Daily on Defense: Ukraine unleashes HIMARS, Russian casualties mount, Biden to order new border policy, Gaza pier problems persist, D-Day commemorations begin

Follow us on Twitter View this as website



UKRAINE UNLEASHES HIMARS: Ukraine has wasted no time taking advantage of the new authorities granted by the United States to target key Russian positions across its northern border with American HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems, scoring several significant hits over the past few days.

"Ukrainian forces struck a Russian S-300/400 air defense battery in Belgorod Oblast likely with HIMARS on June 1 or 2," the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War reported. "Geolocated imagery published on June 3 shows two destroyed launchers and a damaged command post of a Russian S-300/400 air defense system in a field east of Kiselyovo, just north of Belgorod City."

The air defense system was about 40 miles behind the front line, out of range of most multiple launch rocket systems but not the U.S. HIMARS.

"Ukraine using its new ability to strike Russian territory with spectacular effect, taking out more of Russia’s pricey and increasingly rare S-300/S-400 anti-aircraft batteries around Belgorod," Jay in Kyiv, an American who blogs on the war from Ukraine, posted on X, along with photos showing the aftermath of recent strikes. "Ukraine’s new ability to destroy Russian positions IN RUSSIA, before they can get into Ukraine is a huge deal."

Another video post showed what was purported to be a HIMARS strike in occupied Ukraine, where Russian troops had converted a factory into a tank repair facility.

'WHO CAN BLAME PRESIDENT ZELENSKY?' While the Biden administration insists it moved quickly to grant Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's desperate request for permission to use American weapons to counter Russia's advance on Kharkiv, Zelensky remains frustrated that the lifting of restriction applies only to cross-border strikes on the northern front.

Ukraine can use U.S. weapons for "counter-fire purposes in the Kharkiv region so Ukraine can hit back against Russian forces that are attacking them or preparing to attack them," a State Department official told the Washington Examiner's Mike Brest. But as Brest reported, the administration keeps dropping hints that the policy could change again. 

"Who can blame President Zelensky for wanting more stuff and more ability to use that stuff as his country continues to come under attack?" John Kirby, White House national security communications adviser, told reporters on a conference call. "I don’t think it should come as a shock to anybody that President Zelensky would be grateful on one hand but also eager to continue to press his case going forward."

Zelensky pressed his case for deeper strikes into Russia when he met with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue defense forum in Singapore on Sunday, and Kirby said discussions are ongoing.

"We’ll have those conversations with the Ukrainians, absolutely we will," Kirby said. "Whether it leads to any additional policy changes, I can’t say at this point, but we’re not going to turn our back on what Ukraine needs, and we’re going to continue to try to evolve our support to them as the battlefield evolves as well."

RUSSIAN CASUALTIES MOUNT: One of Russia's advantages over Ukraine is what seems to be an endless supply of raw recruits whom Russian President Vladimir Putin seems willing to sacrifice for even the smallest territorial gains.

The British Defense Ministry reported at the end of May that Russian losses for the month were over 1,200 a day, the highest level since the start of the war. "The total number of Russian casualties, killed and wounded since the start of the war in February 2022 has now likely reached 500,000," according to the May 31 intelligence update.

"The elevated casualty rate is highly likely a reflection of Russia’s ongoing attritional offensive, which is being conducted across a wide front. It is highly likely that most Russian forces receive only limited training and are unable to carry out complex offensive operations," the assessment said. "As a result Russia employs small-scale, but costly, wave attacks in an effort to weaken Ukrainian defenses."

"The Russian military is reportedly forcibly sending Russian servicemembers who refused to fight to the front in Ukraine from Russia instead of standing trial for their refusal to participate in combat," the Institute for the Study of War noted in its nightly assessment, citing the Russian opposition outlet Verstka.

"Verstka stated that the Russian military holds the servicemembers at military unit basepoints in Russia as they await trial for crimes related to their refusal to fight before suddenly canceling their trials and immediately sending them to Ukraine," the ISW said. "Verstka reported that Russian authorities used physical abuse to coerce some soldiers into volunteering to go to Ukraine before forcing others from their holding cells at gunpoint and transporting them to the frontlines"


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


HAPPENING TODAY: President Joe Biden is expected to unveil an executive order that would shut down the U.S.-Mexico border if the average number of asylum requests from border-crossers at legal ports of entry exceeds 2,500.

It's a policy that Biden argued a few months ago he did not have the legal authority to impose but that Republicans insisted was an action he could take without new congressional legislation.

"Republicans have blamed Biden for the historically high levels of illegal immigration for rolling back Trump-era immigration policies after taking office. They've insisted Biden has the power to end the border crisis without Congress, while the Biden administration has insisted a legislative solution is needed," reported the Washington Examiner's Anna Giaritelli, who covers homeland security, immigration, and the border. 

Biden is expected to announce the plan at a White House event to which border mayors have been invited.


OFF TO FRANCE FOR D-DAY: Biden leaves tonight for Paris to join world leaders and a dwindling number of World War II veterans to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the June 6, 1944, D-Day invasion that began the liberation of Europe from the grip of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany.

Biden will take part in solemn ceremonies that will be attended by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and British royals, among the many leaders and dignitaries attending the week of remembrance.

More than 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded in the first 24 hours in the amphibious assault by some 160,000 troops landing on five beaches on France's Normandy coast.


GAZA PIER PROBLEMS PERSIST: As the U.S. Army is attempting to put its temporary floating pier back together again, it's having trouble recovering two small boats that were used to anchor the pier in place off the coast of Gaza.

The Pentagon said it expects humanitarian aid to resume deliveries by sea within a week, after the repaired pier is towed back to Gaza and made operational again.

"Humanitarian aid from Cyprus is currently being preloaded on vessels that as soon as the … temporary pier is re-anchored to Gaza, that aid will be able to flow off pretty much immediately," Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said Monday.

As for the two small boats, "They were never part of the shuttling of aid. They were just there to help anchor the pier," Singh said. "I believe the Army vessels just did take on a lot of water and sand, so the recovery efforts are just proving to be a little bit more difficult. But we are working with the Israeli Navy to make sure that they can be pushed back and will be operational."

"That does not impact the rebuilding of the pier itself though. That is still ongoing, still looking like we’ll be on track for the timeline that we had set," she said.



Washington Examiner: Ukraine military aid: US keeps door open for further loosening restrictions

Washington Examiner: Netanyahu reiterates war objective of 'elimination of Hamas'

Washington Examiner: Israeli military confirms deaths of four more hostages taken by Hamas

Washington Examiner: Netanyahu denies joint session address will happen on proposed June 13 date

Washington Examiner: Biden to issue border executive order in change of past stance

Washington Examiner: Democratic Texas border town mayor condemns White House for no-invite

Washington Examiner: Hong Kong calls on primary schools to report anti-Communist Party attitudes

AP: Silence and heavy security in China and Hong Kong on 35th anniversary of Tiananmen crackdown

Wall Street Journal: China's Chaos Threat Worries NSA Chief

Reuters: China Maintains Stance On Disputed Gulf Islands Despite Iran’s Anger

Defense News: NATO to Unveil Ukraine Security Package as 'Bridge' to Membership

Washington Post: Basic Training In Ukraine Barely Covers Basics, Officers Say

AP: France's far right may win big in the EU elections. That's worrying for migrants, Macron and Ukraine

New York Times: In Former States Of The Soviet Union, A Tug Of War Between East And West

Washington Post: Russia co-opts far-right politicians in Europe with cash, officials say

The War Zone: Ukraine Strikes Long-Range SAM System Inside Russia with US Weapon

Washington Post: Former U.S. soldier extradited from Ukraine over 'international crime spree'

Stars and Stripes: Rare Strike On ISIS' Somali Offshoot Kills 3 Militants, AFRICOM Says

Military.com: White House Threatens to Veto VA, Military Construction Spending Bill over GOP Policies

AP: South Korea is suspending a military deal with North Korea after trash balloon tensions

Task & Purpose: A Combat Controller Earned a Secret Air Force Cross for Battle with Russian Mercenaries

CNN: Pentagon Contracts Reveal U.S. Prep For Multinational Force In Haiti, Down To Toothbrushes And WiFi

Defense News: AI Regulators Fear Getting Drowned Out by Hype of Wars

Aviation Week: Skunk Works Analysis Reveals Vulnerability of CCA Fleet

Air & Space Forces Magazine: Space Force Looks to MEO for Narrowband SATCOM

AP: Craft unfurls China's flag on the far side of the moon and lifts off with lunar rocks to bring home

Air & Space Forces Magazine: USAF, DIU Pick 4 Firms to Explore Cheaper, Modular, Mass-Produced Drones

The War Zone: Stealthy Fighter-Like Wingman Drone Concept Unveiled by Airbus

Air & Space Forces Magazine: US Flies B-52 to Cap Off Its Largest Exercise in Africa

Air & Space Forces Magazine: Airmen and Guardians: Now You Can Reenlist Sooner—and for Longer

AP: Mother of Airman Killed by Florida Deputy Says His Firing, Alone, Won't Cut It

AP: Idris Elba helps uncover the WWII soldiers of color who never got their due



8:30 a.m. H-140 Capitol — House Appropriations subcommittee markup of fiscal 2025 homeland security bill https://appropriations.house.gov/events/markups/subcommittee

10 a.m. H-140 Capitol — House Appropriations State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee markup, fiscal 2025 state, foreign operations, and related programs bill. https://appropriations.house.gov/events/markups

12 p.m. — Foundation for Defense of Democracies China Program virtual discussion: "Flashpoints and High Stakes: America's Blueprint to Counter China," with Dmitri Alperovitch, author of World on the Brink; Ivan Kanapathy, senior vice president of Beacon Global Strategies; retired Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, senior director, FDD Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation; Craig Singleton, director, FDD China Program; and moderated by Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post national security reporter https://www.fdd.org/events/2024/06/04/flashpoints-and-high-stakes

1 p.m — Atlantic Council virtual discussion: “The Economic Front in Ukraine,” with Brent Neiman, assistant treasury secretary for international finance https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/event/assistant-secretary-brent-neiman

2 p.m. — House Homeland Security Transportation and Maritime Security Subcommittee hearing on “Combatting the Grey Zone: Examining Chinese Threats to the Maritime Domain,” with testimony from Isaac Kardon, senior fellow for China studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Brent Sadler, senior research fellow for naval warfare and advanced technology at the Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for National Security; and Eric “Coop” Cooper, senior policy researcher at the Rand Corporation http://homeland.house.gov

2 p.m. 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW — Wilson Center Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies book discussion: Collisions: The War in Ukraine and the Origins, New Global Instability, with author Michael Kimmage, professor of history at Catholic University of America https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/collisions-war

4 p.m. 1763 N St. NW — Middle East Institute book discussion: The Melting Point: High Command and War in the 21st Century, with author retired Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, former commander of U.S. Central Command https://www.mei.edu/events/book-launch-event-melting-point


8 a.m. H-140 Capitol — House Appropriations Committee Defense Subcommittee markup, fiscal 2025 defense bill https://appropriations.house.gov/events/markups

11 a.m. 1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW — Hudson Institute discussion: “The Crisis in Georgia and Its Implications for the Black Sea Region,” with former member of Georgian Parliament Nona Mamulashvili, co-founder of Gamziri; Laura Thornton, senior vice president of democracy at the German Marshall Fund; Miriam Lanskoy, senior director for Russia and Eurasia at the National Endowment for Democracy; and Catherine Sendak, director of trans-Atlantic defense and security at the Center for European Policy Analysis https://www.hudson.org/events/crisis-georgia-its-implications

12 p.m. 1030 15th St. NW — Atlantic Council discussion: “What is to be Done? The Impact of War on Putin’s Russia,” with Galina Timchenko, founder and CEO of Meduza, and Mikhail Zygar, nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/event/what-is-to-be-done

12:30 p.m. — Center for American Progress virtual discussion: “The Forgotten War: Sudan in Crisis,” with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA); State Department Special Envoy for Sudan Tom Perriello; and Haitham Elnour, human rights activist https://www.americanprogress.org/events/the-forgotten-war-sudan-in-crisis


5 a.m. 1750 Independence Ave. SW — Friends of the National World War II Memorial D-Day 80th anniversary ceremony with a reading of the names of the nearly 9,000 laid to rest at Normandy American Cemetery, with Elliott Roosevelt III, great-grandson of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt; Jeff Reinbold, superintendent, National Mall and Memorial Parks; Jane Droppa, chairwoman, Friends of the National World War II Memorial; Alex Kershaw, resident historian at the Friends of the National World War II Memorial; and DeRonda Elliott, daughter of Corp. Frank Elliott, killed-in action D-Day. https://www.facebook.com/WWIIMemorialFriends

9 a.m. — Center for a New American Security virtual National Security Conference with Jon Finer, White House deputy national security adviser; Daleep Singh, deputy national security adviser for international economics; Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Shigeo Yamada; Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel Romualdez; Ellen Lord, former undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment; and former Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) https://conference.cnas.org/register/

9 a.m. 1030 15th St. NW — Atlantic Council discussion: “An allied approach to de-risking the tech supply chain,” with Tarun Chhabra, senior director for technology and national security at the National Security Council, and Kristy Hsu, director, Taiwan Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research’s Taiwan-ASEAN Studies Center https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/event/an-allied-approach-to-de-risking

10 a.m. 1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW — Hudson Institute discussion: “Strategic Corruption, State Capture, and Sanctions Enforcement in Europe,” focusing on Ukraine, with Ruslan Stefanov, chief economist and program director at the Center for the Study of Democracy; Martin Vladimirov, director, Center for the Study of Democracy’s Energy and Climate Program; Dragan Koprivica, executive director, Montenegro Center for Democratic Transition; and Ognian Shentov, chairman, Center for the Study of Democracy https://www.hudson.org/events/strategic-corruption

10 a.m. 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW — Center for Strategic and International Studies discussion: “The Missile Defense Agency and the 2025 Budget,” with Air Force Lt. Gen. Heath Collins, Missile Defense Agency director https://www.csis.org/events/mda-and-2025-budget

12 p.m. — Washington Post Live virtual discussion: "The global cyberthreat landscape in 2024, Securing Cyberspace," with Nathaniel Fick, U.S. ambassador at large for cyberspace and digital policy; Kemba Walden, president, Paladin Global Institute and former White House acting national cyber director; and retired Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, founding director, Institute for National Defense and Global Security, Vanderbilt University https://www.washingtonpost.com/washington-post-live

12 p.m. — Association, U.S. Army "Noon Report" webinar with retired Lt. Col. James Lechner, author, With My Shield: An Army Ranger in Somalia https://www.ausa.org/events/noon-report/lechner

2 p.m. — Government Executive Media Group and Booz Allen Hamilton virtual discussion: "Disrupting the Battlespace: Developing Ecosystems to Enable Dual-use Defense Technologies for the DOD" https://events.govexec.com/disrupting-the-battlespace

3 p.m. 1789 Massachusetts Ave. NW — American Enterprise Institute discussion: “Europe Goes to the Polls,” with Michael Curtis, European Union deputy ambassador to the U.S.; Matthias Matthijs, associate professor of international political economy at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies; Peter Rough, director, Hudson Institute’s Center on Europe and Eurasia; Constanze Stelzenmuller, director, Brookings Institution Center on the U.S. and Europe; and Stan Veuger, AEI senior fellow https://www.aei.org/events/europe-goes-to-the-polls


9 a.m. 14th and F Sts. NW — Arms Control Association 2024 annual meeting, with the theme “Moving Back from the Nuclear Brink,” with Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) and Pranay Vaddi, senior director for arms control, disarmament, and nonproliferation at the National Security Council https://www.armscontrol.org/2024AnnualMeeting

11 a.m. — Center for Strategic and International Studies virtual discussion: “Centering Human Rights in Ukraine’s Reconstruction,” with Melinda Haring, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, and Bill Van Esveld, associate director for the Middle East and North Africa at the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division https://www.csis.org/events/centering-human-rights-ukraines-reconstruction

11 a.m. — Washington Post Live virtual discussion: "NATO's top military officer on Ukraine war, European security, and world order," with Royal Netherlands Navy Adm. Rob Bauer, chairman, NATO Military Committee, and Washington Post columnist David Ignatius https://www.washingtonpost.com/washington-post-live

11:30 a.m. 1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW — Hudson Institute discussion: “NATO in the New Era of Collective Defense,” with Royal Netherlands Navy Adm. Rob Bauer, chairman, NATO Military Committee https://www.hudson.org/events/nato-era-collective-defense-rob-bauer

3 p.m. 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW — Brookings Institution discussion: “Taiwan’s Central Role in the Global Economy,” with James Goodrich, Rand Corporation senior adviser for technology analysis; Janka Oertel, director, European Council on Foreign Relations Asia Program; and Shelley Rigger, professor of Asian politics at Davidson College https://www.brookings.edu/events/taiwans-central-role

"The level of vitriol that we see now, just in the country in general but actually played out during this hearing, was really quite unfortunate because the purpose of hearings are to try and figure out how we can do better, so that next time, if and when we are faced with a pandemic, we'd be better prepared and we could benefit. If mistakes were made, we identify them, and we try to correct them for the future. That's not what we saw today."
Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, commenting last night on CNN about his testimony before a House subcommittee
Access the Daily on Defense archives here


Popular posts from this blog

No summer vacation for Biden & Trump

FOLLOW THE MONEY - Billionaire tied to Epstein scandal funneled large donations to Ramaswamy & Democrats

Breaking: Left-Wing Black History Children’s Book Distributed by Simon & Schuster Is Heavily Plagiarized