THURSDAY PDB – Putin’s ‘Point of No Return’ on Ukraine? Putin Claims US Mercenaries Plan Chemical Warfare Attack, China-India Border Standoff Continues, Capitol Police Chief Can Now Call for Guard Himself, Hedging Against a China-Russia Pact, Chinese-American Sailor Sold stolen SOF Gear to China

Russian: Russian President Vladimir Putin during a joint press conference with President of Moldova Igor Dodon / Kremlin.ru

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

READ TODAY’S PDB BELOW:


China Threat

On volatile border between India and China, a high-altitude military buildup is underway. Following 13 rounds of inconclusive negotiations between military commanders since June 2020, the standoff is now entering a second winter, an unprecedented development that is stretching logistics and budgets — especially for India.

ESPIONAGE – Former US sailor sentenced for selling stolen special ops gear to China. Former Navy Logistics Specialist 1st Class Ye Sang “Ivy” Wang conspired with her husband to sell equipment to online customers, the Justice Department said.

Russia Threat

Russia claims US mercenaries plan chemical attack in Ukraine. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu claimed Tuesday that U.S. mercenaries were preparing Ukrainian special forces and radical armed groups for “active hostilities” in eastern Ukraine, and had delivered “an unidentified chemical component” to the region “to commit provocations.”

RUSSIAN SUBTERFUGE? OSCE says ceasefire agreement reached for eastern Ukraine. Negotiators from Ukraine, Russia and the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) agreed to restore a full ceasefire between the Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, the OSCE said on Wednesday.

Ukraine military conducts drills with US missiles near separatist region. Ukrainian military forces have conducted combat drills with U.S.-made Javelin anti-tank missiles in a conflict area with separatists in eastern Ukraine as tensions run high with Russia, Ukrainian Dom television channel said on Wednesday.

On invading Ukraine, Putin approaches a point of no return. If Russian troops massed around Ukraine do invade in the coming weeks, as many fear they will, Dec. 21, 2021, may go down as the day President Vladimir Putin fired the first rhetorical shot.

Homeland Security

DIRECT LINE – Capitol Police Chief can now ‘unilaterally’ ask for National Guard help in emergencies. The U.S. Capitol Police chief will be able to more quickly ask for the National Guard’s help in an emergency under a bill signed Wednesday by President Joe Biden.

International Security

Hedging US strategy against an emerging China-Russia partnership. Even so, the emergence of an anti-U.S. bloc with Beijing and Moscow at the helm is a serious enough proposition to hedge against.

US Navy seizes 1,400 assault rifles during illicit weapons interdiction. U.S. 5th Fleet ships seized approximately 1,400 AK-47 assault rifles and 226,600 rounds of ammunition from a stateless fishing vessel during a flag verification boarding in accordance with customary international law in the North Arabian Sea, Dec. 20.

Indonesia gives up on Russian aircraft purchase, instead turning to US and French options. Indonesia has admitted defeat in its attempt to buy Russian fighter jets and will now decide between the Boeing F-15EX Eagle II and the Dassault Rafale, according to the country’s Air Force chief of staff.

Biden’s Afghanistan Disaster

US moves to expand Afghan aid in hopes of easing Biden-created humanitarian crisis. The Treasury Department on Wednesday issued new licenses to loosen sanctions restricting assistance to Afghanistan, following a wave of appeals from aid organizations, lawmakers and others to prevent economic collapse and mass starvation.

Military and Space

Air Force Research Laboratory is one step closer to beaming solar energy from space to Earth. The Air Force Research Laboratory and Northrop Grumman have successfully converted solar energy to radio frequency, an essential first step toward a future satellite system that could beam energy from space to soldiers on the ground.

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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