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Today’s PDB includes a variety of critical, global national security issues.
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Congress’ nuclear adviser wonders whether Russia is stoking WW3. The whole point of Russia’s war in Ukraine could be to drag the West into World War 3, said the executive director of Congress’ Task Force on National and Homeland Security.
New Zealand deal may put Japan closer to ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence alliance. An announcement of the negotiations, during a visit to Tokyo on Thursday by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, came two days after the Solomon Islands said it had reached a security agreement with China, provoking unease among Western-aligned powers in the region. The deal, according to a leaked document, could allow Beijing to deploy troops to the Solomons, and perhaps even result in the first Chinese military base in the Pacific.
What the PLA Is Learning from Russia’s Ukraine Invasion. China is watching Russia’s military mistakes in Ukraine and will apply those lessons to its battle planning for a conflict in the Taiwan Strait. The 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine is no less significant than the 1990 Gulf War and the 2003 Iraq War in strategic studies. The previous two wars enabled the PLA to make new observations and learn new things, eventually contributing to the modernization of China’s military thought.
Next phase of war will be pivotal for Russia and Ukraine, US says. Administration officials said they believed the next month would shape the war’s outcome, with long-lasting consequences for Europe.
TOP PRIORITY SHOULD BE DETERRENCE – Scholz says top priority is avoiding NATO confrontation with Russia. NATO must avoid a direct military confrontation with Russia that could lead to a third world war, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in an interview with Der Spiegel when asked about Germany’s failure to deliver heavy weapons to Ukraine.
ATROCITIES AND WAR CRIMES – Russia-Ukraine live news: Images suggest mass graves off Mariupol. Satellite images show what appear to be mass graves around a cemetery near Mariupol, where officials say Russia is burying bodies to hide its war crimes. Washington says Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that Moscow “liberated” the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol is “yet more disinformation.”
US sends Ukraine new Phoenix Ghost drones for Donbas battle. The Phoenix Ghosts, designed by Aevex Aerospace, are similar to Switchblade drones, small and precise weapons packed with explosives that are able to strike targets in “kamikaze” fashion. The Phoenix Ghost system will require minimal training for experienced drone operators, according to Kirby. Washington announced in March it would send 100 Switchblades to Kyiv.
‘Avenging the blood’: Iran Guard vows justice for slain general. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) says it will not stop attempts to avenge its top general killed in a United States attack as a condition to end sanctions – a key sticking point to reviving an important nuclear deal.
THE USUAL SUSPECTS – Experts urge return to Iran nuclear deal as prospects dim. Forty former government officials and nonproliferation experts urged President Biden to complete negotiations, warning that Tehran is a week or two away from producing sufficient weapons-grade uranium to fuel a bomb. Read More.
Ethiopians queue up to volunteer for Russia’s fight in Ukraine. The queues formed early each morning outside the Russian embassy in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. Drawn by rumors on social media, young men and old, many with their military records in hand, arrived with hopes of fighting for Russia in Ukraine.
WEANING INDIA FROM RUSSIA- Britain and India seal defense deals. On his first visit to the Indian capital as UK prime minister, Boris Johnson discussed with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi ways to boost security ties with India, which buys more than half of its military hardware from Russia.
ISIS IN AFRICA – ISWAP claims Nigeria bombing, says about 30 killed or hurt. The Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) armed group has claimed responsibility for an explosion that it said killed or injured 30 people at a market where alcohol was sold in Nigeria’s Taraba state, marking an expansion of the area where the ISIL affiliate operates in the country.
ISIS IN AFGHANISTAN – Deadly blasts claimed by Islamic State hit northern Afghan cities. An explosion claimed by the Islamic State at a Shi’ite mosque in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif on Thursday killed at least 11 people, a health official said, one of a series of blasts around the country.
US MILITARY AND SPACE
SIMPLY SAD – Air Force general’s court-martial nears end as defense forgoes witnesses. Lawyers for the prosecution and defense rested their cases here Thursday after several witnesses testified in rapid succession, setting the stage to wind down the first full military trial of an Air Force general.
Planet’s new Pelican remote sensing sats sport sharper eyes, faster revisits. Remote sensing firm Planet recently unveiled new details on its newest satellite constellation, called Pelican, which the company says will bring customers high-resolution pictures and the ability to take them more often over the same place on Earth.
END of PDB
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