Fdd's overnight brief

September 28, 2022

In The News


As protests in Iran over the rights of women expand, the Islamic establishment is now attempting to suppress the voices of the most visible supporters of a movement that so far has been leaderless: celebrities. – Wall Street Journal

Iranian riot police and security forces clashed with demonstrators in dozens of cities on Tuesday, state media and social media said, as protests raged on over the death of young Iranian woman Mahsa Amini in police custody. – Reuters

Masih Alinejad, a U.S.-based Iranian journalist and women’s rights activist, said the protests erupting in dozens of cities over the death of young Iranian woman Mahsa Amini in police custody is a “tipping point” for Iran. – Reuters

A young woman climbs to the top of a car in the middle of Mashhad, a conservative Iranian city famed for its Islamic shrines. She takes off her headscarf and starts chanting, “Death to the dictator!” Protesters nearby join in and cars honk in support. […] Iran has seen multiple eruptions of protests over the past years, many of them fueled by anger over economic difficulties. But the new wave is showing fury against something at the heart of the identity of Iran’s cleric-led state: the compulsory veil. – Associated Press

A hard-line Iranian lawmaker Tuesday slammed female protesters who have taken off mandatory headscarves as prostitutes, doubling down on the government stance amid the dramatic demonstrations following the death of a 22-year-old woman detained by the country’s morality police. – Associated Press

The head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said he met with his Iranian counterpart in Vienna for talks about an ongoing investigation into manmade uranium particles found at undeclared sites in Iran. – Associated Press

The son of the late Iranian shah hailed the country’s mass protests as a landmark revolution by women and urged the world to add to the pressure on the clerical leadership. – Agence France-Presse

The white-and-green Guidance Patrol vans, used by Iran’s morality police to monitor and arrest women who defy the Islamic dress code, have in recent days disappeared from the streets of Tehran. For the past decade a symbol of the Islamic republic’s crackdown on women, the vans are not even visible outside the morality police centre in central Tehran. – Financial Times

Iran on Tuesday arrested the daughter of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani for inciting protests, AFP reported, citing Iran’s Tasnim news agency. – Arutz Sheva

Editorial: Just as in past protests, though, much more can be done to support the grassroots Iranian protests and the majority of Iranians who oppose the strict Islamic laws imposed in the country since 1979.  This may, in fact, be an opportunity for most of the civilized world to stand together and show the Iranian people that they do not stand alone in their quest for freedom against the brutal regime that oppresses them. – Jerusalem Post

Masih Alinejad writes: Iranian women are fighting to recover our dignity and exercise our personal freedoms — so that, one day, all Iranians can finally choose our government in free and fair elections. We shouldn’t be afraid of the religious fanatics and the jihadists. […] I am asking all Western feminists to speak up. Join us. Make a video. Cut your hair. Burn a headscarf. Share it on social media and boost Iranian voices. Use your freedom to say her name. Her name was Mahsa Amini. – Washington Post

Bobby Ghosh writes: The challenge for the protesters, then, is to brave the truncheons and bullets of the security forces and stay in the streets — and pray that their sheer stamina emboldens first the unions and then voices within the regime to come to their aid. This task will require endurance of epic proportions. It will be hard to watch, but the world must not look away. – Bloomberg

Michael Rubin writes: President Joe Biden should not repeat the mistakes of Bush, and Sullivan should not channel Bush’s national security adviser Brent Scowcroft. They should instead recognize that ill-timed and ill-considered diplomacy does more harm than good. Instead, listen to the people and let freedom ring. – Washington Examiner

Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani writes: Freedom for Iranian women, and the nation, can only come from within. But we can continue to write and amplify their struggle. There are voices in the diaspora who have been working tirelessly in the last few days to offer support, including compiling lists of ways to become a signal proxy and donate to bona fide organizations bolstering human rights in the country. – The Daily Beast

Emily Schrader writes: The world and the West specifically has failed the Iranian people in overthrowing the totalitarian terrorist regime which controls Iran – but the war isn’t over, and many voices in the West are finally awakening to the truth about Iran. May these protests be a final turning point for international, universal support for regime change in Iran. Women, life, freedom. – Jerusalem Post

Seth J. Frantzman writes: Iran also accuses the Kurdistan region of Iraq of hosting Israeli “spies.” In March, Iran claimed to target “Mossad” in northern Iraq. Iran used missiles in March and a drone in June to carry out attacks in northern Iraq […] This is the shadow war that has taken place in Iran’s Kurdistan region and across the border. Iran’s decision to target the Kurdish groups is clearly linked to the protests. – Jerusalem Post

Kaveh Shahrooz writes: But they are mistaken in applying the Iraq lens to Iran. Unlike when the United States toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, Iran’s regime change movement is entirely homegrown and is not seeking foreign military intervention. All it seeks is international attention and solidarity. That solidarity with Iranians’ desire for regime change is a small price to pay for over 80 million people to have a better life and for fewer conflicts in the region. – National Post

Russia & Ukraine

Russia is set to formally annex occupied territories in Ukraine after staging referendums that involved coercion, threats and, in some places, soldiers going door to door and forcing people to vote at gunpoint. – Wall Street Journal

The Ukrainian military offensive that ousted Russian troops from the Kharkiv region early this month has now crossed deep into the northern part of the nearby Donetsk region, increasingly threatening Russian control over lands that Moscow seeks to annex as sovereign territory in coming days. – Wall Street Journal

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday urged world leaders to take “preventive” action as Russia prepares to annex more territory and send hundreds of thousands of newly mobilized forces to the front, rather than waiting to “react” to the escalation and risk losing lives and time. – Washington Post

The U.S. and European Union are poised to adopt new sanctions on Russia, though some EU members are questioning existing restrictions and the economic pain in Europe is growing. – Wall Street Journal

A traffic jam at Russia’s border with Georgia has stretched for nearly 10 miles after President Vladimir Putin’s partial military mobilization order, satellite images show. – Washington Post

The Kremlin has dispatched still more forces to shore up its faltering war effort, but the units are headed not to Ukraine but to Russia’s borders with other countries, where on Tuesday they were confronting young Russian men trying to join an exodus out of the country. – New York Times

Farmers are among the Russians being drafted into the military, President Vladimir Putin told a meeting with officials on Tuesday, signalling potential further risks for the 2023 crop. – Reuters

Russian-installed officials in occupied regions of Ukraine reported huge majorities on Tuesday in favour of becoming part of Russia after five days of voting in so-called referendums that Kyiv and the West denounced as a sham. – Reuters

Russia’s Defence Ministry said on Wednesday that newly mobilised reservists in the Kaliningrad region have started combat training at the base of Russia’s Baltic Fleet. – Reuters

Russia threatened to cut off the last gas pipeline to Ukraine’s European allies and moved to annex a large chunk of Ukrainian territory amid a string of military setbacks in the seven-month-long war. – Bloomberg

Vladimir Putin’s decision to call up 300,000 men to fight in his invasion of Ukraine is hitting two of the battered Russian economy’s weak spots. – Bloomberg

U.S. and allied intelligence agencies are stepping up efforts to detect any Russian military moves or communications that might signal that Vladimir Putin has ordered the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, according to five current and former U.S. officials. – Politico

While thousands of Israelis marked the Jewish New Year with celebrations in the city of Uman, media outlets in Ukraine reported on Tuesday that Russian forces deliberately launched at least 10 Iranian suicide drones of the Shahad-136 model over the city, with the aim of harming Israelis staying there. – Jerusalem Post

David Von Drehle writes: Finally, there is the nuclear threat. Is Putin crazy enough to uncork the nuclear bottle? Unlikely. Would the Russian command follow his order to go nuclear in a cause they all can see to be hopeless? Unlikely. But even a small chance of such a dangerous event should be avoided. The hard truth is that Putin’s endgame must be embraced, if it comes. – Washington Post

Mark Hertling writes: The results will be predictable. Putin might continue to send unwilling Russian men to an ill-conceived and illegal invasion for which they are not trained or prepared. But it’s not warfare. It’s just more murder — this time of his own citizens. – Washington Post

Adrian Karatnycky writes: This is the moment to respond with a new order of magnitude of lethal military support, including a vast increase in multiple launch rocket systems, longer-range missiles, tanks, aircraft and antiaircraft systems. Such a U.S.-led surge not only will strengthen Ukraine, it also will send shock waves throughout Russia, which can ultimately shake Mr. Putin’s regime and end his aggression and genocide. – Wall Street Journal

Thomas L. Friedman writes: And now, out of nowhere, one man launches a murderous war in the heart of the world’s breadbasket, and suddenly all the progress on norms and laws risks going up in smoke, right along with the forests. Which is why Putin’s war is not just a crime against Ukraine and humanity. It’s also a crime against the home we all share: planet Earth. – New York Times

Jessica Karl writes:  This is apparently what Putin wants for his army: A disenchanted group of hopeless Russians who don’t require motivation to wield a firearm. But all the dead and missing men will leave a wider hole in Russia’s already gutted economy. Pettiness can have a steep price. – Bloomberg

Andreas Kluth writes: Two decades’ worth of experience has shown that the Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians were right in being hawkish toward Russia, whereas the Germans, in being dovish, were simply being gullible. This one time, however, the Germans might just have the more farsighted approach. – Bloomberg

Seth J. Frantzman writes: If a country was involved in sabotaging major pipelines this would mark a huge escalation in the conflict relating to Ukraine; expanding the conflict to the waters of the Baltic. It shows that energy can become a weapon and that countries should plan on this fact for the future. – Jerusalem Post

Seth J. Frantzman writes: But even with that mosaic, critics of support for Ukraine are not rising in Europe yet, and Hungary appears one of the lone voices. A winter of discontent in Europe, the weakening of the British Pound and other issues could of course upend this trend and Moscow might find that Hungary has weathered the storm. – Jerusalem Post

Tom Nichols writes: As the writer Peter Pomerantsev said recently: “The war in Ukraine was meant to be a movie, not a personal sacrifice … If there’s one thing Russians fear more than Putin, it’s nuclear war—and now he’s the one bringing it closer.” – The Atlantic

Ashish Kumar Sen writes: Kallas said dictators and would-be dictators across the globe are studying the war in Ukraine. “The key question is whether they are encouraged or deterred by our action or inaction,” she said. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Ashish Kumar Sen writes: Ukrainian forces have retaken large swathes of territory from Russian troops in recent weeks in a counteroffensive that has caught the Kremlin by surprise. While not a turning point in the war, this counteroffensive is a great example of “operational art” and certainly of the fact that the Ukrainians have achieved “irreversible momentum,” Hodges said. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Ike Barrash writes:  Tokyo and Washington should engage in more consultations on Russian activities and intentions in the region, focusing on how to best maintain shared interests and ensure a cohesive diplomatic, economic, and informational response. These deliberations could be paired with renewed diplomatic talks with Russia to slow further militarization and prevent accidental escalation. – Center for Strategic and International Studies


Armed clashes broke out between Palestinian terrorists and Israeli security forces in the Jenin refugee camp on Wednesday morning, with initial reports indicating that Abd Hazem, the brother of the terrorist who carried out a shooting attack in Tel Aviv earlier this year, had been killed. – Jerusalem Post

Israel will not recognize the results of a referendum in areas of Ukraine held by Russian forces or Russia-backed separatists, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post

As Jewish visitation to the Temple Mount increases during the High Holidays, clashes continue both in the Temple Mount and throughout east Jerusalem as police remain on high alert in anticipation of a tumultuous holiday period. – Jerusalem Post

Israel and the US will launch a strategic dialogue aimed at boosting technological cooperation at the White House on Wednesday. – Times of Israel

The Jenin Battalion, which is affiliated with the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization and also includes terrorists from other terrorist organizations, took responsibility for carrying out a shooting attack against an IDF mobile checkpoint at the northern entrance of the Palestinian Arab settlement of Jaba’ Tuesday. – Arutz Sheva 


The Taliban have signed a provisional deal with Russia to supply gasoline, diesel, gas and wheat to Afghanistan, Acting Afghan Commerce and Industry Minister Haji Nooruddin Azizi told Reuters. – Reuters

A senior U.N. official warned Tuesday of a possible internal conflict and worsening poverty in Afghanistan if the Taliban don’t respond quickly to the needs of all elements of society, saying their crackdown on the rights of girls and women signals indifference to over 50% of Afghanistan’s population and a willingness to risk international isolation. – Associated Press

A senior member of the Taliban-run government in Afghanistan on Tuesday called on Afghanistan’s new rulers to reopen schools for girls beyond the sixth grade, saying there is no valid reason in Islam for the ban. – Associated Press


Turkey’s foreign ministry summoned the German ambassador to Ankara on Tuesday to protest over comments made by a senior German politician who likened President Tayyip Erdogan to a “little sewer rat.” – Reuters

The World Bank approved $512.2 million in financing for Turkey to expand access to housing and infrastructure that is resilient to climate and natural hazard, the bank said on Wednesday. – Reuters 

Turkish state banks are planning to exit a payment system used by Russians, a dramatic example of how US secondary sanctions are forcing countries to distance themselves from Moscow. – Bloomberg


Israel and Lebanon have technically been at war since 1948, but the countries are close to an agreement that could increase production of natural gas, helping energy-starved Europe. Officials from the two countries have said they are close to resolving long-running disputes over their maritime borders, which would allow energy companies to extract more fossil fuels from fields in the Mediterranean Sea. – New York Times

Lebanon’s parliament speaker on Tuesday summoned lawmakers for a session this week to elect the country’s next president, offering a glimmer of hope of a political step forward even as chaos roils this Mideast nation. – Associated Press

Hezbollah’s secretary-general, Hassan Nasrallah, in power for 30 years, faces an acute dilemma. On the one hand, Hezbollah cannot possibly endorse the formal negotiations now in progress between Israel and the Lebanese government of which it is a part. On the other hand, it cannot be the one to torpedo an agreement that could rescue Lebanon from the economic problems that are almost overwhelming it. – Jerusalem Post

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Tuesday named his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as prime minister Tuesday, boosting the profile of the 37-year-old, day-to-day ruler of the kingdom as he tries to end years of international isolation over a journalist’s killing. – Wall Street Journal

Saudi Arabia’s development fund will give Senegal a $63 million dollar loan to finance the construction of a coastal highway from Dakar to Saint-Louis and Dakar to Tivaoune, it said in a statement on Tuesday. – Reuters

Simon Henderson writes: Previously, he may have been wary about visiting the United States for fear of facing potential legal action over the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Whatever the reasoning behind his elevation, the change could prove quite significant for Saudi Arabia and its foreign relations. – Washington Institute 

Gulf States

Qatar’s Ambassador to the United Nations Hend Al-Muftah deleted her Twitter account (@halmuftah) after it was revealed that she had published tweets repeating antisemitic tropes, calling Jews “our enemies” and calling for “God’s curse” against gay men. – Jerusalem Post

Qatar has called up hundreds of civilians, including diplomats summoned back from overseas, for mandatory military service operating security checkpoints at World Cup stadiums, according to a source and documents seen by Reuters. – Reuters

United States Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Celeste Wallander met with top Iraqi officials last week to underscore the US’ commitment to its alliance with the country and to defeating the Islamic State terrorist organization, the Department of Defense confirmed on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post

Safwan Al-Amin and Bilal Wahab write: To preserve this crucial sliver of constitutionalism, Baghdad and its international partners must take a serious look at how to undergird the charter and make it work better—not just for the sake of political progress, but also for the people’s future. – Washington Institute 

Gregory Gause, III writes: As of now, there seems to be little prospect for Iranian moves to reassure the Gulf states or for American-Israeli moves to reassure Tehran. The security dilemma is alive and well in the Gulf region. That means that the possibility for an escalation of tensions and perhaps even direct conflict among the players in the region, including the United States, is ever present. – Middle East Institute

Korean Peninsula

When U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris makes an expected visit to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas on Thursday, she will be the latest in a long list of dignitaries – and tourists – coming to gaze into secretive North Korea. – Reuters

North Korea’s first nuclear test since 2017, if it takes place, is likely to happen between Oct. 16 and Nov. 7, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday, citing lawmakers briefed by the national intelligence agency. – Reuters

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris told South Korea’s prime minister on Tuesday that Washington will work to address Seoul’s concerns over recently enacted electric vehicle (EV) subsidies that could disadvantage Asian automakers. – Reuters

Life inside Kim Jong Un’s totalitarian regime is drastically different from the facade of strength and power the hermit kingdom projects to the outside world. – Fox News

Christian Davies writes: But Korean leaders might also reflect on the wisdom of kicking up such a fuss over short-term harm to a single company, while ignoring the long-term benefits for an entire industry that can be measured in decades. – Financial Times


President Xi Jinping reemerged after not being seen in public since his first foreign trip in more than two years earlier this month. – Bloomberg

China’s Ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun told a Security Council meeting that isolation and sanctions would only “lead to a dead end” after the United States called for the body to condemn Russia’s referendums in occupied regions of Ukraine. – Reuters

China’s consistent position is to maintain stability in the Korean peninsula, its foreign ministry said on Wednesday, after South Korean media reported that North Korea may conduct a nuclear test in coming months. – Reuters

A U.S. Coast Guard ship on routine patrol in the Bering Sea came across a guided missile cruiser from China, officials said Monday. But it turned out the cruiser wasn’t alone as it sailed about 86 miles (138 kilometers) north of Alaska’s Kiska Island, on Sept. 19. Two other Chinese naval ships and four Russian naval vessels, including a destroyer, were spotted in single formation, the patrol boat, known as a cutter called Kimball, discovered. – Associated Press

House Republicans warned top Biden Cabinet secretaries about the “alarming” effort by a Chinese government -linked company to buy a large plot of land miles from a crucial military drone base in North Dakota. – Washington Examiner

Joseph Bosco writes: Xi now has a vested interest in Russia’s success in Ukraine, or at least avoidance of defeat, not only because he signed on to Russia’s expansionist cause in their joint statement and does not want to be identified with a loser, but also because of the parallels widely drawn between Ukraine’s fate and Taiwan’s. – The Hill

South Asia

Pakistan’s foreign minister says the international community should work with Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban, not against it, when it comes to combatting foreign extremist groups and the economic and humanitarian crises in that country — even as many U.S. officials say the Taliban have proved themselves unworthy of such cooperation. – Associated Press

India’s government banned a Muslim organization for five years, accusing it Wednesday of funding terrorist activities, providing armed training to its supporters and radicalizing people for anti-India activities. The ban followed the arrests and detentions of nearly 200 members of the Popular Front of India and raids on its offices this month. – Associated Press

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday defended military sales to Pakistan after withering criticism from growing US partner India, which considers itself the target of Islamabad’s F-16 planes. – Agence France-Presse


Japan and China on Thursday mark the 50th anniversary of the 1972 normalization of their ties, but there isn’t much of a celebratory mood. Improved ties between Asia’s two biggest economies are considered vital to the region’s stability and prosperity, but they remain at odds over disputed East China Sea islands and China’s growing military and economic assertiveness in the region. – Associated Press

Japan protested to Russia on Tuesday over the detention of a Japanese consulate official on espionage allegations, denying the allegations and accusing Russian authorities of abusive interrogation. The official was detained on Sept. 22 and interrogated with his eyes covered, his hands and head pressed and immobilized, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said, prompting it to lodge a protest and to demand an apology. – Associated Press

Vice President Kamala Harris said Wednesday that Japan plays a “critical role” in building resilient supply chains for chips, as she sought to rally allies in Asia to build redundancies for strategic purposes. – Bloomberg

The Solomon Islands is refusing to agree to a new US-led regional deal which was due to be signed at a high-level meeting in Washington within days, disrupting weeks of negotiations and frustrating American attempts to reassert itself in the Pacific. – Bloomberg

Political allies have hailed Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s first visit to the US as Philippine president as a “home run”: he secured one of the few bilateral meetings with Joe Biden on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. The US welcome reflected the decisive steps Marcos is taking to revitalise Manila’s alliance with Washington following a pivot towards China under his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte. – Financial Times

Kazakhstan and Georgia will welcome Russians fleeing conscription, both governments said on Tuesday, as queues of thousands of mainly young men unwilling to fight in Ukraine build up on their borders. – Financial Times

John Calabrese writes:  Increasing the size of the fledgling I2U2 and endowing it with a military security role might well serve long-term US interests. Yet, in seeking to advance its interests at this nascent stage of the group’s evolution, Washington might find patient resolve to be more of an asset than ambition. – Middle East Institute


European leaders said Tuesday that two explosions that damaged the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines may have been deliberate, with some officials blaming the Kremlin and suggesting that the blasts were meant as a threat. The blasts Monday produced leaks in all three of the underwater Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea that connect Russia and Germany. – Washington Post

The C.I.A. issued a vague warning in June to a number of European nations, including Germany, that the two Nord Stream gas pipelines that carry natural gas from Russia could be targeted in forthcoming attacks, three senior officials familiar with the intelligence said on Tuesday. – New York Times

The European Union is considering a German proposal to ban EU nationals from holding high-paying roles in Russian state-owned companies, according to people familiar with the matter. – Bloomberg

Italy has sourced sufficient alternative supplies of gas from North Africa to make up for any shortfalls this winter if Russia were to immediately cut off all exports to the country, according to people familiar with matter. – Bloomberg

Brothers of Italy party chief Georgia Meloni, who is poised to become the first far-right Italian leader since World War II, previously praised Iran, the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah and other allies of Syrian President Bashar Assad. She also decried “another massacre of children in Gaza” in 2014. – Times of Israel

Federico Borsari writes: Overall, Italy’s foreign policy issues are numerous and complex, but Mario Draghi’s exemplary track record provides a course to help steer the new government. – Center for European Policy Analysis


Somalia’s army, backed by thousands of militia members, have driven al-Shabaab militants out of central areas of the country in the largest offensive against the al-Qaeda-linked group in five years, the government said. – Bloomberg

Under apparent pressure from other Arab powers, Algeria on Tuesday invited its neighbor and rival Morocco to an Arab League summit it’s hosting in Algiers in November. Algeria severed diplomatic ties with Morocco last year, citing hostile actions from its neighbor. The dispute between two important regional players in the Arab world had disrupted planning for the Nov. 1-2 summit. – Associated Press

A former Nigerian government official was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for stealing more than $500,000 in pandemic relief benefits in the United States. Abidemi Rufai was wearing a $10,000 watch and $35,000 gold chain when he was arrested at JFK International Airport in New York on his way to Nigeria in May 2021. – Associated Press

The head of the World Trade Organization said Tuesday the benefits of working with FIFA to create more jobs in Africa outweighed concerns about the controversies around Qatar hosting soccer’s World Cup this year. – Associated Press

Ghana’s plan to access as much as $3 billion in funding from the International Monetary Fund and regain access to capital markets runs the risk of being delayed by political opposition. – Bloomberg

Former Guinean dictator Moussa Dadis Camara and several co-defendants were sent to prison Tuesday, a day before their trial opens for the 2009 stadium massacre, their lawyers said. – Agence France-Presse

Eleven soldiers have been found dead and about 50 civilians are missing after an attack by Islamist militants on a 150-vehicle convoy taking supplies to a town in northern Burkina Faso on Monday, the government said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Latin America

Colombia’s new leftist leader is proposing steps to decriminalize elements of his country’s flourishing narcotics industry, signaling a potential break with a past hard-line strategy on drugs and a test of Bogotá’s ties with its most powerful ally, the United States. – Washington Post

The fugitive defense contractor nicknamed “Fat Leonard” who orchestrated a huge bribery scheme involving dozens of U.S. Navy officials, has requested asylum in Venezuela, a law enforcement official said Monday, nearly a week after he was captured in the South American country. – Associated Press

President Luis Lacalle Pou’s head of personal security was indicted Tuesday for his alleged participation in a forgery ring that helped Russians obtain Uruguayan passports. – Bloomberg

North America

Senior House Democrats on Tuesday night released their proposal to restrict stock ownership and trading by members of Congress, the president and vice president, Supreme Court justices and other high-ranking government officials. – Bloomberg

The United States welcomes Russians seeking asylum from President Vladimir Putin’s “unpopular” war, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Mexican police raided the compound of the extremist ultra-Orthodox Lev Tahor sect in the country last week, Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday. Two members of the sect, often described as a cult, were arrested on suspicions of human trafficking and sex crimes. – Haaretz


Meta Platforms Inc. said Tuesday that it has removed separate networks in China and Russia that were running covert influence campaigns related to U.S. politics and the war in Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal

Hackings, network sabotage and other cyber warfare campaigns are being intensely deployed by both sides as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine grinds on, though the covert operations have not proved decisive on the battlefield — at least so far. Western allies initially feared a tsunami of cyberattacks against Ukraine’s military command and critical infrastructure, hindering its ability to resist the Russian forces pouring across its borders. – Agence France-Presse

The head of WhatsApp has warned UK ministers that moves to undermine encryption in a relaunched online safety bill would threaten the security of the government’s own communications and embolden authoritarian regimes. – Financial Times

Wars and regional disputes are fueling an increase in powerful distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, according to a new report from cybersecurity firm NETSCOUT. – The Record

Molly Roberts writes: Either this is all a moral disaster, or it’s exactly what we signed up for. We’re on Twitter, and YouTube, and Facebook, and even LinkedIn because we want them to do something to our lives more significant than a burger and fries do: to connect us, or inform us, or make or break our professional futures. We’re on them because they’re personal, not in spite of it — and it’s only because we’re attached to them that many of us find it so difficult to give them up even when we know full well we’re their lab mice. – Washington Post


The United States will not start delivering sophisticated NASAMS air defenses to Ukraine for another two months or so, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, disputing reports suggesting Ukraine had already received them. – Reuters

The Navy and the Marine Corps are teaming up to streamline command and control of amphibious and crisis response elements in Indo-Pacific, creating a new task force that will experiment with new maritime concepts and technologies. – Defense News

A White House official said Tuesday Russia’s sanctions-struck defense industry is creating an “opportunity” for U.S. and western defense firms to take a bite of Moscow’s share of the market. – Defense News

John D. Maurer writes: The real objective will be to ensure local air superiority in support of surface forces by interdicting enemy mobility and supply. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has demonstrated the risks of failing in the joint fight, but not the impossibility of success. – War on the Rocks

Cynthia Cook, Rose Butchart, Gregory Sanders and Alexander Holderness write:  The JADC2 CFT—as the organization assigned by DoD leadership to execute the JADC2 strategy (or whatever ultimate central management function is instantiated)—needs to go beyond the management of “the plans of actions, milestones, and resourcing requirements” toward the development of a common understanding and management of the architecture of the innovation ecosystem to achieve the Joint Force C2 vision. – Center for Strategic and International Studies