MONDAY PDB – COVID Vax Wars: OK Guard vs Pentagon, Bob Dole American Hero Dies at 98, China’s Secret Atlantic Base in Africa, Biden Warns Putin on Ukraine, 175,000 Russian Troops Amassing, Politicians Using Military as ‘Props,’ Biden’s Afghanistan Retreat Creating Mass Starvation

Marines from Atsugi Marine Corp Air Station, Japan exit a MC-130 at Yamagata, Japan Mar. 19, 2011. The Marines were transported by the17th Special Operations Squadron to Yamagata, Japan in support of Operation Tomodachi. / U.S. Air Force photo by/ Master Sgt. Jeromy K. Cross/released via Flickr

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

READ TODAY’S PDB BELOW:

Pentagon Watch – VAX WARS

Oklahoma governor, AG sue Defense Department over vaccine requirement. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt argued that the Biden administration’s defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, overstepped his constitutional authority by subjecting the National Guard to the mandate, which applies to active-duty military members.

Unvaccinated Oklahoma Air National Guard members may be facing loss of pay next week. Members of Oklahoma’s Air National Guard who haven’t received COVID-19 vaccinations should be able to train this weekend and get paid, according to the state’s Adjutant General, but the situation may change next week.

Washington Watch

RIP AMERICAN HERO – Bob Dole, WWII veteran and longtime public servant, dies at 98. His wife, Elizabeth Dole, posted the announcement Sunday on Twitter.

Senators: Military hurt by politicians using them as ‘props.’ The U.S. military’s credibility with the American public has been harmed by the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and by politicians’ tendency to use them as “props,” two leading senators said Saturday morning at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum here.

International Security

America and China opened the door for African coups to return. Backsliding on the part of Western powers, and the rise of autocrat-friendly China, have created an atmosphere in Africa that emboldens generals and military cliques to seize power.

Biden’s Afghanistan Disaster

Facing economic collapse, Afghanistan is gripped by starvation. More than half of the country is expected to face potentially life-threatening food insecurity this winter. Many are already on the brink of catastrophe.

Western countries express concern over Afghan reprisals, Taliban reject accusations. The United States and a group of Western countries including Germany, France and Britain have expressed concern over reported killings and disappearances of former members of the Afghan security forces after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in August.

China Threat

China seeks first military base on Africa’s Atlantic Coast. Classified American intelligence reports suggest China intends to establish a military installation in Equatorial Guinea, a move that would give Beijing its first permanent naval presence on the Atlantic Ocean, according to U.S. officials.

US should expect cyberattacks in any struggle for Taiwan. Several U.S. defense leaders said Saturday they are worried that a confrontation with China over Taiwan would lead to a wave of significant cyberattacks against U.S. critical infrastructure that could disrupt day-to-day life.

US Marines, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force set to begin exercise Resolute Dragon. U.S. Marines and members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, alongside elements from the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army, are set to kick off their largest bilateral training exercise of the year with Resolute Dragon 2021 taking place at multiple training locations across Japan from Dec. 4-17.

Russia Threat

US intelligence estimates Russian troop levels on Ukraine border could reach 175,000. New US intelligence findings estimate Russia could begin a military offensive in Ukraine in a matter of months as it amasses up to 175,000 troops along the border, a startling escalation that President Joe Biden has warned could lead to severe consequences.

CREDIBLE WARNING? Biden warns Russia’s Vladimir Putin against Ukraine invasion. There are signs that the White House and Kremlin are close to arranging a conversation next week between Biden and Putin.

Top Army officer warns of ‘terrible impact’ from Russian posture near Ukraine. Top Army officer warns of ‘terrible impact’ from Russian posture near Ukraine Read More

Iran Threat

UAE’s top security official to visit Iran on Monday – Iranian media. The United Arab Emirates’ top national security adviser Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan will visit Iran on Monday to discuss expanding bilateral ties with the Islamic Republic, Iranian state media reported on Sunday.

Space Threat

Seizing the space debris moment from Russia. No one wins if earth’s orbital backyard becomes a junkyard.

Military

Air Force’s new goal? Get rid of planes that don’t scare China. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said the service urgently needs to retire outdated air frames so it can focus on developing modern aircraft to counter a rapidly modernizing Chinese military.

Delivery of the US Coast Guard’s new heavy icebreaker has been delayed yet again. The U.S. Coast Guard’s only operational heavy icebreaker might not have a replacement by the time it needs to retire, even after a major overhaul.

END of PDB

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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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