THURSDAY PDB – Outspoken Marine Officer Pre-Trial Hearing, Taliban Warns Biden Against Using Drones in Afghanistan, Trump Partly to Blame for Biden Afghan Mess? Biden Politicizes DOD Boards? Philippines-Australia Bulk Up Against China, Biden-Is Russia Friend or Foe?

U.S. Pacific Fleet via Flickr

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


Pentagon Watch

POLITICIZED BIDEN LOYALISTS? Defense business board relaunches after Pentagon review. The Biden administration has reassembled one of the Pentagon’s most influential advisory boards with a diverse group of business leaders, seven months after it was disbanded.

Marine officer who criticized military leaders over Afghanistan faces pre-trial hearing. Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller, the Marine officer who went viral with his criticism of military leaders who were responsible for the pullout from Afghanistan, is scheduled to face a pre-trial hearing on Thursday.

EX-GENERALS TOO – Let’s leave the military out of our polarized politics. It appears that our nation’s polarized politics have now been extended to an institution that has thus far pretty much escaped controversy: The United States military.

Biden’s Afghan Disaster

Opinion: The Pentagon’s ‘deterrence’ strategy ignores hard-earned lessons about the balance of power. The Biden administration’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan has called into question the credibility of U.S. commitments and the state of conventional military deterrence.

Taliban: ‘Consequences’ if US drones enter Afghan airspace. The Taliban has accused the US of violating the withdrawal agreement by continuing to fly drones over Afghanistan.

UNCONVINCING – Why Bagram wouldn’t have made a difference, and more about the Afghanistan exit plan. Officials tried to answer unresolved questions for lawmakers.

PARTLY TRUE – Pentagon officials say Afghan govt’s collapse was rooted in the 2020 US deal with Taliban. Senior Pentagon officials said Wednesday the collapse of the Afghan government and its security forces in August could be traced to the 2020 US agreement with the Taliban signed in Doha that promised a complete troop withdrawal.

National Security

The great hypersonic missile arms race: China Vs. Russia Vs. America. This week DARPA and the Air Force announced a successful flight of a hypersonic cruise missile. This test brings the United States into a great power competition to decide which country can deliver hypersonics to their arsenal faster.

China Threat

U.S., Chinese military officials hold ‘frank, in-depth’ talks -Pentagon. U.S. and Chinese military officials held “frank, in-depth” talks this week on a range of defense issues, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, as the countries grapple over their competing interests in the Indo-Pacific region.

Philippines, Australia conduct joint Navy exercises. The Philippine Navy and the Royal Australian Navy conducted a joint maritime exercise on Saturday, Exercise Lumbas 2021, with the goal of “promoting peace and stability” in the region.

Russia Threat

Russia’s massive nuclear weapons buildup should terrify you. In April 2021, noted Russian journalist Pavel Felgenhauer wrote, “Indeed, taking into account nonstrategic (tactical) nuclear weapons, which no one has ever verifiably counted, Russia may have more (maybe twice as many overall) than all the other official or unofficial nuclear powers taken together.”

U.S. intensifies talks to use Russian bases for Afghan counterterrorism ops. In a classified hearing with senators, top generals detailed negotiations for “over the horizon” staging locations to strike al Qaeda.

US Navy Launches Task Group to Hunt Russian Submarines. The US Navy recently announced the formation of a task group comprising Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to counter the Russian submarine threat in the Atlantic Ocean.


Hypersonic missile tests for the B-1 bomber are coming next year. It is argued that an upgraded, hypersonic-missile-toting B-1 would help narrow the capability gap with Russia and China until the B-21 Raider arrives.

Military units track guns using tech that could aid foes. Determined to keep track of their guns, some U.S. military units have turned to a technology that could let enemies detect troops on the battlefield.


* Please help us KEEP SAVING LIVES by supporting our ongoing Afghan Evacuation Effort – ‘PLAN B’ – the ARC (Afghan Rescue Crew).

GoFundMe Afghan Evacuation – Save Lives


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. - - PAULCRESPO.COM

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7 months ago

Always blaming the monstrous mess in Afghanistan on others. There was stipulations on the withdrawal and a group to oversee that it was done properly and as agreed. But in comes the boob and closes down the group for oversight and went barging in like a bull in a china shop. Dumb and Dumber came in and screwed eveything up and proceeded to blame Trump for his stupidy and ignorance. Biden is an utter idiot and loser. How could anyone vote for such a mentally deficient loser and liar. Every other word out of Biden’s mouth is a lie. Those who voted for this senile sewer rat should be so proud of you stupidity as well.

Keith Clark
Keith Clark
7 months ago

No. This is Biden’s mess, 100%

7 months ago

“Russia’s Massive Nuclear Weapons Buildup.” (11/12/11) 5113 nuclear warheads … a first disclosure the Obama administration said was aimed at ‘transparency’ about a stockpile it recently agreed to cut a further 70%. Until now the Pentagon had kept the precise number of missiles a closely guarded secret amid concerns that publicizing the figure would jeopardize U.S. security.” Obama stripped our defenses while Russia has been adding more to theirs.

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