TUESDAY PDB – Putin Unimpressed by Biden Warnings? DC Guard Claims Army Lying about Jan. 6, Defense Priorities Imperiled by Budget Battle, Biden’s ‘Diplomatic’ Boycott of Beijing Olympics, Air Force and Marines Test New Weapons to Face China, India Cozying Up To Russia Despite Biden Pressure

Marines with security forces platoon, 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, conduct physical fitness training aboard Camp Francis, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., on Aug. 5, 2014. / U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Corey Dabney/Released

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


Pentagon Watch

DC Guard official says the Army is lying about its role in deploying troops on Jan. 6. National Guard officials are calling on Congress to review the Army’s version of events.

BIDEN’S PARTISAN PURGE – Former Trump officials hit roadblock in effort to force way back onto Naval Academy Board. An effort to get back onto the U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors by former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and ex-Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought has hit a roadblock after a federal judge blocked the two men’s request for immediate reinstatement.

Washington Watch

Austin: Stopgap funding for a full year would limit Pentagon’s China-focused programs, harm troops. Neither chamber of Congress has yet passed a fiscal 2022 defense appropriations bill and lawmakers have indicated they are not yet close to voting on the critical measures.

Senate GOP rejects debt limit fix on must-pass defense bill. It’s a strategy that Democratic leaders have floated to rescue Congress from a borrowing-limit box canyon. But many upper-chamber Republicans are not impressed.

International Security

Russia, India cement military ties despite US pressure. The two countries said delivery of a Russian missile system to India is proceeding despite U.S. sanctions threats.

ICC prosecutor defends dropping US from Afghan war crime probe. The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) prosecutor has defended omitting the United States from an investigation in Afghanistan, saying the “worst crimes” were committed by the Taliban and the ISIL (ISIS).

Biden’s Afghanistan Disaster         

34,000 Afghan refugees remain on seven military bases in the US three months after evacuation mission. About 34,000 Afghan evacuees are still living on seven military bases in the United States more than three months after the U.S. military’s final flight out of Kabul on Aug. 30, chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Monday.

China Threat

China’s navy seeks Atlantic base in West African nation, report says. China has its eyes on Equatorial Guinea for a new military base, which would give Beijing a new naval foothold in the Atlantic Ocean, according to a media report that comes following long-standing concerns among U.S. military leaders about China’s ambitions in West Africa.

US announces diplomatic boycott of 2022 Beijing Olympics. White House says US will not send diplomats to upcoming Winter Games over China’s rights abuses, including in Xinjiang.

Chinese flights near Taiwan look like ‘rehearsal,’ US officials warn. The INDOPACOM chief also weighed in on whether Guam’s missile defense capabilities will be ready by fiscal year 2026.

Australia and Papua New Guinea revive World War II-era naval base built by Americans. Australia and Papua New Guinea have completed first steps and begun major refurbishment of a navy base built by U.S. forces on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, during World War II.

Russia Threat

IS THAT CONSIDERED A THREAT? US says it will send troops to eastern Europe if Russia invades Ukraine. The US has said it would send reinforcements to NATO’s eastern flank in response to a Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as imposing severe new economic measures, in a warning to Moscow on the eve of talks between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin.

Conflict with Russia over Ukraine not “inevitable,” Pentagon says in push for diplomacy. There’s still time for diplomacy to tamp down tensions along the Russia-Ukraine border as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to surge troop numbers in the region, chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Monday.

Here’s what America must do to counter Russian aggression against Ukraine. Now is the time for the United States to reassert its leadership. Freedom-loving people around the globe are looking to America for assurances we will live up to our values and defend those sacred ideals of life, liberty and opportunity that we hold so dearly. If we fail to act, we may very well see the rapid decline of freedom and democracy in all corners. The international order we rely on will be upended and our national prosperity will be imperiled.

Ethiopia Conflict

Ethiopian forces have recaptured two strategic towns, government says. Ethiopian forces have recaptured the strategic towns of Dessie and Kombolcha from rebellious Tigrayan forces, the government said on Monday, the latest sign of the government retaking territory.


2 new secret combat drones are in the works, Air Force secretary says. The disclosure is the strongest indication yet that the service is banking on autonomous weapon systems to give it an edge in the increasingly fierce military competition with China.

Marines run joint test fire with new missile from Viper helicopter. The weapon lets helicopters hit fast-moving maritime targets more easily.


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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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