WEDNESDAY PDB – Biden’s Political Persecution of Jan. 6 Marine Rioter, Outspoken Marine Officer Strikes Deal, NATO Eastern Flank Worries, Japan’s First Aircraft Carrier Since WWII, Attack Drones for Hawaii?

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


Pentagon Watch

Marine who demanded ‘accountability’ on social media released from the brig after weeklong stay. Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller was set to be released from the brig Tuesday after striking a deal with the commanding general overseeing his case.

POLITICAL PERSECUTION – Prosecutors defend Jan 6 felony charge filed against former Marine helicopter pilot. Federal prosecutors on Tuesday defended their decision to file a felony “obstruction” charge for actions during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot against a former U.S. Marine who served in the presidential helicopter squadron for George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

NO RUSH – Female soldiers given a year to fit into dress uniforms after pregnancy. Women in the Army now will be excused from wearing dress uniforms for up to a year after giving birth, according to a new service policy.

Biden’s Afghan Disaster

For sale now: U.S.-supplied weapons in Afghan gun shops. The Taliban seized troves of American weapons and vehicles from surrendering Afghan soldiers. Now, gun dealers are doing a brisk business.

Former administration officials argue over whether keeping US troops in Afghanistan would have helped. Former U.S. diplomatic leaders argued that a permanent U.S. military force in Afghanistan could have ensured stability in the region.

China Threat

It’s official: After a 75-Year Gap, the Japanese Navy has an aircraft carrier. The proof-of-concept comes just months after the 813-foot Izumo, which the Japanese built as a helicopter carrier, completed the first of two rounds of modification—so far costing around $30 million—for embarking fixed-wing planes.

The U.S. Navy must ‘stand separately’ to take on China’s rise. In the face of China’s 17-year-old program to surpass the US Navy, U.S. naval leadership must independently advocate for a greater slice of the Defense Department budget.

Russia Threat

Pentagon warns against deal bringing Russian mercenaries to Mali. Add U.S. military officials to the crescendo of voices warning Mali’s interim government against brokering any deal to use mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner Group to help with security and counterterrorism.

Poland calls for enhanced EU-NATO cooperation amid Russian buildup. Poland hopes that a bolstered cooperation between the European Union and NATO, combined with the alliance’s further enlargement, could spur a more robust approach to Moscow, according to senior Polish defense officials.

Eastern Europeans angst over U.S. posture in their region after Afghanistan withdrawal. Eastern European defense ministers said they hope the United States would deploy more troops on their soil, fearing the Pentagon could cut its military presence on NATO’s eastern flank.

Estonia eyes artillery, missile defense, drones in modernization drive. Estonia is developing its defense capacities in response to Russia’s actions in the region, with multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), air defense systems, coastal missile defense systems as well as unmanned and cyber defense capabilities ranking high in its acquisition plans.

Iran Threat

Iraq’s militias seek to consolidate political power in vote. Among the candidates running in Iraq’s general elections this week is a leader in one of the country’s most hard-line and powerful militias with close ties to Iran who once battled U.S. troops.


Chad Blair: do we really want deadly drones based in Hawaii? The unmanned aerial vehicles augur the future of warfare, but the cost to civilians is hardly negligible.


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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. - - PAULCRESPO.COM

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