27 November 2023

What Israel Needs

Michael Makovsky

After the events of the last month and a half, what does Israel need now, and where does it go from here? That’s what I sought to learn on a trip to Israel last week, where I met with senior civilian and defense officials and leading outside experts.

Israel’s most pressing need is time. Israeli leaders believe their campaign to destroy Hamas is going well, proceeding faster and incurring fewer IDF casualties than visiting American generals expected. But the IDF needs time to maintain its deliberate, meticulous pace of rooting out Hamas terrorists hiding behind civilians and below ground in the dense urban Gazan environment. If the IDF went faster, it could risk more IDF and Palestinian casualties. Israeli defense officials insisted a ceasefire would be harmful since Hamas is on the run and must not be allowed to regroup and rearm, though, of course, it would be tolerated for the release of a substantial number of the 240 hostages held in Gaza by Hamas and other terrorist entities.

Israel also needs a great deal of ammunition. To maintain its campaign against Hamas and to be ready should Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist Iran proxy, increase the severity of its already daily attacks, Israel needs more bombs. Israeli officials were very appreciative of the steady American supply of weapons, but they made it clear they needed more. For instance, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) requires thousands more MK-84s, or “dumb” bombs, and many more Boeing-made Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) kits to maximize battlefield effectiveness and limit collateral damage. My organization, JINSA, has for years urged the positioning of thousands of JDAMs in the U.S. arms depot in Israel, WRSA-I, which would have reduced the scrambling for them now. Israel also needs more helicopters—Boeing Apaches and Sikorsky CH-53Ks—and Boeing F-15 jets.

UN and Women’s Groups Ignore or Deny the Systematic Rape of Israeli Women by Hamas

Marisa Fox

“Believe women” has been the rallying cry of the #MeToo movement, but after Oct. 7, as an American Jew who has watched many human rights and feminist groups turn a blind eye to the sexual violence Hamas unleashed on girls and women in Israel, I ask: Where’s the “me” in MeToo? Why is no one believing the women in Israel?

Ahead of Nov. 25’s UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Israeli Foreign Ministry initiated the hashtag campaign #BelieveIsraeliWomen and announced a task force to investigate the sexual atrocities Hamas perpetrated against women and children on Oct. 7—after media attention, indifference from the international human rights community, and pressure from Israeli women’s groups.

Shortly after Oct. 7, an independent organization of international human rights experts and women’s rights groups in Israel formed the Civil Commission on Oct. 7 Crimes by Hamas against Women and Children. Concerned that no Israeli or international organization was documenting Hamas’ sexual violence, it set about collecting evidence of Hamas’ gender-based assaults and encouraging government bodies to further investigate these atrocities as war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Even as the first women and children hostages are being released and Israel’s Health Ministry has instructed the hospitals treating them to have women doctors and nurses on hand to conduct all physical exams, how to check for and document signs of rape and torture, and how to interview without retraumatizing them, the UN has shown little sign of caring whether Israeli women suffer violence, and hasn’t rallied for Red Cross access to those still held captive by Hamas.

There’s only one way forward after Gaza. Israelis must accept it.

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Reflecting on the Gaza war and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict more broadly, former president Barack Obama offered this regret: “I look at this, and I think back, ‘What could I have done during my presidency to move this forward, as hard as I tried?’ ... But there’s a part of me that’s still saying, ‘Well, was there something else I could have done?’” Like all presidents since Bill Clinton, Obama ran into the dreamscape of the two-state solution. Now, he is implying what Clinton learned to be untrue: that if Washington had just pushed Israel more, something markedly better could have been achieved for the Palestinians.

The United States encouraging the Israelis to do better by the Palestinians is certainly estimable and sensible. Israeli administrations really haven’t cared much about how Palestinians govern themselves so long as they don’t kill Israelis. Oct. 7 should end that disinterest.

But will the United States or Israel take the next logical step — pushing the Palestinians to move away from militant Islam and secular authoritarianism through elections that would make them directly responsible for their fate? It’s difficult to imagine either nation readily will. In particular, the Israeli allergy to Muslims voting — Arab elites have a better track record of accepting the Jewish state — might prove a serious obstacle to a more peaceful modus vivendi between Israelis and Palestinians.

But what are the alternatives?

Elections provide the only means to develop new leadership. Democracy could misfire, as it did in 2006 when Hamas won the largest slice of the last free legislative election. And any Palestinian leadership will get caught in a perverse situation: the need to cooperate with a much stronger Israel while maintaining sufficient Palestinian independence and pride. But the status quo has given Palestinians ghastly political dysfunction and devastating collisions with the Israeli military and security services. And it has given Israelis the deadliest day for Jewish people since the Holocaust, which has empowered ever-harsher right-wing parties aiming to incorporate ever-larger swaths of the West Bank, making Israeli-Palestinian coexistence untenable.

Afghan Embassy in New Delhi Says It Is Permanently Closing

The Afghan Embassy in New Delhi is permanently closed, it announced Friday, due to challenges from the Indian government and a lack of diplomatic support.

In a press release, it said the decision was already effective from Thursday and follows the embassy’s earlier move to cease operations starting October 1 due to the absence of a recognized government in Kabul. At the time, it had said it would continue to provide emergency consular services to Afghan nationals.

The embassy said the earlier decision was made “in the hope that the Indian government’s stance would evolve favorably for the normal continuation of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in New Delhi.”

But in the eight weeks since, the embassy faced a difficult choice due to “constant pressure from both the Taliban and the Indian government to relinquish control.”

There was no immediate comment by India’s External Affairs Ministry.

India has not recognized the Taliban government — which seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021 — and evacuated its own staff from Kabul ahead of the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan two years ago. India no longer has a diplomatic presence there. India has said it will follow the lead of the United Nations in deciding whether to recognize the Taliban government.

The Afghan Embassy in New Delhi was run by staff appointed by the previous government of ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, with permission from Indian authorities.

Why CERT-IN’s Investigation Into Apple Security Notifications Is Going Nowhere

Srinivas Kodali

India is rapidly digitising. There are good things and bad, speed-bumps on the way and caveats to be mindful of. The weekly column Terminal focuses on all that is connected and is not – on digital issues, policy, ideas and themes dominating the conversation in India and the world.

The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) has been tasked to make Apple explain the security notifications on “state-sponsored” attacks early this month, but can it follow through with due process and actually do its job? CERT-IN’s mandate is to provide response to computer emergencies under India’s Information Technology Act. It has never delivered on this promise and has become yet another government agency sleeping on its job.

The security notifications sent by Apple to several Members of Parliament, politicians, journalists and others has raised concerns yet again of unregulated surveillance activities by India’s intelligence agencies. Apple’s security notifications point towards state-sponsored actors and, for the sake of argument, could mean any nation state including an enemy state out there, making it a classic case of computer emergency.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has written a letter to Apple asking the firm to cooperate with CERT-IN and Apple has co-operated by bringing in its experts to work with CERT-IN. CERT-IN guidelines mandate that every organisation must report security incidents within six hours of the incident and Apple was reminded of this. Apple clearly has not followed this, violating some of CERT-IN’s rules.

Misunderstanding bin Laden’s 2002 “Letter to Americans”

Paul Marshall

Recently TikTok has posted and highlighted Osama bin Laden’s 2002 “Letter to Americans.” This letter was originally intended to appeal to Western audiences but failed spectacularly when it was first promulgated. However, it has now drawn much attention especially from those now trying to re-interpret him in their own truncated image as a representative of anti-colonialism.

This is yet another example of “mirror-imaging” wherein many Westerners project their parochial interpretation of world events onto very different actors and interpret those other’s actions into preconceived secular categories. But bin Laden’s view of the world draws on a very different conceptual universe that can only be understood in terms of its deep religious roots.

The name usually given to bin Laden’s organization is “Al Qaeda,” but this is merely a nickname for an organization that has styled itself officially as the “World Islamic Front for Holy War against Jews and Crusaders.” The attacks perpetrated by this network have usually been accompanied by a plethora of videotapes, audiotapes, declarations, books, letters, fatwas, magazines, e-mails, and websites that present and explain its theology, its view of history and the political order, and its understanding of contemporary events, to explain and justify its actions in terms of its version of Islamic teaching, law, history, and practice.

These materials, now collected in several volumes, consistently expound a religiously shaped program that announces as its goal to unite Muslims worldwide into one people, the ummah, with one divinely sanctioned leader, a caliph, governed by a reactionary version of sharia (Islamic law), and organized to wage jihad on the rest of the world. It targets Muslim regimes in the Middle East that it regards as “apostates” from Islam, and opponents further afield, usually described as “Crusaders,” “followers of the cross,” “Jews,” or “infidels.”

Pakistan’s New Afghan Policy: Another Disaster in the Making?

Abdul Basit

In an unprecedented, but unsurprising, policy shift, Pakistan has decided to take a tough line on the Taliban’s de facto regime. It will not be supporting its case at the international level or extend any other assistance. This was decided following the Taliban’s persistent refusal to rein in Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)’s growing attacks in Pakistan from its sanctuaries in Afghanistan.

On October 8, Pakistan’s Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar accused the Taliban of sheltering and facilitating the TTP in a strongly worded presser. Kakar maintained that “since the Taliban’s return to power, “terrorism in Pakistan has surged by 60 percent and suicide attacks by 500 percent, killing over 2,300 people.” Furthermore, he claimed that of the 24 suicide bombings witnessed in Pakistan in 2023, 15 were carried out by Afghans.

The announcement has come on the heels of Pakistan’s decision to expel around 1.7 million “illegal Afghan refugees” in October. Since then, approximately 375,000 Afghans have left Pakistan amid chaos and harsh Himalayan winters to an uncertain future. Even those possessing legal documents, such as the Proof of Registration cards, are being deported.

Most of the Afghans expelled from Pakistan are those who left Kabul to escape the Taliban’s harsh rule. Despite being victims of conflicts, proxy wars, and terrorism, the hapless Afghan refugees find themselves in the crosshairs of the growing Taliban-Pakistan tensions. They have been slapped with unsubstantiated accusations of facilitating terrorism, the illegal drug trade, and smuggling in Pakistan.

China Holds Military Drills Near Myanmar Border After Convoy Fire

China's military will begin "combat training activities" from Saturday on its side of the border with Myanmar, it said on social media, a day after a convoy of trucks carrying goods into the neighboring Southeast Asian nation went up in flames.

The incident, which Myanmar state media called an insurgent attack, came amid insecurity concerns in China, whose envoy met top officials in Myanmar's capital for talks on border stability after recent signs of rare strain in their ties.

The training aims to "test the rapid maneuverability, border sealing and fire strike capabilities of theater troops," the Southern Theatre Command, one of five in China's People's Liberation Army, said on the WeChat messaging app.

The brief statement gave no details of timing or numbers of troops.

Friday's fire in the town of Muse came as Myanmar's military has lost control of several towns and military outposts in the northeast and elsewhere as it battles the biggest coordinated offensive it has faced since seizing power in a 2021 coup.

The surge in fighting has displaced more than 2 million people in Myanmar, the United Nations says.

UN Expert Calls For Regional Action on Rohingya Boat Arrivals

Sebastian Strangio

A United Nations expert has called for Southeast Asian governments to launch a regional emergency response to address a surge of Rohingya refugees arriving in Indonesia by sea.

More than 1,000 Rohingya civilians have landed in Aceh in western Indonesia over the past 10 days, after perilous ocean journeys from the coast of southeastern Bangladesh. The most recent of these came late on Tuesday, when a boat arrived carrying more than 200 people.

In a statement yesterday, Tom Andrews, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, said that nations in the region should collaborate to ensure coordinated search and rescue operations to save the lives of those who may be stranded on overcrowded, unseaworthy vessels.

“The Government of Indonesia should be congratulated for again upholding the rights of the Rohingya and facilitating disembarkation in line with domestic law,” Andrews said in the statement. “But they cannot do it alone. This is an emergency, and an emergency response is required.”

Rohingya refugees and asylum seekers have been seeking sanctuary by sea for years, seeking to escape both severe persecution in Myanmar and the hardships of life in the Bangladeshi refugee camps. Very often this involves putting their lives in the hands of human smugglers who send them on journeys through the Andaman Sea on leaky and dangerously ill-equipped vessels.

In Cambodia, Foreigners Cannot Own Land. Or Can They?

David Hutt

It’s unclear what reform Prime Minister Hun Manet announced – or whether there was an announcement at all. He’s adamant on what hasn’t happened: his government isn’t about to start selling land to foreigners. But it sounds a lot like that’s exactly what is happening.

As things stand, the Constitution doesn’t allow non-Cambodian nationals to own land or ground-floor property. Foreigners can buy condominium apartments as long as less than 70 percent of the units aren’t foreign-owned, and many do actually “own” land by putting it in the name of a trusted Cambodian but then signing a side contract that guarantees them rights to re-sale and possession. There are Cambodians who own dozens of properties on behalf of foreigners. It pays to be trustworthy. Or foreigners can purchase land or property through a trust, again using a Cambodian as a frontman and, while the trust formally owns the property, it cannot be sold without the permission of the foreign investor.

But speaking after the Government-Private Sector Forum earlier this month, Hun Manet noted that foreigners can also lease land or ground-floor villas and houses for up to 50 years. “This long-term leasing mechanism is a strategic move by the government, designed for stability and growth, eliminating the need for constitutional amendments,” Hun Manet reportedly said, insinuating that it’s a new policy.

But give ear to what Seng Loth, a spokesman for the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, said last month: “Instead of giving foreigners the right to own real estate, the ministry is considering pushing for the implementation of permanent leasehold rights. In fact, the implementation of this permanent lease is an existing law, it’s just rarely enforced.” (This was a translation, so one assumes he meant “rarely used,” not “rarely enforced.”)

Protests, Crackdowns, Boycott Calls Complicate Bangladesh’s Election Scenario

Snigdhendu Bhattacharya

Bangladesh will vote in parliamentary elections on January 7. However, the election is far from inclusive, as around one-third of the country’s 44 registered political parties will not be participating.

Several opposition parties have called for a boycott of the election since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina refused to heed their demand to hold elections under a non-party caretaker government.

The parties that are boycotting the elections include the main opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), its smaller allies, an alliance of Left parties called Bam Ganatantrik Jot, and the Ganatantra Mancha alliance.

Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), will not be contesting either. Its registration was canceled by a high court order in August, and its appeal against that verdict was later dismissed in the Supreme Court.

The ruling Awami League (AL) and its allies have welcomed the announcement of the election schedule. Both factions of the Jatiya Party (JP), the third largest party in the country and the official opposition in the parliament, look set to contest the election.

While November 30 is the last date for filing nominations, the BNP, its allies, and the Leftist parties have called for an intensification of protests to press their demands that elections be held only after Hasina steps down.

China Struggles To Export Its ‘Indigenous’ Submarine Despite Tons Of Assurances; Is Beijing Really Winning The Sub Race?

Sakshi Tiwari

As the great military rivalry between the United States and China unfolds, reports published in the US media have warned that the American submarine dominance over China is ending as Beijing strides in technological innovation and expands production.

Chinese submarines were not a significant concern for the United States for several years. However, China is narrowing the difference as it advances its undersea technology and detection skills.

According to a report recently published in The Wall Street Journal, this has significant ramifications for the US military in the event of a potential conflict over Taiwan.

Chinese submarines were traditionally noisy and straightforward to locate, the report noted. In contrast, the incredibly quiet submarines of the US Navy were difficult for the Chinese military, creating a power imbalance between the two sides. However, that is changing as China works diligently to produce noise reduction technologies.

The PLA-N currently operates six nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN), six nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN), and 48 diesel-powered/air-independent powered attack submarines (SS).

A Pentagon report released last month said China’s submarine force will increase to 65 units by 2025 and 80 units by 2035. Additionally, China is also reportedly adding more conventional submarines to its arsenal.

China and Russia: Best Friends or Wary Partners?

Robert Wihtol

In China and Russia: four centuries of conflict and concord, Philip Snow takes a long-term view, noting that historically the two great powers have existed in relative equilibrium, occasionally threatening each other, frequently skirmishing, but never fighting a major war.

In recent years, publishers have released a deluge of new books on relations between China and the United States, some predicting conflict and others offering formulas for maintaining peace. Surprisingly, however, there have been few fresh analyses of Sino-Russian relations, whose warming over the past 30 years has significantly changed the global geopolitical balance.

The relationship is often seen as one of convenience driven by Russia’s need for support for its war of aggression on Ukraine, on the one hand, and China’s interest in Russian energy resources, on the other. The ‘honeymoon’ between the two communist powers in the 1950s was brief; Chairman Mao Zedong and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin disliked each other, and the Sino-Soviet split of the 1960s was followed by years of mutual suspicion. As a result, analysts tend to dismiss the prospects of the current warming turning into a longer-term entente.

In China and Russia: four centuries of conflict and concord, Philip Snow takes a long-term view, noting that historically the two great powers have existed in relative equilibrium, occasionally threatening each other, frequently skirmishing, but never fighting a major war. Snow is a Hong Kong–based historian and has published several acclaimed books on China’s international relations.

The West Shouldn’t Forget China’s Pro-Russia Neutrality

Joseph Webster

China-U.S. relations are once again having a moment. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to the United States produced several meetings, including with President Joe Biden and California Governor Gavin Newsom. Sports re-emerged as a potent element in China-U.S. relations, as Xi appeared genuinely pleased to receive a gift of a basketball jersey (with the lucky number 8) from Newsom.

It’s constructive that the two sides are talking again. Climate change is a shared threat that demands cooperation between the world’s two largest polluters. Moreover, with constitutional democracy facing complex threats from multiple vectors, the West requires performance legitimacy from economic growth – just as Beijing needs trade and investment from the West to mitigate its own metastasizing economic risks. Despite nascent warming ties on trade and climate, however, constitutional democracies shouldn’t forget the highly malign role Beijing has played throughout Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

China’s Pro-Russia Neutrality

Evan Medeiros, the former top adviser to President Barack Obama on the Asia-Pacific, was the first to characterize Beijing’s alignment with Moscow in the context of the invasion of Ukraine as “pro-Russia neutrality.” Conversely, a November 12 article by a Chinese expert on Sino-Russian relations in The Diplomat recently argued that Beijing has not chosen sides in the conflict.

A review of the history of the conflict shows that Medeiros’ framing remains accurate. While Beijing is not a combatant in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and does not appear to have provided Russia with direct military assistance, its informational, economic, and logistical support for Moscow has been substantial and potentially even decisive.

Time to Drawdown From Syria

C. William Walldorf, Jr.

As part of the fallout from the war in Gaza, U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq have come under attack more than fifty times from Iranian-backed militias since early October. At least fifty-six military personnel have been injured. In response, the U.S. launched retaliatory air strikes and has sent about 900 more troops to the region.

This bolstering of forces is the wrong move. In fact, the U.S. is overdue to drawdown its forces from Syria.

Why drawdown completely? The answer is simple. The small contingent of U.S. forces in Syria, especially, are sitting ducks for further attacks in support of missions where the costs of continuing those missions now far outstrip their strategic benefits. Recent attacks bring this mismatch between costs and benefits into sharp relief. These incidents should also serve as a warning for potential dangers if U.S. policy fails to change course.

U.S. forces were deployed to Syria in 2015 to fight the ISIS caliphate. Today, fighting ISIS remains the official mission even though the territorial caliphate has long been eliminated. Two additional unofficial missions for these troops include deterring Iranian mischief/influence and preventing Assad from ending the war on his own terms.

None of these missions are worth the potential risks they carry today. In fact, the outsized burden of their real and potential costs helps explain why forces should be drawn down.

First, ISIS has been largely wiped out. The caliphate was defeated in March 2019, nearly five years ago. While preventing a resurgence of the group is important, U.S. forces do not need to be on the ground to achieve this objective. A combination of local actors (among them, Kurds and Turks) and U.S. forces operating from over the horizon should be sufficient to get the job done.

A bold step to secure cloud computing for the AI era


Last year, the U.S. government spent $12.3 billion on cloud services. That figure is estimated to grow to $16 billion this year. The question before the federal government today is whether that investment will capture the full capabilities of the world’s most innovative clouds held to the highest security standards in the world.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released a draft memorandum to modernize the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), which the federal government uses to certify commercial cloud providers as secure and ready for government workloads, including classified information. Its release follows the bipartisan passage of the FedRAMP Authorization Act as part of the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The memorandum is bold and will make the most necessary changes urgently, and will fully commit to commercial clouds in an approach that I, and many others, wholeheartedly support. If adopted as written, it will usher in a new era of security, artificial intelligence and automation previously impossible within the strict confines of so-called GovClouds.

Many vendors created GovClouds, or clouds physically separated from commercial infrastructure, to adhere to FedRAMP’s security controls. While understandable more than a decade ago when the FedRAMP program was created, this legacy approach lacks the security, compute power and capabilities the government needs and deserves in the 21st century. OMB is wise to recognize this bottleneck and require the General Services Administration (GSA) to produce a plan to transition federal agencies away from GovClouds and instead prioritize “zero trust” security architecture, cyber resilience and innovation.

Elon Musk’s hypocrisy is showing


Free speech absolutism seems to have fallen out of fashion at Elon Musk’s Twitter (now X). Earlier this week, X sued progressive media watchdog Media Matters, alleging that the organization sought to drive away X’s advertisers by making the platform appear awash in antisemitic posts.

Merely existing for any length of time on X is enough to dismantle Musk’s case. When (alleged) CEO Linda Yaccarino issued a boilerplate condemnation of antisemitism in the broadest terms, neo-Nazis and white nationalists flooded her replies with the right’s most popular anti-Jewish conspiracy theories. Many of those posts were reported and removed, only to pop up again almost immediately. Did Media Matters fake that, too?

At any rate, anyone skeptical of X’s argument needed only wait for the company’s actual legal filing. In that document (and another statement posted by Musk himself), Musk seemingly acknowledges that a fraction of all advertising placements actually do end up next to content that violates X’s terms. That alone blows a sizable hole in his legal argument against Media Matters — not that there was much of one to begin with.

Elon Musk’s tenure at the top of what once was Twitter has been marked by nothing if not a constant carousel of cringe-inducing scandals. Musk’s most recent headaches once again highlight the mega-billionaire’s coziness amplifying explicitly anti-Jewish content. This time it was a far-right conspiracy theory that claims Jewish communities are engaged in a campaign of “anti-white racism.”

We cannot wait for climate action — climate change will not wait for us


As we go into the climate talks at this year’s United Nations’s Conference of the Parties (COP28) meeting in Dubai later this month, we face global challenges and conflicts that have deservedly captured headlines around the world. But as those eager to see real and robust climate action know well, efforts to address the climate crisis have been plagued by inevitable crises that push climate change to the world’s back burner of priorities.

Over the last few decades, we have seen time and again an inevitable slowdown in climate action due to some danger that appears more imminent and pressing than our changing climate. But, in many ways, these crises are more deeply connected with climate change than we may realize, and require simultaneous action.

From economic downturns to wars, we have seen repeated distractions take the pressure off of leaders when it comes to specific and substantive climate action. Just in the last several years we have faced a global pandemic, challenges to American democracy and rule of law, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the tragic crisis between Israelis and Palestinians. The challenges can feel mentally exhausting; it is understandable that people and governments may have difficulty wrapping their minds around and spreading their resources out among the array of challenges we are facing.

Yet amid all these myriad challenges, the climate crisis looms.

North Korea Terminates Military Agreement with South Korea

Dzirhan Mahadzir

Pyongyang has terminated the 2018 Comprehensive Military Agreement with Seoul in response to South Korea’s decision to suspend a part of the agreement due to North Korea’s satellite launch on Tuesday, North Korea announced on Thursday

The 2018 agreement laid down a number of measures that would lower military tensions and accidental military clashes between the two sides. Among them included the dismantling of guard posts along the Demilitarized Zone, a no-fly zone along the DMZ, the cessation of live fire artillery drills and field exercises above the regiment level and above within three miles of the Military Demarcation Line, with a similar ban on live fire and maritime maneuvers exercise along the maritime borders in the East and West Sea and a ban tactical live-fire drills involving fixed-wing aircraft, including the firing of air-to-ground guided weapons within the designated no-fly zones in the eastern and western regions of the MDL.

On Wednesday, in response to North Korea’s satellite launch, South Korea announced it would suspend Article 1, Paragraph 3 of the agreement and that aerial reconnaissance and surveillance along the demarcation line would be restored. North Korea had been informed of the suspension, officials said.

“Those of the ‘Republic of Korea’ can never evade the responsibility for scrapping the north-south military agreement and must pay dearly for it,” North Korea’s Ministry of National Defence said in a statement on Thursday. In the statement, the North Korean MND said that North Korea’s launch of a military reconnaissance satellite was a legitimate and just exercise of sovereignty to closely monitor its enemies’ various military moves around the Korean peninsula.

Russia Headed for Disappointment in Battles Along Dnieper River

Jon Jackson

Russian leaders are likely very disappointed by military defeats along the east bank of the Dnieper River after Russia left the region vulnerable with a tactical decision to withdraw forces, according to the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense (MOD).

In a Wednesday intelligence update, the MOD wrote fighting has recently resumed in southern Ukraine around the village of Krynky, "where Ukrainian marines maintain a bridgehead on the east bank" of the Dnieper.

The report comes after Kyiv's troops recently made small-scale crossings of the Dnieper—known as the Dnipro in Ukrainian—that resulted in notable offensive operations within 50 miles of Crimea.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think tank has reported in recent days that Ukraine has had the advantage in battles that have taken place in the region. On Monday, the ISW wrote in an assessment that Russian military bloggers have said Ukrainian units have "expanded their zone of control in the western part of Krynky," some 18 miles northeast of Kherson City and 1 mile from the Dnieper, "and that fighting is ongoing near the settlement."

"The ground fighting has been characterized by confused, dismounted infantry combat and artillery exchanges in complex, wooded terrain," the MOD wrote in its intelligence update about the action around Krynky, which was posted on X (formerly Twitter).

The British department further described the types of operations both sides have undertaken in the area.

F-15E: The Strike Eagle Was Designed to Fight Russia in a War

Brent M. Eastwood

Fact - The F-15E Strike Eagle is so popular with warplane enthusiasts that it was once the star attraction of an air simulator video game that sold 1.5 million units in the 1980s.

The initial design of the airplane was kicked off in the late 1960s and the U.S. Air Force took its last delivery of the F-15E in 2002. In the 1990s, new variants were exported to Israel and Saudi Arabia. In the 2000s, South Korea and Singapore received F-15 upgraded models. The Saudis later ordered the advanced F-15K/SG in the 2010s and Qatar received the 36 F-15QAs in 2017.

Let’s take a deeper look at the F-15E to see why the airframe has been so omnipresent over the years.

Name the Condition or Mission and the F-15E Won’t Disappoint

The biggest attraction of the F-15E is its versatility. It flies during the day, at night, and in all-weather. It can be an interceptor, it can provide air superiority, it can dogfight, and it can bomb.

The original baseline F-15 got its first kill in 1979 when an Israeli pilot bested a Syrian MiG-21 fighter. Since then, the F-15 has notched over a hundred air-to-air kills, with no losses in aerial combat. During Operation Desert Storm the F-15E shot down Iraqi MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters and Mirage F-1 fighters. This airplane just keeps on ticking today and the U.S. Air Force still has around 224 F-15E Strike Eagles.
Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground

Why Is the Eurasian Economic Union Broken?

Elvira Aidarkhanova

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), comprising Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Belarus, and Russia, has been a relatively successful geopolitical project for Russia, which stands as the union’s uncontested dominant player. But contrary to its multilateral agenda and aspirations, the EAEU remains to this day an ineffective instrument in terms of economic cooperation and integration, paradoxically its very reasons for being.

First of all, the EAEU suffers from enormous internal disagreements and uneven markets. Members of the union have very different goals, and there are recurrent clashes between members over the application of non-tariff regulations and accusations of protectionism. Second, in the eight years since its creation, the EAEU has failed to establish itself as a profitable economic alliance or attract new member states, although Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly predicted the opposite.

Despite its heavy dependence on remittances from migrant workers in Russia and regular pressure from the Kremlin, Tajikistan has no plans to join the EAEU. The most populous state in Central Asia, Uzbekistan, has flirted with EAEU membership but so far has only become an observer.

According to Kazakhstani political scientist Dosym Satpayev, this “gives Uzbekistan time to support and strengthen the positions of its own commodity producers.”

Russia is starting to make its superiority in electronic warfare count

Most of the attention to what Ukraine needs in its protracted struggle to free its territory from the invading Russian forces has focused on hardware: tanks, fighter jets, missiles, air-defence batteries, artillery and vast quantities of munitions. But a less discussed weakness lies in electronic warfare (ew); something that Ukraine’s Western supporters have so far shown little interest in tackling.

Russia, says Seth Jones of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a think-tank in Washington, has for many years placed a “huge focus” on using its military-industrial complex to produce and develop an impressive range of ew capabilities to counter nato’s highly networked systems. But Ukraine, according to its commander-in-chief, General Valery Zaluzhny, found itself at the beginning of the war with mainly Soviet-era ew systems. Initially the discrepancy had only limited impact, but as relatively static lines of contact have emerged Russia has been able to position its formidable ew assets where they can have the greatest effect.

Making European Strategic Autonomy Work


MADRID – Faced with many differences between its member states, the European Union has sought to refine its concept of strategic autonomy over the past few years. Now, Spain intends to use its EU Council presidency to bring greater coherence and substance to this debate. If it succeeds, Europe will have taken a significant step toward deeper integration.

The concept of strategic autonomy has already evolved considerably. Originating in the defense sphere, it first appeared in an official EU document in 2013. It then became a foreign-policy principle in the EU’s 2016 Global Strategy, before finally extending to the economic realm with the bloc’s new commitment to “open strategic autonomy” in 2020.

The basic idea is that Europeans must be able to live by their own laws and defend their interests without foreign interference (or assistance). Yet given the EU’s cooperative nature, consensus-based decision-making, and deep economic ties to the rest of the world, external action must strike a delicate balance. It must be multilateral when possible, but unilateral when necessary.

Between the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the intensifying Sino-American rivalry, and the return of industrial policy, the EU has ample reason to re-examine its relationship with the rest of the world, and to embed open strategic autonomy within a new economic-security paradigm. Europeans have awoken to the fact that interdependence is a source not only of security and prosperity, but also of potential vulnerability.

Russia Bombards Kyiv With ‘Record’ Drone Assault, Ukraine Says

Marc Santora

Russia launched a huge drone attack at Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, before dawn on Saturday, sending wave after wave of crewless aircraft packed with explosives toward a city that is home to around three million people.

The Ukrainian Air Force said that the attack had featured “a record number” of one-way attack drones, an estimated 75 in total, most of them directed at Kyiv. Its air defense teams managed to shoot down nearly all of them, preventing mass casualties, officials said.

Still, at least five people were injured in Saturday’s attack, including an 11-year-old child, city officials said, and dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed by falling debris.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine called the bombardment “deliberate terror.”

“The Russian leadership is proud of its ability to kill,” he said on Saturday, noting that the attack had coincided with a day on which Ukrainians pay tribute to the millions killed in the Holodomor, a famine orchestrated by Stalin.

Early Saturday, searchlights swept the predawn skies over Kyiv as air defense teams hunted for drones approaching the city from all directions. The first alarms sounded shortly after 2:30 a.m., and the rattle of antiaircraft guns and powerful explosions echoed for hours, the noisiest night that Kyiv has endured in months. The distant glow of fires was visible from the city center.