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China’s massive deployment of ships, missiles and aircraft near Taiwan gives Taiwan U.S. a never-before-seen glimpse of the way Beijing could start a military operation against Taiwan. However, China is also absorbing a wealth of lessons that will become crucial to how it prepares for any possible strike against the island with 23 million residents.

For all China’s military power however, it’s the People’s Liberation Army has limited actual experience, besides carefully choreographed military exercises in the domestic market but hasn’t fired one shot of anger since border disputes with Vietnam that ended in 1980s.

This makes the quickly put together exercises in Taiwan an essential testing ground for Beijing. China has brought hundreds of airplanes, 13 ships missile batteries, and their crews into the past few days, indicating the ability to quickly deploy even when it’s near to home. The ability of China to sustain these operations for a long time, if it’s the case, and if Beijing decides to do, will be a significant testing for our military and will be closely monitored.

The numerous warplanes that fly every day across the median line of Taiwan Strait. Taiwan Strait and warships prowling the waters around the coast are a major and alarming change in the status quo and one that could result in huge implications for Taiwan’s defense Taiwan in the near future according to experts and officials.

Moving those warplanes above the line doesn’t just erase the boundary previously established and doing it in concert with warships, and keeping clear of missiles that are flying close to them is precisely the type of real-time intercommunication that modern military forces spend hours and efforts to perfect, and which has been a major source of confusion for their Russians with their actions in Ukraine.

The alignment of these systems and watching Taiwan’s reaction to the situation, will yield crucial information regarding both the capability and readiness for Beijing should it decide to launch military attacks against Taiwan as well as American interest across the Pacific.

Previous Chinese exercises were “like driving a brand new automobile around rather than going out on the road,” said RANDY SHRIVER who was the Pentagon’s highest Asia policy officer during the Trump administration. “The integrated bracketing on the island will be a type of exercise that’s more suited to a strike.”

At this point to this point, to this point, the United States has publicly held back and has said very little about the exercises. However, it has kept the japan-based USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike group in the region but not near Taiwan. The amphibious vessel USS Tripoli is near Okinawa and the amphibious USS America is in the East China Sea. Both are equipped with F-35 fighters.

Most important will be glimpses of the way China utilizes its military. It could be an “bonanza of intelligence” that will provide insight on “the advantages and disadvantages of PLA mobilisation” explained the COLLIN KOH as an associate researcher in the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies in Singapore.

The glimpses “would give a clearer image about how PLA could in the future conduct an attack on Taiwan or how it will conduct an important military operation” unlike any planned exercise in the Chinese mainland has ever before, Koh added.

The missiles launched so are being tested, and tested for a long time through the Chinese military but their launch teams have not worked in an operational situation in which they must contend with the complex issues of commercial and military sea and air traffic and also ensure that their missiles be able to pass over civilian areas, and safely land in the designated waters.

The drills could be intended to intimidate, but the choreographed and orchestrated actions are far more complicated than other demonstrations that used force Schriver said.

“This is a string of shots aimed at different areas of closure that are which are scheduled in a certain manner, which is more like if they were actually planning to use missiles to attack Taiwan,” he said.

Learn more about Paul and Lara’s complete story.

The Inbox

RUSSIA STEPS UP ATTACKS IN EAST: Russia is mercilessly attacking Ukrainian strongholds in the country’s east, ANDREW KRAMER”,”link”:,”_id”:”00000182-7345-dc88-a3eb-77e599410001″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>The New York Times’ ANDREW KRAMER reported, possibly in an effort to break the resistance before pushing to seize regional cities.

“Ukraine’s robust defensive forces have slowed Russian Army’s advance to a crawl with just two major cities Sievierodonetsk as well as Lysychansk, and some dozen miles of territory that have changed hands despite thousands of soldiers being killed in both camps,” Kramer reported. “The Two towns largely abandoned and destroyed, aren’t huge targets to be taken However, in the event that they fall, it could help ease Russian moves towards the three major cities of the Donetsk region still within Ukrainian sovereignty, Bakhmut, Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.”

“For many days currently the enemy hasn’t given up on its attempts to strike,” the Ukrainian military governor of Avdiivka, VITALIY BARABASH told Radio Liberty on Wednesday. “Everywhere is being struck by artillery and aircraft” bombs.

RUSSIA OPEN to GRINER deal, but… Russian Foreign Minister SERGEI LAVROV stated that the Kremlin is willing to negotiate the possibility of a prisoner swap with American basketball player BRITTNEY GRINER however, he warned that the “loud remarks” and anti-Russian rhetoric that is emanating out of the U.S. could sink any agreement.

“We are willing to talk about the matter,” he told reporters Friday, as reported by the Washington Post’s ROBYN DIXON and ADELA SULMAN. “If this is a case of Americans using public diplomacy and loud declarations about their plans It’s their responsibilityand I’d even call it their problem due to the fact that the Americans are often not able to respect the agreements on conducting an orderly, professional job.”

The partial opening came one day after an Russian court sentenced Griner nine years of prison for bringing cannabis-infused vape devices to the Russian Federation. The Biden administration claims that Griner has been wrongly detained. “It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates,” President JOE BIDEN said in a Thursday statement”,”link”:,”_id”:”00000182-7345-dc88-a3eb-77e599410003″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>JOE BIDEN said in a Thursday statement after the ruling.

NEW AFRICA STRATEGY: Secretary of State ANTONY BLINKEN will unveil the administration’s new Africa strategy during an imminent trip to the continent, ROBBIE GRAMER”,”link”:,”_id”:”00000182-7345-dc88-a3eb-77e599410005″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Foreign Policy’s ROBBIE GRAMER reported.

The strategy will include “boosting the quality of governance, democracy, and security, with a particular concentration on the recovery of pandemics and economic growth and tackling the climate crisis and a fair and equitable energy transition for Africa as well as promoting open societies. The administration’s officials declare that one of the main objectives for the next strategy will be to improve the importance and resources devoted to the development and diplomatic process and to move away from militarism-based approach to Africa specifically the Sahel region, which has been the dominant U.S. policy over the recent two decades, during which Washington’s foreign policy was primarily on counterterrorism.”

There’s also a shakeup of personnel within the NSC’s Africa department: JUDD DEVERMONT who was brought in to help in the development of the strategy, has been promoted to the top director for African issues. DANA Banks who was previously in the post, will remain as a member of the NSC to manage the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit scheduled for December.

“NOT THE TIME””NOT THE TIME”: The Biden administration is still hoping to change U.S. nuclear policy to define the role of nuclear weapons solely to deter strike by nuclear weapons, Pentagon head of policy COLIN KAHL spoke on Friday at the United Nations event, and will work with its allies to implement Biden’s plan to limit the power that the strongest weapons play. our correspondent BRYAN BENDER writes.

The administration has not yet made public a version of the confidential Nuclear Posture Review, which was completed in the month of March and Kahl stated that it would be released within the “relatively near time.” He did however offer an insight into the things that were left unfinished in the policy review , as the UN is preparing to hold its Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference.

“A sole-purpose declaration policy has been long approved by the president Biden,” Kahl said. “But the NPR found that the present is not the best time to start changing this policy.” He pointed to, for instance Russian nuclear threats in recent times which include non-nuclear powerhouses — as well as the Chinese’s “breathtaking growth” to its nuclear arsenal.

However, the sole-purpose U.S. declaration policy remains being considered, Kahl stressed. “We remain committed to working towards an sole-purpose declaration in the future, and the NPR clarifies that. We’ll cooperate with our allies as well as partners to establish specific steps that will enable us to accomplish this.”

IT’S FRIDAY. We’d like to welcome you to the weekend. Thank you for tuning in to NatSec Daily. This section is only for the most prestigious U.S. and foreign officials legislators, the lobbyists as well as the experts and people who are like you and care about how the Natsec sausage is made. Drop me your comments and tips to [email protected] as well as follow me on twitter as @alexbward.

While you’re there Follow the rest of the national security team on Twitter: @nahaltoosi the @woodruffbets team, @politicoryan Christopher JM, @BryanDBender atlaraseligman, @connorobrienNH @paulmcle at @leehudson, @AndrewDesiderio, @JGedeon1 as well as our summer interns @Lawrence_Ukenye as well as @nicolle_.

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ISRAEL and GAZA TRADING SHOTS The HTML2 video shows thatIsrael has launched air strikes on Gaza in a mission dubbed Breaking Dawn, killing at 10 people, including a senior militantand injuring dozens.

“Israel said it was targeting the Islamic Jihad militant group amid days of heightened tensions following the arrest of a senior militant in the occupied West Bank earlier this week,” FARES AKRAM and JOSEPH KRAUSS”,”link”:,”_id”:”00000182-7345-dc88-a3eb-77e599450001″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>The Associated Press’ FARES AKRAM and JOSEPH KRAUSS and reported. “Palestinian militants fired a barrage of rockets hours after the incident after the sirens of air strikes rang out across southern and central Israel and pushed the two parties closer to a full-blown conflict. Islamic Jihad claimed to have launched more than 100 missiles.”

“The strikes could spark another war in the area that is controlled by Hamas, the Islamic militant organisation Hamas and home to more than two million Palestinians. Assassination of a top militant could be met with rockets from Gaza which could bring the region closer to total conflict.”

“This Government has implemented a zero tolerance policy against any attempted attack that attempt to strike at any time that originate from Gaza toward Israeli territories,” Israeli Prime Minister YAIR LAPID declared on Friday. “Israel will not stand in the shadows of those who seek to harm civilians.”


CHINESE UNIT FOR DISINFO TARGETED PELOSIA Chinese team of people planted fake news sites and fake news stories to attack U.S.-Taiwan relations as Speaker Nancy Pelosi was on a visit to the island of democracy, cybersecurity firm Mandiant revealed.

“Mandiant has discovered an ongoing info operations (IO) campaign that is leveraging an extensive network of 72 news websites that are suspected to be fakes and a host of suspect fake social media sites to deliver content that is strategically aligned to the political agenda that are a part of China. People’s Republic of China (PRC),” RYAN SERABAN as well as DANIEL KAPELLMANN ZAFRAwrote in an article on their blog.

“The websites are primarily marketed as independent news sources that cover different regions of the globe. They publish information in eleven languages (see the Appendix). Based on the technical indicators we have detailed on this blog, it is our belief that that these websites are associated with Shanghai Haixun Technology Co., Ltd (Shang Hai Hai Xun Sheke Ji You XianGong Si ) which is a Chinese PR firm. (PR) firm.”

“[T]there are at least some evidence to suggest that the operation] did not generate significant engagement, besides the fake amplification we have discovered,” they continued. “We consider the campaign’s use of the infrastructure that is linked to Haixun relevant, in that it is a signpost to recent trends in outsourcing IO to third-party companies which could help make IO much more easily accessible as well as assist in conceal the identity of the actors.”

The Complex

Air Force Hires Starlink: Our friends at Morning Defense (for Pros!) inform us that they have learned that the Air Force will buy SpaceX’s satellite internet service to aid flights of airlift throughout Africa and Europe in line with an announcement made recently.

Starlink is the sole commercial broadband satellite service provider in Africa that Amazon’s Project Kuiper, OneWeb and Telesat don’t offer service.

Starlink has also proven its ability to work in a battle zone, according to the announcement. SpaceX’s internet satellite service is extensively used to aid Ukraine’s resistance against the Russian invasion.

SpaceX will pay the Air Force will pay SpaceX $1.9 million for a year to help support the 86th Airlift Wing. The agreement will serve as an interim arrangement to the point that Space Force and General Services Administration will sign the blanket purchase agreement to provide satellite Internet service.

On the Hill

Senators Want BeLARUS ENVOY The HTML2 Sensators want to be envoys by the President:Sens. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D-N.H.) and ROGER WICKER (R-Miss.) are seeking a new special representative to Belarus and sent an email to SecState Blinken on Thursday, to make the case.

It calls for continuing U.S. engagement in Belarus as democratic activists and voters remain in opposition to the authoritarian president ALEXANDER LUKASHENKO‘s years-long rule. He brutally shut down protests for democracy after Belarus’s presidential elections in 2020 and expressed that he supports Russia’s military invasion in Ukraine

JULIE FISHER,the U.S. ambassador to Belarus is unable travel to Belarus due to being denied visas in the hands of Belarusian officials. Fisher was later appointed ambassador to Cyprus. U.S. ambassador to Cyprus which left a vacancy in the Belarus portfolio.


FLORIDA National Guard CHAIR RAILS AGAINST VACCINE MANDATIVE: “I’ve never been more anxious over the fate of U.S. armed forces than I am today,” Maj. Gen. JAMES EIFERT who is the commanding general for the Florida National Guard, wrote in the opening sentence of an Wall Street Journal op-ed. “One of the primary responsibilities of the military is to find and keep people and women who are willing to defend their nation. Unfortunately, the current policy of the federal government makes that goal impossible to achieve.”

Eifert is concerned that the vaccine mandate could destroy members of those in U.S. military.

“The Army secretary’s deadline for all reserve soldiers to be vaccinated ended at the end of June, which leaves more than 40000 National Guard members and 20,000 Army Reservists across the country at risk of being forced to terminate,” he wrote. “My Florida National Guard formations are at risk of losing around 1,000 guardsmen who are not vaccinated out of 12,000 soldiers and airmen. This leaves us with a shortfall when we begin the hurricane season. More than 1,000 airmen and soldiers are also on international missions of the federal government.”

As we face an ongoing military shortage of recruits, Eifert argues the Biden administration needs to reconsider the vaccination policy in the military.


First time in NATSEC DAILY: Sam SaLK is now the top advisor of ambassador to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, where he will concentrate on public-private partnerships as well as sports diplomacy as our personal DANIEL LIPPMAN discovered. Most recently, he was an official White House liaison at the State Department. He has been working for Biden since the year 2015.

-” Jaime Arizaga-Sotowas accepted to the Senate to be the chairman on the Veterans’ Board Appeal. Areizaga-Soto has previously served as the deputy secretary for defense and veterans affairs.

KATHRYN Wheelbargerwas appointed an official member of the Board of Directors of the United States Institute of Peace. Wheelbarger was previously the assistant secretary of the Department of Defense for international security matters.

Barry Pavel has joined in the RAND Corporation as the vice director and president of its National Security Research Division. He has spent the last 10 years managing the Brent Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council.

What to Read

QIN GANG, The Washington Post: “Chinese Ambassador Qin Qang: Pelosi’s Taiwan visit was unresponsible”

-” ILAN BERMAN, National Review: “Zawahiri Killing Demonstrates Biden Foreign Policy Contradictions”

-” “DAN WARD, Defense One: “HIMARS’ Hidden Superpower and Other Acquisition Lessons Learned from Ukraine”

Monday Today

Government Executive Media Group 1 p.m.:“Sunrise to Sunset: A More In-depth View of the Defense Cloud Landscape”

White House, 8 p.m.:Biden delivers remarks from the White House about the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022.

Are you planning to host a natsec-focused event in the near future? Are you transitioning to a new defense-adjacent or foreign policy-focused role? Shoot me an email at [email protected]”,”link”:,”_id”:”00000182-7345-dc88-a3eb-77e599570001″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>[email protected] to be featured in the next edition of the newsletter.

Thank you to the editor of my column, Ben Pauker, who is in agreement with all of our fantastic ideas regarding the future direction of NatSec Daily, but always insists that “now does not seem to be the right time to implement this changes.”

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