TUESDAY PDB – Attacks on Gen. Milley Overblown? Majority of Americans Disapprove of Biden Afghan Withdrawal, US-Mexico Border Facilities Overwhelmed, Facing China with New Planes and B-21 Bombers, New US Long Range Air-to-Air Missile?

Chinese Military Parade / Mil.ru

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Today’s EXTENDED CRISIS EDITION PDB includes a variety of critical national security issues.

READ TODAY’S PDB BELOW:

Pentagon Watch

Attacks on Joint Chiefs chairman are ‘ridiculously overblown,’ key Democrat says. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith says Gen. Mark Milley was just doing his job when he spoke to Chinese military leaders last year.

New vaccine mandate raises questions for defense contractors. The new federal vaccine requirement announced by President Joe Biden has fueled questions from employers, including defense contractors, about how the mandate will work and whether they could lose employees as a result.

Diversity days at Veterans Affairs. The VA is holding dozens of “listening sessions” for patients at its medical facilities.

Biden’s Afghan Disaster

Majority of voters disapprove of execution of Afghanistan withdrawal: poll. Most voters disapprove of the execution of the Afghanistan withdrawal, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey released exclusively to The Hill.

Air Force general to review ‘errant’ Kabul drone strike, make recommendations for discipline. A general officer will make recommendations about changes to targeting procedures or discipline for those involved.

Homeland Security

DHS asks Pentagon to help move migrants from Del Rio, Texas. Press secretary John Kirby said the Pentagon has “received a request for transportation support” from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to help “efforts moving non-U.S. citizen migrants from Del Rio, Texas, to other CBP processing facilities.”

Opinion: How Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz and an irrational system make us more vulnerable to the next 9/11. On Sept. 11, 2001, only 57 percent of key national security positions in the George W. Bush administration had been filled.

China Threat

Air Force Secretary Warns of China’s Burgeoning Nuclear Arsenal, Reveals B-21 Detail. Frank Kendall also criticized Congress for not allowing the Air Force to retire old, unneeded warplanes and questioned the need for hypersonic weapons

Japan urges Europe to speak out against China’s military expansion. Japan has urged European countries to speak out against China’s aggression, warning that the international community must bolster deterrence efforts against Beijing’s military and territorial expansion amid a growing risk of a hot conflict.

North Korea Threat

NKorea slams US over Australia submarine deal, warns countermeasures. The North was closely examining the deal and would proceed accordingly if it has “even a little adverse impact on the security of our country.”

Turkey

Turkey’s latest attack on PKK militant in Iraqi Kurdistan meant as show of strength. In recent months, Turkish drones have picked off a string of mid-level commanders in Iraqi Kurdistan and northeast Syria.

Iran Threat

US deploying 2,000 troops to Iraq for nine-month period: Report. Soldiers from the Fourth Infantry Division will replace the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

Military

Air Force Special Operations Commander Expects New, Lighter Plane to Fight Terrorists Next Year. The head of Air Force Special Operations Command said he is feeling confident about acquiring a new cheap and light aircraft next year as part of the Armed Overwatch program for missions against terrorist and extremists in places such as Africa.

SecAF to Congress: Let us retire aircraft or we can’t beat China. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall on Monday used his first public speech to send a message to Congress: The aircraft in your district are not exempt from the retirements the Air Force must do to free up funds for next-generation planes, drones and weapons.

Northrop Grumman now has five B-21 stealth bombers in production. The U.S. Air Force has five B-21 Raider bombers currently in various states of production at manufacturer Northrop Grumman’s plant in California, the service’s top civilian said on Monday.

Boeing unveils new two-stage long-range air-to-air missile concept. The weapon, referred to as the Long-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or LRAAM, has a two-stage configuration with a “kill vehicle” attached to a booster section that falls away after it is burned out, something that has been seen in previous U.S. military air-to-air missile concepts.

END of PDB

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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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