Tuesday PDB – As Real Threats Loom, Air Force Fighting for LGBTQA ‘Diversity,’ Debate over Keeping US ICBMS, Why Afghanistan Matters in Fight with China, Iran Looking for Nuke and WMD Tech

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY – With the many national security and intelligence topics that American Defense News (ADN) cannot adequately cover every day – in collaboration with the Center for American Defense Studies (CADS) – we are providing our readers a PDB:

Not the President’s Daily Brief, but almost as good – Paul’s Daily Briefing.

Today’s PDB Includes a variety of critical issues such as – Why Afghanistan is critical to the struggle with China, Russia and Iran. The ongoing debate over the U.S. nuclear ICBM force – Do we need a commission to figure it out? How the far-left in the U.S. is vulnerable to Chinese disinformation on COVID. Have Marines losing their amphibious edge?

With myriad real threats, the Air Force is focused on LGBTQA diversity.

Plus, why abandoning Taiwan Makes no strategic or moral sense.

What does ‘presence’ mean in disputed territory in a ‘gray zone’ area offshore of the U.S. northeast?

As the China threat grows, Biden Pentagon is very busy – producing a report.

Last year Iran aggressively sought nuclear and other WMD technology, according to European intelligence reports.

And Russia is challenging U.S. air superiority with aircraft and missile sales in the Middle East.

TODAY’S PDB HIGHLIGHTS:

National Security

The fallacy of presence. A few miles off the coast of the far northeast corner of the continental United States is a disputed international boundary and a “gray zone” of water over which the United States and a peer nation have competing claims of sovereignty.

Strategic Forces chair ‘not fully convinced’ on ICBM modernization. A top lawmaker on nuclear weapons is “convinced, but not fully convinced” on the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, a hot-button program to modernize intercontinental ballistic missiles, as he heads into defense budget and policy talks in Congress.

We don’t have enough information to evaluate arguments for a new ICBM. The Biden administration should follow precedent and commission an independent look at the case for the Ground Based Strategic Defense program.

U.S. ‘far left’ susceptible to Chinese government’s COVID disinformation: Report.

Military

US Marines may have lost their ‘amphibious edge,’ leaders say. Top Marines tell Congress that after a deadly AAV accident and years in the Middle East, the Corps and its vehicles are unprepared for waterborne operations.

The Air Force creates LGBTQA, indigenous focus groups to address diversity issues. The U.S. Air Force has put together two new teams to address barriers and other issues affecting airmen and Space Force Guardians belonging to the LGBTQA or Native American communities.

Afghanistan

Why Afghanistan is critical to the struggle against China, Russia and Iran. What gives me even more concern is the strategic foothold we are giving up in the backyard of America’s greatest rivals.

China Threat

Austin’s task force is the ‘toughest’ move yet on China as Biden Pentagon mulls options. One hundred days have passed, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s toughest moves on China so far have been two visits to the Indo-Pacific region and a task force working to deliver findings on possible policy changes sometime this summer.

Abandoning Taiwan Makes Zero Moral or Strategic Sense

Russia Threat

In the arms race for air superiority, Russia challenges US hegemony. Five years since its return to the Middle East with a military base in Syria, Russia is moving into weapons markets left vacant by the United States and boosting sales to traditional clients.

Iran Threat

Iran sought nuclear weapons, technology for WMDs last year, European intel reports find. The Islamic Republic of Iran made multiple attempts in 2020 to obtain technology for its weapons of mass destruction program and has not stopped its drive to develop atomic weapons, intelligence agencies from the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany recently reported.

END of PDB

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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