WEDNESDAY PDB – Congress Grills Team Biden on Afghan Chaos, FBI: Afghan Retreat Can Embolden US Extremists, China’s Growing Military Power, Africa Brief, GOP Senators Fight Dishonorable Discharges for Unvaxxed Troops

PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 8, 2012) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Eightballers of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 picks up stores from the flight deck of the Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Bridge (T-AO 10) during a vertical replenishment with the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). / U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released

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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

GOP senators seek to block dishonorable discharges for unvaccinated troops. A group of Republican senators on Tuesday unveiled legislation seeking to prohibit the Department of Defense from issuing dishonorable discharges for U.S. troops who do not comply with the military’s vaccine mandate for all uniformed personnel.

Biden’s Afghan Disaster

Despite the chaos of U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan, the world still needs American leadership | Opinion. The precipitous withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan and the subsequent fall of the government in Kabul has relegated the U.S. to a country that appears weak and incompetent.

Wray warns Taliban takeover in Afghanistan could inspire US-based extremists. FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Tuesday that the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan could inspire a new wave of extremism in the U.S.

Lawmakers press for more answers on Afghanistan exit ahead of major public inquiry. Several senators left a closed briefing on Tuesday frustrated at the lack of answers from Defense Department officials.

Air Force IG to lead investigation into Kabul drone strike that killed civilians. Air Force IG will lead Kabul investigation into drone strike that killed civilians.

National Security

New continuing resolution includes $6.3B for Afghans, $1B for Iron Dome. Lawmakers have proposed $6.3 billion in emergency funding to resettle Afghan refugees, $1 billion for the Iron Dome air defense system and other Pentagon-friendly provisions in a stopgap government funding bill to avoid a government shutdown after Sept. 30.

US 5th Fleet kicks off first-ever Central Partnership Station exercise in Lebanon that pairs training, humanitarian aid. U.S. 5th Fleet is kicking off the inaugural Central Partnership Station exercise in Lebanon, marrying partner-building military training with humanitarian work in the exercise event.

China Threat

Xi’s army: from ‘hiding and biding’ to building China’s dream. The combat capability of the People’s Liberation Army may still be a ‘work in progress’ but it is catching up through influence and training

China could accelerate military efforts in response to U.S.-Australia submarine deal, analyst says. China has denounced a nuclear submarine deal among the U.S., the U.K. and Australia — and tensions in the Indo-Pacific region will likely continue to rise, said an analyst at consultancy firm Eurasia Group.

Russia Threat

Russia fatally poisoned a prominent defector in london, a court concludes. The European Court of Human Rights has found the Kremlin responsible for the 2006 assassination by radiation poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian intelligence official who defected to the West.

Turkey

U.S. Army finishes exercises in Turkey as part of Europe-focused drill. A multinational military exercise intended to improve interoperability between the U.S. Army and allied nations wrapped up its final phase in Turkey on Monday.

Iran Threat

Military aid for Israel removed from U.S. funding bill, but leadership pledges vote later this week. Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday removed $1 billion in military funding for Israel from legislation to fund the U.S. government after objections from liberals in the House of Representatives, but party leaders pledged to bring the matter up again later this week.

Africa

Sudanese government official says failed coup plotters were from Bashir regime. A military coup d’etat attempt failed in Sudan on Tuesday and most of the involved officers were arrested, according to three senior government and military sources.

Nigeria’s military crackdown puts squeeze on bandit gangs. Armed gangs, which sometimes number in the hundreds, have been terrorizing rural areas of Nigeria’s northwest for the last few years.

Military

The Navy gets its drone fleet into the water. U.S. Navy recently stood up a seagoing task force that it hopes will sail into not just the Arabian Gulf but also the future. U.S. Navy recently stood up a seagoing task force that it hopes will sail into not just the Arabian Gulf but also the future.

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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