THANKS FOR THE TANKS: The latest announcement of U.S. military aid for Ukraine was modest in dollar value ($400 million) but includes one of the weapons that has been on the top of Kyiv’s wish list for months — main battle tanks, 90 of them, supplied by the Czech Republic and paid for by the United States and the Netherlands.
“From the United States, it is the first provision of tanks,” Sabrina Singh, the Pentagon’s deputy press secretary, said Friday. “These tanks are coming from the Czech Republic defense industry, and the United States is paying for 45 of those to be refurbished, and the government of the Netherlands is matching our commitment and will provide an additional 45 tanks. … These will be the most technically advanced tanks on the battlefield.”
Ukraine’s long-anticipated counteroffensive to push Russian troops out of the southern Ukrainian region has been slowed by several factors: the quagmire conditions caused by autumn mud, the lack of heavy armor, and the fact that Russian troops have dug and been reinforced in number by recent conscripts.
“The Russians have very good, well-prepared positions in this area, so it’s difficult to push them out,” one front-line Ukrainian commander told the Washington Post last week. “Even if you shoot accurately with artillery, you might kill some Russian soldiers, but other ones just come back to these positions,” the commander with the call sign “Playboy” said. “To move forward, we need a lot of tanks, [armored personnel carriers], and human resources.”
“I am grateful to the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and the U.S. for their joint decision to provide 90 T-72 tanks to Ukraine,” tweeted Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba. “First 26 repaired and modernized tanks will arrive within the next month. Thank you, friends, for your unwavering solidarity with Ukraine.”
The Pentagon said the remainder of the tanks will arrive early next year.
PENTAGON ANNOUNCES $400 MILLION NEW AID PACKAGE TO UKRAINE
WHY NOT ABRAMS? For months, some military experts have questioned why the U.S. has been reluctant to send some older models of its venerable M1A1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, given that thousands of the Gulf War-era tanks sit mothballed in storage.
Retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, a former “tanker,” argued on Twitter a few months back that the U.S. Abrams tanks were too high-tech and too high maintenance for Ukrainian crews to operate and repair without months of training and an endless supply of spare parts.
“While UKR tankers could certainly ‘man’ the M1A1, they would have difficulty supporting it with mechanics, fuel, parts. And the costs would be astronomical,” said Hertling, who noted the Abrams tanks have turbine engines that run on jet fuel and get “3 gallons/mile (not 3 mpg),” as well as have a fire control system that is so advanced it requires a “separate turret mechanic” who is trained to repair tanks whenever they break down.
As for the Russian-made T-72B tanks from the Czech inventory, “T72 is an old chevy; the M1 is a Ferrari,” said Hertling, adding that it has several advantages. It requires a three-man crew, not four, runs on diesel, not jet fuel, and has been “upgunned” by the NATO countries that still have them and is a better version than the model the Russians are using in Ukraine. “The UKR tankers know the T72 well as they’ve even used to build this tank in Ukraine for the Soviet Army in the old days.”
RUSSIA REPLACES PROMINENT COMMANDER IN UKRAINE: REPORTS
LINES REMAIN STATIC: U.S. officials said they’ve seen little change in the battlefield dynamics as Ukrainian and Russian forces both prepare for what could be the pivotal battle of the war, which is now in its ninth month.
“We’re seeing Ukraine continue to advance on its counteroffensive. We’re seeing Russia shore up its defensive lines around Kherson,” Singh said during Friday’s briefing.
“We continue to see that the Ukrainians are making some incremental progress in the south,” said National Security Council spokesman John Kirby in a separate briefing Friday, but he added that, overall, there has been “not much movement” in recent days.
“We are seeing Russian defensive lines largely static and deepening, in a sense, as they are accommodating the evacuation of civilians and some military units to the other side of the Dnipro River.”
While Russian forces retreat to defensive positions on the east bank of the river, Ukraine attacks their ammunition depots and supply lines with highly accurate U.S.-supplied HIMARS launchers in advance of the effort to liberate the city of Kherson.
“Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Ukraine has not lost a single HIMARS, but Russia has lost its humanity and dignity,” crowed the Ukrainian government on Twitter. “Not to mention hundreds of thousands of tons of ammunition and thousands of soldiers whom they sent to certain death.”
PUTIN URGES RELOCATION OF KHERSON CIVILIANS AS MILITARY PLANS REMAIN IN FLUX
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N. KOREA SAYS ITS MISSILE TESTS WERE A SIMULATION OF WAR WITH SOUTH: At the completion of large-scale U.S.-South Korean military exercises, the North Korean military issued a statement to explain its record-setting barrage of missiles launches were designed to simulate all-out war with the south.
“Through the operations, the armed forces of the DPRK fully responded to the enemy’s combined air drill, increased its self-confidence in neutralizing the ‘theory of superiority’ of the enemy air force,” said the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army, according to an English translation on the monitoring site KCNA Watch.
The North Korean response, which included simulated aerial combats and missile strikes on air bases, “perfectly confirmed the confident military posture and capability of the KPA and further hardened its absolute will for reaction,” the statement said. “The more persistent the enemies are in provocative military moves, the more thoroughly and mercilessly the KPA will counter them.”
The North’s military said it also carried out an “important test-fire of ballistic missile to verify the movement reliability of a special functional warhead paralyzing the operation command system of the enemy,” which seemed to be a reference to some kind of electronic warfare.
‘FORCES’ NOT ‘HORSES’: The Pentagon has issued a correction on a quote it published last week, and reported here on Friday, from Adm. Charles Richard commander of the U.S. Strategic Command.
The corrected quote, which was from remarks Richard made in a speech at Naval Submarine League Symposium, doesn’t change the overall meaning of Richard’s comments, namely that the U.S. is falling behind China, which is fielding new capabilities faster than the U.S., but is noted here in the interest of accuracy.
Richard was quoted as saying: “It isn’t going to matter how good our [operating plan] is or how good our commanders are or how good our horses are — we’re not going to have enough of them. And that is a very near-term problem.” The corrected quote reflected that Richard actually said “forces,” not “horses.”
“This Ukraine crisis that we’re in right now, this is just the warmup,” Richard was quoted as saying on the Pentagon’s website. “The big one is coming. And it isn’t going to be very long before we’re going to get tested in ways that we haven’t been tested [in] a long time.”
“As I assess our level of deterrence against China, the ship is slowly sinking,” he said. “It is sinking slowly, but it is sinking as, fundamentally, they are putting capability in the field faster than we are. As those curves keep going, it isn’t going to matter how good our [operating plan] is or how good our commanders are or how good our forces are — we’re not going to have enough of them. And that is a very near-term problem.”
‘BIG ONE IS COMING’: CHILLING WARNING ABOUT US MILITARY’S LACK OF PREPAREDNESS FROM TOP OFFICIAL
Washington Examiner: Pentagon announces $400 million new aid package to Ukraine
Washington Examiner: Russia replaces prominent commander in Ukraine: Reports
Washington Examiner: US has ‘no objection’ to Germany sending tanks to Ukraine
Washington Examiner: Putin urges relocation of Kherson civilians as military plans remain in flux
Washington Examiner: Caterpillar Inc. awarded nearly $1.3 billion defense contract for construction equipment
Washington Examiner: ‘Big one is coming’: Chilling warning about US military’s lack of preparedness from top official
Washington Examiner: White House walks back Biden’s pledge to ‘free Iran’ as Tehran hails new ‘world order’
Washington Examiner: NASA slams China after massive rocket booster plummets back to Earth and risked ‘loss of life’
Washington Examiner: Russian trolls and bots reactivated ‘like sleeper cells’ to target Democrats: Report
Washington Examiner: Opinion: Another year brings more autocratic victories over the democratic members of Interpol
Wall Street Journal: Senior White House Official Involved in Undisclosed Talks With Top Putin Aides
AP: Kyiv region still struggles 6 months after Russian retreat
Reuters: Ukraine Warns Of More Attacks On Infrastructure, As Mayor Urges Kyiv To Prepare For The Worst
New York Times: Russia Looks to Private Militia to Secure a Victory in Eastern Ukraine
CNN: Ukraine Suffered A Comms Outage When 1,300 SpaceX Satellite Units Went Offline Over Funding Issues
AP: EXPLAINER: How impoverished N. Korea finances testing spree
Seapower Magazine: CNO Visits Republic Of Korea; Meets With ROK Leadership And Sailors
Marine Corps Times: Marines Still Oppose Integrated Boot Camp Platoons After $2M Study
Air & Space Forces Magazine: LaPlante: Congress Will Support Multiyear Weapons Procurements
Air & Space Forces Magazine: Missile Defense of Guam Is ‘Big Issue,’ DOD Official Says
New York Times: A Space for Life. And a Space For Death’
Air & Space Forces Magazine: AMC Investigating Class A Mishap That Damaged KC-46 Boom, Fuselage
Task & Purpose: Space Force’s secretive X-37B plane has spent more than 900 days in orbit
19fortyfive.com: Putin Fires Back: Why the Ukraine War Will Get Even Bloodier
19fortyfive.com: Putin Has A Problem: Iran Says It Gave Russia Drones Before Ukraine War
19fortyfive.com: How the U.S. Navy Can Compete with China in the Gray-Zone
Forbes: Why Boeing Believes It Has An Edge In Any New Air Force Tanker Competition
MONDAY | OCTOBER 7
10:30 a.m. 903 Dulaney Valley Rd., Towson, Maryland — Defense Information Systems Agency “Forecast to industry 2022 conference,” with Defense Department Chief Information Officer John Sherman and Air Force Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, DISA director https://disa.mil/NewsandEvents/Events/Forecast-to-Industry
12:30 p.m. 1740 Massachusetts Ave. N.W. — Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies Condoleezza Rice “Women Who Inspire” lecture, with Fatima Gailani, member of the Afghanistan negotiating team on ending the Afghan civil war https://sais.jhu.edu/campus-events
12:30 p.m. 14th and F Sts. N.W. — National Press Club Newsmaker Luncheon address: “Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022 (PACT) Act,” with Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough https://www.press.org/events/npc-headliners-luncheon
5 p.m. 1521 16th St. N.W. — Institute of World Politics lecture: “PRC (People’s Republic of China) Cyberattacks on Taiwan: What the U.S. Should Learn from Them,” with Gillian Hand, analyst at the Rockwood Company and graduate student at IWP https://www.iwp.edu/events/prc-cyberattacks-on-taiwan
7 p.m. 5015 Connecticut Ave. N.W. — Politics and Prose book discussion: on Overreach: How China Derailed Its Peaceful Rise, with author Susan Shirk, chairwoman of the 21st Century China Center at the University of California, San Diego, and Edward Wong, diplomatic correspondent at the New York Times https://www.politics-prose.com/event/book/susan-shirk-overreach
TUESDAY | NOVEMBER 8
8 a.m. 14750 Conference Center Dr., Chantilly, Virginia — Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Belvoir “Industry Days” forum, with Young Bang, principal deputy assistant Army secretary for acquisition, logistics, and technology; Jennifer Swanson, deputy assistant Army secretary for data, engineering, and software; and Leslie Sofocleous, executive director of the Veterans Affairs Department’s Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office’s Program Management Office https://www.fbcinc.com/e/AFCEABelvoir/attendeereg.aspx
8 a.m. — Wilson Center Asia Program and Kyungnam University’s Institute for Far Eastern Studies virtual discussion on a new report, “Avoiding Meltdowns and Blackouts: Confidence-building in Inter-Korean Engagement on Nuclear Safety and Energy Development,” with Francesca Giovannini, executive director of Harvard University’s Project on Managing the Atom; Siegfried Hecker, professor at Texas A&M University; Jeffrey Lewis, director of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey’s East Asia Nonproliferation Project; Jina Kim, professor at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies; Jihwan Hwang, professor at the University of Seoul; Dong-Yub Kim, professor at the University of North Korean Studies; and Byong-Chul Lee, professor at Kyungnam University https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/avoiding-meltdowns-blackouts#
1 p.m. — U.S. Institute of Peace virtual discussion: “Protecting Gender and Sexual Minorities During Armed Conflict,” with Victor Madrigal-Borloz, independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights; London Bell, executive committee co-chairwoman of the U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace, and Security; Joseph Sany, vice president of USIP’s Africa Center; and Kathleen Kuehnast, USIP’s director of gender policy and strategy https://www.usip.org/events/protecting-gender-and-sexual-minorities
3:30 p.m. — Middle East Institute virtual discussion: “By, With, and Through Partner Special Forces in the Middle East,” with Katie Crombe, affiliated scholar at the MEI Defense and Security Program; Michael Nagata, senior fellow on national security at MEI; retired Gen. Joseph Votel, senior fellow on national security at MEI and former CENTCOM commander; and Bilal Saab, senior fellow and founding director of the MEI Defense and Security Program https://www.mei.edu/events/and-through-partner-special-forces-middle-east
3:30 p.m. — U.S. Institute of Peace virtual Twitter Space discussion: “Syria, Russia, and the War in Ukraine,” with Mona Yacoubian, senior adviser at the USIP Middle East and North Africa Center; and Heather Ashby, senior program officer at the USIP Center for Russia and Europe https://www.usip.org/events/twitter-space-syria-russia-and-war-ukraine
7 p.m. 5015 Connecticut Ave. N.W. — Politics and Prose book discussion on Accidental Czar: The Life and Lies of Vladimir Putin, with author Andrew Weiss, vice president of studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, witness at former President Donald Trump’s first Senate impeachment trial http://www.politics-prose.com
WEDNESDAY | NOVEMBER 9
8 a.m. — Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association and Naval Intelligence Professionals Navy Information Warfare Industry Day forum, with Vice Adm. Jeff Trussler, deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare; Scott Bray, deputy director of naval intelligence and director of the Naval Intelligence Activity; Vice Adm. Scott Conn, deputy chief of naval operations for warfighting requirements and capabilities in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; Rear Adm. John Okon, director of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations’s Warfare Integration Directorate; Kelly McCool, director of the Navy Digital Warfare Office; Rear Adm. Fred Pyle, director of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations’s Surface Warfare Division; Sandy Brown, assistant deputy director of Naval intelligence and deputy director of the Naval Intelligence Activity; Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, commander of Naval Information Forces; Vice Adm. Craig Clapperton, commander of the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command; and Rear Adm. Mike Studeman, commander of the Office of Naval Intelligence and director of the National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office https://www.afcea.org/navy-information-warfare-industry-day
8 a.m. — Carnegie Endowment for International Peace virtual discussion: ”U.S.-China Relations After the Midterms,” with Da Wei, director of Tsinghua University’s Center for International Strategy and Security; Yun Sun, co-director of the Stimson Center’s East Asia Program; Chong Ja Ian, nonresident scholar at Carnegie China; and Paul Haenle, visiting research fellow at the National University of Singapore’s East Asian Institute https://carnegieendowment.org/2022/11/09/carnegie-china-global-dialogue
8:15 a.m. 14750 Conference Center Dr., Chantilly, Virginia — Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Belvoir “Industry Days” forum, with Army Maj. Gen. Anthony Potts, program executive officer for command, control, and communications; Carlen Capenos, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Office of Small Business Programs; and Valerie Oliver, deputy director of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’s Office of Small Business https://www.fbcinc.com/e/AFCEABelvoir/attendeereg.aspx
9 a.m. — Brookings Institution virtual discussion: “Xi’s Sweep: Beyond China’s 20th Party Congress,” with panel discussions on “Chinese Domestic Politics” and “China’s Foreign Policy” https://www.brookings.edu/events/xis-sweep
9 a.m. 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean, Virginia — Government Executive Media Group and Washington Technology Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification 2.0 Ecosystem Summit, with Kelley Kiernan, chief technology officer of the Navy Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer program, and Kimberly Buehler, director for the Office of Small Business Programs at the Army https://events.bizzabo.com/washtechCMMC/home
10 a.m. 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean, Virginia — Heritage Foundation virtual discussion: “What China’s Strategic Breakout Means for the U.S,” with Brad Roberts, former deputy assistant defense secretary for nuclear and missile defense policy, and Franklin Miller, principal at the Scowcroft Group and senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments https://www.heritage.org/defense/event/what-chinas-strategic-breakout-means-the-us
4:30 p.m. — George Washington University Project for Media and National Security Defense Writers Group Zoom conversation with Colin Kahl, undersecretary of defense for policy https://nationalsecuritymedia.gwu.edu Contact: Thom Shanker [email protected]
THURSDAY | NOVEMBER 10
10 a.m. — Arab Center virtual discussion: “The U.S.-Saudi Rift: Economic Disagreement or Geopolitical Realignment?” with Hala Aldosari, Saudi scholar and activist; Giorgio Cafiero, founder and CEO of Gulf States Analytics; Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, fellow for the Middle East at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy; Manal Shehabi, academic visitor at the University of Oxford’s St. Antony’s College; and Annelle Sheline, research fellow at the Quincy Institute’s Middle East Program https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register
10 a.m. — Wilson Center Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies and Middle East Program virtual discussion: “Saudi Arabia and Oil: Between the U.S. and Russia,” with Guy Laron, senior lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Bessma Momani, professor of political science at the University of Waterloo; and Stephen Kalin, reporter at the Wall Street Journal https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/saudi-arabia-and-oil
12 p.m. 14th and F Sts. N.W.— National Press Club’s American Legion Post 20 meeting with a discussion: on “The war in Ukraine and efforts to get accurate information into Ukraine and Russia,” with Voice of America Chief National Correspondent Steve Herman https://www.press.org/newsroom https://us02web.zoom.us
FRIDAY | NOVEMBER 11
9 a.m. World War II Memorial, 1750 Independence Ave. — Friends of the National World War II Memorial and the National Park Service wreath-laying ceremony “to honor the more than 16 million men and women who served with the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II” and “in remembrance of the more than 400,000 Americans and 60 million people killed worldwide during the deadliest military conflict in human history.” Livestream at https://www.facebook.com/WWIIMemorialFriends
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Under Republicans, not another penny will go to Ukraine.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) speaking at a Trump rally last week