News Roundup

News Roundup 2/8/2023


  • Key Republican members of Congress are launching a two-front campaign to pressure the Biden administration to send Ukraine more advanced weapons, Defense One reported Saturday, citing people familiar with the plan. AWC
  • Several North Atlantic Treaty Organization members have pledged to send over 200 Leopard-series main battle tanks to Ukraine. However, much of the armor will not see the warzone for years. The Institute
  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Monday that the world is heading toward a “wider war” as the conflict in Ukraine continues to escalate. AWC
  • Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu on Tuesday said the US and NATO were trying to prolong the war in Ukraine and that their military aid and other support for Kyiv threatens an “unpredictable escalation.” AWC
  • The State Department on Tuesday notified Congress that it approved a potential $10 billion rocket launcher sale to Poland as the US’s European allies continue to ramp up military spending. AWC
  • The head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Servant of the People party in Ukraine’s parliament said Monday that Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov will not be removed this week. AWC


  • The Japanese Defense Ministry told Stars and Stripes that the US is not ready to deploy a variety of new missiles to Japan. AWC
  • In his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Biden took aim at China and said winning the “competition” with Beijing should “unite all of us.” AWC


  • After a devastating earthquake hit Syria and Turkey, killing thousands of people, the US State Department showed no interest in lifting crippling economic sanctions on Syria that are specifically designed to prevent the country’s reconstruction. AWC
  • The head of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) on Tuesday called for the lifting of US and other Western economic sanctions on Syria following a massive earthquake that has killed over 7,000 people in Syria and Turkey. AWC
  • US Central Command announced last week that it was involved in 43 operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria in the month of January. AWC

News Roundup 2/6/2023


  • President Joe Biden dispatched his CIA Director to Kiev with a proposal to end the war in Ukraine last month, according to the Swiss outlet Neue Zürcher Zeitung. The peace plan was offered at the same time the White House was preparing significant escalations in military support for Kiev, including announcing that it will send Abrams tanks to Ukraine. AWC
  • Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in an interview posted to his YouTube channel on Saturday that the US and its Western allies “blocked” his efforts of mediating between Russia and Ukraine to bring an end to the war in its early days. AWC
  • The Times of London reported Thursday that Germany is “open” to theories that a Western country attacked the Nord Stream pipelines in an attempt to blame the incident on Russia. AWC
  • The Biden administration on Friday announced a new $2.2 billion arms package for Ukraine that includes longer-range rockets, marking the latest US escalation, although they won’t be delivered until much later this year. AWC
  • Ukraine’s ruling political party, Servant of the People, said Sunday that they will remove Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov from his post and replace him with Kyrylo Budanov, who is currently serving as Ukraine’s military intelligence chief. AWC
  • Senior Pentagon officials told lawmakers in the House Armed Services Committee last week in a classified briefing that Ukraine is unlikely to retake Crimea from Russia, POLITICO reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the briefing. AWC
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday warned that Russia is amassing troops and that a major Russian offensive is coming. AWC


  • When the Pentagon first announced a Chinese balloon was transiting US airspace, the official said that similar “instances” have happened in the past, including at times before the Biden administration. AWC


  • North Korea on Thursday responded to the US and South Korea announcing they would be expanding joint military exercises, warning the steps are pushing toward an “extreme red-line” and will provoke the “toughest reaction.” AWC

Middle East

  • Iran on Thursday formally blamed Israel for the weekend drone attack on a military facility in the Iranian city of Isfahan a few days after US officials speaking to the media said Israel was responsible. AWC
  • Iraq’s foreign exchange rate has steadily declined over recent years, falling to lows which are severely damaging the Iraqi economy. Ironically, this comes at a time when the foreign reserves meant to back the Iraqi dinar’s global position are at a near-term high. AWC
  • The Iraqi dinar’s rate of exchange with the US dollar bounced off a near-term low on Friday, raising hope that months of currency free-fall may finally be coming to an end. AWC

News Roundup 2/2/2023


  • British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Wednesday that sending fighter jets to Ukraine isn’t the right approach “for now,” but stressed that nothing should be ruled out. AWC
  • A former British MP that held a position in Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday that NATO should consider sending troops into Ukraine. AWC
  • The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, thinks Ukrainian forces will be able to take Crimea from Russia, and he hopes it will happen by this summer. AWC
  • The American weapons maker General Atomics is offering to sell Ukraine two of its MQ-9 Reaper drone for only one dollar, a move that will put pressure on the Biden administration to approve the deal, which would mark another major escalation of military aid. AWC
  • Ukraine is hosting a summit with the European Union in Kyiv on Friday and is hoping to receive news and a timeline on its potential membership. But according to a draft EU statement seen by POLITICO, the bloc is expected to pour cold water on Kyiv’s hopes. AWC
  • As the war in Ukraine nears the end of its first year, Americans are starting to believe Washington is sending too much support to Kiev. The Institute 


  • Washington and Manila are close to inking an agreement that would see four new American installations opened in the Philippines. The new sites are part of an American military buildup in the Indo-Pacific to prepare for war with China. The Institute 
  • The US on Thursday opened an embassy in the Solomon Islands as part of its strategy to counter China in the region, as Beijing has forged stronger ties with the Pacific island nation in recent years. AWC


  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday that the best way to deal with Iran is with sanctions and a “credible military threat.” AWC

News Roundup 2/1/2023


  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday said Ukraine needs to secure the supply of new weapons from its Western backers and that arms deliveries need to speed up. AWC
  • Adm. Rob Bauer, the head of NATO’s Military Committee, said that NATO is “ready” for a direct confrontation with Russia, citing the alliance’s recent efforts to boost its presence in Eastern Europe. AWC
  • On Saturday, Russia accused Ukrainian forces of killing 14 people and injuring 25 in a strike on a hospital in the eastern Luhansk oblast using US-provided HIMARS rocket systems. AWC
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday suggested for the first time that Turkey could approve Finland’s NATO membership without also approving Sweden’s. AWC
  • The US is preparing another major escalation of military aid to Ukraine as Reuters reports the next arms package will include rockets that have a range of 94 miles, almost double the range of the munitions Ukraine was provided for the HIMARS rocket systems. AWC
  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Tuesday that Ukraine expects to receive between 120 and 140 Western-made tanks in the “first wave” of deliveries. AWC
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday said that his Egyptian counterpart delivered a message from Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling on Russia to “stop” its war in Ukraine. AWC
  • The RAND Corporation issued a new report that warns against a “protracted conflict” in Ukraine and says a prolonged war is against US interests, breaking from the view of many hawks in Washington that the US should support the fight against Russia for the long term. AWC
  • Polish officials said Monday that Warsaw is willing to send US-made F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine but only in coordination with NATO. AWC


  • A four-star US Air Force general thinks a war between the US and China is only two years away and has ordered his forces to start preparing for the conflict. AWC
  • The head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization visited Tokyo on Tuesday and called for NATO to forge a stronger partnership with Japan as the alliance has its eyes on the region after labeling China a “systemic challenge.” AWC


  • The US and South Korea on Tuesday agreed to ramp up joint military exercises, a step that will raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula and likely provoke more North Korean weapons tests. AWC

Middle East

  • The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Israel was behind an overnight drone inside Iran that targeted a military facility in the city of Isfahan. AWC
  • Airstrikes targeting a convoy of trucks launched by unidentified aircraft were reported on the Syria-Iraq border on Sunday. AWC
  • A suspected US drone strike killed three alleged al-Qaeda members in the Yemeni province of Maarib, AFP reported Tuesday, citing officials from the Saudi-backed Yemeni government. AWC


  • US Africa Command (AFRICOM) on Monday said it conducted an airstrike in Somalia against al-Shabaab in support of the Mogadishu-based government on January 25. AWC
  • A US drone gave support to an assault against jihadists in the Lake Chad basin region of Africa that involved the governments of Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger, AFP reported on Monday. AWC

News Roundup 1/27/2023

US News

  • Released this week as part of an effort to kickstart his presidential campaign, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo caused considerable controversy in addressing, and ultimately dismissing, Saudi Arabia’s 2018 assassination and dismemberment of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi in his memoir. AWC


  • Haitian President Ariel Henry has called on the United Nations to deploy an international peacekeeping force as violence escalates in the Caribbean nation. While Washington supported Henry’s rise to power, the US appears unwilling to lead the UN security mission. The Institute


  • German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Tuesday that Germany and its allies are “fighting a war against Russia” in rare candid remarks about the Western role in the conflict. AWC
  • Ukraine on Wednesday conceded that it withdrew from the small mining town of Soledar in the Donetsk Oblast almost two weeks after Russian forces said they took control of the area. AWC
  • US arms sales to foreign governments boomed in 2022 as defense firms cashed in on the war in Ukraine. AWC
  • Lockheed Martin has said that it’s ready to meet demands for F-16 fighter jets if the US and its allies choose to ship them to Ukraine. AWC
  • President Biden on Wednesday announced that his administration will send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, marking another major escalation of US military support for Kyiv. AWC
  • Responding to President Biden’s pledge to send 31 M1 Abrams to Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the US-made tanks will “burn.” AWC
  • Shortly after President Biden announced Ukraine would be getting the Western-made tanks it sought, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was demanding fighter jets and longer-range missiles. AWC
  • The Kremlin said Thursday that the US and NATO’s “direct involvement” in the war in Ukraine is “growing” as the Western powers are pledging to send tanks and other equipment. AWC
  • The White House refused to say if it will provide Ukraine with Bradley Fighting Vehicles equipped with radioactive depleted uranium rounds, ammunition that is linked to cancer and birth defects. AWC
  • The US asked Israel to allow its old Hawk anti-aircraft missiles to be sent to Ukraine, Axios reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed US and Israeli officials. AWC
  • The decision by the United States and several allies to supply Ukraine with main battle tanks is paving a “direct path” to a full-scale war in Europe, Russia’s deputy envoy to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) warned. The Institute 


  • The US Marine Corps on Thursday formally opened a new military base in the US territory of Guam as part of Washington’s military buildup in the Asia Pacific that is aimed at China. AWC

Middle East

  • The US and Israel on Thursday announced the conclusion of their largest-ever joint military exercises, known as Juniper Oak 23. AWC
  • Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians in a raid on the Jenin refugee camp. Mondoweiss
  • In comments made to EU lawmakers this week, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi tried to raise the alarm about Iran’s civilian nuclear program, claiming that Iran could, if it so chose, fuel “several” nuclear weapons from its existing stockpile. AWC
  • US Africa Command said in a press release that it launched an airstrike in Somalia on January 23 against al-Shabaab in support of the Mogadishu-based government. AWC
  • Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Thursday said that US forces conducted a raid in northern Somalia that resulted in the killing of a senior ISIS leader, Bilal al-Sudani, in a rare US operation in the country that didn’t target al-Shabaab. AWC


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