TUESDAY PDB – Ukraine War Tests Putin Ties with China, US Signals Support for Taiwan, National Guard at Biden State of the Union, German Warplanes Over Poland, Air Force Drone Killers, Marines’ New Pacific Islands Fighters

Soldiers with the Maine Army National Guard, stand guard in Washington, D.C., Jan. 19, 2021. / Photo by U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Christopher Hal

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY – American Defense News (ADN) – in collaboration with the Center for American Defense Studies (CADS) – provides our readers the PDB:

Not the President’s Daily Brief, but almost as good – PAUL’S DAILY BRIEFING.

Get Your Best Daily Defense and Foreign Affairs Intelligence Here in One Brief.

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

Daily ‘RUSSIA WAR BRIEF’ on the Ukraine Invasion Provided SEPARATELY

READ TODAY’S PDB BELOW:

NATIONAL SECURITY

Putin just pushed the world into an even bigger energy crisis. Even without sanctions, Russia’s war will increase the shortage of oil and gas.

NATO and Putin’s bad assumptions. A former NATO Supreme Allied Commander takes aim at the Russian President’s less-than-perfect assumptions about invading Ukraine and the opportunity presented for NATO.

CHINA THREAT 

MORE FORCEFUL POSTURE WOULD BE BETTER – Exclusive: Biden sends former top defense officials to Taiwan in show of support. U.S. President Joe Biden will send a delegation of former senior defense and security officials to Taiwan on Monday, a senior official of his administration said, a sign of support for the island claimed by China after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine invasion tests the ties that bind Putin and Xi. The two autocrats have brought their countries closer together than ever. But for China, the costs of Russia’s adventurism could be high.

RUSSIA THREAT

What to know about Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s TV president turned wartime leader. Though Zelensky says he has become the Kremlin’s “target No. 1,” he has earned the respect of much of the Ukrainian public by refusing to flee the capital. Instead he has walked the streets of Kyiv and urged Ukrainians to resist, while crafting a successful communications strategy that has won the hearts and minds of European leaders and voters.

Russia says it won’t yield to sanctions pressure over Ukraine. Responding to a barrage of Western sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said: “They are counting on forcing us to change our position. This is out of the question.”

Russia’s unmanned playground & good battlefield germs. Russia used Syria as a laboratory to build better drones. An expert shows us how they achieved their unmanned capabilities and probiotics on the battlefield? How the U.S. Army wants soldiers to prep their guts for austere conditions.

NORTH KOREA THREAT

North Korea says it tested cameras for spy satellite. North Korea said Monday it tested cameras to be installed on a spy satellite, a suggestion that it’ll likely soon conduct a banned long-range rocket launch to modernize its weapons arsenal and apply more pressure on the Biden administration.

IRAN THREAT

US, Iran split on key issues in nuclear talks. With a deadline to reach an agreement fast approaching, diplomats worry that the crisis in Ukraine could augment Tehran’s leverage in negotiations to restore the failed 2015 pact.

Iran’s Khamenei: ‘Mafia regime’ of US created Ukraine crisis. Iran wishes for the war in Ukraine to end but believes the crisis is rooted in the policies of the United States and other Western nations, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said.

HOMELAND SECURITY

National Guard on standby for State of the Union address. The fencing around the U.S. Capitol is back up for the president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. The National Guard is on standby.

INTERNATIONAL SECURITY

Italy joins growing list of weapon donors to help Ukraine’s defense. Italy on Monday joined a long list of countries promising weaponry to Ukraine as the East European country defends itself against an invasion by Russia.

REASSURING OR SCARY? German warplanes patrolling skies over Poland, air force says. A military spokesperson told Reuters the Eurofighter jets were flying missions out of Germany over Poland, a country that suffered severely under Nazi Germany in the last century.

MILITARY AND SPACE

Standup of Marine littoral regiment will usher new gear into Pacific theater. The U.S. Marine Corps this week will officially stand up its first Marine littoral regiment, a linchpin of its plans to conduct small-unit expeditionary advanced base operations and to move high-end gear into and throughout the Pacific.

Killing drones with Thor’s hammer: Air Force eyes counter-UAS ‘Mjölnir’ weapon. In Norse mythology, the thunder god Thor used his legendary hammer Mjölnir to slay giants. In the Avengers films, it was wielded by superheroes to battle the evil Thanos. But the Air Force is now working on its own Mjölnir, one it hopes will prove to be a revolutionary drone killer.

END of PDB

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.substack.com - PAULCRESPO.COM

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