TUESDAY PDB – Taiwan Flashpoint for War with China, Partisan Jan. 6 Panel Guns for Trump, Russian Invasion of Ukraine Would be Costly, Lawmakers’ Conflict of Interest with Defense Firms, End of Korean War?

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with Russian Officials / Kremlin.ru

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


Pentagon Watch

Who got the shot? Penalties loom for unvaccinated troops ahead of deadline. The Army stares down its first major COVID 19 vaccine deadline, and the penalties for soldiers who don’t get inoculated can be severe.

Washington Watch

At least 15 lawmakers who shape US defense policy have investments in military contractors. At least 15 lawmakers who hold powerful positions on a pair of House and Senate committees that control US military policy have financial ties to prominent defense contractors that together were worth nearly $1 million in 2020, according to an Insider analysis of federal financial records.

WITCH HUNT CONTINUES — Jan. 6 panel wants to know about Trump’s role in Guard response, set to vote on holding Meadows in contempt. Congress wants to know what discussions then-President Donald Trump had about the National Guard on Jan. 6.

International Security

Canadian defense minister: We will always ensure our military is ready, willing and able. Around the globe, including in Canada, citizens and governments are being reminded of the value of a modern, capable and professional military.

Biden’s Afghanistan Disaster

As evacuations from Afghanistan slow to a trickle, some ‘at-risk’ allies may face long road to the United States. Since the final military plane departed Aug. 31, Biden administration officials from the president on down have repeatedly pledged to continue helping all “at-risk” Afghans left behind.

Taliban seek ties with US, other ex-foes. Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi also told The Associated Press that the Taliban government wants good relations with all countries and has no issue with the United States.

China Threat

As US and China warily eye each other, Taiwan could be the flashpoint. The United States and China are squaring off in a global competition with a scale unseen since the Cold War, as the two nuclear powers race for military dominance and new weaponry that ranges across the seas, space, cyberspace and beyond.

Blinken vows more US military might in Indo-Pacific to push back against China. The United States will expand its military and economic relationships with partners in Asia to push back against China’s increasing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday.

Russia Threat

Russian invasion of Ukraine could be costly even without US troops involved, experts say. Outside observers say Ukrainian troops are better prepared for a fight now than they were in 2014.

Russia says it may be forced to deploy mid-range nuclear missiles in Europe. The warning from Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov raised the risk of a new arms build-up on the continent, with East-West tensions at their worst since the Cold War ended three decades ago.

Iran Threat

Report: ‘Ruthlessly efficient’ secret US military cell in Syria thumbed its nose at rules, inflicted many civilian casualties. A clandestine U.S. military strike cell that directed attacks on Islamic State targets in Syria repeatedly skirted protocols meant to protect civilians, leading to numerous “bad strikes,” according to a new report.

North Court

US, North Korea, China agree ‘in principle’ on formal end to Korean War, South’s president says. The United States, North Korea and China have agreed “in principle” to declare a formal end to the Korean War, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Monday.

Space Threat

Air and space capabilities will decide tomorrow’s conflicts. One of the main trends in the development of armed conflicts in the 21st century is the expansion of multidomain battle.


Navy: sailor accused of igniting warship was ‘disgruntled. ’The hearing will determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a military trial.

The Navy is testing this adorable sailboat drone. The 23-foot vessel could help its bigger Navy brethren see further over the horizon.


PLEASE DONATE NOW – Our Afghan Allies Still Need Help After Biden Retreat as Afghanistan Collapses

Please help us KEEP SAVING LIVES by supporting our ongoing Afghan Evacuation Effort for AT-RISK Afghans – ‘PLAN B’ – the ARC (Afghan Rescue Crew).

Our Afghan allies helped by this effort are fully vetted and proven to be at-risk.

GoFundMe Afghan Evacuation – Save Lives

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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