FRIDAY PDB – Distracted DoD, War for Water by 2040, Texas Guard Arrests 7,700 at Border, Iranian Militia Attack US Base in Syria, Biden Vows to Defend Taiwan, China Controls Lithium for DoD Batteries, Russian Jets Buzz Alaska, US Unprepared to Supply Forces in Wartime

U.S. Soldiers in the 4th Battalion, 118th Infantry Regiment, 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, North Carolina Army National Guard, attached to the 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, South Carolina Army National Guard, demonstrate their own and the M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles’ capabilities for the press eastern Syria Nov. 11, 2019. These mechanized infantry troops support Combined Joint Task Force- Operation Inherent Resolve and partner with Syrian Democratic Forces to defeat ISIS remnants and protect critical infrastructure in eastern Syria. / U.S. Army Reserve photo by Spc. DeAndre Pierce

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

READ TODAY’S PDB BELOW:

Pentagon Watch

The distracted Defense Department. The military should focus on strategic adversaries, not challenges like Covid and climate change.

Homeland Security

Texas National Guard troops help make more than 7,700 arrests at Texas’ southern border. The head of the Texas Department of Public Safety said the federal government “should be thanking the state of Texas” for its efforts along the border.

“People are relying on us” — National Guard evolves to fight wars, secure homefront. This is the new normal for the National Guard: The last two years have seen a rash of domestic crises—from the Covid-19 pandemic, to historic fires and flooding, to widespread protests—and guardsmen are often the first line of defense.

National Security

Intel assessment: ‘high’ chance of international conflict over water by 2040. From Asia to the Middle East, worries rise like flood waters over the future of water security.

Woman charged in submarine spy case to remain locked up. Lawyers for Diana Toebbe argued that prosecutors had no evidence that she was aware of her husband’s activities.

China Threat

Biden vows to defend Taiwan from Chinese military action. Joe Biden vowed to defend Taiwan from Chinese military action, in comments that contradicted US policy to maintain an ambiguous stance over whether it would come to its rescue.

CHINA CONTROLS LITHIUM FOR BATTERIES -Pentagon needs more electrical power to protect forces: panel. The Pentagon’s push for electric vehicles and weapons systems is facing a dilemma in which China controls the global lion’s share of lithium-ion battery production for these systems.

The U.S. is wholly unequipped to resupply forces in a great-power conflict. The current American consumer goods crisis presages the effects of a militarized Sino-American confrontation.

Russia Threat

Putin says Western military backing of Ukraine threatens Russia. President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that the Western-backed military development of Ukraine posed a serious threat to Russia, two days after the U.S. defense secretary staged a show of support for Kyiv and encouraged its aspiration to join NATO.

Five Russian jets buzz Alaska airspace as NATO and Moscow tensions spike. The Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Region said it had detected, tracked and identified the Russian aircraft entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) at 5.53 p.m. Thursday.

North Korea

Analysis: Moon’s push for military independence may echo far beyond his presidency. When South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived this week at Seoul’s largest weapons expo ever in the back seat of a fighter jet, he didn’t present the image of a leader bent on making peace with North Korea.

Iran Threat

STILL AT WAR – Attack on US troops in Syria underscores that America is still very much at war. In Iraq and Syria, U.S. troops still must contend with Iranian-backed militia groups such as Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada.

Iran holds nationwide air force drill, latest armed exercise. Iran on Thursday kicked off an annual air force drill across the country, a week after holding another massive exercise in air defense, state TV reported.

Why should the US care if Hamas moves against Israel from Lebanon? With Iranian help, Hamas, which controls Gaza, is creating a presence in Hezbollah’s backyard in Lebanon. Should it be of any concern to American security interests that Iran supports both of these terrorist organizations?

Military

NAVY ADRIFT – Is the Navy totally at sea? The U.S. Navy is adrift in unfriendly seas. Befuddled by tough choices, dogged by inadequate training and crippled by poor judgment, our sea service is ill-prepared to meet its greatest challenges since World War II.

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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