WEDNESDAY PDB – Defending the Capitol, UN Warns of ‘Killer Robots,’ Historic Israeli Visit to UAE, Biden’s Talk on Space Needs Actions, Thousands of Afghans Still Trapped in Afghanistan, Ukraine Prepares to Defend Against Russia Attack

Web Summit via Wikimedia Commons

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY – American Defense News (ADN) – in collaboration with the Center for American Defense Studies (CADS) – provides our readers the PDB:

Not the President’s Daily Brief, but almost as good – PAUL’S DAILY BRIEFING.

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

READ TODAY’S PDB BELOW:

Pentagon Watch

HALLELUJAH – Pentagon stops implementing vaccine mandate for defense contractors. A Pentagon spokeswoman says the department has stopped implementing the vaccine mandate for federal contractors.

Washington Watch

What did the National Guard do? Jan. 6 probe hones in on Guard response. The congressional panel investigating the attack that disrupted certification of the presidential election in January is seeking answers to a range of questions from that day, but the National Guard has become one of the focal points of the inquiry.

Homeland Security

Senate looks to allow for easier National Guard defense of Capitol. The Senate unanimously passed a measure Monday evening that would allow the Capitol Police to request assistance from the National Guard without approval from the Capitol Police Board, removing a bureaucratic step that critics say could hinder the police force’s ability to react quickly in an emergency.

International Security

Lithuania’s defense minister: How to tackle threats bleeding into the new year. The year 2021 is marked by the continued rise of China, unprecedented Russian military activities close to NATO borders and the weaponization of illegal migrants by Belarus, coupled with the continued COVID-19 pandemic and the international community’s attempts to address climate change.

UN addresses lethal autonomous weapons — aka ‘killer robots’ — amid calls for a treaty. The United Nations’ secretary-general advocated for new restrictions on autonomous weapons as a U.N. group that negotiates weapons protocols started a week of meetings, in part, to discuss the matter.

Biden’s Afghanistan Disaster

Thousands of Afghan allies, families still trapped under Taliban control. Thousands of Afghans who assisted the United States government and military during the two-decade-long war against the Taliban are still stuck in the country — along with thousands more of their family members, advocates tell The Post.

Afghan victims saddened US drone strike to go unpunished. A hellfire missile had slammed into a car belonging to Zemerai Ahmadi, killing him and nine relatives, including seven children, in the chaotic final days of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

China Threat

China targeted Taipei’s allies while US hosted democracy summit -Taiwan foreign minister. Nicaragua’s decision last week to cut ties with Taiwan was part of a deliberate move by China to target the island’s diplomatic allies after it was excluded from a democracy summit hosted by Washington.

Russia Threat

Ukrainian troop buildup is defensive, defense minister says. In recent weeks, there has been a massive Russian troop buildup near Ukraine’s border which has prompted fears of a possible invasion in Kyiv and the West.

NATO rejects Russian accusations on missile deployment. NATO is not planning to deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe, the Western military alliance said on Tuesday, rejecting Russian accusations and a call by Moscow for a moratorium on this kind of weapons in Europe.

Iran Threat

THANKS TO TRUMP — Israeli leader holds historic meeting with Emirati Crown Prince. The Israeli prime minister met the crown prince of Abu Dhabi on Monday on the first official visit by an Israeli leader to the United Arab Emirates, a historic encounter that would have been unimaginable a few years ago and showcased the rapid realignment of the Middle East, driven by shared fears of a nuclear Iran.

Space Threat

PROBABLY NOT – Will strong actions follow words in Biden’s space policy. The new Space Priorities Framework put forward by the Biden administration makes promises on global leadership, space traffic coordination, and deterrence.

Military

Marine Corps commandant calls for focus on small forces not just hypersonic weapons to challenge China in the Pacific. Marines – not just hypersonic missiles – are key to preventing a conflict with China and its growing military arsenal, the top general for the Marine Corps said Tuesday.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin presses National Guard leader for answers, data about the high suicide rate in the force. Responding to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation into the high suicide rate in the National Guard, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has asked the head of the force to release specific numbers of deaths and provide details about how the Guard can provide better care for its members.

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.

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