TUESDAY PDB – Remembering Our Fallen Heroes, Battling China’s Growing Pacific Influence, Russian Gains in Eastern Ukraine, US Forces Back in Somalia, Sending Drones to Supply Marines in Vast Pacific

An Artists rendering of Kratos' new drone design / Image courtesy of Kratos

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Read the summaries or dive deeper via the linked articles.

Today’s PDB includes a variety of critical, global national security issues.

** For additional intel on the Russia-Ukraine war and other hot topics we can’t fit here, please also subscribe to ‘Paul’s Defense Brief’ at paulcrespo.substack.com 

READ TODAY’S PDB BELOW:

MEMORIAL DAY

HONORING OUR FALLEN HEROES – Military Times Honor the Fallen | Memorial Day Video 2022. Military Times takes a look back at the service members lost to conflict since last Memorial Day.

HOMELAND SECURITY

‘EXTREME’ IDIOT – BUT NOT ENGAGED IN VIOLENCE – Former Army reservist found guilty in Jan. 6 riot. Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, who worked a security contractor at a Navy base when he joined the pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6, was also convicted of disorderly conduct and other misdemeanors.

CHINA THREAT

Why China is miles ahead in a Pacific race for influence. To many observers, the South Pacific today reveals what American decline looks like. Even as Washington tries to step up its game, it is still far behind, mistaking speeches for impact and interest for influence.

PRESSURE – China’s foreign minister visits Tonga after Pacific islands delay regional pact. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday signed agreements in Tonga for police equipment and fisheries cooperation on a tour through the Pacific islands’ region where Beijing’s ambitions for wider security ties has caused concern among U.S. allies.

FANTASTIC – President Tsai says US National Guard planning ‘cooperation’ with Taiwan military. The United States is planning on “cooperation” between its National Guard and Taiwan’s military, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday, deepening security ties in the face of what Taipei’s government complains is a rising threat from China.

SHE IS RIGHT ON THIS – US senator visits Taiwan as China ups military threat. On a visit to Taiwan, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth reiterated support for the island amid rising Chinese threats. Duckworth met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday and emphasized the close economic, political and security relations between Taipei and Washington.

RUSSIA THREAT

RUSSIAN GAINS – Russian troops storm city amid eastern Ukraine bombardments. Russian and Ukrainian troops engaged in close-quarter combat in an eastern Ukraine city Sunday as Moscow’s soldiers, supported by intense shelling, attempted to gain strategic footholds for conquering the region in the face of fierce Ukrainian resistance.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 97. At least 16,000 city residents have been buried by Russian occupiers in mass graves near the villages of Staryi Krym, Manhush and Vynohradne since mid-April, the Ukrainian mayor of Mariupol said. Russian troops have pushed further into the key city of Severodonetsk, in the Luhansk region and fought street by street with Kyiv’s forces, driving tens of thousands from their homes, the mayor said.

Lyman overtaken by Russians; French journalist killed in Severodonetsk area. Russian forces closing in on the city of Severodonetsk killed a French journalist who was covering evacuations in one of the last major Ukrainian-held areas of the country’s eastern Luhansk oblast, officials said Monday.

HEROIC DEFENSE – Ukraine troops hold out as Russia assaults Sievierodonetsk wasteland. Ukrainian forces were still holding out in Sievierodonetsk on Tuesday, resisting Russia’s all-out assault to capture a bombed-out wasteland that Moscow has made the principal objective of its invasion in recent days.

SECOND THOUGHTS – Georgia’s South Ossetia cancels referendum on joining Russia. The leader of Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia has cancelled plans to hold a referendum on joining Russia which his predecessor had scheduled for July 17. In a decree issued on Monday, the Moscow-controlled enclave’s de facto President Alan Gagloev invoked “uncertainty of the legal consequences of the issue submitted to a referendum.”

INTERNATIONAL SECURITY

FRIENDS AGAIN? New Somali president calls for reconciliation as US troops return. U.S. President Joe Biden this month authorized the redeployment of hundreds of U.S. soldiers who will help train, equip and support the military’s elite Danab special forces fighting the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants.

GROWING AFRICAN CONFLICT – African Union chair calls for dialogue over rising Congo-Rwanda tensions. Senegal President Macky Sall, who chairs the African Union organization, on Sunday called for dialogue between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda as tensions escalate between the two countries over a resurgence of the M23 rebel group.

US MILITARY AND SPACE

NEED MORE MISSILES – US Army signs deal to backfill Stingers sent to Ukraine. The Army has awarded a multimillion contract to Raytheon Technologies to build Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to restock its own supply after sending roughly 1,400 Stingers to Ukraine to bolster the nation’s defense against the Russian invasion, Reuters reported Friday, citing unnamed sources.

PROGRESS – Long-range drone hopes to resupply Marines on islands. Why send a pilot and crew in a multimillion-dollar transport aircraft to deliver water, food and ammo to Marines, when you could just send a drone?

END of PDB

paulcrespo.com

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.substack.com - PAULCRESPO.COM

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