FRIDAY PDB – Putin’s Real Goals in Ukraine Crisis, Guard vs DoD Over Vax Mandates, French Army to Go ‘High-Intensity,’ 60,000 Afghan ‘Terps’ and SIVs Still Left Behind by Biden, Congress Increases Biden’s Anemic Defense Budget to Face CCP China, Iran Doubling its Defense Budget

Vice President Joe Biden holds an event with voters in the gymnasium at McKinley Elementary School in Des Moines, where he addressed a number of issues including the recent escalation with Iran. / Photo by Phil Roeder via Flickr

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

READ TODAY’S PDB BELOW:

Pentagon Watch

Texas joins growing list of governors protesting National Guard vaccine mandate. A seventh Republican governor is asking Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to reconsider COVID-19 vaccination requirements for National Guard members.

IS THIS LEGAL? Defense bill bans private funds for deploying National Guard. The annual bill also made landmark changes to the way the military handles sexual assaults, keeps women out of the draft and lays the groundwork for a new war memorial on the National Mall.

Washington Watch

PARTISAN WITCH HUNT CONTINUES – House Jan. 6 committee subpoenas retired Army colonel who worked for Trump’s outside legal team. The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob announced Thursday it had issued a subpoena to retired Army Col. Phil Waldron as it investigates the causes of the insurrection.

Homeland Security

BIDEN’S BORDER CRISIS AT SEA – 100 people detained in human smuggling attempts off Florida coast from Sunday to Tuesday. The U.S. Coast Guard and federal immigration agencies stopped three human smuggling attempts and detained 100 people off Florida’s coast from Sunday to Tuesday, the military branch said in a news release sent on Wednesday.

International Security

Norwegian vessel teams up with US carrier strike group, maintaining trend toward cooperation. A Norwegian navy warship is sailing alongside a group of American counterparts, and the cooperative deployment is the first ever between the two NATO allies.

France wants to transform its ‘beautiful’ army for high-intensity warfare. Just as the US military has come to understand that the ‘’long wars’’ of Iraq and Afghanistan diverted forces from training for future full-spectrum peer-to-peer conflicts, the French military has been increasingly warning about the risks involved with two decades of heavy focus on overseas operations at the expense of incoming threats.

Biden’s Afghanistan Disaster

DISGRACEFUL – More than 60,000 interpreters, visa applicants remain in Afghanistan. About 33,000 of those could be eligible for immediate evacuation, State Department says.

China Threat

CONGRESS, NOT BIDEN – US military spending grows as policy shifts to ‘prioritise China.’ Months after US President Joe Biden’s administration pulled the last American troops out of Afghanistan as part of his promise to end the country’s “forever wars“, the United States Congress approved a $777.7bn defence budget, a five percent increase from last year.

Minot B-52s fly to Canada then Calif. to practice the bomber version of ACE. Preparing for conflict in the Pacific will require more than learning to fly fighters out of austere locations—it will also call for small bomber crews to go on quick consecutive missions to unfamiliar places.

Russia Threat

PUTIN’S REAL GOAL? Russia hands draft security pacts to US, expects quick talks. The Kremlin said Thursday that Russia submitted draft documents outlining security arrangements it wants to negotiate with the United States and its NATO allies amid spiraling tensions over Ukraine.

NATO signals support for Ukraine in face of threat from Russia. The military alliance stood by its promise to open a path to Ukrainian membership amid warnings from Western intelligence agencies that Moscow could soon begin a military incursion.

All-out war or ‘creeping occupation’ among Putin options, says Ukraine MoD. Moscow’s proposals were passed on to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried. There are two potential courses of action Putin could take — either all-out war or a “creeping occupation” of Ukraine, that nation’s Ministry of Defense tells Military Times.

Swedish commander: US should add troops in Europe if Russia-Ukraine crisis deepens. Gen. Micael Bydén, the Swedish supreme commander, spoke to POLITICO Thursday amid a visit to Washington where he met with counterparts including Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Iran Threat

PREPARING FOR WAR? Iran more than doubles Revolutionary Guard’s budget in FY22 bill. According to the legislation for fiscal 2022, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps will receive 930 trillion rials (U.S. $22 billion). Last year, the force was given a budget of 403 trillion rials.

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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William Petite
William Petite
1 month ago

Putin wants to deal with the weakest link. You put someone in power by corrupt means, this is what happens. They can’t even deal with the problems in this country, have only made them worse.


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