TUESDAY PDB – Ukraine Unleashes ‘Red Dawn’ Against Russia, Texas Guard vs Liberal Butterfly Center, More F-35s for South Korea, Navy Botched Response to Catastrophic USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

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

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US military’s newest weapon against China and Russia: hot air. The Pentagon is quietly transitioning high-altitude balloon projects to the military services.


Lost rifle is latest in feud between Texas Guard and butterfly preserve. The National Butterfly Center, a non-profit nature preserve whose top official is an outspoken liberal activist, and the Texas National Guard, which is more than a year into its controversial, issue-plagued mission to monitor the state’s border with Mexico, have clashed for months.


Wary of China threat, Taiwanese join Ukraine’s fight against Russia. For many in Taiwan, the Russian assault on Ukraine hits close to home because of parallels with their own situation. The island’s people live under constant threat from a powerful authoritarian neighbor, China, which claims sovereignty over democratic Taiwan and vows to seize it by force if necessary.

Hong Kong’s new leader sworn in as Xi hails rule by ‘patriots.’ Chinese leader Xi Jinping oversees ceremony on first trip outside mainland China since the pandemic began.


Are we witnessing a military revolution on Ukraine battlefields? President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Ukrainian warriors have unleashed a “Red Dawn”-like response against Russian troop advances in nearly every part of the country.

NATO touts country pairings as key to defending the eastern flank. NATO officials at the Madrid summit revived a Cold War-era concept of spelling out which alliance countries are responsible for securing specific, vulnerable European members situated closer to Russia.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 132. Ukrainian forces that retreated from Lysychansk are now holding the line between Bakhmut and Sloviansk, preparing to fend off a further Russian advance, Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai said.

US to send Ukraine advanced NASAMS air defense weapons in $820 million package. The Pentagon on Friday announced $820 million in new Ukraine military aid that includes advanced mid- to long-range air defense systems and counter-artillery radars to respond to Russia’s heavy use of long-range strikes in the war.

After losing Luhansk, Ukraine forces gather for defense of Donetsk. Russian forces set their sights on their next objectives in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk province on Tuesday after President Vladimir Putin claimed victory in neighboring Luhansk province and the five-month long war entered a new phase.


South Korean defense agency backs buy of 20 more F-35A jets. A South Korean defense agency has backed the purchase of more F-35A fighter jets as part of the country’s F-X project, which comprises the government’s preemptive strike strategy Kill Chain, meant to counter North Korean nuclear and missile threats.

North Korea slams US-South Korea-Japan military cooperation. Sunday’s statement comes as North Korea’s neighbors say the country is ready for its first nuclear test in five years.

Army will no longer rotate tank units to Korea — but the tanks are staying. The Army will no longer rotate tank brigades to South Korea beginning this fall, the service acknowledged in a press release Thursday afternoon.


US concludes unintentional Israeli fire likely killed American journalist. An American-led analysis of forensic and ballistic evidence, as well as the separate Israeli and Palestinian investigations, found that the bullet that killed Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh likely originated from an Israeli soldier, but added that there was “no reason to believe this was intentional,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday.


New details emerge about the 2020 Bonhomme Richard fire, ahead of censure of three-star. The initial response to the July 2020 fire that destroyed the multibillion-dollar amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard was uncoordinated and hampered by confusion as to which admiral should cobble together Navy and civilian firefighters, according to new information from the then-head of Naval Surface Forces.

Cyber Yankee: The Marine Corps is laser focused on cyberwar. The Marine Corps’ Cyber Yankee exercises are meant to simulate a cyber attack on the nation’s critical infrastructure. Read More



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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