FRIDAY PDB – ‘Philly Under Attack’ Drill, Xi Warns Biden Not to ‘Play with Fire,’ Tide Turning in Ukraine? Marine Recon for Pacific, N. Korea Threatens to Use Nukes, DC Requests Guard to Manage Migrant Buses from Texas

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Nearly 9% boost for defense spending next year under new Senate plan. Senate Democrats on Thursday proposed a $792 billion defense spending package that would dramatically boost the White House’s military spending plans for fiscal 2023 but still didn’t total enough to satisfy congressional Republicans.

Army’s top general vows not to lower recruiting standards despite trouble finding new soldiers. The Army’s top general is vowing not to lower the service’s standards despite a recruiting crisis reaching a head with a shrinking pool of young Americans eligible to serve and difficulty enticing new soldiers.

Marine vet’s prisoner swap needs to be quiet, Russia says. Washington offered Russia a deal that would bring home Marine veteran Paul Whelan and WNBA player Brittney Griner.


On the scene as US Army conducts drills in Philly to train for ‘America’s worst day.’ The military and first responders, along with actors playing injured civilians, held drills in South Philadelphia this week to practice their response in the event the city came under attack.

WELL PLAYED, TEXAS! – DC requests National Guard help with busloads of migrants. Mayor Muriel Bowser formally asked the White House for an open-ended deployment of 150 National Guard members per day.


WEAK BIDEN – Don’t ‘play with fire’ over Taiwan, China’s Xi warns in call with Biden. Chinese leader Xi Jinping warned against playing with fire over Taiwan in a call with U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday, highlighting Beijing’s concerns about a possible visit to the Chinese-claimed island by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

YES! – Marines pitching service as Western Pacific recon asset for combined joint force. As the Marine Corps reshapes its force for a future conflict in the Western Pacific, the service is refining how to meet the reconnaissance mission for the wider U.S. military.


Ukraine could be turning the tide of war again as Russian advances stall. Russian advances in Ukraine have slowed almost to a standstill as newly delivered Western weapons help Ukrainian forces reclaim much of the advantage they had lost in recent months, opening a window of opportunity to turn the tide of the war in their favor again.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 156. Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine say at least 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war captured during the fighting for Mariupol were killed and 130 were wounded on Friday when Ukrainian shelling hit a prison in the town of Olenivka.

Northern Ukraine comes under burst of Russian attacks far from front lines. Missiles and rockets rained down on northern Ukraine on Thursday morning, marking the first time in weeks that the Kyiv region, far from the fighting in the country’s east and south, has been hit.

Russians, risking isolation in the south, build up for Ukrainian attack. Russia is moving “maximum” forces to the south, which presents a role reversal from the eastern Donbas region: Ukraine is on the offensive and Russians holding a key city risk being cut off.


Kim threatens to use nukes amid tensions with US, South Korea. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has warned he’s ready to use his nuclear weapons in potential military conflicts with the United States and South Korea.


Africa Command balancing rise of terrorism with limited resources. Africa may be quickly becoming the international nexus of violent extremist groups, but the head of U.S. Africa Command doesn’t foresee much ramping up of the American presence there.


New MOS and formations could come to Army spec ops in tech-savvy era. The Army’s special operations forces are considering new tech roles and unit structures to complement their growing partnership with space and cyber commands, according to Army Special Operations Command’s top general.

EXCELLENT – ‘Brink of a major revolution’: Pentagon-funded drug trial may end venomous snakebite scourge. Japan has the habu, the keelback and the mamushi; the United States has the copperhead, sidewinder and Mojave green. Djibouti has the boomslang, the red spitting cobra and the East African carpet viper.


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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