TUESDAY PDB – Colin Powell RIP, State Dept IG Investigating Biden Afghan Retreat, China and Russia Navies Sail Japan Strait, Chinese and Russian Hypersonic Missile Threat, Tensions Mount With Poland, Russia and Belarus, US and Georgia Defense Pact to Counter Russia on Black Sea

Joint Task Force Bravo’s 1-228th Aviation Regiment works with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) and Panama Servicio Nacional Aeronaval (SENAN) Security Force to conduct casualty evacuation training in Santiago, Panama, Oct. 18, 2021. DPAA will be conducting recovery operations in Panama for the next 60 days in hopes of finding missing naval aircrew members lost during a training flight in 1985. The mission of DPAA is to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Melanye Martinez)

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


Washington Watch

‘Highly respected,’ ‘trailblazer’ — leaders remember Colin Powell. Politicians and world leaders are reacting after the death of Colin Powell, a Vietnam War veteran who rose to the rank of four-star general and became both the first African American chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of State.

Colin Powell had been treated for a cancer that severely impairs the immune system, lowering coronavirus vaccine effectiveness. Colin L. Powell, the former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who died Monday of what his family described as complications from covid-19, had been treated for the blood cancer known as multiple myeloma and was due to get a coronavirus booster shot when he suddenly became ill and was hospitalized.

Biden’s Afghan Disaster

State IG launches investigations into end of Afghanistan operations. The State Department’s inspector general is launching a series of investigations into the end of the Biden administration’s diplomatic operations in Afghanistan, according to State Department and congressional officials, as well as documents viewed by POLITICO.

Top U.S. envoy to Afghanistan stepping down. Top U.S. envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad is stepping down, the State Department said on Monday, less than two months after the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover of the country.

The Taliban is just as bad as it always was. As international attention subsides, the group is reverting to its old tactics.

National Security

China, Russia navy ships jointly sail through Japan strait. A group of 10 naval vessels from China and Russia sailed through a strait separating Japan’s main island and its northern island of Hokkaido on Monday, the Japanese government said, adding that it is closely watching such activities.

U.S. concerned by possible Chinese, Russian uses of hypersonic weapons. Washington is concerned about hypersonic missile technology and its potential military applications by China and Russia, a U.S. arms control official said on Monday, after a media report that Beijing had tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide weapon.

Vermont National Guard and Austria just formed a partnership. Here’s the purpose. The Vermont National Guard announced the partnership with Austria on Friday during U.S. and Austrian defense talks at the Pentagon.

China Threat

China denies report of hypersonic missile test, says tested space vehicle. China tested a space vehicle in July, not a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile as reported by the Financial Times, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday.

The U.S. doesn’t need more nuclear weapons to counter China’s new missile silos. The discovery of what appear to be hundreds of new missile silos under construction in China has inspired arguments that imply the United States needs more nuclear weapons

Russia Threat

US, Georgia sign military training pact amid Russian threat on the Black Sea. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Georgian counterpart on Monday signed an agreement to extend U.S.-led military training for the embattled Black Sea ally as part of the secretary’s trip through the region to reaffirm support for eastern allies on the front lines of Russian aggression.

Poland almost doubles troop numbers on Belarus border. Almost 6,000 Polish soldiers are now guarding the country’s border with Belarus in stepped up security measures in the face of a surge in migration, the defence minister said on Tuesday.

Iran Threat – Israel

Israeli Army wants laser interceptors operational by 2022. Laser interceptions will be substantially cheaper than Iron Dome firings, as Israeli defense officials recognize that U.S. funding will only become more challenging to receive.


‘A shining moment’: Amid chaos and darkness, Marines showed up in Afghanistan. A look at how Marines stepped up during Afghanistan chaos.

Pentagon Watch

Senate appropriators back 5 percent boost in defense spending for FY22. Senate appropriators on Monday unveiled plans for about $24 billion in extra military spending this fiscal year above the president’s budget request, the latest blow for progressive lawmakers who hoped to significantly curb defense spending.



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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.substack.com - PAULCRESPO.COM

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