MONDAY PDB – China’s Ukrainian ‘Battle Lab,’ Biden’s Folly: Anti-Satellite Test Ban, Russia Strikes US Weapons in Odessa, US Marines Need More Amphib Ships, Finland to Join NATO, US National Guard Supporting Ukraine

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NOT YET – Feared Russian cyberattacks against US have yet to materialize. The leader of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said American networks have yet to experience significant cyberattacks by Russian operatives amid the ongoing belligerence in Ukraine.

BIDEN’S FOLLY – The anti-satellite test ban must not undermine deterrence. While the U.S. would like to prevent conflict from escalating to space, many of our adversaries do not share this goal.


SOMEONE HAS TO DO IT – Texas governor approves almost $500M to fund state’s National Guard border mission. Gov. Greg Abbott approved nearly $500 million to fund the deployment of thousands of Texas National Guard troops to the state’s border with Mexico just days before the mission was set to run out of money.


BUT THEY WILL LEARN – Beijing’s Ukrainian Battle Lab. Among those observing the Russian military’s ongoing operations in Ukraine, few will be watching and assessing its performance more intensely than the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Analyzing the wars of other countries continues to play an important role in Beijing’s decision-making about military modernization. In the first phase of Ukraine conflict, PLA analysts — who have held the Russian military in high regard — will undoubtedly find Russian operations wanting.


ESCALATION – Russia strikes US weapons at airfield near Odesa, defense ministry says. Russia’s defense ministry said on Sunday it had struck at weapons supplied to Ukraine by the United States and European countries and destroyed a runway at a military airfield near the Ukrainian city of Odesa.

Florida Guardsmen heading to Germany to continue training Ukrainian troops. A Florida National Guard unit that evacuated Ukraine in February has a new mission: continuing to train Ukrainian troops, this time outside of Ukraine.

Combat death puts spotlight on Americans fighting in Ukraine. An undetermined number of Americans, many with military backgrounds, are thought to be in Ukraine battling Russian forces.

US National Guard’s aging battle taxis find new use in Ukraine fight. At least five states are sending aging M113 armored personnel carriers to Europe to support the Pentagon’s race to send equipment to Ukraine.

FINLAND JUST ANNOUNCED IT IS JOINING – Finland and Sweden intensify talks on joint NATO application. The sudden elevation in intensity of top-level talks between Finland and Sweden has raised the bar on the expectation that the two unaligned Nordic states will jointly announce their decisions to join NATO by May 16.


YADA YADA – Beijing concerned with rising North Korea tensions, envoy says in Seoul. The “legitimate and reasonable concerns of all parties” need to be acknowledged for there to be a political settlement, Liu Xiaoming, Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Korean Peninsula Affairs, told reporters at Seoul’s airport late on Sunday.


Brazil orders more Gripen jets, mulls another large buy. Brazil is set to order four Saab-Embraer F-39E jets in addition to the 36 already purchased in 2014 under a $4.7 billion contract. The country is also considering ordering another batch of at least 30 F-39E fighters — the local designation of the JAS 39E Gripen NG.

LATIN AMERICAN CRIME SPIKE – Ecuador declares emergency in three provinces on rising crime. Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso on Friday declared a 60-day state of emergency, including curfews in some areas and the deployment of thousands of security forces, in three of the country’s 24 provinces, citing a rise in crime.


NEED MORE BOATS! – ‘We should have been there’: Marine general laments the state of the amphib Navy. A failure to deploy in February illustrates the low readiness of the nation’s amphibious warships, a Marine three-star tells Defense One.

VERY INTERESTING DEVELOPMENT – War puts spy satellites for hire in spotlight. From Russian tanks to mass burial sites, commercial imaging spacecraft are shedding light on the Kremlin’s war on its neighbor.

FIX THIS! – Troops at remote and overseas bases attempt suicide more often, GAO finds. Troops stationed at remote and overseas bases attempted suicide at slightly higher rates but were less often successful compared to the general active-duty military population, according to findings in a new Government Accountability Office report.


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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