WEDNESDAY PDB – Biden’s ‘Buy American’ Undermines Allies, China’s Serious Hacking Threat, Day 70 of Putin’s War on Ukraine, Mexico’s Cartel Wars

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SIDE EFFECTS – How Biden’s ‘Buy American’ is undermining the arsenal of democracy. Responding to America’s protectionist policies, allies write new letter to White House pushing for waivers, according to a new op-ed from AEI’s Bill Greenwalt and Dustin Walker.

IMPORTANT – Pentagon finds hundreds of cyber vulnerabilities among contractors. A Department of Defense pilot program designed to root out digital vulnerabilities among contractors identified hundreds of flaws over the course of one year, organizers said.

FIX THIS! – Push to arm Ukraine putting strain on US weapons stockpile. The planes take off almost daily from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware — hulking C-17s loaded up with Javelins, Stingers, howitzers and other material being hustled to Eastern Europe to resupply Ukraine’s military in its fight against Russia.

HMMM? Greater threat doesn’t necessarily mean more B-21s needed. Heightened threats from Russia and China don’t automatically translate to a need for more than 100 B-21 Raiders, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. told the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 3.


Texas Guard’s guidance deterring soldiers from saving drowning migrants draws scrutiny. The recent death of a National Guard soldier who drowned trying to save migrants in the Rio Grande has led to increased scrutiny of the Texas Military Department’s policy discouraging service members assigned to Operation Lone Star, Gov. Greg Abbott’s border mission, from engaging in water rescues.


TOP DANGER – Chinese hackers cast wide net for trade secrets in US, Europe and Asia, researchers say. The hackers targeted blueprints for producing materials with broad applications to the pharmaceutical and aerospace sectors, according to Boston-based security firm Cybereason. The firm discovered the activity last year but said the hacking campaign dates to at least 2019, and it suggested that reams of data could have been stolen in the interim.


Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 70. Russia has deployed 22 battalion tactical groups near Ukraine’s eastern city of Izium in an apparent effort to advance along the northern axis of the Donbas region and capture the cities of Kramatorsk and Severodonetsk, the UK said. Belarusian armed forces began surprise large-scale drills on Wednesday to test their combat readiness, the defence ministry of Ukraine’s neighbour said.

Why is Ukraine’s Donbas region a target for Russian forces? Russia is preparing to formally claim vast new swaths of Ukrainian territory, including the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, the United States said.

Britain pledges anti-ship missiles, cargo drones for Ukraine’s defense. Britain added anti-ship missiles, logistics drones and other key equipment to its list of military equipment heading to Ukraine, according to a Tuesday speech by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.


CARTEL WARS NEVER END – In Mexico, one cartel is cleared, but others storm in. In the state of Michoacán, small drug cartels compete with larger ones for territory, leaving the residents caught in the middle of a brutal turf war.

Mexican officials clear out migrant camp at Texas border. Mexican authorities have cleared a makeshift encampment of migrants in the northern border city of Reynosa that had grown over the past year to hold some 2,000 people, Mexico’s migration institute (INM) said on Tuesday.

Mali: Military government breaks defence accords with France. Mali’s ruling military has announced it is breaking its defence accords with former colonial ruler France, condemning “flagrant violations” of its national sovereignty by the French troops stationed there.

RUSSIAN KILLERS – CAR: HRW denounces alleged abuses of Russian mercenary group. Mercenaries from the Russian private military company the Wagner Group summarily beat and executed civilians between February 2019 and November 2021 in the Central African Republic (CAR), according to a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW).


NEED TO ADJUST – What overturning Roe v. Wade could mean for the US military. News that the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to overturn its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing federal protections for abortion rights means that many female service members and military families could soon live in parts of the country where the procedure will be illegal.

FIX THIS! – Navy launching investigations into USS George Washington and shipyard life. One probe will look for commonalities and trigger points among three GW sailor suicides last month, while another will look at how the Navy can do better by sailors in the shipyard environment.


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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