MONDAY PDB – Biden Evacuating Embassy in Kyiv, Dual US Carriers in South China Sea as Chinese Jets Fly Toward Taiwan, Sending More Military Aid to Ukraine, Will Sending US Troops to Baltics Backfire? Space Force’s Orbital ‘Neighborhood Watch,’ Russia-Syria Joint Air Patrols

A U.S. Marine with Georgia Liaison Team 12 posts security while on patrol with the 32nd Georgian Infantry Battalion before the MRE at the Algeti Training Area, Georgia, Oct. 15, 2020. The Mission Rehearsal Exercise is a training and assessment focused on preparing the Georgian infantry battalions to integrate and contribute to the NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Devin J. Andrews)

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


China Threat

US carriers train in South China Sea as Taiwan reports further Chinese incursion. Two U.S. aircraft carrier groups have entered the disputed South China Sea for training, the Department of Defense said on Monday as Taiwan reported a new Chinese air force incursion at the top of the waterway including a fearsome new electronic warfare jet.

China sends 39 warplanes toward Taiwan, largest in new year. China flew 39 warplanes toward Taiwan in its largest such sortie of the new year, amid tensions over the self-ruled island’s future and as the U.S. pushes to assert its presence in the region.

US hits Chinese defense companies with sanctions. The penalties apply to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. First Academy; China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. Fourth Academy; and Poly Technologies Inc. and their subsidiaries.

Russia Threat – Ukraine

US draws down Ukraine embassy presence as war fears mount. The move came amid rising tensions about Russia’s military buildup on the Ukraine border.

US sends more military equipment to Ukraine. Latest deliveries to arrive today as DOD searches its inventory for more to send.

NATO sends ships, jets east, Ireland rejects Russia drills over Ukraine threat. NATO said Monday that it’s putting extra forces on standby and sending more ships and fighter jets to eastern Europe, as Ireland warned that new Russian war games off its coast are not welcome given tensions over whether President Vladimir Putin intends to attack Ukraine.

Short-notice deployments designed to deter Russia could backfire, Army-sponsored study says. A Pentagon strategy that emphasizes unpredictable short-term troop rotations to Europe is more likely to risk escalation with Russia than a forward-based military presence on the Continent, a U.S. Army-commissioned study found.

Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, NATO allies to launch exercise in Mediterranean. The aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman and its strike group will team up with NATO forces next week in the Mediterranean Sea to launch a new maritime exercise: Neptune Strike ‘22.

Iran Threat

THAAD, in first operational use, destroys midrange ballistic missile in Houthi attack. A multibillion-dollar missile defense system owned by the United Arab Emirates and developed by the U.S. military intercepted a ballistic missile on Monday during a deadly attack by Iran-backed Houthi militants in Abu Dhabi, marking the system’s first known use in a military operation.

International Security

Syria, Russia start joint air force patrols over Syrian territory. Syrian and Russian military jets jointly patrolled the airspace along Syria’s borders on Monday and plan to make such flights regular, the Interfax news agency quoted Russia’s defense ministry as saying.

Biden Afghanistan Disaster

Veterans helping Afghan veterans, allies after withdrawal. The moral injury of the fall of Afghanistan has affected thousands of U.S. veterans and survivors.

Dozens of Democrats call out Biden over drone strikes that kill civilians: ‘We cannot accept a continuation of the status quo.’ Democrats called out Biden over an August 29 drone strike in Kabul that killed 10 civilians.

Military and Space

Space Force expands on-orbit ‘neighborhood watch’ mission with two new tracking satellites. The U.S. Space Force just launched two new space domain awareness satellites, expanding the capability of its Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program and boosting the accuracy of the service’s on-orbit tracking constellation.


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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