TUESDAY PDB – US Military ‘Too Fragile to Fight’? Putin’s Nuke Threat – It’s in Russian Doctrine, Did Trump Ask about Striking Mexican Drug Labs? US Marines Learning from Ukraine 

Photo by Gage Skidmore

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.

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Read the summaries or dive deeper via the linked articles.

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

** For additional intel on the Russia-Ukraine war and other hot topics we can’t fit here, please also subscribe to ‘Paul’s Defense Brief’ at paulcrespo.substack.com 



Too fragile to fight: Could the US military withstand a war of attrition? It has been a long time since the United States fought a high-intensity war of attrition, and the Pentagon, despite its renewed focus on large-scale combat operations, is not ready for it.

Trump denies new claims he wanted US military to attack protesters. Former President Donald Trump denied an accusation that he wanted U.S. military members to shoot protestors during civil rights demonstrations in summer 2020, but declined comment on a similar report that he suggested using missiles to attack drug cartels in Mexico.

TO MAKE THEM PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE? Trump considered ‘complete withdrawal’ of US troops from South Korea, former defense chief says. Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper in his new memoir said former President Donald Trump proposed the “complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Korea,” according to an excerpt published Tuesday by Politico.


Taiwan invasion would be risky move for Chinese leadership, defense experts say. An effort by Beijing to invade Taiwan could become a “huge disaster” for China if the move provoked a Western response similar to the one that followed Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, security experts believe.


On possible nuclear strike, Russia says: it’s all in our military doctrine. Asked if Russia would rule out a preemptive tactical nuclear strike on Ukraine, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said on Tuesday that a decision on the possible use of nuclear weapons was clearly set out in Russia’s military doctrine, RIA reported.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 76. Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai said the region was attacked 22 times over the past 24 hours. In the southern port city of Mariupol, Russian forces keep up efforts to destroy the Azovstal steel plant where the city’s last defenders are holed up.

Ukraine death toll ‘thousands higher’ than reported – UN rights official. The head of the U.N. human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine said on Tuesday that thousands more civilians had been killed in the country since the war began than its official toll of 3,381.

The US Navy’s newest fleet is keeping an eye on the North Atlantic with a first-of-its-kind deployment. The US Navy’s 2nd Fleet surged ships to the North Atlantic this spring to support forces in Europe.


South Korea’s new president sworn in, calls on North to denuclearize. Yoon Suk-yeol, who has called North Korea the South’s “main enemy,” offered to work with the international community to craft an “audacious plan” to improve North Korea’s economy in return for its commitment to “complete denuclearization.” He also said he would keep a door open to dialogue.

UN Security Council due to meet Wednesday on North Korea, say diplomats. The U.N. Security Council is due to meet on Wednesday at the request of the United States to discuss North Korea’s latest missile launches, diplomats said, as Washington pushes the 15-member body to strengthen sanctions on Pyongyang.


New Mideast task force can counter Iranian arms smuggling, but more capabilities are needed. It remains to be seen whether task force participants will devote sufficient naval assets to the new task force’s mission.


Pushing productive coca seeds, Mexican cartels reshape Colombia’s drug industry. Emissaries of Mexican drug cartels are involving themselves more closely in cocaine production in Colombia, paying farmers in advance and pushing cultivation of highly-productive strains, coca growers, security officials and rights activists say.


SERIOUSLY? TOO LITTLE TOO LATE. US says it will increase pressure on Taliban if it does not reverse decisions on women, girls. The United States will take steps to increase pressure on Afghanistan’s Taliban government to reverse some of its recent decisions restricting the rights of women and girls if the hardline group shows no sign of rescinding the actions on its own.


Ukraine conflict reveals parallels to new Marine Corps war-fighting vision. Marines can look to the Ukraine conflict for real-world previews of how the Corps’ warfighting concept might unfold.

THANK GOD! Commandant walks back possibility of Marines skipping boot camp. When it was unveiled in November, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger’s Talent Management plan appeared to open the door to the unthinkable: Allowing people to join the Marine Corps without going to boot camp.



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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