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Today’s PDB includes a variety of critical national security issues.
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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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
Seizing the space debris moment from Russia. No one wins if earth’s orbital backyard becomes a junkyard.
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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