BACK: President Trump took to Twitter to declare his four-day excursion to Japan "a very successful trip," citing "Big progress on MANY fronts. A great country with a wonderful leader in Prime Minister Abe! ”
Meanwhile, at the State Department, a spokeswoman was struggling to square Trump's conciliatory comments with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo 's tougher stance on North Korea's recent actions
The president is at odds with his advisors on a number of issues, in particular whether North Korea's launch of short-range ballistic missiles was in deliberate defiance of United Nations resolutions. "I don't think it was lost on any of us that the launches were an attempt to send a message to the administration," spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said at an off-camera briefing yesterday.
When pressed, Ortagus said, “I think that the entire North Korean WMD program, it's in conflict with the UN security resolutions. But what the U.S. is focused on the secretary's focus on, where he's trying to support the president ̵
“ You have Donald Trump, our president, standing right next to him, saying, 'Oh, no, no problem, it doesn't matter,' next to President Putin in Helsinki, siding with the Russian dictator over US The Maryland Democrat said. DEFENDING BIDEN: Van Hollen also joined the chorus of criticism about Trump's siding with North Korea's bashing of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden . In the same tweet in which he downplayed North Korea's missile firing, Trump said, "I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal? ”
“ It was a despicable statement. And unfortunately, every time the president of the United States goes overseas, he embarrasses our country, he embarrasses himself, ”Van Hollen said. “The issue here is not so much criticism of Joe Biden, as crass as it was. It was President Trump deciding to essentially second and endorse the comments of the North Korean dictator. …
What this tells me is the North Korean dictator knows how to play Donald Trump. He is playing him beautifully and at the expense of our national security. ” TRUMP UNREPENTANT: " I was actually sticking up for Sleepy Joe Biden while on foreign soil, "Trump tweeted yesterday. "Kim Jong Un called him" low IQ idiot, "and many other things, whereas I related the quote of Chairman Kim as a much softer" low IQ individual. " Who could possibly be upset with that? "
For the record, the actual line from an unattributed commentary in the official Korean Central News Agency in response to Biden calling Kim a "tyrant" was that Biden's candidacy was "backed by the jeer that he is a fool of low IQ, "According to an English language translation on KCNA Watch
Good Wednesday morning and welcome to Jamie McIntyre's Daily on Defense, written and compiled by Washington Examiner National Security Senior Writer Jamie McIntyre ( @jamiejmcintyre ) and edited by Kelly Jane Torrance ( @kjtorrance ). Email us here for tips, suggestions, calendar items, and anything else. If you send this to you and you like to sign up, click here . If you do not work, shoot us an email and we will add you to our list. And be sure to follow us on Twitter: @dailyondefense
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HAPPENING TODAY: Senior Army leaders speak today at the U.S. Army Institute for Land Warfare's Day-long Army Sustainment Hot Topic Symposium. Lt. Gen. Aundre Piggee deputy chief of staff, G-4, speaks at 9:10 am Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Bruce Jette speaks at 12:30 p.m. This event will be streamed live on the AUSA website
EYE ON SYRIA: The State Department is expressing alarm over the continuing offensive in northwest Syria aimed at crushing the last of the opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad which is generating massive civilian displacement in Idlib province.
The United States estimates that almost 300,000 men, women and children have been forced to flee from their homes and that the latest offensive, which began April 26, has claimed the lives of over 200 civilians, including dozens of children. 19659004] "Indiscriminate attacks on civilians and public infrastructure, such as schools, markets, and hospitals, is a reckless escalation of the conflict and is unacceptable," said spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus at yesterday's briefing. “The violence must end. We will continue to highlight publicly and in diplomatic channels the dangerous effects of these acts. ” BOLTON ON IRAN: National security adviser John Bolton is in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, where he accused Iran of being behind the alleged sabotage of four oil tankers off the UAE coast earlier this month. He said the attacks of the work of "naval mines almost certainly from Iran," according to Reuters .
However, Bolton said the United States has not seen any further Iranian attacks in recent days. "The point is to make it very clear to Iran and its surrogates that these kinds of action risk are very strong response from the United States," he said.
NAVY INVESTIGATES "MAKE AIRCREW GREAT AGAIN" PATCHES: Navy service members who donned "Make Aircrew Great Again" uniform patches during President Trump's visit to Japan may have broken Pentagon rules.
The patches, which included an image resembling Trump, were spotted on the shoulders of servicemen on the USS Wasp when trump spoke on the ship in Yokosuka, Japan.
Spokesman Lt. Samuel Boyle said yesterday Navy leadership is investigating whether the patented violated Pentagon policy, since the military has limitations surrounding what type of political behavior is acceptable for service members in uniform.
GIVE HIM A BREAK: Republican congressman Duncan Hunter a former Marine Corps artillery officer who has been lobbying for a presidential pardon for Special Warfare Chief Edward Gallagher says the Navy SEAL should be " given a break ," even if he is guilty.
Gallagher is accused of killing and injured teenage ISIS fighter and shooting civilians while deployed to Iraq in 2017.  "I don't care if he was killed; I just don't care. That's my personal point of view, and as a congressman, that's my prerogative to help a guy out like that, "Hunter told the hosts of the Podcast Thirty podcast. in this case, Eddie Gallagher should be given a break. "
Hunter said he believes Gallagher deserves a pardon because of the flaws in the military bureaucracy and judicial system." It's just dumb, and it's broken, "said Hunter, 'CALL SIGN CHAOS': Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has a book coming out soon, but he says it is a chronic misunderstanding of what deployed troops go through. Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead will be a "clear-eyed account of learning how to lead in a chaotic world," according to publisher Random House
"My purpose in writing this book is to convey some of the lessons I learned in 43 years of service for those who might benefit, whether in the military or in civilian life, ”Mattis said in a statement. “I'm old-fashioned: I don't write about sitting presidents, so those looking for all will be disappointed. I want to pass on the lessons and experiences that prepared me for challenges I could not anticipate, not take up the hot political rhetoric of our day. ”
“ Chaos ”was Mattis' unofficial call sign, which, the story goes, was given to him for his penchant for sharing his many ideas about strategy with his superiors. "Chaos" was supposedly an acronym for "Colonel Has Another Outstanding Suggestion." Mattis never liked the nickname "Mad Dog," which he blamed on a journalist and which Trump loved to use until Mattis fell into disfavor.
THE BIDDING STARTS AT $ 3K: A historic 11-page letter by Alan Wood the Navy officer who provided the Marines with the American flag that was raised at Mount Suribachi at Iwo Jima, will be auctioned tomorrow. In the letter postmark March 17, 1945, as the campaign still raged, Wood described the Battle of Iwo Jima in great detail, at one point writing:
These damn Japs just won't give up . … On the beach we could see our tanks and amtracks edging up the slope of the beach like slow moving bugs. Every once in a while one would shoot out a long red tongue or flame. Many were burning. But still it looked like a push over. In the afternoon a few bursts of antiaircraft fire spattered the water around us like a bunch of fire crackers. You should have seen everyone duck for some sort of cover.
The auction is being held at Nate D. Sanders Auctions in Los Angeles.
Reuters : U.S. Pat.
: Air Force Magazine : Poland Takes Formal Step Toward Buying F-35s Stars and Stripes : Navy Looking At Future Of Carrier Catapult System Belittled By Trump
USNI News : Experts: Navy Would Spend Billions To Answer Trump's Call To Return Carriers To Steam Catapults
Reuters : Islamic State suspects sent by US from Syria to Iraq
New York Times : Overseer Is Named for Guantánamo Military Court
CNN : Australian Helicopters Targeted By Lasers In South China Sea, Report Says
Washington Post : Democrats aim for not-friendly fire at Trump over military deferments
Politico : Seth Moulton discloses PTSD, unveils military mental health proposal
AP : More remains identified as US troops killed in Korean War
Defense News : A flat budget will prove fatal for military transformation
WEDNESDAY | MAY 29
8:45 am.m. 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. Hudson Institute for Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley and Rebeccah Heinrichs Hudson senior fellow, on Russian and Chinese nuclear weapons, followed by a panel of senior government officials who will discuss the global landscape for arms control, including James Anderson assistant secretary of defense for strategy, plans, and capabilities; Tim Morrison senior director of weapons of mass destruction and biodefense, National Security Council; and Thomas DiNanno deputy assistant secretary of state for defense policy, emerging threats, and outreach, agency of arms control, verification, and compliance. www.hudson.org 10:30 am.m. 1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W. Brookings Institution conversation with Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford . Moderated by Michael O’Hanlon senior fellow, Brookings. This is an in-person event only. www.brookings.edu/events
THURSDAY | MAY 30 10 a.m. 529 14th St. N. W. National Press Club Headliners Book Event featuring forms Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James discussion here new book, Aim High: Chart Your Course and Find Your Success . www.press.org/events
11:45 pm 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. Hudson Institute discussion on how the Pentagon can best implement cloud and artificial intelligence capabilities to gain the tactical edge in future warfare. Speakers include: Alexander Kott chief scientist of the Army Research Laboratory, Lindsey Sheppard associate fellow at CSIS, and William Schneider senior fellow at Hudson. www.hudson.org 12:30 p.m. (10:30 am MDT) Falcon Stadium. President Trump delivers commencement address at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. www.usafa.edu
1:30 pm 1152 15th Street N.W. Center for a New American Security Fireside Chat on the FY 2020 defense budget with David Norquist performing the duties of the deputy secretary of defense. Moderated by Susanna Blume senior fellow and deputy director, CNAS's Defense Program. www.cnas.org/events 2 p.m. 1030 15th Street N.W. Atlantic Council event: “Russia's Resource in the Middle East: How Does US Policy Meet the Challenge?” Keynote address at Kathryn Wheelbarger acting assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. www.atlanticcouncil.org
TUESDAY | JUNE 4 8:30 am.m. 1777 F Street, N.W. Council on Foreign Relations conversation with Rep. Adam Schiff D-Calif., Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Livestreamed at www.cfr.org/event 11 a.m. 2118 Rayburn. House Armed Services Intelligence and Emergency Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee markup of HR 2500, the "National Defense Authorization Act for FY2020." armedservices.house.gov/hearings
Noon. 2212 Rayburn. House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee markup or H R 2500, the "National Defense Authorization Act for FY2020." armedservices.house.gov/hearings 1 p.m. 2118 Rayburn. House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee markup of HR 2500, the "National Defense Authorization Act for FY2020." Armedservices.house.gov/hearings 2:30 p.m. 2212 Rayburn. House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee markup of HR 2500, the "National Defense Authorization Act for FY2020." armedservices.house.gov/hearings
3:30 pm 2118 Rayburn. Strategic Forces Subcommittee markup of HR 2500, the "National Defense Authorization Act for FY2020." armedservices.house.gov/hearings
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I make no apologies to anybody with wanting to work with President Trump. And when I find that there's a difference, I'm going to speak. … I worry about where North Korea is headed, but we'll give the president the space he needs to see if we can get this thing over on our terms. ”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, an interview with Fox News Radio host Brian Kilmeade.