Daily on Defense: NATO mea culpa, Zelensky awaits Patriots, Austin and Brown face HASC, Gaza pier construction progresses

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BY JAMIE MCINTYRE

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STOLTENBERG: 'ALLIES HAVE NOT DELIVERED': During an unannounced visit to Kyiv on Monday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg did everything short of making a formal apology for the failure of allies to follow through on promised aid that left Ukraine outgunned and at the mercy of Russia over the past six months of the war.

"NATO allies have not delivered what they promised. The United States spent months not agreeing on a package for Ukraine, and European allies have not delivered the amount of ammunition they promised. And this has had serious consequences on the battlefield," Stoltenberg said, standing next to President Volodymyr Zelensky on a bright sunny day in the Ukrainian capital.  

"Ukraine has been outgunned for months, forced to ration its ammunition. This means that fewer Russian missiles and drones have been shot down," Stoltenberg said. "The lack of ammunition has enabled the Russians to push forward along the front line. Lack of air defense has made it possible for more Russian missiles to hit their targets, and then lack of deep-strike capabilities has made it possible for the Russians to concentrate more forces."

"But it is not too late for Ukraine to prevail. More support is on the way," Stoltenberg said, noting recent pledges from the United Kingdom and Germany and the $61 billion authorized by the U.S. Congress and calling on NATO nations to put Ukraine's needs above their own. "I have been clear that if allies face a choice between meeting NATO capability targets or support to Ukraine, they should support Ukraine," he said. "Stocks can and will be replenished. Lives lost can never be regained."

ZELENSKY: 'WAITING FOR THE DELIVERIES TO COME': Zelensky struck a hopeful but cautious tone, having heard many lofty promises that have failed to follow through. Right now, Ukraine's most urgent need is for more air defense as Russia attacks energy infrastructure and random civilian targets with impunity.

"Announcements are not enough. We need to see the delivery of the weapons," Stoltenberg said. "I think we need to be aware that we have to be honest, and we have to realize that when we don’t deliver, when we delay supplies, it’s about life and death. It has real consequences."

Yesterday, Russian missiles hit a popular seafront park in Odesa, known locally as the "Harry Potter Castle," killing at least five people. Zelensky has said Ukraine needs at least seven more Patriot launchers, along with the interceptor missiles that go with them. 

"So we’re working on those additional Patriot batteries. As soon as they are in Ukraine, we’ll all feel that, we’ll know that. It’s important to see that they work to defend our skies," Zelensky said. "We’ll be waiting for the deliveries to come. We were assured that there won’t be any intermissions as regards additional Patriot batteries. It’s hard to say that we have heard anything specific, but some initial steps have already been made."

"We are focusing on Patriots, also the need to refurbish existing systems, to replenish and ensure that systems which are already delivered work as they should, that there are enough ammunition, because if you don’t have ammunition to the batteries, it’s not much worth to have the batteries," Stoltenberg said. "It is important to remember that Patriots are important, but so are also other systems — NASAMS, IRIS-T, and many other systems. We need a layered air defense. And therefore, we focus on a wide range of different systems and continue to work with allies to make sure that they deliver and turn their commitments and announcements into real delivery of weapons and systems as soon as possible."

UKRAINE 'ON AN IRREVERSIBLE PATH TOWARD NATO MEMBERSHIP': In his introduction of Stoltenberg, Zelensky noted that Ukraine has the highest level of relationship with NATO since the start of the war but not the "highest relationship possible," a reference to Ukraine's desire for full NATO membership.

Stoltenberg insisted that is coming, but not at this summer's NATO summit in Washington. "To have that decision, we need all allies to agree, we need consensus, we need not the majority but actually 32 allies to agree," Stoltenberg said. "And I don’t expect that we will have that agreement by the summit in July."

"The work we are undertaking now puts you on an irreversible path towards NATO membership so that when the time is right, Ukraine can become a NATO member straight away," Stoltenberg assured Zelensky. "I very much look forward to the day that the Ukrainian flag will fly high at the NATO Headquarters."

"In the meantime, we should ensure that Ukraine becomes as interoperable as possible, that Ukraine is fully up to all NATO standards, so when the political conditions are in place, that Ukraine can become a member straight away," Stoltenberg said. 

NATO FLOATS UKRAINE MEMBERSHIP AS STOLTENBERG MEETS WITH ZELENSKY

Good Tuesday 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 Dec. 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: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. face questions from the House Armed Services Committee hearing at 10 a.m., with the war in Ukraine, aid to Israel, and countering China expected to be among the contentious topics.

That and, as always, the perennial debate over the adequacy of the Biden administration’s defense budget request for the fiscal year that begins in October.

One possible line of questioning may concern restrictions the U.S. has put on the use of the longer-range ATACMS recently provided to Ukraine. National security adviser Jake Sullivan said last week that the missile system is for use only against targets on Ukrainian territory, including Russian-occupied Crimea. 

But at his Friday news conference, Austin wasn't as definitive. "I won’t get specific in terms of what we provided and whether or not — and when the Ukrainians will actually put those munitions to use, but the key point is they have the capability," Austin said. "You know, in two years’ time, things change, you know? More munitions are created and that sort of business. So we are in a good place, we’ll remain in a good place, and I think the capability that Ukraine will have is a good capability. So it's up to them on how and when to use it, and our hopes are that they’ll create some pretty good effects with that and other things."

PIER PROGRESS: In U.S. military jargon, the temporary floating pier being assembled off the coast of Gaza is known as JLOTS, for "Joint Logistics Over-The-Shore." Yesterday, the U.S. Central Command posted pictures of the structure as construction progresses. 

The $320 million pier, located about 3 miles offshore, also includes a long "roll-on, roll-off" discharge facility, which will allow cargo ships to offload shipments at sea prior to the humanitarian aid being transported to shore.

The facility is expected to begin operations sometime in the next few weeks. It's estimated that more than 2 million people in Gaza do not have enough food to eat, with half of the population on the brink of starvation.

"We’ve been very clear this is temporary," Sabrina Singh, deputy Pentagon press secretary, said Monday. "This is a temporary solution to help get humanitarian aid into Gaza, but we do want to see those land routes continue to open. We are seeing more trucks being able to flow in, but this is just one other way of getting aid in. By no means is this going to be a permanent solution."

BLINKEN URGES HAMAS TO ACCEPT 'EXTRAORDINARILY GENEROUS' CEASEFIRE DEAL

THE RUNDOWN: 

Washington Examiner: NATO floats Ukraine membership as Stoltenberg meets with Zelensky

Washington Examiner: Blinken urges Hamas to accept 'extraordinarily generous' ceasefire deal

Washington Examiner: Israeli sexual assault victims detail abuse at hands of Hamas in harrowing documentary

Washington Examiner: US: IDF units committed 'gross human rights violations' but still qualify for aid

Washington Examiner: Biden and Speaker Johnson stand together in calls against arrest warrant for Netanyahu

Washington Examiner: Mike Johnson shores up relationship with Trump as ouster threat looms

Washington Examiner: White House takes hands-off approach to campus pro-Palestinian protests

Washington Examiner: Pro-Palestinian protesters at UT Austin get violent with police: 'We are being assaulted'

Washington Examiner: Columbia starts suspending students defying order to vacate protest encampment

Washington Examiner: GWU: 'Hateful language' has 'no place on our campus'

Washington Examiner: Garland under pressure to investigate how border crisis is affecting law enforcement

Washington Examiner: Greg Abbott warns migrants of alligators at Texas border

Washington Examiner: Sen. Jerry Moran: Opinion: Biden's failure to enforce sanctions fuels Iranian aggression

NBC News: Ukraine Retreats In The East As Russia Pushes Forward While U.S. Ally Waits For Aid

The Hill: Ukraine Forced to Withdraw from More Villages as Russia Intensifies Pressure

Defense One: How U.S. Special Operators Are Training Ukrainians—And What They're Learning In Return

Wall Street Journal: Ukraine Bets on Long-Range Drones, Raising Costs of War for Russia

Washington Post: Parties See Hope For Gaza Cease-Fire

New York Times: Hamas Fires Rockets into Israel from Lebanon

Air & Space Forces Magazine: Houthis Shoot Down Third MQ-9; Five Now Lost to Hostile Fire in Just Over a Year

AP: Japan's PM Kishida denies he will step down over his party's loss in special elections

Defense News: Marine Unit Found Metal Shavings in F-35 Fuel, Plastic Tool in Wing

Military Times: Pentagon Says No Civilians Killed in US Military Operations in 2022

Air & Space Forces Magazine: The Air Force Needs To Define Toxic Leadership, Experts Say

Defense One: How Digital Engineering Could Produce New Weapons Faster

The War Zone: E-4B Doomsday Plane Replacement Concept Art Has Some Interesting Features

Air & Space Forces Magazine: Nearly Every Governor Opposes Guard Units Moving into the Space Force

Air & Space Forces Magazine: Airmen, F-22s Scatter to Austere 'Spokes' for Pacific Exercise

Breaking Defense: What a Chinese Academic's Takedown of Russia Says About Beijing's View of Moscow

Stars and Stripes: Former U.S. Army Captain Graduates Marine Boot Camp As A Private First Class

The Cipher Brief: What are Adversaries Doing in the U.S. Water Supply?

The Cipher Brief: Russia's Response to U.S. Aid: Shrugs, Disinformation and Warnings of Nuclear War

Breaking Defense: Opinion: Why Xi Created a New Information Support Force, and Why Now

The Cipher Brief: Opinion: HAL-9000 (and AI) Shouldn't Keep You Up at Night

The Cipher Brief: Opinion: The Biden Administration Must Ensure Ukraine a Path to Victory. Here's How.

THE CALENDAR: 

TUESDAY | APRIL 30 

9 a.m. — Hudson Institute virtual discussion: "Northern Europe, NATO, and the War in Ukraine: A Conversation," with Lithuanian Minister of Defense Laurynas Kasciunas; Peter Rough, senior fellow and director, Center on Europe and Eurasia; and Tomas Janeliunas, visiting fellow, Center on Europe and Eurasia https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-conversation

9 a.m. — Center for a New American Security virtual discussion: “Beyond China’s Black Box: Trends Shaping China’s Foreign and Security Policy Decision-Making under Xi Jinping,” with Jude Blanchette, chairman in China studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Amanda Hsiao, senior China analyst at the International Crisis Group; Rorry Daniels, managing director of the Asia Society Policy Institute; and Jacob Stokes, CNAS senior fellow https://www.cnas.org/events/virtual-event-beyond-the-black-box

9:30 a.m. — U.S. Institute of Peace virtual discussion: “The Trajectory of India-Russia Ties Amid the War in Ukraine,” with former Indian deputy national security adviser Pankaj Saran; Wess Mitchell, USIP senior adviser for Russia and Europe; and Lise Grande, USIP president and CEO http://www.usip.org

10 a.m. 2118 Rayburn — House Armed Services Committee hearing: "Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Request," with testimony from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. https://armedservices.house.gov/hearings

10 a.m. 192 Dirksen — Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee hearing: “A Review of the President’s FY2025 Budget Request for the Army, with testimony from Army Chief of Staff Gen. Randy George; and Army Secretary Christine Wormuth http://appropriations.senate.gov

10 a.m. H-140, U.S. Capitol — House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee hearing: “FY2025 Request for the National Guard and Reserves Forces, with testimony from Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau; Lt. Gen. Jody Daniels, chief of Army Reserve and commanding Gen. of the U.S. Army Reserve Command; Vice Adm. John Mustin, chief of Navy Reserve; Lt. Gen. Leonard Anderson IV, commander of Marine Forces Reserve; and Lt. Gen. John Healy, chief of Air Force Reserve http://appropriations.house.gov

10 a.m. H-140, U.S. Capitol — House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee hearing: “FY2025 Request for the U.S. Air Force and Space Force, with testimony from Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall; Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Allvin; and Space Force Gen. B. Chance Saltzman, chief of space operations http://appropriations.house.gov

10 a.m. 2200 Rayburn — House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing: “Roundtable — Americans Detained Abroad, with testimony from Rep. Michael Cloud (R-TX); Debra Tice, mother of Autin Tice; Maryem Kamalmaz, wife of Majd Kamalmaz; Anna Corbette, wife of Ryan Corbett; and Yuki Gambaryan, wife of Tigran Gambaryan http://foreignaffairs.house.gov

1 p.m. — National Defense Industrial Association, Emerging Technologies Institute, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, Professional Services Council, and Association of American Universities virtual briefing: "FY2025 DOD Science and Technology Budget Priorities,” with Defense Undersecretary for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu; Assistant Defense Secretary for Science and Technology Aprille Ericsson; Deputy Assistant Army Secretary for Research and Technology Chris Manning; Thomas Fu, head of sea warfare and weapons at the Office of Naval Research; Deputy Assistant Air Force Secretary for Science, Technology, and Engineering Kristen Baldwin; and Stefanie Tompkins, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. RSVP: [email protected] 

2:30 p.m. 232-A Russell — Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee hearing: “The Department of Defense’s efforts to ensure servicemembers’ access to safe, high-quality pharmaceuticals," with testimony from Assistant Defense Secretary for Health Affairs Lester Martinez-Lopez; David Smith, deputy assistant defense secretary for health readiness policy and oversight; Matthew Beebe, director of acquisition (J7) at the Defense Logistics Agency; and Melissa Barber, postdoctoral fellow at the Yale Law School and Yale School of Medicine and affiliate at the Yale Collaboration for Regulatory Rigor, Integrity, and Transparency http://www.armed-services.senate.gov

2:30 p.m. 419 Dirksen — Senate Foreign Relations East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy Subcommittee hearing: “U.S. Policy on Taiwan," with testimony from Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink http://foreign.senate.gov

3 p.m. 2212 Rayburn — House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee hearing: ": Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Request for Military Readiness,” with testimony from Gen. James Mingus, Army vice chief of staff; Adm. James Kilby, vice chief of naval operations; Gen. Christopher Mahoney, assistant Marine Corps commandant; Gen. James Slife, Air Force vice chief of staff; and Gen. Michael Guetlein, vice chief of space operations https://armedservices.house.gov/hearings/rdy-hearing

3:30 p.m. 2118 Rayburn — House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing: "FY25 Budget Request for Nuclear Forces and Atomic Energy Defense Activities,” with testimony from Bill LaPlante, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment; Jill Hruby, administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration; Vipin Narang, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy; Vice Adm. Johnny Wolfe, director, strategic systems programs, U.S. Navy; and Lt. Gen. Andrew Gebara, deputy Air Force chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration https://armedservices.house.gov/hearings

WEDNESDAY | MAY 1

10 a.m. 2118 Rayburn — House Armed Services Committee hearing: "Department of the Navy Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Request,” with testimony from Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro; Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti; and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Eric Smith https://armedservices.house.gov/hearings/full-committee

10 a.m. 2362-A Rayburn — House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing: “FY2025 Request for the U.S. Coast Guard," with testimony from Coast Guard Commandant Linda Fagan http://appropriations.house.gov

10:30 a.m. 124 Dirksen — Senate Appropriations Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing: “A Review of the FY2025 Budget Request for Military Construction and Family Housing," with testimony from Assistant Defense Secretary for Energy, Installations, and Environment Brendan Owens; Vice Adm. Jeffrey Jablon, deputy chief of naval operations for installations and logistics at the Navy; Deputy Marine Corps Commandant Installations and Logistics Lt. Gen. Edward Banta; and Lt. Gen. Kevin Vereen, deputy chief of staff for installations (G-9) at the Army; Lt. Gen. Tom Miller, deputy chief of staff for logistics, engineering, and force protection at the Air Force; and Bruce Hollywood, associate chief operations officer at the Space Force http://appropriations.senate.gov

1 p.m. 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW — Center for Strategic and International Studies and U.S. Naval Institute discussion: “DOD’s Warfighting Concept,” with Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Adm. Christopher Grady and retired Adm. Raymond Spicer, publisher and CEO of the U.S. Naval Institute https://www.csis.org/events/dods-warfighting-concept

2 p.m. 2362-A Rayburn — House Appropriations Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing: “FY2025 Request for the U.S. Army," with testimony from Rachel Jacobson, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy, and environment, and Lt. Gen. Kevin Vereen, deputy chief of staff (G9), Installation Management Command http://appropriations.house.gov

2 p.m. 2172 Rayburn — House Foreign Affairs Indo-Pacific Subcommittee hearing: “From 1979 to 2024: Evaluating the Taiwan Relations Act and Assessing the Future of U.S.-Taiwan Relations," with testimony from Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink http://foreignaffairs.house.gov

2 p.m. 232-A Russell — Senate Armed Services Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee hearing: "The current readiness of the Joint Force" http://www.armed-services.senate.gov

2 p.m. — Government Executive Media Group virtual discussion: “Navigating Intelligence-Driven Cyber Defense,” with Air Force Col. Joshua Rockhill, commander of the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland 688th Cyberspace Wing; Christopher Thomas, director for cybersecurity integration and synchronization in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-6; Aaron Cherrington, senior principal threat analyst at Mandiant, Google Public Sector; George Jackson, director of events at GovExec Media; and Aaron Heffron, president for research and forecasting at GovExec https://events.govexec.com/navigating-intelligence-driven-cyber-defense/

3:30 p.m. 2118 Rayburn House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing: "FY25 Budget Request for National Security Space Programs,” with testimony from John Plumb, assistant secretary of defense for space policy; Frank Calvelli, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition and integration; Troy Meink, principal deputy director, National Reconnaissance Office; and Tonya Wilkerson, deputy director, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency https://armedservices.house.gov/hearings/str-hearing

4:30 p.m. 222 Russell — Senate Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee hearing: "Navy and Marine Corps investment programs in review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY2025 and the Future Years Defense Program" http://www.armed-services.senate.gov

6 p.m. 1700 H St. NW — Vandenberg Coalition discussion: “Celebrating NATO’s 75th Anniversary,” with former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison and Estonian Ambassador to the U.S. Kristjan Prikk https://form.jotform.com

THURSDAY | MAY 2

9 a.m. 1763 N St. NW — Middle East Institute conference: “Managing Regional Escalation Amid the War in Gaza” https://www.mei.edu/events/managing-regional-escalation-amid-war-gaza

9:30 a.m. — Center for Strategic and International Studies virtual book discussion: Collisions: The Origins of the War in Ukraine and the New Global Instability, with author Michael Kimmage, CSIS nonresident fellow, and Mary Elise Sarotte, professor of historical studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies https://www.csis.org/events/collisions-origins-war-ukraine

10 a.m. — New America virtual discussion: “National Cyber Strategy One Year Out,” with former White House Deputy National Cyber Director Camille Stewart Gloster, co-founder of #ShareTheMicInCyber, and Maggie Miller, Politico cybersecurity reporter https://www.newamerica.org/future-security/events

4 p.m. 1957 E St. NW -— George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs book discussion: The Russo-Ukrainian War: The Return of History, with author Serhii Plokhy, director of Harvard University’s Ukrainian Research Institute https://calendar.gwu.edu/event/the-russo-ukrainian-war

4:15 p.m. 1789 Massachusetts Ave. NW — American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research discussion: “Stress Test: The Toll of the War in Ukraine on the Kremlin,” with Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova; Leon Aron, AEI senior fellow; Chris Miller, AEI nonresident senior fellow; Robert Doar, AEI president; and Dalibor Rohac, AEI senior fellow https://www.aei.org/events/stress-test-the-toll-of-the-war-in-ukraine

FRIDAY | MAY 3

TBA — Honolulu, Hawaii — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin presides over the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command change-of-command ceremony as outgoing commander Adm. John Aquilino relinquishes command to incoming commander Adm. Samuel Paparo https://www.pacom.mil/Media/News

9 a.m. —  Center for Strategic and International Studies virtual discussion on a new report: “Beyond Economics: How U.S. Policies Can Undermine National Security Goals" https://www.csis.org/events/report-launch-beyond-economics

9 a.m. 14th and F Sts. NW — National Press Club briefing: “Updates and Status of Cases of U.S. Journalists Austin Tice and Evan Gershkovich,” with Paul Beckett, Washington bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal, and Debra Tice, mother of Austin Tice https://www.press.org/events/updates-and-status-cases-us-journalists

10 a.m. 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW — Center for Strategic and International Studies discussion: “The New Era of U.S.-Japan Strategic Cooperation: A Dialogue with Japanese Lawmakers,” with Nakatani Gen, member of the Japanese House of Representatives; Onodera Itsunori, member of the Japanese House of Representatives; Masuo Chisako, professor at Kyushu University; and Tsuchiya Motohiro, professor at Keio University https://www.csis.org/events/new-era-us-japan-strategic-cooperation

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QUOTE OF THE DAY
"NATO Allies have not delivered what they promised. The United States spent months not agreeing on a package for Ukraine, and European allies have not delivered the amount of ammunition they promised. And this has had serious consequences on the battlefield."
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, during a visit to Kyiv on Monday.
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