WEDNESDAY PDB – China’s Hypersonic vs US Army Hypersonic Missile, Russia Denies Endangering ISS Astronauts with Anti-Sat Test, Keeping Turkey from Fueling Belarus Hybrid War, Iran Restarts Nuke Program, Russia and Afghanistan

The aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) is seen underway in the Pacific Ocean Sept. 8, 2012. George Washington is the centerpiece of Carrier Strike Group Five, the only continuously forward deployed carrier strike group in the U.S. Navy. / DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Paul Kelly, U.S. Navy/ Released

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


Pentagon Watch

Pentagon didn’t delay aid to the besieged Capitol on Jan. 6, watchdog says. The Pentagon responded appropriately and did not delay urgent requests for National Guard troops after pro-Trump rioters broke into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, a Defense Department inspector general probe has found.

EXAGGERATED THREAT – The challenge of extremism in the military is not going away without a new perspective. Researchers at the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism identified reasons why violent extremists recruit active duty and former military to join their groups.

MOMMY AND ME AND DOD – It’s shameful:’ New law tackles maternity care for female veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs will be able to invest more in maternity care for female veterans and the federal government will be required to study the health of active-duty and former service members who have had babies or are trying to get pregnant after Congress passed legislation Tuesday.

National Security 

FOR PETE’S SAKE – NATO chief: Jan. 6 was attack on “core values” of alliance. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told “Axios on HBO” that the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol was also an attack on the core values of the world’s biggest military alliance.

US allies drive much of world’s democratic decline, data shows. Washington-aligned countries backslid at nearly double the rate of non-allies, data shows, complicating long-held assumptions about American influence.

Biden’s Afghan Disaster

Exclusive: Russia lays out path to stabilize Afghanistan, avoid another 9/11. Russian special representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov, gave an in-depth view of how he and his nation sought to work with regional partners to reduce the suffering of Afghans by prioritizing humanitarian aid, while at the same time empowering the more moderate elements of the ruling Taliban.

Facebook says hackers in Pakistan targeted Afghan users amid government collapse. Facebook said the group, known in the security industry as SideCopy, shared links to websites hosting malware which could surveil people’s devices. Targets included people connected to the government, military and law enforcement in Kabul, it said. Facebook said it removed SideCopy from its platform in August.

China Threat

No. 2 in US military reveals new details about China’s hypersonic weapons test. In an exclusive interview with CBS News, General John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the No. 2 person in the U.S. military, revealed new details of last summer’s Chinese hypersonic weapons test, which sent a missile around the world at more than five times the speed of sound.

US and Japanese ships hold anti-submarine warfare drills in the South China Sea. Japanese and U.S. fleets met this week for a first-ever anti-submarine warfare exercise in the South China Sea, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force said today.

Russia Threat

Russia rejects accusations of endangering ISS astronauts. Russian officials on Tuesday rejected accusations that they endangered astronauts aboard the International Space Station by conducting a weapons test that created more than 1,500 pieces of space junk.

Swift trans-Atlantic action kept Turkey from fueling Belarus’ hybrid attacks. Last week’s developments show that concerted and swift transatlantic pushback was key to thwarting Minsk’s hybrid attacks as well as reversing the course of a complicit NATO member state with a troubling record of playing a spoiler role. This is a lesson the transatlantic alliance needs to keep in mind as Belarus, Russia and the like plan for their next hybrid attack.

Saudi Arabia has no interest in the S-400, says Russian industry official. Saudi Arabia is no longer considering purchasing the Russian S-400 air defense system following the kingdom’s deal for an American alternative.

Iran Threat

Iran resumes production of nuclear-program parts, diplomats say. The resumption at a site the U.N.’s atomic energy agency has been unable to monitor or gain access to for months presents a new challenge for the Biden administration as it prepares for nuclear talks.

American official: US ‘fully committed’ to F-35 sale to UAE. The U.S. remains “fully committed” to a proposed sale of advanced F-35 stealth fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates, despite the Biden administration slowing down the deal, a senior American official overseeing arms exports said Tuesday.


US Army likely to field DoD’s first hypersonic weapons in next ‘year or two.’ The first battle-ready U.S. hypersonic weapon will be fielded within a year or two by the Army, and the Navy is not far behind, according to the Department of Defense official overseeing research into the emerging and disruptive technology.



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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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