THURSDAY PDB – Al Qaeda Leader Killed in US Strike Was Already ‘Irrelevant,’ China Fires ‘Unprecedented Number of Missiles Around Taiwan, Ukraine’s Huge Nuke Plant a Growing Danger, How Marines Are Paving the Future

Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt via Wikimedia Commons

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BIDEN’S OVERBLOWN VICTORY LAP – A key 9/11 plotter is dead. He was already irrelevant. Why Ayman al-Zawahiri’s killing won’t have much effect on global terrorism


China fires missiles in ‘unprecedented’ drills around Taiwan. Chinese military fires several ballistic missiles in exercises state media have described as a war plan rehearsal.

US, Indonesian soldiers hold drills on Sumatra amid China concerns. The United States and Indonesian militaries began annual joint combat exercises Wednesday on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, joined for the first time by participants from other partner nations, signaling stronger ties amid growing maritime activity by China in the Indo-Pacific region.

US can’t afford to repeat Ukraine mistake with Taiwan. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said in a New York Times op-ed published on Wednesday that the United States needs to learn from its mistakes in Ukraine in deciding how to best support Taiwan.


Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 162. Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said Russia’s eastern offensive was aimed at forcing Ukraine to divert troops from the Zaporizhzhia region. Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk region, said three civilians were killed in Bakhmut, Maryinka and Shevchenko and five wounded in the past 24 hours.

Ukraine says Russia creating strike force aimed at Zelenskiy’s hometown. Ukraine said on Wednesday that Russia had started creating a military strike force aimed at President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s hometown of Kryvyi Rih and warned that Moscow could be preparing new offensive operations in southern Ukraine.

Ukraine builds a case that killing of POWs was a Russian war crime. At a Russian-held prison, graves were dug days before the explosion that killed at least 50 Ukrainian troops held there, Ukrainian officials said.

Russian claims of destroying Ukrainian HIMARS false -Pentagon. The Pentagon on Tuesday denied Russian claims that the country had destroyed six U.S.-made HIMARS missile systems since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine.

UN nuclear chief: Ukraine nuclear plant is ‘out of control.’ The U.N. nuclear chief warned that Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine “is completely out of control” and issued an urgent plea to Russia and Ukraine to quickly allow experts to visit the sprawling complex to stabilize the situation and avoid a nuclear accident.


How the US can curb the North Korean nuclear threat. Countering Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and keeping Chinese global influence in check is rightfully dominating the national-security agenda in Washington. But what about North Korea—whose saber-rattling continued to vex the Beltway long before Russia stole its attention?


PATHETICALLY NAÏVE – Iran nuclear talks resume in last-ditch effort to secure deal. The six countries taking direct part in the negotiations will meet to consider an agreement that the E.U. foreign policy chief has put on the table.


DR Congo expels UN peacekeeping mission spokesman after protests. Thirty-six people, including four UN peacekeepers, were killed last week in protests against the missions.


Four ways to kill a ship: How US Marines are focused on controlling the seas. The biennial Rim of the Pacific exercise usually has a certain cadence to its scenario: a hurricane blows through an already tense island chain, but humanitarian relief efforts are hampered by adversarial attacks.

How US Marines put Force Design 2030 to work in Europe and monitored Russian naval forces. The U.S. Marine Corps in recent months took the quiet step of putting its Force Design 2030 plans to work in Europe, using forces to monitor Russian naval forces in the Baltic Sea.

Space-based infrared system satellite launch to complete missile warning system. If all goes as planned, the U.S. Space Force will have a complete constellation of Space-Based Infrared System satellites in orbit by Thursday, the culmination of an often fraught, decades-long effort to bolster the nation’s ability to detect and track missile threats from space.


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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