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Friday, January 27, 2023

WE MUST STOP FUNDING UKRAINE


BY JAMIE MCINTYRE



MTG: ‘WE MUST STOP FUNDING UKRAINE’: There is a small but growing minority in the Trump wing of the Republican Party who believe the Biden administration has gone overboard in its financial and military support for Ukraine and that it’s time to rein in the unbridled spending.

One of the loudest voices has been Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) who, with the House under GOP control, has had her ban on committee service lifted and been assigned to the House Homeland Security Committee.

“We must stop funding Ukraine. This war needs to end. America has sent over $113 billion to Ukraine, now sending tanks, and have funded the Ukrainian government at $1.5 billion every month,” Greene tweeted yesterday, citing reports of corruption in the Ukrainian government. “It’s a corrupt slush fund and it’s just killing people.”

“America is depleting our own military arsenal, giving weapons and now tanks to Ukraine, while China is building its military at the fastest pace in world history. It’s time [to] put America First!”

“Send tanks to our Southern Border, not Ukraine,” tweeted Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), another anti-war MAGA Republican.

OPINION: US DISARMS ITSELF TO AID UKRAINE

TRUMP: ‘FIRST TANKS, THEN NUKES’: On his Truth Social social network, former President Donald Trump, previewing what appears to be one of his campaign themes for his reelection bid, argued in an ALL-CAPS posting that were he in charge, war would have been averted and he could easily broker a peace agreement in a single day.

“IF I WERE PRESIDENT, THE RUSSIA/UKRAINE WAR WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED, BUT EVEN NOW, IF PRESIDENT, I WOULD BE ABLE TO NEGOTIATE AN END TO THIS HORRIBLE AND RAPIDLY ESCALATING WAR WITHIN 24 HOURS. SUCH A TRAGIC WASTE OF HUMAN LIFE!!!” he posted. “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”

Trump also shared a link to an article in the D.C. Enquirer (not to be confused with the Washington Examiner) headlined “Trump ALONE Calls For Peace — Biden Escalates To What He Called ‘World War III’ In Ukraine.”

AFTER GETTING TANKS, UKRAINE SEEKS FIGHTER JETS AND LONG-RANGE MISSILES

WICKER: US ‘GETTING ONE HECK OF A DEAL’: The slow simmering debate over future funding for Ukraine prompted Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), soon-to-be ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, to take to the Senate floor to make the case that supporting Ukraine is in America’s vital national interest while urging President Joe Biden to offer “more, better, and faster” military assistance.

“Allowing Putin to prevail in Ukraine would usher in a new age of chaos and instability and would invite Putin to test our resolve to defend our NATO allies,” said Wicker, arguing the billions sent to Ukraine has paid a big dividend by significantly weakening Russia. “Thanks to the U.S. military assistance and the courage of Ukrainian troops, Russia has lost its ability to carry out near-term conventional invasions of NATO members — and we achieved that without having to send a single American soldier into combat.”

“For those questioning the cost of our assistance, I would simply pose the alternative: How much would it cost in American lives and treasure to confront the Russians directly? Because that is the reality we face if Putin tests our resolve to defend NATO. From that perspective, we are getting one heck of a deal by helping Ukraine do its own fighting,” Wicker said.

“Some skeptics of our mission in Ukraine believe it distracts from our principal security threat, the Chinese Communist Party. But the reality is the exact opposite. Xi Jinping is watching us closely. He wants to see if we will stick by our commitment as he weighs his opportunities of invading his own neighbor and our friend, Taiwan,” he said. “Far from distracting us from China, stopping Putin in Ukraine is indispensable in deterring China. We dare not show weakness at this moment in Ukraine. Doing so would simply invite other dictators to act just like Vladimir Putin.”

READ SEN. ROGER WICKER’S ENTIRE FLOOR SPEECH ON UKRAINE HERE

Good Friday morning and welcome to Jamie McIntyre’s Daily on Defense, written and compiled by Washington Examiner National Security Senior Writer Jamie McIntyre (@jamiejmcintyre) and edited by Stacey DecEmail here with tips, suggestions, calendar items, and anything else. Sign up or read current and back issues at DailyonDefense.com. If signing up doesn’t work, shoot us an email and we’ll add you to our list. And be sure to follow us on Twitter: @dailyondefense.

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ISIS A ‘GROWING PRESENCE’ IN AFRICA: The Pentagon announced yesterday that U.S. Special Operations Forces killed a senior Islamic State leader based in Somalia, along with as many as 10 other ISIS fighters in a remote area of northern Somalia.

two-sentence statement from the U.S. Africa Command simply said the counterterrorism operation was “successful” and that “additional details will be provided in the coming days.”

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin filled in a few blanks in a statement saying the Wednesday commando raid was conducted on orders from the president and took out Bilal al Sudani, who was described as “a key facilitator for ISIS’s global network,” along with several of his lieutenants.

“Sudani was responsible for fostering the growing presence of ISIS in Africa and for funding the group’s operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan,” Austin said. “This action leaves the United States and its partners safer and more secure, and it reflects our steadfast commitment to protecting Americans from the threat of terrorism at home and abroad.”

SENIOR ISIS LEADER IN SOMALIA KILLED IN US RAID

WEEKS IN THE PLANNING: The raid on what was described by two senior administration officials took place in a mountainous cave complex in northern Somalia.

“Thankfully, and based on extensive planning and exquisite execution of the plan, there were no casualties among American servicemembers or civilians,” the officials told reporters. “We had prepared for the possibility of capturing Sudani, but the hostile forces’ response to the operation resulted in his death.”

Planning for the assault had been in the works for weeks and reached a “critical stage” last week, the briefers said. “The President’s decision to approve the operation followed a recommendation to move forward from his Secretary of Defense, advice from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and careful consideration of its risks and benefits in consultation with his intelligence community and national security team.”

“An intended capture operation was ultimately determined to be the best option to maximize the intelligence value of the operation and increase its precision in challenging terrain,” they said.

Sudani had been on the U.S. radar for more than a decade, the officials said. “Sudani has a long history as a terrorist in Somalia. Before he joined ISIS, he was designated by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2012 for his role in Shabaab: helping foreign fighters to travel to an al Shabaab training camp and facilitating financing for foreign violent extremists in Somalia.”

US, ISRAEL WRAP ‘MOST SIGNIFICANT’ BILATERAL EXERCISE: The U.S. is constantly conducting exercises with allies around the world, but experts say the just-competed Exercise Juniper Oak is not just another routine war game.

The weeklong drill was described by the Pentagon as “the largest U.S.-Israel-partnered exercise in history” that involved live fire exercises with more than 140 aircraft, roughly 6,400 U.S. troops alongside, and more than 1,500 Israeli troops.

“Juniper Oak integrated U.S. and Israeli fifth-generation fighter assets, the USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, command-and-control elements, rescue and refueling aircraft,” said Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh.

“The Biden administration is attempting to use the Juniper Oak 23 exercise to send messages to a variety of audiences,” wrote Bradley Bowman and Ryan Brobst in an analysis for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

“In addition to the positive message this sends to Jerusalem about American commitment, Washington hopes America’s partners in the region — including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and others — take note,” wrote Bowman and Brobst. “The administration’s intended message to them is that the United States military has not completely departed from the region, does not intend to depart from the region, and retains an unmatched ability to flow additional combat forces into the region quickly when necessary to conduct military operations.”

“Perhaps the most important message from the exercise is intended for Tehran and its terror proxies,” they argued. “The Biden administration wants Tehran to understand that the United States has both the military means and the political will to stand with Israel, secure American interests in the region, and conduct successful large-scale strikes if necessary.”

US, ISRAEL BEGIN LARGE JOINT MILITARY EXERCISE

The Rundown

Washington Examiner: After getting tanks, Ukraine seeks fighter jets and long-range missiles

Washington Examiner: Zelensky hints at 'asymmetrical responses' to Russia's attacks

Washington Examiner: Russia launches new salvo of missiles at Ukraine after tanks announcement

Washington Examiner: US hits Russian mercenary group with new sanctions

Washington Examiner: Opinion: US disarms itself to aid Ukraine

Washington Examiner: Russia ignores inquiries into whether it commandeered organization's trucks

Washington Examiner: Senior ISIS leader in Somalia killed in US raid

Washington Examiner: Senate reintroduces Iran resolution in support of 'brave' protesters

Washington Examiner: MTG's amendment targeting Biden suffers massive bipartisan defeat

Washington Examiner: Russian propaganda outlet employees return to DC studio for new company: Report

Washington Examiner: Judgment Day: Scientists create humanoid robot with ability to liquefy and reform

Washington Examiner: National Archives calls on former presidents and VPs to hunt for classified documents

Washington Examiner: Pompeo’s mockery of Hillary Clinton sparked IG’s retaliation

Washington Examiner: Book Review: Mike Pompeo, in memoir, gives no quarter

AP: Russia plays down West’s move on tanks, attacks Ukraine anew

Defense One: Russian Robot Maker Working On Bot to Target Abrams, Leopard Tanks

AP: EU official: Russia shifts war focus to ‘NATO and the West’

Washington Post: Ukraine Faces Logistical Obstacles Ahead Of Mix-And-Match Tank Deliveries

New York Times: Strikes Kill 12 In Ukraine As Russia Again Tries To Pull Plug On Electricity

New York Times: To Curb Protest, Beijing Blames Foreign Actors

Wall Street Journal: New U.S. Base On Guam Is Aimed At Deterring China

19fortyfive.com: M1 Abrams and Leopard 2 Tanks: A Game Changer for Ukraine or Hype?

19fortyfive.com: Could the U.S. Military Run Out of Artillery Ammo Due to the Ukraine War?

Air & Space Forces Magazine: Ukraine Wants F-16s. The U.S. and NATO Aren’t Budging

19fortyfive.com: The Block 70 F-16 Fighting Falcon Looks Like a Killer

USNI News: Russian Arctic Threat Growing More Potent, Report Says

Air & Space Forces Magazine: Northrop: B-21 to Enter Low-Rate Production in 2023, as Inflation Concerns Persist

Defense One: Left in Limbo, a Handful of Biden’s Defense Picks Await Senate Action

Military Times: Experts, Data Point to Women as Best Military Recruiting Pool

Military Times: New ‘Black Box’ Pilot Program Aims To Reduce Military Rollover Deaths

Breaking Defense: ‘Worst Thing in the World’: Space Acquisition Leaders Target Satellite Ground System Gaps

19fortyfive.com: Opinion: Could Ukraine Really Join NATO?

Calendar

FRIDAY | JANUARY 27

9 a.m. 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW — Center for Strategic and International Studies discussion: "EU-U.S. cooperation in support of Ukraine and collaboration on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity,” with European Union Commissioner Thierry Breton https://www.csis.org/events/transatlantic-tech-and-security-conversation

MONDAY | JANUARY 30

7 p.m. — Stimson Center virtual discussion: “A South Korean Nuclear Program? Assessing the Risks,” with Siegfried Hecker, distinguished professor of practice, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies; Robert Gallucci, distinguished professor, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service; Jamie Kwong, fellow, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and Jenny Town, senior fellow, Stimson Center, and director, 38 North https://www.stimson.org/event/a-south-korean-nuclear-program

WEDNESDAY | FEBRUARY 1

9 a.m. — Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress in-person book discussion: No Limits: The Inside Story of China’s War with the West, with author Andrew Small. Register at sophie.williams@thepresidency.org

WEDNESDAY | FEBRUARY 8

6:30 a.m. 2425 Wilson Blvd., Virginia — Association of the U.S. Army Coffee Series in-person event featuring Gen. James Rainey, commanding general, U.S. Army Futures Command https://www.ausa.org/events/coffee-series/gen-rainey

MONDAY | FEBRUARY 13

TBA Brussels, Belgium — Press Conference by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of two-day meeting of defense ministers https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news

9:30 a.m. 1211 Connecticut Ave. NW — Stimson Center virtual and in-person discussion: “The End of History? Global Implications of the War in Ukraine” https://www.stimson.org/event/the-end-of-history

TUESDAY | FEBRUARY 14

TBA Brussels, Belgium — Meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group followed by the beginning of a two-day meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO Headquarters https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news

FRIDAY | FEBRUARY 17

TBA Munich, Germany — Munich Security Conference 2023 begins, running through Sunday, Feb. 19 https://securityconference.org

THURSDAY | FEBRUARY 23

1:30 p.m. — The Cipher Brief virtual briefing: “DIA’s Global Intelligence Picture,” with Trent Maul, director for analysis, Defense Intelligence Agency https://www.thecipherbrief.com

TUESDAY | FEBRUARY 28

9 a.m. — Counter Extremism Project and Konrad Adenauer Foundation webinar: “The Taliban’s Takeover In Afghanistan — Effects On Global Terrorism,” with Hessam Habibi Doroh, researcher and lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences, FH Campus Wien in Vienna; Gerhard Conrad, CEP Advisory Board member and intelligence adviser to the Munich Security Conference; Ellinor Zeino, Konrad Adenauer Foundation; and Hans-Jakob Schindler, senior director, Counter Extremism Project https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register

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QUOTE OF THE DAY
"For those questioning the cost of our assistance, I would simply pose the alternative: How much would it cost in American lives and treasure to confront the Russians directly? Because that is the reality we face if Putin tests our resolve to defend NATO. From that perspective, we are getting one heck of a deal by helping Ukraine do its own fighting.”
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) advocating victory in Ukraine in his first floor speech of the 118th Congress
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