News Roundup 7/17/2023

by | Jul 17, 2023

News Roundup 7/17/2023

by | Jul 17, 2023

US News

  • The House on Friday passed its version 2024 National Defense Authorization Act in a vote of 219-210, which largely fell along partisan lines due to amendments added by Republicans relating to social policies in the military. AWC
  • A group of Senators have reintroduced legislation to prevent an American president from withdrawing from the North Atlantic alliance. A version of the bill failed to pass the legislature during the Trump administration. The Institute 

Russia

  • Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said Monday that he will be the Republican co-sponsor of an amendment to the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that aims to block the provision of cluster bombs to Ukraine. AWC
  • A Kremlin spokesman said Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin after his short-lived mutiny. AWC
  • NATO is set to drop the requirement for Ukraine to go through a Membership Action Plan (MAP) to join the alliance, AFP reported on Monday. AWC
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new military buildup in Eastern Europe. He claimed the move was needed to combat Russian aggression. The Institute
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has agreed to back Sweden’s NATO membership on the eve of a two-day NATO summit in Lithuania. AWC
  • A Ukrainian general told CNN on Thursday that Ukraine has received a shipment of US cluster bombs, controversial munitions that have a devastating impact on civilians. AWC
  • NATO will push back a decision to open a liaison office in Japan to this fall or later due to French objections to the plans, Nikkei Asia reported on Monday. AWC
  • The House on Thursday night voted down an amendment to the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act that would have prohibited the transfer of cluster munitions to Ukraine. AWC
  • The Washington Post reported Thursday that US officials at the NATO summit in Vilnius were so angry over Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s criticism that they almost scaled back the commitment made to Ukraine in NATO’s communiqué. AWC
  • President Biden on Thursday signed an executive order allowing the Pentagon to mobilize 3,000 reservists for deployments in Europe, where the US military has significantly increased its presence since Russia invaded Ukraine. AWC
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday that Russia will view US-made F-16 fighter jets in Ukraine as a nuclear threat because they are capable of carrying nuclear weapons. AWC
  • Hungary has said it will approve Sweden’s NATO bid now that Turkey has dropped its objection, but both the Hungarian and Turkish parliaments will not take up the issue until the fall. AWC
  • President Biden and other Group of Seven leaders on Wednesday pledged long-term support for Ukraine and announced that they would each negotiate a bilateral security deal with Kyiv. AWC
  • Rheinmetall, Germany’s leading arms maker, will open a plant to manufacture tanks and other armored vehicles in Ukraine within the next 12 weeks as the West is looking to boost Ukraine’s weapons industry. AWC
  • British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Wednesday that Ukraine needs to show more gratitude for the support it receives from the West when asked about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s criticism of NATO’s communiqué. AWC
  • Sergey Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), confirmed on Wednesday that he spoke with CIA Director William Burns after Yevgeny Prigozhin’s short-lived rebellion. AWC
  • The Biden administration is quietly debating whether or not to provide Ukraine with Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), which have a range of up to 190 miles, The New York Times reported Tuesday. AWC
  • The White House said Tuesday that NATO membership for Ukraine isn’t going to happen anytime soon since it would mean war with Russia. AWC
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday defended the Biden administration’s decision to arm Ukraine with widely-banned cluster munitions, which have a devastating impact on civilians. AWC
  • Eleven NATO members agreed on Tuesday to start training Ukrainian pilots on US-made F-16s in Europe this August, the first step toward getting the American-made fighter jets to the war zone in Ukraine. AWC
  • NATO leaders issued a communiqué on Tuesday at the end of the first day of the alliance’s summit in Vilnius that dealt with the issue of Ukraine’s future membership. AWC
  • National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Tuesday that the Biden administration will move forward with a $20 billion sale of Lockheed Martin-made F-16 fighter jets to Turkey. AWC
  • NATO is set to drop the requirement for Ukraine to go through a Membership Action Plan (MAP) to join the alliance, AFP reported on Monday. AWC
  • A senior Defense Intelligence Agency official has described the war in Ukraine as a “stalemate” and said none of the weapons the US and NATO are providing will help Ukrainian forces “break through” in their counteroffensive. AWC
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday that Russia has a “sufficient” supply of cluster munitions to use if Ukraine employs the controversial weapons. AWC
  • Belarus announced Friday that members of the Wagner mercenary force were in the country training Belarusian soldiers. AWC
  • The White House said Friday that the 3,000 reservists President Biden has made available for the Pentagon to deploy to Europe would serve “administrative” functions. AWC

China

  • A US Navy spy plane flew over the Taiwan Strait on Thursday as China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was conducting drills to the south of Taiwan. AWC
  • President Biden’s nominee to replace Gen. Mark Milley as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Tuesday that he would pursue establishing more bases in the Indo-Pacific region and increase support for Taiwan to prepare for a future war with China, Nikkei Asia reported Wednesday. AWC
  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo warned Friday that the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) can’t become a “proxy” for any country as tensions between the US and China are soaring in the region. AWC

Korea

  • Pyongyang accused the US military of conducting provocative surveillance flights which infringe on its airspace and trespassed in its exclusive economic zone on Monday. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) admonished Washington that if such provocations persist, American reconnaissance planes may be shot down. The Institute 
  • Washington, Seoul, and Tokyo held joint naval drills testing missile defense in international waters between Japan and South Korea on Sunday. The Institute 

Middle East

  • A new US intelligence report has reaffirmed that Iran is not trying to build nuclear weapons despite constant claims made by Israel and Western media outlets to the contrary. AWC
  • Washington announced a plan to deploy additional fighter jets to the Middle East to prevent Iran from seizing ships in the Persian Gulf. The Pentagon is additionally evaluating proposals to send more military equipment into the region to address Russian aircraft operating in Syrian skies. The Institute 
  • US Central Command on Sunday said that it killed an ISIS “leader” in a drone strike in eastern Syria that it launched on July 7 and suggested that a civilian may have also been injured in the bombing. AWC
  • US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said Sunday that it launched three airstrikes in Somalia and claimed the bombardment killed 10 al-Shabaab fighters. AWC

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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