THURSDAY PDB – Are Marines Locking up ‘Truth-Tellers’? Lt. Col. Scheller Court Martialed, Most Americans Now Think Biden Should’ve Kept Some Troops in Afghanistan, ‘Influence Ops’ Now National Security Threat, States Respond to Biden Border Crisis, Russian Spies and Belarus Threat

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

READ TODAY’S PDB BELOW:

Pentagon Watch

Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller charged with 6 UCMJ violations. Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller has formally been charged with six violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and has been referred to a special court-martial, a Marine Corps spokesman said Wednesday.

The Corps is locking up truth-telling Marines in an unjustly reckless system. “When anyone demands answerability of senior leaders, the institutions are quick to eliminate the threat of real transparency and accountability. Why is that?”

Ex-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell goes after Pentagon’s vaccine rule. Former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell is out to overturn the Pentagon’s Covid vaccine mandate, suing the U.S. Defense Department on behalf of service members who say the requirement violates their civil rights.

Biden’s Afghan Disaster

Most Americans now think U.S. should’ve kept some troops in Afghanistan — despite previously backing war’s end. One month after the U.S. military wrapped up its frantic departure from Afghanistan amid a Taliban takeover, most Americans do not think withdrawing all forces was the right course of action, Quinnipiac revealed in a Wednesday poll — even though the majority of U.S. adults supported winding down the two-decade-long war in Afghanistan last month.

Wisconsin military base turns into a small city as Afghans await resettlement. They are among 13,000 Afghan refugees who escaped the Taliban forces in August now find themselves at this Army base, awaiting resettlement in communities across the nation.

Keep the US retreat from Afghanistan from emboldening China. China lost no time in attempting to use the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan to weaken Taipei’s faith in Washington’s ability to deter Beijing and willingness to fight if deterrence fails.

National Security

Debate on ‘no first use’ of nukes mushrooms in Washington. Five years after President Barack Obama turned back from declaring a “no first use” as U.S. policy for nuclear weapons, opponents say the Biden administration is considering it too, and warn that it risks alienating allies.

Nakasone now sees ransomware, influence ops as ‘National Security’ threats. The head of US Cyber Command and the National Security Agency said his idea of “national security” issues for the US in cyberspace has expanded, specifically now including ransomware attacks and online influence operations.

Homeland Security

Idaho governor, lieutenant spar over National Guard deployment to US-Mexico border. The maneuvering of Idaho’s top leaders came while Little was in Texas meeting with nine other Republican governors over concerns on how President Joe Biden is handling border issues.

China Threat

Navy secretary’s new strategic guidance focuses on deterring China from invading Taiwan. Carlos Del Toro will release a strategic guidance document this week that outlines how the Navy will maintain maritime dominance, strengthen strategic partnerships and empower sailors to succeed in competition against China.

Is a Chinese military attack on Taiwan inevitable? Even though some commentators are confident that the chance of war between China and Taiwan is remote, the odds of military action are growing by the day.

Russia Threat

Polish commander points to Zapad drill as Russian effort to ‘regain the stage as a global power.’ A Polish commander has said Russia’s Zapad 2021 military drill with Belarus featured a wide range of hybrid warfare tools that Moscow is using to advance its regional influence.

NATO expels eight ‘intelligence officers’ from Russian mission. Expulsion follows a report that Russian spies linked to fatal explosions in Czech Republic in 2014 also implicated in the Skripal poisoning.

Military

We’re in a sprint here’: The Space Force struggles to blaze its own path. As it approaches its third year, the newest military branch works to get out of the Air Force’s shadow.

The Army just got its hands on its first “Dark Eagle” hypersonic missile launchers. The U.S. Army is moving closer toward fielding its first Dark Eagle hypersonic missiles, also known as the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon, with the recent delivery of prototype trailer-mounted launchers, as well as other key components of the complete weapon system.

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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