Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with ISRAEL; fight against those who fight against ISRAEL!
Take hold of shield and buckler and rise for ISRAEL'S help! Draw the spear and javelin against ISRAEL'S pursuers!
Monday, September 25, 2023
Daily on Defense: Biden relents on ATACMS, Ukraine continues to advance, Austin in Africa, Trump attacks Milley
ATACMS, FINALLY: According to multiple media reports citing unnamed U.S. officials, President Joe Biden told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during their meeting last week that the United States is ready to send a version of the long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine.
The reports suggest the Pentagon will pull a small number of missiles out of its inventory that are armed with a cluster munitions warhead, which is "no longer considered a front-line U.S. weapon," to give Ukraine the ability to strike deep behind Russian lines.
"There were some issues we had to work through," Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) said on CBS. "And we're at the point that we're going to provide them this capability. And I think it's going to be helpful."
Kelly, who just returned from a trip to Kyiv, says Ukrainian commanders told him they are making steady progress in their counteroffensive but that longer-range weapons are a crucial need. "An artillery shell goes about 18 miles. An ATACM missile goes about 190 miles," he said. "We're at the spot right now where they need an additional capability to maintain some more progress."
The ATACMS can be launched from the same HIMARS mobile rocket launchers that have already been provided to the Ukrainian forces. "As of the end of August, the Army had 1,486 ATACMS in its arsenal, 1,122 with unitary warheads and 364 armed with cluster munitions," the Washington Postreported Friday. "The ground-launched missiles are to be phased out, beginning later this year, by a newer long-range system. ATACMS are still in production, with Lockheed Martin under contract to produce 500 a year, but all are designated for overseas sales.
MODEST GAINS: The latest battlefield assessment from the Institute for the Study of War said its tracking of Ukrainian forces by way of geolocated video footage suggests that Ukrainian armored vehicles are operating behind Russia's main defensive line near Verbove on the southern front.
"Ukrainian forces are attacking directly into Verbove's western side. Ukrainian forces are also attacking north of Verbove," the ISW said. "Russian sources report that Ukrainian forces broke into Verbove on September 22 and continued attacking the settlement with armored vehicles as of September 24."
Verbove is a small village located several miles east of Robotyne, which Ukrainian forces liberated last month, and the breakthrough there of the so-called Surovikin line is a small but important step as Ukraine seeks to drive further south.
"Russian forces continue to expend significant combat power on counterattacking to hold their current positions and appear to be resisting the operationally sound course of action of falling back to prepared defensive positions further south," the ISW assessed. "Counterattacking requires significant morale and relatively high combat capabilities, and the Russian military appears to rely on relatively elite units and formations to counterattack, likely at the expense of these forces' degradation."
A DANGEROUS ASSIGNMENT: Meanwhile, British intelligence reported that since February 2022, three successive commanders of one of Russia's most prestigious airborne regiments have either resigned or been killed.
"The 247th Guards Air Assault Landing Regiment commander Colonel Vasily Popov was likely killed in the heavily contested Orikhiv sector in early September 2023," the British Defense Ministry said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. "Only weeks before, in August 2023, his predecessor, Colonel Pyotr Popov, likely resigned his command. Independent Russian media sources claim he acted in protest over the military's failure to recover the bodies of Russian casualties."
"In the early weeks of the invasion, then 247th commander Colonel Konstantin Zizevsky was killed near Mykolaiv," the assessment said. "The experience of the 247th highlights the extreme attrition and high turnover in Russia's deployed military, even amongst relatively senior ranks."
Good Monday 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 Conrad Hoyt. Email 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 me on Threads and/or on X @jamiejmcintyre
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HAPPENING TODAY:President Joe Biden hosts leaders of Pacific island nations for a two-day U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit as the U.S. seeks to extend its influence in the region.
The summit "will reaffirm his support for strengthening ties with the Pacific islands and discuss how we address complex global challenges, like tackling the existential threat of climate change, advancing economic growth, and promoting sustainable development," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierresaid Friday.
Biden will be announcing that the U.S. will be establishing diplomatic relations with two South Pacific nations, the Cook Islands and Niue.
AUSTIN IN AFRICA: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is in Djibouti today, the first stop in a weeklong visit that will also take him to Kenya and Angola.
Austin met with Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh and Defense Minister Hassan Omar Mohamed Bourhan, according to a Pentagon readout. "The leaders discussed the bilateral defense relationship and regional security issues, including Djiboutian support to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia in the fight against violent extremist organizations in the region," said Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, Pentagon spokesman.
"I met with Somali President, @HassanSMohamud during my visit in Djibouti to discuss our shared efforts to counter al-Shabaab and acknowledged the courage and sacrifice of the Somali people as we work together to tackle the challenges that lay ahead," Austin posted on X.
Austin's visit to Africa, his first as defense secretary, comes as French President Emmanuel Macron announced yesterday that France will withdraw nearly 1,500 troops from the West African nation of Niger by the end of the year in the wake of the military coup there.
TRUMP: MILLEY A 'WOKE TRAIN WRECK': Former President Donald Trump slammed Army Gen. Mark Milley on his Truth Social social media site as a series of media profiles portrayed the retiring Joint Chiefs chairman as protecting the nation from Trump's attacks on democracy.
"This will be a time for all citizens of the USA to celebrate!" Trump said in a Friday post. "This guy turned out to be a Woke train wreck who, if the Fake News reporting is correct, was actually dealing with China to give them a heads up on the thinking of the President of the United States."
The reference is to a report in the book Peril, which revealed Milley called his Chinese counterpart to reassure Beijing that the government in Washington was stable during the transition of administrations and that the U.S. had no plans to attack China.
Trump called that "an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!"
19fortyfive.com: World War III: Could China 'Annihilate' U.S. Military Bases In A War?
MONDAY | SEPTEMBER 25
8:45 a.m. 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW — Center for Strategic and International Studies 2023 Republic of Korea-U.S. Strategic Forum, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken; South Korean Foreign Affairs Minister Park Jin; former U.S. Ambassador to Korea Kathleen Stephens; former South Korean Foreign Affairs Minister Yun Byung-se; and former U.S. Ambassador to Korea Mark Lippert https://www.csis.org/events/rok-us-strategic-forum-2023
9:30 p.m. Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona — McCain Institute virtual discussion: "Only One Way Forward: The Vitality of a Democratic Ukraine," with Mariia Levchenko, European director of outreach and training at the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding; Battinto Batts, dean of Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication; Svet Jacqueline, independent photojournalist; and Evelyn Farkas, executive director of the McCain Institute https://www.mccaininstitute.org/resources/events
9 a.m. — Washington Post Live virtual discussion: "The Next Generation of Cyber Threats," with Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco; former Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Chris Krebs, partner at Krebs Stamos; and Chris Painter, president of the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise https://www.washingtonpost.com/washington-post-live
9 a.m. 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW — Brookings Institution 2023 Knight Forum on Geopolitics, with Brookings senior fellow Robert Kagan delivering remarks on "The State of the World and U.S. Grand Strategy" https://www.brookings.edu/events
12 p.m. 616 Rhode Island Ave. NW — Center for Strategic and International Studies International Security Program and U.S. Naval Institute for a Maritime Security Dialogue in-person and virtual discussion: "Strengthening the U.S. Industrial Base," with William LaPlante, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment; Seth Jones, CSIS senior vice president and director of the International Security Program; and retired Vice Adm. Peter Daly, CEO and publisher, U.S. Naval Institute https://www.csis.org/events/strengthening-us-industrial-base-hon-dr-william-laplante
1 p.m. 1000 Massachusetts Ave. NW — Cato Institute book discussion: The Declassification Engine: What History Reveals about America's Top Secrets, with author Matthew Connelly, professor of international and global history at Columbia University; Nate Jones, Freedom of Information Act director at the Washington Post; and Patrick Eddington, Cato senior fellow https://www.cato.org/events/declassification-engine
5 p.m. 1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW — Carnegie Endowment for International Peace discussion: "Ukraine's Quest for Justice," with Ukraine Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin; Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova; Gregory Shaffer, president of the American Society of International Law; and CEIP President Mariano-Florentino Cuellar https://carnegieendowment.org/2023/09/26/ukraine-s-quest-for-justice
WEDNESDAY | SEPTEMBER 27
8 a.m. 1700 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, Virginia — Intelligence and National Security Alliance forum: "The New IC (Intelligence Community)," with Carmen Medina, former CIA senior executive; Ellen Ardrey, chief of staff at the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency; Kristina Walter, director of the NSA's Future-Ready Workforce Initiative; Dennis Westbrooks, chief diversity officer at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence's Diversity and Inclusion Group; FBI Supervisory Special Agent Joseph Garbato, FBI chairman of the Marine Corps University; and Christine Abizaid, director of the National Counterterrorism Center https://www.insaonline.org/detail-pages/event
10 a.m. 1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW — Hudson Institute book talk: "Fiasco in Kabul: The Untold Story," with Jerry Dunleavy and James Hasson, coauthors of Kabul: The Untold Story of Biden's Fiasco and the American Warriors Who Fought to the End; and Rebeccah Heinrichs, senior fellow and director, Keystone Defense Initiative https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fiasco-in-kabul-the-untold-story
10 a.m. 2118 Rayburn — House Armed Services Quality of Life Subcommittee hearing: "Update on Unaccompanied Military Housing and the Military Housing Privatization Initiative," with testimony from Elizabeth Field, director, Defense Capabilities and Management Government Accountability Office; Carla Coulson, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for installations, housing, and partnerships; Robert Thompson, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations, and environment; and Robert Moriarty, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations https://armedservices.house.gov/hearings/qol-hearing
12 p.m. CVC-120, U.S. Capitol — Cato Institute briefing: "Pariah or Partner? Reevaluating the U.S.-Saudi Relationship," with Jon Hoffman, Cato foreign policy analyst, and Lawrence Montreuil, Cato director of government affairs https://www.cato.org/events/pariah-or-partner
2 p.m. — Atlantic Council virtual discussion: "An Allied Approach to Countering Beijing's Military-Civil Fusion," with Nazak Nikakhtar, commissioner for export controls at the Global Tech Security Commission; Dave Stillwell, commissioner for defense at the Global Tech Security Commission; Claire Chu, Janes senior China analyst; Ryan Heath, Axios global technology correspondent; and Anna Puglisi, senior fellow at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/event
9:30 a.m. — Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to consider nominations of Derek Chollet to be undersecretary of defense for policy and Cara Abercrombie to be assistant secretary of defense for acquisition https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/hearings
10 a.m. 2118 Rayburn — House Armed Services Committee hearing: "Examining Irregularity in the Strategic Basing Process for U.S. Space Command," with testimony from Frank Kendall, secretary of the Air Force; Army Gen. James Dickinson, commander, U.S. Space Command; and Space Force Gen. Chance Saltzman, chief of space operations https://armedservices.house.gov/hearings
5 p.m. 1521 16th Street NW — Institute of World Politics lecture: "The Structure of INDOPACOM and Comparable U.S. Agencies for the Asia-Pacific Region," with Gordon Rudd, professor of strategic studies at the U.S. Marine School of Advanced Warfighting https://www.iwp.edu/events/the-structure-of-indopacom
FRIDAY | SEPTEMBER 29
9 a.m. — Hudson Institute virtual discussion: "India's Role in a New Pacific Order," with Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar; Jayant Sinha, chairman of the Indian Parliament's Standing Committee on Finance; Stephen Biegun, senior vice president of Boeing; and retired Indian Vice Adm. Shekhar Sinha, chairman of the board of trustees of the India Foundation https://www.hudson.org/events/indias-role-new-pacific-order
10 a.m. Summerall Field, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia — Armed Forces Farewell Tribute in honor of retiring Army Gen. Mark Milley, 20th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff https://www.defense.gov/News/Live-Events
11 a.m. 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW — Wilson Center book discussion: Catastrophes, Confrontations, and Constraints: How Disasters Shape the Dynamics of Armed Conflicts, with co-author Tobias Ide, associate professor at Murdoch University Perth; and co-author Marwa Daoudy, associate professor at Georgetown University https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/catastrophes-confrontations-and-constraints
MONDAY | OCTOBER 9
8 a.m. 801 Mount Vernon Place NW — Association of the U.S. Army three-day Annual Meeting and Exposition, with the theme "Be All You Can Be." Speakers include: Army Secretary Christine Wormuth; Gen. Randy George, Army vice chief of staff and current Army chief of staff nominee; and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Weimerhttps://meetings.ausa.org/annual/index.cfm
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Just a few months ago, after a long negotiation between myself and the new speaker, we agreed to spending levels. … Now, a small group of extreme Republicans don't want to live up to the deal. … Funding the government is one of the most basic responsibilities of Congress, and it's time for Republicans to start doing the job America elected them to do."
President Joe Biden, speaking at the Congressional Black Caucus Phoenix Awards on Saturday