The D Brief: Shells trickle into Ukraine; Navy hunts for sub builders; ICBM’s rising cost; ‘Climate hell’; And a bit more.

The D Brief: Shells trickle into Ukraine; Navy hunts for sub builders; ICBM’s rising cost; ‘Climate hell’; And a bit more.

New artillery shells have begun arriving to some embattled troops in Ukraine, but the totals still pale in comparison to what Russia continues to fire on a near-daily basis, the UK’s Telegraph and Estonian outlet ERR reported Wednesday. 

Frontline feedback: “If we use 10 shells, they send 50 back,” one Ukrainian artillery gunner told the Telegraph. “If our allies also continue supplying more, then we can save more Ukrainian lives,” another Ukrainian soldier said. “It’s not possible to fight just using infantry,” he said. 

Expert forecast: More than a month after President Biden signed the latest aid package, including $61 billion for Ukraine, “the initial arrival of Western-provided weaponry will take some time to have tactical to operational effect on the frontline,” analysts at the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War wrote Wednesday evening. 

Developing: Authorities in France are investigating whether a 26-year-old dual Ukrainian-Russian citizen was responsible for an explosion at a hotel on Monday just north of Paris. “Multiple U.S. officials briefed on the matter said authorities were looking into whether the arrested person was trying to conduct a pro-Russian act of sabotage against a French facility that supported Ukraine’s war efforts,” NBC News reported Wednesday from Paris. 

Elsewhere in France, President Emmanuel Macron was joined by England’s King Charles III, U.S. President Joe Biden, Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin, Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelenskky and many others to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Macron spent some of his time awarding the French Legion of Honor to 11 American veterans and a British female vet, the Associated Press reports in a video you can watch on YouTube here.  

In public remarks, Biden linked challenges then and today, telling guests and veterans who gathered at Normandy, “Isolation was not the answer 80 years ago and is not the answer today.”  

“We know the dark forces that these heroes fought against 80 years ago; they never fade,” Biden warned. “Aggression and greed, the desire to dominate and control, to change borders by force — these are perennial. The struggle between dictatorship and freedom is unending.”

The U.S. president also declared, “NATO is more united than ever.” And regarding Ukraine, he said, “Make no mistake, we will not bow down.”

“Autocrats in the world are watching closely to see what happens in Ukraine, to see if we let this illegal aggression go unchecked,” Biden said in remarks beside the American cemetery at Normandy. “We cannot let that happen, to surrender to bullies. Bowing down to dictators is simply unthinkable.”

Biden will spend another four days in meetings across France, including a state dinner with Macron in Paris on Saturday. 

Additional reading: 

Welcome to this Thursday edition of The D Brief, brought to you by Ben Watson with Bradley Peniston. Share your newsletter tips, reading recommendations, or feedback here. And if you’re not already subscribed, you can do that here. On this day in 1944, more than 150,000 allied troops from eight nations (including 73,000 Americans) launched their invasion of Nazi-held Normandy, France, which eventually led to the liberation of Europe in the latter months of the Second World War. Reuters has the latest from anniversary celebrations along the beaches of France Thursday, here; and the Associated Press has a one-minute video report of re-enacted beach landings, here. 

Inside the Navy’s slick effort to find workers to build submarines. Service leaders, along with shipbuilders and their thousands of specialty suppliers, need more than 100,000 workers to help build attack and ballistic missile submarines over the coming decade. That’s according to, whose ubiquitous ads you may have seen during reality TV shows, on NASCAR hoods, at WNBA games, and amid Major League Baseball broadcasts. But what is that website and who runs it? D1’s Lauren Williams reports.

As new ICBM’s cost soars, a few lawmakers are trying to rein it in. The The Air Force’s LGM-35A Sentinel program is now expected to cost some $131 billion, 37 percent more than the previous projection and some 60 percent, in real terms, beyond the service’s original 2015 estimate. The program recently breached Nunn-McCurdy limits, forcing the Pentagon to review the program, report to Congress by July 9, and recertify it lest it be canceled. Longtime Sentinel critic Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., says Congress isn’t doing enough to oversee the program. D1’s Audrey Decker has more, here.

The Pentagon is learning how to change at the speed of war, writes Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, in a succinct summary of the U.S. military’s lurch toward smaller, cheaper drones. Read that, here.

Making moves: Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier just joined the staff at Booz Allen Hamilton, taking a role as senior vice president in the firm’s national security business side, the company announced this week. Berrier retired in February after a four-year stint as director of the Army’s Defense Intelligence Agency. 

In this new civilian job, “Berrier will support and expand business growth and development across the company’s federal clients with a focus on strategic direction for intelligence,” BAH said Thursday.

“The intelligence community is facing a clear set of mission challenges as the nation pivots to strategic competition, ranging from collection and analysis to evolving cybersecurity threats and the weaponization of space,” said BAH’s Tom Pfeifer. “Scott brings the leadership, mission understanding, and tradecraft necessary to support our clients in enhancing U.S. resilience and security now, and in the future,” Pfeifer added.

Lastly today: The UN says the world is the road to “climate hell.” That’s how Secretary-General António Guterres described it, citing new data released by Copernicus, the European Union’s climate monitoring service. For a solid year, every month has been the planet’s hottest such month on record. “The average global temperature over the past 12 months was 1.63 degrees [Celcius] above these pre-industrial levels. Under the Paris Agreement in 2015, countries agreed to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels,” CNN reports.

The heat streak was “shocking but not surprising” given human-caused climate change, said Copernicus director Carlo Buontempo. And yet, he said, unless humans slash planet-warming fossil fuel pollution, “this string of hottest months will be remembered as comparatively cold.”

Guterres was even more direct. In a fiery speech in New York, he called fossil-fuel companies the “godfathers of climate chaos” and, for the first time, explicitly called on all countries to ban advertising fossil-fuel products.

“We are playing Russian roulette with our planet,” Guterres said Wednesday, urging world leaders to take action quickly. “We need an exit ramp off the highway to climate hell.”

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