Fdd's overnight brief

October 20, 2021

In The News


The head of the United Nations‘ nuclear watchdog said on Tuesday he anticipates news soon on when he may travel to Iran, adding that he expects to go to Tehran before the agency’s November Board of Governors meeting. – Reuters 

Iranian agents are working to sow division and strife among Israelis according to a new report – and they are using models from around the world.- Arutz Sheva 

Nikki Haley writes: It is only since Biden took office, and restarted negotiations with Iran, that its oil exports have soared. Today, Iran is using foreign-flagged tankers to get around the sanctions — a loophole that must be closed. […]Terrorist groups in the Middle East and beyond are winning. The United States and its allies are losing. The president may prefer negotiations, but they have only emboldened those who wish America ill. National security is nonnegotiable. – Washington Post 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: The larger context is that Iran uses its media to transmit its goals. The interview with the PFLP-GC leader is not really about what that small group can accomplish, but to inform readers that the Palestinians care about Iran’s support and that Iran investing resources in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza is effective. […]The messaging about the May conflict is clear: Iran wants to push Gaza into a new war, hoping that Israel will suffer diminishing returns fighting such wars. – Jerusalem Post 

James M. Dorsey writes: No doubt, the jury is out on how Iranians respond if and when Mr. Raisi fails to live up to their expectations. […]Ultimately that could be a double-edged sword for Mr. Raisi. He has to prove that he can be tough on the United States and simultaneously improve the lives of ordinary Iranians. Failure to do so could have in Mr. Khajehpour’s words “unpredictable consequences.” – Times of Israel 


Since August, when Taliban militants took power in the country, conditions have deteriorated further. International donors suspended aid that had funded the bulk of public services in Afghanistan, concerned that the new rulers would severely curtail human rights and revive cruel punishments for those who disobeyed their religious dictates. The hospital’s budget was slashed, and many staffers resigned. – Wahington Post 

About half of the 53,000 Afghan evacuees brought to the U.S. and living at military installations are children, the Pentagon told lawmakers in a recent letter, underscoring the variety of challenges facing officials trying to resettle Afghans. – Wall Street Journal 

More than 200 female judges remain in Afghanistan, many of them under threat and in hiding, according to the International Association of Women Judges. Taliban officials have recovered their personal information from court records, several former judges said, and some have had their bank accounts frozen. – New York Times 

The Taliban praised suicide bombers who died during the war against the former government and its Western allies and offered their families sums of cash and promises of land, the movement’s interior ministry said in a statement. – Reuters 

The new Taliban government said on Tuesday it hoped to build on the “good progress” made in talks with the former U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zalmai Khalilzad and was optimistic about moving forward with his successor Tom West. – Reuters 

Russia, China and Pakistan are willing to provide aid to Afghanistan, the Russian foreign ministry said on Tuesday, but Moscow said it was not yet ready to recognise the Taliban government. – Reuters 

But after the Taliban took over the Afghan capital in August, Wardak and her female colleagues were told their services were not required. When the women — who had tried to return to work in a group a few days after the takeover — demanded to know why, the young Taliban blocking their entry to the courthouse scoffed. – Financial Times 


Europe’s top human rights court called on Turkey on Tuesday to change a law regarding insulting the president under which tens of thousands have been prosecuted, after ruling that a man’s detention under the law violated his freedom of expression. – Reuters 

The European Union’s executive said on Tuesday that Turkey’s bid to join the bloc had “come to a standstill” amid serious democratic shortfalls, in its most critical annual report since Ankara began membership talks 16 years ago. – Reuters 

Turkey is set to be “grey listed” by a global finance watchdog this week for failings in its approach to combating money laundering and terrorist financing, according to two western officials. – Financial Times 


A slim majority (53%) of Israelis believe US president Joe Biden is less beneficial for Israel than his predecessor, Donald Trump, a poll by the Mitvim Institute for Regional Foreign Policy found. – Jerusalem Post 

The Palestinian Authority’s financial crisis is at a “breaking point,” UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland told the Security Council as he called Israel to stop penalizing the PA for its terror payments. – Jerusalem Post 

Attacks on Israel and counter-criticism occupy too much of the United Nations Security Council’s agenda at the expense of other issues in the Middle East, the United States Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the 15-member body. – Jerusalem Post 

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the appointment of Thomas R. Nides to the post of United States ambassador to Israel, a move that brings him one step closer to final confirmation. – Jerusalem Post 

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill vowed to back Israel’s right to build in Judea and Samaria and to block efforts to impose a building freeze on Israeli communities beyond the Green Line. – Arutz Sheva 

Defense Minister Benny Gantz appeared before the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday to argue for the government’s proposed defense budget increases. – Arutz Sheva 

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin should give Israel a better understanding of the overall picture of the Iranian nuclear program issue. – Haaretz 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: Nowadays, if you look at the line that connects Greece and Cyprus to Israel, Egypt, Jordan, the Gulf and India, what you find is a key set of countries that may finally turn the corner in terms of this concept of a “gap” of stability. The gap has meant extremism and challenges. […]That may be where the US-UAE-Israel-India connection comes together most of all in presenting a moderate alternative to the aggressive, extremist and authoritarian countries. – Jerusalem Post 

David S. Levine writes: Aside from the fact that Hamas has repeatedly violated international law (firing missiles into civilian areas, firing missiles from civilian areas, and using civilians as human shields), they are also violating a number of Geneva Convention rules on the “Return of the Remains and Personal Effects of the Dead” and the “Release and Return of Persons Deprived of Their Liberty.” Let us not forget: Hadar Goldin, Oron Saul, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed. – Jerusalem Post 


The battle Thursday went on for five hours between supporters of Lebanon’s two powerful Shiite factions and gunmen believed to be supporters of a Christian party. It took place on the line between Beirut’s Chiyah and Ain el-Rumaneh neighborhoods, the same notorious frontline that bisected the capital into warring sections during the country’s dark civil war era. – Associated Press 

The judge leading Lebanon’s probe into last year’s massive port explosion renewed on Tuesday his summonses of two former ministers for questioning, a judicial official said. – Assxociated Press 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Lebanese authorities have started technical discussions to pull the country out of its crisis, a senior IMF official said, stressing the need to address the losses faced by the financial sector. – Reuters 

US envoy Amos Hochstein arrived Tuesday in Beirut in a bid to rekindle moribund talks over a maritime border dispute between Lebanon and Israel that is holding up oil and gas explorations. – Agence France-Presse  

Editorial: Civil strife pitting Hezbollah fighters against rival Lebanese groups would be disastrous for the group, which already lost popularity for its involvement in Syria’s civil war. […] Hezbollah could easily take control of most of Lebanon militarily within a week, but this would hurt the group in the long term, Jaber said. – Times of Israel 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: The fact is that even though Hezbollah is a powerful terror army, has precision guided weapons, drones, bunkers and its own communications network – and runs drugs all over the world, stockpiles ammonium nitrate, destroys cities, bankrupts Lebanon and robs it of its future – its 100,000 figure is just in Nasrallah’s imagination. – Jerusalem Post 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: Those captured in the wake of the sniper attack were handed over to the army for interrogation, the report said, adding that “we must wait for them to confess or give evidence.” […]This illustrates Hezbollah’s next plan in Lebanon. It wants to undermine the Lebanese Forces and use the “martyrs” from last week in its election campaign and use them to unseat the judge. – Jerusalem Post 

Middle East & North Africa

At least 14 people were killed in Syria’s capital Wednesday morning when two explosive devices detonated on a military bus in one of the deadliest attacks to hit Damascus in years, according to the Syrian official news agency SANA. – Washington Post  

Paris-based former Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki has emerged as a vocal critic of incumbent Kais Saied’s power grab, but analysts say he may lack the popularity to lead the opposition. – Agence France-Presse  

Israeli officials and CEOs are slated to appear alongside their Emirati and American counterparts at a major cyber conference on Wednesday, an indication of the role the country’s cyber expertise plays in its expanding ties with other nations. – Times of Israel  

Ishac Diwan writes: Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Palestine are stuck in a violence and poverty trap. […]All that we can say is that five years on, the region will be dominated by divergence: Some states will emerge stronger, and some much weaker; some may end up more democratic, and some more autocratic; but only those that will manage to improve state capacity in ways to command more trust among their citizens will be able to pave a road toward longer-term progress. – Middle East Institute  

Ross Harrison writes: More specifically, for the United States the current strategic paradox is likely to endure into the future. At a time when the case is being made that Washington has few vital interests in the Middle East to defend, the region has the greatest potential to disrupt the international political order. How the United States manages this paradox will determine how it fares in the region generally, and in its competition in the Middle East with Russia and China more specifically. – Middle East Institute 

Gerald M. Feierstein writes: The MENA region, like much of the world, is entering a period that will test its capacity to adjust to rapid change stressing traditional political, economic, and social structures. […]The U.S., which enjoys strong partnerships with the majority of states in the region, can play the leading role in assisting its partners to build the strong, resilient, and effective national and regional mechanisms that will be needed to overcome rising challenges. – Middle East Institute 

Florence Gaub writes: But the task of Middle Eastern foresight is not just to warn or, worse, fall into doomsday predictions. It is to point decision-makers to where the priority and possibility for action is — and primarily, action for the better. – Middle East Institute 

Peri and Y. Yehoshua write: Jordan’s warming of relations with Syria stems mainly from security considerations, based on the assumption that strengthening the Syrian regime will help keepHizbullahand the pro-Iranian militias, as well as ISIS, away from Syria’s border with Jordan. It also stems from economic considerations, seeking to improve the economic situation in Jordan by means of trade with and via Syria. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Irit Tratt writes: The swiftness and clarity with which President Biden cooled relations with the Saudis have effectively paused any momentum towards developing stronger ties between the two nations, as well as with Israel and the monarchy. While Saudi Arabia is far from perfect, MBS is propelling his country towards greater liberalization and reformation. Rather than drift away from the kingdom, Biden must seize the opportunity to expand upon the peace possibilities he inherited. – Algemeiner 


China is in the midst of a rapid expansion of its strategic and nuclear weapons systems, and its progress has alarmed U.S. national security officials. – Washington Post 

Did China really test and develop a surprise space weapon? Here are some of the military and technical points that are known about the system, as well as some of the responses to and uncertainties about the flight test. – New York Times 

Authorities in the northeastern Chinese city of Jilin are hunting for a North Korean defector who hopped a wall and escaped from prison on Monday night. – Washington Post  

The odds of war with China in the next year are “very low,” a top Taiwanese security official told lawmakers on Wednesday, amid heightened tensions between Taipei and Beijing, which claims sovereignty over the island. – Reuters 

A Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday said he wants the U.S. telecommunications regulator to begin the process of imposing new restrictions on Chinese drone maker SZ DJI Technology Co. – Reuters 

The Hong Kong mother whose daughter was killed in Taiwan in 2018 on Wednesday lambasted authorities in the Chinese city for letting the man who confessed to the crime walk free, while Hong Kong blamed self-ruled Taiwan for “political manipulation” in the case. – Associated Press 

Britain will not “pitchfork away” Chinese investment, despite strained relations between London and Beijing, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in an interview published before a global financing conference on Tuesday. – Agence France-Presse 

Thomas L. Friedman writes: And if China thinks it can get around that by seizing Taiwan just to get hold of TSMC, that would be a fool’s errand. Many of the key machines and chemicals TSMC uses to make chips are from America and the European Union, and that flow would immediately be shut down. […]And everything that Xi is doing — from Australia to Taiwan to Jack Ma — is driving them away. – New York Times  

Arthur Kroeber writes: One final worry is that these moves toward greater state discipline are driven not by economic motives but by Mr. Xi’s desire to reinforce his power, ahead of a Communist Party conference in late 2022 where he expects to gain a third term as the country’s leader. […]China will never run its economy in a way that pleases free-market purists. But it has come up with a mixed model that works. And despite the stresses of the moment, it will keep on working. – New York Times 

Hal Brands and John Lewis Gaddis write: Easily said, not easily done, and therein lies the ultimate test for the United States in its contest with China: the patient management of internal threats to our democracy, as well as tolerance of the moral and geopolitical contradictions through which global diversity can most feasibly be defended. The study of history is the best compass we have in navigating this future—even if it turns out to be not what we’d expected and not in most respects what we’ve experienced before. – Foreign Affairs 

Klon Kitchen writes: In the final analysis, then, the August launch of a Chinese nuclear-capable hypersonic missile is not transformative in a technological sense. But we can hope that we will one day look back on this development as the moment when the United States transformed itself into a nation that is truly prepared to confront a growing threat from an increasingly hostile and capable China. – The Dispatch 

Janan Ganesh writes: If anything, there is something of turn-of-the-20th-century Europe about the US and China: the same economic integration and political froideur, the same sense of countries at once entwined and not. There is no reason the contradictions should unravel with similar force, but nor can they can be denied or glossed over. It is the mark of free societies that the elite is not a monolith, toiling on a shared national project. The dread is that it is also their frailty. – Financial Times  

Jordan McGillis and Anthony Kim write: As its intensifying action in the South China Sea demonstrates, the PRC views oil and gas as essential to its economic and national security. Its incursions into the EEZ of the other littoral states represent a gross violation of international norms and upset the global interest in a free and open Indo–Pacific. Washington should make timely and concrete policy responses to counter this mounting challenge. – Heritage Foundation 

South Asia

Terrified farmers and families with children in Myanmar are fleeing into India as the military junta that seized power in a February coup continues to seek out and eliminate resistance along the country’s border. – New York Times 

U.S. President Joe Biden plans to nominate Donald Blome, currently ambassador to Tunisia, as his top diplomat in Pakistan as Washington works to manage the situation in neighboring Afghanistan following the withdrawal of American troops. – Reuters  

Pakistan’s military said its navy detected and blocked an Indian submarine from entering the country’s territorial waters in the Arabian Sea over the weekend. – Associated Press 


Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and a business delegation will visit Prague on Oct. 23-27, the Czech Taiwanese Business Chamber said on Tuesday, a fresh indication of warm relations between the European Union country and the self-ruled island. – Reuters 

South Korea opened its largest defence expo ever on Tuesday, showing off its next-generation fighter jet, drones, and other technology in an effort to boost exports as economies around the world rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. – Reuters 

Japan’s new prime minister interrupted his first day of election campaigning and returned to Tokyo on Tuesday to deal with rising regional tensions following North Korea’s test-firing of a missile earlier in the day. – Associated Press  

White House press secretary Jen Psaki criticized North Korea for a series of recent missile launches that “violate multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and are a threat to the region.” – Washington Examiner 


Russia’s gambit will be tested Wednesday as it hosts Taliban envoys for multinational talks on the security and political situation in Afghanistan. Russian President Vladimir Putin has cautioned that “there should be no hurry” to officially recognize the Taliban’s governance of Afghanistan. – Washington Post 

The co-leader of Germany’s Green Party accused Russian “blackmail” of causing high energy prices across Europe, saying Moscow is trying to leverage Germany to allow the Nord Stream 2 Baltic gas pipeline to begin operations. – Reuters 

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Tuesday called on Moscow to stop prolonging the war in eastern Ukraine, his second stop in the Black Sea countries he said were threatened by Russian expansionism. – Agence France-Presse  

The visit by US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, hitherto considered a bete noire in Russia for her active role in the overthrow of the pro-Russian Ukrainian regime of Victor Yanukovich, and her avowed hostility to the Putin regime, went better than expected from Russia’s perspective. During her three-day visit to Russia, Nuland met on October 12, 2021 with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Editorial: Europe’s willingness to harm itself in the name of unachievable climate goals is one of the greatest acts of democratic self-sabotage in history. Yet Europe’s leaders are heading to the global climate confab next month in Glasgow to increase their energy masochism. And America’s President Biden is eager to join them in abandoning energy security. Mr. Putin must be amazed at his strategic luck. – Wall Street Journal  

David Ignatius writes: The most ominous issue ahead is the still mysterious question of the “Havana syndrome” affecting U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers abroad. […]When confronted by U.S. officials, the Russians deny any involvement — but that’s hardly conclusive. U.S. officials need stronger evidence than they’ve gathered so far. But if they find it, the current thaw could return to a deep freeze — or worse. If Russia is found to be deliberately targeting U.S. officials, a severe crisis lies ahead, recent cooperation notwithstanding. – Washington Post 

Olga Lautman writes: There are no indications that Putin’s Russia will change course. It is a statement of the obvious to point out that it is openly hostile to the West. While the Biden administration’s policy of seeking dialogue where possible (for example in nuclear weapons negotiations) may produce some progress, the West needs to accept the need for a more effective containment strategy, consisting of more aggressive sectoral sanctions. Western democracies must also work to prevent Kremlin agents from indirectly lobbying US and European politicians. – Center for European Policy Analysis 


At least four leaders from the Group of 20 wealthy nations look set to miss this month’s summit in Rome that hosts Italy had hoped would be an in-person event, diplomats and officials said. – Reuters 

A 96-year-old German woman who was caught shortly after going on the run ahead of a court hearing last month on charges of committing war crimes during World War Two appeared before a judge on Tuesday in the northern town of Itzehoe. – Reuters 

Almost 6,000 Polish soldiers are now guarding the country’s border with Belarus in stepped up security measures in the face of a surge in migration, the defence minister said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

The brother of a suicide bomber who killed 22 people in Manchester in May 2017 has left Britain ahead of a scheduled appearance on Thursday at a public inquiry investigating the attack, the inquiry was told on Tuesday. – Reuters 

The European Union’s top official locked horns Tuesday with Poland’s prime minister, arguing that a recent ruling from the country’s constitutional court challenging the supremacy of EU laws is a threat to the bloc’s foundations and won’t be left unanswered. – Associated Press 

For more than two weeks, dozens of survivors from the Bataclan concert hall in Paris have testified in a specially designed courtroom about the Islamic State group’s attacks on Nov. 13, 2015. They stand just a few steps away from 14 men accused in the bloodshed — the deadliest in modern France. – Associated Press 

Angela Merkel is worried that some European Union leaders and lawmakers are thrusting the EU into a fight with Poland that leaves no room for compromise and could end in disaster. – Bloomberg 

France has set a November 1 deadline for Jersey officials to give their responses to outstanding access requests and apply the terms of the post-Brexit accord hammered out last year. – Agence France-Presse 

The Chinese-lettered banner hanging over the entrance is one of the few signs that Beijing now controls Europe’s fourth-biggest container port. Yet this month the Piraeus Port Authority handed a further 16 per cent of its shares to Cosco, cementing its control by the Chinese state-backed shipping group, which bought 51 per cent of the Greek port in August 2016. – Financial Times 

Keeping the Atlantic open so European allies can remain in the loop with the United States and Canada during a crisis has “always been the case in NATO military strategy” and remains so today, the chief of the United Kingdom’s defense staff said Tuesday. – USNI News 

Mark Temnycky writes: Overall, given the continued souring of Russo-Ukrainian relations, Ukraine needs allies who can readily come to its aid if the conflict was to escalate. Countries such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom have supported Ukraine, but their response to any escalation would come too late given Russia’s geographic proximity. And yet, while Turkey provides Ukraine with such an opportunity, Erdoğan’s foreign policy is based on realpolitik rather than shared principles. Ukraine will have to tread lightly as it continues to develop the relationship. – Center for European Policy Analysis 

Walter Lohman writes: The bottom line is that France, as a resident power in the Indo-Pacific, is the most significant European military presence in the region. For the past decade, it and the U.S. have gradually been building military cooperation there. The magnitude of the strategic challenge presented by China requires an all-hands-on-deck effort, and France must be part of it. – Heritage Foundation 


Mali’s government said on Tuesday that it asked the country’s main Islamic body to open peace talks with leaders of al Qaeda’s local affiliate in an effort to end a decade of conflict. – Reuters 

From Washington to Moscow, Tehran to Ankara, Sudan’s strategic Red Sea ports, blockaded for a month by protesters, have long been eyed by global powers far beyond Africa’s borders. – Agence France-Presse 

Hundreds of pro-military protesters on Tuesday joined a sit-in demonstration in the Sudanese capital demanding the dissolution of the country’s embattled transitional government. – Agence France-Presse 

Joshua Meservey writes: Recognizing the fact of Somaliland’s independence would bring significant benefits to the U.S. with few and manageable downsides. As the U.S.–China competition grows more intense, recognizing Somaliland would be a proactive way for the U.S. to defend its interests in Africa, a continent that provides significant aid to Beijing’s international agenda, often to Washington’s detriment. – Heritage Foundation 

The Americas

Gangs in Haiti, such as the one holding a group of American and Canadian missionaries for ransom, have become so powerful that they now challenge the government for control of as much as two-thirds of the country’s territory, according to human-rights groups and analysts. – Wall Street Journal 

Negotiations stretched into a fourth day seeking the return of 17 members of a U.S.-based missionary group kidnapped over the weekend by a violent gang that is demanding $1 million ransom per person. – Associated Press 

José Miguel Vivanco writes: The growing list of political opponents sitting in Nicaraguan jails should serve as a warning for what happens when the rule of law is allowed to disintegrate. The full dismantling of democratic institutions often takes time. Supporters of democracy and human rights must do their utmost to stop it now before it’s too late. – Financial Times 

Latin America

A special Senate committee investigating Brazil’s response to the pandemic will accuse President Jair Bolsonaro of committing crimes against humanity for his role in the public health disaster that killed hundreds of thousands of people, a senior lawmaker said Tuesday. – Washington Post  

President Biden had eased a pressure campaign started by the Trump administration, dropping threats of ousting President Nicolás Maduro with military power. – New York Times 

Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso assured U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday that democratic principles would be upheld during a state of emergency that Lasso declared to combat narcotics, Blinkensaid in a visit to Ecuador. – Reuters  

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Brazilian counterpart Carlos Franca to discuss “unprecedented” regional migration and ways to collaborate to slow the number of migrants heading north, the State Department said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

United States

FBI agents on Tuesday searched two homes connected to sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska — one in Washington and one in New York — as part of an unspecified criminal investigation into the activities of a man who has not set foot on U.S. soil in years, according to documents, interviews and people familiar with the investigation. – Washington Post 

In the spring of 2020, Mark T. Esper, the defense secretary, was alarmed to learn of an idea under discussion at a top military command and at the Department of Homeland Security to send as many as 250,000 troops — more than half the active U.S. Army, and a sixth of all American forces — to the southern border in what would have been the largest use of the military inside the United States since the Civil War. – New York Times 

The second-ranking U.S. Treasury official told senators on Tuesday that the agency would hold International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva accountable for changes needed to safeguard IMF integrity in the wake of a World Bank data-rigging scandal. – Reuters 

Global approval of U.S. leadership rebounded to match a record during the first year of Joe Biden’s presidency, snapping back from all-time lows hit in 2020, according to Gallup’s newest Rating World Leaders report. – Bloomberg 

Anthony H. Cordesman writes: The U.S. has a poor history of making effective efforts to learn the lessons of its recent wars, and it is already focusing on other strategic issues and the crises that are following the break-up of the ISIS “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria. It will be all too easy for U.S. policymakers and the Congress to ignore the need to learn from the years of conflict and to fail to preserve the data and institutions necessary to learn as much from the war as possible. – Center for Strategic and International Studies 


Facebook Inc. has agreed to pay a financial penalty as part of settlements with the U.S. government that had accused the social-media company of illegally reserving lucrative jobs for immigrant workers it was sponsoring for permanent residence instead of searching for and considering available U.S. workers. – Wall Street Journal  

Facebook says it has shut down two large networks targeting users in Sudan in recent months, as civilian and military leaders spar with one another over the future of an interim power-sharing arrangement. – Reuters  

A group of U.S. lawmakers said Facebook Inc (FB.O) cannot be trusted to manage cryptocurrency and urged the social media platform to discontinue immediately a small pilot of its cryptocurrency wallet named Novi, which was launched on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Hackers potentially linked to China are continuously targeting the telecommunications sector, a report released Tuesday by cybersecurity company CrowdStrike found. – The Hill 


A Navy probe found significant failures that led to the fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard in July 2020. – Washington Examiner 

U.S. military forces “don’t know how to defend” against China and Russia’s most advanced missile systems, a senior U.S. diplomat has acknowledged. This comes after a shocking report that China tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile earlier this year. The Chinese government has disputed the report, claiming they were testing a spacecraft instead. – Washington Examiner  

The U.S. military is only “marginally” able to defend the country’s national interests at home and abroad, the conservative Heritage Foundation’s 2022 Index of U.S. Military Strength found. – Washington Examiner 

The airplane that will one day be the Air Force’s next electronic warfare aircraft, the EC-37B Compass Call, has made its first flight and the contractor handling the program says it is on track to be delivered to the service for testing next year. – Defense News 

The USAF issued a notice of contract action, titled ‘E-3 Replacement Aircraft Studies & Analyses’, on 19 October, in which it announced it is to sole-source Boeing to perform studies, analyses, and activities required to ascertain the E-7A baseline configuration, and to determine what additional work the US government might need to accomplish meeting the USAF configuration standards and mandates. – Jane’s 360  

Tyler D. Bates writes: With these recommendations in place, the United States and its cislunar coalition partners will be prepared to address the many strategic challenges potentially posed by China’s and Russia’s space ambitions. To do so, U.S. policymakers and decision-makers must consider moving beyond the orbital comforts of the littoral near-Earth shores. – The Hill