TUESDAY PDB – Ukraine Closes Seaports Seized by Russia, Putin Plans to Annex Parts of Ukraine, China PLA’s New Technical NCO’s, Marine General Gets Fired for N-word; Other Slurs OK, Biden Still Tries for Iran Nuke Deal

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

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ASSAULTING COPS NOT OK, JARHEAD – Marine veteran, cop convicted of assaulting officer in Capitol riot. Thomas Webster had been wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a Marine Corps flag when he approached the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.


OFF TO FACE CHINA – GODSPEED – USS Tripoli quietly leaves on maiden deployment. Amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli departed Naval Station San Diego, Calif., on an independent deployment to the Western Pacific on Monday, USNI News has learned.

Taiwan flags risk of Stinger missile delays, says pressing US. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry on Tuesday said deliveries of shoulder-fired Stinger anti-aircraft missiles could be delayed, saying they were pressing the United States to deliver on schedule as the war in Ukraine pressures supplies.

INTERESTING – Why the Chinese military wants thousands of ‘made-to-order’ noncommissioned officers. Beijing has been producing a new force of noncommissioned officers over the past decade.


NO KIDDING! – Russia planning to annex new areas of Ukraine, US finds. Claiming Donetsk, Luhansk and Kherson would be an attempt by Russia to control much of Ukraine’s east, despite ongoing struggles on the battlefield.

Navy’s newly reactivated 2nd Fleet proves its readiness in North Atlantic. The four destroyers from Norfolk and Mayport that sailed east this winter as tensions between Russia and Ukraine mounted proved a couple of key points about the newly reestablished, Norfolk-based 2nd Fleet, said Vice Adm. Daniel Dwyer, its commanding officer.

Ukraine says its drones hit Russian fast boats at sea. In what appears to be their latest exploit, Ukraine’s armed drones destroyed two Russian patrol boats in the Black Sea just off Snake Island Monday morning, according to the country’s defense ministry and videos of the strikes.

PROBING – Denmark and prospective NATO member Sweden say Russia flew into their airspace. A Russian spy plane violated NATO airspace in recent days, prompting the Kremlin’s ambassador to Denmark to be summoned over the incident, the top Danish diplomat announced.

Ukraine formally closes seaports captured by Russia. The Azov Sea ports of Mariupol, Berdiansk and Skadovsk and the Black Sea port of Kherson were closed “until the restoration of control”, the ministry said in a statement.


AND BIDEN DANGEROUSLY CONTINUES TO PLAY NICE – Iran nuclear deal near death, but West not ready to pull plug. Western officials have largely lost hope the Iran nuclear deal can be resurrected, sources familiar with the matter said, forcing them to weigh how to limit Iran’s atomic program even as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has divided the big powers.


What’s next for Marines in the Middle East? The commander of Marine Corps Forces Central Command hones a smaller force.

Israel wants apology after Russia’s Lavrov compares Zelensky to Hitler. Israel demanded an apology from the Russian government for employing a discredited antisemitic trope.


Ukraine formally closes seaports captured by Russia. The Azov Sea ports of Mariupol, Berdiansk and Skadovsk and the Black Sea port of Kherson were closed “until the restoration of control”, the ministry said in a statement.

THE ONLY SLUR IN US THAT GETS A GENERAL FIRED – Marine general used ‘full N-word’ in rant that led to his ouster from European Command post. A released investigation report has shed more light on a 2020 incident that saw a two-star Marine Corps general relieved of his command overseeing Marine forces in Europe and Africa.

I REST MY CASE – Marine intel instructors got caught calling students ‘whore’ and ‘slut’ in private chat. No punishment was recommended. Marine Corps and Navy intelligence trainers in Virginia demeaned and made homophobic and sexist comments about their students in a private group chat, according to an official military investigation and text messages obtained by Task & Purpose.



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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