Fdd's overnight brief

November 8, 2023

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


Israel said it intends to retain security control of Gaza for an indefinite period once its war with Hamas ends, prompting U.S. officials to stress their opposition to a reoccupation of the enclave. – Wall Street Journal

In Gaza, bombed and besieged for the past month, clean water is in critically short supply. Water production in the coastal enclave has collapsed to around 5% of pre-war levels, according to the United Nations. The little water that Gaza has is making people sick, residents, the U.N. and healthcare workers say. – Wall Street Journal

Who is going to run Gaza when this terrible war is over? After a month of fighting, no one can provide a clear answer. – Washington Post

The White House cautioned Israel on Tuesday against reoccupying Gaza after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested that his country could hold a security role there “for an indefinite period” once the war is over. – New York Times

Facing growing anger from their own people, Arab countries are intensifying their appeals to the United States to pressure Israel to implement an immediate cease-fire in Gaza or risk sabotaging the security of the entire Middle East. – New York Times

They knew it would be perilous, but Jinan Al Salya and her family decided to heed Israeli directions to evacuate the northern Gaza Strip and head south. They hadn’t gone far on Saturday, she said, when they came under fire. – New York Times

The Bank of Israel said on Tuesday that it had spent $7.3 billion to support the shekel, which had fallen to an eight-year low after Hamas’s attack on Oct. 7. The currency is now back to about where it was before the invasion, and on Tuesday was trading at around 3.87 shekels to the dollar. – New York Times

Falluja. Mosul. Copenhagen. Hiroshima. Facing global criticism over a bloody military campaign in Gaza that has killed thousands of civilians, Israeli officials have turned to history in their defense. And the names of several infamous sites of death and destruction have been on their lips. – New York Times

About 5,000 people left the northern half of Gaza during a four-hour window given by the Israeli military on Monday, according to United Nations monitors, a day after Israel said its forces had cleaved the territory in two. – New York Times

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters calling for a cease-fire in Gaza blocked traffic Monday at the Port of Tacoma, where a military supply ship had recently arrived. – Associated Press

Israel is organizing showings for media around the world of a compilation of footage of Hamas’s October 7 massacre of 1,400 people in southern Israel, assembled from raw material sourced from victims and perpetrators alike. – Agence France-Presse

Israeli soldiers who have taken up positions near the Gaza border told AFP they felt proud to protect their country after Hamas’s October 7 massacre while admitting to being nervous as the war intensified. – Agence France -Presse

Renana Jacob was not at home when Hamas’s deadly attack on 7 October reached her kibbutz in southern Israel, but she quickly managed to reach her two sons by phone. – BBC

A Palestinian reporter has been killed alongside 42 family members, his news agency says, as a watchdog said the past month had been the most deadly for journalists since its records began. – BBC

Israel’s leaders have declared that Hamas will be wiped off the face of the Earth and Gaza will never go back to what it was. – BBC

In a video published Tuesday, the Israel Defense Force is seen escorting Gaza civilians, white flags in hand, toward safety in the south of the strip. An Israeli tank defends the civilians against Hamas, which had blocked their escape from the battlefield. – New York Sun

As the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fight their way deeper into the hostile Gaza Strip, they face not only the Hamas movement but an array of other armed Palestinian factions that have taken up arms. – Newsweek

G7 foreign ministers are set to issue a joint statement on the Israel-Hamas war on Wednesday and are expected to call for temporary pauses in fighting to allow humanitarian aid into the besieged Gaza Strip. – Reuters

Air strikes on the Gaza Strip killed a top Hamas weapons maker and several fighters, the Israeli military said on Wednesday, as its air and ground offensive targeted the militants’ vast tunnel network beneath the besieged Palestinian enclave. – Reuters

The Israel Defense Forces are “tightening the noose” around Gaza City, according to Israeli officials intent on killing the Hamas leaders who orchestrated the Oct. 7 rampage that started the war. – Washington Examiner

Tunnels and weapons warehouses used by Hamas were found near an amusement park and a university in the Gaza Strip during the IDF’s ongoing operations in the coastal enclave, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit revealed on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post

Among the victims of Israel’s “Black Sabbath” massacre were some 300,000 Israeli Arabs—part of the 20% of the population that forms the Israeli Arab sector—who are residents of the Negev desert in southern Israel. – Jerusalem Post

The White House accused Hamas of “genocidal intentions” against Israel, as it pushed back against criticism of the IDF’s military campaign in Gaza and its high Palestinian civilian death toll. – Jerusalem Post

Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism Minister Amichai Chikli provided a detailed account to international ministers of close to 10 countries, such as Canada’s Defense Minister Bill Blair and Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi, calling for action against civil groups with ties to Hamas. – Jerusalem Post

Marking one month since the worst attack in the history of the Jewish state, Israelis across the country took part in vigils, memorial gatherings, prayers and protests as the nation continues to grapple with the devastating massacre. – Times of Israel 

Denial of the atrocities of October 7 or attempts to downplay Hamas’ role have been gaining traction on social media – to the point that some Israelis are following suit, even lawmakers. – Haaretz

The supposed instructions given to thousands of Hamas terrorists who attacked Israel on October 7 and massacred 1,400 Israelis were relayed at the last minute before the terror attack began, the British newspaper The Guardian revealed Tuesday. – Ynet

Editorial: If these organizations genuinely care about their missions and about saving Palestinian lives – and not just condemning Israel – it is long past time for them to speak out against Hamas’s abuses. – Jerusalem Post

Adam Taylor writes: But while the Israeli leader could be stalling, it’s also a return to form. Netanyahu has never shown much interest in the long-term future of the Palestinian Territories. It’s not surprising that he isn’t doing so now, even if the short-term, improvisational policies he pursued are now increasingly viewed as proven failures. – Washington Post

Bret Stephens writes: Jewish America abounds with dreamers and entrepreneurs who took crazy risks in their careers to find value and create things that never existed before. It’s time they apply the same talent and energy to creating new institutions that hew to genuinely liberal values, where Jews need never be afraid. In time, the rest of America may follow. – New York Times

Gregory J. Wallance writes: Events have borne him out now that, in the north, the IDF has encircled Gaza City. The hundreds of thousands of northern Gazans who did not evacuate south now find themselves in the middle of an urban battlefield hellscape that some predict will be akin to the battles of Mosul, Fallujah, or even Stalingrad. That is exactly where Hamas wants Gazan civilians to be — and with nowhere to hide. – The Hill

Gordon Robertson writes: Israel, surrounded by nations with a history of hostility, has a legitimate right to protect its citizens and ensure its security. To stand with Israel is to support its right to safeguard its people. On October 7, Hamas took away Israel’s sense of security and Hamas now vows to repeat October 7 again and again until Israel ceases to exist. The barbaric attacks of October 7 should never happen again. I stand with Israel against any ideology that threatens its existence. If you value liberty, democracy, equality, human rights, and self-determination, stand with Israel; it is the right thing to do. – Jerusalem Post

Bari Weiss writes: The Jewish people have outlived every single regime and ideology that has sought our elimination. We will persist, one way or another. But DEI is undermining America, and that for which it stands—including the principles that have made it a place of unparalleled opportunity, safety, and freedom for so many. Fighting it is the least we owe this country. – Tablet

Jon B. Alterman writes: Secretary of State Antony Blinken just spent most of the week in the Middle East pushing these ideas and others, but he didn’t seem to have much success. Israel appears very much to be in warfighting mode. If its public statements are any indication, it has not given nearly enough thought to what winning would look like, and Blinken was unable to shift its sights. Hamas reportedly planned its October 7 action for years, unsure of its own success but reasonably sure of Israel’s response. Israel cannot afford to lose a war. But in its efforts to win, it could. – Center for Strategic and International Studies

Sahar Soleimany writes: Toppling Hamas will be a bloody—but absolutely necessary—endeavor. However, Israel cannot treat its ground invasion simply as retribution for Hamas’ egregious attacks. If it is interested in creating a post-war environment that enhances prospects for peace while denying Iran and its allies any gains, it must develop a serious strategy for building a better Gaza than what came before. Only then can it claim true victory. – RealClearWorld

Camille Jablonski writes: Despite the increase in West Bank attacks and protests, violence has not risen to the level that Hamas desires, spurring some of its leaders to voice discontent about the territory’s “inaction.” On October 29, senior official Mousa Abu Marzouk stated that Hamas members expect a lot from “their brothers” in the West Bank, calling the PA’s position on the conflict “shameful.” Hamas disappointment aside, the security situation in the territory remains volatile and should be watched carefully to deny all terrorist and militant factions the opportunity to open a new front in the war. – Washington Institute 


Iranian Jews marching to protest Israel and the war in Gaza weeks after the October 7 attacks were coerced into participating in the rallies by the regime there, according to a new report. – New York Sun

The Florida House passed measures during a special session Tuesday to help secure Jewish institutions and other places that could be targets of hate crimes, express support for Israel and further sanction companies that do business in Iran. – Associated Press

The House Foreign Affairs Committee voted on Tuesday to advance a bill that would implement sanctions to permanently freeze the $6 billion in Iranian funds released as part of the administration’s hostage deal with Iran earlier this year. – Jewish Insider

After Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian declared that his country was willing to play a more significant role to negotiate the release the hostages abducted from Israel and held by Hamas in Gaza, the Thai government took Iran up on the offer. It has now received photos via the Iranians of its nationals held in Gaza confirming their condition. – Haaretz

Tom Rogan writes: When Joe Biden was vice president in 2011, Soleimani tried to blow up the Saudi ambassador as he dined at Washington, D.C.’s Cafe Milano restaurant. When warned by a U.S. informant the IRGC had recruited to carry out the attack that the explosion would kill many civilians, the IRGC handler responded, “if a hundred go with [the ambassador], f*** ’em.” The Obama administration did nothing of consequence in response to this attempted act of war. As president, Biden’s similarly tepid action risks encouraging Iran toward the same belief today. Americans may pay for it. – Washington Examiner

Russia & Ukraine

After months of heavy losses in a largely stalled counteroffensive against Russia, tension among Ukraine’s senior leaders has spilled awkwardly into the open in recent days — prompting President Volodymyr Zelensky to call for a halt to political infighting. – Washington Post

Halyna Vynokur, a clerk in a hardware store in Kyiv, was shouldering a firearm for the first time. Iryna Sychova, a purchasing manager at a department store, disassembled and reassembled the jumble of rods and springs in a Kalashnikov rifle. – New York Times

The European Union will recommend on Wednesday that the bloc begins membership talks with Ukraine soon, boosting President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has made EU accession a central goal. – Wall Street Journal

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy late Monday ruled out holding a presidential vote in the spring and urged his countrymen to avoid political divides, saying they must concentrate all resources on fighting Russia. – Associated Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin is reportedly set to announce his 2024 reelection campaign, which could keep him in power through 2030. – The Hill

Israel intends to host Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for a visit to show solidarity in response to the Hamas terrorist attack last month despite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s careful management of ties with Russia. – Washington Examiner

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is near-perpetually under fire in Moscow’s grinding war against an enemy that has no significant conventional naval assets. – Newsweek

The first batch of U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets has arrived at a training center in Romania as NATO pushes to bolster Ukraine’s air defenses. – Newsweek

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said on Wednesday that the “destructive” policies of the United States and its allies were increasing the risk that nuclear, chemical or biological weapons would be used. – Reuters

Ukraine’s military said on Tuesday its troops had repelled Russian assaults in widely separated sectors of the war and braced for a fresh attempt to capture the key frontline eastern town of Avdiivka. – Reuters

David Ignatius writes: Russian history is a long story of coup plots and conspiracies, real and imagined. Regime change, he told me, requires three elements: a credible military force; domestic elites who are losing hope in the status quo; and an alternative government. Ponomarev said he is working on all three. – Washington Post

Sam Greene writes: The history of America’s engagement with Israel should provide both hope and impetus for those who understand what is at stake in Ukraine. Americans, by and large, care about their country’s role in the world. Already, a majority are convinced that a Ukrainian victory and a Russian defeat make America stronger and more secure. What they want is for their leaders, regardless of party, to pursue those convictions with courage and consistency. – Center for European Policy Analysis


When the Lebanese militia Hezbollah announced last week that its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, would deliver his first public speech since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, much of the region held its breath. – Associated Press

A top U.S. envoy said in Beirut Tuesday that Washington doesn’t want the ongoing war in Gaza to expand to Lebanon after a Lebanese woman and her three granddaughters were killed in an Israeli strike two days ago. – Associated Press

A Hezbollah lawmaker said on Tuesday that the Lebanese militant group would respond “double” to any Israeli attacks on civilians after a strike that killed three children and their grandmother in south Lebanon. – Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hezbollah against attacking Israel as he touted the IDF’s success in Gaza, insisting that Israel won’t agree to a ceasefire without the release of the hostages. – Jerusalem Post

Amir al-Kaabi and Michael Knights write: On October 23, Moanes called for the removal of U.S. forces from Iraq: “We ask the government…not to repeat the mistakes of the previous governments that were negligent in correcting the status of the foreign military presence in the country through ending their existence in all Iraqi bases and applying the parliamentary decision of January 5, 2020, and limit it to the military attaches” (Figure 3). On October 24, the KH-controlled online brand Alwiyat al-Waad al-Haq threatened U.S. bases in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. – Washington Institute

Michael Knights and Amir al-Kaabi write: In reality, of course, all of these faces answer to one root system: the KH Shura Council, and thereafter to the IRGC’s Qods Force. With KH showing great discipline in placing all its attack claims under the “Islamic Resistance in Iraq” umbrella name since its first strike on October 17, KH is seemingly regaining its credentials as a coherent and under-control proxy force for Iran that now acts in parliament, in the PMF, and in paramilitary operations against U.S. forces. – Washington Institute

Middle East & North Africa

President Joe Biden has been briefed on what his advisers see as a Chinese plan to build a military facility in Oman, people familiar with the matter said, amid a broader effort by Beijing to deepen defense and diplomatic ties with the Middle East. – Bloomberg

Tunisian security and military forces caught five Islamists who escaped from a prison last week, where they were serving time for killing two secular politicians and policemen. – Reuters

Turkey’s parliament removed Coca-Cola (KO.N) and Nestle (NESN.S) products from its restaurants on Tuesday over their alleged support for Israel amid the conflict in Gaza, according to an official statement and a source who named the two companies. – Reuters

Saudi Arabia will host summits of Arab and Islamic nations in coming days to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Saudi Arabia’s investment minister said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Three drones on Tuesday targeted a military base at Erbil airport in Iraqi Kurdistan that plays host to troops from the US-led anti-jihadist coalition, local officials said. – Agence France- Presse

Tom Rogan writes: Even a cursory examination shows that Jordanian media outlets are utterly fixated on the civilian suffering in Gaza. This is the reality. And as an autocratic-populist leader, Abdullah’s stability requires his public recognition of his population’s viewpoints. The displacement of Abdullah’s rule would be far more problematic to Israeli and U.S. security interests than his present words. In short, the U.S. and Israel needn’t agree with what Jordan is saying about the conflict or accept Abdullah’s demands. But they have every interest in suggesting to Jordan that they are listening. – Washington Examiner

Korean Peninsula

North Korea criticized rival South Korea on Wednesday for removing a law that banned private activists from sending anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets to the North, insisting that such activities amount to psychological warfare and threatening to respond with a “shower of shells.” – Associated Press

The U.S. Treasury on Tuesday said no major trading partners appeared to be manipulating their currencies, but it put Vietnam back onto a foreign exchange “monitoring list,” while removing Switzerland and South Korea from the same scrutiny. – Reuters

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol will attend the APEC summit in San Francisco on Nov. 15-18, Yoon’s office said on Wednesday. – Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due to arrive in Seoul on Wednesday for talks with his South Korean counterpart, as the allies step up cooperation in the face of growing concerns over North Korea’s closer military ties with Russia. – Reuters

North Korea is part of a coalition of countries allied with Hamas and could attack the United States over the war in Gaza, a senior Hamas official said, praising Kim Jong Un as the “only one” capable of carrying out such a strike. – Radio Free Asia


The bloody war in Gaza is providing America’s main geopolitical rivals China and Russia with a valuable opportunity to garner support around the world, enabling the two repressive autocracies to harness a wave of sympathy for the Palestinians and to position themselves as champions of humanitarian values and peace. – Wall Street Journal

The International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday of risks posed by China’s financial and property sectors even as it took a more optimistic view on the country’s economic growth. – New York Times

China urges Estonia to abide by the “one China” principle, a foreign ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday, in response to media reports that the Chinese ambassador is threatening to leave Estonia if Taiwan opens a representative office in the Baltic country. – Reuters

China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, said maritime disputes should be resolved through talks and warned against “camp” confrontations, but stopped short of naming the United States, days before an expected meeting between the countries’ leaders. – Reuters

China is churning out fishing vessels and warships at an eye-watering pace that no country can match, according to shipbuilding data across various industries. – Newsweek

As the U.S. seeks common ground with China in an era of great power competition, the most important thing is to “make clear and to demonstrate to the Chinese that we still have staying power,” national security official Kurt Campbell said Monday. – Newsweek

Hal Brands writes: Such maneuvering is the cut-and-thrust of competition: The Cold War saw plenty of what the strategist Thomas Schelling called “the diplomacy of violence,” or coercion just below the threshold of conflict. But it couldn’t come at a worse moment for Washington, which has huge incentives to avoid a blowup in Asia when Eastern Europe and the Middle East are already in flames. And it’s a warning that high-level dialogue doesn’t necessarily put an end to dangerous interactions. – Bloomberg

James Crabtree writes: Even if the critics are wrong and Biden has managed this balancing act well so far, that does not mean doubts among U.S. allies will go away. In fact, they are likely to grow as the global order continues to fray. Historian Paul Kennedy, the author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, noted recently that an increasingly multipolar world would likely be one in which the United States is forced to focus its commitments on a narrower range of partners. “The American security blanket will be tighter, smaller, limited to those well-known places such as NATO-Europe, Japan, Australia, Israel, Korea, maybe Taiwan, and not much else,” he wrote in the New Statesman in September. But that only makes each of those alliances more important. As China and Russia probe for weaknesses, the United States’ ability to offer allies the reassurances they need will remain the ultimate test. – Foreign Policy

Edward Salo writes: Because of the rise of isolationism in Western nations, many nations that looked to the West for security protections began to work with China and other regional powers, like Iran, Brazil, or India, for security agreements. A multi-polar geopolitical landscape emerges that favors certain nations both economically and politically. – National Interest 

Tedford Tyler writes: A U.S.-China war is not “inevitable”. Therefore, the United States needs to get creative in forming a new relationship with China, one based on credible stability, candid disagreements, and limited cooperation. Both countries are secure and will remain great powers for a long time. The key is to move beyond framing war as “inevitable” and construct a new understanding, where each side has adjusted expectations of the other. – National Interest

Derek Grossman writes: Perhaps the best solution is what has already been happening: The United States should continue to offer military assistance and training to the Philippines so that Manila can increasingly counter China on its own while Washington continues to remind and warn Beijing that Article V must not be violated. This is the least risky option that also holds the greatest chance of success. – War on the Rocks

Ryan Hass and Jude Blanchette write: To protect its interests, U.S. leaders must become more adept at combining efforts to bolster military capabilities with clarity in their strategic objectives, strength in their coalitions, solid coordination with Taiwan, and a sharper comprehension of the psychology of decision-makers in Beijing. The United States has protected its interest in peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait for nearly 45 years. It has to up its game to continue doing so for the next 45. – Foreign Affairs

South Asia

From Western capitals to Muslim states, protest rallies over the Israel-Hamas war have made headlines. But one place known for its vocal pro-Palestinian stance has been conspicuously quiet: Indian-controlled Kashmir. – Associated Press

The U.S. announced a $553- million project Wednesday to build a new, deep-water shipping container terminal in the Port of Colombo as it competes with China in international development financing. – Associated Press

Marvin G. Weinbaum writes: The growing frustration of Pakistan’s political and military establishment with the Taliban regime’s continuing reluctance to rein in the TTP probably best explains the timing of Islamabad’s determined effort to dump masses of refugees on Afghan soil. Whether this pressure will be enough to convince the Kabul leadership that the cost of sheltering the TTP is too high is questionable. Not in doubt is the suffering that is about to be inflicted on so many helpless Afghans. – Middle East Institute


The foreign minister of Thailand said Tuesday that officials he had met in Qatar and Egypt indicated the Thai hostages held by Hamas and other armed groups would be the next to be released because they had nothing to do with the war. – New York Times

The Biden administration has suspended talks on some key digital trade aspects of its Indo-Pacific Economic Framework initiative, Democratic lawmakers said on Tuesday as negotiators from 14 countries race to finish some agreements ahead of a major Pacific Rim summit next week. – Reuters

Dozens of Filipinos fled from the war-ravaged Gaza Strip into Egypt through the Rafah crossing after Filipino diplomats negotiated for their safe passage and Qatar mediated for the border to be opened, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Wednesday. – Associated Press

The military-run Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar is holding its first joint naval exercise with Russia, state media reported Tuesday, with the countries carrying out maneuvers in the Andaman Sea. – Associated Press

President Joe Biden will host Joko Widodo, the president of Indonesia, for a meeting at the White House on Nov. 13. – Associated Press

U.S. Navy destroyer was followed by a Chinese warship and several armed fishing boats as it asserted navigational rights in the South China Sea last week, according to a newly released satellite image. – Newsweek

Karena Avedissian writes: For months, Western mediators seemed satisfied to sponsor sham “peace talks” between Armenia and Azerbaijan—while on the ground, ethnic Armenians in the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh were being starved by an Azerbaijani blockade. In late September, Azerbaijan attacked and killed scores of people, beginning an ethnic cleansing in which essentially the entire population of more than 100,000 Armenians fled. – Newsweek


Prosecutors are investigating a possible Russian connection to more than 200 Jewish stars spray painted on buildings in France, where antisemitic acts have been sharply rising. – Wall Street Journal 

Exultant after winning his fourth election in a row last year on promises to protect Christian values and keep out immigrants, Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary thanked like-minded conservatives in Poland as well as other “friends” abroad for their support. – New York Times

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni of Italy on Tuesday heralded an agreement she had struck with Albania, a non-European Union nation, to outsource the processing and containment of migrants as a breakthrough for one of the continent’s most defining challenges. – New York Times

Prime Minister António Costa of Portugal resigned unexpectedly on Tuesday, hours after the police raided government buildings as part of an inquiry into corruption and “influence peddling” and issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Costa’s chief of staff. – New York Times

Japanese and British foreign and defense ministers met Tuesday to discuss deeper military cooperation under a new security pact that allows their militaries to enter each other’s territory for joint exercises. – Associated Press

Britain’s government set out its plans to tackle crime, boost growth and water down climate change measures on Tuesday, an unashamedly political agenda that could be Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s first and last King’s Speech before an election. – Reuters

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the 16 state governors agreed on new and stricter measures to curb the high number of migrants flowing into the country, reaching a compromise on an issue that has become a huge political problem for the government and a hot-button topic in society. – Associated Press

NATO member countries that signed a key Cold War-era security treaty froze their participation in the pact on Tuesday just hours after Russia pulled out, raising fresh questions about the future of arms control agreements in Europe. – Associated Press

Italy will struggle to meet a NATO target of spending at least 2% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on defence by 2028, Italian Defence Minister Guido Crosetto told national lawmakers on Tuesday. – Reuters


A series of drone strikes around the town of Kidal in northern Mali have killed at least 14 people in the rebel stronghold, the town’s mayor said Tuesday. – Associated Press

Groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group have been spreading for years from the vast arid expanse south of the Sahara Desert — the Sahel — into wealthier West African coastal states like Benin. Militants once were believed to want to use coastal nations like Benin, Togo and Ghana as bases for attacks on Sahel governments. Now militancy is taking root. – Associated Press

People fleeing to Chad have reported a new surge in ethnically-driven killings in Sudan’s West Darfur as the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) took over the main army base in the state capital, El Geneina. – Reuters

The main power lines to the city of Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have been cut due to an escalation in rebel fighting nearby, leaving hospitals and water systems without power, the electricity network operator said on Tuesday. – Reuters

The warring Sudanese army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have committed to easing humanitarian aid deliveries and implementing confidence-building measures, mediators in talks in Jeddah said via Saudi state news agency SPA on Tuesday. – Reuters

Ethiopia is abuzz with rumours of a new war – which would be Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s fourth in five years. – BBC

The war between Israel and Hamas has exposed deep divisions in South Africa, with the government’s staunch support for the Palestinians coming in for criticism from leaders of the country’s Jewish community, among others. – BBC

Editorial: With so many other global crises demanding the Biden administration’s and the world’s attention, it might be tempting to write off Sudan and Niger as hopeless cases, defying easy resolution. That would be a mistake. Even a small change, the product of consistent sustained attention and diplomacy, could save lives. – Washington Post

Mohamed Kheir Omer writes: The current trajectory suggests a probable collision course that could have devastating regional implications. The situation is fluid, and careful diplomacy by the African Union and the international community is crucial to prevent a catastrophic outcome. The last thing the Horn of Africa needs is another war. – Foreign Policy

The Americas

On the surface, the protests that have shaken Panama the past two weeks are about a government contract that allows a Canadian company to expand its copper mining operations here. – Washington Post

The Dominican Republic said on Tuesday it will beef up security at its northern border with Haiti, following an incident it labeled a “provocation” in which it said a group of Haitians entered Dominican territory and interfered with the army patrol. – Reuters

Mexican Supreme Court justice Arturo Zaldivar is stepping down from his post, he said on Tuesday in a post on social media network X, to join Mexico’s “transformation,” an apparent reference to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s political movement. – Reuters

Mexico’s leftist president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday ruled out breaking diplomatic relations with Israel over the conflict in Gaza, urging political leaders to work for a peaceful solution to the dispute. – Reuters

Jonathan M. Katz writes: The intervention is thus likely to end up solidifying the power of one gang—if it works at all. Haiti’s gangs are widely known to have operational ties to leading politicians and members of the Haitian economic elite, while Henry, the unelected leader backed by the United States, has been accused by Haiti’s chief prosecutor of participating in the plot to assassinate the former president. I don’t know who will end up benefiting most from this intervention. But the least likely to benefit will be ordinary Haitians, in whose names these powerful figures are claiming to act. – Foreign Policy

Latin America

In southern Brazil in July, Laureano Toscani and João Guilherme Correa were smoking cigarettes along a busy road in their prison-issued garb, shorts and sandals, waiting for a ride after seven months in jail. – New York Times

Welcome to the People’s Republic of China, the name of a gleaming new elementary school in the rough outskirts of Uruguay’s capital, built as part of Beijing’s charm offensive in South America as U.S. influence in the region wanes. – Wall Street Journal

The United States on Tuesday accused Russia of financing a Latin America-wide disinformation campaign that feeds media contacts with propaganda and fake news aimed at weakening support for Ukraine and boosting anti-U.S. and anti-NATO sentiments. – Reuters

Peru’s foreign minister Ana Cecilia Gervasi resigned on Monday after less than a year, amid questions over how she handled President Dina Boluarte’s visit last week to the United States. – Reuters

Editorial: The Maduro government’s repressive rule has left a once-thriving nation in ruins and created a humanitarian crisis that has spread far beyond the country’s borders. Yet coercion alone hasn’t solved the problem. A diplomatic strategy that upholds democratic principles while setting realistic goals is the best way forward for the US, the region and the Venezuelan people. – Bloomberg

Isabel Chiriboga writes: U.S.-backed securitization and militarization efforts must also be complemented by social programs. The foreign entities that help to organize these programs—such as the U.S. Agency for International Development—should work hard to carry out their proposed initiatives effectively, acting as visitors rather than intruders and taking care to listen and engage with local communities. The next 18 months will be a defining period for Ecuador as its new president seeks to combat unprecedented insecurity. It is in the United States’ best interest to assist him during this time. – Foreign Policy

United States

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu named Ron Dermer as Israel’s ambassador to the United States in 2013, aides to President Barack Obama, viewing Mr. Dermer as a right-wing political operative rather than a diplomat, discussed whether the White House should refuse to accept his credentials. (They dropped the idea.) – New York Times

Americans have become more likely to describe Israel as an ally that shares U.S. interests and values since the war with Hamas began, but they’re divided over whether Israel has gone too far in its response to last month’s attack, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. – Associated Press

U.S. Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked a Republican effort to win quick approval for a bill providing emergency aid to Israel that passed the House of Representatives last week, but that provides no assistance for Ukraine’s war against Russia. – Reuters

The Biden administration faces pressure from progressive Democrats, Arab officials and even some U.S. diplomats to help end the Israel-Hamas war. But the White House doesn’t necessarily want to stop the fight — at least not yet. – Politico

The White House on Tuesday continued to refuse to validate the Gaza Health Ministry’s death toll, even as it reported 10,000 people in Gaza have died from Israeli strikes a month into the war with Israel. – The Hill

Jason L. Riley writes: Last week, the mullahs even got an assist from the celebrated author Ta-Nehisi Coates, who gave an interview to the left-wing news program “Democracy Now!” Mr. Coates said that he visited the Palestinian territories with some other writers earlier this year and was “given a tour by our Palestinian guide.” He went on to compare the Israelis to white supremacists and the Palestinians to black Americans living under segregation. “I understood the anger. I understood the sense of humiliation that comes when people subject you to just manifold oppression, to genocide.” he added. “I come from the descendants of 250 years of enslavement.” And like a good propagandist he left out any mention of Hamas or the attacks of Oct. 7. – Wall Street Journal

Scott McConnell writes: Israel and Ukraine are not part of the same struggle “against evil.” Russia has reacted as any self-respecting power would to a rival seeking to build military bases on its border. Israel is reacting the way any normal country would to the brutal mass murder of its citizens. Washington policy makers should understand that. – Newsweek


Chinese President Xi Jinping said Wednesday that potential risks associated with artificial intelligence are challenges that countries should deal with together, remarks that come against the backdrop of China’s rigid control of free speech on the internet. – Associated Press

A North Korean government-backed hacking group is targeting financial institutions with malware affecting macOS. – The Record

Editorial: The Administration is touting an “AI safety pledge” signed by the U.S., U.K. and China last week. But Beijing is unlikely to honor such safeguards as it moves rapidly to surpass U.S. leadership in AI, including military uses. The best news about the order is that it will have to be implemented with regulation that can be challenged in court for its legal overreach. – Wall Street Journal

Zachary Faria writes: At some point, it should be clear that TikTok is nothing more than an extension of the Chinese Communist Party that allows it to peddle propaganda and promote destructive behavior to children while also leeching data from their devices (more so than any other social media app) and saving it for the CCP. If the pro-terrorism, “pro-Palestine” content and disinformation haven’t done it for you, the app bypassing Google and Apple protections or the app’s parent company spying on American journalists should have already. – Washington Examiner


The Defense Department has set out four key objectives as the United States attempts to shape the unfolding showdown between Israel, Hamas, and a broader network of Iranian-aligned regional militias, in which the U.S. and its troops have become enmeshed. – Newsweek

Canada is sending three frigates a year and a replenishment vessel into the Western Pacific as part of Ottawa’s new strategy, its top admiral said Friday. – USNI News

The US Army’s two Iron Dome batteries are still in transit to Israel, according to a senior service official. And it seems the Army isn’t expecting them to come back anytime soon. – Breaking Defense

Major defense contractors in the United Kingdom and Poland today finalized a landmark, $4.9 billion-plus agreement to develop a “next generation” extended-range air defense system for Poland, a move the British Ministry of Defence tied to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. – Breaking Defense

Israel recently submitted a request to the U.S. government that’s now under review for 200 Switchblade 600 attack drones, DefenseScoop has learned. – DefenseScoop

Peter Suciu writes: The Air Force has estimated that the F-15EX fighter shares about 70 percent of parts with the current F-15Cs and F-15Es that it will be replacing. In addition, the original production lines in St. Louis remain in place, while the aircraft’s training facilities, maintenance depots, and other infrastructure are available to be shifted to F-15EX support. – National Interest

Steve Deal writes: The ultimate strategic act is planning for an uncertain future. In the end, talent management, properly defined, is the necessary strategic leadership of a learning institution.  Leading our people with actions, not just words; leading by listening and learning about them; and by doing so, leading and empowering them to achieve their dreams in service to our nation.  That is the most American national security strategy of all. – National Interest

Kyle Balzer writes: It remains so today due to enduring geopolitical realities. Since nature abhors a vacuum, and revisionist powers are menacing the rimland, finite deterrence is a dangerous fallacy. Unless the United States plans to jettison global responsibilities, unless it aspires to retreat into a hemispheric defense, it will require extensive and diversified nuclear forces to extend deterrence across a vast ocean expanse. Strategists, then, ignore geography at their peril. – National Interest