FRIDAY PDB – Pentagon Highlights China’s Growing Military Threat, Allies Request More NATO Presence in Black Sea, DoD Blacklists Israeli Spyware Firm for Harming US National Security Interests, Containing NATO Ally Turkey, FBI Arrests Russian for Lying about Anti-Trump Dossier

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII (July 16, 2012) Explosive ordnance disposal Sailors from the United States, Australia, and Canada watch a teammate fast-rope out of an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron / U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tony Spiker/Released

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

READ TODAY’S PDB BELOW:

Pentagon Watch

Republican senators want to bar dishonorable discharges for troops who refuse vaccine. Service members who refuse the coronavirus vaccine would receive only honorable discharges from the military under Republican-sponsored legislation introduced Thursday.

Alabama-based Army surgeon says she warned of COVID ‘vaccine injuries,’ was ignored. In a statement, a spokesperson for the 1st Aviation Brigade at Fort Rucker told The Washington Times Long appeared at the roundtable in her “own individual capacity.”

Navy Secretary seeks 3-5% annual budget increases to Face China Threat. The U.S. Navy needs annual budget increases of three to five percent over inflation if it is to reach its shipbuilding goals and meet China’s “significant threat,” Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said Thursday.

Washington Watch

Igor Danchenko arrested, charged with lying to FBI about information in anti-Trump Steele dossier. An analyst who was a primary source for a 2016 dossier of allegations against Donald Trump has been arrested on charges that he repeatedly lied to the FBI about where and how he got his information, officials said Thursday.

Homeland Security

Florida Lawmakers file memorial calling for more Florida National Guard troops. Lawmakers may soon call on Congress to beef up the Florida National Guard under a bipartisan memorial filed Thursday.

National Security

NSO Group: US blacklists Israeli firms for harming ‘national security interests.’ US authorities have put NSO Group, the Israeli spyware company at the centre of a global hacking scandal, on a blacklist, saying its activities are contrary to US foreign policy and national security interests.

Countering Erdogan: What Biden must do for the sake of stability. The United States should apply political and economic pressure on Turkey through NATO, and expand bilateral security cooperation with Greece.

Biden’s Afghan Disaster

All female US senators call on Biden to protect Afghan women and girls following US military withdrawal. All 24 female U.S. senators sent a bipartisan letter to President Joe Biden on Thursday, calling on him to protect the rights of Afghan women and girls in the wake of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

China Threat

Pentagon warns of China’s progress toward nuclear triad. China is expanding its nuclear force much faster than U.S. officials predicted a year ago, highlighting a broad and accelerating buildup of military muscle designed to enable Beijing to match or surpass U.S. global power by midcentury, according to a Pentagon report released Wednesday.

Milley: US ‘absolutely’ could defend Taiwan from China. Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, Milley said he did not expect China to attempt to seize the self-governing island in the next 24 months, but should it happen, U.S. forces “absolutely have the capability” to defend Taipei, “no question about that.”

China has world’s largest navy with 355 ships and counting, says Pentagon. With 355 ships in its fleet, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is slated to expand its inventory to 420 ships within the next four years, the Pentagon’s annual China military report estimates. By 2030, the PLAN is expected to have 460 ships.

Russia Threat

US Navy ship tracked by Russia on entry to Black Sea. A U.S. naval command ship entered the Black Sea on Thursday as part of NATO manuevers that drew a warm welcome from Ukraine but close scrutiny from the Russian navy.

Romania, Ukraine say more troops needed on the Black Sea. Ukraine and Romania want Western allies to step up their military presence in the Black Sea as they accuse Russia of militarizing the region, according to letters obtained by Defense News.

North Korea Threat

North Korean uranium mining picked up from 2017 to 2020. Satellite photos show accelerated mining efforts but the meaning of the activity is still unclear.

Military

USS Connecticut’s leadership fired following undersea mountain collision. The leaders of a Navy submarine that struck an undersea mountain last month in the South China Sea were fired Thursday.

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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