FRIDAY PDB – Biden DoD Nominee Admits They Were Weak on Russia in 2014, Russia Hits Ukraine with Massive Cyberattack, Did US Plan to Shoot Down North Korean Missile? Sedition Charges Against Some Capitol Rioters, Millions of Afghans Facing Death After Biden Retreat

The National Guard via Wikimedia Commons

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


National Security

OBAMA-BIDEN WEAK ON RUSSIA IN 2014 – Amid Russia crisis, Pentagon nominee criticizes Obama response to Crimea. A top Pentagon pick for President Joe Biden has criticized the Obama administration’s response to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine as “too slow and too incremental,” at her confirmation hearing Thursday.

Russia Threat – Ukraine

Be afraid’: Ukraine hit by cyberattack, Russia moves more troops. Ukraine was hit by a massive cyberattack warning its citizens to “be afraid and expect the worst”, and Russia, which has massed more than 100,000 troops on its neighbor’s frontier, released TV pictures on Friday of more forces deploying in a drill.

US warns Russia is sounding ‘drumbeats of war’ against Ukraine as crisis talks end with no breakthrough. A senior US official warned Thursday that the “drumbeat of war is sounding loud” following a week’s worth of diplomacy between the West and Russia that wrapped up Thursday.

Russia demands US, NATO response next week on Ukraine. Russia on Friday strongly repeated its demand that NATO will not expand eastward, despite the rejection of that by the military alliance amid a Russian troop buildup near Ukraine.

Russia Threat

Russia suggests military deployment to Venezuela, Cuba if tensions with US remain high. Deputy foreign minister says Moscow couldn’t exclude sending military infrastructure to the two countries.

Sweden boosts patrols on Gotland amid Russia tensions. Sweden’s military said on Thursday it was ramping up its visible activities on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland amid increased tensions between NATO and Russia and a recent deployment of Russian landing craft in the Baltic.

North Korea Threat

N Korea fires missiles in response to US sanctions. North Korea on Friday fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles in its third weapons launch this month, officials in South Korea said, in an apparent reprisal for fresh sanctions imposed by the Biden administration for its continuing test launches.

Did US military prepare to shoot down a North Korean missile from the West Coast? Although officials have yet to confirm a correlation, a North Korean missile launch coincided with parts of the West Coast grounding flights and clearing air space.

Homeland Security

WILL SEDITION CHARGES STICK? Oath Keeper militia members including 5 veterans indicted on sedition charges for Jan. 6 Riot. Federal prosecutors announced Thursday that 11 members of the Oath Keepers, including the militia group’s leader Elmer Rhodes, have been indicted on sedition charges for their actions during the riot that took place at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Guard’s federal border mission now faces Northern Command probe. Officials from U.S. Northern Command have launched an investigation “into a wide range of alleged issues” among National Guard units deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border under federal control.

Biden’s Afghan Disaster

UN chief warns millions of Afghans are on ‘verge of death.’ The United Nations chief has warned that millions of Afghans are on the “verge of death”, urging the international community to fund the UN’s $5bn humanitarian appeal, release Afghanistan’s frozen assets and jump-start its banking system to avert economic and social collapse.

BIDEN’S EXPENSIVE RETREAT – Cost for Afghan refugees at bases reaches $688 million, Pentagon says. The military’s total cost for housing tens of thousands of Afghan refugees at U.S. bases has already topped $688 million, according to the Defense Department.

International Security

Sweden to withdraw from French-led special forces mission in Mali – minister. Sweden has decided to withdraw its troops this year from a European special forces mission to the Sahel region, and will review its U.N. contribution after the arrival of private Russian military contractors in Mali, its foreign minister said.

Military and Space

Is the Space Force doing what it’s supposed to? [Infographics]. Respondents to the Breaking Defense Space Survey have differing opinions on how effective the Space Force has been, two years in.

Coast Guard chief says no room to accelerate icebreaker. The Coast Guard is undergoing an ambitious shipbuilding plan to acquire three new Polar Security Cutters to bolster its presence in the Arctic.



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.COM

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