WEDNESDAY PDB – China’s Dangerous New Aircraft Carrier Fleet, US Navy’s ‘Ghost Fleet’ of Unmanned Vessels, Who is Tougher on Our Enemies – GOP or Dems? VA Goes ‘Gender-Neutral’?

eng.chinamil.com.cn / Photo by Zhang Lei

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY – American Defense News (ADN) – in collaboration with the Center for American Defense Studies (CADS) – 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 – Joe Biden says he’s ending forever wars; He isn’t. Austin promises the US will continue to bolster Taiwan’s self-defense. As tensions with China mount, the US defense secretary visits Vietnam, vows support for the region.

Why Americans should be concerned about communist China’s influence in Africa.

The US stepping up airstrikes this week to support Afghan forces.

Why leave Afghanistan but not Iraq? Biden’s policy makes little sense.

Lawmakers demand a clearer picture for Guam missile defense plans.

‘Ghost Fleet’ hulls moving toward completely unmanned operations.

And MORE.

TODAY’S PDB:

Pentagon Watch – VA

VA makes ‘error’ in using gender-neutral motto in official government notice. No, the Department of Veterans Affairs has not officially changed its mission statement, despite publishing a gender-neutral version in an official U.S. government publication last week.

National Security
Pentagon chief calls for new regional order in Indo-Pacific. The U.S. defense secretary has called on allies in the Indo-Pacific to force a new regional order, during his first visit to the area since taking up his post under the Biden administration.

Joe Biden says he’s ending forever wars. He isn’t. President Joe Biden is playing hide the ball with America’s Forever Wars. In his public pronouncements, he depicts his administration as diligently rolling back the numerous post‐9/11 U.S. military misadventures.

Foreign policy returns to normal, for both better and worse. Republicans are suddenly tougher than Democrats on Russia and China. The Trump era is truly over.

China Threat

Why China’s aircraft carrier fleet should worry the US Navy. China’s ongoing naval modernization efforts are perhaps the most visible manifestation of both the country’s continued military build-up as well as its increasingly global foreign policy outlook.

Austin promises US will continue to bolster Taiwan’s self-defense. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the United States will continue to help Taiwan and other allies in the Pacific defend themselves against aggression from China even as he said a new, more transparent relationship with Beijing is desired.

As tensions with China mount, US defense secretary visits Vietnam, vows support for region. U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is seeking to bolster ties with Vietnam, one of the Southeast Asian nations embroiled in a territorial rift with China, during a two-day visit starting Wednesday.

Lawmakers demand clearer picture for Guam missile defense plans. Consensus is building on Capitol Hill that the Missile Defense Agency needs to provide more clarity on its plans for a missile defense architecture to protect Guam.

Why Americans should be concerned about communist China’s influence in Africa. China’s stronghold on Africa poses serious national security and economic problems for the U.S. For decades, communist China has been wielding its influence in African countries, establishing strong financial interests and convincing growing nations that its authoritarian communism is a better form of government than democratic models of individual liberty and economic freedom.

Afghanistan

US stepping up airstrikes this week to support Afghan forces. The U.S. military this week has launched additional airstrikes in support of Afghan government forces in their fight against the Taliban, using both conventional warplanes and armed drones, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

Why leave Afghanistan but not Iraq? Biden’s policy makes little sense. The U.S. interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq have been on roughly parallel trajectories for two decades.

Military

‘Ghost Fleet’ hulls moving toward completely unmanned operations. The pair of Ghost Fleet ships the Navy and the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office are using as testbeds to prove large autonomous vessels can operate effectively at sea are slowly moving toward completely unmanned operations.

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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