Help For Critical Proxy Wars

Todd Moses
April 17, 2024

Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, Israel's military chief, explains that the Iranian strike "will be met with a response."

Inputs that matter: Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, Pentagon press secretary, said any response is up to Israel to decide; he added: "We don't want to see escalation, but we obviously will take necessary measures to protect our forces in the region."

  • Ukraine's military head, Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyy, warned over the weekend that the battlefield situation in the country's east has "significantly worsened in recent days," as warming weather has allowed Russian forces to launch a fresh offensive.

The opportunity: House Speaker Mike Johnson is pushing toward action this week on aid for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan, unveiling an elaborate plan on Monday to break the package into separate votes to squeeze through the House's political divides on foreign policy.

  • Germany announced that it will deliver an additional Patriot air defense system to Ukraine, days after Russian missiles and drones on Thursday struck infrastructure and power facilities across several regions.
  • In an update on X, formerly known as Twitter, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he had discussed the "massive" Russian air attacks on civilian energy infrastructure with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday. He declared that Berlin will "stand unbreakably by Ukraine's side."

Zoom in: Ukraine seeks similar military support that Israel had during the Iran attack.

  • "European skies could have received the same level of protection long ago if Ukraine had received similar full support from its partners in intercepting drones and missiles," Zelenskyy wrote Monday evening in a post on X.

Between the lines: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian via a phone call on Monday that China appreciated Iran's emphasis on not targeting regional and neighboring countries, according to the official Xinhua news agency on Tuesday.

  • Iran is part of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, and the U.A.E.), which competes with the G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., the U.S., and unofficially the E.U.).
  • Currently, 80% of Iranian oil goes to China.

Follow the money: "We can't just pick and say, Iran is bad, but Russia is OK, and China is bad… They're all in this together," Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation."

  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is preparing fresh sanctions for Iran, a Treasury official told NBC News, as Yellen vows that the U.S. "will not hesitate" to inflict economic punishment on Tehran in the wake of its retaliatory attack on Israel.
  • G7 sanctions are already in place against Russian oil with price caps.

Go deeper: Subscribe to the free newsletter to learn more.

Read More