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Russia-Ukraine | Israel-Hamas | Jordan

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Troubles Brewing in Jordan

Reuters reports that Jordanian security services arrested several Jordanians of Palestinian descent and seized a weapons cache that Iranian-backed militias had smuggled from Syria into Jordan with the involvement of the apprehended Jordanians. The Brotherhood cell members reportedly intended to use the weapons to conduct “acts of sabotage” to destabilize Jordan. Phase 2 of the shadow war between Iran and Israel is in full swing. The latter is too occupied in Gaza to do much about it.

IDF Casualty Numbers Rising

Meanwhile, Israeli casualty rates have increased over the past week as IDF forces battle Hamas militants in northern Gaza. Videos of ambush attacks on IDF troops by Hamas fighters are appearing more frequently online. We believe the total number of IDF soldiers killed since October 7 is somewhere between the official government figure of 650 and Hassan Nasrallah's stated 1,500, including those lost on October 7. Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon, is known for being a straight shooter—perhaps too much so.

The Only Thing More Terrifying than Hamas

The reported number of IDF reservists killed in combat is probably accurate; however, we strongly suspect Israel has been less forthcoming with the statistics of the professional army. The scope for casualty number coverups in Israel is limited because the only thing more terrifying for the Israeli government than Hamas is a group of angry Jewish-Israeli mothers. Just ask Gary Kaufman. He's working from Tel Aviv this week and open for business as usual.

Our preliminary estimate for the number of Hamas fighters lost in the war is 7,000-9,000. Contrary to mainstream narratives, Hamas is also incentivized to underreport civilian casualty numbers. The lines between Hamas militia and ordinary civilians taking up arms as resistance fighters are becoming blurred.

The IDF has proven very capable of launching airstrikes and causing mass destruction in Gaza, but not as effective in close combat operations.

For context: The Palestinians demonstrated the tenacity to resisted for almost 80 years. While the Jewish people have been around for 3500 years and survived more challenging times. The events of the past 7 months are unlikely to change matters on both fronts.

The Day After in Gaza

Israel Defense Minister Yoav Galant and PM Benjamin Netanyahu are embroiled in a public spat over day-after plans in Gaza. Netanyahu is reported as having said he's not ready to replace the government of “Hamasistan” with “Fatahstan.” That's kind of funny. We should not read too much into domestic political spats in Israel. They argue in the best of times.

Sullivan heading to Riyadh

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is due to meet with Saudi and Egyptian officials in Riyadh tomorrow and Saturday to hear out their concerns with Israel's planned Rafah offensive. Both nations are now dialing up the pressure on Israel.

A delegation of Shin Bet officials is also heading to Cairo to revive ceasefire talks.

In conclusion, if Israel plans to conduct a protracted war in the Gaza Strip, it must be willing to accept high casualty numbersand and less successful air defenses. The status quo is both militarily and politically untenable.


Elsewhere, Tony Blinken was spotted jamming in the basement of a Kyiv nightclub this week. It appears he took his spokesperson David Miller with him the trip. It's nice to see a different side to him besides the deer in headlights look we've grown accustomed to in the State Department press room.

Russia-Ukraine | Israel-Hamas | Jordan | Speevr
Source: Reuters

Several top military intelligence experts/analysts, including Mike Kofman, believe the recently offensive on Kharkiv—the second largest city in Ukraine—is intended to thin out Ukrainian frontline forces to allow Russian troops further south to push further west into the Donetsk region.

Where's Bill Burns?

CIA Director Bill Burns has been laying low since the Hamas-Israel ceasefire negotiations fell apart. He could just be busy with his day job of running the agency. There are unsubstantiated rumors from Moscow-based sources of a US outreach for a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine. We stress these are just rumors and, at this stage, a low probability event. There are many challenges to overcome and issues to be resolved for a peace settlement.

As a former top US diplomat, Burns is highly regarded both inside Russia and elsewhere in the world.

‘NATO Chihuahuas' Told to Keep Quiet

Apparently, the US has asked the UK and France, or the “NATO chihuahuas” as the Russians have begun to refer to them, to tone down the escalatory rhetoric. We have to admit that's also a funny. And only one member of the security establishment of the two NATO nations mentioned will find that humorous side in that depiction.

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Russia-Ukraine | Israel-Hamas | Jordan

Troubles in Jordan, IDF casualties climb, Blinken jamming in Kyiv and ‘NATO chihuahuas’ told to keep quiet