between state-run chemical firm Pequiven and foreign partners have arrived in the United States, despite Washington’s efforts to limit trade with the OPEC oil and gas producer. – Reuters 

Clara Ferreira Marques writes: Chile’s aggressive neoliberalism created unacceptable inequality that the current tax and welfare system does too little to redress. Chicago-school economics brought faster growth and helped lower overall poverty, but fewer miracles than it is credited with; more than half of households are economically vulnerable, in part because higher-wage jobs are scarce, leaving much of the middle class dependent on precarious alternatives. – Bloomberg  

Andrew Ivey writes: Regardless of any other data the president may have, the reality is that militarization has become entrenched under his command. As the role of the armed forces has been expanded and formalized, AMLO has made it more difficult for any potential successor to work their way out of Mexico’s militarization trap. AMLO’s government, and indeed subsequent governments, will consequently need to rely more, not less, on the armed forces. – War on the Rocks 

North America

President Biden’s summit with counterparts from Canada and Mexico at the White House brought him face to face with leaders who have accused his administration of promoting electric vehicles and union jobs at the expense of trading relationships with neighboring countries. – Wall Street Journal  

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton predicted the Biden administration would remove some punitive tariffs on China, while also calling on the world to prevent military aggression by Beijing and criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin. – Bloomberg  

For almost two decades, lawmakers in Washington have been pushing legislation that would rein in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Facing a near-certain presidential veto, the proposal has never crossed the finish line. Now, the legislation is getting a new look amid surging gasoline and oil prices. – Bloomberg  

Michael Rubin writes: Someone should have told climate envoy John Kerry. For Kerry, getting President Xi Jinping’s signature on a piece of paper is mutually exclusive with countering the genocide that Xi wages against China’s Uyghur population. Kerry’s posture is crass and immoral but, unfortunately, also the tip of the iceberg. The scale of repression the Uyghurs endure may pale in comparison to a genocide developing in Nigeria that the State Department appears determined to ignore. – Washington Examiner  

Nate Sibley writes: In fact, the United States looks stronger for being at the table alongside allies and partners, especially when its main rivals for global influence can’t be bothered to show up. But instead of acquiescing in the charade of nonbinding agreements, a Republican administration would use international fora to publicly hold China, Russia and other polluters’ feet to the fire, insisting on legally binding, transparent and enforceable commitments to reduce emissions — then walking away if those fail to materialize. – Hudson Institute  


Law enforcement officials recently told CNBC that tracking and eventually arresting these criminals using cryptocurrencies has proven to be difficult. – The National Interest  

A consortium of US states announced a joint probe Thursday of Instagram’s parent company Meta for promoting the app to children despite allegedly knowing its potential for harm, in fresh regulatory trouble for the scandal-hit network. – Agence France-Presse 

Australia on Friday called for governments around the world to agree on “rules of the road” to fight the spread of misinformation and state-backed disinformation online. – Reuters  

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took a swipe at cryptocurrencies, saying they have the power to weaken entire countries eventually. – Bloomberg  

Indonesian police are investigating claims by a hacker who said this week they have stolen personal data of thousands of police officers, the latest in a spate of cyber attacks that has highlighted the country’s digital vulnerabilities. – Reuters  

Former Japanese premier Shinzo Abe, who remains influential in the ruling party, said on Friday Japan should cooperate with the AUKUS security partners the United States, Britain and Australia on artificial intelligence and cyber capabilities. – Reuters  


More than 30 lawmakers from both parties today will send a letter to President JOE BIDEN questioning the administration’s legal rationale for bypassing Congress before launching a military strike. – Politico  

The U.S. Navy is satisfied with the solution to its littoral combat ship combining gear woes, having accepted delivery of the first ship to receive the new system, service leaders announced. – Defense News 

The Navy has ordered all submarine crews to conduct a navigation stand down — a period of  additional training — after an underwater collision damaged a sub in the South China Sea last month. – Military.com  

The 13 U.S. service members killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul in August are on track to receive Congress’ highest honor after the Senate unanimously approved posthumously awarding them the Congressional Gold Medal. – Military.com 

Editorial: Congress created the Space Force in 2019 in part to protect critical satellite networks from adversaries. By working with allies and commercial satellite providers, the new service branch needs to show that a few anti-satellite missiles won’t be enough to derail American military capabilities in the event of a conflict. – Bloomberg  

Long War

Britain’s Conservative government could be allowed to strip people of citizenship without giving them notice to appeal if legislation being debated in Parliament becomes law. – Washington Post 

The United Kingdom plans to label Hamas in its entirety as a terror organization. British Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to announce the significant policy change during a security speech she is scheduled to deliver later in the day at The Heritage Foundation in Washington. – Jerusalem Post  

The wife of an American humanitarian worker who was kidnapped in Niger five years ago said Wednesday that her husband’s captors have made a multimillion-dollar ransom demand but U.S. government “restrictions” have hindered her ability to raise the sum. Els Woodke said she believes her husband, Jeff Woodke, is in the custody of a West African affiliate of al-Qaida known as JNIM and that she received information indicating he was alive as of this summer. – Newsweek 

On November 14-15, 2021, Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar), the A24 News Agency YouTube channel, and the Al-Resalah YouTube channel aired reports about a military exhibition titled “Generation of Jerusalem,” held in Gaza by Hamas and its student wing, the Islamic Bloc. The exhibition allows teens, students, and the general public to view a wide array of Hamas weapons and to simulate the liberation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. – Middle East Media Research Institute  

In an October 26, 2021 article in the Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, senior Saudi media figure Mamdouh Al-Muhaini, director-general of the Al-Arabiya and Al-Hadath television channels, called for a comprehensive reform in the Muslim world to instill rational and scientific thinking that will promote tolerance and eradicate extremism. – Middle East Media Research Institute