MONDAY PDB – Biden’s Dangerous Gaffes in Poland, Is Ukraine a Warning for China? Trump’s Legacy: A Historic Arab-Israeli Summit, Will Putin Split Ukraine?

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Why Biden’s off-script remarks about Putin are so dangerous. Over the past week, US President Joe Biden has made a series of unscripted remarks that have upped the temperature of US-Russia relations to near boiling point. President Joe Biden closed speech in Poland by saying Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power,” in what has been called a “horrendous gaffe.” He also told U.S. airborne troops in Poland they would be in Ukraine.

‘We expected more bravery’: Ukraine ‘disappointed’ in NATO as Biden visits troops in Poland. President Joe Biden traveled to this southeastern Polish city Friday to visit U.S. troops deployed along NATO’s eastern fringe as a bulwark against Russian incursion, and to laud Poland’s humanitarian role in welcoming more than 2 million Ukrainian refugees.


MESSAGE TO BEIJING – Russia’s failures in Ukraine imbue Pentagon with newfound confidence. The optimism is spurred by the surprising effectiveness of U.S.-backed Ukrainian forces, Russia’s heavy battlefield losses and the cautionary lessons they believe China is taking from the war.

ANOTHER MESSAGE – Philippines, US hold biggest military exercises in seven years. The Philippines and the United States kicked off on Monday their biggest joint military drills since 2015, underscoring improved defence ties after President Rodrigo Duterte had scaled back some earlier war games to pursue warmer ties with China.


OF COURSE IT WILL – Russia may aim to split Ukraine as war turns unpredictable. Officials warned that Russian leader Vladimir Putin may try to divide Ukraine by consolidating territory in the east and south.

Russia begins to mobilize military reinforcements for Ukraine as casualties mount, Pentagon says. Thousands of Russian troops are stationed at military outposts from Georgia to Syria to Tajikistan, many of them assigned to motorized rifle brigades that experts consider combat-capable and ready to deploy immediately. Those forces have become the centerpiece of what the Pentagon believes is the Kremlin’s plan to keep its ground offensive going, as Russian commanders in Ukraine sustain heavy casualties.

SEND MO MISSILES – Stinger and Javelin production can be boosted, says Army acquisitions chief. The production of critical Stinger and Javelin missile systems can be boosted, said the U.S. Army’s acquisitions and logistics head, allowing the United States to refill its arsenals after sending thousands of the systems to Eastern Europe in support of Ukraine.

Russian troops’ tendency to talk on unsecured lines is proving costly. Russian troops in Ukraine have relied, with surprising frequency, on unsecured communications devices such as smartphones and push-to-talk radios, leaving units vulnerable to targeting, and further exposing the command and control deficiencies that have come to define Moscow’s monthlong invasion.


Kim Jong Un pledges to build up North Korea’s attack capability. North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un says his country plans to develop more powerful means of attack, days after its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch since 2017.


THANKS TO TRUMP – Israel to host US, Arab diplomats in ‘Abraham Accords’ summit. Israel said it will host a “historic summit” beginning on Sunday, with the participation of top diplomats from the United States and three Arab states with which it has normalised ties.

BLINKEN NOT CONVINCING – US, Mideast allies show unity in Israel amid Iran worries. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a show of unity with Middle East allies at a rare Israeli-hosted summit on Monday, hoping to allay their misgivings about an emerging Iranian nuclear deal and Washington’s commitment to the region.


West African leaders set deadlines for ‘recalcitrant’ coup-hit states. West Africa’s main political and economic bloc said on Friday it would give Mali’s military transitional government 12 to 16 months to arrange elections and offered Guinea’s ruling junta a month to propose a democratic transition timeline.

Tunisia says it has dismantled 150 militant cells in past 6 months. He added that some of the foreign militants arrested were planning to join “Jond Kilafha”, a group linked to Islamic State in Libya and in the mountains on the Tunisian-Algerian border.

El Salvador declares state of emergency after gang killings. El Salvador’s parliament has approved the state of emergency that temporarily suspended some constitutional protections in the Central American country following a wave of killings attributed to criminal gangs.


END OF AN ERA – US Marines transition from Harrier to F-35B. As part of the transition from the AV-8B Harrier to the F-35B Lightning II, VMA-214 was re-designated as Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 214. The F-35B Lightning II is replacing the AV-8B Harrier to introduce unmatched capabilities to the Marine Corps.


Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank. - - PAULCRESPO.COM

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