WEDNESDAY PDB – China’s Growing Military Advantage Over Taiwan, Russia Ready to Attack Ukraine on ‘Very Short Notice,’ How US Can Support an Anti-Russian Insurgency in Ukraine, Iran’s Proxy Drone Attacks, DoD Blimps for US Border

A Marine with Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, fires on a target during a weapons zeroing range at G21, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Sept. 3, 2015. / U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Paul S. Martinez

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


China Threat

Pentagon charts show China’s military advantage over Taiwan. China continued its rapid military modernization in 2021, increasing the size and quality of its armed forces.

Vinson strike group, Essex ARG conduct operations in South China Sea. The exercise marked the first time an amphibious ready group has operated with an “advanced Air Wing of the Future,” according to the Navy.

Russia Threat – Ukraine

Blinken arrives in Ukraine, says Russia could attack at short notice. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Kyiv on Wednesday in a whistle-stop diplomatic push to defuse tensions with Moscow over Ukraine, warning that Russia could launch a new attack at “very short notice”. 

Russia moves more troops westward amid Ukraine tensions. Russia is sending troops from the country’s far east to Belarus for major war games, officials said Tuesday.

US boosts military aid to Ukraine as Russia tensions soar. As U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Ukraine, the Biden administration said Wednesday it’s providing an additional $200 million in defensive military aid to the country amid soaring fears of a Russian invasion.

US weighs more military support for Ukraine to resist Russia if it invades. The Biden administration is weighing new options, including providing more arms to Ukraine to resist a Russian occupation, to try to raise the costs for Russian President Vladimir Putin should he decide to invade the country.

Former army general on how the US could back a Ukrainian insurgency against Russia. NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly talks with Peter Zwack, former U.S. Army Brigadier General and global fellow at the Wilson Center, about the possibility of the U.S. arming Ukraine in an insurgency.

Germany signals it could halt gas pipeline if Russia invades Ukraine. Germany signaled on Tuesday that it could halt the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia if Moscow invades Ukraine, and Western nations rallied behind Kyiv over a Russian troop buildup that has stoked fears of war.

Factbox: Russian military drills in Belarus create new threats for Ukraine. Joint military exercises between Russia and Belarus in the coming weeks will provide Russian President Vladimir Putin with new options if he decides to attack Ukraine and will further stretch that country’s defences, military analysts say.

Iran Threat

UAE raid raises Yemen stakes, draws closer scrutiny of Iran allies. By attacking the United Arab Emirates the Houthis sought to warn the Gulf state to stay out of a battle for prized energy regions in Yemen, where the Iran-aligned group has been angered by losses to forces backed by the powerful U.S. ally.

Iran’s Raisi says Moscow visit ‘turning point’ in bilateral ties. Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has said his visit to Moscow could mark a “turning point” in bilateral relations between the two countries ahead of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

North Korea Threat

North Korea says tactical guided missiles struck island target off its eastern coast.  North Korea claims that a pair of guided missiles launched from Pyongyang on Monday “precisely” hit their island target off the country’s eastern coast.

International Security

Can Pakistan counter India’s new S-400 air defense system? Overconfidence in its newly acquired S-400 air defense system may give India a false sense of invulnerability and increase the likelihood of a military miscalculation involving archrival Pakistan, analysts warn.

Homeland Security

Pentagon agrees to spend $52M on blimps flying surveillance missions at the US-Mexico border. The Defense Department has agreed to spend about $52.5 million to operate and maintain observation blimps at the U.S. border with Mexico as part of an ongoing mission in the region.

Texas Guardsman shoots suspected smuggling vehicle near border. The driver of the Chrysler 300 was attempting to run down the soldiers, according to an incident report obtained by Army Times.


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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