FRIDAY PDB – US Navy Can’t Fight on Two Fronts, China Practicing Missile Strikes Against Taiwan and Guam, Ukraine Holding Line in Donbas, Iran ‘Winning’ on Nukes, Cutting-Edge Marines, Gulf War Troops Hit with Sarin Gas?

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NEED MORE SHIPS! – The Navy is unprepared to fight in two conflicts at once with current fleet size, the service’s top officer tells senators. Should Russia and China launch competing world conflicts, the Navy is unprepared to fight two wars in separate regions without additional ships, the service’s top officer told senators on Thursday.


HMMM – FBI told Israel it wanted Pegasus hacking tool for investigations. A 2018 letter from the bureau to the Israeli government is the clearest documentary evidence to date that the agency weighed using the spyware for law enforcement operations.


PORCUPINE DEFENSE – The US may be using Ukraine as a blueprint for how Taiwan could stop a Chinese invasion. The U.S. reportedly wants to arm Taiwan with the same types of portable weapons that the United States and other NATO members have been providing to Ukraine, such as Javelin and Stinger missiles to accelerate its efforts to make Taiwan harder for any invader to swallow – like a porcupine – based on lessons learned from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

DANGEROUS – Satellite images ‘suggest China is practicing missile strikes on targets in Taiwan and Guam.’ The Chinese military has refined its anti-ship missile training from striking large, carrier-sized targets to smaller ships and naval bases, according to recent satellite images. They show a training base in Xinjiang’s remote Taklamakan desert with the layout of a mock-up ship moored in a naval base that resembles one in northeast Taiwan and other targets in Guam, according to a Taipei-based naval analyst.


Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 79. Russian forces have likely taken control of all Rubizhne and Voevodivka in the Luhansk region, the Institute for the Study of War has said. Rocket attacks intensified on Ukraine’s central Poltava region, “perhaps the most intense for the duration of the war”, the regional governor has said.

KEEP IT UP! – Ukraine holds line in Donbas as Western heavy arms join fight. More than three weeks after the massive Russian offensive that aims to encircle Ukraine’s best forces in Donbas kicked off, Moscow’s achievements so far are limited at best.

INDEED – Ukrainian strikes against Russian vessels are more than just lucky hits. The destruction of at least eight Russian vessels in recent weeks has provided a morale boost for Ukraine, which managed to take them out despite having little naval capability of its own.

NATO KEEPS GETTING BIGGER – US leads exercise in NATO’s newest member. U.S. troops joined forces from Britain, France, Italy, and allied countries in the region Thursday in a military exercise held in NATO’s newest member, North Macedonia, aimed at displaying deployment readiness along the alliance’s eastern borders.


THANK YOU, BIDEN – Iran’s hard-liners believe they’re winning on nuclear weapons. In the Tehran echo chamber, Putin’s war in Ukraine is another indication of the cost of trusting America.


AND BIDEN DISASTER IN AFGHANISTAN – In Middle East, US general hears concerns about American commitment. U.S. Army General Michael “Erik” Kurilla, who took over as head of Central Command last month, is compiling a 90-day assessment of the U.S. military’s efforts in a region once at the core of a foreign policy now more focused on China, Russia and the war in Ukraine.


THANK YOU, BIDEN – Taliban tightens gender segregation rules in Afghanistan’s Herat. Men and women dining out together or strolling in parks is now forbidden in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat, Taliban authorities have said.


CUTTING-EDGE – Marine Raiders tackle ‘influencing’ to disrupt adversaries before the fight. Strategic reconnaissance and irregular warfare are the future.

First-of-kind Marine littoral regiment plays with new concepts, weapons. The U.S. Marine Corps’ first unit designed to carry out new concepts of operations conducted its first exercise in the Philippines and is now preparing to start a range of experimentation and training events this year.

YES – Army poised to revamp Alaska forces to prep for Arctic fight. The U.S. Army is poised to revamp its forces in Alaska to better prepare for future cold-weather conflicts, and it is expected to replace the larger, heavily equipped Stryker Brigade in the state with a more mobile infantry unit better suited for the frigid fight, Army leaders say.

FINALLY SOMETHING CONCRETE – Texas doctor’s new research links onset of Gulf War illness in some veterans to sarin gas exposure. New research from a Texas doctor has linked the onset of Gulf War illness in some veterans to exposure to the deadly nerve gas sarin.


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