MONDAY PDB – DoD Pushing Back on Biden Over Nukes, China’s Exploding Military Threat, China’s Aircraft Carrier Targets, Nicaragua Goes Full Autocratic, US Marines Train in Israel, GOP Tells Biden to Arm Ukraine, Ethiopia in Chaos

PACIFIC OCEAN (Oct. 19, 2015) U.S. Naval aircraft and aircraft from the Chilean Air Force participate in a fly-by adjacent to aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). UNITAS 2015, the U.S. / U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g. David Babka/Released

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.


Pentagon Watch

Why won’t the Marine Corps release public records from Lt. Col. Scheller’s court-martial? Task & Purpose has been refused access to a public record by the Marine Corps.

Navy launches ship named for gay rights leader Harvey Milk. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said that, like many others, Milk had to “mask that very important part of his life” while he served in the Navy.

National Security

Pentagon bearing down on Biden to shelve nuclear reforms. The president has pledged to narrow the role of atomic weapons. But others cite China to argue for the status quo.

Biden’s Afghan Disaster

Afghan military pilots, on the run, feel abandoned by US. Detained in Tajikistan, or hiding from the Taliban in Afghanistan, many pilots wonder why the military that trained them is not coming to their aid.

Afghanistan off-limits, US hunts for safe airspace as Mideast mission continues. While the Air Force has adjusted its posture — for example, bringing home its EC-130H Compass Call electronic warfare planes for the first time in 20 years — retired Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle does not expect a radical rebalancing of air power assets in the Middle East.

China Threat

China builds missile targets shaped like US aircraft carrier, destroyers in remote desert. The Chinese military has built targets in the shape of an American aircraft carrier and other U.S. warships in the Taklamakan desert as part of a new target range complex, according to photos provided to USNI News by satellite imagery company Maxar.

US, China power struggle on display at climate summit. Disputes over commitments to tackle climate change is the latest flashpoint in tensions between the U.S. and China.

China triggers growing fears for US military. China’s military buildup and its push to develop nuclear-capable missiles is unnerving Congress and U.S. defense officials alike.

T-DAY: The battle for Taiwan. China’s quest to rule Taiwan has already begun with a campaign of “gray-zone” warfare. Here is how military strategists believe the struggle might play out.

Russia Threat 

Send Ukraine US troops, weapons, key Republicans tell Biden. Republican Reps. Mike Rogers and Mike Turner are urging U.S. President Joe Biden to further arm Ukraine and “deploy a U.S. military presence in the Black Sea” to warn off a renewed invasion threat from Russian forces.

Iran Threat

Marines train with elite troops in Israel as Iranian tensions linger. It’s the first U.S. bilateral training there since Israel came under Central Command’s area of operations.

North Korea Threat

North Korea stages artillery firing drill in latest weapons test. Leader Kim Jong Un was not mentioned in the report, suggesting he did not observe the training.

Latin America

Nicaragua descends into autocratic rule as Ortega crushes dissent. President Daniel Ortega quashed the opposition and struck fear in voters, all but guaranteeing his victory in a presidential contest on Sunday.


US orders some employees to leave Ethiopia as war escalates. The United States is ordering non-emergency government employees and their families to leave Ethiopia and urging other U.S. citizens that they should “depart now” as the country’s war escalates and fighters approach the capital of Addis Ababa.


The Army is testing a brand-new helicopter-mounted Gatling gun. During recent testing at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, the Army tried out a new 20mm Gatling-style machine gun for the very first time.



Please help us KEEP SAVING LIVES by supporting our ongoing Afghan Evacuation Effort for AT-RISK Afghans – ‘PLAN B’ – the ARC (Afghan Rescue Crew).

Our Afghan allies helped by this effort are fully vetted and proven to be at-risk.

GoFundMe Afghan Evacuation – Save Lives

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

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

People, Places & Things