Fdd's overnight brief

October 12, 2022

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


Demonstrators in Iran are struggling to gain access to the online tools that would help them organize and stay safe. As protesters continue to swell the ranks of Iran’s jails and morgues, some Iranians are asking why Washington and Silicon Valley are not doing more to stop the repression. – Washington Post

Oil industry strikes in Iran widened Tuesday as workers at a major refinery south of Tehran joined employees at other facilities in announcing support for antigovernment protests, deepening the unrest in a critical sector of the economy. – Wall Street Journal

As anti-government protests roil cities and towns in Iran for a fourth week, tens of thousands of Iranians living abroad have marched on the streets of Europe, North America and beyond in support of what many believe to be a watershed moment for their home country. – Associated Press

Iran intensified its crackdown Tuesday on Kurdish areas in the country’s west amid protests sparked by the death of a 22-year-old woman detained by the morality police as oil workers demonstrated at a key refinery, activists said. – Associated Press

Niloofar Hamedi, an Iranian journalist specialising in women’s rights, got away with hard-hitting stories for years – until the day she took a photo of Mahsa Amini’s parents hugging each other in a Tehran hospital where their daughter was lying in a coma. – Reuters

Soran raises two fingers to his left temple and motions firing a gun. “If you talk, they will put a bullet in your head,” he tells me. Around us, the Iranian mountains reach skywards. We’re at a bus station in Penjwen, a town in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region that is close to the crossing post on the border with Iran. – BBC

More than 180 people have reportedly been killed in Iran’s crackdown since protests ripped through the country following the death of a Kurdish Iranian woman — analysts say such protests are expected to intensify. – CNBC

For over a decade, Iranian women who have ventured outdoors, even for a simple errand, have done so with the fear of running foul of the notorious morality police. Those found in breach of the Islamic republic’s strict dress code face being hauled into one of the vice units’ green-and-white vans for a lecture on how to wear their headscarf, or a brutal beating. – Agence France-Presse

The IRGC’s intelligence service arrested a person spying for Israel in the city of Kerman in central Iran, the head of the local judiciary announced on Tuesday, according to the IRGC-affiliated Tasnim News Agency. – Jerusalem Post

Editorial: The regime must end all violence against protesters. Hardliners, who have taken control of all arms of the state since Raisi’s 2021 election, are unlikely to make major concessions. Yet for the sake of the beleaguered nation and its long-suffering population, they ought to heed the anguished voices of brave young Iranians risking their lives and liberty to take to the streets. – Financial Times

Jason Rezaian writes: The regime is threatened, and its crackdowns will continue. Most likely, independent media won’t be able to observe. That’s why it’s all the more critical that Kurdish voices, Arab voices, Baluchi voices, Azeri voices, female voices and more be amplified outside Iran as they call louder and louder for freedom. The groups oppressed by the Islamic republic won’t succeed without working together; the world can’t support one of them without supporting them all. – Washington Post

Michael Rubin writes: When push comes to shove, the reformists always supported the Iranian theocracy and were willing to excuse its worst excesses. For an American to endorse the Islamic Republic’s reformists is to play into the regime’s hands by being a useful idiot. The only way in which Iranians will achieve freedom is to change their regime. If foreigners are not willing to help with strike funds, communications, and moral support, the least they can do is stay out of the way. It is time to put the myth of the reformists to bed. – Washington Examiner

Emily Schrader writes: Millions of people around the world have spoken up but the international media and those on social media also are obligated to call out the regime’s (and the NIAC’s) hijacking of the narrative as their version of reform. There is no reforming the Islamic Republic and anyone claiming otherwise is knowingly or unknowingly serving the regime. – Jerusalem Post

Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar writes: With these events in mind, outside actors, especially the United States, must be careful not to contribute to the perception of an external threat that the Islamic Republic could use to crack down on the protesters. They should strongly and unequivocally condemn the use of violence against Iranian citizens but refrain from imposing further sanctions on Iran, which have only impoverished the country and empowered the parallel state. – Foreign Affairs

Nate Sibley writes: Iran’s kleptocracy has entrenched a dangerous regime that ruthlessly oppresses its own population while fueling nuclear proliferation and promoting instability across the Middle East and beyond. By engaging in corrupt practices through overseas criminal activities and clandestine military operations, the IRGC and Hezbollah also exacerbate corruption risks and prop up anti-Western regimes in other countries. – Hudson Institute

Bobby Ghosh writes: But the inspiration provided by the women protesters seems to have helped the workers to overcome any fear of a reprise in repression. Their actions may, in turn, inspire other groups to join the fight. Teachers associations, indignant about the use of violence against student protesters in campuses, have signaled their solidarity. Undoubtedly there will be more blood. But Khamenei may find that isn’t enough to quell this uprising. – Bloomberg

Russia & Ukraine

With Kyiv facing rolling electricity outages, authorities on Tuesday raced to repair the damage from a barrage of Russian missiles that slammed into the heart of the Ukrainian capital, in a significant escalation of the nearly eight-month-old war that drew international condemnation of Moscow. – Washington Post

Since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Kyiv’s strongest allies against President Vladimir Putin have been the nations that know his Soviet playbook best: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, all invaded and brutalized by the Soviet Union and historically wary of Russia. – Washington Post

The Group of Seven nations on Tuesday committed themselves to continue supplying Ukraine’s “urgent requirements” for military equipment and demanded that Russia “completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its troops and military equipment from Ukraine,” including Crimea and all “annexed” regions. – Washington Post

Russia launched another round of strikes across Ukraine on Tuesday, many of which Kyiv said it intercepted, as the death toll rose from the previous day’s barrage, one of Moscow’s broadest assaults in nearly eight months of war. – Wall Street Journal

The Russian strikes that hit civilian targets across Ukraine this week immediately brought new pledges by Kyiv’s allies to send in more weapons and ammunition. The United States promised more air defense missile systems, and Germany said it would send similar defenses “in the next few days.” – New York Times

Russian forces showered Ukraine with more missiles and munition-carrying drones Tuesday after widespread strikes killed at least 19 people in an attack the U.N. human rights office described as “particularly shocking” and amounting to potential war crimes. – Associated Press

US President Joe Biden said Tuesday he believes his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin is a normally rational actor who badly misjudged his prospects of occupying Ukraine. – Agence France-Presse

Turkey on Tuesday called for a ceasefire in Ukraine just days ahead of a likely meeting between the leaders of Turkey and Russia in the Kazakh capital Astana. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who won plaudits for securing a grain deal as well as Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap, has long sought to bring together Kyiv and Moscow for truce talks that neither side particularly wants. – Agence France-Presse

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Wednesday that it had detained five Russians and three citizens of Ukraine and Armenia over the explosion that damaged the Crimea Bridge last Saturday, Interfax reported. – Reuters

NATO will push ahead with long-planned nuclear exercises next week despite rising tensions over the war in Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin’s insistence that he is not bluffing about using all available means to defend Russian territory, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday. – Associated Press

Editorial: This amounts to a missed opportunity for the West, and the Biden Administration can bring financial influence to bear in the right cause. Interpol could help ensure those committing atrocities in Ukraine face justice. Red notices would also act as a deterrent by signaling to Russian soldiers that they can’t commit war crimes with impunity. – Wall Street Journal

David Ignatius writes: Surely, this is a war worth winning. I don’t want to see Russia destroyed, and I think any argument that it is forever an alien civilization is wrong. But the ideology that Putin represents, and that many Russians embrace, must be defeated. – Washington Post

Margo Gontar writes: Now we see that the supposed second most powerful army in the world couldn’t take Kyiv — not in three days, not in seven and a half months. For those who were unsure whether it was wise to back Ukraine, it’s a good time to reconsider. And, while the wheel is still turning, to put their chips on the country that will win this war. – New York Times

Joseph Bosco writes: On the economic front, the U.S. should pull out all the stops on sanctions, leaving none in reserve for measured escalation, as has been the practice since Russia’s invasion began in February. That should include hitting the reachable assets of every Russian oligarch and Putin ally, many of whom have figured out how to avoid the sanctions list and to minimize the impact of any sanctions imposed. – The Hill

Anthony Grant writes: In a dressing-down of his envoys, the plain-speaking 75-year-old Spaniard said, “This is not a moment when we are going to send flowers to all of you,” and appeared to blame Brussels, belatedly,  for failing to foretell the Russian invasion. “We did not believe that the war was coming,” he told his underlings, adding “the Americans were telling us, ‘They will attack, they will attack’ — and we were quite reluctant to believe it.” – New York Sun

David Anderson writes: Now is the time to inspire Russia and Ukraine to have the same goal, namely peace. The US and European leaders may also need persuading that this is the right goal for all parties. – Jerusalem Post

Jack Engelhard writes: Kennedy returned crushed, a defeated man…but when a year later the Soviet strongman tested him on Cuba, Kennedy was reinvigorated and equal to the task. Biden? The day may come when Biden will have to face a real decision, rather than run and hide in Delaware…if Zelensky keeps pushing to the brink. – Arutz Sheva

Sergej Sumlenny writes: An idea developed for internal propaganda has come full circle. It is not a joke. It was too widely believed, influenced Russia’s approach to the real world, and now needs to be decisively rejected, before real people get hurt in huge numbers. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Ben Dubow writes: But crucial to that identity was a separate space for Ukrainians, which Russian annexation would no longer permit. Transnistria’s identity, along with the exposure of Russia’s weakness and the region’s economic reorientation, has placed the region further than ever from annexation. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Noah Rothman writes: Democrats should be more jealous stewards of the American public’s support for the effort to contain an expansionist Russia despite the costs involved. It has proven durable, but Democrats are putting that consensus at risk. If the party in power were genuinely unnerved by Republicans who are attempting to politicize the issue, they wouldn’t be politicizing it themselves. – Commentary Magazine


An Israeli soldier was killed Tuesday in a drive-by shooting in the northern West Bank, the army announced, saying that forces were searching for the attackers. It was the latest in a wave of deadly Israeli-Palestinian violence in the area. – Associated Press

A short while ago, IDF soldiers spotted a drone belonging to the Hamas Terrorist Organization attempting to cross into Israeli territory from the security barrier of the northern Gaza Strip. The drone was monitored by the IDF throughout the incident and did not cross into Israeli territory. – Arutz Sheva

Editorial: This is a historic time, presenting the Jewish state with a historic opportunity. Israel needs to seize the moment and act with a real sense of urgency. Allocating NIS 90m. falls far short of conveying such a sense. – Jerusalem Post

Amos Harel writes: In the meantime, the Strip has stayed relatively, even unusually, calm, in light of the escalation in the West Bank. Kochavi has ordered deployments to remain high in the months to come in the West Bank and the area of the separation barrier, despite the resultant compromise. – Haaretz

Yossi Melman writes: Such steps, combined with curtailing nighttime operations by the IDF and Shin Bet, which only increase the friction – though without compromising on the need to thwart attacks – would help Israel free itself of the paradigm of 2022. – Haaretz


Israel and Lebanon have agreed to a U.S.-brokered deal demarcating a disputed maritime border, officials from both sides said Tuesday, easing recent tensions between the longtime foes and opening the way for Israel to export gas to Europe. – Wall Street Journal

The head of Lebanon’s armed Hezbollah movement said on Tuesday it would remain “vigilant” until Lebanon announced its formal stance on a U.S.-brokered maritime border deal with Israel, which the Iran-backed armed party sees as its sworn enemy. – Reuters

The leader of the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah on Tuesday cautiously welcomed the agreement between Israel and Lebanon to settle a maritime border dispute, claiming his group’s “resistance” helped prod Israel toward a deal. – Times of Israel

Editorial: A source at the Justice Ministry has noted lately that Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara has already given her opinion on the deal, and believes that it is not subject to the basic law on referendums. It is most important that the attorney defend this deal in court, and furthermore, that she present her opinion to the public as soon as possible. – Haaretz

David Schenker writes: The agreement is a mixed bag. The compromises Israel made demonstrate how far it will go to make peace with its Arab neighbors. It is an unprecedented positive step with Lebanon. Unfortunately, as long as Beirut remains a satrapy of Iran and dominated by its proxy, it’s unclear how any agreement—no matter how beneficial to Lebanon—will prevent the next Israel-Hezbollah war. – Wall Street Journal

Amos Harel writes: Should the matter be postponed till after the elections in Israel, the chance to sign may be missed, as the term of Lebanon’s president also expires at the end of the month and it is unclear how long the appointment of his successor, whose signature is required to ratify the treaty, will take. – Haaretz

David Daoud writes: The final text of the maritime border deal between Lebanon and Israel has not yet been revealed. But whatever form it takes, and whatever its content, is immaterial. Under Lebanon’s current political and social conditions, the deal will provide the country will just enough economic stability to loosen Hezbollah’s constraints, and buoy the country’s corrupt political class. Such an outcome harms Israeli, American, and Lebanese long-term interests – no matter how attractively the deal is being spun, or the apocalyptic scenarios being told about the failure to achieve it. – Haaretz

Arabian Peninsula

The U.N. returned 129 Ethiopian migrants stranded in war-torn Yemen to their homeland Tuesday in its first humanitarian repatriation flight to depart from the rebel-held capital of Sanaa this year. – Associated Press

The United States and its allies want a force of 100 unmanned surface vessels patrolling waters from the Red Sea into the Persian Gulf by next summer, the commander of U.S. 5th Fleet said on Tuesday. – USNI News

Seth J. Frantzman writes: As it shifts back, countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE and others may be asked to choose sides and that will result in policy choices in the Gulf. It can also impact Israel and the Abraham Accords because Israel also found itself at a crossroads in its own ties to Russia and China. Israel’s friends in the Gulf are under more of a spotlight from Washington and this could mean closer ties to Israel, but also critique of Israel for these very ties – Jerusalem Post

Saudi Arabia

Days before a major oil-production cut by OPEC and its Russia-led allies, U.S. officials called their counterparts in Saudi Arabia and other big Gulf producers with an urgent appeal—delay the decision for another month, according to people familiar with the talks. The answer: a resounding no. – Wall Street Journal

Saudi Arabia’s megadevelopment Neom is paying senior executives roughly $1.1 million each annually, according to an internal Neom document, showing how the kingdom is using large pay packages to lure global talent to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s national transformation plan. – Wall Street Journal

US President Joe Biden promised “consequences” for Saudi Arabia after a Riyadh-led coalition of oil-producing nations sided with Russia to slash output. The 13-nation OPEC cartel and its 10 allies headed by Moscow angered the White House last week with its decision to cut production by two million barrels a day from November, raising fears that oil prices could soar. – Agence France-Presse

The Biden administration will not take its eye off the threat posed by Iran as it reviews Washington’s relationship with Saudi Arabia after the OPEC+ decision to cut oil production, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said to Al-Arabiya channel on Tuesday that the OPEC+ decision to cut production by 2 million barrels per day was purely economic and was taken unanimously – Reuters

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (Calif.) introduced a bill on Tuesday that would suspend all U.S. arm sales to Saudi Arabia for one year. – The Hill

Abdullah F. Alrebh writes: The major challenge to the full adoption of Neo-Saudism as a national socio-political organizing principle will be the extent to which the Saudi economy is simultaneously reshaped in line with Vision 2030. […]Faithfully adopting these principles will help the kingdom achieve its aims of diversifying away from oil by increasing domestic market competition, encouraging transnational employment, and fostering the growth of indigenous cyber-businesses. Only such meaningful changes to Saudi Arabia’s economy will induce enough Saudis to adopt the entrepreneurial values and work ethic necessary to generate long-term popular support for MbS’s political and social reforms. – Middle East Institute 

Middle East & North Africa

Iraq’s parliament will convene this week for a session meant to elect a new president, the speaker’s office said on Tuesday, but divisions which have led to a year-long political deadlock may still obstruct progress. – Reuters

It is becoming increasingly apparent that President Biden is stumbling when it comes to the Middle East, reverting to policies set by President Obama that bolstered Iran at the expense of traditional American allies. The three most recent examples of this are easy to point to.  – New York Sun

The Gaza-ruling Palestinian terror group Hamas is reviving relations with the Iran-backed regime in Damascus after a decade-long rupture sparked by the outbreak of Syria’s bloody civil war. – Times of Israel

Lahav Harkov writes: In any case, the security establishment is far from infallible. It has made mistakes in the past. Whether this will be another one remains to be seen, but in the meantime, Hezbollah likes the idea of being paid to be quiet. – Jerusalem Post

Nadav Pollak writes: Lebanon and the Lebanese state will become stronger because of this agreement, a development that both Hezbollah and Iran oppose. It seems that they are too late, and that this agreement will go through, making both Israel and Lebanon safer. – Haaretz

Emiliano Alessandri writes: One area in which the new government will likely follow Draghi’s approach is the scramble for new energy agreements, especially with countries in MENA and Africa, in an attempt to wean off Italy from its erstwhile deep dependence on Russian hydrocarbons. Here, the new Italian government is broadly expected to continue using every available lever, in close cooperation with the country’s leading energy companies, to rapidly diversify Italy’s energy portfolio. Under Draghi’s leadership, such combined efforts had already allowed Italy to reduce its dependence on Russian gas from 40% to less than 20% in the first seven months of 2022. – Middle East Institute 

Burak Bilgehan Özpek writes: For the opposition parties to avert any potential pragmatic moves by Erdoğan in the run-up to the elections, they need to emphasize the distinction between Demirtaş and Öcalan, avoid using nationalist rhetoric, and criticize Demirtaş’s imprisonment on the basis of the principle of the independence of the judiciary. Such a strategy could preserve the strength and unity of the opposition bloc and open a new chapter for efforts to address the Kurdish question in the post-Erdoğan era. – Middle East Institute

Korean Peninsula

The latest North Korean weapons claim seemed like something out of a James Bond movie: nuclear missile silos hidden underwater. Weapons experts doubt the Kim Jong Un regime has serious plans for such a stealthy missile-launch system. But they see a strategic purpose for Pyongyang in trying to suggest that any of the country’s reservoirs, lakes and surrounding seas could be a potential threat. – Wall Street Journal

North Korea’s recent flurry of missile launches has raised expectations that it could soon test a nuclear device for the first time since 2017. – Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has attended the opening ceremony of a new massive greenhouse farm built on a former air base where the country had test-fired missiles until last year, state media said on Tuesday. – Reuters

South Korean officials said the country is able to intercept the missiles that North Korea has launched over the past couple weeks but that the developing nuclear program is still a threat. – The Hill

The North Korean government announced on Monday that it had conducted a “simulation” of a nuclear attack against the South over the weekend—a development that raises inter-Korean tensions as Pyongyang prepares to conduct its first nuclear test in five years. – The National Interest

Patty-Jane Geller writes: Multiple administrations have worked for years to achieve denuclearization on the Korean peninsula, with little to show for it. Until North Korea finally ends its nuclear program, the United States must continue to make the investments necessary to negate Pyongyang’s Korean nuclear coercion and protect the American people should deterrence ever fail. – The Hill


From a young age, Wang You-cheng and his friends debated what seemed like a theoretical question: If China were to attack, would they be willing to fight to protect their home? […]Xi is expected to secure a third term next week, granting him an extended reign and more latitude to realize the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” Unification with Taiwan, by force or negotiations, is a core part of that vision. – Washington Post

Across Tibetan villages in southwest China, Communist Party officials have been spreading the top leader Xi Jinping’s gospel of national unity: that every ethnic group must fuse into one indivisible China with a shared heritage dating back over 5,000 years. – New York Times

China is looking at the experience of the war in Ukraine to develop “hybrid warfare” strategies against Taiwan including using drones and psychological pressure, a senior Taiwanese security official said on Wednesday. – Reuters

“Fortress Beijing” is ready. More than 1mn alleged criminals have been arrested; travellers on the Chinese capital’s trains are being forced to prove their water bottles do not carry dangerous substances by taking sips; and airports across China are redoubling surveillance of ethnic minorities. – Financial Times

Chinese Communist Party officials see an emerging “digital currency” as a bulwark against Western economic sanctions in a crisis, according to a British spy chief. – Washington Examiner

The U.S. Army is stepping up its relationship-building efforts in the Pacific region in a bid to counter China’s geopolitical influence. The U.S. Army has taken part in major exercises in the region like Operation Pathways — and wants to increase its participation, according to Gen. Charles Flynn, the Army’s commander in the Pacific. – Defense News

South Asia

Altaf Ahmad Shah, a prominent politician in Kashmir who challenged India’s rule over the disputed region for decades and had been jailed by Indian authorities for the past five years, has died while in police custody, his family said Tuesday. – Associated Press

The United States has restricted visas from being issued to current and former members of the Taliban, among other individuals, for repressing women and girls in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a statement on Tuesday. – Reuters

Michael Rubin writes: Biden and Blinken repeatedly pursue policies that arguably undermine national security for the sake of diplomatic wishful thinking. Seldom, however, has there been such a blatant case with no upside. It is time for Congress to slam the door on arms sales to Pakistan. – Washington Examiner

Sandeep Pai writes: If the G7 and India want a JTEP that works for climate, then India needs a carefully crafted action plan that will form the basis of negotiation. Otherwise, it runs the risk of creating a “Just Headline-Grabbing Partnership” with no positive outcomes for the climate or for the millions of workers who are dependent on coal. – Center for Strategic and International Studies


A court in military-ruled Myanmar convicted the country’s ousted leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, on two more corruption charges Wednesday, with two three-year sentences to be served concurrently, adding to previous convictions that now leave her with a 26-year total prison term, a legal official said. – Associated Press

Fumio Kishida is by nature a dovish diplomat, but surrounded by increasingly hostile regimes in China, Russia and North Korea, Japan’s prime minister has little choice but to reshape his nation’s defences. – Financial Times

The stepped up intensity of Chinese naval patrols near Taiwan since August is putting a “heavy burden” on the island’s aging frigate fleet, which is struggling to maintain combat readiness, the Taiwanese defence ministry said on Tuesday. – Reuters


Israel’s ambassador in Berlin has slammed a member of the far-right Alternative for Germany party for appearing to dance on the country’s Holocaust memorial. – Associated Press

European arms manufacturers have urged the European Union to help coordinate weapons procurement as they scramble to boost production to meet soaring demand for the war in Ukraine. – Reuters

More than 50 countries will gather on the sidelines of a NATO meeting in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss bolstering Ukraine’s air defence, two days after Russian missiles rained down on cities across the country, including the capital Kyiv. – Reuters

The Americas

Chile’s congress voted to approve the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade deal on Tuesday after four years of legislative debate. Twenty-seven senators voted for the world’s largest copper producer to join the 11-country trade deal while 10 voted against and one senator abstained. – Reuters

Venezuela has lost its seat on the United Nations Council of Human Rights — a development hailed on Tuesday by activists and human rights defenders in Venezuela as cause for celebration. – CNN

Editorial: That’s a cautionary tale. Yet weighed against the cratering prospects of a failed state whose main export is asylum seekers, many Haitians would support — if with misgivings — the chance at restoring some semblance of normal life. For an intervention to succeed, however, it’s not enough to suppress the chaos. New hope for Haiti must involve a path toward democracy — and a transition toward a legitimate government with popular support. – Washington Post


Russia on Tuesday added US tech giant Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, to a list of “terrorist and extremist” organisations, according to a database of the Federal Service for Financial Monitoring (Rosfinmonitoring). – Agence France-Presse

The White House National Security Council will announce plans Tuesday for a consumer products cybersecurity labeling program intended to improve digital safeguards on internet-connected devices, a senior White House official told CyberScoop. – CyberScoop

Internet and mobile communications in Ukraine were disrupted Monday and Tuesday after Russian missile strikes caused widespread power outages. – The Record

Top national security officials on Tuesday said that foreign adversaries including Iran, China and Russia haven’t employed new digital methods to interfere in next month’s midterm elections, but warned the threat posed by disinformation and influence operations remains high. – The Record

A notorious pro-Russian hacking group drew headlines on Monday after launching distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on the websites of airports in at least 24 different states and threatening more operations against U.S. entities. – The Record


The U.S. Senate formally kicked off debate on Tuesday on the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, a must-pass $817 billion bill setting policy for the Pentagon and including provisions to compete with China and Russia and boost Taiwan and Ukraine. – Reuters

For years, the war on terror dominated displays at the massive Association of the U.S. Army trade show with heavily armored vehicles and ways to protect soldiers from makeshift explosives. But this week, Ukraine’s fight to repel Russia’s invasion highlights new stars of the battlefield, such as small drones or in-demand artillery. – Defense News

U.S. Army Secretary Christine Wormuth has tasked Army Materiel Command to take the lead in a comprehensive effort to bolster logistics and sustainment in the Indo-Pacific region, Gen. Edward Daly, the command’s leader, told Defense News in an interview at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual exhibition. – Defense News

Handheld tactical radios are officially entering the chat for this year’s Project Convergence, the Army’s annual large-scale effort to try out new tech. Putting small radios aboard armored vehicles promises to improve mobile communications and reduce the need for full-blown command posts. – Defense One

Grover Norquist writes: The AETP engine has another major drawback: it’s only feasible for the Air Force’s version of the F-35 and isn’t yet workable for the Marine Corps or Navy. Asking taxpayers to ramp up funding for an expensive and entirely new propulsion system that can only be used by one branch of the military smacks of a continuation of the unaffordable and irresponsible decision making that’s plagued the program for years. – The Hill