MONDAY PDB – Biden’s Dangerous Taiwan Gaffe, Biden’s Afghan Crisis Continues, NATO vs Russian and China, How Climate Change Affects Security, South Korea to Defend Against North’s Artillery, Middle East in Flux, Turkey Expels US and Allied Ambassador, Military Coup in Sudan?

A CV-22B Osprey assigned to the 7th Special Operations Squadron performs an aerial display of its capabilities during the Royal International Air Tattoo at Royal Air Force Fairford, England, July 19, 2015. The U.S. participation in RIAT highlighted the strength of America’s commitment to the security of NATO and its allies. / U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Chrissy Best

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


Homeland Security

There are no actual plans to deploy troops to help with the supply chain. If Guard troops do activate, it will be at the behest of their governors.

National Security

Russia fears complicate NATO’s new China focus. One of U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s top jobs at the NATO ministerial conference this week was to keep steering the 30-member alliance’s focus to China, which he’s called the U.S. military’s “pacing threat,” but some Eastern European allies say the U.S.-China rivalry must not overshadow concerns about Russia.

Climate change poses a widening threat to national security. Intelligence and defense agencies issued reports warning that the warming planet will increase strife between countries and spur migration.

Biden’s Afghan Disaster

NO KIDDING – There could be still hundreds of Americans in Afghanistan, former US envoy says. Zalmay Khalilzad, the former lead negotiator of America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, spoke publicly for the first time since his resignation.

This week in Congress: More unanswered questions on the Afghanistan exit. A senior Defense Department official is expected to face tough questioning from lawmakers this week over this summer’s withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan and the long-term security impact of the move.

US nearing a formal agreement to use Pakistan’s airspace to carry out military operations in Afghanistan. The Biden administration has told lawmakers that the US is nearing a formalized agreement with Pakistan for use of its airspace to conduct military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan facing desperate food crisis, UN warns. More than half the population – about 22.8 million people – face acute food insecurity, while 3.2 million children under five could suffer acute malnutrition, the WFP said.

China Threat

Biden said the US would protect Taiwan. But it’s not that clear-cut. After the president’s remarks at a CNN event, the White House quickly declared that the American policy of “strategic ambiguity” over the island’s defense had not changed.

Pentagon corrects Defense Secretary on China, Taiwan after White House fixes Biden remarks. The Pentagon has edited an incorrect reference by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to the number of understandings the United States has reached with China and Taiwan just hours after the White House scrambled to clarify comments made by President Joe Biden, who appeared to commit to the defense of Taipei if Beijing were to attack.

China vows no concessions on Taiwan after Biden comments about defending island. China on Friday said there is “no room” for compromise or concessions over the issue of Taiwan, following a comment by U.S. President Joe Biden that the U.S. is committed to defending the island if it is attacked.

Russia Threat

Don’t be afraid’ of EU defense ambitions, France tells NATO. French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly told her NATO counterparts on Friday not to fear the European Union’s defense plans, saying that the United States will benefit and any European capabilities will strengthen the alliance.

North Korea

US urges North Korea to stop missile tests and return to talks. A senior U.S. diplomat on Sunday urged North Korea to refrain from additional missile tests and resume nuclear diplomacy, days after the North fired off its first underwater-launched ballistic missile in two years.

South Korea seeks to develop missile defense against North Korea’s artillery barrage. LIG Nex1 displayed a missile that is expected to be modified from the company’s Korean Surface-to-Air Anti-Missile, or K-SAAM, co-developed by the Agency for Defense Development.

Iran Threat

Arab nations defy US to build ties with Syria. Arab nations are re-establishing ties with neighboring Syria as concerns about Iranian and Turkish influence, coupled with economic and security fears, spur a tentative regional re-engagement with the pariah state.


Turkey to expel US envoy and nine others, Erdogan says. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that he had told his foreign ministry to expel the ambassadors of the United States and nine other Western countries for demanding the release of philanthropist Osman Kavala.


Sudan’s civilian leaders arrested amid coup reports. The United States was “deeply alarmed” by the coup reports, its special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, said.



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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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