Fdd's overnight brief

September 13, 2023

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


Five U.S. citizens detained in Iran who are expected to be swapped for five Iranians imprisoned in the United States as early as next week are “in full health,” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Tuesday. – Reuters

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for new international negotiations on nuclear disarmament on Tuesday, saying that not only Russia and the United States but also China should be involved. […]Preventing Iran from producing uranium that could contribute to nuclear weapon production “remains an important task,” he said. – Reuters

Iraq has started relocating Iranian Kurdish groups from Iraq’s Kurdish region frontiers with Iran to camps far from the border as part of a security agreement between Baghdad and Tehran, Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Iran on Tuesday identified the five prisoners it hopes to see freed in the United States in exchange for five Iranian-Americans now held in Tehran and billions in assets once held by South Korea. – Associated Press

The Biden administration rejected a claim by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi that there will be no restrictions on $6 billion in oil sales proceeds that will be freed up as part of a prisoner swap. – Bloomberg

The United States and Iran appeared to diverge on a key term of the negotiated $6 billion prisoner-swap deal finalized this week. – The Hill

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said the $6 billion in funds the U.S. agreed to unfreeze in exchange for five U.S. prisoners will be spent “wherever we need it,” despite the Biden administration saying the funds are restricted to humanitarian use. – The Hill

Jailed Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi has allegedly been assaulted by prison officials at Evin prison after she refused to adhere to the mandatory hijab. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

An Iranian court has ordered the confiscation of an apartment belonging to writer Soroush Mozaffar Moghadam, who is currently in Germany, citing his “propaganda activities against the system” as part of recent nationwide protests, in a move underscoring the Islamic republic’s clampdown on dissent. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

The Tehran Jewish community urged its members to refrain from publicly celebrating Rosh Hashanah, following escalating tensions in the Iranian capital. – Jerusalem Post

Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Monday condemned a meeting of Intelligence Affairs minister Gila Gamliel with exiled Iranians in London. “Foreigners have played a role in increasing the instability in Iran,” the ministry said in a statement. – Ynet

Suspected Iranian nation-state hackers attacked organizations in Brazil, Israel and the United Arab Emirates using previously unidentified backdoor malware, researchers have discovered. – The Record 

Editorial: The worst result is that this ransom will encourage more hostage-taking. Iran has profited from grabbing these Americans, and the U.S. has given other nations no reason to fear doing the same. Until the U.S. demonstrates that snatching Americans will have significant costs, the world’s rogues will keep taking them. – Wall Street Journal

Editorial: They are not fooled by Biden’s gimmicks and the bribes for Tehran’s aggression. Our president won’t enforce sanctions even when the sanctioned assets are sitting in U.S. waters. Biden and his maladministration may claim this $6 billion boondoggle is the outcome of masterful diplomacy. But the U.S. and its allies will suffer gravely for it. – Washington Examiner

Russia & Ukraine

Ukrainian missile strikes hit Russian navy shipyards in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol overnight, causing huge blasts and a fire that damaged two warships undergoing repair, Russian authorities said. – Wall Street Journal

Sitting under a tree on a bluff overlooking the Oskil River, two Ukrainian soldiers watched as several plumes from Russian airstrikes rose up along the front line, roughly 6 miles away. The Russians tried to break through Ukrainian lines once again that day, and once again failed to make headway, one of the troopers said. – Wall Street Journal

Lawyers representing Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, requested that a United Nations group declare reporter Evan Gershkovich arbitrarily detained and asked it to appeal to Russia to release him immediately. – Wall Street Journal

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday indicated he was bracing for a long war in Ukraine, saying that Kyiv could use any ceasefire to rearm and that Washington would continue to see Russia as an enemy no matter who won the 2024 U.S. election. – Reuters

A public falling-out between Russia and Armenia, one of its oldest and closest allies, is deepening doubts about Moscow’s ability to maintain and project power across parts of the former Soviet Union when it is focused on waging war in Ukraine. – Reuters


Israel’s Supreme Court sparred with the government on Tuesday, arguing over a law that limits the justices’ power during a hearing that waded into the most fundamental questions over which branch of government has the final word on legislation. – Wall Street Journal

Thousands of Israeli academics and artists have urged U.S. President Joe Biden and U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres to shun Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to the United States next week, underlining the divide between Israel’s far-right government and segments of the country’s population. – Associated Press

Two people were wounded in a shooting attack near Huwara in the northern West Bank on Tuesday evening, according to Magen David Adom. The two suffered from injuries caused by shards of glass, according to MDA. – Jerusalem Post

Terror groups in the West Bank are better armed than the Palestinian Authority security forces, as the communication between the PA erodes and communities under its control fall apart, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland said on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post

Palestinians rioted along the border of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday evening in protest against restrictions National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir intends to implement against Palestinian prisoners. According to Palestinian reports, the rioters burned tires and set off explosives near the border fence. – Jerusalem Post

The extremist Jerusalem Faction called for protests on Wednesday after a yeshiva student was arrested for not showing up to the IDF draft office when called up, according to Israeli media.- Jerusalem Post

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk told Hebrew media on Tuesday. – Times of Israel 

Editorial: Israel’s current position in the Middle East is undeniably intertwined with Britain’s historic role in the region. In this evolving world, our ties with London must remain unwavering and robust. Cleverly’s positive visit and his expressions of solidarity with Israel symbolize the enduring strength of our bond. The next step ought to be a long-overdue visit by the British sovereign, King Charles III, which would be the ultimate manifestation of that bond. We hope it happens sooner rather than later. – Jerusalem Post

Lazar Berman writes: There was much excitement among Israel’s leadership after Saturday’s announcement at the G20 summit that India, Saudi Arabia, the United States, the European Union and others would create an ambitious rail and shipping corridor that will link the subcontinent with the Middle East and Europe. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed it as nothing less than “a cooperation project that is the greatest in our history.” But the initiative, which would rival China’s Belt and Road scheme, if it happens at all, is much less about normalization – or about Israel – than Jerusalem is letting on. – Times of Israel

Ehud Yaari writes: Meanwhile, the lesson of this current episode with Abbas should be that more research is called for to throw light on this half-forgotten chapter of history to refute such claims. More excavations are needed along with a fresh look at what has already been excavated. Only more accurate information can help remove the Khazars from the shadows of mystery and antisemitism and place them instead in the correct historical context. But whatever the historical reality, the Khazars are not related to the current conflict. Abbas has chosen to bark under the wrong tree. – Washington Institute


In the latest fight against the growing phenomena of terror in the Middle East, the United States has designated 7 Hezbollah operatives and financiers across South America and Lebanon as terrorists, the US Department of State announced on September 12. – Jerusalem Post

The Hezbollah security forces have arrested a man suspected of spying for Israel, according to a report published in the Lebanese news outlet Al Jadeed. – Times of Israel

A Syrian army engineer involved in a secret project with Hezbollah’s air unit was killed in an attack attributed to Israel in Syria at the beginning of August, Iran International, a channel linked to the Iranian opposition, reported on Tuesday. – Ynet 

Avigdor Haselkorn writes: Hezbollah is an Iranian strategic asset of the first degree and the mullahs are not about to waste it for a minor engagement that will have little lasting impact on Israel but could cost the organization dearly in terms of losing key elements of its arsenal. This stockpile took years to amass and untold fortunes to acquire. Importantly, however, Iran’s determination to preserve Hezbollah intact so it can perpetuate its role as a strategic deterrent strongly suggests an unwavering commitment to acquire a nuclear weapons capability. – Ynet


The U.N. rights chief accused Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban on Tuesday of a “shocking level of oppression” of women and girls and said human rights in the country were in a state of collapse. – Reuters

The Taliban on Tuesday rejected Pakistani government accusations that they’re to blame for the closure of a key border crossing. Pakistan shut the vital commercial artery of Torkham in its northwest last Wednesday after guards from the two countries exchanged fire. – Associated Press

Trucks remain stranded amid growing tensions at the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, following a firefight that led to the closure of the countries’ main crossing point. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Middle East & North Africa

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday addressed the Moroccan public in a video message, saying Paris was ready to provide help in the recovery from Friday’s devastating earthquake if King Mohammed VI accepts France’s offer. – Reuters

A top Hamas leader arrived in Beirut Tuesday to push for an end to clashes in Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp that resumed despite multiple cease-fire agreements. – Associated Press 

A deepening rift over the fate of Yemen is endangering peace prospects with risks for the oil-rich Gulf powers that are at the heart of it. – Bloomberg

Korean Peninsula

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to the Vostochny Cosmodrome Wednesday with smiles and warm words, taking him on a tour of the launch complex at the start of their first meeting in four years. – Washington Post

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast on Wednesday, just an hour before leader Kim Jong Un met President Vladimir Putin in Russia. – Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that his country offers its “full and unconditional support” for Russia’s “sacred fight” to defend its security interests, in an apparent reference to the war in Ukraine, and said Pyongyang will always stand with Moscow on the “anti-imperialist” front. – Associated Press 

Jonathan Corrado writes: Last, the United States must expand its strategic imagination in intelligence reports and military planning. As explored in this project by the Atlantic Council’s Markus Garlauskas, the likelihood of a two-front conflict is non-zero and worth serious consideration and accommodation. Unfortunately, cognitive and organizational biases prevent the United States from acknowledging these risks and taking the proper precautions, as shown here. History shows that North Korea cannot be ignored. The more preparation is done today, the easier the answer will be tomorrow. – War on the Rocks

Robert L. Carlin and Siegfried S. Hecker write: If that means opening North Korean airspace to Russian reconnaissance overflights, ports to the Russian Navy, and airfields to advanced Russian fighter aircraft—all of which happened before, in the mid-1980s—then Pyongyang will likely agree. If it means enhanced North Korean military support for Russia’s war in Ukraine and enhanced Russian nuclear and missile support to Pyongyang, we should not be surprised. – Foreign Policy


A Chinese aircraft carrier and around two dozen other Chinese warships were gathering in the western Pacific, according to authorities in Taiwan and Japan, an unusually large group suggesting Beijing may be planning major naval exercises. – Wall Street Journal

Two delegations of U.S. lawmakers are planning trips to China this fall in what would be the latest in a string of high-level visits, encouraged by the Biden administration, as Washington debates how to address a dangerously frayed relationship with Beijing. – Washington Post

China disclosed on Tuesday details of its plan to turn coastal Fujian province into a zone for integrated development with Taiwan, touting benefits from increased cross-strait cooperation including financial market initiatives. – Reuters

Pope Francis’ Ukraine peace envoy, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, is heading to China on the fourth leg of a mission that has already brought him to Kyiv, Moscow and Washington, the Vatican said Tuesday. The main aim of the shuttle diplomacy is to help return Ukrainian children taken to Russia after the invasion. – Associated Press

The ship, China’s third aircraft carrier and the first designed domestically, marks a leap in Beijing’s pursuit of projecting armed force far beyond its shores — part of leader Xi Jinping’s goal of making the People’s Liberation Army a “world-class military” by the middle of the century. – Financial Times

New and better satellites are enabling China’s military to project power further into the Pacific and to more effectively threaten Taiwan, the Space Force’s top intelligence leader said Tuesday. – Defense One

Lionel Laurent writes: Nobody wants to hurtle toward a conflict or decoupling with China — there is something of the Cold War’s “mutually assured destruction” to this. And yet, nobody sees coexistence with China as enough. When considering the semantic struggle, maybe French philosopher Raymond Aron’s four-word maxim from 1948 for the post-war order applies to the current situation for Europe and China: “Improbable war, impossible peace.” – Bloomberg

South Asia

According to India’s government, the microprocessor chips that power all things digital will soon be fully made in India. It’s an ambition as unlikely as it is bold, and speaks volumes about Mr. Modi’s belief that he can propel India into the top tier of advanced technology manufacturing. – New York Times

India will spend 2 billion rupees ($24 million) to upgrade an airfield near the disputed Himalayan boundary with China to bolster its defenses – Bloomberg

Martine Wolf writes: If the G20 did not exist, we would have to invent it. Some would counter that the world is so divided that this grouping is unworkable. Yet this fact merely makes the G20, or something like it, even more essential: one does not have to talk to people one already agrees with. A still stronger justification for its existence is that we are no longer able to live in isolated pockets: the health of our planet and our economy depends on our co-operation. Since global challenges are more pressing than ever, so is the need to work together in such a group. – Financial Times

James Spellman writes: Upward momentum is building. Concerns about India’s democracy backsliding are relegated to the sidelines. The West and India are anxious for greater cooperation. So, too, is China eager to deepen ties with India, but in its own way in alignment with its own views of world order through global frameworks that China builds free of Western biases. – The Hill

Nishank Motwani writes: Yet, the military establishment, due to its inherent structure and the role it plays in Pakistan’s politics, lacks the ability and willingness to hold itself accountable. This lack of accountability highlights the importance of democratic elections and governments as they serve as vital pressure release valves for the public, making it possible to change elected leaders for poor performance. China should ask what happens if the military cannot deliver. – Middle East Institute


Japan has appointed a serving government official to act as its de facto defence attache in Taiwan, four sources said, elevating security ties in a move likely to anger China, which claims the strategic, democratic island as its own. – Reuters

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to lead a bipartisan congressional delegation to China, Japan and South Korea soon, an aide to Schumer said on Tuesday. – Reuters

The United States’ move to upgrade relation with Hanoi is not a Cold War move against China, a U.S. National Security Council official said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Taiwan’s defence ministry said it spotted 28 Chinese air force planes in its air defence zone on Wednesday morning, part of what Taipei calls regular harassment by Beijing amid heightened tensions across the strait. – Reuters

Hal Brands writes: The US and Japan have the right idea regarding the southern Ryukyus: Without them, there just aren’t enough places from which to fight. Now they have to turn a good idea into something that can withstand the test of conflict — and do so fast enough to keep that conflict from breaking out. – Bloomberg

Tom Rogan writes: Recognizing Marcos’s support for the U.S. alliance, President Joe Biden should offer Marcos the use of the Marine Corps prototype vessels. The Philippines can then replace the Sierra Madre with a modern, far more effective alternative. And the Chinese coast guard can keep crashing into reefs. – Washington Examiner


Britain’s BAE Systems (BAES.L), Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (7011.T), and Italy’s Leonardo (LDOF.MI) have agreed the next steps to deliver the concept phase of a next-generation combat aircraft, BAE Systems said on Tuesday. The three nations agreed in December 2022 to collaborate to build an advanced front-line fighter to enter service around the middle of the next decade. – Reuters

The UK has reached a preliminary agreement with the European Union to access the bloc’s border agency, according to people familiar with the matter, in the latest effort to rebuild cooperation between the two sides after Brexit. – Bloomberg

Rishi Sunak learnt of the arrest of a parliamentary researcher accused of spying for China in a “timely fashion”, but still pressed ahead with stepping up engagement with Beijing. Government insiders told the Financial Times that Sunak and UK foreign secretary James Cleverly were told of the Metropolitan Police’s actions close to the time of the arrest in March. – Financial Times

Russia’s use of drones to target both civilian and military targets in Ukraine is boosting European interest in an intelligence analysis system made by Israel Aerospace Industries that could help predict such attacks, according to company officials. – Defense News

There is no set timeline to decide whether or how Saudi Arabia could join into the multinational Global Combat Air Program (GCAP), though a “feasibility study” due next year could set the parameters for further discussion, the top UK official in the program told Breaking Defense today. – Breaking Defense


The junta in Niger on Tuesday said it would end a military pact with neighbouring Benin, accusing it of authorising the deployment of troops on its territory for a possible military intervention against Niger by the West African regional bloc. – Reuters

Rwanda will build a test nuclear reactor using a novel technology under an agreement between the East African country and a Canadian-German company called Dual Fluid Energy Inc. […]In Africa, only South Africa at present has an operational nuclear power plant, while Russia’s state-owned energy corporation Rosatom last year started construction of Egypt’s first nuclear plant. – Reuters

France’s foreign ministry on Tuesday called for the immediate release of a French official held by security forces in Niger. It said that an adviser to French nationals in Niger had been arrested by Niger security forces on September 8. – Reuters

Mali’s military reported deadly clashes on Tuesday with northern Tuareg rebels, who said they briefly seized control of a military camp in the town of Bourem in a further sign of the unravelling of a 2015 peace deal. […]Conflict between the army and the rebels could worsen an Islamist insurgency in Mali, where groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State control large areas. – Reuters

The African Union plans to launch a new African credit rating agency next year to address the group’s concerns that ratings given to countries on the continent are unfair, an official told Reuters. – Reuters

Ben Dubow write: Isolated in a hostile environment, Wagner finds itself at a crossroads. Its executives and foot soldiers can feel as angry as they like about the grim fate of their commander, but the plain fact is that the group’s operatives in Sudan remain largely beholden to the Russian government as their ultimate guarantor. As the intricate dance of alliances and interests continues, Russia walks a tightrope in Sudan. At some point, sooner rather than later, it will need to make a choice. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Jehanne Henry writes: Unlike its current expert on Sudan, this mechanism must have capacity to investigate and preserve evidence of crimes across the country for future accountability. Even if these steps don’t stop the fighting immediately, they could help protect lives and end the cycle of impunity that continues to destabilize the country. – Middle East Institute 

The Americas

Splits within South American trade bloc Mercosur have dampened hopes in the European Union of a trade deal, which could fall apart if it does not get done by the end of the year, diplomats and members of the European Parliament told Reuters. – Reuters

China’s anti-graft watchdog chief Li Xi will attend a summit with the Group of 77 developing nations in Havana, Cuba, from Sept. 14 to 16, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday. Li will also visit Cuba, Brazil and Egypt from Sept. 16 to 26, Xinhua said. – Reuters

The president of the Dominican Republic announced Monday that he has suspended issuing visas to Haitians, and he threatened to shut down land, air and sea traffic between the two neighbors over their latest dispute. – Associated Press

The U.S.-Mexico border is the world’s deadliest land migration route, according to U.N. migration agency figures published on Tuesday, with hundreds losing their lives attempting to make perilous desert crossings. – Reuters

In a rare testimony before US lawmakers, a Canadian politician has urged for co-operation between the two countries to combat foreign interference by Beijing. Michael Chong was himself allegedly targeted by China for criticising its human rights record. He was invited to speak about his experience before a US Congressional committee tasked with monitoring China. He said Beijing’s actions pose a “serious, national threat” to Canada. – BBC

Michael Shifter and Andrea Colombo write: It will be very hard to restore the relationship to its former strength in light of profound changes in both countries and current geopolitics. But with Latin America facing an uncertain future, it will be essential for Washington to maintain these existing ties and to find a new basis for cooperation with Bogotá. If it fails to do so, it could lose one of its few effective partners in a region where it desperately needs them. – Foreign Affairs

United States

The setting was an economic conference in far eastern Russia, with discussion of the ruble and domestic investment, but that didn’t stop President Vladimir V. Putin from wading into American politics on Tuesday, branding the criminal cases against Donald J. Trump political persecution and praising the billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. – New York Times

The US House of Representatives will open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, its most senior Republican has said. Kevin McCarthy said the inquiry would focus on “allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption” by Mr Biden. – BBC

A rift is emerging between the Biden administration’s view of Communist China and the view of the bipartisan select committee on China in the House of Representatives, which is meeting today at the Council on Foreign Relations at New York. – New York Sun

Andreas Kluth writes: The question of America’s global leadership may eventually be decided in part by resources, by the trajectories of rival powers, by attitudes toward US power across the world and other factors. But even before those come into play, Americans themselves will get to vote on it. – Bloomberg

Joseph Bosco writes: All this is happening in the context of a global challenge to the United States and the rules-based international order from Communist China and revanchist Russia and their North Korean, Iranian and other authoritarian allies. They are clearly enjoying America’s shameful and dangerous political spectacle and await the chaos that will almost certainly follow the reelection of either of these deeply flawed former presidents. – The Hill

L. Rafael Reif writes: If the United States and China cease trying to understand each other, the results may be catastrophic. Universities are uniquely able to build bridges through education, research, and joint problem-solving. Because they employ the shared common language of science and scholarship, at moments when dialogue seems to be impossible, they are sometimes the only institutions still able to build those bridges. American universities should accept and embrace the responsibility to build them, despite the political headwinds. – Foreign Affairs


The Department of Defense has determined China to be its biggest threat in the cybersecurity domain, according to a newly declassified summary of a classified report, which was transmitted to Congress in May. – Washington Examiner

U.S. military cyberwarfare team has recently conducted a “defensive hunt operation” in the Baltic NATO state of Lithuania amid heightened tensions surrounding Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) has told Newsweek. – Newsweek

Hackers attacked the national power grid of an unspecified Asian country earlier this year using malware typically deployed by personnel connected to China’s government, researchers said Tuesday. – The Record

China and Russia are prepared to unleash a flurry of cyberattacks on U.S. critical infrastructure and defense networks should war break out, according to a Pentagon strategy unveiled this week. Such tactics, meant to sow chaos, divert precious resources and paralyze military mobilization, were observed in Eastern Europe during Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, a conflict that colors the Pentagon’s new 2023 Cyber Strategy. An unclassified summary of the document was made public Sept. 12. – Defense News 

Learning from the Russia-Ukraine conflict and watching out for China, the Pentagon is working to develop new cyber capabilities and expanding information sharing with allies and partners in order to stay ahead of any threats posed by adversaries, according to an unclassified summary of a new department-wide cyber strategy announced today. – Breaking Defense 

Protecting weapons systems is a top concern for the U.S. Space Operations Command, but there aren’t enough cyber operators to monitor the myriad interconnected platforms.  – Defense One 

Matt Sheehan writes: Despite the political and ideological differences, China’s policy community remains committed to understanding the U.S. approach to governing AI and learning from it where it can. That willingness to learn from a rival can be a major advantage in geopolitics. If policymakers in the United States can manage to do the same, it might just give them a leg up in the competition to shape the future of AI, both at home and abroad. – Foreign Policy


Elon Musk’s thwarting of a Ukrainian attack on a Russian naval fleet near Crimea by refusing access to his Starlink service has raised questions about clarity in military contracts, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has admitted. – Washington Examiner

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall on Monday warned that China was building up its military to prepare for a potential war with the U.S., and he said America must optimize its forces to counter the rising threat. – The Hill

The U.S. Air Force is prioritizing the delivery of cloud-based command-and-control networks to forces across the globe, and is preparing to follow through even under federal spending that falls short of a full budget. – Defense News

The U.S. Department of State approved a possible $4 billion foreign military sale of the Integrated Battle Command System to Poland for its developing air-and-missile defense systems. The State Dept. notified Congress, which will decide whether to approve the deal, according to a Sept. 11 Defense Security Cooperation Agency announcement. – Defense News

Acting commanders have taken over Naval Air Forces and Naval Sea Systems Command in two separate change of office ceremonies this month. On Thursday, commander of Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. Kenneth Whitesell retired from the head of the California command that oversees the Navy’s aircraft and carrier fleet. – USNI News

The U.S. Air Force has received its first EC-37B Compass Call electronic warfare aircraft from contractors BAE Systems and L3Harris Technolgies, industry officials announced Tuesday. – Defense News

An Alabama Republican’s ongoing holds on senior military promotions and nominations “have become a national security nightmare,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said Tuesday during the confirmation hearing for Air Force Gen. David Allvin, one of the many leaders caught up in the holds. – Defense One 

Editorial: The budget debate in Washington is increasingly detached from world reality. China is amassing “the largest military buildup since World War II,” as the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific command has said. Mr. Biden’s Air Force Secretary said this week that the U.S. “must be ready for a kind of war we have no modern experience with.” He’s right, and the public needs to hear that message. But Americans won’t believe it if they see the Biden White House subordinating that priority to a fight over elective abortion or other cultural cudgels. – Wall Street Journal

Michael Rubin writes: Successive US ambassadors have denied their political officers permission to travel to Somaliland to access evidence, meet prisoners, or copy documents. In essence, the Biden administration says it has seen no evidence that Somalis have diverted American funding to terrorists and pro-China partisans simply because it refuses to accept any such evidence that comes its way. This is disingenuous. Congress should not allow the State Department to normalize waste, fraud, and abuse, or endanger American national security. – American Enterprise Institute