Daily on Defense: Zelensky walks fine line, Ukraine wants seven more Patriot batteries, McConnell admits Ukraine aid ‘took too long,’ Blinken in Middle East seeking hostage deal

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UKRAINE IN 'TACTICAL RETREAT': Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is constantly walking a fine line, making sure not to sound ungrateful even as he points out that the United States, its most important military benefactor, severely undercut its war effort for six months, resulting in the loss of territory and thousands of lives.

"In half a year while we were waiting for a decision on the America support, the Russian army managed to seize the initiative on the battlefield," Zelensky said at the opening of Friday's virtual meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group hosted by the Pentagon. It was the first meeting of the 50-plus nation group since the Republican deadlock over additional aid to Ukraine was broken, allowing an initial tranche of arms and ammunition to ship to Ukraine. "We can still now not only stabilize the front but also move forward, achieving our Ukrainian goals in the war," Zelensky said.

Yesterday, Ukraine's top commander, Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, said his soldiers have been forced to make a tactical retreat from three villages as Russian forces take advantage of their manpower and ammunition to attack "along the entire front line" of more than 600 miles. "Syrskyi acknowledged that Russian forces are making tactical advances northwest of Avdiivka, and Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces have deployed up to four brigades to their tactical penetration in the Ocheretyne (northwest of Avdiivka) area," the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest battlefield assessment.

Ukraine is in a deep hole and needs three things immediately to dig out, Zelensky said: long-range weapons, air defenses, and artillery shells. "This year, Russian jets has already used more than 9,000 guided aerial bombs against Ukraine, and we need the ability to shoot down their combat aircraft so that they do not approach our positions and borders," Zelensky said. 

"You can imagine what our soldiers feel when they simply have nothing to respond to enemy fire," Zelensky said. "The 1-to-10 ratio of artillery in our country to that of the Russian army inspires Putin to fight on. … Our soldiers need artillery — enough 155-calibers to stop Russian assaults and conduct our own active operations."

"These are real people and their lives matter, and everything we lost in between last autumn and now is because we didn’t have — our soldiers did not have enough of weapons," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on CNN on Saturday. "They have no shortage of bravery and the will to sacrifice themselves for their country."


BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED: The initial package of emergency assistance had one glaring omission, Zelensky and Kuleba said. 

"What we do not see on this package is a battery of Patriots," Klueba said. "But we keep working with the U.S. administration on mobilizing more batteries from other countries."

"Right now, at least seven Patriots are necessary for our cities to be safe. You have these systems, and they truly can change the situation now, change it for the better, as well as accelerating the transition to F-16," Zelensky pleaded on Friday. "We urgently need better systems and missiles for them. This is what can and should save lives."

On Friday, at a joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said his country would send a third Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine. 

After Friday's virtual meeting, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters the U.S. is hoping more other countries will send their Patriot batteries to Ukraine. "I can tell you that we continue to work on this and in a very earnest manner," he said. "All the countries that have Patriots certainly value that capability, but I think going forward, we'll be able to, hopefully, work with a number of countries to put together additional Patriot capability."


MCCONNELL: 'WE TOOK TOO LONG': In an appearance on CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) conceded it was the intransigence of some members of his party that put Ukraine in a deep hole. "We took too long," he told host Margaret Brennan.

"All the Democrats were for Ukraine. There is no question that the debate was in our family, on our side. And there was a lot of skepticism for a long time," McConnell said. "This issue was like a family reunion, if you will, with a lot of different points of view being expressed around the table."

McConnell said the key to overcoming the objections of House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and garnering enough Republican votes was delinking the Ukraine debate from the border issue and then just laying out the facts.

"There are almost no good arguments against this. Every argument made by the opponents is provably wrong," McConnell said. "And the facts, I think, were convincing for a number of our members, and they changed their minds."

One opponent of more U.S. aid to Ukraine who has not changed his mind is Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH). "The argument that I’m making is quite simple. It’s not that we don’t admire the courageousness of the Ukrainians — we certainly do. It’s that America is stretched too thin," Vance said on Fox New Sunday. "We do not have the industrial capacity to support a war in Ukraine, a war in Israel, potentially a war in East Asia if the Chinese invade Taiwan. So America has to pick and choose." 

Earlier this month, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the top U.S. European and NATO commanders argued the opposite — that the best way to deter China is to ensure Russia's Ukraine ambitions are thwarted.

"The People’s Republic of China, we know, is watching very closely, and all other nations are watching very closely, first to gauge what is the value of a partnership with the United States and second to see what happens if it fails," Army Gen. Christopher Cavoli testified. "Those who would be our friends would be made nervous by a loss in Ukraine, and those who would be our adversaries would be emboldened by it."


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 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


HAPPENING TODAY: Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Saudi Arabia, the first stop on a trip that will also take him to Jordan and Israel, as he seeks to broker a ceasefire in Gaza that would include a deal to release hostages held by Hamas since last October.

"That’s going to be right at the top of the list for Secretary Blinken, to keep pushing for this temporary ceasefire. We want it to last for about six weeks. It will allow for all those hostages to get out and, of course, to allow for easier aid access to places in Gaza, particularly up in the north," White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on ABC. "He’s going to be working on that very, very hard and also be talking to the Israelis about their intentions and their thinking about Rafah, military operations, and sort of where they are in the planning stages for that."

The Biden administration continues to urge Israel not to conduct a major military offensive in Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians sought refuge to escape fighting in northern Gaza.

BIDEN 'REITERATED HIS CLEAR POSITION': Both Blinken and President Joe Biden spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the weekend. 

"The leaders discussed Rafah and the president reiterated his clear position," the White House said in a statement Sunday. "The president and the prime minister also discussed increases in the delivery of humanitarian assistance into Gaza including through preparations to open new northern crossings starting this week. The president stressed the need for this progress to be sustained and enhanced in full coordination with humanitarian organizations."

The call lasted just under an hour.

GAZA PIER STILL WEEKS AWAY: The Pentagon said a floating pier off the coast of Gaza that is designed to augment the flow of food and medicine into Gaza is under construction but likely won't be operational until late May.

"It will take probably two to three weeks before we can really see it in operation. I mean, it’s a fairly complicated procedure to get that in place, and we’re working closely with the Israelis about how the operation of the pier would work," Kirby said on ABC. "It certainly will help increase the volume of aid getting into Gaza, but nothing can replace — quite frankly, nothing can replace the ground routes and the trucks that are getting in."

On Friday, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. downplayed the risk to U.S. forces operating the pier, noting a security zone will be established in concert with Israeli forces to ensure the floating structure does not come under attack.

"We are taking our force protection for the pier itself but also the distribution area very seriously," Brown said. "And what the Israelis are doing — they’re building a basically a buffer zone or a bubble out around the distribution and the pier to keep the threat away from our forces."

"We’ll have, you know, contract trucks and the like and the aid agencies that need to be protected as well because if that’s not protected, then it interrupts the distribution of aid that’s so important to the citizens of Gaza," Brown said.

U.S. HUMANITARIAN AID TO HAITI: The political instability and gang violence that has rocked the Caribbean country has faded somewhat from the headlines, but the humanitarian crisis remains desperate for tens of thousands of Haitians.

On Saturday, a U.S. Air Force C-130 flew into the main airport at Port-au-Prince to deliver 22,000 pounds of medical supplies donated by the nongovernmental organizations MAP International and Lift Logistics to Hope for Haiti, according to a release from the U.S. Southern Command. "The much-needed medicine and medical supplies will be distributed to 14 partners who treat over 205,000 patients annually. These NGOs work closely with the Haitian Ministry of Health and have been holding mobile clinics at their direction and administering childhood vaccines," the release said.

Last week, Ariel Henry, the prime minister who had been locked out of the country for the past couple of months, resigned, clearing the way for a transitional council tasked to pick a new prime minister and prepare for eventual presidential elections.

MANY A TRUTH IS SAID IN JEST, BY JOST: Saturday Night Live comedian, and husband of Scarlett Johansson, Colin Jost was the headliner at the White House Correspondents' Association annual black-tie dinner, affectionately known as the "Nerd Prom."

And as is the tradition, he gently skewered both President Joe Biden, who was in attendance, and former President Donald Trump, who was not. Here are a few of his better one-liners.

  • "I was excited to be up here onstage with President Biden tonight, mostly to see if I could figure out where Obama was pulling the strings from."
  • "I have to admit, it’s not easy following President Biden. I mean, it’s not always easy following what he’s saying."
  • "There are so many incredible news organizations here tonight. Also a few credible ones."
  • "Can we just acknowledge how refreshing it is to see a president of the United States at an event that doesn’t begin with a bailiff saying, all rise?"
  • "Like many of you here tonight, I pretend to do news on TV."
  • "My 'Weekend Update' co-anchor Michael Che was going to join me here tonight, but in solidarity with President Biden, I decided to lose all my black support."
  • "I love being in Washington. The last time I was in D.C., I left my cocaine at the White House. Luckily, the president was able to put it to good use for his State of the Union."
  • "Can you blame the guy for turning to cocaine? He must be exhausted, orchestrating four separate trials against his rival, rigging the Super Bowl, and gearing up to steal a second election."
  • "It’s not like Trump himself is young and sharp. I’m not saying both candidates are old, but you know Jimmy Carter is out there thinking, I could maybe win this thing. He’s only 99."
  • "I do think that you can do more on the economy, sir. I really do. For example, have you considered eliminating the national debt by shorting Trump stock?"
  • "The race is tied. Nothing makes sense anymore. The candidate who is a famous New York City playboy took abortion rights away, and the guy who’s trying to give you your abortion rights back is an 80-year-old Catholic. How does that sense?"

And Biden was provided a few zingers by his staff:

  • "My wife, Jill, with me tonight, was worried how I do. I told her, don’t worry, just like riding the bike. See, that’s what I’m worried about."
  • "And yes, age is an issue. I’m a grown man running against a 6-year-old."
  • "Folks think what’s going on in Congress is political theater. That’s not true. If Congress were theater, they would have thrown out Lauren Boebert a long time ago."



Washington Examiner: Now Ukraine aid has passed, what does success look like in eyes of Biden administration?

Washington Examiner: US announces additional $6 billion military aid package for Ukraine after supplemental

Washington Examiner: Qatar acts as mediator between Russia and Ukraine over kidnapped children

Washington Examiner: Attack on Gaza coast highlights threats to US pier mission

Washington Examiner: Antony Blinken accuses China of 2024 election interference

Washington Examiner: US and China to launch AI dialogue 'in the coming weeks' 

Washington Examiner: TikTok goes on offense against lawmakers who voted for a 'ban' while keeping accounts

Washington Examiner: Pelosi's speeches across Europe interrupted by pro-Palestinian protesters

Washington Examiner: McConnell indicates he'll vote for Trump: Voters 'have spoken' on GOP nominee

Politico:  What Spending Caps? Senators Open to Boosting the Pentagon's Budget

Reuters: Israel Has Agreed to Listen to US Concerns Before Any Rafah Move, Says White House

New York Times: Israeli Officials Believe ICC Is Preparing Arrest Warrants Over War

Washington Post: Russia arrests more journalists in intensifying crackdown on dissent

AP: Putin likely didn't order death of Russian opposition leader Navalny, US official says

Wall Street Journal: Blinken Meets with Xi as US Pressures China to End Support For Russia

Business Insider: China Is Gradually Amping Up Its Military Aggression in A ‘Boiling Frog’ Strategy, US Indo-Pacific Commander Says

Financial Times: 'Honeypots' and Influence Operations; China's Spies Turn to Europe

AP:  Ballistic Missiles Fired by Yemen's Houthi Rebels Damage Panama-Flagged Oil Tanker in Red Sea

Defense One: Another US Precision-Guided Weapon Falls Prey to Russian Electronic Warfare, US Says

The War Zone: Ukraine Appears to Be Using Light Planes Converted into Reusable Bomber Drones

AP: The Latest | Israeli airstrikes on Rafah kill at least 22 people, Palestinian health officials say

Bloomberg: 'Doomsday Plane' Contract for $13 Billion Goes to Sierra Nevada

Wall Street Journal: Northrop's Rocket Fuel Factory Is Slow to Take Off

SpaceNews: Space Force Opens Bidding for Classified Communications Satellites

Air & Space Forces Magazine: RTX Exits the Space Prime Business, Won't Make SDA Satellites

Breaking Defense: Boeing Buys GKN Factory, Ending Dispute over F-15, F/A-18 Parts

Air & Space Forces Magazine: New Report: Engine Problems Led to MQ-9 Crash in Africa Last Year

Air Force Times: B-1 Bomber Rises from the 'Boneyard' to Rejoin the Air Force's Fleet

Defense News: Defense Innovation Unit Moves to Ease Commercial Drone Certifications

Defense Scoop: Air Force Plans Industry Roundtables on Effective Uses, Adoption of Generative AI

Task & Purpose: So Does the Air Force Have New Aces Now?



9:30 a.m. — Center for Strategic and International Studies virtual discussion: "The Future of the Indo-Pacific with the Coast Guard Commandant," with Adm. Linda Fagan, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard; and Seth Jones, senior vice president, and director, CSIS International Security Program https://www.csis.org/events/future-indo-pacific-coast-guard-commandant

9:45 a.m. 1030 15th St. NW — Atlantic Council discussion: “A back-to-business birthday: Priorities for the 2024 NATO Summit in Washington," with Lithuanian Minister of National Defense Laurynas Kasciunas and U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Julianne Smith https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/event/a-back-to-business

10 a.m. — International Institute for Strategic Studies virtual discussion: “Turmoil in the Red Sea: Assessing the Houthis’ strategic agenda,” with Mohammed Albasha, Navanti Group senior analyst; Nadwa al Dawsari, Middle East Institute nonresident scholar; Wolf-Christian Paes, senior fellow for armed conflict at IISS-Europe; and Hasan Alhasan, senior fellow for Middle East policy at IISS-Bahrain https://www.iiss.org/events/2024/04/turmoil-in-the-red-sea

11 a.m. — Center for American Progress virtual discussion: “A Progressive, Principled, and Pragmatic Approach Toward China Policy,” with Neysun Mahboubi, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Project on the Future of U.S.-China Relations; Joanna Lewis, associate professor at Georgetown University; Alan Yu, CAP senior vice president for national security and international policy; and Dave Rank, CAP senior fellow https://www.americanprogress.org/events

2 p.m. 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW — Brookings Institution Governance Studies program and Count Every Hero in-person and virtual panel discussion: "The recent surge in non-federal National Guard deployments and what that means for the U.S. military and the 2024 elections," with Scott Anderson, fellow, governance studies and Gen. counsel and senior editor, Lawfare; Kyle Miller, Pennsylvania policy strategist, Protect Democracy; retired Gen. Craig McKinley, U.S. Air Force; 26th chief of the National Guard Bureau; Paul Stockton, former assistant secretary of defense, homeland security; retired Gen. Joseph Lengyel, U.S. Air Force; 28th chief of the National Guard Bureau; retired Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, U.S. Air Force, former adjutant Gen. of Nebraska, and immediate past president of the Adjutants Gen. Association of the U.S.; and retired Brig. Gen. Allyson Solomon, U.S. Air Force, former assistant adjutant Gen. of Maryland https://www.brookings.edu/events/domestic-deployment-of-the-national-guard

2:30 p.m. 1744 R St. NW — German Marshall Fund of the U.S. discussion: “Exposing the PRC’s (People’s Republic of China) Distortion of UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 to Press its Claim Over Taiwan,” with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Mark Baxter Lambert, China coordinator at the State Department; Jacques deLisle, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Study of Contemporary China; and Bonnie Glaser, managing director of GMF Indo-Pacific program https://www.gmfus.org/event/exposing-prcs-distortion

3 p.m. — Atlantic Council virtual discussion: "How the U.S. and the Russian opposition should engage with those interested in building a free and democratic Russia,” with Mikhail Khodorkovsky, founder of Open Russia, and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/event/fireside-chat


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


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

"There are some who call you the enemy of the people. That's wrong and it's dangerous. You literally risk your lives doing your job. You do. Covering everything from natural disasters to pandemics to wars and so much more. And some of your colleagues have given their lives, and many have suffered grievous injuries. Other reporters have lost their freedom. Journalism is clearly not a crime, not here, not there, not anywhere in the world."
President Joe Biden, at Saturday night's White House Correspondents' Association annual First Amendment dinner.
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