FRIDAY PDB – Russia-Belarus Wargames, US Ready to Defend Taiwan, National Guard Takes on Hypersonic Missiles, Air Force Takes on Drones, Brit Carrier Group Visits Guam, Taliban Hits Provincial Capitals After US Airstrikes

F-35 Jets Preparing to embark from the HMS Queen Elizabeth. By Photo: LPhot Luke/MOD, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=94570769

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY – American Defense News (ADN) – in collaboration with the Center for American Defense Studies (CADS) – provides our readers the 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 – DoD pledges military-wide alignment on electromagnetic spectrum ops. Putin’s push for an isolated internet will shift the Russian cyber landscape. Top diplomats of the United States, South Korea discuss ways to engage North Korea. Sanctions won’t hurt Iran’s UAV program.

DoD could announce mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy as early as Friday: reports.

Defense alone will not protect us from Russia and China.

The Cold War is over — or is it?

A new Air Force weapon will wipe out drone swarms with the push of a button.

And MORE.

TODAY’S PDB:

Pentagon Watch

DoD could announce mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy as early as Friday: reports. Following a rise in COVID-19 cases attributed to the delta variant of the virus, multiple media outlets are reporting that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will seek authority to mandate vaccines for the entire active-duty force. Fox News reports that Austin is expected to formally announce a mandatory vaccine policy for active-duty troops on Friday.

Potential military vaccine mandate brings distrust, support. Since President Joe Biden asked the Pentagon last week to look at adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the military’s mandatory shots, former Army lawyer Greg T. Rinckey has fielded a deluge of calls.

National Security

DoD pledges military-wide alignment on electromagnetic spectrum ops. Officials shared a few details from the highly anticipated, but classified implementation plan for the DoD’s spectrum superiority strategy.

The Cold War is over — or is it? The Cold War has been over for more than three decades following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the Soviet Union’s later collapse. But with the emergence of China and Russia as potential adversaries, the specter of a new cold war cannot be dismissed.

Defense alone will not protect us from Russia and China. By the time America reoriented national security priorities from counterterrorism to great-power competition, it was already under attack from major and minor world powers alike in a new, multidimensional, and asymmetrical landscape.

Homeland Security

Guard soldiers who take on simulated chem, bio and nuke attacks are adding hypersonic threats. Biological, chemical and nuclear threats remain at the top of the concern list, but task force officials said they’ve also shared information with partners regarding potential delivery systems and ballistic threats, such as hypersonic weapons.

China Threat

‘The US is ready’: INDOPACOM leader confident in armed forces’ ability to defend Taiwan. The United States is capable of assisting and defending Taiwan in the event of a military crisis, the commander of all U.S. forces in the Pacific said Thursday.

UK aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth makes port call on Guam with its strike group. The aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and its strike group made a port call Friday at U.S. Naval Base Guam, one of the group’s many stops as it moves across the Indo-Pacific.

Russia Threat

Russia and Belarus ready troops for large exercise near NATO’s eastern borders. Russia and Belarus are gearing up for large-scale military exercises near NATO’s eastern flank, which a Belarusian military official on Thursday said will involve nearly 13,000 troops.

Putin’s push for isolated internet will shift the Russian cyber landscape. The U.S. and NATO bloc must pay more attention to domestic Russian internet policy developments, a cyber researcher argues.

North Korea Threat

Top diplomats of United States, South Korea discuss ways to engage North Korea. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong have discussed efforts to engage with North Korea, including the prospect of humanitarian aid, their offices said on Friday.

Iran Threat

Sanctions won’t hurt Iran’s UAV program. The Biden administration should rethink its approach—and its real goals in the region.

Afghanistan

Taliban target provincial Afghan cities in response to U.S. strikes, commanders say. The Taliban have stepped up their campaign to defeat the U.S.-backed government as foreign forces complete their withdrawal after 20 years of conflict.

Military Technology

A new Air Force weapon will wipe out drone swarms with the push of a button. One of the biggest threats to U.S. troops abroad isn’t a stealth fighter, a nuclear missile, or a massive cyber-attack. It’s a swarm of cheap drones that can overwhelm the expensive defense systems troops have on hand now.

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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Elizabeth Estrada aka CHIAKIA

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