Defense and National Security – US weapons expert in Ukraine | Techno Glob

The Pentagon announced this week that it had sent a weapons expert to Ukraine to investigate US-supplied weapons against Russia.

We’ll share details of that operation, as well as how Russia may soon find more advanced weapons from Iran, Saudi Arabia’s warning to the United States and concerns about why B-52 bombers are heading to Australia.

It is defense and national security, your nightly guide to the latest happenings at the Pentagon, Capitol Hill and beyond. For The Hill, I’m Ellen Mitchell. Did a friend forward you this newsletter?

Why Biden Is Sending Weapons Experts to Ukraine

In addition to providing security at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, U.S. weapons experts are in Ukraine to inspect U.S. weapons used against Russia, making the group one of the first U.S. military members in the country.

President Biden has promised that US troops will not be sent into combat, but this week’s announcement comes amid growing concern – particularly among Republicans – about how effectively Ukraine is using US military support.

Just checking: A senior Defense Department official told reporters on Monday that he had not seen “credible evidence of diversion of US-supplied weapons.”

Limited details: The Pentagon has not said how many weapons experts are in Ukraine or where they will work.

  • Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Tuesday that “embassy personnel” would be “removed from any frontline operations.”
  • Ryder said the probe had been “in development for some time,” but did not say when the weapons experts arrived in Ukraine.

A former firestorm: House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) started a firestorm last month when he said the Republican majority would not issue a “blank check” to Ukraine.

McCarthy and other GOP leaders tried to make clear that the party would not seek to reduce support for Ukraine’s fight against Russia, but instead wanted to increase oversight of U.S. aid.

The US has provided nearly $20 billion in security aid to Ukraine since January 2021, including rocket and air defense systems that have helped counter Russia’s superior military might.

A comprehensive plan: The weapons inspection is part of a broader plan released by the State Department last week to combat the diversion of advanced weapons to Ukraine. It noted that the Russian army’s seizure of weapons has caused the loss of weapons so far in the war.

“Wars can provide opportunities for weapons to fall into private hands through theft or illicit sales, creating a black market for weapons that can sometimes last for decades,” a fact sheet on the plan says.

To counter that risk, the U.S. will work with Ukrainian military and other officials to better account for and protect weapons, identify and investigate suspected arms smuggling, and monitor Ukraine’s border.

Read the rest here

US worries Russia may buy more weapons from Iran

US officials fear that Russia may seek to obtain additional advanced weapons from Iran for use in the war in Ukraine, the Pentagon’s press secretary said on Tuesday.

“We are concerned that Russia may also acquire additional advanced munitions capabilities from Iran for use in Ukraine, for example, surface-to-surface missiles,” Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters.

More to come?: Iran has already given Russia drones to attack Ukrainian targets, and Washington expects Moscow to “find more of them,” Ryder said.

Earlier Tuesday, CNN reported that Iran was preparing to send about 1,000 additional weapons to Russia, including more drones and, for the first time, short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missiles.

Such a shipment would come as the US assesses that the Russians are experiencing a munitions shortage.

Read that story here

The US has warned of Iranian attacks in Saudi Arabia, Iraq

With Saudi Arabia warning the United States of an Iranian attack on targets in the kingdom and Iraq, the U.S. military is now on alert, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Riyadh has shared intelligence with Washington, prompting Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and other neighboring countries to raise alert levels for their military forces, Saudi Arabian, U.S. and U.S. officials told the Journal.

When asked about this report on Tuesday, Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said he would not talk about specific force protection levels but said U.S. officials are “concerned about the threat situation in the region.”

In regular contact: “We are in regular contact with our Saudi partners in terms of what information we can provide on that front,” Ryder told reporters. “But what we’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, is that we will reserve the right to protect and defend ourselves regardless of whether our forces serve in Iraq or anywhere else.”

Pressed on whether the Saudis had given the United States anything in the past few days that would cause concern, Ryder said he had no additional information to provide.

Warnings: Saudi officials told the Journal that Iran would attack the kingdom of Iran, as well as parts of Erbil, Iraq, to ​​try to distract from ongoing protests led by women in the kingdom. The protests began in September after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died while in custody of the country’s morality police.

Read the rest here

As the B-52s marched toward Australia, the Chinese made heavy moves

The US plans to send nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to Australia as tensions with China escalate, the Pentagon confirmed on Tuesday.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Four Corners” television program first reported that up to six B-52s would be sent to the Royal Australian Air Force’s Tyndall base in northern Australia.

Asked about the deployment, Pentagon press secretary Brig. General Pat Ryder said the US has a long-standing relationship with Australia and “it’s not unusual for us to send aircraft to participate in joint exercises, joint exercises with Australia.”

Beijing looks red: The move has already angered China, which has accused the US of stoking tensions in the region.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday, “Related practices on the US side have increased tensions in the region, seriously damaged regional peace and stability, and may trigger an arms race in the region.”

A clear message: Ryder, meanwhile, said the deployment sends a “clear message” to countries in the region that the United States has “the ability to deter and, if necessary, engage” and that it maintains “the ability to be available to respond to diversity.” of emergencies around the world.

Separately, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Martin Meiners told The Hill that US military aircraft, “including B-52s and other bombers, have visited Australia for years to participate in joint exercises and will continue to do so.”

Read more here

Tap tomorrow

  • US Strategic Command Chief Adv. Chas Richard, Attack Submarine Program Executive Officer Rear Adm. Jonathan will host his 2022 seminar with Rooker and the commander of the US Pacific Fleet Submarine Forces. Adm. Jeffrey Jablon, 8 am
  • The Government Executive Media Group will host the Virtual Continuous Diagnostic and Mitigation (CDM) Summit, featuring Randy Resnick, Director of Zero Trust Portfolio Management at the Department of Defense, and Acting Justice CIO Kevin Cox, at 8:30 am.
  • The Defense Strategy Institute will host the Assured Microelectronics Summit at 8:45 a.m.
  • National Conference on US-Arab Relations “Arab-US Uncertainty and Stability: What’s Next?” Will organize a conference on this topic. At 9 am

What are we reading?

That’s it for today. Check the Hill’s Defense and National Security pages for the latest coverage. See you tomorrow!

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