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Today’s PDB includes a variety of critical national security issues.
READ TODAY’S EXTENDED ‘RUSSIA THREAT’ PDB BELOW:
US, Japan agree to two defense pacts amid China worries. The U.S. and Japan are close to signing a new five-year pact for Japan to support U.S. military forces in the country and a new agreement to research and develop new defense technologies, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday.
Russia Threat – Ukraine
WHERE’S THE OUTRAGE? Biden admin weighs offering Russia cuts to US troops in Eastern Europe. Sources say U.S. cuts in Poland and the Baltics would have to be matched by Russian moves in the area. The White House denies cuts to troops stationed there are under consideration.
Russian forces surround Ukraine on three sides. This map shows how Moscow’s positioning could widen the conflict. Russian forces now surround Ukraine on three sides, and Western officials fear a military operation could start as soon as this month.
Analysis: ‘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.
Kazakhstan revolt adds new variable to Russia’s plans for Ukraine. Already, Russian military forces have been deployed to Kazakhstan. If greater numbers are needed, it would likely impact any plans Vladimir Putin has for Ukraine.
Russia Threat – Kazakhstan
Putin, after Kazakh unrest, says Russian-led bloc will stymie any coups. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday blamed Kazakhstan’s violent unrest on destructive internal and external forces and said the Russian-led CSTO military alliance would not allow its member governments to be toppled in ex-Soviet “color revolutions.”
Russia readies planes to pour more troops into Kazakhstan. Moscow said it had prepared more than 75 aircraft to allow for continuous deployment of forces to help Kazakh authorities reassert control following days of sometimes violent protests.
PROVE IT – Kazakhstan says Islamist radicals played role in attacks. Kazakhstan said on Monday that foreign-trained Islamist radicals were among those who had attacked government buildings and security forces last week and that police had now detained almost 8,000 people to bring the situation under control.
IRAN UNAFRAID – Sullivan warns Iran of ‘severe consequences’ if American citizens are attacked. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday warned Iran that it would face “serious consequences” if any U.S. citizens are attacked after Iranian officials sanctioned multiple Americans.
Israel not bound by any nuclear deal with Iran, Bennett says. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday that Israel would not be bound by any nuclear deal with Iran and would continue to consider itself free to act “with no constraints” against its arch-foe if necessary.
Saudi Arabia may run out of interceptor missiles in ‘months .’ As Houthi rebel attacks escalate, Riyadh has ‘an urgent situation’ as it runs out of missiles for its air-defense system, Financial Times newspaper reports.
North Korea Threat
South Korea disputes North’s claim of hypersonic missile test. South Korea’s Defense Ministry said it believes North Korea hasn’t acquired the technologies needed to launch a hypersonic weapon.
Biden’s Afghan Disaster
Baby lost during Taliban siege of Afghanistan reunited with family four months later. A baby who was handed over to US soldiers over an Afghanistan airport wall amid the Taliban takeover of the country was finally reunited with his family over four months later, according to reports.
Taliban Pressing for Prisoner Swap With US. Leaders of the Taliban are pressing Washington to free an Afghan drug lord serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison in exchange for the release of an American engineer, Mark Frerichs, held in Afghanistan for two years now, Afghan and American security, legal, and diplomatic sources said.
Military and Space
Marine amphibious combat vehicles to return to waterborne operations. The Marine Corps’ amphibious combat vehicle is “set to return” to unrestricted waterborne operations after the service developed a new way of using a tow rope for recovery operations, officials said.
END of PDB