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Today’s PDB includes a variety of critical, global national security issues.
READ TODAY’S PDB BELOW:
MO TROOPS – US mulls larger permanent force in Europe, sends more missiles to Ukraine. U.S., NATO will take “hard look” at European security footprint no matter how the Ukrainian fight goes, U.S. official says.
MO MONEY – Lawmakers draw battle lines for FY23 defense spending ahead of White House budget release. Republican leaders are pushing for a 5% increase in defense spending in the White House’s upcoming fiscal 2023 budget proposal, set to be unveiled March 28.
CHINA EXPANDING – Leaked documents suggest plans for Chinese military presence in Solomon Islands. Australian lawmaker warns new security agreement being negotiated by China and Solomon Islands is “deeply concerning” as fears grow that Beijing could establish a military presence in the Pacific Island country. The agreement says Solomon Islands may “request China to send police, armed police, military personnel and other law enforcement and armed forces” to the country. It would also permit Beijing to deploy forces to “protect the safety of Chinese personnel and major projects.”
RUSSIA THREAT – UKRAINE WAR
PUTIN – PICK UP THE PHONE – Top Russian military leaders repeatedly decline calls from Top US military leaders, prompting fears of ‘sleepwalking into war.’ Lack of communication leaves the world’s two largest nuclear powers in the dark about explanations for military movements from senior officials.
NATO members to pledge support for Ukraine against potential chem-bio attacks. NATO members plan to approve additional support for Ukraine in that country’s defense against Russia’s invasion, including equipment to counter a potential chemical or biological attack.
WHAT IF? US makes contingency plans in case Russia uses its most powerful weapons. The White House has quietly assembled a team of national security officials to sketch out scenarios of how the United States and its allies should respond if President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia — frustrated by his lack of progress in Ukraine or determined to warn Western nations against intervening in the war — unleashes his stockpiles of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.
NATO: 7,000 to 15,000 Russian troops dead in Ukraine. A senior NATO military official said the alliance’s estimate was based on information from Ukrainian officials, what Russia has released — intentionally or not — and intelligence gathered from open sources.
LET THE DIVISIONS BEGIN – As allies meet, splits emerge in NATO about how to deter Russia. Allied leaders are discussing whether it is best to keep Russia guessing about what will trigger a bigger military response or to outline precisely what would draw NATO into a conflict.
NORTH KOREA THREAT
North Korea returns to long-range launches with largest ICBM test. North Korea conducted what is thought to be its largest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test ever on Thursday, militaries in South Korea and Japan said, marking a dramatic end to a self-imposed moratorium on long-range testing.
PUTIN’S MESSAGE RECEIVED? Moldova puts aside NATO aspirations, clings to EU dream. Moldova’s government has condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine and sought the European Union’s support in handling the influx of refugees coming across its borders, while signalling its continued desire to be part of the European bloc.
BIDEN’S AFGHAN DISASTER
BIDEN – HELP THEM – ‘I know the government fell, but I never fell.’ Women who served in the Afghan military are pleading for help, as Taliban fighters are hunting them down.
US MILITARY AND SPACE
AUSSIES IN SPACE – Space Force Down Under? Australia partners with the Pentagon on space defense. The U.S. Space Force created in 2019 under President Donald Trump could have a partner as Australia takes a step toward creating its own.
DIVERSION FROM CHINA – Too soon to say if more Marines will deploy to Europe, commandant says. Commandant Gen. David Berger made the comment as the number of U.S. troops on the Continent recently reached 100,000 for the first time in nearly two decades.
END of PDB
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