WEDNESDAY PDB – Congress Wants to Ban Unconstitutional Guard Deployments, Taliban Rewards Suicide Bombers, Defending Against China Space-Hypersonics and Latin America Threats, Protecting Ukraine Against Russia, DOD Vax Mandate Harms Military Readiness

Layers of Concertina are added to existing barrier infrastructure along the U.S. - Mexico border near Nogales, AZ, February 4, 2019. / Robert Bushell

WEDNESDAY PDB – Congress Wants to Ban Unconstitutional Guard Deployments, Taliban Rewards Suicide Bombers, Defending Against China Space-Hypersonics and Latin America Threats, Protecting Ukraine Against Russia, DOD Vax Mandate Harms Military Readiness

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY – American Defense News (ADN) – in collaboration with the Center for American Defense Studies (CADS) – provides our readers the PDB:

Not the President’s Daily Brief, but almost as good – PAUL’S DAILY BRIEFING.

Get Your Best Daily Defense and Foreign Affairs Intelligence Here in One Brief.

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

READ TODAY’S PDB BELOW:

Washington Watch

Trump bashes Powell for his role in Iraq War buildup. Powell, who died Monday at age 84, appeared before the United Nations Security Council to provide justification for military action against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, which he later acknowledged was a mistake.

Biden’s Afghan Disaster

Taliban promise cash, land to families of suicide bombers. The Taliban have promised plots of land to relatives of suicide bombers who attacked U.S. and Afghan soldiers, in a provocative gesture that seems to run counter to their efforts to court international support.

Homeland Security 

Lawmakers to address National Guard troop shortage, may prohibit ‘unconstitutional’ deployments. State lawmakers are hatching plans to bolster the ranks of Florida’s woefully staffed National Guard, suggesting they may send a letter to Congress or pass a memorial urging Washington to act, among other options.

White House has weighed tapping National Guard to address mounting supply chain backlog. White House officials have explored in recent weeks whether the National Guard could be deployed to help address the nation’s mounting supply chain backlog, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

Trump’s Pentagon chief quashed idea to send 250,000 troops to the border. Top national security aides to former President Trump also talked him out of launching military raids against drug cartels inside Mexico.

National Security

US: Couple accused in submarine espionage case indicted. A Maryland couple arrested earlier this month on charges of trying to sell information about nuclear-powered warships to a foreign country have been indicted.

China Threat

US admits Pentagon doesn’t know how to defend against China’s hypersonic missiles. U.S. military forces “don’t know how to defend” against China and Russia’s most advanced missile systems, a senior U.S. diplomat has acknowledged.

A Central American missile crisis? The coinciding of the 59th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis with news of China’s successful test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile should cause the United States to carefully re-evaluate the threat China’s encroachment on our southern border presents.

America must build a stronger coalition to project its power in space. One of the most important aspects of the strategic competition between the United States and China manifests in the next space race. The U.S. Artemis Accords, led by NASA, brings together a dozen like-minded nations to collaborate in pursuit of lunar exploration and commercial space endeavors.

Russia Threat

Ukraine welcomes Austin but calls for Air Defense and vocal support to join NATO. Laying a wreath for fallen Ukrainian soldiers in the ongoing war with Russia, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III in Kyiv on Oct. 19 voiced support for the 30-year-old democracy, but Ukraine security experts say the Biden administration naively falls short and leaves Ukraine open to Russian invasion.

North Korea Threat

North Korea tests possible submarine missile, amid tensions with US. The launch came hours after the U.S. reaffirmed its offer to resume diplomacy on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Pentagon Watch

USS Bonhomme Richard fire spread wildly due to ‘repeated failures,’ investigation finds. While the Navy has charged a junior sailor with starting the fire last summer, a command investigation lays blame for the botched response at all levels of command.

COVID vaccine mandate endangers military readiness, top Republican lawmaker claims. The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee is calling for the military to immediately drop its mandate that service members be vaccinated against COVID-19, calling it a “politically motivated” decision by the administration.

16 Service Members Sue to Halt DoD’s Vaccine Order. The lawsuit — the second filed by U.S. military personnel against DoD leadership and the acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration — seeks exemptions from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s Aug. 25 mandate requiring the vaccine, as well as a temporary restraining order to stop the ongoing immunizations.

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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