Fdd's overnight brief

November 22, 2022

In The News


At the World Cup in Qatar, Iran’s soccer players on Monday declined to sing their country’s national anthem. In Tehran, two well-known actresses were arrested over the weekend for defiantly removing their head scarves. And at least nine prominent Iranians were summoned for questioning for daring to criticize the authorities. – New York Times 

Iranian security forces used heavy gunfire against protesters in a Kurdish town in the country’s west on Monday, killing at least five during an anti-government protest that erupted at the funeral of two people killed the day before, activists said. – Associated Press

Iran has started enriching uranium to 60% purity at its underground Fordow nuclear site, according to state media on Tuesday, which described the action as a response to the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s demand for more cooperation from Tehran. – Reuters 

A major disruption in internet service in Iran was confirmed by the NetBlocks internet monitor on Monday, raising fears among rights groups of a cut-off in internet access to help crush anti-government unrest in Kurdish-populated regions. – Reuters 

The United Nations’ top rights body will hold an urgent meeting this week to consider launching an international investigation into the deadly crackdown on mass protests rocking Iran. – Agence France-Presse

Iran has said it is taking retaliatory measures against the International Atomic Energy Agency over a resolution criticizing Tehran’s lack of cooperation with the nuclear watchdog. – Agence France-Presse 

The Mossad was the agency which tipped off the United Kingdom’s MI5 homeland security agency about Iranian terror threats to British citizens in recent weeks, especially journalists, Channel 11 reported on Monday night. – Jerusalem Post 

Iran’s team of hackers has recently advanced closer than ever to being able to penetrate and control Israeli and US drones, ClearSky Cyber Security CEO Boaz Dolev said Monday. – Jerusalem Post 

Iran recently weighed initiating a terrorist attack at the current World Cup soccer tournament and was only dissuaded out of concern for how Qatar, the host country, might respond, OC IDF Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Aharon Haliva said Monday at the INSS conference on Iran. – Jerusalem Post 

The notorious Iranian Revolutionary Guards were accused of opening fire on protesters with a machine gun on Monday afternoon. – Newsweek

Editorial: We have long felt that the agreement to restrain Iran’s nuclear effort was too important to be derailed because of other conflicts with Tehran. But it is now becoming quite clear that resumption of the talks cannot proceed with an Iranian leadership that is crushing its own people at home and helping Russia destroy Ukraine. The turmoil created by these other events is making the prospects for negotiation that could stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions ever more remote. – Washington Post  

Benny Avni writes: Perhaps the fact that even Iran’s own national athletes now seem to disavow the Islamic Republic would move America to fully support a Persian regime change. – New York Sun 

Ehud Eilam writes: The Iranian people started this and they are keeping on the fight, although they absorb heavy losses and had to deal with mass arrests and other dangers. The Biden administration can, unofficially or not, do more to help the Iranian opposition. – Jerusalem Post

Nawras Jaff writes: These ongoing waves of protests are increasingly standing out from other recent protest movements in Middle Eastern countries due to their persistence and decentralization. In fact, they are increasingly reminiscent of the Iranian protests of 1979, which succeeded in decimating the Shah Regime. However, as was the case then, Iran’s security forces and protesters are both persistent today in their efforts, and any change to Iran’s political system will take much longer than anticipated. – Washington Institute

Mehrzad Boroujerdi writes: The final chapter of this current wave of protests in Iran has yet to be written, but the events of the last two months—and the dynamics of the last several decades—are bound to leave their indelible mark on Iranian politics at large. Tehran’s window of opportunity to reframe its relationship with the country’s largest religious minority is fast closing. While progressive gender norms will hopefully be one consequential accomplishment of the Iranian people’s movement, less religiously sectarian discourse and a subsequent lessening of official discrimination will likewise hopefully emerge as a result. – Washington Institute

Nicholas Carl, Zachary Coles, Johanna Moore, Dana Alexander Gray, Amin Soltani, and Frederick W. Kagan write: The Iranian regime has adopted what increasingly resembles a counter-insurgency approach rather than a counter-protest one to manage the ongoing unrest. […]The regime has expanded its internet and telecommunications disruptions, limiting the amount of open-source information available on the situations in northwestern and western Iran. – Institute for the Study of War

Russia & Ukraine

Russian artillery pounded the positions of Ukraine’s defenders in the country’s east as Moscow stepped up its efforts to capture more territory there, Ukrainian authorities said, while Kyiv sought to win international support for its peace terms. – Wall Street Journal

Video snippets that pointed to the killing of a group of surrendering Russian soldiers in Ukraine triggered accusations of war crimes from both sides and an investigation by the Ukrainian government. – Wall Street Journal

Russia has been burning through equipment, ammunition and weaponry at rates that have raised questions about how effectively and for how long it can continue to prosecute its war against Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal 

Ukrainians took to the streets nine years ago in protests that within weeks became street battles and in demonstrations that turned to revolution. They barricaded Kyiv’s Independence Square and set it ablaze. The police gunned people down. Soon, the president was forced out. – New York Times 

As Russia targets Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog has emphasized the need to safeguard the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Europe’s largest, to prevent a nuclear disaster. – New York Times

In forests, in fields and in fierce urban combat, the Ukrainian military has defied the odds, and all expectations, and forced Russia into multiple retreats over nine brutal, bloody months of war. – New York Times  

Russia and Ukraine traded blame Monday over shelling near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) warned that the bombing over the weekend had come “dangerously close” to hitting key safety and security systems. – Washington Post 

Ukrainians braced for a winter with little or no power in several areas including the capital where temperatures have already dropped below freezing as relentless Russian strikes crippled the country’s energy capacity. – Reuters 

Russia’s leading war hawks rallied behind the humiliating decision for Moscow’s forces to retreat from the Ukrainian city of Kherson this month, but the commander who argued in favour of the move is now under growing pressure to prove it was worth it. – Reuters

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy marked Ukraine’s annual Day of Dignity and Freedom on Monday by celebrating the sacrifices made by Ukrainian people since Russia’s invasion and saying his country would endure and prevail. – Reuters 

Russians are increasingly traveling back to Spain, despite restrictions imposed by the European Union on flights from Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. – Bloomberg 

With just two weeks to go until European Union sanctions come into force, Russia has already lost more than 90% of its market in the bloc’s northern countries, previously the mainstay of shipments from the Baltic and Arctic terminals. – Bloomberg 

Russians have murdered, tortured and kidnapped Ukrainians in a systematic pattern that could implicate top officials in war crimes, a senior US official said Monday as Kyiv said it had discovered four Russian torture sites in newly-liberated Kherson. – Agence France-Presse 

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry on Sunday claimed that Russia is planning a false flag attack on a major nuclear power plant in Belarus as part of an alleged effort to rope the country into its war against Ukraine. – The Hill

In the latest sign that after nearly nine months of war the tables are turning, Russia will be building a defensive line in its Belgorod region in a bid to defend itself against potential Ukrainian attacks from south of the border. The regional governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov, made the announcement at a press conference and cited the tense situation on the border with Ukraine but did not offer many specifics. He hinted that some defense works may have started as far back as April. – New York Sun 

The Munich Security Conference (MSC) is taking place in February, but Russia will not be a part of it. – Newsweek 

Moscow is gearing up a “covert mobilization” to enlist more Russian citizens into the war, Ukrainian officials said, but the Kremlin is continuing to deny that the military is recruiting more soldiers at this time. – Newsweek 

Russian negotiations with Ukraine are a ruse to delay the war until Russia regains strength to attack, a politician and novelist recently said on Russian state television. – Newsweek 

The Army is weighing which munitions programs are best suited for multiyear contracts should Congress approve these authorities to replenish supplies sent to Ukraine. – Defense News 

Top defense officials in Europe say arms shortages among Ukraine’s Western allies are forcing difficult conversations about how to balance support for Ukraine with concerns Russia may target them next. – Defense News 

Carlotta Gall writes: But the unit had not pushed further to attack the mortar positions. The lay of the land was not good, the moonlight too bright and the group too large, said Vita, Mr. Serediuk’s wife. “Lots of boots, lots of noise,” she said. “And we froze a lot.” – New York Times

Alexander J. Motyl writes: The savagery and the destructiveness will continue. The torture and rapine will continue. They will stop only after the last Russian soldier leaves Ukraine. – The Hill 

Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr. writes: Western leaders must try to make Putin realize, as he considers turning to his nuclear arsenal, that there can be no winners in such a conflict. He should understand that any use of nuclear weapons would place Russia and the West on a slippery slope, moving down a path that neither truly desires. – Foreign Affairs 

Kseniya Kirillova writes: However, the Kremlin should not forget that such sentiments can easily get out of control, and the alleged leader of the jingoists may not be satisfied with the role of a pro-government puppet. – Center for European Policy Analysis 

Karolina Hird, Grace Mappes, Riley Bailey, Layne Philipson, Yekaterina Klepanchuk, Madison Williams, and Frederick W. Kagan write: Both the proposed Duma bill and the FSB decree indicate that the Russian government is scrambling to take control of the information space as it is increasingly inundated by criticisms of the Russian military that are levied both internally and externally. Russian officials likely seek to consolidate censorship measures to crack down on the prevalence of foreign voices and domestic critiques by applying legislative pressure to fundamental algorithms and presenting a wide range of activities that can be considered detrimental to Russian state security. – Institute for the Study of War

Anthony H. Cordesman writes: The U.S. must also fully accept the risk that it may well have to suddenly surge more aid depending on the course of the fighting and on the levels of escalation that develop in the months to come. In any case, the U.S. must accept the fact that the cost of U.S. aid will remain high as long as the war continues and during the peace years of Ukraine’s postwar recovery. – Center for Strategic and International Studies


Security forces are investigating whether a car that exploded near an IDF post near the West Bank settlement of Mevo Dotan was an explosive car bomb. – Jerusalem Post 

Overnight, IDF soldiers spotted two suspects at the security fence area adjacent to the town of Al-Auja. – Arutz Sheva 

Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet leader Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Monday that the policy of the next government in Israel would amount to “a declaration of war” against Palestinian Arabs. – Arutz Sheva 

Israel protested to Russia following its use of UAVs it purchased from Iran in its war against Ukraine, Kan 11 News reported on Sunday. – Arutz Sheva 

According to a new report in Israel Hayom, Egypt is de facto preventing its citizens from visiting either Israel or the areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority, even though Egypt and Israel are officially at peace with each other. Anyone wishing to travel to Israel or the PA finds himself confronted with almost insurmountable obstacles that effectively make his trip impossible. – Arutz Sheva

British lawmaker Shailesh Vara confirmed on Monday that the UK has no plans to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Jordan News Agency reported. – Ynet 

Visiting IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi discussed the threats posed by Iran along with the fragile security situation in the West Bank during his White House meeting with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, the Biden administration said Monday. – Times of Israel


For Afghan refugees working to make a life in the United States, Thanksgiving is not an especially big deal. It’s not their holiday. They don’t crave turkey or gravy or mashed potatoes. They’ve never heard of the Pilgrims. And many of their family and friends are far away, some back in Afghanistan, making it impossible to gather on Thursday — or any other day. – Washington Post

The board of a Swiss-based trust fund managing some $3.5 billion in frozen assets seized after the Taliban took power last year is meeting in Geneva for the first time on Monday, a Swiss government spokesperson confirmed. – Reuters

Two people were killed in an explosion that struck a car in the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday, police said. – Reuters

The U.S. Air Force crew that helped deliver a baby on an Afghanistan evacuation flight last year is set to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross. – Fox News


The United States continues to oppose any military action that destabilizes the situation in Syria, a State Department spokesperson said on Monday, adding that Washington has communicated its serious concerns to Ankara over the impact of such an offensive on the goal to fight against Islamic State. – Reuters

Suspected Kurdish militants in Syria fired rockets across the border into Turkey on Monday, killing at least two people and wounding 10 others, Turkish officials said. The attack followed deadly airstrikes by Turkey on suspected militant targets in Syria and Iraq. – Associated Press 

Multiple rocket fire attempts against US Central Command (CENTCOM) forces in Syria have all resulted in no casualties, injuries or damage to US personnel or bases this month as of Monday. – Jerusalem Post

U.S. Central Command leader Gen. Michael Kurilla reiterated his concern that the al-Hol refugee camp in northeast Syria could become a breeding ground for a new generation of Islamic extremists after his third visit to the camp last week. – Washington Examiner

Michael Rubin writes: Rather than try to convince Congress that it should greenlight F-16 sales to Turkey, the White House should instead provide the means for Syrian Kurds to defend themselves against the F-16s. If Biden will not, the United States should do nothing to prevent other states threatened by Turkey—Egypt or Saudi Arabia, for example—from providing Syrian Kurds with such capability. Morality matters. – 19FortyFive


Turkey summoned the Swedish ambassador on Monday after images that allegedly insulted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and served as Kurdish militant propaganda were projected on the Turkish Embassy building in Stockholm, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported. – Associated Press 

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he had agreed with Russia’s Vladimir Putin to produce flour in Turkey from Russian wheat and send it for free to the least developed countries in order to ease a global food crisis, broadcaster Haberturk reported. – Reuters

Russia has called on Turkey to show restraint in its use of “excessive” military force in Syria and to keep tensions from escalating, Russian news agencies cited a Russian envoy to Syria envoy as saying on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: The US will have to use pressure to stop a new invasion, but the war in Ukraine makes this difficult. Turkey has positioned itself as a guarantor of the Ukraine grain deal and as an energy hub for Russia. […]This puts the US in a complex situation. The coming days and months will indicate if the US can stop another massive Turkish invasion that causes hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. While Ankara claims to be fighting “terrorism,” it is the people being bombarded in Syria who are facing an invasion and are more terrified. Only the US can reduce their sense of terror. – Jerusalem Post


Iran launched drones and missiles against Kurdish groups in northern Iraq on Monday, the second time in a week, as the Islamic Republic intensifies efforts to suppress a two-month-old protest movement inside its borders. – Wall Street Journal

Iraq on Monday condemned Iranian and Turkish attacks on its northern Kurdistan region, the state news agency INA reported, citing a foreign ministry statement. – Reuters

The head of Iraq’s state oil marketer SOMO told Reuters on Tuesday there have been no discussions about OPEC+ deciding on a production increase at its next meeting. – Reuters


Lebanon’s central bank will adopt an exchange rate of 15,000 Lebanese pounds per U.S. dollar as of Feb. 1 as part of a process to unify the country’s multiple exchange-rate system, Lebanese central bank governor Riad Salameh said on Monday. – Reuters 

Crisis-hit Lebanon has secured $5.4 billion in aid over three years from the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP), Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced Monday. – Agence France-Presse

Lebanese soccer fans showed their disdain for the Jewish State when faced with an Israeli reporter at the World Cup in Qatar. – Arutz Sheva

Arabian Peninsula

America’s top diplomat landed in Qatar on Monday to take in a World Cup match and hold talks as regional tensions remain high amid Iran’s rapid advancement of its nuclear program and nationwide protests shaking the Islamic Republic. – Associated Press 

Yemen’s Houthis attacked al-Dhabba oil terminal in Hadhramaut province on Monday, the group and Yemen’s internationally recognised government said. – Reuters 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: Bin Aziz is a key ally of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. His statement comes after his forces “thwarted the Houthi militia’s military stationing in locations overlooking the Red Sea, as well as its testing of an anti-ship missile with the support of the Iranian [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps],” the report said. The Houthis control a coastal strip of land in Yemen that extends about 300 kilometers until Hodeidah, it said. – Jerusalem Post

Saudi Arabia

OPEC oil producers are discussing an output increase, the group’s delegates said, a move that could help heal a rift between Saudi Arabia and the Biden administration and keep energy flowing amid new attempts to blunt Russia’s oil industry over the Ukraine war. – Wall Street Journal

Korean Peninsula

The first public appearance of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s daughter in state media photos of the latest ballistic missile test has North Korea watchers buzzing in search of greater meaning. – Washington Post 

The United States and its allies on Monday strongly condemned North Korea’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile test and called for action to limit its nuclear and missile programs, but Russia and China opposed any new pressure and sanctions on Pyongyang. – Associated Press 

Debate is brewing in South Korea over efforts to scrap a decades-old ban on North Korean media, as changing attitudes fuel renewed calls to review a national security law dating from the Cold War. – Reuters 

A new South Korean anti-ballistic missile system conducted its first successful intercept this month, media reports said on Tuesday, the country’s latest step in boosting its defences against North Korean missiles. – Reuters 

A Chinese streaming platform has resumed distributing South Korean content after suspending it for nearly six years, South Korean officials said on Tuesday, in what Seoul called a sign of Beijing’s readiness to improve ties. – Reuters 

Donald Kirk writes: The answer may be that Mr. Kim has already decided she’s the best and brightest of the three and wanted to make that clear distinction. Now 39, he is reportedly believed to have had medical problems that account for several lengthy disappearances from public view. He’ll probably be around for a while, but he likely wanted to demonstrate the continuity of the dynasty and show who’s next in line. – New York Sun


China is turning to an old friend in corporate America to bolster communications with the U.S., as President Xi Jinping tries to stabilize the bilateral relationship while gearing up for greater competition between the two powers. – Wall Street Journal

U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Tuesday emphasized the need to improve crisis communications during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart while raising concern about “increasingly dangerous” behavior by Chinese military aircraft. – Reuters

Oil prices were little changed on Tuesday as global recession worries and concerns about China’s rising COVID-19 case numbers denting demand from the world’s top crude oil importer were offset by the positive impact of a retreat in the U.S. dollar. – Reuters 

Western countries must be careful not to create new dependencies on China as they are weaning themselves off Russian energy supplies amid Moscow’s war on Kyiv, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned on Monday. – Reuters

British police said they had identified a number of offences committed during an incident at a Chinese consulate in northern England last month, in which a man protesting outside said he was dragged into the grounds and assaulted. – Reuters

China denied on Monday that one of its coastguard ships used force to retrieve a piece of a rocket floating in the ocean that was being towed by a Philippine vessel in the South China Sea. – Reuters

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s summits with the US and its partners were likely an attempt to paper over the harm it has caused with numerous countries in recent years, a top US envoy said. – Bloomberg

The US and the European Union aim to work together to counter what they call non-market policies, including in China, according to a draft statement ahead of high-level talks due in Washington next month. – Bloomberg

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Sunday that he’ll spearhead a House select committee on China if he’s elected Speaker when the new Congress convenes next year. – The Hill 

William P. Barr writes: Recent semiconductor shortages have made clear that a transition to dependable and localized supply chains is essential for U.S. national and economic security. Creating an incentive to produce chips closer to home, with U.S. workers and reliable allies, is no longer merely desirable, it is an economic and national-security imperative. As China continues to flout international rules, shamelessly pilfer U.S. intellectual property, and move closer to “reunifying” Taiwan, the risk associated with U.S. dependency on China only increases. – Wall Street Journal

Harlan Ullman writes: Xi seems oblivious to the negative consequences of this brave new world he is attempting to create. If this analysis is correct, China may well not be the “pacing threat” that the U.S. argues it is because of the inherent constraints Xi is (inadvertently) causing for the long term. That possibility alone should at least lead to a review of U.S. China policy. As the U.S. “lost” China after World War II, will we refuse to consider that perhaps we have misunderstood China again? The answer, tragically, is yes. – The Hill 

Simone Gao writes: The CMC’s fourth newly-appointed military technocrat is Liu Guozhong, who worked in one of China’s earliest bomb and missile factories before entering politics. […]The fifth and final technocrat is Party Secretary of Zhejiang province and aerospace expert Yuan Jiajun. Yuan was the commander-in-chief of the Shenzhou spacecraft program and president of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Institute before being appointed to a series of provincial positions within Zhejiang province starting in 2014. He was appointed party secretary of that province in August 2020. – The National Interest

Jude Blanchette and Gerard DiPippo writes: The key strategic challenge for the United States remains to ensure Beijing never actively contemplates an attack on Taiwan. While it is likely Beijing broadly understands the costs associated with such an action, the increasing isolation of Chinese leader Xi Jinping and the concomitant rise in groupthink in Beijing’s policymaking circles means that one cannot assume Chinese leaders will continue to conduct a sound cost-benefit analysis. It thus remains critical to find direct and clear ways to communicate to Xi Jinping the costs he would face for undertaking any attack on Taiwan. – Center for Strategic and International Studies

South Asia

Pakistan ordered an investigation into an alleged leak of confidential tax documents after an online news portal published a report about army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s family amassing property worth billions of rupees during his term in office. – Bloomberg

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will announce the new chief of Pakistan’s powerful army by Nov. 25, days before the incumbent General Qamar Javed Bajwa retires, defense minister Khawaja Asif said. – Bloomberg

Russia for the first time became the biggest fertilizer supplier to India in the first half of the 2022/23 fiscal year by offering discounts over prevailing global prices, cornering more than a fifth of the market share, government and industry sources said. – Reuters 

Two Islamist militants sentenced to death for killing a U.S. blogger critical of religious extremism escaped from a crowded court in Bangladesh’s Dhaka on Sunday. – Reuters


An earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Java on Monday, leaving at least 162 people dead, hundreds injured and thousands of homes damaged, a senior official said. – Wall Street Journal

The United States is seeking an expansion of its military presence in the Philippines under a 2014 defense pact, U.S. and Philippine officials said, one of the initiatives Vice President Kamala Harris launched Monday during her visit to America’s oldest treaty ally in Asia. – Associated Press 

The recent release of thousands of prisoners in Myanmar is likely an attempt by its military-controlled government to “create a veneer of progress” in the country to sway international opinion, a U.N. expert said Monday. – Associated Press 

Six former members of staff at Hong Kong’s defunct pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiracy to commit collusion with foreign forces in a closely watched national security case. – Reuters 

Australia’s parliament on Tuesday ratified free trade deals with the United Kingdom and India, the latest development in a long-running attempt by Canberra to boost bilateral trade with the two countries. – Reuters 

Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe on Tuesday told his U.S. counterpart that Taiwan is at the core of China’s core interests and was a “red-line” that must not be crossed. – Reuters  

Mongolian President Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh will visit China on Nov. 27-28, China’s foreign ministry said in statement on Tuesday. – Reuters

Indonesia’s planned purchase of F-15 fighter jets is in advanced stages and awaiting final sign-off from the government, the Southeast Asian country’s defence minister said on Monday. – Reuters

Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto said on Monday that his country is honoured to be friendly with both China and the United States. – Reuters

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin urged China to avoid “destabilizing actions” toward Taiwan in his first face-to-face meeting with Defense Minister Wei Fenghe since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei in August. – Bloomberg

Canada plans to bolster its military presence and partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region amid growing threats from China and North Korea, according to Canadian Minister of National Defence Anita Anand. – Janes 

Navies in the Asia-Pacific are increasingly deploying unmanned systems to overcome the challenge of limited resources in personnel. Technological advancement in digitisation and artificial intelligence (AI) has supported such efforts. This has led to the emergence of new concepts of operations (CONOPs) such as fully unmanned mine countermeasures (MCM) formations. – Janes

Walter Russell Mead writes: This matters. A war in Taiwan would be a humanitarian disaster; unification on Chinese terms would be a strategic catastrophe endangering the security of our allies and of the U.S. itself. The U.S. has kept the peace in the Taiwan Strait since 1949. We cannot drop the ball now. – Wall Street Journal

Nic Fildes writes: If Australia succeeds in convincing Beijing to end the sanctions, then the steady flow of Aussie lobsters to mainland China will no doubt resume. But the experience of the past two years should serve as a warning that a future geopolitically driven clampdown on trade could be even more painful. – Financial Times 

Ivan Lidarev writes: One can argue that the 1962 conflict did not matter much. Since China and India are two large Asian powers that share a lengthy contested periphery and strive for regional leadership, they were destined to become rivals anyway. Yet, this argument misunderstands that the 1962 conflict turned a restrained competition between two rising great powers into an enduring rivalry. The short border conflict produced a long echo that still reverberates in China-India relations. – The National Interest


The European Union on Monday warned of “escalation and violence” after emergency talks between Kosovo and Serbia failed to resolve their long-running dispute over car licence plates used by the ethnic Serb minority in Kosovo. – Reuters

The United States is disappointed Kosovo and Serbia have failed to agree on a solution to their dispute over car license plates used by the ethnic Serb minority in Kosovo, U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement. – Reuters

One of Germany’s main industry lobby groups called on Monday for more support for industry to diversify trade beyond China, as the government prepares new policies aimed at reducing the economy’s dependence on Beijing. – Reuters 

Some European Union lawmakers warned the bloc’s executive Commission against unlocking billions of euros in funds for Hungary, saying Prime Minister Viktor Orban was trampling on democratic norms. – Reuters 

Germany agrees with the United States in shifting its focus away from reviving a nuclear deal with Iran to support for ordinary Iranians against a violent state crackdown on popular protests, a foreign ministry spokesperson said on Monday. – Reuters 

A deadly border incident between Poland and Ukraine has reignited unsettled debates, amplified by the GOP’s new House majority, over the scope of continued U.S. support for Kyiv. – The National Interest


Long-simmering ethnic tensions in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo—fed at times by its neighbors—have erupted into the most intense clashes in a decade as warring militias fight for control of the region and its mineral riches. – Wall Street Journal

A lone gunman entered a military base in Somalia and killed at least three Kenyan peacekeepers Monday, the latest attack by extremist fighters who oppose the presence of foreigners in the Horn of Africa nation, according to Kenya’s military. – Associated Press 

The International Monetary Fund and South Sudan have reached a staff-level agreement for the release of about $112.7 million in emergency financing, the fund said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

King Charles will host his first state visit since his accession to the British throne when he welcomes South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Uganda will send 1,000 troops to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo by the end of this month to join a regional force mandated to help end decades of instability, Kampala’s military said on Monday. – Reuters

Veteran Sudanese political and religious leader Al-Sayid Mohamed Othman al-Mirghani arrived in Khartoum from Egypt on Monday, throwing his clout against a possible agreement between pro-democracy groups and the military. – Reuters

The French embassy in Burkina Faso has asked the West African state for more protection after violent protests targeted the property last week, a letter to the government and a diplomatic source said. – Reuters 

More than 100 people, including women and children were abducted when gunmen raided four villages in Nigeria’s northeastern Zamfara state on Sunday, the information commissioner and residents said on Monday. – Reuters 

Kenyan President William Ruto said Monday that East African troops would “enforce peace” in embattled eastern DR Congo, where the M23 armed group have launched an offensive. – Agence France-Presse 

Jihad Mashamoun writes: With the Biden administration prioritizing continuing U.S. counter-terrorism policies in Africa and the Middle East, striving for security in the Red Sea, and countering the influence of Russia and China in both regions, the Sudanese military has focused on pushing Washington to drop any support for democracy in the country. Yet the Biden administration has tried to pursue both stability and democracy at the same time, calling for a new civil-military partnership. It remains to be seen if that policy will survive, should the Sudanese civilian opposition unite and force the military to hand over power to full civilian transitional rule. – Middle East Institute

Latin America

The Colombian government and the South American country’s largest remaining guerrilla group resumed peace talks Monday, breaking a roughly four-year hiatus during which the rebels have expanded the territory where they operate. – Associated Press 

Negotiators from the Colombian government and leftist guerrilla group the National Liberation Army (ELN) began peace talks on Monday, the first major step in President Gustavo Petro’s efforts to end nearly 60 years of war. – Reuters

Cuba’s President Miguel Díaz-Canel will visit China from Nov. 24-26, Chinese state media reported on Monday. – Reuters

The Dominican Republic said it “profusely rejects” criticism of its crackdown on Haitian migrants from a growing number of countries and human rights agencies. – Associated Press 

As the Dominican Republic increases the deportation of Haitian nationals, Black US citizens risk being caught up in the sweep, the US Embassy in Santo Domingo said. – Bloomberg 

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel traveled to Russia this week under the auspices of an official state visit, where he will attend the unveiling of a statue of Fidel Castro at the Sokol metro station in northwestern Moscow. – Fox News 

Axel Kaiser writes: Unfortunately for Latin Americans, Stiglitz’s radicalism has given credibility to terrible economic policies and regimes that have ruined the lives of millions of people. If Stiglitz really cared about facts, as he claims, he would cease and desist his toxic ideological activism in the region once and for all. – Washington Examiner


Two Estonian citizens were arrested in Tallinn, Estonia, on an 18-count indictment for their alleged involvement in a $575 million cryptocurrency fraud and money laundering conspiracy, the U.S. Justice Department said on Monday. – Reuters

A coalition of civil rights activists on Monday were urging Twitter’s advertisers to issue statements about pulling their ads off the social media platform after its owner Elon Musk lifted the ban on tweets by former U.S. President Donald Trump. – Reuters

French regulator Arcom said on Monday it had sent a letter to Twitter asking it to ensure by Nov. 24 that it can meet its legal obligation to guarantee transparent information despite a series of drastic job cuts. – Reuters

A cyber attack on the German ports of Bremerhaven or Hamburg would severely impede NATO efforts to send military reinforcements to allies, retired U.S. General Ben Hodges told Reuters. – Reuters

Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki must sit for a deposition in a free speech case alleging the Biden administration colluded with Big Tech to censor content, a judge ruled Monday. – Washington Examiner

Teenagers under 16 will now automatically default to the highest privacy standards upon joining Facebook. Facebook parent company Meta announced on Monday that it was updating its privacy defaults for teenagers 16 or under so that they automatically have tighter privacy features. The policy resembles rules that would be set in law by legislation authored by privacy-minded members of Congress. – Washington Examiner

A bipartisan group of senators is pushing for the passage of stricter protections for children’s private data during the lame-duck session of Congress. – Washington Examiner

Several celebrities and prominent journalists are hitting out against billionaire Elon Musk for his decision to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, with many leaving the platform in protest. – Washington Examiner

Twitter reinstated the personal account for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) Monday, reversing the ban put in place in January over Greene violating the platform’s COVID-19 misinformation policy.  – The Hill

Thomas L. Hogan writes: Recent turmoil in the crypto markets is a failure of regulators to do their jobs effectively. Crypto lenders like Celsius should be regulated like banks. FTX and traditional financial exchanges should be regulated as such. But pushing excessive regulations on the crypto industry is likely to make crypto more risky, not less. Decentralized protocols built on the blockchain are already safer and more transparent than most regulated financial companies. – The Hill

Nigel Houghton writes: Cybersecurity problems resulting from legacy IT and alert fatigue have been around for a long time and we’ve attempted to solve them in different ways with limited success. […]Finally, security teams have breathing room to start thinking about trends and vulnerabilities attacker groups could use and if the organization is vulnerable to those, so they can develop and execute a plan to proactively mitigate risk. In many ways it’s back to basics but taking advantage of modern implementations of automation to do more with less. – C4isrnet

Adam Kovacevich writes: While parties in Congress agree that something must be done about America’s tech sector, their goals and priorities are often not just at odds, but diametrically opposed. Congress is at war with itself, leaving President Biden little opportunity to advance tech policy. – Center for European Policy Analysis 

William Reinsch writes: Another lesson is the newly appreciated importance of data. We tend to think of security in terms of hardware and software, but the growing ubiquity of social media and the massive amounts of personal data it generates and stores raise the security issues mentioned above—whether data can be used to compromise individuals or to ply them with misinformation. The case against Twitter is weak; the case against TikTok is stronger. In both cases, a close look at what is going on would be prudent. – Center for Strategic and International Studies


The U.S. Army is accelerating its weapons acquisition process to speed through a backlog of contracts needed to replenish U.S. stocks of weapons depleted by arms shipments to Ukraine, a U.S. official said on Monday. – Reuters 

Four months after military officials picked a modified crop duster as America’s newest counterterror plane, Air Force Special Operations Command is working to answer a crucial question: How do you fly it? – C4ISRNet

An Air Force pilot’s landing gear failed at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi on Friday, forcing the airman to skid the belly of the T-38C Talon training jet across the runway to land safely. – Military.com

Yint Hmu writes: At a time when the world is rightly terrified of tactical nuclear weapon use by Russia, it’s unacceptable for Congress to go rogue and pursue the development of SLCM-N. The Biden administration needs all the credibility it can get to reduce nuclear risk in Ukraine. Congress pursuing a new tactical nuclear delivery system — a destabilizing move at any time — is especially counterproductive now. It’s time for Democrats to step up and end SLCM-N once and for all. – The Hill 

Nathan P. Olsen writes: If key U.S. bases around the world are not able to access power, they will not be able to support the defense of U.S. national interests or the safety and security of allies and partners. The best way to overcome this glaring vulnerability and bring innovative energy technologies to scale is to quickly establish microgrids at U.S. overseas bases. Given local environmental and security factors in the Middle East, the region is the most logical location for increased emphasis on microgrids. – Washington Institute

Long War

A British-born woman who went to Syria as a schoolgirl to join Islamic State (IS) is challenging the UK government’s decision to take away her citizenship, with her lawyers telling a London court that she was likely “a child victim of trafficking”. – Reuters

Spain has decided to bring back several Spanish wives, widows and children of Islamic State fighters from detention camps in northeastern Syria, a government source said on Monday, confirming a report in El Pais newspaper. – Reuters

Suspected Islamic extremists have abducted a German priest in Mali’s capital, colleagues said Monday, marking the first kidnapping of a Westerner in Bamako in more than a decade. – Associated Press 

French cement company Lafarge has pleaded guilty to one count of providing material support to foreign terrorist organizations, admitting in court papers on Tuesday that it paid individuals designated by the U.S. as terrorists in Syria to secure the continued operation and protection of a cement plant from 2013 to 2014. – CBS

Today marks 10 years since British photojournalist John Cantlie was kidnapped by Islamic State militants in Syria. – BBC