Fdd's overnight brief

November 28, 2023

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News

Israel

A shaky cease-fire between Israel and Hamas has allowed a surge of aid to reach Palestinians in Gaza, but humanitarian groups and civilians in the enclave say the convoys aren’t nearly enough to address the needs of the strip’s two million people. – Wall Street Journal

Elon Musk said that those “intent on murder must be neutralized” after touring an Israeli community recently attacked by Hamas, weeks after the billionaire described an antisemitic social-media post on X as “the actual truth.” – Wall Street Journal

Israel and Hamas agreed on Monday to a two-day extension of their truce in Gaza to allow for the release of more Israeli hostages as part of a fragile agreement that has brought respite from seven weeks of war, according to Egyptian, Qatari and Hamas negotiators. – Wall Street Journal

The war has prompted advisories from the State Department, warning people not to travel to Gaza, and to reconsider traveling to Israel and the West Bank “due to terrorism and civil unrest.” But many are still choosing to go, including everyday residents returning home despite the risk, students engaged in religious study and reservists called up by the Israel Defense Forces. – Wall Street Journal

After seven weeks of struggling with a crisis that defies easy solutions, President Biden could take solace in saving a single 4-year-old girl whose parents were killed in the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel. – New York Times

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described an extended truce between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas on Monday as “a glimpse of hope and humanity,” but warned it was not enough time to meet the aid needs of the Gaza Strip. – Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will return this week to the Middle East as the U.S. hopes to find a way to extend a cease-fire in Gaza and get more hostages released, the State Department said Monday. It will be his third trip to the region since Israel’s war with Hamas began last month. – Associated Press

An Israeli hostage freed by Hamas said in an interview that she was initially fed well in captivity until conditions worsened and people became hungry. She was kept in a “suffocating” room and slept on plastic chairs with a sheet for nearly 50 days. – Associated Press

The National Library of Israel, founded in 1892, immediately recognized the fleeting and changeable nature of digital media documentation. It subsequently launched a collaborative project of massive scope to establish a central repository for all the existing documentation of October 7 and its aftermath. – New York Sun

Rep. Kathy Manning (D-N.C.) said on Monday that Israel needs to make sure that militant group Hamas will never be able to conduct an attack on Israeli citizens again. – The Hill

The military’s vaunted 8200 signals intelligence unit was not operational near the Gaza border on the morning of October 7 due to a two-year-old decision to reduce personnel and halt operations overnight and on weekends, a new report alleged Monday. – Times of Israel

Editorial: The purpose is to warn Israel that it will risk losing U.S. support if it tries to complete its mission of toppling Hamas; and that Hamas-induced civilian casualties mean Israel can’t destroy Hamas’s terrorist capabilities. Is that the emerging position of the Democratic Party? Our guess is that Americans reject that view, and that if these questions were put to a vote, so would most U.S. lawmakers. That would be a message worth sending to Israel’s enemies. Republicans, why not help Israel by putting Democrats to the test? – Wall Street Journal

Editorial: Either Hamas is destroyed, in other words, or Israel is: Hamas has made clear that it’s life or death for both sides. That means Israel must fight with all it’s got, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed. The Biden team could help, not by repeatedly harping on what Bibi can’t do — but urging him to do what he must. – New York Post

Editorial: Our message is simple: Israel should finish the job: Both jobs. Israel should continue to do whatever is necessary – and within the bounds of what its military leaders determine is bearable – to free the hostages so long as the pause continues, and it should be prepared to immediately relaunch its military effort to eradicate Hamas’s capacity to carry out a massacre like October 7 ever again. In so doing, Israel’s leaders will fulfill their commitment to the people of the Jewish state and bring this painful episode to its natural conclusion. – Jerusalem Post

Harlan Ullman writes: Finally, will Israel’s democracy survive the war’s aftermath intact? At some point Netanyahu will be held accountable for failing to anticipate the war and then how he waged it. The possible deaths of tens of thousands of Gazans will be Israel’s responsibility. Israel could become an international pariah. And still, Hamas will carry on the fight. The real war may just be starting once the Israeli offensive ends. – The Hill

Yonah Jeremy Bob writes: The apparent refusal of the government and the IDF to let Hamas withdraw from Shifa in public – but only quietly as the army managed to demolish only some of the tunnels before the partial hostage release began – will likely leave many of these mysteries open for some time. – Jerusalem Post

Iran

Iran has finalised arrangements for the delivery of Russian made Sukhoi su-35 fighter jets and helicopters, Iran’s deputy defence minister told Iran’s Tasnim news agency on Tuesday, as Tehran and Moscow forge closer military relations. – Reuters

Iran’s navy on Monday added a destroyer capable of launching cruise missiles to its Caspian Sea fleet, state media reported. – Associated Press

U.S. officials say a controversial surveillance authority has been key to helping them stop the sale of certain weapons parts to Iran in recent years. – Politico

The House is planning to vote on legislation this week targeting $6 billion in Iranian oil revenue the administration released earlier this year. – Politico

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will not be making a previously announced visit to Ankara today, the Turkish presidency tells AFP, without providing a reason. – Agence France-Presse

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman rejects claims Iran was involved in attacks on Israeli-linked vessels in the Red Sea. – Arutz Sheva

Salem Alketbi writes: Iran did not want to bear responsibility for the wrong decision and chose to sacrifice Hamas to preserve what remained of its terrorist militia arms, which could be exposed to subsequent intense military strikes if Iran was proven responsible for the attacks that Israel was subjected to over the past period. – Jerusalem Post

Catherine Perez-Shakdam writes: Further research should focus on Iran’s proxy networks, Jordan’s internal political dynamics, and evolving regional alliances to provide a deeper understanding of the potential shifts in the Middle Eastern geopolitical landscape. To dismiss Tehran’s ambitions by limiting our analysis to the immediate threat posed to the State of Israel would be folly. – Jerusalem Post

Kris Osborn writes: A powerful US Navy Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, cruiser and several destroyers joined a French destroyer transiting through the highly dangerous Strait of Hormuz bordering Iran, a narrow passageway connecting the Persian Gulf to the open ocean and Gulf of Oman. […]The IKE carrier therefore, could arguably be reasonably well positioned to defend a small boat threat by virtue of being flanked by several destroyers. Not only could the carrier launch aircraft in position to destroy small boat with precision targeting from the air, but nearby destroyers could encircle the carrier and use CWIS Ib along with other closer in interceptor weapons such as SeaRAM or Rolling Airframe Missile, both of which use fire control radar and threat tracking technology to attack closer-in threats. – Warrior Maven

Russia & Ukraine

Every day, groups of Russian infantry attack the tree lines and pockmarked fields east of this village, which block their push to surround the city of Avdiivka. Every day, Ukrainian troops cut most of them down. – Wall Street Journal

A Russian court ruled to extend the detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich for a third time since he was taken into custody in March on an allegation of espionage that he, the Journal and the U.S. government vehemently deny. – Wall Street Journal

As Russia’s war against Ukraine approaches its third year, Moscow holds the advantage on the military, political and economic fronts. – Wall Street Journal

The woman in the video, her face blurred, gave a blunt assessment of Russian military policy: Soldiers mobilized over a year ago to fight in Ukraine deserved to come home. Why weren’t they? – New York Times

Hundreds of ancient artifacts from Crimea that were stored in a Dutch museum for nine years while Russia and Ukraine waged a legal battle over their ownership are now back in Ukraine, officials in Amsterdam said on Monday. – New York Times

The European Commission’s vice president on Monday praised Ukraine’s fight against corruption, but said additional efforts were needed in the country that hopes to join the European Union. – Reuters

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said on Monday that another 3,000 of his fighters were ready to go to fight in Ukraine as part of new units of the Russian defence ministry and the Russian National Guard forces. – Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a national budget for the next three years that increases spending by around 25% and reportedly devotes a record amount to defense as the the country’s military operation in Ukraine drags on. – Associated Press

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that he plans to travel to North Macedonia later this week to attend a conference, a trip that would mark his first visit to a NATO member country since Moscow sent troops to Ukraine. – Associated Press

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) informed his colleagues in a letter Sunday that he will bring legislation to the Senate floor funding the war in Ukraine and providing aid to Israel “as soon as the week of December 4th.” – The Hill

Walter Russell Mead writes: There still are ways for the West to prevail. Mr. Putin’s global networks of influence can be destroyed. We can break Wagner’s power in Africa, disrupt Russia’s activities in Syria, and squeeze Iran to block its cooperation with Moscow. We can step up our military aid to tip the balance against Russia in Ukraine. Funding failure isn’t a plan. Congress should continue to fund Ukraine, but it must also insist on the policy changes that would make American strategy coherent again. – Wall Street Journal

Vasilisa Kirilochkina writes: As for Ms. Berkovich and Ms. Petriychuk, their trial is now set for Jan. 10. Regardless of whether it is postponed again, their defense lawyers say they are confident they will win. “We will prove to them that we are in the right,” Ms. Berkovich’s attorney, Ksenia Karpinskaya, told me. “Even if not right away, we will prove it.” – New York Times

Anna Borshchevskaya writes: As U.S. President Biden said on October 20, Putin and Hamas share the same goal of annihilating their neighboring democracies. Zelensky – himself Jewish – envisioned a post-war Ukraine emulating Israel. Realistically, Israel is contained in what it can do on Ukraine at present, but as a member of a family of liberal democracies, it can still show Putin that the threat of escalation goes both ways—a message that is in full alignment with U.S. security interests, and one it should support. – 19FortyFive

Afghanistan

Pakistan’s military said on November 27 that an Afghan national carried out a suicide attack a day earlier on a security forces convoy that killed two civilians and injured several others. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Brent M. Eastwood writes: While clearly a problem for sure, the live-fire incident didn’t cause any casualties. The cost would have come down with more orders. But what matters is that the XM25 pass the most important test, soldiers with boots on the ground in Afghanistan didn’t like it and they are the ultimate deciders. – The National Interest

Atal Ahmadzai writes: Under the Geneva Conventions, executing captured armed personnel without proper legal proceedings is a war crime. The Taliban’s conduct of war against ISKP and the NRF involves the execution of captured armed personnel without legal proceedings, which is in violation of international humanitarian law. This act falls under ICC jurisdiction for prosecution. The Taliban regime has also orchestrated the systematic elimination of women from the public sphere. Since regaining power, the group has enforced more than 50 decrees that curtail women’s fundamental freedoms, including prohibiting education, banning employment, restricting the right to travel, and outlawing recreational and cultural activities. These deprivations are detrimental to the physical and mental health of women. – Foreign Policy

Syria

Syria’s delegation to the United Nations climate summit in Dubai will be headed by its prime minister, a delegate said, without specifying whether President Bashar al-Assad would eventually pay a visit to the COP28 gathering. – Reuters

Syria’s ally Russia on Monday condemned Israeli air strikes on Damascus international airport, describing them as provocative and dangerous. – Reuters

Iranian proxies have not attacked U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria in recent days following dozens of attacks over the past few weeks, according to the Department of Defense. – Washington Examiner

Turkey

Turkish police on Monday detained 98 suspects over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group, most of them on a charge of spreading PKK propaganda on social media, the interior ministry said. – Reuters

A Turkish ex-employee of the US Consulate in Turkey was released from jail recently, according to people with knowledge of the matter, ending a long imprisonment that had frayed ties between the two nations. – Bloomberg

Turkey’s exports to Russia of goods vital for Moscow’s war machine have soared this year, heightening concerns among the US and its allies that the country is acting as a conduit for sensitive items from their own manufacturers. – Financial Times

Arabian Peninsula

Tens of thousands of people from around the world will descend on Dubai this week for the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference. The United Arab Emirates, a major oil producer, is hosting this year’s summit, known as COP28. It comes as top scientists warn the world is far off track from meeting its climate goals. – Washington Post

Italy is discussing joint investments with Saudi Arabia in the automotive, mining, oil & gas, defence, hydrogen and space sectors, Industry Minister Adolfo Urso said on Monday. – Reuters

A letter leaked by a United Arab Emirates-backed hacking effort purports to show the Qatari government handing out about three million dollars to a notoriously anti-Israel non-governmental organization, Human Rights Watch. – New York Sun

Leaked documents show fossil fuel pushes were among “potential discussion areas” for the United Arab Emirates ahead of this year’s global climate summit in Dubai. – The Hill

Jonathan Campbell-James writes: In this sense, the speech represented gentle progress in the direction of constitutional democracy, a notion likewise reinforced by the Sultan’s undertaking to devolve more government responsibilities to elected Municipal Councils and his strengthening of the cabinet’s role in government. In this, as with his economic reforms, Oman’s Sultan is delivering substantial change with his own distinct stamp – but doing so without advertising the radical character of the transformation he is seeking to achieve. – Washington Institute

Libya

Trump previewed some parts of the world that could be subjected to a renewed travel ban in a mid-October speech, pledging to restrict people from the Gaza Strip, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and “anywhere else that threatens our security.” – Reuters

Mohammed Takala, head of Libya’s Tripoli-based High State Council, has said the country is getting closer to holding presidential elections, according to the Russian state news agency RIA. – Reuters

Libya’s oil state firm the National Oil Corporation (NOC) needs a budget of $17 billion to increase national oil output to 2 million barrels per day in three to five years, its chief Farhat Bengdara said in an interview. – Reuters

Middle East & North Africa

In late 2015, cranes at a seaport in Jacksonville, Fla., carefully hoisted U.S. military helicopters worth up to $40 million each onto a massive cargo ship set to deliver the equipment to the Egyptian government. Egypt’s Defense Ministry had turned to an unusual figure to help arrange transport of the prized hardware: Wael Hana, an Egyptian American businessman who had previously run a trucking business, a gas station and a truck stop along a gritty, industrial strip in northern New Jersey. – Washington Post

Iraq sees a risk of regional conflict if the current truce in Gaza is not turned into a permanent ceasefire, the Iraqi prime minister’s foreign affairs adviser said, as mediators sought an extension of the temporary four-day Israel-Hamas truce. – Reuters

Hours before Israel and Hamas agreed to extend their expiring cease-fire by two more days, the top Palestinian diplomat made a plea during a Monday meeting of European Union members and Arab nations for a definitive end to Israel’s retaliatory attacks on the Gaza Strip. – Associated Press

An attempted hijacking of a commercial tanker Sunday in the Gulf of Aden was not carried out by Yemeni Houthis and instead appears to have been done by five Somali individuals, the Pentagon’s top spokesperson said Monday. – The Hill

Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, the man behind the planning of the October 7 massacre, spoke to Israeli hostages while they were held in Gaza, one Israeli who was released from captivity this week told her family, Israeli media reported on Monday evening. – Jerusalem Post

Jonathan D. Strum writes: Giving up the goal of a return to Israel or even the West Bank will be gut-wrenching for Palestinians, requiring sacrifice of a concept held for 75 years and substantial funding by the Gulf states and others. This would be a catalytic strategic decision for the Arab world to take, which should be led by Saudi Arabia. Proposed real resolutions of the refugee issue would move the needle towards overall conflict resolution. – The Hill

Yonah Jeremy Bob writes: If all the hostages are home, dead, or viewed as beyond Israel’s reach, a promise to Qatar that Hamas officials would be off limits would only be as solid as any other future potential interest between Israel and Qatar. The Post understands that Israel has made such commitments in the past to certain Abraham Accords countries, but that was in exchange for normalization processes – a strategic game changer that Qatar is likely not close to doing. What all of this probably means is that some Hamas officials may get a temporary reprieve in the near to medium term, due to Qatar’s involvement in the hostage issue. But they should not go to sleep at night too quietly, especially if they live anywhere else, travel anywhere else, or dream too far into the future. – Jerusalem Post

Micah Lakin Avni writes: Win allies: The Saudis will be very, very pleased if we help them take care of their Houthi problem and will come to view us as genuine allies. This would be an excellent point to resume the peace negotiations. Perhaps the Houthis will even lob a few missiles toward Saudi Arabia, and the latter would join us in destroying the former – a strategic move long overdue. Therefore, with a massive, long-range missile attack, we have the opportunity to change the entire dynamic of the war and the Middle East for generations to come. We should not hesitate to take it. – Jerusalem Post

Korean Peninsula

North Korea on Tuesday made a rare mention of dissenting votes in recent elections, although analysts dismissed it as an attempt to portray an image of a normal society rather than signalling any meaningful increase of rights in the authoritarian state. – Reuters

North Korea claimed its first spy satellite put into space, which was launched into orbit last week, has taken photos of the White House, Pentagon and nearby US naval stations. – Bloomberg

From 2018 to 2022, South Korea was the ninth largest weapons supplier globally, ahead of Israel, the Netherlands and Turkey. In recent years, South Korea has edged out stiff competition from Western defense manufacturers and cheaper Chinese developers with government support, attractive pricing and faster delivery times. Seoul has ambitions to be the fourth-largest weapons exporter by 2027, after the United States, Russia and France – CNBC

A South Korean court has sentenced a 68-year-old man to 14 months in jail for praising the North in a poem. – BBC

China

Broadcom Chief Executive Hock Tan shelled out $40,000 to sit at Xi Jinping’s table for the Chinese leader’s recent dinner in San Francisco with the heads of American businesses. Tan had a lot more at stake—a $69 billion deal he was waiting on China to approve. – Wall Street Journal

When the secretive national security adviser of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed, visited the White House in June, his American counterpart, Jake Sullivan, raised a delicate issue: G42, an artificial intelligence firm controlled by the sheikh that American officials believe is hiding the extent of its work with China. – New York Times

President Xi Jinping has called for stronger rule of law related to foreign affairs given “external risks and challenges” as China opens up to the outside world, state media reported on Tuesday. – Reuters

Britain’s investment minister on Monday said he was working to attract Chinese car manufacturers to build a factory in the country and that investment from China was crucial to meeting environmental targets. – Reuters

Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Shanghai for the first time since the financial hub’s bruising two-month Covid lockdown, local media reported, as he tries to boost waning private sector sentiment. – Bloomberg

David Fickling writes: The environment has for several years been an area where Beijing has sought to practice “major country diplomacy” — behaving as a rich and responsible power that others can look up to and seek to emulate. The longer it waits before accepting that it’s already cashed the moral benefits of carbon-intensive industrialization, the harder it will be for it to make common cause with nations that will look to follow its development path. – Bloomberg

Christopher Tremoglie writes: Moreover, it will be interesting to see how this might impact future relations between the United States and the communist country. Will China exploit these apparent public opinion deficiencies for its own gain in international relations? Will other countries? And, if it does, will U.S. voters hold the Biden administration accountable come election time? – Washington Examiner

Brent M. Eastwood writes: We may see more submarine shows of force in the future. It is a low risk way to send a message to adversaries and show the U.S. military can display a certain amount of aggressiveness to remind China and other powers that Americans can also raise the stakes in any potential combat theater around the world. – The National Interest

Dan Blumenthal writes: The United States still has some time to deter China from starting a full-scale war in the Western Pacific, reverse Ukraine’s fortunes, and keep Iran from escalating its proxy wars, but not much. It will require a rapid bipartisan agreement to increase the American stock of munitions both for its own inventory and for transfer to Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel and to provide more money to bolster the U.S. nuclear submarine force, the Pacific’s deterrence workhorse. The Congress and the President need to increase the defense budget by 5 percent annually for the foreseeable future to adequately resource the Pentagon’s new posture plans in the Pacific and European theaters. The U.S. strategic goal should be for its allies to defeat Beijing’s proxies and undermine its military intimidation. Nothing less will arrest a slide into a larger conflagration. – The National Interest

South Asia

India has had a very good year. The country’s economy is booming, its stock market is near an all-time high and its population is on track to overtake China’s to become the largest in the world. India and the U.S. have signed deals this year on jet-fighter engines and semiconductor chips. In September, New Delhi hosted a summit of the Group of 20 nations. – Wall Street Journal

Jailed former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was denied an open court trial on Monday as ordered by a high court after the government submitted reports citing threats to his life, his lawyer said. – Reuters

Foxconn Technology will invest more than $1.5 billion in an Indian construction project to fulfill the Apple supplier’s “operational needs,” the company announced in Taiwanese security filings Monday. – CNBC

Ashley J. Tellis writes: Consequently, only when Biden and Modi resolve the last outstanding issues arising from the momentous civil nuclear cooperation agreement—removing the impediments posed by India’s nuclear weapons and reforming India’s nuclear liability law respectively—will the United States and India fully realize the promise of that accord reached in Washington many summers ago. – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Asia

Taiwan will go to the polls on Jan. 13 to choose its next president in a vote that could reignite U.S.-China tensions if Beijing takes the results badly. – Washington Post

Three Chinese navy ships have arrived in Myanmar on a goodwill visit as part of renewed Chinese defence engagement amid Chinese concern about a surge of fighting between Myanmar junta forces and insurgents near the Chinese border. – Reuters

Relatives and a friend of Israelis kidnapped and killed by Hamas visited Australia’s Parliament House on Tuesday, sharing personal stories in an effort to lobby for international support for all hostages to be freed — and to support Israel’s war effort. – Associated Press

Japan and Vietnam on Monday agreed to strengthen their security and economic ties in the face of China’s growing influence in the region. – Associated Press

The Philippines is planning to hold joint patrols in the South China Sea with more nations after similar activities with the US and Australia amid tensions with China in the area, a security official said Tuesday. – Bloomberg

Taiwan indicted 10 people including active-duty and retired military personnel on suspicion of spying for China, the latest case showing Beijing’s alleged efforts to infiltrate the island’s military. – Bloomberg

Europe

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna on Tuesday welcomed news that three young French nationals were among the hostages released by Hamas on Monday, saying they were in good health. – Reuters

Arab states and the European Union agreed at a meeting in Spain on Monday that a two-state solution was the answer to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, with EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell saying the Palestinian Authority should rule Gaza. – Reuters

Interior ministers from six European Union countries on Monday said their nations had agreed to step up efforts to protect the bloc from illegal immigration and target groups of human smugglers that operate on its borders. – Associated Press

Poland’s president on Monday swore in a government that is expected to last no longer than 14 days, a tactical maneuver that allows the conservative Law and Justice party to hang onto power a bit longer — and make more appointments to state bodies. – Associated Press

A Hungarian judge who has been the target of Prime Minister Viktor Orban for opposing his influence over the court system said the government has delivered on a promise to bolster judicial independence. – Bloomberg

Two British men accused of bribing officials in Saudi Arabia have been “hung out to dry” by the UK government who knew and consented to the corrupt payments made to win defense contracts, lawyers representing the duo allege. – Bloomberg

Rishi Sunak triggered a diplomatic spat with Greece over the repatriation of the Parthenon marbles by canceling at the last minute a one-on-one in London. – Bloomberg

A champion mixed martial artist, Conor McGregor, is under investigation in Ireland for “online hate speech” after expressing outrage at his country’s timid reaction to the release of an Israeli-Irish hostage and to the news of an Algerian migrant who stabbed five women and children in Dublin on Thursday. The country, which historically has expressed sympathy with Arab states in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is now having to deal with the fallback from its own spurt of Islamic terrorism. – New York Sun

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson denounced the leader of the far-right party propping up his government Monday after he called for some mosques to be torn down. – Agence France-Presse

Editorial: The European Union vowed it would provide Ukraine with one million artillery rounds by March of next year. But deliveries are lagging, and German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said this month that “we have to assume” this target “will not be achieved.” The lesson is that once defense production capacity atrophies, it’s not easy to restore. […]Threats to global order will proliferate as the world’s authoritarians forge tighter defense ties. The post-Cold War peace is over, and the West is now paying for its decades of military under-investment. – Wall Street Journal

Paul Tullis writes: Though he was referring to agricultural policy specifically, words spoken to me by Harold Zoet, who sits in a provincial statehouse representing a new farmer-oriented party that hopes to join Mr. Wilders’s coalition, when I interviewed him last month, apply here as well. “We need to do it together,” he said. “We have to be more forward-thinking and listen to people everywhere.” Perhaps there is hope yet for the polder model. – New York Times

Alexander J. Motyl writes: To be fair to Orbán, he hasn’t gone quite as far as Putin in dismantling democracy. But he’s well on the road to doing just that. Russians have no choice but to vote for Putin — or Putin’s more radical clone, Girkin. And there’s little the West or anybody else can do to affect that choice. Not so with Hungary. The EU could finally flex its muscles and, following a somewhat cumbersome procedure, move to deprive Hungary of voting rights. It could also stop funding Orbán’s nascent dictatorship. Orbán won’t laugh, of course. But he just might cry. – The Hill

Stan Veuger writes: But regardless of the eventual outcome and whatever else may motivate his voters, Wilders’s victory is first and foremost a message of intense hatred toward the Netherlands’ ethnic and religious minorities as well as its immigrant population. The legitimation of Wilders’s open bigotry and the willingness of millions of Dutch voters to tell their neighbors and co-workers that they find their mere existence odious are, well, not great. – Foreign Policy

Africa

Nigeria’s cabinet has approved a $1 billion concessionary loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support financing the budget and improve foreign exchange supply, Finance Minister Olawale Edun said on Monday. – Reuters

Uganda is preparing to borrow $150 million from China’s Export Import Bank (Exim) to help expand its internet infrastructure, the finance ministry on Monday. – Reuters

Twenty people were killed and nearly 2,000 inmates escaped during Sunday’s attack on a military barracks, a prison and other locations in Sierra Leone, officials said on Monday. – Reuters

Niger’s ruling junta has overturned a controversial anti-migration law, dealing a blow to Europe’s effort to stop African migrants from reaching its shores. – Bloomberg

Latin America

Venezuelan politicians, military officials and police were “bought and paid for” by a man on trial on charges of shipping tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into the United States, a U.S. prosecutor said on Monday. – Reuters

Brazil will propose adding a civil society wing to the G20 group of the world’s largest economies when it takes over as president next week, to add the voices of society to summit meetings, a Brazilian minister said on Monday. – Reuters

The December inauguration of Argentina’s President-elect Javier Milei will likely not count former U.S. President Donald Trump among the attendees, a person familiar with matter told Reuters on Monday. – Reuters

The International Monetary Fund is “very keen” to support Argentina and the country could be a candidate to receive financing through its Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST), the Fund’s chief Kristalina Georgieva said on Monday. – Reuters

Argentina’s right-wing President-elect Javier Milei will meet with President Joe Biden’s national security adviser on Tuesday in Washington, according to the White House. – Associated Press

Javier Milei’s incoming administration is shaping up to be one of the most pro-Israel governments in Argentina’s history, at a time other Latin American nations have spoken out against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s strategy to eradicate Hamas. – Bloomberg

Steven B. Kamin writes: To get real, it will not be easy to make dollarization happen. Milei will likely lack the support from Congress, and the government is too broke at this point to buy out the existing stock of pesos. But if Argentina found the dollars somehow, or if some wealthy entity (Elon Musk?) were willing to stump up the funds, dollarization could be the first step in its thousand-mile journey to economic stability. – American Enterprise Institute

United States

Attorneys for Donald Trump have asked a federal judge in Washington to allow them to investigate several U.S. government agencies about their handling of investigations into him and allegations of voter fraud three years ago as the former president moves to defend himself from charges that he criminally conspired to subvert the results of the 2020 election. – Washington Post

Incendiary rhetoric about the war between Israel and Hamas is contributing to a stark rise in Islamophobia and antisemitism in the U.S. — and raising the risk that violent words could turn into actions. – The Hill

A federal judge Monday rejected former President Trump’s efforts to subpoena information related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack that the former president had accused government officials of failing to preserve, determining the request amounted to a “fishing expedition.” – The Hill

Philip Bump writes: You can’t be president without making some part of your base unhappy. Biden has certainly not avoided this. The question he faces is whether the anger he faces now from elements of his 2020 base will linger for the next 12 months — and how far that anger spreads. The left’s frustration over Biden’s approach to Gaza, for example, extends well beyond Muslim and Arab American voters. – Washington Post

Philip Bump writes: Put another way: What Trump is doing now, 340-odd days before the 2024 general election, is amplifying self-serving falsehoods and finding a hungry audience for them. This is also precisely what he was doing in the weeks before the Capitol riot. – Washington Post

William S. Becker writes: With everybody accusing everybody else of weaponizing government, we don’t have to weaponize the Constitution. Section 3 is already there, apparently ready to be locked and loaded in democracy’s defense. We should dust it off and use it. – The Hill

Cybersecurity

The Journal sought to determine what Instagram’s Reels algorithm would recommend to test accounts set up to follow only young gymnasts, cheerleaders and other teen and preteen influencers active on the platform. Instagram’s system served jarring doses of salacious content to those test accounts, including risqué footage of children as well as overtly sexual adult videos—and ads for some of the biggest U.S. brands. – Wall Street Journal

Meta Platforms’ (META.O) paid no-ads subscription service launched in Europe this month faced one of its biggest tests as advocacy group NOYB on Tuesday filed a complaint with an Austrian regulator, saying that it amounted to paying a fee to ensure privacy. – Reuters

Amid waves of international backlash and calls for bans of one of the most popular social media platforms, TikTok says it is taking “swift action” against pro-Hamas content and fake accounts that are flooding the app. – New York Sun

The United States, along with 17 other countries, unveiled an international agreement that aims to keep artificial intelligence (AI) systems safe from rogue actors and urges providers to follow “secure by design principles.” – The Hill

Sports Illustrated responded to a report alleging the magazine published AI-generated content, denying the claims but acknowledging that some articles were published under fabricated names. – The Hill

Google will start the process of shutting down accounts that have been inactive for two years next month. The purge follows Google’s decision in May to update its policy on inactive accounts in an effort to curb cybersecurity concerns. – The Hill

Phone lines for essential services in Israel, such as Magen David Adom (MDA), police, Hatzalah, and the Fire Department, were down for over an hour amid a malfunction initially feared to be a potential cyberattack, Israeli media reports. – Jerusalem Post

Shira Ovide writes: A criminal or spy would have to get very close to your credit card and own specialized equipment. It’s possible, but most crime is boring, not like a James Bond movie. There are far easier ways to steal your credit card information. You and I live in the real world where we cannot be on guard for every threat. Don’t worry about NameDrop. But worry about wasting your time on risks that don’t matter. – Washington Post

Farah Stockman writes: If the Biden administration can shepherd a digital agreement that strikes the right balance, there’s a chance that it will also restore faith in free trade by showing that trade agreements don’t have to be written by the powerful at the expense of the weak. – New York Times

Megan Shahi writes: With just under a year until the 2024 presidential election, it’s still not too late for Meta and other media platforms to reverse their harmful policy change, uphold their responsibility to protect digital democracy and reset the industry precedent. I implore Meta, X, YouTube and others to stop backsliding, rethink these approaches and act now before we have no democracy left to protect. – The Hill

Defense

The U.S. Navy said Monday that it has removed nearly all of the fuel from a large plane that overshot a Hawaii runway and landed in an environmentally sensitive bay, but it doesn’t have a timetable for when it will get the aircraft out of the water. – Associated Press

The US Army is developing a new slate of advanced software designed to improve collection, dissemination, and exploitation of battlefield intelligence at the tactical level, according to a service solicitation. – Janes

Adrian Wooldridge writes: The West’s success in the Cold War depended on the creative relationship between the Pentagon and two other elements: mighty corporations and leading academic institutions. The companies made sure the West was ahead in manufacturing high-tech weaponry. And the universities provided innovative brainpower. Now that the world is settling into another Cold War, this relationship must be reinvented for a new world of faster innovation and more flexible corporations. – Bloomberg

Brent M. Eastwood writes: For many reasons you can see above, I don’t see the Air Force starting up production of the Raptor. It’s just too expensive and impractical. And don’t forget the Air Force’s yearning for a 6th generation fighter that will need time and resources as well. So, the F-22 will likely be limited to the number of airplanes that currently exist. – The National Interest

Brent M. Eastwood writes: By all accounts, Delta Force is a tight community – a brotherhood whose members always run toward the gunfire and are in Delta to be deployed for as many missions as possible. They believe that the more gunfights they engage in, the better. We should feel fortunate they are willing to be the tip of the spear and fight the battles no one else can. – The National Interest

Trevor Phillips-Levine and Walker D. Mills write: The Navy and Marine Corps are right to perform their due diligence and ensure the dramatic departure from historical training guidelines is not ill-informed. However, they cannot afford to waste time crediting parochial or nostalgic arguments when it comes time to eliminate instances of overtraining. The services should seize opportunities for streamlining pilot training and stop training on unnecessary or redundant skills. Relying on automation to cut training requirements, like carrier qualifications, is one of the best opportunities. If the services cannot, the United States risks continued pilot shortages in peacetime or a crisis in wartime. – War on the Rocks

Long War

Six teenagers went on trial Monday, accused of helping the man who beheaded French schoolteacher Samuel Paty three years ago after he showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad as part of a class on free speech. – Wall Street Journal

Editorial: Palestinian culpability for the rocket that struck al-Ahli Hospital is now so indisputable that even Human Rights Watch, an outfit deeply hostile to Israel, has admitted it — but rest assured, this won’t be the last time major media let Hamas guide the “narrative.” […]That remains hugely important context for understanding this war — but goes unmentioned in most reports about civilian suffering. Then there’s false context, like the near-ubiquitous use of the words “militants” or “fighters” to describe blood-soaked killers of children and the elderly. It’s critical, as Israel continues its hostage exchange with Hamas, to remember that the Jewish state is battling murderers and war criminals, not righteous freedom fighters. No matter how hard elite institutions seek to suppress that fact. – New York Post

Zachary Faria writes: Anyone calling for a “permanent ceasefire” between Israel and a terrorist group dedicated to destroying Israel is a fool at best. Those who should know better, such as the prime ministers of Spain and Belgium, are far worse, whether they be cowards, antisemites, or morally bankrupt “leaders” who are just fine with antisemitic terrorists slaughtering civilians. – Washington Examiner

Farhad Rezaei, Sadaf Rostami, and Siavash Gholami write: Clearly, Hamas and Hezbollah’s use of civilians as human shields is not only a serious violation of international laws of war, but it also stands in stark contradiction to the teachings of the Quran. Renowned Islamic centers such as Al-Azhar University, prominent theology scholars such as Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and Shia religious leaders such as Ayatollah Ali Sistani are expected to denounce this inhuman, brutal, and un-Islamic act. Their silence can be interpreted as an implicit support for human shields, a black stain on their moral integrity. – Jerusalem Post