THURSDAY PDB – 2021 in Review, China Threatens US Over Taiwan, Is Russia’s Ukraine Aggression Backfiring? France to Lead NATO QRF to Face Russia, Finally Ending Korean War? 4,000 Afghan Army Killed in Final Weeks Against Taliban, Does Space Force Need a National Guard?

Cpl. Matthew Dooley with 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, provides security while conducting a helo insertion to a nighttime urban terrain raid training during Exercise Iron Fist 2014 aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Feb. 18, 2014. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Emmanuel Ramos/Released)

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

READ TODAY’S PDB BELOW:


National Security

Conflicts and calls for accountability: The US military’s biggest stories of 2021. From the Capitol riot to the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, national security stories dominated discussions in 2021 as the world began to move beyond the pandemic.

The Pentagon’s new strategy might already be behind the times: 2022 Preview. A Russian invasion of Ukraine could derail the Defense Department’s planning.

New US Army cyber unit is building concepts for tactical cyber operations. After nearly two decades of conflict against technologically inferior and insurgency-focused adversaries, the U.S. military and the Army are honing their cyber training against more sophisticated forces.

China Threat

US at risk of paying ‘unbearable price’ over Taiwan – senior Chinese diplomat. By “encouraging ‘Taiwan independence’ forces” the United States “not only puts Taiwan into an extremely dangerous situation but also exposes the United States to an unbearable price”, Wang said.

Russia Threat

France primed to lead NATO unit designed to check Russian aggression. France is set to assume command of NATO’s quick-reaction spearhead force in the year ahead, replacing Turkey at the helm of a unit that could reinforce the alliance’s eastern flank if Russia attacks Ukraine.

State Department calls for release of detained Marine veterans amid rising Russia tensions. As tensions rise while Russia continues to station troops near the Ukraine border, the U.S. State Department Tuesday reiterated its call for the release of two Marine veterans currently imprisoned by Russian authorities.

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is backfiring. Putin’s military moves are rallying Ukrainians and unifying NATO

North Korea Threat

South Korea ‘effectively’ agrees on draft with US to end Korean War. South Korea has “effectively” agreed with the United States on a draft declaring the end of the Korean War, according to South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong, as reported by South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday.

Iran Threat

Russia, US officials say they’re coordinating on Iran nuclear talks in Vienna. Top U.S. and Russian officials for Iran have met in Vienna, a Russian envoy said on Wednesday, and delegates on both sides said Moscow and Washington were coordinating in a bid to salvage the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Homeland Security – Cyber

US Cyber Command 2021: A year in review. In the last year, the cyber security community has encountered new challenges and worked to adapt and respond in innovative ways. Ransomware is no longer considered just criminal activity, but a threat to National defense and infrastructure; deterrence is conducted across multiple domains simultaneously; and the value of partnerships in cyber defense across nations is reasserted again and again.

Biden’s Afghanistan Disaster

YES, THEY FOUGHT – Final weeks of fighting among deadliest for Afghan security forces, former official says: 4,000 dead and 1,000 missing. The weeks before the fall of Kabul, which was seized days after Kunduz, are emerging as one of the deadliest periods for Afghan security forces in two decades of war. The Taliban’s complete military takeover of Afghanistan left about 4,000 members of the country’s security forces dead and another 1,000 missing, according to Afghanistan’s former army chief of staff, Gen. Yasin Zia, citing data he collected from former military commanders from July 1 to Aug. 15.

Military and Space

New in 2022: Marines are finally leveling up their drone game. The Marines are buying more heavy-duty, armed drones in 2022 than ever before.

Congress turns down a Space National Guard again, but Space Force isn’t giving up. Military leaders this year continued pushing Congress to create a new National Guard as part of the fledgling Space Force, but lawmakers still aren’t convinced.

2021: More space launches than any year in history since Sputnik. The pace of space exploration was frenetic in 2021, with major developments in space policy, and 2022 promises to be just as exciting.

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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