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D-Day Continues to Unite The West, But For How Long?

 THE STRATEGY & TECH WEEKLY

Summaries and Links to This Week’s Curated Articles
June 3  – 9, 2024

THE STRATEGIC PICTURE

President Biden's trip to France to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. The visit highlights his efforts to rally European leaders in support of Ukraine while also facing isolation due to his steadfast support for Israel amid the Gaza conflict. Biden's diplomatic skills are tested as he navigates the contrasting stances of his allies on these issues, emphasizing the complexity of his international policies. The article underscores the tension between maintaining unity in the Western alliance and addressing divergent views on Middle Eastern conflicts

 

Significant foreign policy developments have unfolded across various regions this week. In the United States, President Biden's visit to Europe emphasized solidarity with Ukraine amid the ongoing war, while also highlighting tensions over U.S. support for Israel during the Gaza conflict. Concurrently, discussions about adapting U.S. military strategy to address potential conflicts in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East have gained prominence, reflecting the interconnected nature of modern geopolitical threats.

 

Russia continues to assert its influence in Ukraine, with NATO considering the creation of a permanent envoy in Kyiv to coordinate military assistance. This move is seen as a show of solidarity with Ukraine, although it has sparked debates about the risk of further escalating the conflict. Meanwhile, Russia's incorporation of Ukrainian territories such as Donetsk and Luhansk, and the establishment of "sanitary zones" to prevent Ukrainian military presence, further solidify its control over these regions.

 

In the Middle East, Israel's complex mission to rescue hostages from Gaza underscores the ongoing conflict's intricacies, with significant casualties on both sides. Additionally, Iran's advancements in uranium enrichment, nearing weapons-grade levels, highlight the escalating nuclear tensions. These developments in Iran and Israel reflect broader regional instability, with significant implications for international diplomacy and security.

 

ECONOMICS & TECH WATCH

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Space-capable Link 16 will be ‘game changer’ in Indo-Pacific conflict with China: General

Brig. Gen. Mastalir also said the military plans to set up a Space Forces Japan on the model of US Space Forces - Korea.

Poland’s new East Shield plan mixes modern ISR with old-school physical barriers: Poland will spend $2.55 billion over the next four years to strengthen its borders with Belarus and Kaliningrad, under a new government plan.

Defense Innovation Unit awards funding for sea-based launch pad: The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) selected The Spaceport Company to demonstrate the ability to use a sea-based launch platform to quickly send cargo or satellites to orbit.

DIU sees new portfolio deepening ties between labs, commercial firms: DIU’s newest portfolio will forge deeper connections between the Pentagon’s science and technology community and the private sector firms developing cutting-edge capabilities in areas like quantum sensing, nanotechnology and microelectronics.

USS Carney had ‘seconds’ to respond to anti-ship ballistic missiles: The USS Carney engaged Houthi-launched weapons targeting commercial ships in the Red Sea 51 times.

Army Tests Quadcopter Swarm-Launching Uncrewed Ground Vehicle For Clearing Mines: Explosive-laden quadcopters deployed via uncrewed ground vehicles could be part of future Army anti-mine operations.

If SpaceX’s Secret Constellation Is What We Think It Is, It’s Game Changing (Updated): A constellation of hundreds of sensor-equipped satellites would offer unprecedented strategic and tactical surveillance around the globe.

China Launches 10th Type 055 Vessel, Increases Production At Dagushan: Dalian Shipbuilding has launched a new Type 055 large destroyer and is ramping up production at its second facility.

 

  • Nvidia's market value tops $3 trillion. It is the first computer chip company to hit that mark.

  • According to the NYT, the DOJ and the FTC agreed to divide up responsibility for antitrust probes into the roles played by Nvidia, OpenAI, and Microsoft in the AI industry.

  • Elon Musk’s xAI will build a factory to house a supercomputer in Memphis, Tennessee.

  • The US trade deficit widened to $74.6 billion in April, the biggest shortfall since October 2022 on robust demand for imported goods.

  • The country’s merchandise-trade gap with China narrowed.

  • The value of goods bought from China declined.

 


NATIONS MAKING HEADLINES

 

THE USA & MEXICO

"Visiting Europe, Biden Will Find Both Solidarity and Isolation" by Michael D. Shear and Peter Baker, published in The New York Times, explores President Biden's trip to France to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. The visit highlights his efforts to rally European leaders in support of Ukraine while also facing isolation due to his steadfast support for Israel amid the Gaza conflict. Biden's diplomatic skills are tested as he navigates the contrasting stances of his allies on these issues, emphasizing the complexity of his international policies. The article underscores the tension between maintaining unity in the Western alliance and addressing divergent views on Middle Eastern conflicts. [Read the full article] (https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/02/world/europe/dday-nato-summits-western-alliance.html)

 

"A Three-Theater Defense Strategy: How America Can Prepare for War in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East" by Thomas G. Mahnken, published in Foreign Affairs, outlines the imperative for the United States to adapt its military strategy to simultaneously address potential conflicts in three critical regions: Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Mahnken argues that the current U.S. defense strategy, which assumes the country will only face one major conflict at a time, is outdated. He emphasizes the need for interoperability with allies, increased defense production, and streamlined distribution processes to ensure rapid support and response across theaters. This strategic shift is crucial as the U.S. contends with interconnected adversaries and an authoritarian axis that spans the Eurasian landmass. To maintain global security, Mahnken advocates for enhanced collaboration with allies, improved military logistics, and expanded basing and defense capabilities. [Read more](https://www.foreignaffairs.com/united-states/theater-defense-war-asia-europe-middle-east).

 

"U.S. Arctic Strategy Is Struggling to Compete With Russia, China," Kenneth R. Rosen, Foreign Policy. The article discusses the United States' efforts to catch up with Russia and China in the Arctic, a region of increasing geopolitical significance due to melting ice and new opportunities for resource extraction. The U.S. Coast Guard, hampered by a lack of icebreaker ships and outdated infrastructure, struggles to maintain a presence in the high north. Despite recent attempts to revitalize its Arctic strategy, the U.S. faces significant challenges in asserting its interests and competing with other global powers in the rapidly changing region. (https://foreignpolicy.com/2024/06/07/us-arctic-strategy-struggling-compete-russia-china/)

 

"Countering Disinformation Effectively: An Evidence-Based Policy Guide" by Jon Bateman and Dean Jackson, published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, provides a comprehensive analysis of various strategies to combat disinformation. The report highlights the complexity and pervasive nature of disinformation, emphasizing that there is no single solution. Instead, it advocates for a diversified approach, combining well-researched tactics like fact-checking and labeling social media content with longer-term investments in local journalism and media literacy. The authors stress the importance of realistic expectations and continuous reassessment of policies to address the evolving challenges posed by disinformation. [Read more](https://carnegieendowment.org/research/2024/01/countering-disinformation-effectively-an-evidence-based-policy-guide).

 

"If America is exceptional, now is the time to prove it" by William McRaven, published in The Washington Post, emphasizes the importance of America demonstrating its exceptionalism through values of integrity, fairness, and unity. Reflecting on historical acts of courage and sacrifice, McRaven recounts his mother's belief in American goodness transcending hate and division. He calls for Americans to rise above political discord, respect legal processes, and support unity to show the world that America remains a beacon of hope and moral leadership. [Read the full article] (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2024/06/03/america-exceptionalism-prove-william-mcraven/

 

"Retired Navy four-star admiral arrested in bribery scheme" by Geoff Ziezulewicz, published in Navy Times, reports the arrest of retired Adm. Robert Burke, who faces up to 30 years in prison for his involvement in a bribery scheme during his tenure as commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa. Alongside business executives Yongchul Kim and Meghan Messenger, Burke is accused of steering a government contract to their company in exchange for future employment. Burke denies the charges, which include bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery. The case is ongoing, with Burke vigorously contesting the allegations. [Read the full article](https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2024/05/31/retired-navy-four-star-admiral-arrested-in-bribery-scheme/).

 

"Mexico's Voters Elect Claudia Sheinbaum as First Female President" by Ana Sofía Rodríguez Everaert, published in Foreign Policy, highlights the historic election of Claudia Sheinbaum as Mexico's first female president. Formerly the mayor of Mexico City, Sheinbaum is noted for her data-driven approach to politics and pragmatic stance on issues. Her presidency is anticipated to bring both continuity and potential changes in policies, particularly in energy and climate, differing from outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. This significant political shift is part of a broader analysis of global election trends covered by Foreign Policy. [Read the full article](https://link.foreignpolicy.com/click/35593470.4860/aHR0cHM6Ly9mb3JlaWducG9saWN5LmNvbS8yMDI0LzA1LzE0L21leGljby1jbGF1ZGlhLXNoZWluYmF1bS1wcmVzaWRlbnRpYWwtZWxlY3Rpb24tcHJvZmlsZS1hbWxvLw/644279f21a7f1f1e29de5c24Ba10df078).

 

"A Reset for America and Mexico? What New Leadership—Possibly in Both Countries—Might Mean for Cooperation" by Shannon K. O’Neil, published in Foreign Affairs, explores the potential for renewed U.S.-Mexico relations amid upcoming elections in both nations. As Mexico's President AMLO prepares to step down, his successor will face a politically fragmented landscape and fiscal constraints. The article argues that new leadership in Mexico, coupled with the possibility of a second Trump or Biden administration, presents an opportunity to strengthen economic ties, promote green energy, and address security challenges collaboratively. O’Neil emphasizes the need for the U.S. to support Mexico’s democracy and human rights while maintaining robust trade and migration policies. [Read more](https://www.foreignaffairs.com/mexico/reset-america-and-mexico).

 

 

CHINA

"China Embraces Aggression at Security Summit" by James Palmer, published in Foreign Policy, examines the assertive stance of Chinese military leaders at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun's threatening rhetoric towards Taiwan and the Philippines marked a significant departure from Beijing's usually diplomatic tone at the forum. The article suggests that this aggression may stem from domestic political pressures rather than actual military intentions. Despite this, practical talks to maintain military communication with the U.S. continued, indicating a complex balance between aggressive posturing and diplomatic engagement. [Read the full article](https://foreignpolicy.com/2024/06/04/china-embraces-aggression-at-security-summit).

 

"US, Philippines expand exercise to territorial edges amid tension with China" by Jen Judson, published in Defense News, discusses the expansion of the Balikatan exercise between the U.S. and the Philippines in response to increased Chinese aggression in the South China Sea. The joint military exercise, traditionally focused on humanitarian aid and counterterrorism, now includes complex operations across various domains, with participation from multiple countries. This shift reflects the Philippines' recognition of its territorial defense needs and aims to send a strong deterrent message. The article highlights the strategic significance of the exercise and the strengthening of U.S.-Philippine military cooperation. [Read the full article](https://www.defensenews.com/global/2024/06/04/us-philippines-expand-exercise-to-territorial-edges-amid-tension-with-china).

 

"SMIC, China’s Chip Champion, Has This Goal in Mind: Decouple From U.S. Tech" by Yoko Kubota, published in The Wall Street Journal, details China's strategic push towards semiconductor self-sufficiency amid escalating U.S. export controls. The article highlights Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) and its efforts to incorporate domestic semiconductor-production equipment at its new Jingcheng facility. Despite being generations behind industry leaders like TSMC and Samsung, SMIC is making significant strides to reduce reliance on U.S. technology, driven by Beijing's "Delete A" campaign. The piece explores the challenges and advancements in China's chip industry, emphasizing the nation's determination to overcome foreign dependencies and sanctions. [Read the full article](https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinese-semiconductor-industry-smic-self-sufficient-5210abf8).

 

"Mind the Gap: Ambition Versus Delivery in China’s BRI Megaprojects in Southeast Asia" by Alexandre Dayant and Grace Stanhope, published by the Lowy Institute, provides a critical analysis of the gap between China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) commitments and their actual implementation in Southeast Asia. Despite China being the largest infrastructure financing partner in the region, over $50 billion in projects remain unfulfilled due to various factors such as political instability, poor local stakeholder engagement, and shifts towards cleaner energy. The report highlights the need for China to adapt its strategies to improve project success rates and sustain its influence in Southeast Asia. [Read more](https://interactives.lowyinstitute.org/features/mind-the-gap-chinas-bri-southeast-asia/).

 

"Greek Shipowners Gather in Athens During Boom Times" by Aine Quinn and Alex Longley, published in Bloomberg, reports on the biennial meeting of Greece's maritime industry amid a period of prosperity driven by geopolitical conflicts. The article highlights the challenges shipowners face, including uncertainty about future vessel types amid the energy transition and the high cost of new ships due to limited shipbuilding capacity. While earnings are strong, the industry sees subdued new vessel orders, with many opting to buy second-hand ships instead. This trend may delay the adoption of more environmentally friendly vessels. [Read the full article](https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-06-03/latest-oil-market-news-and-analysis-for-june-3).

 

"Waves of Chinese Electric Vehicles Are Pouring Into Brazil" by Leonardo Lara, published in Bloomberg, explores the influx of Chinese electric vehicles into the Brazilian market, exemplified by the arrival of over 5,400 cars from the Chinese automaker BYD. This shipment, part of a broader strategy to establish a foothold in Brazil, anticipates increased import tariffs. The article details the logistics of the transport and unloading process, the strategic importance of Brazil as a market for Chinese automakers, and the broader implications for global trade and electric vehicle adoption amid rising geopolitical tensions. [Read the full article](https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-06-03/waves-of-chinese-electric-vehicles-are-pouring-into-brazil).

 

 

RUSSIA & NATO

"This D-Day, Europe Needs to Resolve to Get Its Act Together" by Bret Stephens, published in The New York Times, reflects on the 80th anniversary of D-Day, urging Europe to address its internal challenges to maintain the Atlantic alliance's strength. Stephens argues that Europe faces significant issues in economic growth, military power, demographics, and political will. He critiques Europe's declining global GDP share, insufficient military spending, aging population, and lack of resolve in upholding core values. Stephens warns that without decisive action, Europe risks falling behind and becoming vulnerable to external threats. [Read the full article](https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/04/opinion/d-day-europe-resolve.html).

 

Macron Hosts Biden in Paris, Honoring a Not Always Easy Bond” by Roger Cohen and Peter Baker, The New York Times. President Emmanuel Macron of France and President Joe Biden reaffirmed the historic yet complex Franco-American relationship during Biden's five-day visit to France, culminating in a state dinner at the Élysée Palace. Despite a resilient bond dating back to the American Revolution, current tensions over the wars in Gaza and Ukraine, and Macron's push for European "strategic autonomy" from U.S. influence, have strained the partnership. The visit highlighted both the enduring friendship and the underlying frictions, as Macron seeks to balance cooperation with an assertion of France's independence, particularly in military and geopolitical matters. (https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/08/world/europe/macron-biden-paris.html)

 

Ukraine War: NATO Plans to Create New Envoy Role in Kyiv,” Robbie Gramer, Foreign Policy. NATO is considering the establishment of a permanent envoy position in Kyiv to enhance its long-term support for Ukraine amid the ongoing war with Russia. The new "senior civilian representative" post would coordinate military assistance and demonstrate NATO's commitment to Ukraine, but the proposal has sparked debates about the risk of escalating the conflict. While some NATO members support this move as a show of solidarity, others view it as insufficient compared to Ukraine's goal of full NATO membership. The decision is expected to be discussed at the upcoming NATO summit in Washington. [Read the full article here](https://foreignpolicy.com/2024/06/07/nato-new-special-envoy-ukraine-kyiv-russia-war/)

 

"The Kremlin Spells Out Terms of Ukraine's Surrender (Part Two)," Jamestown Foundation.

The article details Russia's strategic positioning and claims over Ukrainian territories, emphasizing the incorporation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson into the Russian Federation. It also highlights potential territorial ambitions in Kharkiv province, where Russian military-civil administrations are being reinstated. Additionally, the concept of "sanitary zones" along the contact line is discussed, indicating areas to be demilitarized to prevent Ukrainian military presence, further solidifying Russia's influence and control over these regions. (https://jamestown.org/product/the-reform-of-russias-conventional-armed-forces-problems-challenges-policy-implications/)

 

 

INDIA

"Modi and Hindu nationalist BJP see rebuke in early India election results" by Gerry Shih, Karishma Mehrotra, and Anant Gupta, published in The Washington Post, reports on the unexpected setback for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the early results of the Indian election. Despite Modi's confident campaign and previous electoral dominance, early vote counts indicated tepid support for the BJP, potentially falling short of the 272 seats needed to secure a majority in the Lok Sabha. This shift in voter sentiment, particularly in the BJP stronghold of Uttar Pradesh, suggests dissatisfaction with Modi's leadership and the BJP's handling of religious and caste issues, overshadowing discussions about economic and infrastructure achievements. [Read the full article](https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/06/04/india-election-results-modi-bjp/).

 


MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA 

"How Israel’s Mission to Rescue Four Hostages Unfolded," Ronen Bergman and Aaron Boxerman, The New York Times. The article details Israel's complex and carefully planned mission to rescue four hostages from Gaza. Israeli special forces, supported by military, intelligence, and air force units, successfully raided two buildings in Nuseirat, rescuing the hostages while engaging in intense firefights with Hamas militants. The operation, which required weeks of preparation, resulted in the death of one Israeli police officer and numerous Palestinian casualties. The mission underscores the ongoing conflict's complexities and the lengths to which Israel will go to secure its citizens. (https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/08/world/middleeast/israel-hostage-rescue.html)

 

"How Hamas Ends: A Strategy for Letting the Group Defeat Itself" by Audrey Kurth Cronin, published in Foreign Affairs, examines the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, highlighting the strategic failures of Israel's purely military approach. Cronin argues that Israel’s overwhelming military response has inadvertently strengthened Hamas by increasing its support among Palestinians and damaging Israel's global standing. She suggests that a more effective strategy would involve undermining Hamas's support base and allowing the group to collapse from within. Cronin draws on historical examples of how terrorist groups typically end, emphasizing the importance of strategic failure over military repression. [Read more](https://www.foreignaffairs.com/israel/how-hamas-ends-gaza).

 

"Dozens Killed in Central Gaza" by Alexandra Sharp, published in Foreign Policy, reports on the Israel Defense Forces' (IDF) new military campaign in central Gaza targeting Hamas militants. The operation, involving air, artillery strikes, and ground troops, aimed to eliminate Hamas forces in Deir al-Balah and al-Bureij. Despite claims of targeting military compounds and weapons storage, local officials reported at least 65 civilian casualties, including women and children. The United Nations called for an immediate ceasefire, while truce talks continued in Doha with U.S., Qatari, and Egyptian officials. The ongoing conflict has strained relations between U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. [Read the full article](https://foreignpolicy.com).

 

"Netanyahu strains to keep government together amid spreading rebellions" by Steve Hendrix and John Hudson, published in The Washington Post, discusses the escalating internal and external pressures facing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as his emergency war cabinet teeters on the brink of collapse. Amid the ongoing war in Gaza, Netanyahu grapples with public demands to rescue hostages and pressure from the Biden administration for a ceasefire. Within his coalition, conservative hard-liners threaten to withdraw support over potential deals, while defense minister Yoav Gallant and opposition leader Benny Gantz demand strategic plans for Gaza. Netanyahu's ability to navigate these challenges and maintain his coalition remains uncertain, with possible new elections on the horizon. [Read the full article](https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/06/04/israel-government-war-cabinet-netanyahu).

 

"Israel Secretly Targets U.S. Lawmakers With Influence Campaign on Gaza War" by Sheera Frenkel, published in The New York Times, reveals a covert influence campaign organized by Israel's Ministry of Diaspora Affairs. The campaign aimed to sway U.S. lawmakers and public opinion in favor of Israel's actions in Gaza by using fake social media accounts and fabricated news sites. The operation, executed by the political marketing firm Stoic, targeted over a dozen U.S. lawmakers, urging continued military funding for Israel. Despite its extensive efforts, the campaign had limited impact, accumulating followers mostly believed to be bots. [Read the full article](https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/05/world/middleeast/israel-influence-campaign-us-lawmakers-gaza.html).

 

 

"How Close is Iran to Building a Bomb?" by Eric Brewer, Toby Dalton, Naysan Rafati, and Nicole Grajewski, published in War on the Rocks, examines the current state of Iran's nuclear program. Recent reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency indicate Iran's significant advancements in uranium enrichment, now near weapons-grade levels. Experts discuss Iran's capacity to produce a nuclear weapon within months if it decides to do so, though it currently lacks a formal decision to build one. The geopolitical implications of these developments are complex, involving potential triggers for Iran to advance its nuclear capabilities and the impact of international diplomatic efforts. [Read the full article](https://warontherocks.com/2024/05/irans-nuclear-threshold-challenge/).

 

"U.S. Sudan Envoy Warns Civil War Could Escalate Into Regional Conflict" by Robbie Gramer, published in Foreign Policy, highlights the dire warnings from U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan, Tom Perriello, about the potential regional implications of Sudan’s ongoing civil war. Perriello compares the situation to a "Somalia on steroids," emphasizing the risk of the conflict expanding to involve multiple neighboring countries and becoming more catastrophic than the Libyan crisis. He outlines the humanitarian disaster unfolding, with millions displaced and facing famine, and stresses the urgent need for a diplomatic breakthrough to prevent further deterioration. Despite efforts to revive peace talks, the conflict remains unresolved, with significant geopolitical stakes at play. [Read the full article](https://foreignpolicy.com/2024/06/05/us-sudan-envoy-warns-civil-war-could-escalate-into-regional-conflict).

 

"Famine Looms in Sudan as Civil War Pushes Capital Toward Abyss" by Declan Walsh, published in The New York Times, depicts the devastating impact of the ongoing civil war in Sudan, particularly on Khartoum, which has become a battleground between the Sudanese military and the Rapid Support Forces. The conflict has resulted in significant destruction, with estimates of 150,000 deaths and nine million displaced. The situation is exacerbated by foreign interventions and has led to a humanitarian crisis, including a looming famine that threatens hundreds of thousands of lives. The article highlights the urgent need for a peace resolution to prevent further escalation and regional destabilization. [Read the full article](https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/05/world/africa/sudan-civil-war-famine.html).

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