The INSIDER daily digest -- Oct. 25, 2023

By John Liang / October 25, 2023 at 2:23 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Pentagon's continued focus on China as the "pacing challenge" identified in the 2022 National Defense Strategy, the Defense Department reshuffling of 155mm artillery rounds to support Israel's fight against Hamas and more.

Mara Karlin, assistant defense secretary for strategy, plans and capabilities, who is also performing the duties of the deputy defense under secretary for policy, spoke at the Brookings Institute this week about the Pentagon's continued focus on China as the "pacing challenge" identified in the 2022 National Defense Strategy:

DOD policy official: Focus remains on China, despite competing global crises

A senior Pentagon policy official said today that the United States intends to keep its focus on deterring China, despite addressing ongoing crises in Ukraine and Israel.

The reshuffling of 155mm ammunition stocks to Israel highlights the Pentagon's ongoing efforts to supply two allies simultaneously as top defense officials work with foreign nations to surge overseas weapons production:

DOD reshuffles artillery shipments to aid Israel amid work to surge NATO weapons production

The Defense Department says shipments of 155mm artillery shells that were withdrawn from U.S. stocks in Israel and slated to shore up Army weapons reserves in Europe that have been depleted by ongoing aid to Ukraine have now been diverted back to Israel as that country amps up its attacks on Hamas and Hezbollah.

On Sept. 8, the 2nd Multi-Domain Task Force completed an exercise called Arcane Thunder 23 -- the inaugural event of a series the Army plans to conduct annually -- that allowed the unit, with participation from France, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom, to work on reconnaissance, target development and precision-targeting operations:

New Army unit generates artillery targets from electromagnetic spectrum, tracks satellites

The Army last month completed a first-ever, live-fire exercise in Europe of a unit designed to break up Russia's anti-access/area-denial capabilities, dispersing troops across Germany, Poland and Romania to test and experiment elements of multidomain operations by synchronizing precision effects across the continent.

A new Congressional Budget Office cost estimate looks at the AUKUS Oversight and Accountability Act, advanced by the House Foreign Affairs Committee in July, which would establish a State Department task force to oversee implementation of the AUKUS security partnership:

CBO: AUKUS legislation would invest $115M in implementation with little draw on appropriations

A legislative proposal that aims to fund AUKUS oversight using fees collected through the foreign military sales process would, if enacted, direct $115 million of mandatory spending into AUKUS implementation efforts over the next decade, while drawing little in appropriations, according to a Congressional Budget Office cost estimate.

Document: CBO cost estimate of AUKUS bill

RTX executives discussed their quarterly earnings with Wall Street analysts this week:

RTX suffers loss due to a metal powder quality crisis affecting engines

RTX (formerly Raytheon Technologies) reported a 21% drop in sales compared to the previous year due to a metal powder quality crisis that led to engine failure of the V2500 engine fleet, the company said in its third-quarter earnings statement.