Fdd's overnight brief

October 17, 2023

In The News


The Israeli military said Tuesday that it attacked 200 targets in Gaza overnight, as aid workers warned of a looming humanitarian collapse in the strip and U.S. diplomats prepared for President Biden to visit Israel. – Wall Street Journal

On Monday, Israel’s military and its defense ministry said it would evacuate 28 communities that are within two kilometers (1.2 miles) of the Lebanese border. – New York Times

The war between Israel and Hamas isn’t just risking a regional conflagration. It is also affecting the global balance of power, stretching American and European resources while relieving pressure on Russia and providing new opportunities to China. The long-term effect of the Middle East flare-up is hard to predict. – Wall Street Journal

U.S. officials said they were attempting to create safe zones and limit civilian casualties, while also trying to deter Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah from entering the conflict, using diplomatic back channels to warn adversaries against opening a new front. – Washington Post

What began as a highly organized stealth attack, using drone technology to overtake Israeli military observation points, soon devolved into a bloody and chaotic rampage. It underscored Hamas’s capacity for sophisticated planning and indiscriminate killing; the ability of the group to conceal details of a massive offensive operation and its struggle to manage fighters once they had bulldozed their way through Israel’s border fence. – Washington Post

Yet Mr. Netanyahu is, in some ways, an unlikely leader for an Israel on the brink of war. In his 15 years as prime minister, he has steadfastly resisted major military entanglements, preferring targeted airstrikes or special operations. His reluctance had, until this past week, made him something of a contradiction: a bellicose-sounding leader who has shied away from all-out war. – New York Times

Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York, which is home to the largest Jewish population outside of Israel, announced on Monday night that she would travel to Israel on a “solidarity mission” on Tuesday. – New York Times

Hamas released a video late Monday of Mia Schem, one of the nearly 200 people believed to be held hostage in Gaza after the group launched a cross-border assault on Israel nine days ago. – New York Times

Sitting shiva is a way of coming to terms with a devastating loss before returning to the rest of their community. But this time there are hundreds of families observing shiva, unsure of what kind of world they will return to. – Wall Street Journal

Thousands of Gazan workers have sought refuge in the West Bank, where they’ve been taken in by Palestinian communities, uniting across political and geographic divides. The men interviewed by The Washington Post said they had lost touch with friends and family members working in the country and assumed they were in Israeli detention. – Washington Post

In a windowless control room on an army base in southern Israel, five soldiers monitored the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Gazans on a massive computer screen. – New York Times

Israel’s military said it killed four people who had tried to cross the fence bordering Lebanon and plant an explosive device on Tuesday. – Reuters

The top U.S. general overseeing American forces in the Middle East made an unannounced trip to Israel on Tuesday, saying he hoped to ensure its military has what it needs as it fights a deepening war against Palestinian militant group Hamas – Reuters

A top Hamas leader said on Monday the group “has what it needs” to free all Palestinians in Israel’s jails, indicating the militant group may try to use the Israelis it kidnapped as bargaining chips to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners. – Reuters

The U.N. Security Council rejected a Russian resolution Monday night that condemned violence and terrorism against civilians but made no mention of Hamas, whose surprise attack that killed 1,300 Israelis was the worst Jewish massacre since the World War II Nazi Holocaust. – Associated Press

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States and Israel had agreed to develop a plan to get humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza without benefiting Hamas, and that President Joe Biden would visit Israel this week to hear how it would minimize civilian casualties in its war effort. – Reuters

The head of Israel’s Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency on Monday took responsibility for failing to prevent Hamas from carrying out its deadly rampage through Israeli towns. – Reuters

Hundreds of Israeli high-tech experts have temporarily put their private sector jobs aside to help locate Israelis missing after last week’s attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. – Reuters

As questions remain about how Israel failed to thwart Hamas’s assault, IDF lookouts told N12 on Monday that they had repeatedly warned their commanders of unusual incidents along the border, but were ignored. – Jerusalem Post

Hamas’ October 7 massacre of over 1,300 Israelis and foreign citizens constituted the “crime of genocide,” hundreds of international jurists and academics, including the former Justice Minister of Canada, declared Monday. – Haaretz

Editorial: Israel has shown forbearance against Gaza in the past, targeting Hamas fighters and infrastructure. But Hamas was left in power in Gaza to rearm and plot its murderous assault on innocents this month. Israel now says its goal is to destroy Hamas, and doing so will save as many Palestinian lives in the future as it will Israelis. – Wall Street Journal

Eugene Kontorovich writes: It is unclear whether such voices are merely naive or wish to leave Israel perpetually exposed to genocide. What is clear is that if these voices prevail, the commitment of modern international law will have changed from “Never again” to “Whenever they want.” – Wall Street Journal

Yair Rosenberg writes: Many got Hamas wrong. But they shouldn’t have. Again and again, people say they intend to murder Jews. And yet, century after century, the world produces new, tortuous justifications for why anti-Jewish bigots don’t really mean what they say—even though they do. – The Atlantic

Devorah Margolin writes: Through its recent actions, Hamas has made clear to all that lasting Middle East peace cannot happen without addressing the Israeli-Palestinian issue. The group has also made clear that the rift between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority effectively precludes the possibility of peace. “Gaza is the pillar of resistance,” Haniyeh proclaimed in a speech on Oct. 7, showing once again his view that the Gaza leadership is the true champion of the Palestinians. While the situation in the region remains fluid, Hamas clearly wanted to demonstrate that it — not the Palestinian Authority and not Arab governments normalizing with Israel — is the most important actor on these issues in the region. – War on the Rocks


Iran’s foreign minister warned on Monday that a regional network of militias known in parts of the Middle East as the “axis of resistance” would open “multiple fronts” against Israel if its attacks continued to kill civilians in Gaza. – New York Times

Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa is in the final process of arranging a telephone discussion with her Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian on Tuesday, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said. – Reuters

The world must not fail in Iran as it did in North Korea, which kicked out International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors and developed nuclear weapons, the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s chief Rafael Grossi said on Monday. – Reuters

The United States is already heavily involved in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and must be held to account, an Iranian official said on Monday. – Reuters

Israel’s decision to evacuate Sderot on Sunday, as well as 28 other communities on the northern border, has raised eyebrows in pro-Iranian media. Al Mayadeen celebrated this turn of events, an important move to note because the attack by Hamas on October 7 was designed to strike at 29 points and attack 20 communities. – Jerusalem Post

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday warned Tehran and Hezbollah not to test Israel. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken returned to Israel after exhaustive diplomatic efforts to prevent a regional war that could include Iran. – Jerusalem Post

Ben Dubow writes: Iran has a thorough understanding of the information environment’s power, implementing one of the world’s harshest censorship regimes. As its regional ambitions broaden, IRTVU has become an indispensable tool for proliferating the extremist propaganda that bolsters its influence. The Union’s prodigious output in the aftermath of recent atrocities reveals the formidable reach and impact of its media network. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Afshon Ostova writes: Iran’s strategy against Israel has been a patient one. The regime has sought to kill its enemy with a thousand cuts instead of with overwhelming force. The attacks of this month, however, have forced Israel’s hand. If Israel truly seeks to end the threats aligned against it, it will have to expand its focus well beyond Gaza and confront Iran. It is clear that Israel’s approach to Iran up until now has been ineffective. – War on the Rocks

Mark A. Heller and Sumit Ganguly write: Israel will find it difficult to convince the United States to take the indispensable lead in a campaign for regime change in Iran and to influence other key components to join in. Its chances would improve if it could persuade potential partners that it is also truly prepared, after Gaza, to act constructively on the Palestinian logjam. – The National Interest

Tom Cotton writes: I will also work with my fellow senators to end Iran’s Biden Dividend, by strengthening existing sanctions and returning to a policy of maximum economic pressure. There is no such thing as purely economic or humanitarian assistance to a terrorist state. Any U.S. payment to the Iranian government constitutes public financing for terrorism. The United States government should not give Iran another red cent. – Fox News

Russia & Ukraine

With Ukraine’s monthslong southern counteroffensive making slow progress, Russia last week launched a large-scale assault of its own with a narrower aim: the small eastern city of Avdiivka. By most accounts, it didn’t go well. – Wall Street Journal

Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen told top European economic leaders on Monday that the United States would not back away from supporting Ukraine and pledged that the Biden administration would work to authorize more aid despite resistance from some congressional Republicans. – New York Times

Russia is revoking ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty because of the irresponsible attitude of the United States to global security, the speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Russia’s planned withdrawal of its ratification of the global treaty banning nuclear tests does not mean that it intends to conduct such a test, a senior foreign ministry official told Russian media. – Reuters

Russia is aiming to break through Ukrainian defences in the northeastern Kupiansk-Lyman area after a sharp increase in fighting, the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces said on Monday. – Reuters

Tom Rogan writes: Nevertheless, this Sino-Russian strategy is risky. The unprecedented horror of these Hamas attacks means that the Israeli people and politicians may not so easily forget and forgive those who now stand against them. – Washington Examiner

Ben Dubow write: Russia feebly echoed this to the Azeris, and Azerbaijan once again proved Applebaum right. The days when the Kremlin could view the South Caucasus as a Russian-garrisoned backyard have gone. Its influence in other areas is in decline too. It’s a visible trend and Russia’s placemen know it. – Center for European Policy Analysis


U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies are working to determine whether Israel’s expected ground offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip could prompt Hezbollah to launch a large-scale military campaign against Israel from Lebanon, American and Israeli officials said. – New York Times

Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group said Monday it has started destroying surveillance cameras on several Israeli army posts along the border as tension rose following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war. – Associated Press

Increased US presence in the region, including the impending visit of US President Joe Biden, is deterring Hezbollah from larger war, but is not delaying an IDF invasion of Gaza, IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Daniel Hagari claimed on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post

Bilal Y. Saab writes: It better not make the same mistake with Hezbollah because even if Iran decides not to escalate, even a limited exchange of blows along the Israeli-Lebanese border could easily lead to a war. That’s exactly what happened in 2006. Neither party wanted a war, yet they both got it. – The Hill

Amos Harel writes: All of the official mouthpieces declare that the plan is to destroy Hamas as an organization, and the army talks about it even when no microphones are present. What does Netanyahu want? In all previous operations, he stood out for being risk-averse, loath to endanger soldiers’ lives in a ground campaign. For now, he seems to be stalling. As usual, the talking points he distributes to Likud cabinet members and lawmakers, as well as to the party’s shills in the media, offer the best indication of where he is headed. If they start talking up the dangers of a ground operation, that will tell us which way the wind is blowing. That’s one thing we can still count on here. – Haaretz

Hanin Ghaddar writes: In the long term, the risks that Hezbollah poses on the Lebanese and Golan borders should not be ignored, even if the group does not get involved in this war. Hezbollah could take advantage of the newly energized resistance narrative to fortify its influence in Lebanon and continue to improve its military power. The risk of an attack by Hezbollah on Israel—and to a certain extent the U.S. interests in the region—will only grow. – Foreign Policy


Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in a call on Monday that Western countries should refrain from “provocative steps” regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Turkish presidency said. – Reuters

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on Monday held a call with Ismail Haniyeh, leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, a ministry source said, adding the two discussed the release of civilian prisoners held by the group. – Reuters

Turkey is willing to hold off ratifying Sweden’s bid to join NATO this month as it awaits signs of U.S. support for its own request to buy F-16 jets, sources said, potentially disappointing bloc allies hoping to end 17 months of delay. – Reuters

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi discussed possible steps the countries can take to end the fighting between Israeli and Palestinian forces in a phone call on Monday, the Turkish presidency said. – Jerusalem Post


It was hardly a promise, though. A weekend of diplomatic talks to open the Egyptian-Gazan border has so far yielded little but confusion, even at the embassy. Its email about the border opening did not cite talks with Egypt or Israel — it was based on news reports. The lack of clarity was clear on the ground. – New York Times

Egypt said on Monday that Israel was not cooperating with delivery of aid into Gaza and evacuations of foreign passport holders via the only entry it does not wholly control, leaving hundreds of tonnes of supplies stuck. – Reuters

The European Union said on Monday it would launch a humanitarian air bridge operation consisting of “several flights” to Egypt aiming to bring supplies to humanitarian organisations on the ground in Gaza. – Reuters

Egypt has been preparing for the possibility of a massive inflow of refugees from the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing, its only land corridor from the coastal Palestinian territory, according to various sources. – Times of Israel

Israel denied reports on Monday that it had agreed to halt fire in the southern Gaza Strip to allow the Rafah crossing to open, as the United States and international mediators appeared closer to reaching a deal for the opening of the border with Egypt to allow aid into the Strip and for foreigners to exit. – Times of Israel

Middle East & North Africa

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken hurried into a bunker as air raid sirens wailed in Tel Aviv on Monday, in the most dramatic moment of a whirlwind — and unusually chaotic — Middle East tour for America’s top diplomat. […]A trip originally scheduled for two days has now extended into its sixth, with 10 stops and counting. – New York Times

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday that Moscow wanted to help prevent a humanitarian disaster in Gaza as he waded into the Middle East crisis with a flurry of calls to key regional players. – Reuters

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will visit Israel on Tuesday and then Egypt as Western nations try to prevent the Middle East conflict from spreading, according to sources familiar with the plan. – Reuters

Libya’s electoral commission has told the United Nations it can only start a countdown to national elections after resolution of the question of forming a new government, U.N. Libya envoy Abdoulaye Bathily said on Monday. – Reuters

But the long-term risks of sidelining the Israeli-Palestinian conflict exploded back into view with the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7 and Israel’s heavy bombardment of Gaza in response. The United States’ angry Arab partners are pointing to America’s failure to actively engage as Israeli-Palestinian violence roars back to center stage. – Associated Press

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke last night with the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. The two leaders discussed regional developments following the recent deadly attack by Hamas against Israeli civilians. – Jerusalem Post

Thomas S. Warrick writes: To the Israeli official looking back at history and ahead at what needs to get done: If Israel’s government does seek, as the prime minister’s official account on X (formerly Twitter) put it, “the destruction of the military and governing capabilities of Hamas and Islamic Jihad,” you must start today to lay the groundwork for a more durable peace. It will be hard, but it is not impossible. – New York Times

Hamdi Malik, Crispin Smith, Michael Knights write: Thus far, Iran’s broader “axis of resistance” (including Lebanese Hezbollah) has operated in a supporting role to the Hamas war, drawing Israel’s attention and reserves away from Gaza in an apparent attempt to deter a ground operation into the Strip. – Washington Institute

Dan Blumenthal writes: For the U.S. and its allies, then, Israel’s destruction of Hamas and a reckoning with Iran should be vital strategic objectives. A military, intelligence, and diplomatic campaign alongside Israel aimed at making Iran pay a price for its support of terrorism would serve Washington’s counter-terror interests while also frustrating Moscow and Beijing’s objective to build up Iran. – 19fortyfive

Paul Salem writes: They are also useful in exacting a price from Israel for what Iran perceives as Israeli threats to its own security: Israel has a presence in Azerbaijan on Iran’s border, and has conducted covert operations inside Iran for several years. In any wider attempt to rebuild greater stability in the Middle East, there would need to be some efforts at de-escalation between Israel and Iran. The U.S. is not a position to undertake that, but other regional capitals, and/or China, might be able to help. Iranian-Israeli tensions are already fueling today’s conflict; unmanaged, they could lead to a much wider conflagration tomorrow. – Middle East Institute

Korean Peninsula

North Korea’s nuclear programme is a self-defensive move to head off a nuclear war in the face of the U.S. pursuit of “nuclear supremacy,” state media KCNA said on Tuesday. – Reuters

South Korea, the United States and Japan have completed work on a three-way communication hotline, Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday citing a senior Seoul official, in a further sign of growing trilateral security cooperation. – Reuters

South Korean authorities cited the risk of Chinese economic retaliation when they charged marine technology firm SI Innotec last year with violating trade laws for its work on Taiwan’s new military submarine program, according to a police document seen by Reuters and two people familiar with the matter. – Reuters

Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov will visit North Korea on Wednesday and Thursday this week, North Korea’s state media KCNA and Russia’s foreign ministry said on Monday. – Reuters

Tim Culpan writes: This struggle is not insurmountable. As recently as 20 years ago, South Korea was neck and neck with the US, Japan and Taiwan in semiconductors and electronics — now it has caught up and surpassed most of them. Its next step will be to take that technological momentum and apply it to the global arms industry, one where there’ll always be demand. – Bloomberg


Inside the Great Hall of the People here last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) implored leader Xi Jinping to distance himself from Russian President Vladimir Putin, arguing that Putin, a pariah in the West, was holding back China’s ambitions. Instead of heeding that advice, China on Tuesday welcomed Putin to Beijing with open arms, in the Russian leader’s first major visit abroad since the International Criminal Court accused him of committing war crimes in Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal

But their meeting, at China’s third Belt and Road summit, is also an opportunity to showcase their alliance and partnership against the United States and other Western nations at a moment of global tumult. While Western leaders have firmly backed Israel, Russia and China have carefully avoided describing the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that killed more than 1,400 Israelis as terrorism. – Washington Post

A decade after its launch, China is trying to revive its sprawling infrastructure program by making it a lot less risky. A reboot of the program is under way as Chinese leader Xi Jinping prepares to host a 10th anniversary bash for the Belt and Road Initiative in Beijing this week. The goal is to breathe new life into a project that remains central to China’s global ambitions after a rocky spell of bad debts and costly bailouts. – Wall Street Journal

The interception of a Canadian military plane by Chinese fighter jets over international waters on Monday was unacceptable, dangerous and reckless, said Defence Minister Bill Blair. He spoke after Canada’s Global News said a Chinese jet had come within five meters (16 feet) of a Canadian surveillance plane taking part in an U.N. operation to enforce sanctions against North Korea. – Reuters

China has been striking a softer tone in its dealings with the world recently, releasing an Australian journalist from prison, inviting the U.S. military to a defence forum and agreeing to a $4.2 billion debt restructuring deal with Sri Lanka. – Reuters

Chinese civil servants and employees of state-linked enterprises are facing tighter constraints on private travel abroad and scrutiny of their foreign connections, according to official notices and more than a dozen people familiar with the matter, as Beijing wages a campaign against foreign influence. – Reuters

Karishma Vaswani writes: The issue with blaming the US for the world’s ills is that it shines the spotlight on a China that isn’t willing to get in the game. The reality is, Beijing has an image problem. For all of the money the country spends and influence it tries to wield around the world, China’s public image when it comes to international affairs is broadly negative, according to the Pew Research Center, which found an average of 71% people surveyed across 24 countries think it doesn’t contribute to global peace and stability. – Bloomberg


Pacific island nation Fiji said on Tuesday it will strengthen defence and security cooperation with Australia as Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka visited Canberra. – Reuters

The United States signed a new 20-year agreement on Monday on economic assistance to the Marshall Islands worth $2.3 billion to the strategic Pacific island nation, chief U.S. negotiator Joseph Yun told Reuters. – Reuters

Chinese investment in Thailand has picked up pace this year despite an economic slowdown in the Asian giant, a welcome boost for the country’s new prime minister who flew into Beijing this week to bolster ties with its largest trading partner. – Reuters

China’s President Xi Jinping met Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Tuesday, and said that a healthy, stable and vibrant China-Kazakhstan relationship is conducive to the development of both countries. – Reuters

Japan criticized Russia’s announcement that it’s joining China in banning the imports of Japanese seafood in response to the release of treated radioactive wastewater from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant. – Associated Press

A top Canadian navy official said there’s no sign the diplomatic standoff between India and Canada over the killing of a Sikh separatist leader has impacted military-to-military cooperation between the two nations. – Bloomberg

Oriana Skylar Mastro writes: A war between the United States and China over Taiwan could be the most brutal since World War II. As politically difficult as it may be, U.S. leaders have a duty to try to prevent conflict, and that means speaking more softly but carrying a big stick. – New York Times


Since World War II and the Nazis’ defeat, one motto has towered over German politics: “Never again” should Jews here have to fear for their lives. Now anti-Jewish sentiment is surging in the country’s large and growing Muslim community, much expanded by the country’s openness to asylum seekers from a war-ravaged Middle East. – Wall Street Journal

A suspect in the fatal shooting of two Swedish citizens in an attack that authorities called terrorism was shot and killed by police Tuesday morning in Brussels, prosecutors said. – Wall Street Journal

France is stepping up security at the Belgian border, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Tuesday after the killing of two people by an assailant in Brussels the night before. – Reuters

The Crisis Centre raised the terrorist alert level for Brussels to 4, its highest, urging people to avoid unnecessary travel. This is the first time this level has been declared since 35 people were killed in the Islamic State terrorist attacks in 2016. The level for the rest of Belgium was raised to 3. – Financial Times

European Union leaders aim on Tuesday to settle on a united approach to the crisis triggered by the Hamas attack on Israel after days of confusion, infighting and mixed messaging. – Reuters

Chinese President Xi Jinping told Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban that he was a “friend” to China, and that both nations should elevate relations, in a sign of ever-closer ties even as European states look towards “de-risking” from China. – Reuters

Editorial: Daunted by the complications and aware of the political risks, Britain’s main parties both shrink from an openly ambitious approach to Europe. The EU, for its part, is sick of the subject and far from eager to return to it. Yet the UK’s people seem ready for a reset. There’s much to be gained all around. – Bloomberg

Lee Hockstader writes: That’s why Germany’s long slide is a red alert. Without robust German leadership, ideally in concert with the French, Europe is a wobbly construct. Add to that Washington’s distraction and dysfunction, and Ukraine’s prospects darken. A remark often attributed to Henry A. Kissinger — “Who do I call if I want to speak to Europe?” — summoned the idea of an atomized and feckless continent. Germany’s current distress might justify that misgiving. – Washington Post


The World Bank will aim to ensure gay and transgender Ugandans are not discriminated against in its programmes before resuming new funding, which was halted in August over an anti-LGBTQ law, a bank executive said. – Reuters

Kenya’s President William Ruto sought $1 billion more in loans from China Monday, despite rising public debt that has now reached $70 billion in the Eastern African country, according to National Treasury figures for 2022/2023. – Associated Press

Six months of war between Sudan’s military and a powerful paramilitary group has killed up to 9,000 people and created “one of the worst humanitarian nightmares in recent history,” the United Nations humanitarian chief said Sunday. – Associated Press

The Americas

The Biden administration and the Venezuelan government of President Nicolás Maduro have agreed to a deal in which the United States would ease sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry and the authoritarian state would allow a competitive, internationally monitored presidential election next year, according to two people familiar with the breakthrough talks. – Washington Post

Oil prices steadied on Tuesday after a more than $1 slide on Monday amid hopes the U.S. would ease sanctions on producer Venezuela and as Washington stepped up efforts to prevent an escalation of the war between Israel and Hamas. – Reuters

Some members of the Venezuelan opposition said on Monday, the eve of the planned signing of an agreement on presidential elections next year, that they doubted President Nicolas Maduro will follow through on his promises. – Reuters

León Krauze writes: In our conversation, Ramírez did not advocate an all-out American intervention on Mexican soil. Instead, she pleaded for support and cooperation. Mexican cartels continue the bloodshed in Mexico and fuel America’s opioid epidemic, which has cost tens of thousands of lives in the United States. Now is the time to discuss a way that the United States and Mexico can work together. – Washington Post

Latin America

Mexico will help Cuba, including providing it with oil, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday. – Reuters

China-Chile relations have always been at the forefront of China’s relations with Latin American and Caribbean countries, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday in Beijing, when meeting with Chile President Gabriel Boric. – Reuters

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro will attend next Sunday’s meeting in southern Mexico where regional leaders will discuss rising U.S.-bound migration in Latin America, Mexico’s foreign ministry announced in a statement on Monday. – Reuters

Will Freeman and Ryan C. Berg write: Latin America’s distance from the rest of the world, however, is not guaranteed to last forever. The distance could close in two ways: one malign and one beneficial for the world and the region. The first possibility is that China, the United States, or both pull the region into a new cold war. – Foreign Affairs

Alex Elnagdy writes: Future technology and decarbonization expect critical minerals to become the most demanded global commodity—after fossil fuels reach their tragic or managed conclusion. In the meantime, the geopolitics of resource security will continue to play out between incumbent petroleum on the one hand and rising critical minerals on the other. At least for batteries, it is in the United States’ self-interest to build a deeper, not necessarily broader, critical mineral coalition to support its economic and national security, like it once did with the Arab Gulf. – The National Interest

United States

Donald Trump promised on Monday that if elected president again he will bar immigrants who support Hamas from entering the U.S. and send officers to pro-Hamas protests to arrest and deport immigrants who publicly support the Palestinian militant group. – Reuters

The Biden administration is refining rules aimed at keeping advanced chips and manufacturing gear out of China, seeking to close loopholes that might help its geopolitical rival gain cutting-edge technologies. – Bloomberg

Paul Krugman writes: Given this political reality, how much can any nation trust U.S. assurances of support? How can we expect foreign enemies of democracy to fear America when they know that there are powerful forces here that share their disdain? Yes, the Pax Americana is in decline. But the problem isn’t lack of toughness at the top. It’s the enemy within. – New York Times

Alon Pinkas writes: If the United States is attacked, it can strike without a congressional declaration of war. If an escalation directly threatens an ally, Israel, the Americans can strike despite the absence of a formal defense pact or treaty with Israel. But the assumption that “Congress is pro-Israel,” which it is, and will therefore authorize any action by Biden, is wrong. – Haaretz

Robbie Gramer writes: The exchange, described to Foreign Policy by one lawmaker in attendance and three congressional aides briefed on the matter, offers a glimpse into how the chaos in the Republican-controlled House is morphing from a domestic political circus into a massive foreign-policy headache for the Biden administration. How that chaos plays out could have major implications for the scale and timing of U.S. security assistance to Israel as well as the continued flow of U.S. military aid to Ukraine, seen as critical in its war against Russia. – Foreign Policy


The Air Force is entering what leaders say could be its most transformational period in a generation, as the service looks to position itself as a global powerhouse for decades to come. If their vision comes true, the Air Force would enter the 2030s as a smaller but more flexible force that is better positioned to win America’s wars, with sharper leaders and savvier airmen. – Defense News

Harlan Ullman writes: What needs to be understood today is this: Surprise remains a powerful tactic. In the past, navies were only defeated by similar sea, air and undersea forces. The profound difference is that cheap, effective commercial technologies are now readily available. The above scenario would cost an attacker virtually nothing. Yet a nuclear carrier strike group with an air wing and escorts costs upwards of $20 billion. Sailing in harm’s way is essential for the U.S. Navy. But do so wisely and with caution. – The Hill

Renee Buhr writes: It is too soon to know the specific sources of this intelligence failure, but previous cases tell us that while the failure led to horrific consequences, the answers will be fairly mundane. – The Hill

Erik Davis writes: Data literacy should hold at least as much weight in selecting commanders as does measuring how far someone can throw a 10-pound ball. Adding a diagnostic assessment during the commander’s assessment program is the perfect wake-up call to both the Army and to the officer corps. When the Army start assessing the future leaders for data literacy, it will finally start to achieve the Department of Defense’s goal of “one Soldier, one byte, and one command at a time.” – War on the Rocks