FRIDAY PDB – China’s Military Expansion Reaching ‘Tipping Point,’ Ukraine Refugees Challenge NATO, Iran Nuclear Breakout – or Israeli Strike? F-35 Aids Patriot Missiles Down Target in Pacific Test

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LED BY GOP – Senators back $45 billion boost in defense spending for FY23. Senate Armed Services Committee members added $45 billion to the White House’s defense spending target for fiscal 2023 in their annual defense authorization bill, unveiled Thursday, setting up a congressional showdown in the coming weeks over total military spending.


‘DISTURBING TREND’ OR DROP IN 1.8 MILLION PERSON BUCKET? 4 veterans and a National Guard cadet among members of white supremacist group arrested in Idaho. At least five members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front who were arrested near an Idaho Pride event last week had a military background — one is a current member of the National Guard — continuing the disturbing trend of military members and veterans playing key roles in extremist groups and being charged with crimes.


NO KIDDING – China’s military expansion is reaching a dangerous tipping point. Top military leaders from the United States and China met last weekend at a forum in Singapore, where they attempted to manage mounting tensions between the superpowers. But throughout Asia, there’s growing fear that China’s drastic military expansion will soon result in Chinese regional military superiority, which could embolden Beijing to start a war over Taiwan.

INDEED – China on wrong side of history for backing Russian interests amid war, US warns. In a call with Putin, Xi said China and Russia support each other’s “core interests concerning sovereignty and security.”


BEGUN UNDER TRUMP – NATO ministers discuss boosting eastern front forces. NATO defense ministers gathered Thursday for talks focusing on bolstering forces and deterrence along the military alliance’s eastern borders to dissuade Russia from planning further aggression.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 114. Russian-backed separatists in Luhansk said they were ready to open a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians from a chemical plant in Severodonetsk if Ukraine agreed to a ceasefire. Ukraine said Russia’s proposal for peace talks was an “attempt to deceive the world”. An air raid hit a building sheltering civilians in Ukraine’s embattled eastern city of Lysychansk, killing at least three people.


US and Asian allies prepare missile defense drill to counter North Korean launches. The U.S., South Korea and Japan are rehearsing their ballistic missile defense this summer following a record number of demonstrations by North Korea this year of its missile capability.


NUCLEAR BREAKOUT OR ISRAELI STRIKE? Fears grow over Iran’s nuclear program as Tehran digs tunnel network. The conflict over the program may flare again as President Biden travels next month to Israel and Saudi Arabia, Iran’s two biggest regional rivals.


Conflict in Ukraine pushes global displaced to record high, UN says. Russia’s war in Ukraine has pushed global displacement figures to record levels, the U.N. refugee agency said Thursday, calling the statistics a “tragic milestone.”

NATO needs to move protection of civilians to center stage. The Ukraine war shows why the alliance’s upcoming summit cannot give short shrift to the topic of human security.

UKRAINE WAR FALLOUT – Argentina chooses to buy US-made Chinook over Russian Mi-26. Argentina has kick-started the process for procuring four Boeing-made CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters from the U.S., military – sources in Buenos Aires say.


East DR Congo violence worsening despite ‘state of siege’ – UN. Security has deteriorated in two provinces in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since the government placed them under military rule last year, United Nations experts have said.

Forty fighters ‘neutralized’ in drone strikes in Niger. French drone strikes have killed nearly 40 fighters earlier travelling on motorcycles near Niger’s border with Burkina Faso, France’s military said on Thursday.


Patriot missiles down drone target from Palau with assist from Lightning II. A U.S. Army Patriot missile defense system and an Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft combined Wednesday to shoot down a dummy cruise missile over the Pacific, according to an Army spokesman.

YES – Space Force seeks a bigger voice in military operations. The Space Force is vying for influence after the space enterprise has been in the background for several decades.


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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