Intelligence officials told lawmakers on Tuesday that China is closely watching how Russia’s war in Ukraine unfolds and the global reaction as Chinese President Xi Jinping weighs the risk of taking over Taiwan.
We’ll break down the testimony. Plus, we’ll discuss why former Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he won’t vote for former President Trump in 2024.
Welcome to Defense and National Security, your nightly guide to the latest developments in the Pentagon, Capitol Hill and beyond. For The Hill, I’m Jordan Williams. Has a friend forwarded you this newsletter? subscribe here.
China closely watching Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Chinese President Xi Jinping Senior intelligence officials told lawmakers on Tuesday that they are closely watching how Russia’s war in Ukraine unfolds and the global reaction as Beijing weighs the risk of taking over Taiwan.
Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haynes testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on global threats.
Watch very, very carefully: “The Chinese will be watching this very, very carefully,” Beryl told the committee.
“It will take some time for them to sort out all the diplomatic, informational, military, economic, everything that’s going on in this crisis,” he added.
What will China learn? Beryl and Haynes said it was too early to say what lessons China has learned from the U.S.-led global response to Russia, with coordinated sanctions imposed by European allies and the G7, the isolation of the United Nations and the Ukrainian military. success.
However, officials said China was unlikely to speed up its plans to take over Taiwan.
“They’re thinking about possible future actions against Taiwan and how difficult that might be. They’re also probably thinking about scrutiny if they think or act like that,” Berrier said.
He added that one of the lessons he hopes the Chinese will learn from Russia’s war in Ukraine is “how difficult, and how dangerous and high-risk cross-strait invasions can be.”
What else was said: Beryl and Haynes said Beijing would prefer to retake Taiwan through diplomatic and economic pressure, but the threat of a military takeover remains serious between now and 2030.
“We think they’re trying to effectively put themselves in a position where their military is capable of taking over Taiwan rather than us intervening,” Haynes said.
“They would rather not use force to occupy Taiwan. They would prefer to use other means,” she added.
What to do in Taiwan: “There are things we can do with Taiwan. I think they are learning some very interesting lessons from the Ukraine conflict,” Beryl said, noting how the leadership of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has inspired the military, and small tactical military units have a lot to do with it. The success of Russian units that cannot act independently and “effective training” with the right weapon systems. “
However, Beryl said the Taiwanese military is not “the place it should be,” referring to a large conscription team with a short enlistment period.
“I think we have to [Indo-Pacific Command] partners in the Department of Defense, Taiwan’s military and leadership to help them understand the causes of this conflict, what lessons they can learn, and where they should invest their money in defense and training,” Beryl said.
Esper passes Trump in 2024
former defense minister Mark Esper exist Tuesday He said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he would not vote for former President Trump in 2024, saying “we need a new generation of Republican leaders.”
Esper said: “No, I’ll tell you why. Because in my view, any elected leader needs to meet some basic criteria: they need to be able to put country over self, they need to have a certain amount of integrity and principle, they need to be able to reach across the aisle and bring the people together and unite the country. Look, Donald Trump doesn’t hit those marks for me.”
Esper said the United States needs “a new generation of Republican leaders” who can advance the Republican agenda and unite the country.
“We need a new generation of Republican leaders who will advance these core projects for any Republican, yes: stronger military, lower taxes, deregulation, conservative judges, you name it, we need to be able to do it People who do this while expanding the Republican base and uniting the country,” Esper said.
Esper told everyone: Esper, who has been a frequent critic of the former president, made some shocking revelations in interviews while promoting his book, “The Sacred Oath: A Defense Secretary’s Memoir in Unusual Times,” published in Posted on Tuesday.
in an excerpt from the book Obtained via Talking Points MemoEsper said Trump wanted to reactivate a retired Navy admiral and a former Army general so he could conduct a military trial for their criticism of him.
Congress holds first UFO hearing in years
Congress will hold its first hearing on UFOs in more than 50 years next Tuesday.
For details, please: The House Intelligence Committee’s Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee will hear testimony from:
What the intelligence community has to say: Last June, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released a much-anticipated report on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) that also failed to draw any conclusions about what the 144 UAPs might be.
ODNI does not rule out alien life or extraterrestrial technology, but says UAP may also be related to the highly advanced technology of adversaries such as Russia and China. Some UAPs fly near U.S. military installations, and officials said they will continue to monitor more of the mysterious phenomenon as it could pose a national security risk.
History of UFO Hearings: Congress has not held hearings on UFOs since the closure of Project Blue Book in 1969, an investigation into mysterious aerial phenomena based on Air Force reports.
House filings show that in the 1950s and 1960s, the subcommittee made “thousands of requests” on “every conceivable topic” related to aerial phenomena, without reaching any clear conclusions.
Veterans Affairs Committee will hold hearing “Examining the Quality of Care in Virginia and the Private Sector” at 3 p.m.
Armed Forces Strategic Forces Subcommittee to be held hearing 4:30 p.m. Review of FY 2023 National Defense Authorization Request and Future Annual Defense Plans with respect to the U.S. Space Force Program
Admiral Carlos del Toro, Secretary of the Navy testify Before the Military Council at 10 am
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley will testify 10:30 a.m. in front of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee
Armed Forces Strategic Forces Subcommittee to be held hearing 2 p.m. on “FY23 Strategic Forces Missile Defense and Missile Strike Plan”
Veterans Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee will hold hearing “Examining President Biden’s Strategy to Reduce Veteran Suicide by Addressing Economic Risk Factors,” 2 p.m.
Armed Forces readiness hearing subcommittee to hold hearing 4:30 p.m. ET on “FY 2023 Military Readiness Budget Request”
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