TUESDAY PDB – Army Gives Pfizer $1.4 Billion for COVID Vaccines, Texas Sends 10,000 Guard to Border, China’s Military in Central America? 900 Ideas to Fix National Security, Will China Invade Taiwan, Will Russia Invade Ukraine? Intercepting Asteroids

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


Pentagon Watch

FOLLOW THE MONEY? US Army awards Pfizer $1.4 billion for additional 200 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech. The Army funds will allow work on the additional doses to take place in New York with an estimated completion date of June 30.

A standoff on vaccines, rough IG reports and more. It’s the Oklahoma National Guard and the state’s governor versus the Pentagon on the vaccine — can the Guard even do that? Military Times top editors look at the issue. Plus, a pair of troubling inspector general reports on suicide prevention and sexual assault efforts in this week’s Reporters Roundtable.

Will the annual defense authorization bill get passed this year? The measure has been approved for 60 consecutive years, but getting to 61 will be difficult. Read More

National Security

Senators have more than 900 ideas to fix America’s security. The proposed amendments to the NDAA include ideas on Afghanistan, China and extremism in the ranks.

Australia signs nuclear propulsion sharing agreement with UK, US. Australia signed the agreement to share nuclear propulsion information with the United States and the United Kingdom on Monday, marking the initial steps towards the construction of a nuclear-powered submarine fleet with the assistance of the U.K. and U.S.

Washington Watch

US issues ‘Do Not Travel’ COVID-19 warning for Germany, Denmark. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State Department on Monday advised against travel to Germany and Denmark because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases in those countries.

Homeland Security

10,000 National Guard and Texas state troopers deployed to border for ‘Operation Lone Star.’ Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has deployed 10,000 state troopers and National Guard units to the Texas border as part of “Operation Lone Star,” his office told Border Report on Monday.

China Threat

A red line in Central America. Commentary: If China covertly integrates military capability into infrastructure projects in Central America, China will have materially increased the cost to the United States of countering Chinese aggression.

US warship again transits sensitive Taiwan Strait. A U.S. warship again sailed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Tuesday, part of what the U.S. military calls routine activity but which always riles China whose government believes Washington is trying to stir regional tensions.

The US can’t deter an attack on Taiwan. If the United States can’t deter Beijing, it is likely that sometime within the next six years Taiwan will be “liberated” by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Russia Threat

Russian-controlled forces in Donbass raise combat readiness – Ukraine. Russian-controlled forces in eastern Ukraine are increasing their combat readiness and have carried out large-scale exercises, the intelligence directorate of Ukraine’s defence ministry said on Tuesday.

If the Russian military crashes through a forest, will NATO hear a sound? NATO ought to consider whether it will employ its most effective military tool for responding to just this kind of security crisis — the NATO Response Force.

Biden’s Afghanistan Disaster

We are this generation’s Ellis Island’: 45,000 Afghans housed at US Army bases are still waiting to be resettled. The US airlifted 73,000 Afghans to the US since the Taliban took over in August.

Myanmar ‘Revolution’

Myanmar opposition raises $6.3 million on launch of ‘revolution’ bonds. A shadow government in Myanmar said it has raised $6.3 million on the opening day of its inaugural bonds sale, in its biggest move yet to generate funds for its “revolution” to topple the ruling military junta.

Ethiopia Crisis

Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict: PM Abiy Ahmed vows to lead from the war front. Ethiopia’s prime minister has said he will go himself to the front line to face rebels who are reported to be inching closer to the capital as civil war rages on.

Space Threat

Dart: Mission to smack Dimorphos asteroid set for launch. A spacecraft is set to launch and test technology that may one day be needed to tip a dangerous asteroid off course.



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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.substack.com - PAULCRESPO.COM

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1 year ago

Given the rising COVID cases in Germany and Denmark: I am reminded of California vs. Florida. California instituted draconian lockdowns and COVID is surging, whereas Florida opened up, relaxed and COVID is declining. I am pretty sure Germany locked down like CA. What about Denmark? Compulsory masking may be much less beneficial than many suppose, indeed it may be harmful.