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Politics: Overnight Defense & National Security — Biden officials consider more Ukraine aid

The timeline of Trump's ties with Russia lines up with allegations of conspiracy and misconduct

  The timeline of Trump's ties with Russia lines up with allegations of conspiracy and misconduct The timeline of Trump's ties with Russia lines up with allegations of conspiracy and misconductA dossier of unverified claims alleges serious conspiracy and misconduct in the final months of the 2016 presidential campaign.  The White House has dismissed the dossier as fiction, and most of the claims remain unverified. The timeline of major events, however, lines up.

It's Tuesday, welcome to Overnight Defense & National Security, your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

a close up of a flag: Overnight Defense & National Security — Biden officials consider more Ukraine aid © The Hill Overnight Defense & National Security — Biden officials consider more Ukraine aid

The Biden administration is considering sending military advisers and weaponry to Ukraine as concerns about a possible Moscow invasion intensify.

We'll have more on that, plus the Bidens' "Friendsgiving" at Fort Bragg and the status of his new presidential helicopter.

For The Hill, I'm Jordan Williams. Write me with tips at [email protected]

Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Senate punts on defense bill

  Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Senate punts on defense bill It's Friday, welcome to Overnight Defense & National Security, your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.The Senate punted consideration of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) until after Thanksgiving.We'll dive deeper into that, plus Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) calling for a probe into the 2019 Syrian airstrike that killed dozens of civilians.For The Hill, I'm Jordan Williams. Write to me with tips at [email protected]'s get to it.Senate to consider bill after Thanksgiving © Provided by The Hill Majority Leader C Schumer (D-N.Y.

Let's get to it.

US may send advisers, weaponry to Ukraine

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The world is worried Putin is about to invade Ukraine. Here's why

  The world is worried Putin is about to invade Ukraine. Here's why Russian President Vladimir Putin's next move is being watched closely by experts.Tens of thousands of Russian troops have reportedly gathered at the border with Ukraine, and experts fear Russia could be about to stage a repeat of its 2014 invasion and annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, which prompted global outrage and sanctions on Moscow.

The Biden administration is considering sending military advisers and weaponry to Ukraine amid concerns of another invasion by Russia, CNN reported.

What would the U.S. send? The proposed package could include mortars, air defense systems such as stinger missiles and new Javelin anti-tank and anti-armor missiles, according to the outlet.

Sources also told CNN that the Pentagon has pressed for equipment that would have gone to Afghanistan to be sent to Ukraine instead.

Comes amid Ukraine concerns: The U.S. and NATO fear that Moscow is massing troops to prepare for a military operation over Ukraine's eastern border similar to when it annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014. The head of Ukraine's defense intelligence agency has said that Russia could invade as soon as late January.

The report comes a couple days after Bloomberg reported that the U.S. has shared intelligence showing that Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine from multiple locations.

The US's refusal to accept reality in Ukraine could get a lot of people killed

  The US's refusal to accept reality in Ukraine could get a lot of people killed Biden must honestly assess if it is worth starting World War III over a territory with little significance to overall US security. © Sergei Malgavko\TASS via Getty Images Russian landing ships and military vehicles during an exercise at the Opuk training ground in Crimea, April 22, 2021. Sergei Malgavko\TASS via Getty Images Russia has proven that it is willing to bear significant monetary and human costs to prevent a western-aligned Ukraine. Years of tough economic sanctions and the estimated loss of several hundred Russian soldiers has done little to change Russia's objectives in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Russian officials have said that reports that they may soon invade Ukraine are "false," and that the troops on the border are responding to threats from NATO.

The State Department weighs in: A State Department spokesperson told The Hill that the administration has "demonstrated that the United States is willing to use a number of tools to address harmful Russian actions and we will not hesitate from making use of those and other tools in the future."

The Kremlin's response: When asked about the possibility that the U.S. would send additional assistance to Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday that such actions are already being undertaken, CNN noted.

"Military advisers are arriving there, weapons are supplied there -- not only from the United States, but also from other NATO countries. And all this, of course, leads to a further aggravation of the situation on the border line," Peskov said.

Read the full story here

Milley speaks with top Russian military official

  Overnight Defense & National Security — Biden officials consider more Ukraine aid © Provided by The Hill

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley spoke with Russia's top military officer, Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov as concerns grow about Russia amassing troops near the Ukranian border.

Russia's buildup of troops near Ukraine sparks fears of attack: Analysis

  Russia's buildup of troops near Ukraine sparks fears of attack: Analysis The Russian buildup of troops near Ukraine has triggered the worst fears of a major Russian military incursion since 2014. Fears of invasion are greater now than at any time since Moscow first seized Crimea in 2014.

What was the call about? Few details have been released about the call, but a readout from the Joint Staff said "the military leaders discussed several security-related issues of concern."

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a separate statement that the chiefs "discussed the ongoing issues of international security," Russian news agency TASS reported.

Just yesterday .... Milley spoke with Lt. Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, in which the two "exchanged perspectives and assessments of the evolving security environment in Eastern Europe," according to a readout of that call.

Read the full story here

BIDENS HAVE 'FRIENDSGIVING' MEAL WITH MILITARY TROOPS

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden visited troops on Monday for a "Friendsgiving" meal with U.S. service members and military families at Fort Bragg, N.C.

What they said: The Bidens spoke with attendees about holidays their family spent without Beau Biden when he was deployed to Iraq and Kosovo. Beau Biden died after returning from deployment in 2015.

The president said he was proud to be commander-in-chief and thanked the service members.

"You're the finest the world has ever seen and I'm so damn proud to be associated with you," Biden said. "We came because we wanted to thank you, tell you how much we care ... we owe you big. Thank you."

Putin is 'deadly serious' about neutralizing Ukraine, and has the upper hand over the West, former US diplomats and officials warn

  Putin is 'deadly serious' about neutralizing Ukraine, and has the upper hand over the West, former US diplomats and officials warn "You've got to take it seriously because Russia has crossed the Rubicon many times before when people said they wouldn't," one expert warned."We don't know what President Putin's intentions are, but we do know what's happened in the past," Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently told reporters. "We do know the playbook of trying to cite some illusory provocation from Ukraine or any other country and then using that as an excuse to do what Russia is planning to do all along.

Who was there: About 250 people attended the meal, including elected officials, service members and family members of deployed soldiers.

The Bidens were greeted by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D), and North Carolina Democratic Reps. David Price, G.K. Butterfield, Alma Adams, Deborah Ross, and Kathy Manning.

Read more about the Friendsgiving meal

Biden's new helicopter faces reliability issues

  Overnight Defense & National Security — Biden officials consider more Ukraine aid © Provided by The Hill

The president's new helicopter is not "operationally suitable" for emergencies, according to report obtained by Bloomberg News

According to an unpublished September report from the Pentagon's Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, the aircraft is "operationally effective" for routine missions such as a trip to Camp David or taking the president to Joint Base Andrews, but not yet for "contingency operational flights."

What's the report based on? The report is based on the helicopter's performance during three months of testing through April 15.

Jessica Maxwell, a spokesperson for the Pentagon's testing office, told The Hill that the report was meant to evaluate if the helicopter is "effective and suitable to perform administrative transport of the president, vice president, members of the cabinet, heads of state and other parties."

The report was also meant to evaluate whether the plane could perform contingency operations in support of the president and other personnel, Maxwell said.

What's wrong with the helicopter? With regard to emergencies, the report found that the "Mission Communication System (MCS) often delayed critical communications at the beginning of contingency missions and did not adequately support timely, continuous and secure communications," reads the report, according to Bloomberg.

Russia's Military Buildup Next to Ukraine May Force Joe Biden's Hand

  Russia's Military Buildup Next to Ukraine May Force Joe Biden's Hand NATO has asked Russia to "reduce tensions and de-escalate" as Kyiv increases its calls to join the U.S-led alliance to counter the threat from Moscow.With Russian tanks moving west towards Ukraine months after a similar buildup caused outrage, NATO's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned Moscow on Friday of the risk of "miscalculation.

Overall, the helicopter is "failing to meet the reliability, availability or maintainability threshold requirements," the outlet reported.

"Engine exhaust and fluid discharge cause landing zone damage limitations, limiting the number of available landing zones," the report stated, adding that the Marines should "continue to reduce effects of engine exhaust and fluid discharges."

The backstory: At issue is the VH-92 program, which was meant to replace helicopters currently used by the president, vice president and other top officials.

The Navy selected Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin company, to replace the aging VH-3D and VH-60N helicopters currently in use. The navy ordered five additional aircraft from Sikorsky in early February, bringing the total number of aircraft to 23.

Deliveries were expected to begin earlier this year.

Read the full story here

ON TAP FOR TOMORROW

The International Institute for Strategic Studies will be hosting a discussion on "China-US Competition in AI: Destabilising and Intensifying" at 9 a.m.

WHAT WE'RE READING

  • Japan, Vietnam to cooperate on space defense, cybersecurity amid concerns about China
  • China protests US warship's passage through Taiwan Strait
  • Saudi-led coalition launches air raids on targets in Yemen's Sana'a
  • Nuclear watchdog pushing for resumption of 'essential verification activities' in Iran
  • Former South Korean President known as military dictator dies at 90
  • Germans again view US as most important ally: poll
  • The Hill Opinion: Afghan refugees are being recruited to join an Iranian paramilitary
  • The New York Times: Army Cadets Tried to Get Navy's Goat Again. Commanders Were Not Amused

That's it for today. Check out The Hill's defense and national security pages for the latest coverage. See you Wednesday.

Overnight Defense & National Security — Austin mandates vaccine for Guardsmen .
It's Tuesday, welcome to Overnight Defense & National Security, your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin mandated on Tuesday that all members of the National Guard get vaccinated against the coronavirus.We'll have more on that today, details on the bills President signed for veterans and the United States' warningDefense Secretary Lloyd Austin mandated on Tuesday that all members of the National Guard get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

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