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Today’s PDB includes a variety of critical national security issues.
READ TODAY’S PDB BELOW:
‘CAUSE FEDERALISM – Pentagon says it can overrule Oklahoma Guard on vaccinations. The Pentagon weighed in Monday on Oklahoma’s decision to defy a mandate that National Guard troops get COVID-19 vaccinations, saying Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has the final authority despite the state’s announcement.
AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE – Trans veterans seek VA coverage for surgery, but agency still drafting proposed rules. The VA has yet to release details about when the surgeries will be offered and whether VA surgeons will perform them or if it will refer patients elsewhere.
The military keeps finding it did nothing wrong when it investigates itself. In war, things inevitably go wrong and people die as a result. But as events in Syria, Kabul, and Niger and elsewhere have shown, the military has a tendency to use its investigations to absolve itself rather than to hold senior leaders accountable for their mistakes.
Terrorism – UK
UK raises terrorism threat level after taxi explosion outside Liverpool hospital. The British government raised its terrorism threat warning to its second-highest level on Monday, after police labeled two attacks in the past month — a car explosion outside a Liverpool hospital and the fatal stabbing of a British lawmaker — terrorist incidents.
BECAUSE? BLM – 500 Wisconsin Guard troops deployed ahead of Rittenhouse verdict. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has deployed 500 National Guard troops to the Kenosha area as the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse comes to an end.
Biden’s Afghan Disaster
US troops ID’d family members trapped in Afghanistan, but none qualified for evacuation. About 60 service members reported up the chain of command that they still had family members stranded in Afghanistan following a Pentagon memo Nov. 2 requesting the information.
US urged to help more people escape Taliban-led Afghanistan. Several hundred Americans are reported to still be in Afghanistan, though not all have indicated they want to leave, Biden administration officials have said.
NO RESPECT FOR BIDEN – Biden-Xi talks: China warns US about ‘playing with fire’ on Taiwan. Chinese President Xi Jinping has used a virtual summit with US counterpart Joe Biden to warn that encouraging Taiwanese independence would be “playing with fire”.
Navy officer guilty of hiding ties to Chinese businessman. Lt. Fan Yang faces up to 30 years in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for March 16.
Russia tests anti-satellite weapon, astronauts take cover. Astronauts were forced to take cover on the International Space Station after a Russian anti-satellite test generated debris, according to the U.S. State Department.
NATO chief signals support to Ukraine amid Russian troop buildup. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has assured Ukraine of the alliance’s backing amid what he called an “unusual concentration” of Russian forces in the area.
Belarus eyes Iskander missiles amid border crisis with Poland. Amid a rapidly escalating border row with Poland, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he has renewed his request with Russian President Vladimir Putin to acquire Iskander missile systems for his country’s armed forces.
MORE DEPENDENT? Russian gas flows to Germany rise despite Belarus threat. Russian gas flows through a key pipeline to Germany rose on Monday, with no sign that Belarus’s president had acted on his threat to cut off supplies to the European Union as winter approaches.
CONDONE DOES NOT EQUAL ORDER – Iran likely did not order drone attack on Iraqi prime minister, current, former US officials say. The apparent failed assassination attempt illustrated how Tehran has struggled to corral quarrelling Shiite militia leaders in Iraq since the U.S. killed a key militia figure and a top Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, in January 2020, said a senior U.S. defense official and two former senior U.S. officials.
Space Force satellite jammers shut down enemy communications, temporarily. U.S. military officials and analysts have warned that China and Russia are building an arsenal of weapons designed to interfere with space-based capabilities of the United States.
END of PDB
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Our Afghan allies helped by this effort are fully vetted and proven to be at-risk.