14 October 2023

Iran’s Support Against Israel Bolsters Hamas

Ray Takeyh

Iran has greeted the attack by Palestinian militant forces on Israel and with its backing of Hamas and Hezbollah has been working to coordinate pressure on Israel, threatening further escalation of the shadow war between the two countries.

What do we know about the extent of Iran’s support of Hamas and its possible backing of Saturday’s attack?

Iran has been a generous supporter of Hamas for a number of years in terms of financial assistance and military hardware. This particularly is the case with missiles. The Iranian regime has been an outspoken supporter of Saturday’s attack in its public declarations including staging street celebrations to celebrate the attack.

Some observers have said the timing of the attack helps Iran in its effort to scuttle an Israeli-Saudi peace deal. Do you agree?

Yes. In the past few weeks Iran has been strident in its attacks on the Saudi-Israeli normalization agreement. The normalization agreement, if successful, threatens to mobilize the region against Iran and Iran is keen to disrupt such plans. Last week, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said regional “countries that make the gamble of normalization with Israel will lose.”

In the same setting, Khamenei added the following about morale among the Palestinians: “Today, the Palestinian movement is more cheerful than ever in the past seventy and eighty years, and the Palestinian youth and the anti-usurpation, anti-oppression and anti-Zionism movement are more cheerful, more lively, more ready than ever, as you can see.”

Israel and the rise of a new world order


Within hours of Hamas’s attack on Saturday, the celebrations had started in Iran. The Office of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei released a new propaganda video, glorifying the so-called “Al Aqsa Storm” operation. In Tehran’s “Palestine Square”, regime flunkies handed out drinks and sweets to passers-by.

In the coming days, Israel and Hamas will dominate the headlines. But, beyond the latest battle in a war between Israel and the Palestinians that has lasted for almost 80 years, something else is going on. Two autocratic states — Iran and Russia — are consolidating a relationship centred on certain ideological tenets. The first is hostility towards the West; the second, a deep-seated desire to overturn the US-rules-based order; and the third, as far as Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is concerned, a clash of civilisations.

Iranian hatred of Israel, and its resulting support of its enemies, is so long-standing as to be banal. Iran’s Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has funded, armed and trained Hamas since the early Nineties, and while funding stopped in 2012 after a fallout resulting from Hamas’s refusal to support Iran’s client Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, it was resumed in 2017. Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, a military adviser to Khamenei, has declared his unequivocal support for the attack, while the spokesperson of Izzuddin Al-Qassam Brigades went even further. “We thank the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said. “Who provided us with weapons, money and other equipment! He gave us missiles to destroy Zionist fortresses, and helped us with standard anti-tank missiles!”

The Middle East May Never Be The Same

James M. Dorsey

Hamas, the Islamist militia that controls Gaza, will likely emerge a victor regardless of how the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian fighting ends.

Hamas’ unprecedented attack on Israel, described by some analysts as the Jewish state’s 9/11, changes the dynamics of Middle Eastern geopolitics.

The brutal attack involved prolonged fighting with the Israeli military in Israeli towns and cities, the firing of thousands of rockets at Israeli population centers, the random killing of innocent civilians in Israeli homes, and the kidnapping of scores of Israeli soldiers and civilians.

BBC foreign correspondent Secunder Kermani described sirens sounding off and multiple explosions as he disembarked at Tel Aviv airport on Saturday.

Like the Turkish assault on Kurdish positions in Syria and Iraq in the wake of the October 1 suicide bombing in Ankara, the Hamas attack and Israel’s retaliatory pounding of Gaza call into question the sustainability of a regional de-escalation that freezes rather than tackles perennial conflicts.

Similarly, the attack pours cold water on the notion of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his ultra-nationalist and ultra-conservative coalition partners that Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands can be sustained indefinitely.

Hamas Consigns the Pax Americana to History Books

Hal Brands

Hamas’ surprise assault against Israel is tragic in its own right: The Israeli death toll, relative to population, is several times worse than 9/11 was for the US. Things could still get much nastier if Hezbollah — Iran’s Lebanese proxy — fully enters the fray, confronting Israel with a multifront fight and regionalizing the conflict.

Yet the war in the Levant is also part of a broader, intensifying crisis of global security.

Consider the Eurasian panorama. Europe is experiencing its worst insecurity in decades, thanks to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s barbaric war in Ukraine. The threat of war is also growing in the Balkans, where Serbian troop movements recently forced the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to bulk up its forces in Kosovo. In the Caucasus, Azerbaijan has exploited Russian distraction to seize control of Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia, resulting in the flight of some 100,000 civilians. Along this arc of instability from Eastern Europe to Southwest Asia, conquest and ethnic cleansing are alive and well.

The Western Pacific is less violent but not less dangerous. The Taiwan Strait is a perpetual flashpoint, as China tries to coerce that island and force the US and its regional allies to prepare for a showdown. Tensions are rising in the South China Sea, as the Philippines — sick of years of Beijing’s bullying — begins asserting its rights with greater verve. On the Korean Peninsula, Pyongyang is steadily improving its nuclear weapons and missile programs, while also fueling Putin’s war by providing artillery ammunition and other resources.

America’s Betrayal of Israel

I am writing this on Saturday, as news outlets report hundreds of Israeli dead, and dozens, if not hundreds, of soldiers and civilians kidnapped by Hamas terrorists and taken into Gaza.

It is never a good idea to write anything as events are still rapidly unfolding, especially as neither I nor anyone else can answer the only question that ultimately matters—namely, “what happens now?” But we can answer another, much more rudimentary and no less urgent question: Who’s at fault?

There will be plenty of time to pore over how a cataclysmic disaster of this magnitude could happen, and who—from Bibi down to the IDF chief of staff, head of intelligence, et al.—failed to protect the lives of Israelis. A lot of it will have to do with people who should have known better—including former prime ministers and former and current high-level security officials—abandoning the core commitment of defending Israel and instead entertaining themselves by cosplaying some game of Demokratia, complete with donning handmaid outfits and ululating about fascism. Hysterics about your political opponents being the enemies of democracy may be fun in Kalorama; in Sderot and Ofakim, and even in Tel Aviv, there’s a price to pay for abandoning the real world and indulging in fetish play.

How Europeans Should Respond To The Hamas Offensive Against Israel

Julien Barnes-Dacey and Hugh Lovatt

The surprise offensive by Hamas on 7 October, which has already killed more than 800 Israelis, and left over 400 Palestinians dead in Gaza after initial Israeli military reprisals, marks a significant turning point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. With Palestinian fighters over-running Israeli population centres and military bases for the first time since the country’s founding and Israel seeking military retribution, the brutal assault threatens to escalate further.

A deeper war is now coming, one that could potentially also ignite conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon and impede Arab normalisation with Israel. Current prospects for de-escalatory diplomacy are close to non-existent with neither party likely to pursue a diplomatic track or return to the status quo ante.

How Europeans should respond

Europeans need to focus on ensuring that the war does not spiral out of control and

Hubris Meets Nemesis in Israel


By ruling out any political process in Palestine and boldly asserting that “the Jewish people have an exclusive and inalienable right to all parts of the Land of Israel,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s fanatical government made bloodshed inevitable. But that doesn't explain Israel's failure to prevent Hamas from attacking.

TOLEDO – Sooner or later, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s destructive political magic, which has kept him in power for 15 years, was bound to usher in a major tragedy. A year ago, he formed the most radical and incompetent government in Israel’s history. Don’t worry, he assured his critics, I have “two hands firmly on the steering wheel.”

But by ruling out any political process in Palestine and boldly asserting, in his government’s binding guidelines, that “the Jewish people have an exclusive and inalienable right to all parts of the Land of Israel,” Netanyahu’s fanatical government made bloodshed inevitable.

Admittedly, blood flowed in Palestine even when peace-seekers such as Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak were in office. But Netanyahu recklessly invited violence by paying his coalition partners any price for their support. He let them grab Palestinian lands, expand illegal settlements, scorn Muslim sensibilities regarding the sacred mosques on the Temple Mount, and promote suicidal delusions about the reconstruction of the biblical Temple in Jerusalem (in itself a recipe for what could be the mother of all Muslim Jihads). Meanwhile, he also sidelined the more moderate Palestinian leadership of Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, effectively beefing up the radical Hamas in Gaza.

What Will Follow Hamas’s War?


Following the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the realization that Israel was not impregnable put the country on the road to peace with Egypt. The greatest tragedy of the current war will be the inability to do the same with the Palestinians.

WASHINGTON, DC – The multi-pronged operation that Hamas launched against Israel one day after the anniversary of the 1973 Yom Kippur War is eerily similar to that conflict. Daring and unexpected, both attacks caught Israel by surprise and dealt lethal blows to the country’s sense of invincibility. It remains to be seen if, as in 1973, the Hamas attack will lead to a tectonic shift in Israeli politics and the country’s relationship with the Palestinians.

In 1973, Egypt and Syria surprised Israel, penetrating deep into its territory. In the conflict’s early days, the situation was so dire that Defense Minister Moshe Dayan recommended employing nuclear weapons. The Agranat commission, which was later tasked with investigating the war, coined the term conceptziyya to capture the intelligence services’ hubris. Israeli military intelligence held the conceptziyya that the country’s overwhelming firepower would deter the Arabs from attacking. Specifically, it was believed that Egypt would refrain from striking until it possessed sufficient air power to hit targets deep within Israel and silence its air force.

Today, these organizations have clung to a conceptziyya that Israel’s overwhelming power would deter Hamas from initiating a new war. Their political masters, led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, concluded that periodic Palestinian eruptions of violence were a manageable nuisance while imagining the occupied would accept endless occupation.

Could the Attack on Israel Spell the End of Hamas?

Isaac Chotiner

Palestinians break into the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza border fence after gunmen infiltrated areas of southern Israel, on October 7, 2023.

On Saturday, Hamas militants stormed into Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing hundreds of people and taking dozens of hostages. It was one of the most significant offensives by Palestinian militants in fifty years. In response, Israel bombed targets in Gaza, killing hundreds more, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the country was at war. President Joe Biden offered full-throated support for Israel; despite its sometimes rocky relationship with Netanyahu, the Biden Administration has recently been working to broker peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

I spoke by phone on Saturday with Nathan Thrall, the author of the book “A Day in the Life of Abed Salama.” Thrall previously worked at the International Crisis Group as the director of its Arab-Israeli project, and currently lives in Jerusalem. During our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, we discussed the calculations behind Hamas’s attack, why the political fallout in Israel is so hard to predict, and how the Israeli response may alter the future of Palestinian politics.

How do you understand the timing of this attack?

In recent weeks, we have seen a resumption of the protests along the border fence with Gaza, a deterioration in conditions in Gaza, and withdrawal of support from Qatar, which works closely with Israel in managing Gaza. And there was the Israeli declaration that it was suspending work permits for Gazans, which the Gaza economy relies on. Those are all proximate causes of the timing.

US expedites munitions for Israel, moves ships and aircraft into region after Hamas attack


Rockets fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza City are intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome defence missile system in the early hours of October 8, 2023. 

WASHINGTON — In the wake of this weekend’s stunning attacks in Israel, the US is beefing up its presence in the Middle East while working to speed up weapon deliveries for the Israeli Defense Force.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced on Sunday that he was ordering the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group towards the eastern Mediterranean, while taking “steps to augment U.S. Air Force F-35, F-15, F-16, and A-10 fighter aircraft squadrons in the region.”

Additionally, the Biden administration “will be rapidly providing the Israel Defense Forces with additional equipment and resources, including munitions. The first security assistance will begin moving today and arriving in the coming days,” Austin said. “Strengthening our joint force posture, in addition to the materiel support that we will rapidly provide to Israel, underscores the United States’ ironclad support for the Israel Defense Forces and the Israeli people.”

The Ford Strike Group includes the Ford itself, the missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and the Arleigh-Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS Carney (DDG 64), and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), according to a Pentagon statement.

Israel’s Failure to Stop the Hamas Attack Shows the Danger of Too Much Surveillance


THE GAZA STRIP is one of the most densely populated areas on the planet. It’s also one of the most heavily locked down, surveilled, and suppressed. Israel has evolved an entire intelligence apparatus and aggressive digital espionage industry around advancing its geopolitical interests, particularly its interminable conflict in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Yet on Saturday, Hamas militants caught Israel unaware with a series of devastating land, air, and sea attacks, killing hundreds of people and leaving thousands wounded. Israel has now declared war.

Hamas’ surprise attack on Saturday is shocking given not only its scale compared to previous attacks, but also the fact that it was planned and carried out without Israel’s knowledge. Hamas’ deadly barrage underscores the limitations of even the most intrusive surveillance dragnets. In fact, experts say the sheer quantity of intelligence that Israel collects on Hamas, as well as the group’s constant activity and organizing, may have played a role in obscuring plans for this particular attack amid the endless barrage of potentially credible threats.

“There's no doubt that the scale and scope of this Hamas attack indicate just a colossal intelligence failure on behalf of the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] and in Shin Bet, the internal security agency,” says Raphael Marcus, a visiting research fellow at King’s College London’s Department of War Studies who focuses on the region. “They have such technical prowess and also a legacy of excellent human source capability.”

Israel’s War on Hamas: What to Know

Bruce Hoffman

Israel will seek to eliminate the threat posed by the Palestinian militant group for good, but its campaign in Gaza could draw in other adversaries, including Hezbollah and al-Qaeda.

How sophisticated was Hamas’s attack on Israel?

It is completely unprecedented that a terrorist organization would have the capacity or the wherewithal to mount coordinated, simultaneous assaults from the air, sea, and land. In addition, Hamas possessing the ability to keep its preparations unknown from a country like Israel that has among the most sophisticated intelligence services in the world strongly suggests that it had external state support, advice, and guidance in the planning and execution of the attack on Israel. Iran, accordingly, will be strongly suspected of being behind this.

Iran already provides both Hamas and the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) with at least $100 million dollars a year, and it openly proclaims its intention to destroy Israel. Further, in recent months, Tehran was clearly growing concerned over the potential for Saudi Arabia and Israel to establish formal diplomatic relations, and even more so of a Saudi-U.S. defense pact. So Iran had every reason to encourage and facilitate the attack on Israel. However, that is very different from actually ordering, much less orchestrating the assaults or giving any form of “green light.” While Hamas and PIJ—like the Lebanon-based Hezbollah—have close ties with Iran, they also function independently. That said, Iran’s long track record of seeking to destabilize countries across the region, including Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, is also very well documented.

Surprise Palestinian Attack Spawns Fears of Wider Mideast War

Steven A. Cook

The shocking assault by Gaza militants on Israel will trigger massive retaliation from Israeli forces and likely have region-wide security repercussions.

How did the militant forces mount such an attack and how extensive was it?

Clearly Hamas has been planning this attack for some time. The group has previously tried to breach Israel’s borders, and in the process discovered weaknesses in Israeli defenses. The result was the Operation Al Aqsa Flood that has included incursions into Israel from land, sea, and air in the largest such assault on Israel in decades. Hamas has developed its own armory for producing rockets—it reportedly fired more than 2,000 of them at Israel on Saturday-- and other weapons. It receives help from Iran and over many years has smuggled material into Gaza from Egypt via underground tunnels, despite efforts to staunch the flow of materiel. From Hamas and its backers’ perspective, Israel seemed weak and divided given the months of popular demonstrations against the government over its effort to make critical changes to the judiciary.

Is there danger of this spreading into a region-wide conflict involving Iran?

Objects burn on a road after rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip, in Ashkelon, Israel. Reuters/Amir Cohen

The War in the North Will Not Resemble the War in the South

Orna Mizrahi

A second combat front opened by Hezbollah in the north, in parallel with the war against Hamas, will create additional challenges for Israel and change the face of the war and its results. Yet it is already clear that the war in the north, if Hezbollah chooses to join Hamas, will be entirely different from the one underway in the south for the past few days. This is for two main reasons. First, Hezbollah would not enjoy the element of surprise. Second is the fact that the IDF is prepared and ready for this possibility in the north. In recent years, the IDF has prepared for this scenario and held exercises to respond to a combined attack by Hezbollah that includes massive rocket fire on the home front and a ground attack by the organization's commando force (the plan formulated by Hezbollah and implemented by Hamas on October 7) as part of a multi-arena campaign. In addition, a massive reserve mobilization has been underway and the assembly of Israeli forces in the north is being completed. Thus, the IDF is on full alert and ready to respond to any move by Hezbollah or even take the initiative on this front. In addition, recent painful lessons have been learned and residents of the communities near the fence in the north have already been evacuated.

Additional considerations that will affect Hezbollah's decision making beyond the pressure exerted on it to join the fighting by Hamas (and perhaps Iran as well) are the severe damage expected to the Lebanese state, as well as to the organization and its Shia supporters following the IDF's response. In Lebanon, the voices of criticism are already expanding about Hezbollah dragging the country into wars that are not in its interest. Another important consideration is the strengthening of Israel's international legitimacy, which will only grow in the event of the opening of two fronts without an Israeli initiative, as already stated by President Biden and other Western leaders.

Hackers Join In on Israel-Hamas War With Disruptive Cyberattacks

Eduard Kovacs

Several hacker groups have joined in on the Israel-Hamas conflict escalation that started over the weekend after the Palestinian militant group launched a major attack.

Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel out of Gaza, firing thousands of rockets and sending its fighters to the southern part of the country. In response, Israel declared war on Hamas and started to retaliate. Hundreds have been killed and thousands have been wounded on both sides as a result of the conflict escalation.

In addition to the state-sponsored actors that have likely ramped up their cyber efforts behind the scenes, known hacktivist groups supporting both sides have intensified their cyberattacks.

According to a timeline created by cybersecurity consultant and OSINT enthusiast Julian Botham, the first hacktivist attacks were launched against Israel by Anonymous Sudan less than one hour after the first rockets were fired by Hamas. The group targeted emergency warning systems, claiming to have taken down alerting applications in Israel.

The Jerusalem Post, the largest English-language daily newspaper in Israel, was also targeted by Anonymous Sudan.

Pakistan: March Of The Zealots

Sanchita Bhattacharya

As reported on September 24, 2023, under pressure from Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), the Police desecrated 74 graves of Ahmadis, destroying their tombstones, at Daska city in the Sialkot District of Punjab.

Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Pakistan official Amir Mahmood stated, “The authorities giving in to the pressure of TLP made sure that no Ahmadi was near to the graveyard and destroyed the tombstones of 74 graves.”

On September 20, 2023, a Christian family at Kasur in Punjab alleged that they were attacked by members of TLP after they objected to their writing Quranic verses on the boundary walls of their house. The family said the incident happened in the presence of the Police.

On August 16, 2023, a violent mob incited by TLP attacked churches and homes of Christian residents in the Jaranwala tehsil (revenue unit) of Faisalabad District in Punjab, after two Christian brothers were accused of blasphemy. Multiple churches were set on fire and homes and businesses of Christians were ransacked for hours, while the Police stood by as silent spectators.

On August 7, 2023, minarets of the Ahmadi mosque in Chak 168 Murad of Bahawalnagar District in Punjab, were demolished. TLP activists were suspected to be involved in the incident, the Police stated.

Guanxi Culture’s Role in China’s Great Power Diplomacy and Foreign Policy

Ye Xue

China’s foreign policy is an intricate tapestry woven from a multitude of complex factors. Culture is a contentious element in this context. Some argue that culture forms the foundation for leaders’ perspectives and belief systems, influencing their policy approaches. Others downplay culture’s significance, considering it a tool wielded by the government for its own ends. However, irrespective of whether one sees Chinese culture as an end unto itself or merely as a strategic instrument, the undeniable reality is that culture exerts a notable influence on Beijing’s diplomatic and foreign policy calculus. It leaves an indelible mark on China’s handling of its relations with other nations, drawing from the deep well of the Chinese concept known as guanxi.

While guanxi is often translated as “relationship” in English, its social and cultural significance stretches far beyond the conventional Western understanding of interpersonal connections. Originating from pre-modern Chinese society, guanxi, the “relationship with Chinese characteristics” is structured vertically and horizontally and signifies the level of intimacy in asymmetric relationships. The particular nature of their relationship defines their dedicating obligations and privileges, and the actions and tendencies of individuals are also influenced by societal expectations and the dynamics of the particularity of the relationships.

Against this background, social justice within these relationships hinges on the degree to make decisions in alignment with their nature. Guanxi is thus better to be understood as a connection that determines mutual role conceptions and nullifies unilateral action based on self-interest. Consequently, the Chinese are particularly concerned about whether they have received the degree of respect that would correspond to their position in the relationship.

Tech Controls Bite Back

David p. Goldman

Free trade has always been the favored policy of established economic powers, and protection has been the weapon of choice of the challengers. Exporting cheap goods to undercut nascent rivals has long been a mainstay in the imperial playbook. America’s controls on technology exports to China are a historical anomaly and may produce the opposite of the intended effect.

As Michael Lind observes in his economic history of the United States, Britain responded to the surge in American manufactures during the War of 1812 by dumping goods below cost in the American market. Lind cites Henry Brougham, then a member of Parliament and later Lord Chancellor, explaining why it paid Britain to sell to Americans at a loss: “It was well worthwhile to incur a glut upon the first exportation, in order, by the glut, to stifle, in the cradle, those rising manufactures in the United States, which the war had forced into existence, contrary to the natural course of things.”

America responded in 1816 with a 25% tariff on textiles, with the support of Southern states who thought it “essential that America protect what limited industry had been established” in case of a new war. By contrast, the South, an importer of British goods rather than a competitive producer, bitterly opposed the 1828 “tariff of abominations,” designed to protect the manufacturing industry from British dumping, because the war threat had long passed.

What Russia Really Wants

Thomas Graham

As the war in Ukraine rages, it is difficult to imagine a constructive relationship between Russia and the West. The prospect is made unlikelier still by the Kremlin’s relentless anti-Western vitriol. Yet even if Russia’s strategic designs are defeated—hardly a sure bet, as the slow, uncertain unfolding of Ukraine’s much-anticipated counteroffensive shows—the country is not about to disappear from the global stage. Even a defeated Russia would still retain vast territory in the heart of Eurasia, the richest endowment of natural resources in the world, a colossal nuclear arsenal, and a permanent veto-wielding seat on the UN Security Council, among other assets. Like it or not, the United States must find a way to live with Russia.

Washington tends to see Moscow’s conduct as a malevolent and enduring threat to U.S. interests. The list of Russian transgressions is long and crystalizes the image of an implacable foe: the war in Ukraine, interference in U.S. domestic affairs, cyberattacks on critical infrastructure, global anti-American disinformation campaigns, cheating on arms control agreements, the armaments buildup in the Arctic, growing strategic alignment with China and Iran, and support for Syria’s brutal dictator, Bashar al-Assad. Yet there is one core element of Russia’s identity that the United States could harness for its own purposes: Russia’s sense of itself as a great power that conducts an independent foreign policy in pursuit of its national interests. Russia has long seen itself as a country with strategic autonomy, meaning that it has the freedom to assemble coalitions to defend and advance its interests. This has been a cardinal principle of Russian foreign policy since the eighteenth century, a constant in both tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union. Even after the end of the Cold War, Russia still sought this freedom, looking to China as a strategic counterweight to the United States as it sought to rebuild its influence in the former Soviet empire.

Support for Ukraine preparing US for future wars


The ousting of Kevin McCarthy last week as Speaker of the US House of Representatives, along with that event’s immediate predecessor, 100 congressional Republicans’ vote to withhold US$300 million in military assistance to Ukraine, is self-destructive.

Unless reversed, it will stop the US from making sorely needed improvements in its ability to produce more arms more quickly.

Leaving aside the immense global consequences of abandoning Ukraine, American leaders who waver in supporting Ukraine overlook how increased supply demands of a major war revitalize the US defense industrial base.

As great-power competition deepens, the US is ever more in need of a robust defense industry and institutions that can adopt innovations and sustain high-intensity warfare. Yet the US defense base is ill-prepared to meet increasing challenges after three decades of underinvestment, while bureaucratic structures at the Pentagon are often too outdated to adapt at the speed demanded to succeed on a contemporary battlefield.

Continued US military support for Ukraine provides the necessary shake-up of defense institutions. By reviving America’s aging defense base and requiring the Pentagon to rethink its stultified ways of buying vital equipment, continued US support for Ukraine offers a dividend that prepares the US for future wars.

Key Weapon Support By US In Ukrainian Battlefield

Concerning weapon support provided by the United States on the Ukrainian battlefield, three key systems have reshaped the situation. These systems include the Javelin anti-tank missile, which, while seemingly ordinary, proved its worth during the early stages of the Kyiv campaign, becoming the weapon of choice for Ukrainian infantry units and significantly neutralizing the effectiveness of Russian armored forces. Furthermore, following the Israel-Arab wars, the application of anti-tank missiles reached new heights, with infantry employing them as proficiently as sniper rifles.

Next is the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). This system has often been misconstrued as similar to rocket systems produced by other countries, including China. However, HIMARS possesses two crucial capabilities: mobility that allows for rapid changes in firing positions, and precision enabled by satellite systems whose accuracy is unmatched by any other nation worldwide. These attributes made HIMARS a pivotal weapon in shifting the balance of the war. At a time when Ukrainian forces were under significant pressure from Russian troops, HIMARS’s precise strikes swiftly disrupted Russian logistical and command systems, nearly causing the Russian military to collapse. It is only under such a circumstance that Russia realized there was a distinction between long-range rocket systems, and HIMARS’ significance lay not in the rocket itself, but in the system as a whole.

The Culture Wars Are Giving the GOP an Opening with Muslim Voters


As many Republican leaders embrace a message of alarm surrounding LGBTQ+ issues, particularly regarding what is being included in school curriculums and library books, one group historically at odds with the GOP has become a potential ally.

Muslim Americans have made historic political and cultural gains in the past couple of decades since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which were followed by a wave of Islamophobic sentiment and suspicion. Most of those gains—from the rise of lawmakers such as Democratic Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan to the popularity of cultural figures such as comedians Hasan Minhaj and Ramy Youssef—have appeared to align largely with the political left.

But with culturally conservative Republicans increasingly leaning into parents' concerns about public school education and pushing back against LGBTQ+ rights, some Muslim Americans see a potential shift underway. One activist who spoke to Newsweek says many in the community are openly saying they'll "never" vote for Democrats again. Polling data, albeit sparse, also suggests a small shift may have already occurred in the past several elections.

"I think there [are] major shifting dynamics catalyzed by the aggressive behavior against religious groups and the disrespect and disregard of their values. I don't represent all Muslims, but I can see a huge shift," Amer Ghalib, the Muslim mayor of Hamtramck, Michigan, tells Newsweek.

Protesters Decry Meta’s “Irreversible Proliferation” of AI


Efforts to make AI open source have become a lightning rod for disagreements about the potential harms of the emerging technology. Last week, protesters gathered outside Meta’s San Francisco offices to protest its policy of publicly releasing its AI models, claiming that the releases represent “irreversible proliferation” of potentially unsafe technology. But others say that an open approach to AI development is the only way to ensure trust in the technology.

While companies like OpenAI and Google only allow users to access their large language models (LLMs) via an API, Meta caused a stir last February when it made its LLaMA family of models freely accessible to AI researchers. The release included model weights—the parameters the models have learned during training—which make it possible for anyone with the right hardware and expertise to reproduce and modify the models themselves.

Within weeks the weights were leaked online, and the company was criticized for potentially putting powerful AI models in the hands of nefarious actors, such as hackers and scammers. But since then, the company has doubled down on open-source AI by releasing the weights of its next-generation Llama 2 models without any restrictions.

The self-described “concerned citizens” who gathered outside Meta’s offices last Friday were led by Holly Elmore. She notes that an API can be shut down if a model turns out to be unsafe, but once model weights have been released, the company no longer has any means to control how the AI is used.

How to Use Google Bard to Find Your Stuff in Gmail and Docs


 ROLLED out multiple updates to Bard, its AI chatbot. The new features include extensions that connect Bard to more aspects of Google’s portfolio, like Gmail, Docs, and YouTube. The company is continuing to experiment with artificial intelligence as part of the next wave of information retrieval.

Although my initial impressions of Bard’s extensions are underwhelming, anyone with masses of unread Gmail messages or a collection of ancient Google Docs to sift through may find the update somewhat interesting.

It’s worth mulling over the privacy implications before interacting with any chatbot, though. “If you choose to use the Workspace extensions, your content from Gmail, Docs and Drive is not seen by human reviewers, used by Bard to show you ads, or used to train the Bard model,” reads Google’s announcement. Is that enough assurance for you? Here’s how to enable the updates for Bard and some advice to keep in mind.

How to Use Extensions for Google Bard

You need to create a Google account to interact with Bard, if you don’t already have one. Once you’re logged in, accessing Bard is as simple as visiting the website in your browser.

On the main page for Bard, you can activate connections to Google Flights, Google Hotels, Google Maps, YouTube, and Google Workspace, which includes Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Drive. Each of these extensions can be turned on and off individually.

If you decide to activate the Workspace extension, make sure to tag whatever you’d like the chatbot to focus on, like @docs, @drive, or @gmail. Here’s an example prompt: “Please check my @gmail and summarize the unread emails from today.”

How to trace an email to its source IP address


Instant messengers have always dominated when it comes to informal correspondence with family and friends. But when it comes to business, email still reigns supreme. Easy access to contemporary Android smartphones and tablets means you can receive them anytime.

It's also likely that you have multiple email clients installed. But have you ever wondered who sent you a particular email? Perhaps you're on the fence about that one email you received and want to verify it. Or maybe you want to try your hand at open source intelligence.

Whatever the case, we give you some pointers on how to find the sender's IP address and then trace it back to its source.

How to find the IP address via a header

Every email you send or receive contains a header. This includes relevant information about the message, such as the time it was received and the sender's email address. But to find the sender's IP address, you'll need to access a more detailed part of the header.

This varies from client to client. Some let you view it from the app, while others need you to use the web version. For example, Gmail requires you to access the web version of the email, while Protonmail lets you access either. We'll look at some of the more popular email clients for this.