MONDAY PDB – China Gaining Ground in Middle East, Longer Range Weapons for Ukraine, US/S Korea Respond to N Korea, Putin’s ‘Afrika Corps,’ Communist Trio Not Invited to Americas Summit via Wikimedia Commons

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GOOD OR BAD IDEA? Senator wants to ‘mobilize’ military veterans to guard schools. In the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is calling to “mobilize” military veterans to serve as security officers at schools around the country.


INDEED! – With US distracted, Tehran and Beijing tighten embrace in the Middle East. The US pivot to the Pacific may be all about China, but it misses Beijing’s moves to fill a US void elsewhere.

Beyond weapons: Time for a new US strategy on Taiwan. Enlarging Taipei’s military cooperation throughout the Indo-Pacific is today potentially the most effective way to break Beijing’s heavy-handed efforts to quarantine Taiwan politically. Deciding what military assets America should provide Taiwan is crucial, but the bigger picture is to interweave Taiwan into the emerging alliances and coalitions forming to deal with the Chinese threat.


Russia hits Kyiv with missiles; Putin warns West on supplies. Russian forces pounded railway facilities and other infrastructure early Sunday in Kyiv, which had previously seen weeks of eerie calm.

ESCALATION OR MORE OF THE SAME? – Putin threatens new targets if Ukraine gets longer-range rockets; missiles hit Kyiv. In a television interview with state media that was recorded Friday and aired Sunday, Putin said he considered the medium-range missiles Biden promised last month to be replacements for similar artillery that Ukraine has lost in the fighting. But should longer-range systems arrive, Putin said, his military would begin hitting targets it has so far avoided. He offered no specifics.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 103. A Russian state media journalist reported Moscow’s Major General Roman Kutuzov was killed in eastern Ukraine, adding to the string of high-ranking military casualties sustained by Moscow. Ukraine has reversed a Russian advance in Severodonetsk and recaptured about 20 percent of the strategic eastern city, meaning Ukraine now controls half, the governor of Luhansk said.

LET THE NORDIC GAMES BEGIN – Major Baltic Sea exercise kicks off as Swedish, Finnish NATO bids wait on Turkey. The NATO exercise BALTOPS – to be held on the Baltic Sea next week – is the latest showing of unity and military strength as Sweden and Finland trade neutrality for NATO’s embrace in the wake of Russia’s three-month-old invasion of Ukraine.


OVERDUE – US, S Korean navies end key exercise amid N Korea tension. The three-day exercise that began Thursday in international waters off Okinawa was apparently the allies’ first joint drill involving a U.S. aircraft carrier since November 2017.

YES, NORTH KOREA – WE HAVE MISSILES TOO – US and South Korea respond to North Korean launch with 8 missiles of their own. U.S. Forces Korea and the South Korean military fired one U.S. missile and seven South Korean missiles eastward into the sea to demonstrate the countries’ ability to “respond quickly to crisis events,” the U.S. military said Monday.


‘Evil and wicked’: At least 50 killed in Nigeria church attack. Gunmen opened fire and detonated explosives killing dozens of people in an attack on a Catholic church in southwestern Nigeria.

PUTIN’S ‘AFRIKA CORPS’ – In Africa, a Putin-backed group that’s far more than a war machine. Backed by the Kremlin, a shadowy network known as the Wagner Group is getting rich in Sudan while helping the military crush a democracy movement.

US excludes Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua from Americas summit. The decision, which followed weeks of intense deliberations, risks an embarrassing boycott of the U.S.-hosted gathering this week in Los Angeles if Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and some other leaders choose not to show up.


INTERESTING – Marine Corps Reserve gets new missions, new roles and a whole new design. For decades the Marine Reserve was a near-carbon copy of the active side. Not anymore.

GUARDIANS ALERT – How the US Space Force plans to police outer space. Outer space is getting crowded, with both commercial endeavors and secretive military projects. And it’s going to be up to the newest United States military branch, the Space Force, to protect American interests there.

REAL ISSUE – OR EASY FIX? Military families not having enough food is a national security issue, report says. The key factors that make up military life were found to be significant contributors to food insecurity for military families and could hinder the ability of the armed forces to recruit and retain troops if it isn’t addressed, according to two reports released this week.


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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