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Today’s PDB includes a variety of critical, global national security issues.
READ TODAY’S EXTENDED ‘RUSSIA THREAT’ PDB BELOW:
DOUBLE TROUBLE? – Russia and China tell NATO to stop expansion, Moscow backs Beijing on Taiwan. Russia and China called in a joint statement on Friday for NATO to halt its expansion while Moscow said it fully supported Beijing’s stance on Taiwan and opposed Taiwanese independence in any form.
NOT A PARTISAN ISSUE – Foreign disinformation: What the US government can start doing now. The Kremlin is engaged in a “global influence campaign to destabilize sovereign countries,” including the United States, the U.S. Treasury Department reaffirmed, as it slapped sanctions on four Ukrainians working for the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).
HOWEVER – What China is actually saying about Russia and Ukraine. Bits of pro-Russian rhetoric are a far cry from substantive support—or preparations for an invasion of Taiwan.
Russia Threat – Ukraine
PUTIN PSYOP? – US says new intel shows Russia plotting false flag attack. The U.S. accused the Kremlin on Thursday of an elaborate plot to fabricate an attack by Ukrainian forces that Russia could use as a pretext to take military action against its neighbor.
DOUBLE TALK – Kremlin blasts US for deploying troops to NATO’s eastern flank, even as Russia continues buildup around Ukraine. The Kremlin said Thursday that Russia would be “absolutely justified” if it chooses to respond to the Pentagon’s deployment, announced this week, of an additional 3,000 U.S. troops to Poland, Romania and Germany.
More Russian forces mass near border, but still not ready to attack: Ukraine. “The likelihood of more substantive escalation on the Ukrainian borders as for today is viewed as low,” according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.
The Russian military buildup near Ukraine is happening at sea too. Russia has “been very thoughtful about how they’ve been ramping up their level of activity” in the Black Sea, said Bryan Clark, a fellow at the Hudson Institute.
Russian ships watch as US carrier group operates with NATO allies in Mediterranean. U.S. and NATO officials said that the Russian military was shadowing U.S. ships participating in a multinational exercise in the Adriatic Sea, adding that “outside observance” wasn’t unusual and not necessarily related to rising tensions over Ukraine.
Hacking team tied to Russia targeted ‘western government entity’ in Ukraine – researchers. A hacking team that Ukraine says is controlled by Russian intelligence targeted a “western government entity” currently in the country, based on new research published by Palo Alto Networks on Thursday.
SURPRISE! US sees Iran’s Nuclear Program as too advanced to restore key goal. Terms of any new agreement are likely to leave Tehran in position to amass fuel for bomb in significantly less than a year, shorter than 2015 deal, officials say.
North Korea mocks US overtures for diplomacy in wake of January missile tests. The North Korean Foreign Ministry scorned diplomatic overtures from Washington, D.C., this week and advised it “to halt its military threat to our country.”
ANOTHER DEAD TERRORIST – ‘Ghost’ leader of ISIS was plotting comeback when US commandos cornered him. Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi was the second person to lead the Islamic State in its current incarnation, and his death came in a manner nearly identical to that of his predecessor.
US gives military helicopters to Croatia, Russia arms Serbs. The United States has delivered two Black Hawk helicopters to Croatia amid a mini arms race with neighboring Russian ally Serbia.
Bloody fighting between guerrilla groups is terrorizing a Colombian border community. Fighting between rival guerrilla groups along Colombia’s border with Venezuela has ushered in a bloody start to the new year, leaving dozens dead and sending residents fleeing from some of the worst violence since the country’s historic peace accords five years ago.
Biden’s Afghan Disaster
BIDEN DISASTER CONTINUES – US faces snags in bid to speed up at-risk Afghan evacuations. A lack of flights and the search for a new U.S. reception center are among the hurdles facing the White House as it races to speed up the evacuation of at-risk Afghans from their homeland, according to a senior U.S. official and others familiar with the new plan.
Military and Space
Army defends new squad vehicle after blistering combat review. “The ISV is not designed to defeat or counter specific threats nor is it intended to operate as a combat fighting platform,” Steve Herrick, the senior program office official, told Breaking Defense.
END of PDB
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of American Liberty News.