Fdd's overnight brief

November 8, 2021

In The News


Iran told Russia Saturday that Western governments should be “realistic” when nuclear talks resume later this month and not exceed the bounds of a 2015 deal they are seeking to revive. – Agence France-Presse 

Iran’s atomic agency said Friday that its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium has reached over 210 kilograms (463 pounds), the latest defiant move ahead of upcoming nuclear talks with the West. – Associated Press 

Iran said on Monday that the United States should provide guarantees that Washington will not abandon again Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, if talks to revive the agreement succeed. – Reuters 

Iran’s military began its annual war games in a coastal area of the Gulf of Oman, state TV reported Sunday, less than a month before upcoming nuclear talks with the West. – Associated Press 

Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s deputy foreign minister and lead negotiator in nuclear talks, will visit London, Paris and Berlin later this week to discuss the big-power negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said. – Bloomberg 

Austria’s new Chancellor, Alexander Schallenberg, addressed the resumption of the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the Western powers in Vienna and stated that the correct way to resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear program is a new diplomatic agreement. – Arutz Sheva 

Nikki Haley, former US Ambassador to the United Nations, has warned Israel not to rely on the US to stop Iran. – Arutz Sheva 

For nine years, Gohar Eshghi has been grieving and seeking justice for the death of her son, Sattar Beheshti, an Iranian blogger who died in police custody in 2012. But Eshghi’s fight to bring the perpetrators to justice has put her and her family directly in the authorities’ crosshairs. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

As the Black Shadow hacker group announced its latest attack in recent days, the company involved was quick to point the finger at Iran, as other victims of the group had done in past attacks, but is Iran really the culprit in this case? – Jerusalem Post

Iran’s supreme court has upheld death sentences for adultery against a 27-year-old and his 33-year-old lover after the man’s father-in-law denied them clemency, a reformist newspaper reported Saturday. – Agence France-Presse 

David Albright and Sarah Burkhard write: For most of the last IAEA reporting period, Iran has been enriching uranium to 60 percent in one cascade of 164 IR-6 centrifuges at the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP). Since August 14, it has been also enriching uranium to 60 percent in an additional cascade, one comprising 153 IR-4 centrifuges. – Institute for Science and International Security 


As Kabul was falling to the Taliban in August, the young Afghan Air Force pilot flew his PC-12 turboprop from Afghanistan to neighboring Tajikistan to escape. Like other Afghan officers who fled in dozens of military aircraft to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the pilot had faith that his American military partners would rescue him. – New York Times 

The plan for the final “retrograde” of the American war in Afghanistan was clear: On Aug. 26, the British troops stationed at the nearby Baron Hotel would fall back. A few hours later, the 82nd Airborne would take up the Marines’ forward positions, allowing Ghost Company to fold into the terminal. And, finally, the 82nd Airborne would fall back to the airport, to waiting planes, ending America’s longest war. – New York Times 

The Taliban appointed 44 of its members to key roles including provincial governors and police chiefs on Sunday, a key step in shoring up its governance as the country grapples with growing security and economic problems. – Reuters  

Four women have been killed in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s Taliban government said on Saturday, as local sources identified at least one of the victims as a rights activist. – Agence France-Presse   

In the villages that once bore the brunt of Afghanistan’s frontline fighting, the Taliban victory has broken a cycle of air strikes, gun battles and funerals. – Agence France-Presse 

Saad Mohseni writes: There is no alternative but to engage with the Taliban, but engagement is not the same as recognition. The U.S. and its partners still have a chance to rediscover their relevance and offer incentives with clear benchmarks to the Taliban — a path that ultimately could offer international recognition once firm guarantees on counterterrorism, women’s rights, freedom of expression, and a broad-based, inclusive government are established. The key is to find a balance, where assistance to the Afghan nation continues without the Taliban being able to declare outright legitimacy through this assistance. – Politico 

Elizabeth Wishnick writes: Differences between Russia and China on the Taliban-governed Afghanistan are unlikely to provide the United States any leverage over the Sino-Russian partnership. […]Thus far Russia and China do not appear to speak with one mind on Afghanistan, nor should they be expected to do so, due to their different history in the region and the legacy of regional partnerships that ensued. – War on the Rocks 


Not going to the climate talks, known as COP26, might have seemed self-defeating, given his recent green pivot, but Mr. Erdogan tried to play to his home base and cast his turnaround as a matter of honor. – New York Times 

An indictment which aims to ban Turkey’s Democratic Peoples’ Party (HDP) was prepared for political reasons and should be thrown out, an HDP official said on Saturday, a day after it submitted an initial defence to Turkey’s top court. – Reuters 

Hasim Tekines writes: Despite its troubles in foreign policy, Turkey is not a diplomatically isolated country, except for a brief period of contraction which is relevant for its relations with Middle Eastern countries. […]Yet, apparently, diplomacy is incapable of keeping relations from getting worse. Turkey’s strengthening authoritarianism, deteriorating rule of law, and weakening democracy have not decreased the number of diplomatic meetings with democratic countries. – Washington Institute   


The Israeli military has been conducting a broad surveillance effort in the occupied West Bank to monitor Palestinians by integrating facial recognition with a growing network of cameras and smartphones, according to descriptions of the program by recent Israeli soldiers. – Washington Post 

Israel stepped up its public opposition on Saturday to a plan by President Joe Biden’s administration to reopen a U.S. consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem, suggesting such a mission should be in the occupied West Bank. – Reuters 

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Saturday distanced the government from the NSO Group, a firm blacklisted this week by the United States over alleged misuse of its phone hacking spyware. – Reuters  

The Palestinians on Sunday slammed Israel for rejecting the promised reopening of the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, a move that would restore Washington’s main diplomatic mission for the Palestinians in the contested city. – Associated Press 

The Mossad has thwarted multiple attacks by Iran against Israeli tourists and businessmen in at least three African countries, Channel 12 reported on Sunday night. – Jerusalem Post  

The Israel Defense Forces outlawed five Palestinian rights groups in the West Bank on Sunday, following a decision by Defense Minister Benny Gantz last month, despite international criticism against the move, the military said. – Times of Israel 

Palestinians are expected to hand over a recording testifying to the condition of two Israeli captives apparently held by Hamas in Gaza, whose returns are sought alongside the repatriation of the remains of two soldiers killed in 2014, the UK-based Al-Arab news outlet reported Saturday. – Times of Israel  

Former US Vice President Mike Pence criticized current President Joe Biden over his administration’s treatment of Israel, telling the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting, “Make no mistake about it, President Joe Biden has turned his back on Israel.” – Arutz Sheva 

Walter Bingham writes: All over the Western world, Jews are experiencing a resurgence of antisemitism. Synagogue doors are being reinforced, Jewish businesses are being attacked, Jewish monuments have been defaced. People are careful not to wear anything that can identify them as Jews, and those who do are in danger of verbal or even physical attack. It’s happening all over Europe as well as the US. – Jerusalem Post 


An overnight drone strike on the home of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi drew wide condemnation Sunday as the contours of a potentially fatal attack became clearer. Iraq’s Interior Ministry said Kadhimi’s residence had been targeted by three drones, two of which were shot down. According to photographs distributed by Iraqi state media, at least one projectile hit the prime minister’s home directly. – Washington Post 

Supporters of Iran-backed militias clashed Friday with Iraqi security forces outside the fortified Green Zone complex as tensions spiked over the results of national elections last month. – Washington Post 

Crispin Smith, Michael Knights, Hamdi Malik write: If Qais al-Khazali and KH sought to push all muqawama elements back together using their protest gambit on Nov. 4-6, yet the drone attack has undermined this objective, potentially potentially leaving AAH and KH even more isolated, while Kadhimi has received strong international rhetorical support following the drone attack. This may be a further indicator of political tone-deafness in KH or AAH or both. – Washington Institute  

Michael Rubin writes: It is time that the United States takes the fight against those responsible for the drone attacks into the heart of Baghdad and Tehran. If Badr Corps leader Hadi Amiri’s fingerprints are on any of the attacks, target him; he cannot project strength when hiding. The same is true for Asaib Ahl al-Haq leader Qais Khazali. It is also time to troll the Iranian-backed militias in a way that all Iraqis can see. […]Ending “forever wars” is not a decision for one side only; all combatants get a say. Love the Middle East or hate it, but the realities of the region mandate that no American leader ignore it. – The National Interest  

Seth J. Frantzman writes: Locating parts of the equipment will be important, but Iraq’s security services may be reticent to conclude that Iran or any of its proxy groups were behind the attack. Why? Because in previous incidents where Iraq’s prime minister has acted against pro-Iranian groups engaged in illegal attacks, they succeeded in freeing their jailed members as a result. – Jerusalem Post 


On Sunday, a meeting of the Joint Military Committee between the IDF and the Egyptian Armed Forces was held, during which various issues the two armies face were discussed. – Arutz Sheva 

David Schenker writes: Egypt is an enthusiastic advocate for returning Syria to “the Arab fold,” which would include unfreezing its Arab League membership and reintegrating it in the region politically and economically. The Biden administration is not actively opposing this reintegration, but it should at minimum coordinate with Egypt and other Arab partners to ensure that some concessions are extracted from the Assad regime in exchange—from achievable objectives such as protecting civilians, to more ambitious goals such as limiting Iranian ballistic missile bases on Syrian soil. – Washington Institute  

Zvi Bar’el writes: Biden’s advisers are fully aware of the studies done in recent decades showing that granting or withholding foreign aid has not really helped promote American interests. This hasn’t been the case in Pakistan, nor in Iraq, Egypt or Israel. […]Biden himself waited a few months before he picked up the phone and called the Egyptian president. Today he recognizes that Sissi is essential. Human rights in Egypt will have to wait, and the aid that Biden suspended will be restored. – Haaretz 

Arabian Peninsula

Saudi air defences intercepted and destroyed an explosives-laden drone targeting Abha International Airport in the southwestern part of the kingdom, the state news agency said on Saturday, citing the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen. – Reuters 

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, the group known as OPEC+, are able to increase oil supply if there is market demand, United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei told Asharq TV on Monday. – Reuters 

Yet 10 years after quitting MBC, the media personality who was recently appointed Lebanon’s information minister, has just lost his bankrupt country hundreds of millions of dollars — by infuriating his former Gulf patrons. Kordahi’s criticism of Saudi and the UAE’s war against Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen, in a video that resurfaced late last month, has caused a diplomatic firestorm. – Financial Times 

The UK has held talks with Qatar over a long-term gas arrangement that would make the Gulf state a “supplier of last resort”, according to people briefed on the discussions. – Financial Times 

Middle East & North Africa

Libya’s government Sunday rejected a decision by the country’s presidential council to suspend the foreign minister over allegations of monopolizing foreign policy. – Associated Press 

Morocco’s King Mohamed VI said Saturday that Western Sahara is “not negotiable”, as tensions flared with Algeria over the disputed territory. – Agence France-Presse  

On board the plane was the general’s son, Saddam Haftar. Father and son are seeking military and diplomatic assistance from Israel, and in exchange promise that if they head the national unity and reconciliation government to be established in Libya after the presidential elections on December 24, they will launch diplomatic ties with Jerusalem. – Haaretz 

Morocco is considering a purchase of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, a Moroccan online news site reported on Sunday. – i24 News 

Korean Peninsula

North Korean mechanized troops held an artillery fire competition over the weekend as part of efforts to boost the country’s defence capabilities, state media reported on Sunday. – Reuters 

South Korea said its technology firms will provide some semiconductor data to the U.S., following a request by the Commerce Department for companies in the supply chain to provide information on inventory and sales of chips. – Bloomberg 

North Korea can get all the uranium it needs for nuclear weapons through its existing Pyongsan mill, and satellite imagery of tailings piles suggests the country can produce far more nuclear fuel than it is, a new academic study concludes. – CNN 


More than four years since the Chinese government intensified its crackdown in Xinjiang, Uyghurs in the diaspora are starting to grapple with their trauma. To help, a growing coalition of community leaders, professional counselors and volunteers has emerged to respond to what Louisa Greve, director of global advocacy for the Uyghur Human Rights Project in Washington, called a “slow-motion crisis.” – New York Times 

China will hold those who support “Taiwan independence” criminally liable for life, it said on Friday, provoking anger and ridicule from the democratic island at a time of heightened tension across the sensitive Taiwan Strait. – Reuters   

The Chinese military is using mock-ups of a U.S. aircraft carrier at a weapons-testing range in a remote western desert, new satellite imagery shows, indicating the People’s Liberation Army is focused on neutralizing a key tool of U.S. power. – Bloomberg 

An American federal jury has convicted a senior Chinese intelligence officer of trying to steal secrets from General Electric, the first time a Ministry of State Security official was extradited to the US for trial. – Financial Times 

China’s military buildup and its push to develop nuclear-capable missiles is unnerving Congress and U.S. defense officials alike. – The Hill 

Disputes over commitments to tackle climate change are the latest flashpoint in tensions between the U.S. and China. […]The sparks show that even in issues that require international cooperation such as climate change, the strained U.S.-China relationship still reverberates. – The Hill 

Editorial: Ms. Zhang should be saluted for her intrepid attempts to record the chaos and cataclysm of Wuhan in those early weeks. She was a sentinel of a looming disaster. Her journalism was not a crime. She must not spend another moment behind bars. She must not be allowed to die. – Washington Post 

Chris Buckley writes: While ostensibly about historical issues, the Central Committee’s resolution — practically holy writ for officials — will shape China’s politics and society for decades to come. The touchstone document on the party’s past, only the third of its kind, is sure to become the focus of an intense indoctrination campaign. It will dictate how the authorities teach China’s modern history in textbooks, films, television shows and classrooms. It will embolden censors and police officers applying sharpened laws against any who mock, or even question, the communist cause and its “martyrs.”  – New York Times 

South Asia

India is losing leverage in South Asia as its government tries to reshape the country into a Hindu state. In marginalizing and maligning its minority Muslims at home, Mr. Modi’s government has weakened India’s traditional leadership role of encouraging harmony in a region of many fault lines. – New York Times 

Pakistan said Monday it has lifted a ban on a radical Islamist party behind a violent anti-France protest last month that triggered clashes with police, leaving six officers and four demonstrators dead. – Associated Press 

The Pakistani Taliban have demanded that the government of Pakistan release a number of prisoners as a condition for talks aimed at laying the ground for full ceasefire negotiations, multiple sources in the group said. – Reuters 

James M. Dorsey writes: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan may have temporarily averted further violence by caving in to the demands of a militant, supremacist religious group. But in doing so, Khan is allowing radical ultra-conservatism to fester, undermining social cohesion, threatening economic development, and giving militants a say in foreign policy. – Algemeiner 

Ayesha Siddiqa writes: Perhaps the growing China-Iran relations will redefine Iran-Pakistan links too. In the event that relations between Islamabad and Tehran warm up substantially, midwifed by Beijing, Pakistan could find use for Abdul Qadeer Khan’s rhetoric glorifying a potent geopolitical “Islamic bloc,” an issue he wrote about during his last years. – Haaretz 


Mr. Richardson’s latest visit, last week, made him the most prominent Western figure to meet with Myanmar’s generals since they overthrew Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected civilian government in February. In an interview on Saturday, his first since the trip, he said that he had met with the junta’s leader, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, and other officials to try to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Myanmar, including Covid vaccines. – New York Times 

For about an hour last week, people in the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan got a taste of life without social media. […]But the incident reflects a trend among Central Asian countries testing how far they can go to restrict Internet freedoms. Their fight with Big Tech comes as Central Asian governments increasingly balk at Western influence and instead take their cues from powers such as China, which is investing heavily in the region. – Washington Post 

Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi on Friday said Japan will step up military cooperation with Germany in the Indo-Pacific region as he welcomed a port call by the first German warship to visit Japan in about 20 years. – Associated Press 

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida picked a critic of China’s treatment of the Uyghur ethnic group to be his aide for human rights issues, a move that could increase friction between Asia’s two biggest economies. – Bloomberg   

Leaders of the Asia-Pacific trade group APEC will focus on the region’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, emphasising supply chain support and decarbonising economies, at virtual talks that begin on Monday. – Reuters  

Editorial: The United States could use its financial leverage to cut off the flow of funds that the junta receives from offshore natural gas production by U.S.-owned Chevron. France, whose energy company Total also operates in Myanmar, balks at that form of pressure, however, as does neighboring Thailand, which relies on gas from Myanmar for about 14 percent of its supply. […]Working within these constraints, the Biden administration must do what it can to ease Myanmar’s suffering and keep its democratic hopes alive. – Washington Post 

Ben Connable writes: The U.S. Government should attempt to apply these approaches to understand both the Chinese and American will to fight before the United States suffers a strategic defeat or even a pyrrhic victory over China. At the very least, as Biden ratchets up diplomatic tensions, he should consider ways to prepare the U.S. military and public for a war that, while probably not desired by either side, seems increasingly probable. – The National Interest 


A Russian court on Monday rejected an appeal by jailed ex-U.S. Marine Paul Whelan who had challenged the refusal of a regional court to hear his case to be transferred to the United States to serve his sentence there, the Interfax news agency reported. – Reuters  

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has called the presence of the U.S. Navy in the Black Sea a provocation after another ship entered the strategic waters. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

Hal Brands writes: Likewise, if the U.S. can’t actually defend Taiwan — by helping the island survive air and missile barrages, and flooding the region with naval and air power — then Beijing might think that an American tripwire is only a bluff. […]And just sticking a few dozen U.S. troops in an exposed position — such as on one of the defenseless offshore islands claimed by Taiwan — might be dangerous, because Beijing could subdue that force with small-scale aggression and then dare Washington to escalate wildly in response. – Bloomberg 

Lindsey Kennedy and Nathan Paul Southern write: This won’t work unless the United States is seen as a serious partner, worth giving up other opportunities to pursue. Central Asian organizations looking to work with Russian companies, particularly those with close ties to the Kremlin, can be hit with secondary sanctions by the United States, which ironically serves to push them closer to Russia—or, at the very least, positions China as a comparatively hassle-free partner. The United States will need to work hard to position itself as a reliable alternative. – Foreign Policy 


German authorities on Friday confirmed that a Russian diplomat was found dead in Berlin last month, an incident Russia described as a “tragic accident” while criticizing media reports that said the man was a spy and his death could be suspicious. – Washington Post 

If a multi-ethnic Bosnia is pushed towards disintegration, that will inevitably have an impact on other unresolved conflicts in the Western Balkans such as that between Serbia and Kosovo, Bosnia’s peace envoy told Reuters on Saturday. – Reuters  

Triggering emergency unilateral provisions in the Brexit deal will not solve the problems with the part of the divorce agreement that governs trade with Northern Ireland, Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said on Sunday. – Reuters  

Poland is stepping up security at its border with Belarus, on the European Union’s eastern border, following reports that a large group of migrants in Belarus is heading for a crossing point, officials said Monday. – Associated Press 

Doug Klain writes: The reality is that for all of Ukraine’s impressive advancements in recent years — especially the continuing modernization a decayed Soviet-era military out of necessity — Russian forces can still overwhelm it should Putin choose to. […]Whether France and Germany are making these missteps because Paris may still hope for an entente with Moscow or because Berlin is waking up to the threat of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline remains to be seen. Ukrainians know that when Russian artillery is killing its troops, great power politics take a backseat to getting the shooting to stop. – The Hill 

Leon Hartwell, Kaitlyn Lee, and Taylor Whitsell write: A solution must therefore address not just Bosnia’s current crisis, but also help resolve the Serbia-Kosovo dispute, and contain an increasingly autocratic and militarized Serbia’s expansionist ambitions. […]The risk of a political and possibly military meltdown in Bosnia has probably not been this likely since the 1990s. Wise diplomats know that you rarely get the crisis you anticipate; and without swift action at the onset, the costs can multiply at a horrifying speed. – Center for European Policy Analysis  


Ethiopian rebel forces advanced toward the country’s capital, threatening to widen a civil war raging in Africa’s second-most populous nation marked by allegations of ethnically motivated atrocities and man-made famine. – Wall Street Journal 

Tens of thousands of Ethiopians rallied in Addis Ababa on Sunday to support Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government as federal troops fight rebellious forces threatening to march on the capital. – Reuters  

The United States has ordered non-emergency U.S. government employees in Ethiopia to leave because of armed conflict and civil unrest, its embassy in Addis Ababa said on Saturday. – Reuters  

The coup in Sudan puts into doubt the process that would have seen France cancel some $5 billion debt it was owed by the African country, France’s foreign ministry said on Friday, the latest power to pressure military leaders who seized power. – Reuters 

The United Nations human rights council on Friday adopted a British-led resolution on Sudan condemning the military coup and appointing an expert to monitor alleged rights violations in its aftermath. – Reuters  

The U.N. Security Council called for an end to the intensifying and expanding conflict in Ethiopia on Friday, and for unhindered access for humanitarian aid to tackle the world’s worst hunger crisis in a decade in the war-torn Tigray region. – Associated Press 

The West African regional bloc ECOWAS on Sunday announced sanctions including travel bans and assets freezes against individual members of the military junta ruling Mali since an August 2020 coup. – Agence France-Presse 

Editorial: For the United States, the looming war in Ethiopia raises the prospect of a failed state where there was once an ally in its efforts to fight terrorism in the Horn of Africa. The Biden administration has reacted to the latest events by threatening to limit U.S. market access for Ethiopian exports under the African Growth and Opportunity Act as of Jan. 1[…]. Perhaps that will sway Mr. Abiy, even though no other U.S. measure has. Something must cause him, and the rest of Ethiopia’s warring leaders, to change course, or else another bloodbath will engulf this long-suffering country. – Washington Post 

The Americas

President Biden on Sunday denounced the “pantomime election” that is expected to hand a fourth consecutive term to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, noting that the ruler had jailed potential opponents and blocked political parties from competing. – Washington Post 

The Cold War lived on in socialist Venezuela, where, since Hugo Chávez courted the Kremlin in the 2000s, the United States and Russia engaged in what was largely a two-way game of influence. But another player has entered the fray in a big way: the European Union. – Washington Post 

The U.S. government has seen proof that at least some members of the group of American and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti last month are alive, according to a senior Biden administration official. – Reuters  

The Biden administration is prepared to impose further sanctions and ratchet up diplomatic pressure on Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s government following elections set for this Sunday, senior U.S. officials said. – Reuters  

The White House has received recommendations for restarting remittances to Cuba but sent some back for further work to craft “innovative options” to ensure that money sent by Cuban Americans to families on the island does not fall into the hands of Cuba’s government, a senior U.S. official said on Friday. – Reuters 

Daniel F. Runde writes: Ortega actively models his policies and actions after authoritarians. […]The Biden-Harris administration has committed to standing up for democracy around the globe, a great and just cause. Nicaragua is the perfect case study for them to support democracy and take significant political action. The U.S. should reject the election and take action — in partnership with allies — to help push Nicaragua back into the community of democracies. – The Hill 


A hacking group with potential ties to China has breached nine global organizations as part of an ongoing espionage effort particularly targeting the defense sector, findings made public Sunday revealed. – The Hill 

A group of House Democrats on Friday applauded the Biden administration for blacklisting key companies involved in cyber espionage efforts, including Israeli company NSO Group, but called on the White House to go further and considering imposing sanctions to limit this activity. – The Hill 

When Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower, testifies to the European Parliament and French lawmakers this week, politicians are eager for more damning evidence of how the social network potentially ignored harmful and divisive content that put people at risk. – Politico 

A bipartisan group of senators are moving to insert a provision into the upcoming annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would give certain critical infrastructure groups 72 hours to report major cyber incidents to the government. – The Hill 


The U.S. Air Force has now been in the Middle East for more than three decades. Even the end of the Afghanistan War isn’t likely to mean a major drawdown from the region. – Defense News 

Republican Reps. Mike Rogers and Mike Turner are urging U.S. President Joe Biden to further arm Ukraine and “deploy a U.S. military presence in the Black Sea” to warn off a renewed invasion threat from Russian forces. – Defense News 

The Commerce Department is placing new restrictions for how frequently US-operated mid- to high-resolution commercial remote sensing satellites can image any one spot on the Earth, prompted by concerns from the Defense Department and Intelligence Community over the potential impacts of repeated captures of key US national security facilities. – Breaking Defense  

Michael Krepon writes: The greatest nuclear dangers reside in the increase in dangerous military practices between the United States and China, Russia and the United States, India and China, and Pakistan and India. Air and naval operations in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea increase the likelihood of crises, as do military operations in eastern Ukraine. But we’ve been here before, not just with the Soviet Union, but also with China. […]It’s time to plan once again for a future in which nuclear weapons aren’t used in warfare. We’ve succeeded in the past, and we can succeed again by harnessing deterrence with arms control. – War on the Rocks  

Long War

A 28-year-old Kyrgyz, Gulmira ran away from her home in Syria four years ago to escape her Islamic State (IS) fighter husband and the horrors of living under the extremist group. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

Cypriot authorities have filed charges against six suspects for the alleged plotting of a terror attack against Israeli targets living on the island, including one man who had Hezbollah-related images found on his phone. – Algemeiner 

Diana Dascalu and Ben Wilkinson write: In the current security context of revitalized jihadist groups and ever-growing variations of right-wing ideology, establishing a consensus on the definition of terrorism, and bringing to center stage the importance of adequately charging acts of terrorism could be more important than ever. […]Until this consistency is achieved, counter-extremism and counterterrorism policies may always lag behind the constantly morphing and evolving threat. – The National Interest  

Stefanie Kam Li Yee writes: Surveying the broader context of China’s security posture reveals both continuity and change. However, an intensification of the rivalry between Al Qaeda and ISIS-K could fundamentally alter the militant landscape in Afghanistan. A pragmatic China may then be forced to revisit its playbook in Afghanistan. This would mean a recalibration of its existing Afghan policy which hinges on its adherence to the principle of non-interference in Afghanistan’s future affairs, support for Afghanistan’s peaceful reconstruction, financial aid to Kabul, and direct talks with the Afghan Taliban delegation. – The National Interest