FRIDAY PDB – DOD: A Smarter ‘Extremism’ Stand Down? Needed: Good Plan to Protect Taiwan, National Guard Scrambles as Congress Fails to Pay Huge Capitol Costs, Spec Ops in Gray Zone, First Woman Naval Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman

U.S. Army National Guard/Capt. Joe Legros

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 – Pentagon- Military Commanders can now ask about COVID vaccine status DoD-wide. As NATO command in Norfolk reaches full standup, Milley warns of ongoing need for alliance to prevent ‘great power war.’ Biden says no plans to send troops to Haiti ‘at this moment.’ Officials deny American troops are pulling out of Iraq as strategic talks near.

A toxic brew of careerism and fear: Why the Navy could lose a war to China.

The smaller, older—but busier—U.S. Air Force.

U.S. military once trained Colombians implicated in Haiti assassination plot.

How Army scientists are developing the next tank that’s not a tank.

Top generals planned to resign en masse if Trump refused to leave office.

And MORE.

TODAY’S PDB:

Pentagon Watch

Top generals planned to resign en masse if Trump refused to leave office: reports. Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told his staff that he would take steps to block Trump from using the military to enforce his rejection of the 2020 election results.

Not just Fort Rucker: Commanders can ask about COVID vaccine status DoD-wide. Any commander or supervisor can ask unmasked uniformed personnel about their vaccination status, not just those at Fort Rucker.

Education against extremism: Suggestions for a smarter stand-down. A number of veterans, and a couple of active-duty officers, were among those who stormed the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot. In response, the military leadership held small-group stand-down sessions across the force last spring to discuss the presence of extremism in the ranks and how best to eradicate it.

National Security

As NATO command in Norfolk reaches full standup, Milley warns of ongoing need for alliance to prevent ‘great power war.’ NATO and U.S. military leaders celebrated the full standup of Joint Force Command Norfolk on July 15, marking the full readiness of the first NATO operational headquarters in North America that will be responsible for the Atlantic and Arctic regions.

The next war’s ‘butcher’s bill’ will match WWII’s—unless the US adapts, Milley says. NATO militaries must master new technologies, from AI to next-gen long-range fires, within 15 years, Joint Chiefs chair warns.

Haiti Crisis

Biden says no plans to send troops to Haiti ‘at this moment.’ President Biden on Thursday said sending U.S. troops to Haiti is not on the table for now as the island nation grapples with the assassination of its president.

U.S. military once trained Colombians implicated in Haiti assassination plot, Pentagon says. Some of the former Colombian servicemen arrested after last week’s assassination of Haiti’s president previously received U.S. military training, according to the Pentagon, raising fresh questions about the United States’ ties to Jovenel Moïse’s death.

Homeland Security

National Guard scrambles for funds after Congress refuses to cover Jan. 6-related costs. More than a half billion dollars in the hole, the Guard’s chief has ordered the heads of the Army and Air Guards to claw back money from state units.

China threat

A good plan would deter China and protect Taiwan — but we don’t have one. The current bipartisan consensus on defense strategy is a bright spot in a highly polarized Washington, but also masks disagreement on our Pacific approach, including how to protect Taiwan and defense budget requirements.

A toxic brew of careerism and fear: Why the Navy could lose a war to China. How do you change a culture? That question courses through a new congressionally mandated report from retired marine Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle and retired Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery.

Iran Threat

Officials deny American troops are pulling out of Iraq as strategic talks near. Biden will likely discuss the future of the American troop presence in Iraq when the prime minister visits Washington this month.

Military

Lawmaker: Special operations must adapt to gray zone conflict. Increasing gray zone conflicts around the world means U.S. Special Operations Command must adapt to the era of great power competition while still being a counter-terrorism force, a key House lawmaker said Wednesday.

First female sailor completes Navy special warfare training. For the first time, a female sailor has successfully completed the grueling 37-week training course to become a Naval Special Warfare combatant-craft crewman.

How Army scientists are developing the next tank that’s not a tank. Though the current main battle tank, the M1 Abrams, is expected to hum along in the center of the armored formation for decades to come, some kind of replacement is on its way.

The smaller, older—but busier—U.S. Air Force. In its 2022 budget request, the U.S. Air Force continued its unproven bet to prioritize jettisoning equipment faster than it is buying new. This trend is manifest by the request to retire 201 aircraft while purchasing only 91 new warplanes.

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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