WEDNESDAY PDB – Putin on Ukraine: ‘No Where to Retreat,’ Ukraine is No ‘Walkover,’ US-China Rivalry to Escalate in 2022, Israel Involved in Strike that Killed Soleimani, Biden Betrays Afghan Allies Trying to Enter US, Japan Pays More for US Troops

USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) transits the South China Sea. Fitzgerald is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. / U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Patrick Dionne/Released

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

READ TODAY’S PDB BELOW:

China Threat

Where is the US-China relationship headed in 2022?  The US and China are increasingly locked in a serious economic and geopolitical competition, and the rivalry looks set to escalate next year.

Russia Threat

Putin says Russia has ‘nowhere to retreat’ over Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had no room to retreat in a standoff with the United States over Ukraine and would be forced into a tough response unless the West dropped its “aggressive line”.

No walkover’: Ukraine could extract high price for any Russian attack. Ukraine’s armed forces are heavily outnumbered and outgunned by Russia’s but could put up a level of resistance that would force Russian President Vladimir Putin to pay a price of many thousands of Russian lives for any new invasion.

What’s happening in Ukraine, and will Russia really invade? In early December, U.S. intelligence agencies warned that Russia was planning a massive military invasion of Ukraine. Here’s why Moscow would do that, and what would happen if they did. 

US approves sale of Javelin missiles to Lithuania as Russia tensions build. The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of Javelin anti-tank missiles to the government of Lithuania in a deal valued at up to $125 million. 

Iran Threat

Israel was involved in US drone strike that killed Soleimani, ex-intel chief says. Soleimani headed the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force and helped orchestrate Iran’s involvement with paramilitary groups abroad.

Military

How weather is playing a role in information warfare. Hacks, leaked documents and information operations orchestrated through social media were the pinnacle of information warfare in the last couple of years. But for the U.S. military, there is another sphere leaders are eyeing: weather.

Marines vs. pigs, and troops in trouble on the border. The Marine Corps tries a new program to teach troops how to source food, fuel and other items from wherever they get deployed — right down to buying and butchering their own dinner. Plus an update on how National Guard members deployed to the southern U.S. border have been finding more trouble than jobs to do.

International Security

THANK YOU TRUMP – Japan agrees to higher tab for hosting US forces over next five years. Japan has agreed to increase its share of funding for U.S. troops stationed in Japan to 1.06 trillion yen, or $9.3 billion, over the next five years.

Biden’s Afghanistan Disaster

Biden administration starts denying Afghans’ requests to enter U.S. Advocates say the government belatedly set unnecessarily steep barriers that many Afghans can’t surmount.

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. - paulcrespo.substack.com - PAULCRESPO.COM

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