Fdd's overnight brief

November 20, 2023

In The News


Israel is shifting the focus of its military campaign to southern Gaza, where it will likely face the hardest stage of the six-week-old war as it seeks to crush Hamas and recover hostages amid a deepening humanitarian crisis. – Wall Street Journal

Israel and Hamas are closing in on an internationally brokered deal to pause fighting and free some of the roughly 240 hostages taken by the militant group, officials close to the talks said, amid heightened scrutiny of the civilian toll of Israel’s invasion of Gaza. – Wall Street Journal

As Western and Arab leaders look beyond Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip, most agree they want some form of Palestinian government running the enclave, but they can’t agree on who it should include. – Wall Street Journal

Hundreds of patients, medical staff and displaced people began evacuating the besieged Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on Saturday, as the Israeli military tightens its control of the medical complex, which it says Hamas has used as a military command center. – Wall Street Journal

Israel said it would allow limited fuel deliveries into the Gaza Strip after supplies ran out and plunged the enclave into a communications blackout. – Wall Street Journal

Israel’s fierce response to last month’s cross-border assault by Hamas militants from Gaza has reinvigorated support for Palestinians in the Arab world and stirred popular anger—not just at Israel and its biggest ally, the U.S., but also at Arab governments. – Wall Street Journal

For 17 years, on and off, two men maintained a secret line of communication between Israel and Hamas, the armed Palestinian group that opposes Israel’s existence. – New York Times

Israel stepped up accusations of Hamas abuses at the Gaza Strip’s biggest hospital on Sunday, saying a captive soldier had been executed and two foreign hostages held at a site that has been a focus of its devastating six-week-old offensive. – Reuters

Prime Minister Netanyahu laid out for the first time Israel’s pre-conditions for the post-war administration of Gaza — starting with the insistence that any new administration in Gaza acknowledge the truth about what happened on October 7 and the days after. – New York Sun

After weeks of being accused of exaggerating claims about Hamas terrorists’ use of hospitals at Gaza for military purposes, the Israel Defense Forces on Sunday released videos of what it said was evidence of an extensive network of fortified tunnels beneath the strip’s largest hospital, the Shifa hospital, used by Hamas to hide hostages and escape Israeli airstrikes. – New York Sun

The deal to release hostages kidnapped by Hamas during its terrorist attack on Israel now only depends on “minor” practical issues, the Qatari prime minister said on Sunday in Doha. – Politico

The Palestinian Authority’s Finance Ministry put out a statement on Sunday, denying terror group Hamas was responsible for at least 350 partygoers slain at the Re’im music festival massacre. – Jerusalem Post

Editorial: Israel has proven during the first six weeks of the war that it is intent on ending Hamas’s tyrannical rule over Gaza and its threat to the Israeli people. While that should continue to be the overriding objective, it needs to go hand in hand with the sacred charge of obtaining the release of any hostage being held in Gaza whenever the opportunity arises. – Jerusalem Post

David Ignatius writes: “We need to stop killing each other,” Waldman tells me. “It’s going to take time.” I ask him what countries his Arab contacts are from, but he won’t answer. This isn’t the time to talk openly about peace with the Palestinians, he says. But he still believes it’s coming. – Washington Post

Ruth Pollard writes: Yet, in the meantime, Israel’s government can at least not make its own problems worse. The unconscionable death toll in Gaza, Netanyahu’s disregard for the fate of the more than 200 hostages held by Hamas, and Israel’s continued rejection of a ceasefire have already gravely damaged its cause. The last thing it needs is to embolden a settler minority whose actions are undermining security for all Israelis and Palestinians and increasing the risk of a wider conflict. – Bloomberg

Navvar Şaban writes: Israel justified those actions as a response to several mortar attacks from the Syrian side. However, the nature of those strikes differed from Israel’s previous responses, appearing more as a demonstration of Israeli military prowess. Such a robust response to a few mortar shells suggests that Israel’s intent was to showcase its capability to operate on multiple fronts, rather than merely a retaliation for the damage caused by the mortars. – Middle East Institute

Conn Carroll writes: But with narrow control of just one chamber, Republicans can’t force Biden and the Democrats to do something that is just so against their nature. Instead, Republicans should take an easy win: Pair Ukraine aid with Israel, and watch the Democratic Party tear itself apart. – Washington Examiner


A U.S. jury has convicted two Texas men of trying to sell Iranian petroleum in violation of sanctions imposed by Washington and of conspiracy to commit money laundering, the Justice Department said on Friday. – Reuters

Iran denied Israeli claims that it was involved in the seizure of a British-owned and Japanese-operated cargo ship in the southern Red Sea by Yemen’s Houthis, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said on Monday at a press conference. – Reuters

Thousands of Iranians took part in state-sponsored marches on Saturday to protest against the deaths of children and other civilians in the Gaza war, and a top military commander said Israel was going towards its doom in a war of attrition. – Reuters

Russia and Iran’s foreign ministers on Sunday called for a ceasefire in Gaza and said that urgent assistance must be given to the civilian population there. – Reuters

The United States on Friday issued sanctions targeting Iran-aligned militia groups, accusing them of being involved in attacks against the United States and its partners in Iraq and Syria. – Reuters

Iranian-backed militants in Iraq and Syria have long battled with U.S. and coalition forces, launching sporadic attacks against bases in the region where troops are deployed to fight Islamic State group insurgents. – Associated Press

Outspoken musician Toomaj Salehi, who was arrested in Iran’s anti-government protests last year, was released on bail Saturday, his lawyer told Iranian newspaper Shargh Daily. – Bloomberg

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Sunday that Israel has suffered a “defeat” in its war against Iran-backed Palestinian terror group Hamas, claiming that this was “a fact.” – Agence France-Presse

Iran unveiled on Sunday a newer version of what it claims is a hypersonic missile capable of maneuvering at high speeds to evade air defense systems. – Times of Israel

Tehran has increased its aggression against Israel and the free world, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after Yemen’s Houthis, an Iranian proxy group, had seized a British-owned and Japanese-operated cargo ship in the southern Red Sea. – Jerusalem Post

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Sunday said that the defense establishment has noted a growing trend of “Iran pushing for militia attacks against Israel using its proxies in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. – Jerusalem Post

Russia & Ukraine

He was sentenced in July 2022 to 17 years after a high-profile trial that reignited a national conversation in Russia about the lack of protections against domestic violence and law enforcement indifference to such cases. But then Pekhteleva’s bereaved mother, Oksana, received a photo of Kanyus — not in prison but in a military uniform surrounded by other Russian soldiers. – Washington Post

The drones began crashing on Ukraine’s front lines, with little explanation. For months, the aerial vehicles supplied by Quantum Systems, a German technology firm, had worked smoothly for Ukraine’s military, swooping through the air to spot enemy tanks and troops in the country’s war against Russia. – New York Times

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Sunday demanded rapid changes in the operations of Ukraine’s military and announced the dismissal of the commander of the military’s medical forces. – Reuters

A Ukrainian teenager who was taken to Russia from the occupied city of Mariupol during the war and prevented from leaving the country earlier this year returned to Ukraine on Sunday. – Reuters

A Ukrainian soldier and a woman died when a grenade exploded in a Kyiv apartment, police in the Ukrainian capital said, but the cause of the blast, which injured a second man, was not immediately clear. – Reuters

Russia launched several waves of drone attacks on Kyiv early on Sunday for the second night in row, stepping up its assaults on the Ukrainian capital after several weeks of pause, the city’s military administration said. – Reuters

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has sanctioned 37 Russian groups and 108 people including a former prime minister and a former education minister and said he aimed to fight wartime abductions of children from Ukraine and other “Russian terror”. – Reuters

The lower house of Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, approved a federal budget Friday that increases spending by around 25% in 2024 and devotes a record amount to defense. – Associated Press

Cyprus, the sunny Mediterranean island where ancient sources say Aphrodite freely frolicked, has just been adjudged to play “an even bigger role than was commonly known in moving dirty money for Russian President Vladimir Putin” and other dictators. – New York Sun

The Ukrainian government has collected evidence of around 109,000 alleged Russian war crimes, including physical and cyberattacks, according to Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin. – Politico

Richard Haass and Charles Kupchan write: If the winner is committed to the continuation of transatlantic solidarity and further efforts to ensure Ukraine’s security and sovereignty, Putin would have little reason to presume that time is on Russia’s side. But the U.S. election is a year away, and it could lead to an outcome that leaves Ukraine in the lurch. Neither Washington nor Kyiv should run that risk. The United States needs to work with Ukraine now to pivot to a new strategy that reflects military and political realities. To do otherwise is to recklessly gamble on Ukraine’s future. – Foreign Affairs

Otto Lanzavecchia and Gabriele Carrer write: Far from being unconnected, illicit cash handovers, “prank calls,” and cyberattacks are part of the same medium-to-long-term design: to exacerbate political division, embitter the public debate, fuel information chaos, and sow distrust towards democratic institutions, while also interfering with the democratic process by injecting Kremlin-aligned narratives and conducting espionage. – Center for European Policy Analysis


Iraq’s Kataeb Hezbollah (KH) militia, a powerful armed faction with close ties to Iran, brushed off U.S. sanctions on the group over attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria and said on Saturday such strikes aimed to “drain the enemy”. – Reuters

Bilal Wahab writes: To deter Iran and Iraqi militias, the U.S. needs to broaden its outreach to include the Iraqi Parliament, the Kurdistan Regional Government and other key players. It also needs to resist the temptation to try to wield Iraq as a cudgel against Iran. America’s long game should be to empower the Iraqi state and its institutions and avoid turning Iraq into a battlefield in a broader regional war. – Wall Street Journal

Michael Knights writes: Much like his old boss Abu Mustafa, however, Abu Ala seems prone to making mistakes and being let down by his family. His son Jaafar was censured in 2022 and lost control over the militia outlet Sabereen News after ordering followers to burn down the Kurdistan Democratic Party offices in Baghdad. And Abu Ala himself was embarrassed in 2019 when one of his rocket warehouses in south Baghdad overheated and sent Katyushas across the skies of Baghdad, making militia-governed Iraq look like a dysfunctional mess. – Washington Institute


The secondary conflict that erupted along the Lebanon-Israel border in tandem with the Gaza war has settled into something of a routine. Every day for the past six weeks, Israel has attacked Lebanon and Hezbollah has attacked Israel, a pattern that began as a tit for tat and has now blurred into a steady exchange of fire. – Washington Post

Hezbollah and Israel traded rocket and missile fire in areas near the Lebanese-Israeli border on Saturday, officials on both sides said, in the latest flare-up of violence which the United States worries will cause conflict to spiral in the Middle East. – Reuters

Adnan Nasser writes: Hezbollah is finding itself trapped within its own ideological rhetoric and the current reality. By not displaying the totality of its strength, it risks losing its image as a resistance movement for the “liberation” of historic Palestine. On the other hand, Hezbollah has calculated that such a decision would not serve the group’s long-term political agenda in Lebanon. However, it has not ruled out such an outcome. Everything is contingent on the fighting in Gaza. If a ceasefire is implemented soon, Palestinians, Lebanese, and Israelis can breathe easier. The ball is in the court of the international community. – National Interest

Middle East & North Africa

Israel said on Sunday that Yemen’s Houthis had seized a British-owned and Japanese-operated cargo ship in the southern Red Sea, describing the incident as an “Iranian act of terrorism” with consequences for international maritime security. – Reuters

Jordan’s foreign minister offered blistering criticism Saturday of Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, describing it as “blatant aggression” against Palestinian civilians that threatens to engulf the wider Middle East. – Associated Press

Enes Kanter Freedom writes: Reacting to Mr. Erdogan’s response to the Oct. 7 attacks, Israel has recalled its diplomats from Turkey and says it is “reassessing” ties with Ankara. The same reassessment ought to take place in Western capitals and international organizations that have helped normalize the Turkish regime over the past 20 years. Mr. Erdogan has sown chaos in the Mideast, always to secure his own power and spread his extreme ideology around the world. It’s time for the West to open its eyes. – Wall Street Journal

Michael Knights, Wladimir van Wilgenburg, Devorah Margolin, and Andrew J. Tabler write: In this regard, attacking U.S. targets in Syria presents lower risks and greater rewards than attacking in Iraq or elsewhere. Syria has greater freedom of maneuver and more malleable rules of the game. Yet this same lack of firm rules could lead to unintended escalation between the multiple foreign militaries and proxies still operating in Syria. – Washington Institute

Burcu Ozcelik writes: An ascendant position since the end of the Cold War has been that the principle of self-determination is not a trump card or necessarily an automatic right belonging to a people, but must be balanced by other principles, namely the requirement for international peace, order, and security. The Middle East will emerge from the Israel-Hamas war having changed profoundly. Much of what this will look like depends on the governing structure that will rule Gaza the “day after” the war. It is clear that the future of the two-state solution is more urgent than it was before October 7. – National Interest

Giran Ozcan writes: The U.S.-Kurdish relationship took on a whole new significance after an inhumane organization calling itself the Islamic State threatened the peoples of the world. The current threat to the international order is also great, and the strategic relationship with the Kurds must reflect that. – National Interest

Korean Peninsula

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol heads to Britain on Monday for a state visit, hoping to boost economic ties and enhance security partnerships to counter North Korea’s evolving threats and other regional challenges. – Reuters

North Korea on Monday denounced the United States’ potential sale of missiles to Japan and South Korea, calling it a dangerous act that raises tension in the region and brings a new arms race, state media reported. – Reuters

South Korea’s military warned North Korea not to go ahead with its planned spy satellite launch, suggesting Monday that Seoul could suspend an inter-Korean peace deal and resume frontline aerial surveillance in retaliation for a launch. – Associated Press

Tim Culpan writes: And while ties between Seoul and Tokyo aren’t always warm, increasing concerns about the common threat they face from Beijing means that arms trade between the two is not unthinkable, especially as Japan undergoes its greatest expansion in military power since the end of World War II. The US now supplies 97% of Japan’s arms. Bold plans to become a big name in the global weapons market necessitates Seoul landing big orders from major clients. If it does, it will go some way to achieving another objective: helping to reduce the leverage of external powers in Asia. – Bloomberg


For decades, the U.S. hasn’t had to worry much about China’s submarines. They were noisy and easy to track. The Chinese military, meanwhile, struggled to detect America’s ultraquiet submarines. – Wall Street Journal

A Chinese man wanted for allegedly embezzling millions of yuan (hundreds of thousands of dollars) from his company and then fleeing to Morocco was extradited back to China on Saturday, the Ministry of Public Security said. – Associated Press

China is hosting senior officials from mostly Middle Eastern nations for “in-depth” talks on deescalating the Israel-Hamas conflict, as Beijing tries to bolster its credentials as a global peacemaker. – Bloomberg

Editorial: Some in the Administration will argue that stiffening the U.S. Pacific deterrent is provocative. But the empirical record is the opposite: Beijing exploits U.S. timidity, whether by militarizing islands in the South China Sea or routinely crossing the median line in the Taiwan Strait to menace Taipei. The Pacific is a higher-risk theater than the public appreciates, but the U.S. can still prevent a war over Taiwan. Mr. Biden doesn’t want to be remembered as the President who squandered America’s precious time to prepare. – Wall Street Journal

Liz Peek writes: Will China live up to its end of this bargain? Probably about as well as it has abided by most promises made by Xi in recent years. No military installations on the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, as Xi promised Obama? Broken. Peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030, as per the Paris climate accord? Broken. Joe Biden says he’s a fan of “trust but verify” when it comes to Xi. At least he’s got that one right. – The Hill

Gavin D’Souza writes: America’s lead over Beijing in aviation will persist for the time being as China still has a wide gap to cross before it can mount real competition against western manufacturers. Companies like Boeing shouldn’t be helping Beijing cross this divide by partnering with Chinese aviation companies. If America’s edge in the aviation industry is to endure long-term, then it is time for American manufacturers to pivot from China. – American Enterprise Institute

Matthew P. Funaiole, Brian Hart, Aidan Powers-Riggs, and Jennifer Jun write: China will likely proceed carefully, choosing to gradually deepen its foothold without crossing thresholds that could draw unwanted attention. As the PLAN becomes more entrenched in the Bay of Bengal, Washington and its partners should work in lockstep to maintain a free and open region and ensure that the risk of conflict is kept at bay. – Center for Strategic and International Studies 

Dov S. Zakheim writes: That article appeared in 1959. Three years later, this seeming apostle of peaceful co-existence instigated the Cuban Missile Crisis that nearly sparked a nuclear conflict with the United States. It is a lesson that those who deal with Xi Jin Ping should be careful not to forget. – National Interest

South Asia

Maldives new President Mohamed Muizzu, who campaigned on altering the tiny Indian Ocean archipelago’s “India first” policy, has requested India withdraw its military from the country. – Reuters

India and Australia are set to hold talks focused on bolstering their strategic, defense and security ties on Monday in New Delhi. – Reuters

Online abuse and hate speech targeting politically active women in Afghanistan has significantly increased since the Taliban took over the country in Aug. 2021, according to a report released Monday by a U.K.-based rights group. – Associated Press

Pakistan security forces killed four militants in a shootout during an overnight raid in the country’s northwest near the border with Afghanistan, the military said Sunday. – Associated Press

Bangladesh’s highest court on Sunday dismissed an appeal by the country’s largest Islamist party seeking to overturn a 2013 ruling that barred it from participating in elections for violating the constitutional provision of secularism. – Associated Press

A roadside bomb exploded in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province, killing three people, police said. – Associated Press

China and Pakistan on Friday wrapped up their largest bilateral naval exercise to date, marking the first time Pakistan hosted such an advanced Chinese destroyer for training. – Defense News

Jianli Yang writes: Although India is a democracy, it is a flawed one with considerable room for improvement. Nevertheless, the foundation of India’s political system is democratic and based on the rule of law, which is fundamentally different from China’s authoritarian system. In fact, since the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989, the CCP regime has often used India as a negative example to dampen the Chinese people’s desire for democracy. The outcome of this rivalry of the world’s two most populous countries will shape the future of the international liberal order. – The Hill

Kabir Taneja writes: Whether its own leaders like it or not, India has bought into aspects of future security architectures with its membership of the I2U2 and IMEEC in one of the world’s most flammable regions. This is a bold and commendable posture for an economy that will require significant global input for its challenging future economic goals. It is also palatable for the Middle East to have India as a major energy market to diversify its exports and offset Chinese influence over critical commodities such as oil and gas. – Foreign Policy


Australia accused the Chinese navy of injuring some of its divers with sonar pulses during an operation near Japan, reigniting tensions between a key U.S. ally and Beijing just days after their leaders met to stabilize ties. – Wall Street Journal

The Philippines has approached neighbours such as Malaysia and Vietnam to discuss a separate code of conduct regarding the South China Sea, its president said on Monday, citing limited progress towards striking a broader regional pact with China. – Reuters

Lai Ching-te, the frontrunner for Taiwan’s presidency, named on Monday Taipei’s former envoy to the United States as his running mate in January’s election, a high-profile diplomat well known in Washington but who Beijing denounces as a separatist. – Reuters

Japanese marines in amphibious assault vehicles stormed an island beach at the edge of the East China Sea on Sunday in a simulated attack to dislodge invaders from territory that Tokyo worries is vulnerable to attack from China. – Reuters

The conflict in military-ruled Myanmar has been a difficult issue for the Southeast Asian bloc ASEAN to address, with little progress made towards a resolution and intensifying fighting, Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos said. – Reuters

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been able to agree on the basic principles for a peace treaty but are still “speaking different diplomatic languages”, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Saturday, according to Russia’s TASS news agency. – Reuters

New Zealand’s Prime Minister elect Christopher Luxon said on Monday that a “significant milestone” had been achieved in forming a government overnight with the National Party, ACT New Zealand and New Zealand First agreeing on policy programmes. – Reuters

More than two hundred Thai nationals trapped by the surge in fighting in northern Myanmar between junta soldiers and armed ethnic-minority groups are being evacuated to Thailand via China, the Thai foreign ministry said on Sunday. – Reuters

Taiwan reported renewed Chinese military activity around the island on Sunday, with nine aircraft crossing the sensitive median line of the Taiwan Strait and warships carrying out “combat readiness patrols”. – Reuters

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday, seeking ways to reduce tensions in the South China Sea and restore Filipino fishermen’s access to fishing grounds. – Reuters

Taiwan’s two main opposition parties have failed to agree on a joint candidate for president, once again throwing into doubt their ability to unseat the ruling party in January’s election. – Associated Press

Lucas Myers writes: Although the war is far from over and it remains unclear what a future Myanmar will look like, events are moving fast, and we are likely facing a turning point in the conflict. The resistance’s limited strategic cooperation during the first two years appears to have been replaced by a series of well-planned, country-wide offensives that caught the junta on its back foot. The resistance is doubtlessly planning further offensives, targeting isolated outposts, strategic border roads, and small towns with the goal of expanding their territory. With the junta bleeding from a thousand cuts, now is the time to ramp up pressure both inside and outside Myanmar. – War on the Rocks


Faced with growing American reluctance to send more military aid to Ukraine, European leaders are moving to fill the gap, vowing new support for Kyiv as it battles Russia in a war in Europe’s backyard. – New York Times

Hungary must say no to the current Europe model built in Brussels, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told a congress of his Fidesz party on Saturday, adding that the European Union needs to be changed rather than ditched. – Reuters

France has successfully test-fired an M51.3 long-range ballistic missile, boosting the credibility of France’s nuclear deterrence capabilities, the defence ministry said on Sunday. – Reuters

Finland’s representative on the European Commission, Jutta Urpilainen, plans to enter the race to become president of the Nordic country. – Bloomberg

Latvian Foreign Minister Krisjanis Karins is looking to join the list of contenders to succeed NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, a second top politician from the Baltics to express interest. – Bloomberg


Gunmen pulled 18 villagers from their homes during a night raid this spring, shooting some and slitting the throats of the rest. They wedged hand grenades under the bodies, laying a trap for those who would discover the grisly scene. – Wall Street Journal

Democratic Republic of Congo’s former Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo on Sunday dropped his presidential bid and said he would back a joint opposition candidate following recommendations of four opposition candidates that met in South Africa this week. – Reuters

Liberia President George Weah on Friday conceded election defeat to opposition leader Joseph Boakai after a tight race, ending a presidency marred by graft allegations but helping to ensure a smooth transition of power in the once volatile African nation. – Reuters

The party of jailed opposition leader Ousmane Sonko said Sunday it was sponsoring another candidate for the February presidential election, just days after Senegal’s Supreme Court effectively blocked Sonko’s own bid. – Associated Press

Heavy fighting Sunday in a disputed region claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan killed at least 32 people, including a U.N. peacekeeper, authorities said. – Associated Press

Latin America

Javier Milei, a libertarian political outsider who pledged to flatten Argentina’s political establishment, won the presidency Sunday by an overwhelming margin in a major shift for a country buffeted by one of the world’s highest rates of inflation and mounting poverty after years of populist rule. – Wall Street Journal

International rebuke swelled on Saturday over what observers say are efforts to use a politicized justice system to keep Guatemalan President-elect Bernardo Arevalo out of office. – Reuters

The U.S. State Department called Nicaragua’s formal withdrawal from the Organization of American States on Sunday “another step away from democracy.” – Associated Press

A Brazilian defense organization has introduced an exploding drone prototype dubbed Anshar. Its unveiling comes as the weapons class gains prominence amid Russia’s war in Ukraine. Also known as loitering munitions, they typically are able to remain in flight until a remote user issues the order to crash into a target.  – Defense News

John Authers writes: But he’s received an endorsement from the Argentine people, who at this point know what they’re getting into. Massa would have represented more of the same policies that have been an abject failure. Rather than act like First World War generals and do the same thing again and again in the hope that it will work next time, they’re taking a big risk and more or less guaranteeing themselves even more pain in the short term, to see if they can turn it around. They deserve a break. – Bloomberg

Lautaro Grinspan writes: The idea of moving out of his parents’ home and renting an apartment of his own one day feels inconceivable. Piaggio doesn’t see a future for himself in Argentina if Massa’s ruling party wins the Nov. 19 runoff. He said he is proud of young people like himself and his friends for elevating Milei as an alternative. “We are the generation that created a change.” – Foreign Policy

North America

President Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Friday reaffirmed their commitment to work together to address migration and combat fentanyl trafficking to the U.S., tackling two issues that have been the main lines of attack against the administration by 2024 Republican presidential candidates. – Washington Post

One of two Canadians imprisoned in China for nearly three years said his fellow inmate shared intelligence on North Korea with Canada and allied spy services, which was a factor in their arrests, according to a report by the Globe and Mail. – Bloomberg

Dan Negrea writes: However, the Biden administration holds the power to reinstate this effective Trump-era policy on its own. Legal developments, including a Supreme Court decision in August 2021 and a federal judge’s ruling in December 2022, indicate that the Biden Administration’s attempts to terminate the policy may have violated federal law. President Biden faces a crucial choice: Make “Remain in Mexico” the centerpiece of a responsible federal border security program or hope that no terrorists exploit our open southern border. – National Interest

United States

President Biden is struggling to persuade Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take steps U.S. officials believe could help prevent the conflict in Gaza from further escalating, straining the relationship between the two longtime allies, according to U.S. and European officials. – Wall Street Journal 

A surge in attacks on deployed U.S. forces has roiled some within the Defense Department, where officials, frustrated by what they consider an incoherent strategy for countering the Iranian proxies believed responsible, acknowledge the limited retaliatory airstrikes approved by President Biden have failed to stop the violence. – Washington Post

Andy Kessler writes: Has the U.S. lost its will? “We can have the weaponry and ships and aircraft, but if our adversaries don’t think we’re willing to use them, to defend ourselves and stop them, they don’t do much good.” In the Middle East, if “Joe Biden is not going to respond, and if he’s going to be shooting empty warehouses in eastern Syria, as opposed to blowing up IRGC barracks outside of Tehran—if I’m Xi Jinping sitting in Beijing, and I see that, it makes me think.” – Wall Street Journal

Joe Biden writes: But we must never forget the lesson learned time and again throughout our history: Out of great tragedy and upheaval, enormous progress can come. More hope. More freedom. Less rage. Less grievance. Less war. We must not lose our resolve to pursue those goals, because now is when clear vision, big ideas and political courage are needed most. That is the strategy that my administration will continue to lead — in the Middle East, Europe and around the globe. Every step we take toward that future is progress that makes the world safer and the United States of America more secure. – Washington Post

Niall Ferguson writes: What makes a superpower summit at once sinister and comical is this uncanny sense that the two superpowers are not quite the polar opposites they purport to be. Remember: if the Cuban Missile Crisis repeats itself over Taiwan the side imposing the blockade will not be, as in 1962, the US. It will be China. In the Taiwan Semiconductor Crisis of 2024, we would be the Soviets. – Bloomberg


TikTok says it’s “aggressively removing” videos promoting Osama bin Laden’s 2002 “Letter to America,” which explained why he orchestrated the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The platform has also blocked the hashtag #LettertoAmerica, meaning users won’t be able to search for it, a TikTok spokesperson told Semafor. – Semafor

The majority of state-sponsored cyberattacks against Russia originate from North Korea and China, Russian researchers claimed in a report released this week. – The Record

A hacking group that has been targeting Ukraine for a while has launched a new campaign on government agencies using a familiar surveillance tool — Remcos. – The Record

The White House on Friday announced that Drenan Dudley will be the new acting national cyber director while the Senate continues the confirmation process for NCD nominee Harry Coker. – CyberScoop

Editorial: This is a bipartisan issue. Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI) have all introduced legislation to ban TikTok. After the bizarre turn of TikTok users to bin Laden as though he were a guru, what more evidence do we need that the platform is bad for America, particularly its young? The legislation is written and the time is now. Congress should pass this bill, and President Joe Biden should sign it. – Washington Examiner

James Andrew Lewis writes: The most important consideration is the need to maintain Western technological strength and economic growth. This is more important than restricting China’s access to technology. Given the need to restructure the technology relationship with China, the question for policymakers is which policies strengthen the Western capacity for innovation, since innovation is the cornerstone of future power. – Center for Strategic and International Studies


A group of Republican lawmakers warned that two F-16 fighter jet programs for Taiwan remain at “high risk” of falling further behind despite efforts to accelerate deliveries to bolster the island’s defenses against China. – Bloomberg

Editorial: Diplomacy halted a nuclear arms race in the 1980s, largely because two political leaders, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, had the vision to do so. Right now, such willpower is in short supply. But it would be wise to look for modest opportunities to prepare for treaties later on. An unbridled arms race will be costly, risky and even more mind-bending than three-way negotiations to stop it. – Washington Post

John Venable writes: With China’s growing stealth capability and capacity, and its willingness to invest heavily in readiness, we can no longer afford to buy anything but the best. There is no doubt that the F-35 is the most dominant fighter in the world. Our nation needs to acquire as many of these jets as quickly as it can. – Heritage Foundation

Peter Suciu writes: In the end, Project 705 Lira or Alfa-class was simply too expensive to mass-produce. In fact, after the lead boat, K-64, suffered a major reactor problem in 1972 – just a year after she entered service – the submarine was towed back to Severodvinsk where it was deemed too expensive to repair. Instead, K-64 was split in half and used to train Soviet submariners. The remaining six boats continued in service – until April 1990 when five were decommissioned and scrapped. The final boat was eventually decommissioned in July 1996 and also scrapped. – National Interest

Maya Carlin writes: The WS-10A Taihang turbofan engines that power the J-11B variant have not performed well. These engines lack adequate thrust and also require large amounts of overhauls and maintenance, negatively impacting the platform. In fact, these homegrown Chinese engines have functioned so poorly that the J-11 fleet had to be grounded and refitted with Russia’s AL-31Fs. Although Beijing strives to be the leader of the aeronautics industry, it clearly still does rely to some degree on foreign nations. – National Interest