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General Petraeus warns of urban warfare in Gaza – POLITICO


— David Petraeus, ex-CIA director and four-star general who led coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, warns of carnage should Israel launch a ground invasion into Gaza.

— Russia revoked ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, raising the specter of renewed nuclear testing.

— The European Commission opened applications for funding under the Act in Support of Ammunition Production.

Good morning and welcome to Morning Defense. Tips to [email protected][email protected] and [email protected] or follow us at @joshposaner@LauKaya and @calebmlarson.

PATRAEUS WARNS OF URBAN WARFARE IN GAZA: One man who knows all about street-to-street, urban warfare is David Petraeus, the former director of the CIA and four-star U.S. general who led coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. In this week’s edition of POLITICO’s Power Play podcast out today, he warns that Israeli ground operations in there Gaza Strip would be “very, very difficult” and could turn into lengthy and brutal combat. “You don’t win counterinsurgencies in a year or two,” said Petraeus. “They typically take a decade or more, as we saw in Iraq, as we saw in Afghanistan.”

Listen here to Power Play.

Read the full story from host Anne McElvoy and Josh here.

Need a plan: The former military chief was keen to stress that once the devastation ends, a plan for the future of the Gaza Strip should be on the table too. “Every military campaign is a mix of offensive, defensive and stability operations,” said Petraeus, drawing on his experiences in Baghdad and Kabul.

His view on Ukraine: While Russian forces aren’t making major gains in Ukraine right now, there’s no immediate sign of a let-up in Moscow’s war. “[Russian President Vladimir Putin]’s not yet convinced that he can’t out-suffer the Ukrainians, the Europeans, and the Americans, and we have to do everything we can to enable the Ukrainians to convince him otherwise,” said Petraeus.

FRANCE: At 4.45 p.m., French Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu is heard by the National Assembly again on the 2024 budget.

NATO: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg will attend the Conference of National Armaments Directors today. CNAD’s mission is to “enable multi-national cooperation on delivery of interoperable military capabilities to improve NATO forces’ effectiveness.”

**A message from ASD: Commissioner McGuinness stated recently that “the defence industry is a crucial contributor to the resilience, security of the Union, and therefore to peace and social sustainability”. She also stressed that the EU regulatory framework for sustainable finance is compatible with investments in defence companies. A message that should matter for all financial market operators.**

MAKING DEFENSE BANKABLE ASAP: The European Commission opened up €468 million in grants to boost five critical defense production lines within Europe Wednesday under the bloc’s Act in Support of Ammunition Production, or ASAP. Read the news on that here.

But that still leaves just over €30 million at play given the EU institutions have agreed to allocate €500 million for projects to boost local production of ammunition and missiles up to 2025. The Commission wants to use that limited pool to make it easier for defense firms to source private finance.

Tapping banks: The plan is to set up a Ramp-Up Fund using the remaining slice of ASAP cash that the Commission reckons “will make it easier for companies across [the] value chain to access both public and private financing.” The defense sector can’t draw financing from the European Investment Bank and executives have long moaned that they also find it difficult to get loans from commercial banks. However, it’s unclear whether €30 million will really solve that given the billions of euros being invested.

Sign me up: Find the explosives fund here; shell grants here; missile assembly cash here; powders financing here and details for the smaller money pot on testing ammunition here.

Key dates: Applications for ASAP grants to ramp up missile, ammunition and powder production inside the EU and Norway are open until December 13. Importantly, the Commission is making the fund retroactive so companies can apply for cash to pay for production investments already made dating back to March 20.

RUSSIA REVOKES RATIFICATION OF NUCLEAR TREATY: The Russian lower house of parliament voted unanimously on Wednesday to revoke the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), in a move that Moscow said brings Russia into line with the United States, which never ratified the treaty in the first place.

Russia against the world: “We took this decision together, understanding our responsibility to our citizens, defending our country,” Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of Russia’s lower house of parliament said. “And I would like to emphasize once again: what is happening in the world today is the exclusive fault of the United States.”

Blame the U.S.: Putin warned earlier this month that Russia would consider revoking its ratification to “mirror” the position taken by the United States, which has signed but never ratified the 1996 treaty. Volodin on Tuesday also blamed the U.S. for its “double standards and irresponsible attitude to global security issues.”

Will Russia ban nuclear testing?: Russian officials have said before that the Kremlin would only consider resuming nuclear testing if the United States decides to do the same. Putin also previously has said he is “not ready” to discuss whether Russia will conduct tests or not. The CTBT, which bans “all nuclear explosions, whether for military or peaceful purpose,” was signed by 187 countries and ratified by 178. Russia originally ratified the treaty in 2000.

COMMISSION UNVEILS COUNTER-DRONE STRATEGY: In a nonbinding communication presented on Wednesday, Brussels pledged to increase sharing of good practices, launch a counter-drone expert group that will help EU countries choose counter-drone technologies as well as “explore regulatory measures.” While the Commission’s document focuses on civilian drones, there are “several interlinkages” with defense.

FRENCH ARMY CREATES NEW COMMAND UNIT FOR EUROPE: General Bertrand Toujouse will lead a land command for Europe, based in Lille, that will coordinate French troop deployments on the Continent, according to Le Figaro. France currently has 1,200 soldiers in Romania and 300 in Estonia. The unit will be the go-to organization for NATO, the EU and allied armies and will be placed under the orders of the Paris-based operations planning and control center. The creation of this unit is a direct consequence of the war in Ukraine and France’s willingness to be more prepared for high-intensity warfare.

FRENCH COMPANY WILL WORK ON US CONTRACT: Eurenco, a French firm manufacturing explosives, will collaborate with U.S. company Day & Zimmermann to produce more than 1 million 155mm propellant charges a year for the U.S. military, according to a statement released this week. The multi-annual contract is worth $966.7 million and includes opening a production line in the U.S.

ITALY’S 2023-2025 DEFENSE PROGRAM: Earlier this week, Italy’s ministry of defense published a 264-page long document on planned purchases and programs until 2025. According to Defense News, Rome wants to buy 21 U.S.-made M142 HIMARS for its army and to develop new autonomous drones, among other things.

US MULLS MASSIVE SPENDING PLAN: Political gridlock and a looming presidential election is prompting the U.S. to consider a mammoth “one and done” spending package of as much as $100 billion to equip Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan through next year, our U.S. colleagues report. “We’ve been urging the administration to come up with a number that is necessary for Israel, for Ukraine, perhaps Taiwan, and the border and other dollars that are necessary, and we are trying to see if we can put together an acceptable package to move through the Senate,” said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Ben Cardin.

Lawmakers in both parties expect President Joe Biden to propose the package this week.

**Save the date – POLITICO Live’s Defense Launch event will take place on November 21 to discuss what is currently shaping Europe’s defense policy and the role of NATO. Register now!**

DUTCH MARINES TO CYPRUS: The Dutch ministries of defense and foreign affairs are sending marines and embassy personnel to Cyprus “in case the situation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories deteriorates further.” They fly from Eindhoven in a pair of C-130 military transports as well as a chartered airplane “in order to be able to react quickly from that location” and will be stationed in Cyprus “for as long as necessary.”

Consular staff too: The detachment from the defense ministry consists of 200 marines and support staff, while foreign affairs is sending a Quick Consular Support Team that will be able to support Dutch embassy operations. This most recent deployment follows a defense team deployment to Beirut last week.

ONGOING INVESTIGATION: The Finnish Navy took to X to give an update on its ongoing investigation into what — or who — damaged the Balticconnector energy pipeline and telecommunications last week that connect Finland and Estonia. The navy announced that the HMC Purunpää, a mine countermeasure ship, moved to help Estonia with its investigation. The Finns also said that a fast attack missile craft “carried out a protective mission in the Baltic Sea this week.”

KAJA KALLAS IN PARIS: “Europe needs to improve its combat effectiveness,” the Estonian prime minister said ahead of a work lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron, adding that governments also have to boost defense spending, capacity and stocks. Both leaders praised their bilateral defense cooperation, including French troops stationed in Estonia and Estonian assistance in the Sahel region.

JAPANESE TECH: Japan’s Acquisition Technology & Logistics Agency tested a ship-based railgun in conjunction with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). According to ATLA, the event marked the first time the group tested a railgun at sea. Though the promise of railguns — extremely powerful blasts from magnetically-propelled projectiles costing mere cents per shot — is alluring, the U.S. Navy pulled the plug on a similar project in 2021 after 15 years of research and $500 million worth of testing.

ISRAEL: The Israeli government has suspended all sales and supplies of defense and security hardware and related services to Colombia after that country’s president refused to condemn the Hamas attack, reports Defense News.

THANKS TO: Jan Cienski and Zoya Sheftalovich.

**A message from ASD: Due to ESG considerations, a significant portion of European financial actors is refusing to invest in companies involved in defence activities or even to provide them with basic services – which is particularly harmful for SMEs. This severely undermines the ability of Europe’s defence industry to ensure its financing and thereby its ability to support European armed forces with state-of-the-art equipment. What is at stake is not only the financial viability of an industry, but Europe’s ability to protect its citizens, and the Union’s key political objectives to become more resilient, less dependent in strategic sectors, and more credible as a security provider. Learn more.**

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