Fdd's overnight brief

September 11, 2023

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


Ten months with no communication with his family. Three hundred days in solitary confinement. A cell that’s fully lit around the clock. These are some of conditions faced by Johan Floderus, a European Union official from Sweden who was arrested in Iran in April last year and has been held hostage since, his family revealed on Sunday. – New York Times

British foreign minister James Cleverly will travel to Israel and the Palestinian territories this week, where he will press for renewed dialogue on a two-state solution and commit to tackling threats to regional security, including from Iran. – Reuters

The U.S. on Friday divulged it disrupted in April a multimillion-dollar shipment of crude oil by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, seizing more than 980,000 barrels of contraband crude oil that violated U.S. sanctions. – Reuters

When $6 billion of unfrozen Iranian funds are wired to banks in Qatar as early as next week, it will trigger a carefully choreographed sequence that will see as many as five detained U.S. dual nationals leave Iran and a similar number of Iranian prisoners held in the U.S. fly home, according to eight Iranian and other sources familiar with the negotiations who spoke to Reuters. – Reuters

Michael White had only recently arrived in a grim Iranian jail when a curious fellow prisoner, an English-speaking Iranian, approached him in the courtyard for a conversation. – Associated Press

The head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency on Sunday said that Israel is prepared to strike “in the heart of Tehran” to track down the perpetrators of what he said were over two dozen Iranian attempts to hit Israeli and Jewish targets around the world. – Associated Press

Israel believes Russia could sell advanced weaponry to Iran, the director of the Mossad intelligence agency said, in rare public criticism of Moscow by an Israeli official. – Bloomberg

An Iranian Revolutionary Court issued indictments for three people accused of participating in a deadly attack on a holy shrine south of Iran last month, the judiciary’s Mizan news agency reported. – Bloomberg

Authorities in Iran’s southwest have arrested six people accused of “organizing riots” on the first anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death in custody which triggered nationwide protests, state media reported Saturday. – Agence France-Presse

Israel will act against Iran’s enrichment of uranium at above 60% because that means it was admitting pursuit of nuclear weapons, National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi told the World Summit on Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya on Monday morning. – Jerusalem Post

The Mossad and other intelligence bodies have thwarted 27 Iranian terrorist plots against Israelis on almost every continent so far this year, Mossad Director David Barnea said Sunday. – Jerusalem Post

Multiple articles in Iranian pro-regime media have been hyping the “Tactical Sayyad” air-defense system over the past two weeks. Iran claims this system, which is launched from a military-style truck, can detect up to 24 targets at a time at a distance of around 180 km. It can then engage up to 12 of those targets. Iran claims this is an indigenous system, built and developed in Iran. This would be in contrast to other systems that Iran may have developed by modeling them on foreign air-defense missiles, such as S-200s. – Jerusalem Post

A social media account that published an image showing an Israeli general photoshopped to look like Hitler was likely operated by Iranians as part of a social disinformation campaign, the Shin Bet security agency said Sunday. – Times of Israel

Jonathan Spyer writes: Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, suggested recently that his country is closer to military action against Hezbollah than at any time since the 2006 war. The U.S., meanwhile, continues its outreach to Tehran. Iran is waging a multifront military and political struggle—the unity of the arenas. Its enemies are divided. – Wall Street Journal

Michael Rubin writes: Fifteen years ago at a campaign event in Philadelphia, Obama said of Republicans, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” How ironic that today, when Iran brings a gun, Biden and his European partners wave cash. No wonder it is open season on Americans and Europeans worldwide. – Washington Examiner

Joe Buccino writes: Keeping a tiny element of several thousand American troops would have served regional security and spoke to an enduring American commitment to the region. In addition, attempts at a new set of American-led nuclear negotiations needed to be made more explicit, given the timing and regional sentiment. – Jerusalem Post

Russia & Ukraine

After 18 months of full-scale war with Russia, Ukraine faces a threefold problem. Ukraine’s army is inching forward on the battlefield but is short of firepower, including air power, and well-trained manpower to eject Russia’s occupying army from its east and south. The West is sticking to its incremental approach to arming Kyiv, and would like it to negotiate a cease-fire eventually. But even if Russian President Vladimir Putin were open to a deal, he has a long record of reneging on agreements and renewing his quest to put Ukraine back under Moscow’s sway. The current military and political deadlock looks set to continue until one of those three elements changes. – Wall Street Journal

Elon Musk said he declined a request to activate Starlink satellite communications around Sevastopol in Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimea, thwarting what he described as an attempt to sink Russian ships there. – Wall Street Journal

As Russia’s war in Ukraine drags on, a wave of Russian gubernatorial elections is turning into an effort to gloss over the horrific cost of the conflict and instead laud the generous handouts and other support the Kremlin has provided for families of those killed in combat and those with loved ones still in the field. – Wall Street Journal

Kyiv’s military leaders say they could have Ukrainian pilots flying F-16s in combat as early as this winter, a more optimistic timeline than previous estimates, and one that could give Ukrainian forces a significant new capability for next year’s fight. – Wall Street Journal

Russia is staging elections in occupied Ukrainian territory that have been widely condemned by Kyiv and its Western allies as a sham, with candidates including mobilized Russian soldiers, a Kremlin loyalist and a Russian official sanctioned by the U.S. – Wall Street Journal

Leaders of the Group of 20 nations unanimously backed a declaration Saturday that decried the economic toll of the war in Ukraine but removed some sharper phrasing used last year, after tough negotiations at a meeting that reflected deepening geopolitical divisions. – Wall Street Journal

Moscow has since brought up Krasikov’s case in prisoner-swap negotiations, according to Western officials. The officials said Krasikov is central to U.S. efforts to win the release of people held by Russia, possibly including U.S. Marine veteran Paul Whelan and Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich. Gershkovich, a 31-year-old U.S. citizen, was detained on March 29 by the FSB while he was on a reporting assignment. He is being held on a charge of espionage, which Gershkovich, the Journal and U.S. officials deny. – Wall Street Journal

When Russian authorities took away Yan Dvorkin’s 10-year-old adopted son last spring, there was nothing he could do but shout in frustration. His crime? He was a transgender, nonbinary person, married to a man. – Washington Post

Ukraine reported on Monday its troops had regained more territory on the eastern and southern fronts in its military counteroffensive against Russian forces. – Reuters

Two foreign aid workers were reportedly killed in eastern Ukraine on Sunday as Russian shelling hit a van carrying a team of four working with a Ukrainian nongovernmental organization, while dozens of Russian drones targeted Kyiv and wounded at least one civilian. – Associated Press

Ukraine froze the assets of tycoon and former Privatbank owner Igor Kolomoisky to ensure the potential confiscation of his property in a case of suspected fraud. – Bloomberg

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday of being behind the death of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin in a plane crash last month. – Agence France-Presse

Fareed Zakaria writes: Ukrainians understand that they are in for a long war of attrition. They understand that they are up against a formidable foe — Russia’s population is almost four times that of Ukraine’s and its economy is about 15 times larger. Ukrainians are determined to persevere, but they worry that their allies are not. – Washington Post

Farah Stockman writes: Such methods “undermine local governance institutions, not just by sweeping up the best talent from them but by giving foreigners a greater say in what happens in communities than the people who live there,” they wrote. When the war in Ukraine finally ends, the money to rebuild the country will most likely dwarf anything we’ve seen in our lifetime. That’s when the real feeding frenzy will begin. Ukrainian institutions and watchdogs had better be ready. – New York Times

Joshua C. Huminski writes: The strategic contest with Russia and indeed China is about the modern manifestation of spheres of influence, a concept that leads to instability. American national interest is in global stability, the free flow of commerce and ensuring that no one country achieves regional hegemony. Such a development is a sure path toward greater conflict and greater instability. – The Hill


Immediately after Israel’s government voted to weaken the Supreme Court in July, the legal challenges started pouring in. Those petitions, eight in total, will be the subject of an unprecedented hearing on Tuesday — when the country’s highest court will consider a direct challenge to its own power. – Washington Post

The Israeli military said a failed rocket launch attempt was carried out on Sunday from the occupied West Bank, and the armed branch of the Hamas group calling itself Al-Ayyash group claimed responsibility for the launch. – Reuters

A 16-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead by Israeli forces on Saturday near the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, Palestinian health officials said. – Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit California’s Silicon Valley next week before traveling to New York for the U.N. General Assembly, his office said on Sunday. – Reuters

An Israeli delegation arrived in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to attend a U.N. conference on world heritage sites, in the first public visit by government officials to the kingdom, an Israeli official said. – Associated Press

Israel is preparing to send a search and rescue mission and humanitarian aid to Morocco after a powerful earthquake shook the North African country and killed hundreds of people, officials said Saturday. – Agence France-Presse

The United States on Thursday condemned Israel for signing a cinema cooperation agreement with Russia. – Times of Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will reportedly meet with Elon Musk when he travels to San Francisco next week. The meeting would come despite Musk being accused of amplifying antisemitism on his X social media platform and his embroilment in a feud with the Anti-Defamation League. – Times of Israel

The Israeli military on Monday reportedly admitted that troops mistakenly shot, wounded, and detained three Palestinian suspects during an attack on an army post near the West Bank city of Jenin two weeks ago. – Times of Israel

In a last-ditch effort, a group of 15 Democratic senators penned a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday, urging him not to admit Israel into the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP) at the end of the month, charging Israel has continued to discriminate against Palestinian-Americans, despite assurances that it would start treating all US travelers equally. – Times of Israel

Editorial: In other words, hectoring by President Biden’s camarilla stayed Mr. Netanyahu’s hand. We have little doubt that similar efforts are afoot in respect of, say, the Iran nuclear deal and judicial reform. It’s just the way Mr. Biden works. – New York Sun


Afghanistan is the world’s fastest-growing maker of methamphetamine, a report from the United Nations drug agency said Sunday. The country is also a major opium producer and heroin source, even though the Taliban declared a war on narcotics after they returned to power in August 2021. – Associated Press

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that the Biden administration is looking at the United States’s withdrawal from Afghanistan under President Joe Biden, including the fatal Kabul airport bombing that saw the death of 13 American service members. – Washington Examiner

Gen. Frank McKenzie, a former commander of the United States Central Command, said Sunday the Taliban’s relationship with al-Qaeda is “far stronger” than with the United States. – The Hill


Demonstrators in the southern Syrian city of Sweida tore down a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad on Friday as anti-government protests that began three weeks ago swelled with crowds coming in from surrounding villages. – Reuters

The United Nations special envoy for Syria Sunday urged donors not to reduce their funding as the war-torn country’s economic crisis spirals. – Associated Press

A U.S.-backed Syrian force declared its operations in eastern Syria completed Friday after almost two weeks of fighting with local tribesmen left dozens of people dead. – Associated Press

Erik Yavorsky writes: As acts of dissent increase in the regime’s historically important minority areas in Suwayda and among Alawites on the coast, Assad may be more willing to make significant concessions. One possibility is regional states working with Washington to carve out narrow, project-specific sanctions exemptions for initiatives that help alleviate the people’s suffering. But this cannot be agreed to unless Assad carries out his end of the deal—namely, releasing prisoners, conducting negotiations under UN Security Council Resolution 2254 to end the war, and engaging with the Syrian opposition over modifications to the constitution, among other things. Although the regime is unlikely to fall anytime soon, the growing protests in traditionally loyal areas may still force Assad’s hand on some matters. – Washington Institute

Mohammed Hassan writes: If these steps are taken, it would go a long way toward ending the repercussions of the crisis or minimizing its effects. However, ignoring or failing to implement them would likely lead to a new phase of conflict in the region, one that would not be limited to the local community and its members on one side and the SDF on the other. Rather, such a conflict would be open to other parties that would doubtless try to exploit it both politically and militarily. – Middle East Institute


U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is linking F-16 fighter jet sales to Turkey with Turkish ratification of Sweden’s NATO membership bid, and this “seriously upsets” Ankara, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday. – Reuters

Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown has been hit by power cuts after Turkey’s Karpowership switched off the electricity supply due to an unpaid debt of around $40 million, the energy minister said on Friday. – Reuters

Any initiative to revive the Black Sea grain deal that isolates Russia is not likely to be sustainable, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said in a press briefing after the conclusion of the G20 summit in New Delhi on Sunday. – Reuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is urging several Group of 20 leaders to meet some of Russia’s demands to try to revive a deal that had allowed Ukrainian grain shipments and eased global food prices. – Bloomberg

Rescue teams are working to extricate an American researcher after he suddenly fell ill while 3,000 feet deep inside a cave in Turkey. – The Hill


Lebanese judicial authorities have questioned two people at the request of Turkey on suspicion of being involved in the 2019 escape of auto tycoon Carlos Ghosn from Japan to Lebanon via Istanbul, officials said Friday. – Associated Press

Islamist factions in Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp said Sunday they will abide by a cease-fire after three days of clashes killed at least five people and left hundreds of families displaced. – Associated Press

Clashes in a Palestinian refugee camp in south Lebanon have left 20 people wounded, official news agency NNA reported Friday, weeks after a deadly outbreak of violence rocked Ain al-Helweh. – Agence France-Presse


Egyptian authorities have carried out a wave of arrests targeting critics ahead of a pivotal American decision on military aid — seen as a key indicator of how the Biden administration will balance security and political interests with human rights concerns in its foreign policy. – Washington Post

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan met with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on the sidelines of a G20 summit in the Indian capital New Delhi on Sunday, Erdogan’s office said in a statement. – Reuters

A sprawling housing project, part of a $500-million Egyptian-funded renewal effort in Gaza, has raised hopes for hundreds of needy families like the Zorobs who have lost their homes in the conflict with Israel. – Associated Press

Ethiopia completed the fourth and final filling of its contentious dam on the Nile River’s main tributary, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Sunday. […]The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has been a source of major friction between Ethiopia and downstream nations Egypt and Sudan. Cairo argues the project could sharply curtail its access to river flows that provide the North African nation with over 90% of its freshwater needs. – Bloomberg

Ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, the Mossad published on Thursday a photo of one of its handlers together with the agent code-named “the Angel,” who gave the spy agency a precise warning that war was about to break out. The agency also published a transcript of the conversation between then-Mossad chief Zvi Zamir and the agent, later revealed to be Ashraf Marwan, the son-in-law of former Egyptian president Gamal Abdul Nasser. – Times of Israel

Arabian Peninsula

The U.S. and its partners in Europe, the Middle East and Asia will on Saturday unveil plans to build a transit corridor linking the three regions, a U.S. official said, a massive initiative that faces high hurdles but could eventually undercut China’s inroads in a key global trade route. The project aims to connect Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and potentially Israel by freight rail, then use sea transport to reach India and Europe, spanning some of the world’s biggest economies over a total distance of more than 3,000 miles. – Wall Street Journal

Trade between Iran and the United Arab Emirates has surged as the Gulf’s commercial capital eased restrictions on business activity between the two neighbours, business people and officials say. – Financial Times

Editorial: Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa’s visit to Washington is designed to demonstrate U.S. staying power in the Persian Gulf and underscore the value of the strategic partnership. Bahrain is officially a major non-NATO ally and home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet. This gives Washington leverage. The Biden administration should use it to aid Mr. al-Khawaja and other prisoners. The crown prince, who was once seen as a moderate influence inside the royal family, replaced his great-uncle as prime minister in November 2020. The hunger strike offers him an opportunity to show statesmanship. Authorities should not arrest Ms. al-Khawaja when she comes to see her father. They should send him to Denmark in her care. – Washington Post

Saudi Arabia

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia are in talks to secure metals in Africa needed for both countries’ energy transitions, as the White House tries to curb China’s dominance in the electric-vehicle supply chain and the kingdom looks to buy $15 billion in global mining stakes, said people with knowledge of the talks. – Wall Street Journal

China is willing to expand cooperation with Saudi Aramco (2223.SE) in various fields, the Chinese ambassador in Saudi Arabia told the company’s CEO Amin Nasser on Thursday. – Reuters

Harley Lippman writes: The momentum toward normalization and ultimately a peace agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia is not going to be determined by their respective domestic policies or local concerns. Rather, a peace agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia will emerge from their continued incremental progress toward normalization to create markets and security frameworks. This may come together within broader geopolitical concerns, such as U.S.-China competition to extend influence in the Gulf and across the Middle East. – The Hill

Mike Pompeo and Sander Gerber write: Normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel provides an opportunity not only to reshape the geopolitical landscape of the Middle East but also to move past the outmoded Palestinian Authority, which has long been an obstacle to peace. In doing so, Saudi-Israel relations would pave the road to the long-sought peace between Israelis and Palestinians. – The Hill

Henry Sokolski writes: Bottom line: Unless sun-soaked, natural gas-rich Saudi Arabia has a truly compelling economic reason to develop civilian nuclear energy (and it doesn’t), Washington should stay clear of helping it do so. Yes, Iran’s nuclear program certainly is a worry; it needs to be rolled back. But that’s not something that helping the Saudis go nuclear will accomplish – just the reverse. – Jerusalem Post

Middle East & North Africa

As rescuers spent Sunday struggling to reach the remote mountain villages hit hardest by Morocco’s strongest earthquake in over a century, the toll of the disaster came into sharper focus. The number of dead surpassed 2,000, thousands more slept outside to avoid their damaged homes and the healthcare system buckled as it treated more than 2,400 wounded people. International aid began to trickle in, but humanitarian groups complained of delays. – Wall Street Journal

The Red Cross Society of China will give the Moroccan Red Crescent $200,000 for emergency humanitarian assistance, Chinese state media reported on Monday, after a deadly earthquake struck the North African country late on Friday. – Reuters

Morocco’s deadly earthquake prompted Algeria, which cut ties with its neighbour two years ago, to put aside the countries’ bad relations and open its air space to aid flights. – Reuters

Paris has rescinded a special honor it bestowed on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas because of his recent antisemitic comments minimizing the Holocaust. – Associated Press

Gaza Strip exports to Israel resumed Sunday, Palestinian and Israeli officials said, days after exports were suspended following an alleged attempt to smuggle explosives from the coastal enclave. – Agence France-Presse

Several signs now point to the possibility of an escalation in tensions ahead of the High Holy Days, as Palestinian activists continue to warn of a hunger strike. – Jerusalem Post

Editorial: Azoulay cited King Mohammed V’s rescue of Jews during the Holocaust and said, “Thousands of Jews were saved by my country, my king, my people.” As Morocco mourns, we extend our condolences to the families of all the victims and send wishes for the speedy recovery of the injured. We are proud that the Jewish state is supporting Morocco in its hour of need. – Jerusalem Post

David Schenker writes: Today, Washington’s commitment to its allies in the Middle East is suspect, and this skepticism is engendering an epidemic of strategic hedging with China, Russia and Iran. In this context, U.S. follow-through on Western Sahara commitments made to one of Washington’s oldest and closest allies is being watched closely. As the Biden administration contemplates taking on important new security obligations in the region, it is imperative to honor the promises the U.S. has already made. – The Hill

Seth J. Frantzman writes: In an uncertain world that is changing rapidly, the Israeli connection to neighbors in the Middle East through the Abraham Accords, Negev Forum, and other groups and bilateral ties is essential. This is reflected in the response on the first day after the earthquake in Morocco. It also is important as it comes three years after the Abraham Accords, as the region prepares for another anniversary of the important agreement. It shows all the added value of these peace deals in the region. – Jerusalem Post

Korean Peninsula

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un marked the country’s founding anniversary with a parade of paramilitary groups and diplomatic exchanges in which he vowed to deepen ties with China and Russia. – Reuters

North Korean weaponry could allow Russia to prolong the storm of steel it has rained down on Ukraine but probably isn’t advanced enough to alter the course of the Kremlin’s war on its neighbor, now well into its second year. – Bloomberg

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he’s looking to build stronger ties with North Korea “on all fronts” in a message marking the 75th anniversary of the state’s founding and ahead of a visit by Pyongyang’s leader. – Bloomberg

Vice President Kamala Harris said Sunday North Korean Kim Jong Un’s potential meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin would be a “huge mistake.” – The Hill


Xi Jinping has placed the Communist Party—and himself—in greater command of China’s economy over the past decade. Now his centralization of power is delaying the country’s response to its worst economic slowdown in years. – Wall Street Journal

China is planning to dispatch Vice President Han Zheng to an annual United Nations meeting of government leaders later this month, according to people briefed on the matter, instead of sending its top foreign policy official on a broader U.S. trip as previously signaled. Beijing’s decision to send Han, who plays a largely ceremonial role as the vice president, adds a wrinkle to the planning process for Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s expected attendance at a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders to be held in San Francisco in November. – Wall Street Journal

Today, Xi is more known for his absences. He didn’t travel outside China for more than two years during the pandemic. This year he has only left the country twice, and this weekend he will skip the summit of the Group of 20 advanced and developing economies in New Delhi. – Wall Street Journal

China’s military is conducting a sophisticated exploitation campaign designed to “fill gaps” in its capabilities by targeting current and former U.S. service members and harvesting specialized knowledge they’ve gained, a top general warned in a message obtained by The Washington Post. – Washington Post

President Xi Jinping called for unity and stability within the military during an inspection trip, following upheaval in the highest echelons of the People’s Liberation Army. – Bloomberg

Editorial: China and Russia had been trying to lure countries of the Global South to their concept of a new world order, not dominated by Western institutions and the United States, showcasing alternative models to Western-style democracies. Now, the two authoritarian giants are flailing. Let’s hope the world is paying attention. – Washington Pos

South Asia

The construction in Mumbai reflects a national push in India to transform a country where economic growth has long been snarled by crumbling and inefficient infrastructure. In recent years, the government has poured money onto the problem, an effort that has only accelerated as Western governments and multinationals have grown uneasy over relying on China for manufactured goods. – Wall Street Journal

U.S. President Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in New Delhi Friday evening, underscoring their nations’ deepening ties ahead of a summit of the Group of 20 nations that was set to put global tensions on display. – Wall Street Journal

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed strong concerns about protests in Canada against India to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi, according a statement by India. – Reuters

Sri Lanka’s president said Sunday he will appoint a committee chaired by a retired Supreme Court judge to investigate allegations made in a British television report that the South Asian country’s intelligence was complicit in the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings that killed 269 people. – Associated Press

One of Myanmar’s biggest and most powerful ethnic minority militias has arrested and repatriated more than 1,200 Chinese nationals allegedly involved in criminal online scam operations, an official of the group said Saturday. – Associated Press

Maldivians will return to the polls on Sept. 30 to vote in a runoff election between the top two candidates in the country’s presidential race after neither secured more than 50% in the first round, the elections commission said Sunday. – Associated Press

Violence erupted in India’s northeastern state with a history of ethnic clashes when armed men exchanged gunfire with security forces, leaving at least two dead, police said Saturday. – Associated Press

A Pakistani soldier was killed in an overnight shootout with militants in the country’s northwest, near the border with Afghanistan, the military said. – Associated Press

Sean Durns writes: For decades, American leaders have cultivated India by noting that both countries are democracies and have a shared heritage as former vestiges of the British empire. But the U.S. should see India for what it is: a rising power with its own interests and concerns, many of which are shared, some of which are not. The key to building a successful U.S.-India relationship is realism, not projection. – Washington Examiner

Husain Haqqani and Aparna Pande write: Modi faces a parliamentary election next year, which most observers expect him to win. Standing next to President Biden and several other world leaders over the coming weekend, Modi will effectively be campaigning while also positioning India as a major global player. – The Hill


The U.S. entered a new and strengthened diplomatic partnership with Vietnam, a country where it fought for years to prevent a Communist takeover, as Washington seeks to counterbalance China in the region. – Wall Street Journal

The U.S. and the Canadian navies sailed two warships through the Taiwan Strait on Saturday, in a challenge to China’s sweeping territorial claims. – Associated Press

Thousands of soldiers from the United States, Indonesia, Australia and other allied forces demonstrated their armor capabilities on Sunday in combat drills on the Indonesian island of Java at a time of increased Chinese aggression in the region. – Associated Press

Visiting Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Friday pledged $21.7 billion in new Chinese investment in Indonesia to strengthen the countries’ economic and political ties, an official said. – Associated Press

Armenia appealed to the US, Europe and Iran to help defuse a standoff with neighboring Azerbaijan over blocked aid deliveries to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, which have raised tensions to their highest point since a 2020 war. – Bloomberg

President Joe Biden implied that a Chinese economic decline could be good news for Taiwan during remarks at a press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, when asked about reports of China’s economic struggles. – Washington Examiner

Editorial: Myanmar is perhaps Southeast Asia’s least developed country. ASEAN could exert serious economic leverage through a combined embargo on oil and palm oil exports to Myanmar, sanctions on the state-owned oil company and targeted sanctions aimed at the junta leaders and their bank accounts and other assets held in Southeast Asian countries. ASEAN could also open a dialogue with the National Unity Government in exile as the legitimate representative of Myanmar’s people. But such measures would require a unity of purpose, such as that shown by the European Union in the face of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Such unity does not exist in ASEAN. Until it does, ASEAN is consigning itself to irrelevance. – Washington Post

Editorial: None of this is going to come up, we’d guess, when President Biden sits down with his hosts in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Yet the Vietnamese heirs to Ho Chi Minh and his regime will know exactly who Mr. Biden is and exactly where he was when America abandoned the Free Vietnamese regime they were trying to defeat. So what will they make of it if Mr. Biden asks them for support against Communist China? – New York Sun

Niall Ferguson writes: A major crisis over Taiwan would have immediate and dire financial consequences before a shot was even fired. But to assume that this prospect will prevent an escalation from Cold War II to World War III risks making the same mistake as the nuclear theorists of the 1960s — who were blissfully unaware of just how close mutually assured destruction had come over Cuba. – Bloomberg

Robert A. Manning writes: Biden laid a foundation for countering Chinese claims at the Camp David summit last month, issuing an unusually strident joint statement denouncing China’s claims and actions in the South China Sea. One way to tie the various regional bodies together would be to work with like-minded states at the East Asia Summit to demand a freeze on new construction in the South China Sea, compliance with the convention on the law of the sea, and call for a code of conduct for the Western Pacific. Even if China rejected such ideas, the U.S. and its partners could forge a near-consensus, isolate Beijing and create a basis for further international responses. – The Hill


In an unprecedented move, the Vatican on Sunday beatified a Polish family of nine — a married couple and their small children — who were executed by the Nazis during World War II for sheltering Jews. – Associated Press

The German government said Friday it will keep two subsidiaries of Russian oil giant Rosneft under the control of German authorities for another six months. – Associated Press

The European Union’s executive branch strongly criticized the bloc’s representative in Austria for accusing the country of paying “blood money” to Russia for gas supplies and said Friday he has been ordered back to Brussels. – Associated Press

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will meet European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday to seek EU support after last week’s floods that left at least 15 dead and destroyed farmland and villages. – Bloomberg

Estonia plans to be the first European Union nation to legalize the seizure of sanctioned Kremlin-linked assets to fund Ukrainian reconstruction this year, a move that the Baltic nation’s top envoy said would “really hit” Russia. – Bloomberg

Giorgia Meloni privately signaled to Chinese Premier Li Qiang that Italy is planning to exit from an investment pact that has become a test of her nation’s relations with the US. – Bloomberg


One of Tanzania’s main opposition leaders and former presidential candidate Tundu Lissu was released on bail early on Monday, hours after he was detained by police for allegedly holding an illegal gathering. – Reuters

The World Bank on Friday announced $340 million in new financing to help Chad address several crises, including $90 million to respond to the influx of refugees fleeing conflict in neighbouring Sudan, it said in a statement. – Reuters

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema will visit China from Sunday, China’s foreign ministry announced on Friday, bringing the indebted African country’s long-running struggle to restructure its external debt to its biggest creditor’s door. – Reuters

Ethiopian soldiers killed about two dozen civilians earlier this week in the Amhara region during house-to-house searches after being attacked by militiamen who have been battling federal forces for more than a month, six local residents said. – Reuters

Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo strapped explosive belts around baby twin girls as a booby-trap for security forces – just one incident in a surge in violence against children there, the United Nations said on Friday. – Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday held a phone call with the interim leader of Mali, Assimi Goita, and discussed topics including anti-terrorism efforts and the crisis in Mali’s neighbour Niger, the Kremlin said in a statement. – Reuters

Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina has resigned after he was officially confirmed as a candidate in the Indian Ocean Island nation’s presidential elections scheduled for November 9, according to the country’s constitutional court. – Reuters

An airstrike in a town in Somalia caused several casualties, including children, residents and authorities said, while three members of an al-Qaida-linked extremist group were killed. – Associated Press

A military camp in Mali’s restive north was attacked Friday, a day after two separate assaults by al-Qaida-linked insurgents killed 49 civilians and 15 government soldiers, the military said. – Associated Press

A drone attack Sunday on an open market south of Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, killed at least 43 people, activists and a medical group said, as the military and a powerful rival paramilitary group battle for control of the country. – Associated Press

Niger’s new military leaders accused France of amassing forces for a possible military intervention in the country following the coup in July. French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday that he would only take action at the demand of deposed Nigerien leader Mohamed Bazoum. – Associated Press

A southern African regional force said it has “significantly paralyzed terrorist activities” in northern Mozambique, where fighters linked to the Islamic State had prompted TotalEnergies SE to freeze work on a $20 billion natural gas project. – Bloomberg

Ugandan security forces have killed hundreds of Islamic State-linked militants in clashes in the nation’s border region, President Yoweri Museveni said. – Bloomberg

Gabon’s military government plans hold free elections in two years, newly appointed Prime Minister Raymond Ndong Sima said. – Bloomberg

French President Emmanuel Macron rejected a demand by Niger’s military rulers to withdraw its troops from the West African nation after a coup strained relations between the two countries. – Bloomberg

Nigeria said it was rallying support to join the Group of 20 as a permanent member, seizing on a moment to lay its claim after the global bloc admitted the 55-member African Union at a summit this weekend. – Bloomberg

The Group of 20 nations agreed to grant the African Union permanent membership status in a move aimed at giving the continent a stronger voice on global issues such as climate change and emerging-market debt. – Bloomberg

Latin America

As Chile prepares to observe the 50th anniversary of the CIA-backed coup that toppled President Salvador Allende, the events and 17-year dictatorship that followed remain an open wound in this country. – Wall Street Journal

A federal judge in New York on Friday ordered cash-strapped Argentina to pay about $16 billion over the government’s decision to seize majority control of the energy company YPF in 2012. – Wall Street Journal

Cuba has arrested 17 people in connection with what its government says is a network recruiting its citizens to fight in Russia’s war in Ukraine, according to a Cuban government official. – New York Times

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro arrived in China on Friday, his first visit in five years, to renew engagement between the two countries as China’s ties sour with the West and the South American country seeks fresh financing. – Reuters

A convoy of vehicles crossing into Mexico from the U.S. was attacked by gunmen early Saturday, and three people, including American citizens, were wounded with gunshots, Mexican authorities said. – Associated Press

A U.N. envoy urged Ecuador’s leaders Friday to boost enforcement of labor laws and end popular fuel subsidies as part of key policy changes needed alongside their continuing efforts to combat the drug-related crime that has undermined the country’s peaceful image. – Associated Press

Brazil’s president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is asking for a meeting of leaders from the European Union and Mercosur to decide on a trade deal this year, during his presidency at the South American bloc. – Bloomberg

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said he wants China’s support for his country to join the block of emerging-market nations known as BRICS. – Bloomberg

Mary Anastasia O’Grady writes: To his credit, in his 2003 op-ed, Mr. Lagos tried to use the coup’s 30th anniversary to unite the country around modern liberal democracy. Chile, he wrote, had become “a country in which consensus reigns, a country that is forging its way ahead amid the new challenges of a globalized world.” Gabriel Boric, Chile’s current president, has gone in the opposite direction, using this anniversary to score points with his hard-left fellow travelers and to fuel division. As history suggests, that’s not good for either side and it’s not good for Chilean democracy either. – Wall Street Journal

United States

With less than six months to prepare for his federal election-interference trial, Donald Trump’s lawyers are turning to a familiar strategy for the former president: long-shot legal motions that publicly criticize the case and raise novel questions that could serve to delay it. – Wall Street Journal

Editorial: There are other potential dangers, not least from adversaries abroad. Russia, China and Iran might all seek to exploit U.S. election-year divisions. But there are already enough political risks to justify Democratic alarm. Democrats may be right that Mr. Trump will be their salvation again, as he has been in every election since 2016. But if they stick with the Biden-Harris ticket, and wake up on the day after the election to discover Mr. Trump has repeated his 2016 miracle, don’t blame Republicans. Democrats will have made an equally decisive contribution. – Wall Street Journal

David E. Weisberg writes: If Lee had run for president, he would have needed to win the electoral votes of multiple states that had stayed in the Union—and every voter would have known about his role in the Civil War. Given the Unionist majority nationwide, there was no reason to deny voters a free choice. That’s why the Insurrection Clause didn’t bar anyone from serving as president—and still doesn’t. – Wall Street Journal

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. writes: Mr. Trump’s exaggerations of the Hunter Biden scandal may be regrettable but, hearteningly, are less atypical of pre-Trumpian politics than the Post pretends. At least they are exaggerated renditions of real questions that need answers. It’s hard not to see the Post engaged in a kind of jiu-jitsu to make the questions go away by focusing on Mr. Trump’s abuse of them. Which is the real problem: Both political parties would find their strategy of peddling tall tales impossible—the circle of suggestion would be impossible to close—if mainstream journalism wasn’t so full of cowardly conformists, who ask not what is true but how to advance the desired narrative, and therefore have no credibility with the public. – Wall Street Journal

Aaron Blake writes: It’s not as if our legal system has shied away from consequential questions in recent months, though. They will get a hearing — many dozens of them. If that weren’t happening, and if there was a consensus that Trump’s conduct violated the 14th Amendment, it would be an easier call. But it’s not, and it’s getting late in the 2024 process to suddenly go down such a pitfall-laden road. – Washington Post

Leon E. Panetta writes: U.S. funding for the World Bank and IMF is a worthwhile investment. Through these institutions, the United States, its allies and partners have provided a lifeline to Ukraine and countries affected by Russia’s heinous war. In the longer term, a strong and well-resourced World Bank and IMF provide sustainable funding for low- and middle-income countries to realize their economic potential instead of falling into Beijing’s debt traps and coercion. Every dollar channeled into these institutions helps to foster sustainable economic growth and strengthens U.S. global leadership. – The Hill


The parent of Facebook and Instagram is working on a new artificial-intelligence system intended to be as powerful as the most advanced model offered by OpenAI, the Microsoft-backed startup that created ChatGPT, according to people familiar with the matter. Meta aims for its new AI model, which it hopes to be ready next year, to be several times more powerful than the one it released just two months ago, dubbed Llama 2. – Wall Street Journal

A federal appeals court ruled the Biden administration’s policing of social-media content during the pandemic likely violated the First Amendment, a decision that bars White House aides and other officials from pressuring online platforms to suppress protected speech. – Wall Street Journal

For more than a decade, Google’s rivals have argued that the company’s sharp-elbowed tactics helped cement its search engine’s No. 1 status. The Justice Department finally will take Google to court over these allegations Tuesday, in a landmark trial that marks the department’s first antitrust case against a major tech company in more than 20 years. – Washington Post

If you have an iPhone or iPad, take a few minutes today to make sure it’s running the most up-to-date software. This week, Apple disclosed and patched two security exploits that, if used correctly, could allow attackers to run their own code on other people’s devices. The company also said it is aware of a report that these issues may have been “actively” used against certain people. – Washington Post

An iPhone belonging to a staffer at a Washington-based civil society organization was hacked remotely with spyware created by Israel’s NSO Group. – Bloomberg

Elon Musk’s X Corp. on Friday sued the state of California over a content moderation law. – The Hill

Two senators released a bipartisan framework for artificial intelligence (AI) legislation Friday as Congress ramps up efforts to regulate the novel technology. – The Hill

John Dwyer writes: It’s incumbent on the industry to collectively help governments, policymakers and business leaders understand AI as a whole; not simply how they can benefit from its outcomes but how AI actually functions and is embedded into an IT infrastructure. Only then can we establish a pragmatic understanding of AI risks and their manageability. Secure AI is not a pipe dream — it’s a tangible benchmark with clear guidelines. And that was made possible by breaking the precise thing we’re trying to secure. – The Hill

Rafael Reif writes: As a country, we are breathtakingly creative in devising new technologies, designs, and services. Now we need to be equally creative on the policy front to ensure that the most important of these technologies — even those with the most challenging of manufacturing processes — can be made and scaled here at home. This is the best way to guarantee a reliable supply of critical emerging products, while also helping the U.S. to lead the world in innovation. – The Hill


Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said Sunday it was a “mistake” to use military families as “political pawns” in response to Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-Ala.) holds on the confirmations of more than 300 military officers to protest the Pentagon’s new abortion policy. – The Hill

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) is calling for the Senate to change its rules amid Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-Ala.) continued blockade of more than 300 military promotions continues. – The Hill

Former President Trump criticized the Biden administration Friday on an unexpected front: experimentation with making Army tanks all-electric. – The Hill

Tom Rogan writes: Sadly, Baldwin’s indirect effort to enable the PLA is not yet concluded. Supported by other members of Congress such as Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Baldwin recently passed an amendment that will make it slower and more expensive for the Navy to build ships that can actually fight and survive the PLA. Brilliant. Some in Congress say that the LCS is better than nothing. But even that’s not true. These ships drain crews, port facilities, maintenance teams/schedules, and budgets from assets that might actually be able to fight and win. The LCS? Do give up the ship. – Washington Examiner

Dov S. Zakheim writes: The Pentagon has ramped up the pressure on Tuberville to relent. And it is right to do so. He is undermining the nation’s defenses and acting as an unwitting accomplice to Vladimir Putin’s depredations in Europe and Xi Jinping’s aggressiveness in Asia. As Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, who was born in Cuba, put it so elegantly, “for someone who was born in a communist country, I would have never imagined that actually one of our own senators would actually be aiding and abetting communists and other autocratic regimes around the world.” It is far past the time that Tuberville woke up and faced the reality of the great damage he is doing to the national security of the United States. – The Hill

Long War

A terrorism suspect whose sensational escape from a London prison launched a nationwide manhunt was found and arrested, the Metropolitan Police said. – Washington Post

A Copenhagen court heard final arguments on Friday in the case of a man imprisoned over Islamic State ties who says he was an undercover informant for Denmark’s intelligence services. – Reuters

New US intelligence assessments suggest that is “unlikely” al Qaeda will revive in Afghanistan and Pakistan and that counterterrorism operations by the Taliban in Afghanistan have degraded the Islamic State’s presence there, two senior US officials said on Friday. – CNN

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was among the lawmakers honoring the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, on the eve of the 22nd anniversary of the fateful day. McCarthy said at 8:46 a.m. on Monday, Congress will “recognize Patriot Day by observing a moment of silence.” It was at that time on 9/11 that the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. – Washington Examiner