Will Fearless and Tireless Robots Lead to More Terrifying Wars? | Reopening the Pegasus Spying Scandal | India Delivers Supersonic Cruise Missiles to Philippines, and more

The success of the Seychelles Coast Guard shows how regional states, however tiny, can play an outsized role not only in countering piracy but also in maritime security in general. By taking quick and sharp action against malicious actors, small states can make a major contribution to regional maritime security. To stop the ominous return of piracy and address other maritime crimes like illegal fishing, smuggling, and pollution crimes across the world’s oceans, the contributions of small states will be crucial. Drawing on the Seychelles example, small states should overcome the sea blindness that pervades in many governments, recognize the sustainable development benefits from the blue economy, and understand security at sea as a political priority, while making efficient use of external security assistance.

Amid China Tensions, India Delivers Supersonic Cruise Missiles to Philippines  (Anjana Pasricha, VOA News)
India has begun delivery of supersonic cruise missiles to the Philippines as the two countries tighten defense and strategic ties amid rising tensions between the East Asian nation and China over maritime disputes in the South China Sea.
The BrahMos missiles are being acquired by the Philippines under a $375 million deal signed in 2022.
“Now we are also exporting BrahMos missiles. The first batch of this missile is going to the Philippines today,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Friday at an election rally.
India and Philippines have ramped up defense cooperation as concerns over an increasingly assertive China deepen in both countries.

Seven Teenagers Arrested in Australia Anti-Terrorism Probe  (VOA News)
Seven teenagers in Australia have been arrested in a sweeping anti-terrorism operation in the wake of last week’s stabbing attack of a bishop in Sydney.
New South Wales Deputy Commissioner David Hudson told reporters Wednesday that more than 400 federal, state and local authorities were involved in the operation. He said the suspects, who are between 15 to 17 years old, were associates of the 16-year-old boy charged in the April 15 attack on Assyrian Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel during a service that was streamed live online.
Emmanuel was seriously injured in the attack. The suspect has been charged with committing a terrorist act.

Spain: Court Reopens Investigation in Pegasus Spying Scandal  (DW)
Spain’s High Court on Tuesday ordered the reopening of an investigation into the alleged hacking of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and other Spanish politicians’ phones with Pegasus spyware.
The investigation was launched in 2022 when the government said software from the Israeli firm NSO Group was used to spy on ministers, triggering a political crisis in Spain. The probe was shelved last year over “the complete lack of legal cooperation” from Israel.
After receiving new information from French judicial authorities, Judge Jose Luis Calama decided to reopen Spain’s investigation.

Is Iran’s Strategic Patience at an End?  (Assaf Zoran, National Interest)
The reported precise yet limited Israeli attack against an Iranian missile defense facility near Isfahan last week delivered a nuanced threat without pushing escalation forward. Based on operational superiority, it signaled a potential future destructive assault on Iranian strategic targets, should such a decision be made.
Iran’s downplaying of the attack likely ends the most significant escalation observed between the two countries. The most noteworthy aspect of the recent escalation was an unprecedented large-scale Iranian military assault on Israeli territory. But, while many focus on the immediate context of the Israeli attack in Damascus, the bigger picture is commonly overlooked. 
Yes, Iran meant to set a new equation by responding disproportionately to Israel’s attack in Syria. However, it does not stand alone. This maneuver aligns with a broader pattern of daring and escalation with other adversaries, including Pakistan. This new approach, aimed at preventing regime destabilization, is based on increased confidence in risk management and a narrower, more conservative political system.
While this round of conflict appears to be over, more escalatory situations are likely to occur, and the likelihood of an extensive war between Iran and Israel has indeed risen. Now is the time to recalibrate the escalation course with more calculated conduct based on both sides’ corrected understanding of perceptions, game rules, and red lines.