THURSDAY PDB – Biden’s Weak Response to Putin’s Ukraine Threat, Urgent Need to Bolster Taiwan’s Defense against China Threat, More US Forces Need in Asia, US-Israel Prepare Military Options vs Iran, Biden Forced to Reboot Trump Border Policy, Less Marines – More Amphib Ships

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin meet in Russia . Photo by Kremlin.ru

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

READ TODAY’S PDB BELOW:

Pentagon Watch

UNIMPRESSED – Biden’s New National Defense Strategy to be released early 2022. The document will follow the release of the new National Security Strategy.

Homeland Security

US sends first migrants to Mexico in reboot of Trump policy. The United States has returned the first two migrants to Mexico since restarting a Trump-era program to remove asylum seekers from U.S. soil, officials said Wednesday, as the Biden administration grapples with pressure to curb immigration.

Death, drugs and a disbanded unit: How the Guard’s Mexico border mission fell apart. For much of 2021, more than 4,000 Guard personnel from 20 states helped monitor the U.S.-Mexico border alongside Customs and Border Protection personnel.

International Security

BIG LOSS – India’s military chief, 12 others killed in helicopter crash. India’s military chief, Gen. Bipin Rawat, and 12 others were killed Wednesday in a helicopter crash in southern Tamil Nadu state, the Air Force said.

Biden’s Afghanistan Disaster

Visit to a lost CIA base in Afghanistan. Shkin allowed CIA to monitor al-Qaeda fighters on both sides of the Af-Pak border. Now the Taliban has it and jihadis are back.

China Threat

Not enough US ‘defensive capabilities’ in Asia: US Army Japan commander. Citing China, North Korea and Russia, Maj. Gen. Joel Vowell said he’d “champion for […] a more integrated air and missile defense protection in the first island chain.”

US defense official says boosting Taiwan’s defenses an ‘urgent task.‘ Bolstering Taiwan’s defenses is an urgent task and essential to deterring the threat of invasion by China, the Pentagon’s top official for Asia said on Wednesday, adding that U.S. partners were stepping up their military presence in the region.

Can ‘Top Gun’ training give US, Taiwan leverage to keep China at bay? It was an image that got the Pentagon’s attention: Satellite photos of targets shaped like an American aircraft carrier and at least two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers on a Chinese military weapons range.

Russia Threat

BIDEN’S WEAKNESS – No plans to send more troops to Ukraine, Biden says. Tensions between Russia and western nations have risen in recent months as Russian military forces have massed along the Ukraine border. Ukrainian military officials have said they expect a military invasion of their country as early as next month.

Defending Ukraine: US must offer military support not just economic threats. The West is facing a profound series of decisions on Ukraine. Despite President Biden’s videoconference with Russian President Putin and agreement to have their teams “follow up” on diplomacy, the threat remains from Russia’s extensive and threatening military buildup on Ukraine’s borders.

How the US Military could mobilize if Russia invades Ukraine. While it’s not certain whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will launch a new invasion of Ukraine, what has become clear is that there will be an allied military response of some form within NATO territory if an attack does occur.

US to deliver small arms and ammunition to Ukraine amid Russian tensions, Pentagon says. The United States is expected to deliver small arms and ammunition to Ukraine this week as Russian troops continue to mass at the nation’s northeastern border, chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday.

Iran Threat

As diplomacy stutters, US, Israel to discuss military drills for Iran scenario -US official. U.S. and Israeli defense chiefs are expected on Thursday to discuss possible military exercises that would prepare for a worst-case scenario to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities should diplomacy fail and if their nations’ leaders request it, a senior U.S. official told Reuters.

WHAT BIDEN SHOULD HAVE DONE IN AFGHANISTAN – Iraqi official says US-led troops end combat mission, as planned. Iraq’s national security adviser said on Thursday that U.S.-led forces had ended their combat mission in Iraq, a move that transfers all remaining troops into a training and advising role.

Space Threat

UMMM? Should killing a satellite provoke war on Earth? A Space Force official says the service is considering how to respond to attacks in orbit.

Military

Berger: I’ll accept a smaller Marine Corps to make light amphibs happen. The Marine Corps’ top general on Saturday doubled down on his willingness to sacrifice manpower for new systems needed to deter or defeat China, amid growing worries the defense budget may not include enough funding to protect programs like the light amphibious warship.   

END of PDB

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