96% of Saudis think that Arab nations should cut ties with Israel, and 40% of Saudis have a positive view of Hamas, compared to 10% months before the conflict began. Not that democratic sentiment means much in a monarchy, but worth loosely keeping an eye on.

The Sudanese Armed Forces have had a pretty serious defeat lately, after a couple months of relatively little movement (though even this “little movement” puts all the territorial losses and gains in the Ukraine War since June to shame; such is non-attrition war). The opposing Rapid Support forces have seized Wad Madani and some other major towns/cities in Jezira State, which is much more agricultural and populated than the western desert regions that the RSF has had their strongholds in before. This was a pretty surprising defeat for the SAR, especially due to the seeming lack of attempt to conduct any defensive urban warfare, and it’s been a real kick up the ass for the pro-SAR population and politicians and leading to a lot of arguments and controversy about the military and what the fuck it’s even doing. Given that hundreds of thousands of people had fled from other attacked areas to Jezeira State due to its assumed safety, this is very much not good for the civilian populace either, who are now fleeing again. You can compare the current map on NATOpedia to how the battlefield was just two months ago. Meanwhile, the SAF is accusing the UAE of supporting the RSF (they are), and some Democrats in the US Congress are calling on the UAE to end its support for the RSF.

Japan’s defense spending is increasing by over 16% next year, up to a record $56 billion, and is loosening arms export controls, including being able to sell Patriot missiles that it manufactures to the US, whose stockpiles are dwindling. You know what they say, if your air defense missiles don’t work on hypersonic missiles and they don’t really work on drone swarms, the two major threats to your current military hegemony, just make even more of them and confidently state that this is Fine And Good, Actually, instead of trying a different strategy!

Podoliak, senior aide to Zelensky, has said that Ukrainian men of fighting age who fled the conflict should be forced to return, and that restrictions should be put in place to limit their access to aid and services in their places of stay in order to pressure them to return to Ukraine.