WEDNESDAY PDB – GOP Civil War Over Ukraine? China’s Growing Global Threat, Is Biden Pushing for a Tie in Ukraine?

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

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Why the Pentagon would rather not create a specific military law against extremism. Not enough time has passed for the military to assess whether its latest efforts are making a difference. 

GOP civil war on Ukraine builds between MAGA, Reagan Republicans. A GOP civil war is building over U.S. policy toward Russia and Ukraine, pitting Reagan Republicans against more isolationist “MAGA” Republicans who take their political cues from former President Trump.


National Guard member sought out extremists, planned attack on police. Francis P. Harker was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison. 


Pentagon calls out China’s military threats as Taiwan tensions worsen. A top Biden administration official suggested Beijing is pursuing a policy of ‘military intimidation’ as it rewrites the regional status quo. 

US accuses China of increased South China Sea ‘provocations.’ The United States on Tuesday accused China of increased “provocations” against rival claimants to territory in the South China Sea and other states operating there.

China’s growing influence in US ‘neighborhood’ worries SOUTHCOM boss. The officer leading U.S. Southern Command, Gen. Laura Richardson, shared her concerns regarding the growing Chinese influence and presence felt in “our neighborhood” — meaning the Americas — during the 2022 Aspen Security Forum.


Biden is arming Ukraine to ‘play for a tie,’ some America-first GOPers say. The view reveals disagreement even among Trump-following Republicans about how to respond to Russia’s invasion.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 154. Nearly 40,000 Russian soldiers have been killed and tens of thousands more “wounded and maimed” since the start of Russia’s invasion on February 24, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said. A Moscow-backed official in the Russian-occupied Kherson region said the southern cities of Odesa and Mykolaiv will soon be “liberated” from Ukraine as Russia ups its attacks on the two Black Sea regions.

US approves treatment of wounded Ukrainian soldiers at US military hospital in Germany. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved the treatment of wounded Ukrainian soldiers at a US military hospital in Germany, according to a memo obtained by CNN and confirmed by two US defense officials. 

Bridge closed in Russia-held Kherson after HIMARS shelling, official says. Authorities in the Russian-controlled Ukrainian city of Kherson have closed the city’s only bridge across the Dnipro river after it came under fire from U.S.-supplied high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS), an official from the Russian-installed administration said on Wednesday.


Japan to join ‘Garuda Shield’ military drills for first time. Japanese defence forces will participate for the first time in military exercises in Indonesia next month alongside the United States and Australia, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Wednesday after talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Security threats in Africa call for new approach, outgoing AFRICOM leader says. The U.S. needs a revised approach to security in western Africa, as militant groups make inroads and Russian-backed mercenaries proliferate, U.S. Africa Command’s Gen. Stephen Townsend said Tuesday. 

In Brazil, Biden’s defense chief says militaries must be under civilian control. U.S. President Joe Biden’s defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, on Tuesday stressed the need for militaries to be under firm civilian control at an Americas-wide defense gathering in Brazil, where military loyalty to the Constitution has become a central issue ahead of the Oct. 2 presidential election.


CNO seeks not just interoperability but interchangeability with foreign militaries. The U.S. Navy’s top officer is setting a new bar for coalition operations: not just interoperability, but interchangeability. One key to that is understanding exactly what each warship and navy is capable of—and how they themselves assess it. 

Force secretary tight-lipped about new Phoenix Ghost suicide drone. The American-made Phoenix Ghost loitering munition is being used to great effect in the Ukraine-Russia war, U.S. officials say, but the head of the service that developed the weapon is being tight-lipped about its capabilities and the Pentagon’s plans for employing the system for its own use.


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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