THURSDAY PDB – Do We Want Ukraine to Win? EU Wants Bigger Role in Facing China, ISIS Global Terrorism Surge, Pentagon Wants to Fry Drones with Microwaves, N. Korea Tests Another ICBM

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HMMM – DOD’s Pacific Plans aren’t scaled back to finance Ukraine aid, say Austin and Milley. A hearing of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee drew attention to perceived funding shortfalls in the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy, but Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley said plans to counter China have not been curtailed by the demands to defend NATO and supply weapons to Ukraine.

UNITING AGAINST CHINA – EU seeks bigger role in Asia’s ‘theatre of tensions’, warns on China. European Union leaders said on Thursday that the EU wants to become a bigger actor in Asia, which they termed a “theatre of tensions”, warning of an increasingly assertive China even as they called on Beijing to defend the multilateral global order.


Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 78. Ukrainian officials issued dire warnings about the fate of civilians and the last fighters in the southern port of Mariupol, after weeks of Russian bombardment which the city’s mayor said had turned it into a “medieval ghetto”. The Russian-occupied region of Kherson in Ukraine plans to ask Russian President Putin to incorporate it into Russia, TASS news agency said, citing a Russian official.

Ukraine goes on the counteroffensive as Russians fall back. According to some news reports, Russian forces retreated to regroup around defensive positions less than 10km (6 miles) from the Russian border, with Ukrainian units in hot pursuit.

QUESTION ANSWERED BELOW – Does the West want Ukraine to win or not? The relative trickle of advanced weapons to Kyiv suggests Western leaders would be fine with a stalemate.

SHOULD BE TO DEFEAT PUTIN – Intelligence-sharing with Ukraine designed to prevent wider war. The Biden administration has drawn up guidance around intelligence-sharing with Ukraine that is calibrated to avoid heightening tensions between Washington and Moscow.

RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION BOOGEYMAN – Russia actually isn’t as good at information warfare as everyone thought. Russian memes are working about as well as Russian tanks.


N Korea fires ballistic missile off east coast, S Korea, Japan say. North Korea fired a ballistic missile toward the sea off its east coast on Thursday, South Korean and Japanese militaries said, as the isolated country races to advance its weapons programs.


ISLAMIST TERROR SURGE – ISIS in Africa behind a surge in terrorist attacks, officials say. The Islamic State’s regional affiliates in Africa are carrying out lethal attacks at a tempo far surpassing the parent organization that once ruled large swaths of Iraq and Syria.

NOT JUST AFRICA – Eight soldiers killed in Togo, raising spectre of first deadly Islamist attack. Eight soldiers were killed and 13 wounded in an attack in northern Togo on Wednesday, the government said, marking potentially the first deadly raid on its territory by Islamist militants who have killed thousands in neighboring countries.

UK strikes new security agreement with Sweden and Finland. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday said he had agreed new deals with Sweden and Finland to bolster European security, pledging to support both countries’ armed forces should they come under attack.


A GUARD FOR THE GUARDIANS? Senators introduce legislation to create Space National Guard. A bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday introduced a bill that would create a Space National Guard under the newly-established U.S. Space Force.

FRYING DRONES – Pentagon tests high-power microwave systems against drones. The Pentagon’s Joint Counter-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office has wrapped up a demonstration of high-power microwave technology capable of taking out multiple drone threats at once.

WOOHOO! – Marines to field multibarrel sniper rifle to replace two existing weapons. The rifle will replace both the Mk13 Mod 7 and the M40A6 sniper rifles.

US Coast Guard, desperate for new polar icebreakers, eyes a used ship. As America’s Polar Security Cutter Program faces increasing delays, the U.S. Coast Guard is seeking to buy a commercially available icebreaker. Envisioned as a short-term gap-filler as the Coast Guard’s last remaining heavy icebreaker, the 46-year-old USC SC -36%GC Polar Star (WAGB-10) ages out, the Coast Guard is eying the used icebreaker market.


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