TUESDAY PDB – FBI Raids Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Home, Attacks on Ukraine Nuke Site Stokes Fears, Russia Launches Iranian Satellite, China Extends its War Drills and Threats Around Taiwan, US Continues Navy FONOPS

Photo by Gage Skidmore

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

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UNPRECEDENTED AND OUTRAGEOUS! – Trump says Mar-a-Lago home raided by FBI agents. The search was part of an investigation into former President Donald Trump’s handling of official records, people familiar with the matter said.


THEY DAMNED BETTER CONTINUE – US will continue Taiwan Strait transits, FONOPs in western Pacific despite growing tension with China. U.S. warships will continue to make Taiwan Strait transits and perform freedom of navigation operations in the Indo-Pacific despite the recent Chinese live fire drills, the undersecretary of defense for policy told reporters Monday.

DIDN’T THIS HAPPEN UNDER TRUMP? – One year after Afghanistan, spy agencies pivot toward China. In a recent closed-door meeting with leaders of the agency’s counterterrorism center, the CIA’s No. 2 official made clear that fighting al-Qaida and other extremist groups would remain a priority — but that the agency’s money and resources would be increasingly shifted to focusing on China.

As China, Taiwan tensions flare, US faces shrinking window to deter conflict. Experts say China has multiple options for military or coercive action in the coming years. Neither the US or Taiwan can prepare for all of them.

‘We’re not going to take the bait:’ DoD downplays China escalation around Taiwan. The Pentagon’s top policy official also refuted reports claiming that US officials now believe China could invade Taiwan by 2024.


US to send Ukraine another $1 billion in military aid. The new aid includes additional rockets for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, as well as other ammunition and equipment.

Ukraine could get Western jet fighters, Pentagon official says — ‘down the road.’ Any decision on whether to provide the Ukrainian Air Force with Western combat jets is still to be made, a key Defense Department official told reporters—and it could potentially take “a year to three years” before such jets could be delivered.

Ukraine says its attacks in the south have diverted Russian forces. The tactic has reduced the intensity of the fighting in the eastern Donbas region and allowed Ukraine to make small gains there, fighters say.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 167. The US will provide $1bn in security assistance for Ukraine, the single largest package using the president’s drawdown authority, including munitions for long-range weapons and armoured medical transport vehicles, acting Pentagon spokesman Todd Breasseale said on Monday. Russia has suffered between 70,000 and 80,000 casualties, either killed or wounded, since its invasion of Ukraine began, the Pentagon’s Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Colin Kahl, said.

Fears grow of nuclear catastrophe after attacks on power plant in Ukraine. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for international inspectors to be given access to the Russian-controlled site, adding, “Any attack to a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing.”


Iran nuclear deal could be near as EU circulates ‘final text.’ The European Union says it is time for a political decision, but Iran appears to want more changes to the final text.

Russia launches Iranian satellite into space from Kazakhstan base. The launch signals the beginning of ‘strategic cooperation’ between the two countries in the space industry, according to the Iranian ICT minister.


In Biden’s new Africa strategy, China and Russia linger in the background. The US is “very concerned” about Russian mercenaries in some countries, and about China’s growing influence. But the strategy reflects much broader concerns about the future.


US Navy injects first-of-kind unmanned experiments into multinational exercise. For clues about how a U.S. Navy of the future may look, consider the 2022 Rim of the Pacific exercise.

Navy Super Hornet that was blown off carrier deck recovered from Mediterranean. The Navy has recovered a Super Hornet jet that was swept overboard from the USS Harry S. Truman in the Mediterranean Sea a month ago, the service announced Monday.



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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