WEDNESDAY PDB – Dems Refuse to Raise Defense Spending, Ukraine Lessons for China, Putin Still Aims to Conquer Ukraine, Latin Beauties – US Troops Behaving Badly, Global Nuke Spending Grows

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US MODERNIZING – CHINA GROWING – Nuclear-armed nations spent $82.4bn on weapons in 2021. The biggest spender was the United States, which accounted for more than half the total spending, followed by China, Russia, the United Kingdom and France, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) said in its annual report on nuclear spending

WEAK DEMS – House Democrats rebuke calls to raise spending in defense bill. House Democrats sided with the Biden administration Tuesday, offering a $762 billion fiscal 2023 defense spending bill in an initial draft released by the Appropriations Committee.

CRITICAL SUPPLY – The war in Ukraine has exposed a critical American vulnerability. Shoring up the nation’s supply chain is the single greatest challenge to the national defense.

ARSENAL OF DEMOCRACY – Expedite arms deliveries to beleaguered democracies. Fielded combat capabilities — not arms sales announcements from Washington — are what help America’s beleaguered democratic partners such as Taiwan deter and defeat aggression.


TAKING TAIWAN WON’T BE EASY – 4 lessons China should take from Ukraine: Pentagon policy chief. Colin Kahl, the undersecretary for defense for policy, said he hopes Russia’s troubles in Ukraine are “soaking in” as China eyes Taiwan.

NOT THE SAME – Washington already fought a Cold War with Beijing. It was a disaster. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February, a debate within the U.S. foreign policy community has reignited over how far Washington would go to defend Taiwan if China launched a similar assault on the island.

Australia’s foreign minister Wong to travel to Solomon Islands amid concern over China security pact. Australia’s foreign minister will travel to the Solomon Islands on Friday to meet with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare amid concern over the regional impact of a security deal between the Pacific islands nation and China.

MESSAGE TO BEIJING – American carrier strike groups in Philippine Sea ahead of RIMPAC 2022. Two carrier strike groups, along with an amphibious assault ship, are drilling together in the Philippine Sea ahead of the Rim of the Pacific 2022 (RIMPAC).


WINNING? Putin still aims to conquer Ukraine despite early losses, Pentagon official says. Russian President Vladimir Putin still desires to take over Ukraine completely as his armed forces make progress in the eastern part of the country, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said Tuesday.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 112. Ukraine’s forces are finding it more difficult to hold off Russian troops in the key eastern city of Severodonetsk, as Moscow’s army continues to pound the city with artillery, the governor of Luhansk said. He added that Russian troops control about 80 percent of Severodonetsk. The governor Luhansk said about 500 civilians remain at the Azot plant, including 40 children.

Ukraine battle intensifies as Western backers mull new military aid. Russia intensified its assault on a strategic Ukrainian city on Tuesday as NATO officials prepared to debate increased military support for Kyiv’s attempt to reverse Russian momentum in the country’s east.


France announces capture of senior Islamic State figure in Mali. France announced on Wednesday that soldiers from its operation battling Islamist militants in the Sahel region of West Africa had captured Oumeya Ould Albakaye, a senior Islamic State figure in Mali.

NEW RADICAL REBELS – Militant indigenous uprising in Chile tests new leftist leader. President Gabriel Boric shifts gears to halt violent attacks on forestry companies and police by radical Mapuche members with claims on ancestral lands.


LATIN BEAUTIES – Army advisors in Latin America told to behave as word of drinking, Tinder use and STDs grew. Soldiers dispatched to Latin America for the Army’s new trademark advising missions were warned last fall to behave after word trickled out that there had been an increase in STDs among married and single advisors, use of online dating apps and drinking against regulations.

BUT – INFLATION! – 4.6% pay raise for troops gets support across Capitol Hill. There’s broad support for the largest increase in military paychecks in 20 years, but not more to account for rising inflation.


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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