FRIDAY PDB – Pentagon ‘Extremism’ Witch Hunt Continues, Biden Forced to Reinstate Trump Mexico Border Policy, Training to Defend Japan, Russia Reinforcing Islands Near Japan, Iran’s Terrorism in Latin America, US-South Korea Update War Plans for North Korea

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


Pentagon Watch

IF YOU LOOK HARD ENOUGH – Army reports the most racist extremism cases, USMC the most anti-government: watchdog. The services fielded hundreds of reports of extremism in the first nine months of this year.

EXTREME TRESPASSING? 10 Airmen investigated for trespassing at Capitol riot, new military extremism report shows. Ten members of the Air Force were investigated for trespassing at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 pro-Trump riot that briefly shut down Congress, according to new extremism statistics released in a Defense Department inspector general report.

Oklahoma sues to exempt National Guard from Pentagon vaccine mandate. The state of Oklahoma filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday seeking to stop the Biden administration from mandating coronavirus vaccines for the National Guard.

Washington Watch

Senate passes stopgap funding bill, avoiding shutdown. The Senate passed a stopgap spending bill Thursday that avoids a short-term shutdown and funds the federal government through Feb. 18.

Homeland Security

TRUMP POLICY IS BACK – US and Mexico reach deal to restart Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ program along border. Implementation of the program, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), will begin Monday at one border location and quickly expand to seven cities, U.S. officials said in a separate court filing. A federal judge in Texas ordered the Biden administration in August to negotiate the reinstatement of the MPP with Mexican authorities.

China Threat

US, EU concerned by China’s ‘problematic and unilateral actions’ at sea. The joint statement followed talks in Washington between U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and the Secretary General of the European External Action Service, Stefano Sannino.

US, Japanese forces rehearse defending Japan during large-scale exercise. The U.S. and Japan are holding a large-scale command post drill involving thousands of troops, a year after holding a scaled-back, mostly virtual version of the exercise.

Russia Threat

Tensions grow over Ukraine with the trading of threats. American officials and their allies acknowledge the uncertainties, including whether Putin is prepared to invade Ukraine or is maneuvering to bring President Joe Biden into one-on-one talks on security concessions.

US Army strategy in Europe needs to ‘thread the needle’ in dealing with Russia, think tank says. U.S. Army moves to shore up Europe’s deteriorating security situation could help solve the dilemma of how to check Russian aggression without sparking a dangerous escalation, the Rand Corp. think tank says in a new report.

Russia sends missiles near Pacific islands claimed by Japan. The deployment followed a series of moves by Russia to beef up its military presence on the Kuril Islands.

North Korea Threat

US, South Korea to update wartime plans due to ‘changes to the threats’ from North. The U.S. and South Korean militaries will update their plans for potential war with North Korea, their civilian leaders said Thursday, an announcement that follows the communist regime’s new weapons tests this year.

Iran Threat

SURPRISE – New pessimism at revived nuclear talks as Iran escalates uranium enrichment. The report is prompting concerns that Iran is not serious about reinstating the 2015 nuclear deal.

TERRORISM ISNT ‘MISCHIEF’ – Iran’s quest for Soleimani’s revenge goes to Latin America. On November 28, Kenyan and Israeli media reported the arrest of an Iranian businessman by Kenyan, whom they suspect was plotting attacks against both local and Israeli targets. These revelations emerge only weeks after Colombia’s daily El Tiempo revealed another Iranian failed terror plot, highlighting how Latin America remains a playground for Iranian mischief.


DESTINATION UNKNOWN – USS Harry Truman carrier strike group kicks off deployment. The Navy did not disclose where the strike group was headed but said that it would complete operations across the globe fostering maritime security and stability.

Army would have 5 ‘core tasks’ in a Pacific conflict. Secretary Wormuth said the service is keenly watching U.S. talks with regional allies over access to bases, including for new weapons.


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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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James Tribbett
James Tribbett
8 months ago

The entire UCMJ and the criteria need to be revised. Some of the articles allowable by the UCMJ are nothing more than a reflection of phobias generated by those too afraid to address their own bias and prejudice. Time for true civilian control of the DOD to occur and make sure those being selected for promotion are true leaders and not just political pawns.

Peter K Baker
Peter K Baker
8 months ago

It’s pretty obvious that some of the people in our government have communist or even Satanic influences and are pushing their agenda on our military and troops when then the next big war is supposed to pop off in 2022 according to the historic track record. This is bad and our veterans need to back up the troops in the military who are being pressured by those above and we the people need to back up our veterans as they back up our troops.

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