FRIDAY PDB – China Threatens US with ‘Death Blow’ Over Taiwan, China Winning Satellite Wars? Outspoken Marine Pleads Guilty – Asks for Accountability from Generals, Indian Troops to Train in Alaska, Pentagon and Texas Face Off over Contractor Vaccine Mandates

U.S. Army Alaska and Indian army soldiers set up security around a simulated Black Hawk helicopter during a static loading rehearsal. The training was conducted at one of the airborne sustainment training areas Nov. 9 in preparation for missions involved in the field training exercise portion of Yudh Abhyas 2010. / Photo by DVIDSHUB

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


Homeland Security

Pritzker Offers to deploy National Guard in case of CPD officer shortages amid vaccine mandate standoffs. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has offered the assistance of the state’s National Guard in the event of possible Chicago police officer shortages after police union leaders urged members to defy the city’s vaccine requirement for employees.

Biden’s Afghan Disaster

Robert Gates: Afghanistan withdrawal ‘probably did not need to have turned out that way. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the U.S.’s withdrawal from Afghanistan “probably did not need to have turned out that way,” pinning blame on both former President Trump and President Biden.

U.S. Aims to Resume Regular Evacuation Flights from Afghanistan. The State Department plans to resume regular evacuation flights from Afghanistan before the end of the year to help U.S. citizens, residents and some visa applicants leave the country, a senior State Department official said, an effort that will require coordination with the Taliban and other governments.

National Security

Hundreds of Indian soldiers head to Alaska for joint exercise. U.S. Army Alaska will host soldiers from the Indian Army for Yudh Abhyas, a bilateral training exercise, Oct. 15-29, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, in Anchorage.

China Threat

Taiwan tensions raise fears of US-China conflict in Asia. China seeks to bring the strategically and symbolically important island back under its control, and the U.S. sees Taiwan in the context of broader challenges from China.

Ex-CIA officer: US could fall behind China in space satellite wars. According to the report and the briefings, Beijing wants to develop anti-satellite weapons with capabilities from dazzling to jamming, to kinetic kill-from-the-ground as well as from space.

Violence undermines China’s plans in Afghanistan, risks luring it into Quagmire. A recent attack in Afghanistan carried out by a Uighur Muslim has shaken China’s top national security decisionmakers, who now question the value of promises from the Taliban.

China state media warns U.S. defending Taiwan would be ‘death blow’ to American soldiers. Amid escalating tensions between the United States and Taiwan, the Global Times, a Chinese state media publication, warned that America’s involvement in Taiwan’s secession would be deadly for American troops.

Can the U.S. and Chinese militaries get back on speaking terms? Nearly nine months into the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden, Washington’s relationship with Beijing has sunk to a historic low.

Russia Threat

NATO troops are thin on the ground near Russia. They need American bombers. NATO’s Baltic members Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are the most vulnerable to Russian attack and also the least prepared to defend themselves.

Iran Threat

Western media aren’t telling you the truth about Iran. Reporters would rather tweet about the weather than investigate repression and torture by the regime.

Will US drawdown in Iraq reboot Islamic State militants? In Mosul’s Old City, the rule of the Islamic State group is not a distant memory of horrors long past. On every block are reminders: bombed out houses, piles of rubble and families toiling daily, just to survive.


The active-duty Army is facing a record suicide rate. Leaders have no idea how to fix it. Army leaders continue to struggle to find a way to address suicide in the ranks as the problem worsens, with 2020 marking the highest rate of suicides among active-duty soldiers in years.

Pentagon Watch

Day 1 of outspoken Marine’s trial brings guilty plea and political sideshow. “I am being held accountable for my actions,” Scheller said. “The general officers should be held accountable for their failures.”

Pentagon Orders Texas Contractors to Mandate Vaccines for Employees, Despite Governor’s Ban. Defense contractors and their employees in Texas must get the COVID-19 vaccine despite the governor’s executive order banning vaccine mandates, the Pentagon said Thursday.



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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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