FRIDAY PDB – Is Biden’s Pentagon Chaplain Nominee ‘Anti-Christian’? Americans Support Defending Allies, China Demands US Remove Troops from Taiwan, Turkey Moves Closer to Russia, Russia Eyes New Arctic Fleet, US Army Gets ‘Dark Eagle’ Hypersonic Missile Launchers

Turkish Troops stand at attention / Photo by

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


Pentagon Watch

Senators Tear into Pentagon Nominee to Oversee Chaplains as Being Anti-Christian. Republican senators on Thursday hammered the nominee for a key Pentagon military personnel job, arguing past tweets and statements show she will not be able to respect Christian troops’ religious freedoms and oversee chaplains.

The Pentagon’s New Climate Plan Aims to Manage the Unavoidable. The new plan has considerably more specificity, requirements, objectives, and metrics than we had in 2014.

DOD COVID Mandate Watch

92% of active-duty troops have been vaccinated as mandatory deadlines near. Roughly 103,000 service members haven’t even gotten their first shot despite deadlines for being fully immunized.

Defense industrial base awaits vaccine mandate guidance that could determine layoffs, contract extensions. Though a federal mandate now requires contractors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by early December, the defense industrial base has been left wondering what this means for its workers who refuse to get vaccinated: will there be mass firings at the end of the year, or is there a way to retain those skilled workers and leverage them in some other capacity?

Biden’s Afghan Disaster

REALLY? How the Afghanistan withdrawal helps the CIA. The dust continues to settle on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, as emotions are acknowledged and processed. Perhaps it is now possible to consider what President Biden’s strategic choice will mean for U.S. foreign policy.

National Security

Majority supports American troop intervention if allies targeted: poll. A majority of Americans support U.S. troop intervention if allies are attacked, according to a survey from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

China Threat

China urges U.S. to abide by deal to keep troops out of Taiwan. China called on the U.S. to abide by its agreement to withdraw troops from Taiwan, in a relatively muted response to reports that a small number of American military advisers have been deployed to the island.

Taiwan is spending an extra $9B on its defense. Here’s what the money will buy. Taiwan plans to set aside an extra $9 billion as a special budget for additional defense spending over the next five years as it prioritizes long-range and anti-ship weapons in the face of ongoing pressure from China.

Iron Dome heads to missile defense experiment in Guam. The U.S. Army will send to Guam one of the two Iron Dome air-and-missile defense batteries it recently purchased as an interim solution for cruise missile defense, according to an Oct. 7 statement from the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command.

Russia Threat

Russia wants to establish Navy Arctic fleet. Russia is planning to establish a new division within the navy that will be responsible for upholding and protecting the country’s interests in the Arctic, according to Russian state media TASS.

Turkey eyes jets, engine and subs as it moves further into Russia’s orbit. Challenging Western sanctions, NATO ally Turkey has pledged to further its defense industry cooperation with Russia, including fighter jet and aircraft engine technologies, a second batch of S-400 air defense systems, and submarines.


‘Dark Eagle’ has landed: US Army finishes equipping first unit with hypersonic capability — minus the missiles. The U.S. Army has completed its delivery of the first hypersonic weapon capability to a unit two days ahead of deadline, according to service officials from the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office. Those officials were on the ground at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state as the unit unloaded the last of the trucks containing equipment for the battery.

Leading lawmaker to Space Force: stop talking about uniforms, tell me about tech. A prominent lawmaker who helps oversee the Space Force’s budget is tired of hearing about the service’s new dress uniforms and wants its leadership to focus more on developing cutting-edge satellites and rockets.

STRUCK WHAT? Officials: 11 sailors injured after USS Connecticut submarine ‘struck an object’ underwater earlier this month. Eleven sailors were injured Oct. 2 when the deployed fast-attack submarine Connecticut “struck an object” while submerged in the Indo-Pacific region, a Navy official confirmed to Navy Times Thursday.


* Please help us KEEP SAVING LIVES by supporting our ongoing Afghan Evacuation Effort for Americans and AT-RISK Afghans abandoned in Afghanistan: 

‘PLAN B’ – the ARC (Afghan Rescue Crew).

Afghans helped by this effort are fully vetted and proven to be at-risk for supporting the US and NATO.

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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