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Today’s PDB includes a variety of critical, global national security issues.
READ TODAY’S EXTENDED ‘RUSSIA THREAT’ PDB BELOW:
China, Russia, and Iran hold trilateral naval drill. China and Russia, America’s increasingly aligned great power adversaries, teamed up with Iran last month to hold a trilateral naval exercise in the Gulf of Oman and northern Indian Ocean, which Tehran dubbed Maritime Security Belt 2022. While the exercise itself was of limited importance militarily, the drill provides the latest evidence of growing security cooperation between China, Russia, and Iran that should sound alarm bells in Washington, Jerusalem, and key Arab capitals.
Russia Threat – Ukraine
US advance troops arrive in Romania. About 100 U.S. service members have arrived in Romania to lay the groundwork for a follow-on force that is deploying to reassure allies worried about potential Russian aggression, Romanian officials said Tuesday.
Russia sends warships toward Black Sea as Europe ramps up Ukraine crisis diplomacy. U.S. and European officials worry that Russian military exercises scheduled to start Thursday could provide cover for a sudden strike against Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Zelensky wants to fend off Russia—and America, too. President Volodymyr Zelensky, an ex-comic with no political experience prior to his election, is trying to navigate both Russian aggression as well as the American response it has kicked off.
Iran unveils long-range missile as Vienna nuclear talks resume. Iran unveiled a new domestically-made missile with a range of 1,450 kilometers on Wednesday, state TV reported, a day after Tehran and Washington resumed indirect talks to salvage a 2015 nuclear deal.
N. Korea boasts of ‘shaking the world’ by testing missiles that can strike US. North Korea boasted on Tuesday that it is one of only a handful of countries in the world to field nuclear weapons and advanced missiles and the only one standing up to the United States by “shaking the world” with missile tests.
Hand of Russia’ visible in African coups says AFRICOM boss. “I think I have received reports of Russian involvement at least in Sudan in the not too distant past,” AFRICOM Commander Gen. Stephen Townsend said.
Arab-Israeli missile defense has a shot, says CENTCOM nominee. In the wake of recent missile and drone attacks against the United Arab Emirates by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, there’s a fresh opportunity to integrate air and missile defense in the Middle East, the nominee to lead U.S. Central Command told lawmakers Tuesday.
State Department offers $10 million reward for ISIS-K leader after August blast that killed 13 troops in Kabul. The State Department on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, announced a reward of up to $10 million for information about Sanaullah Ghafari, also known as Shahab al-Muhajir, the leader of the Afghanistan branch of the Islamic State terrorist group that was responsible for the August blast that killed 13 U.S. troops and about 170 Afghans at the Kabul airport
Biden Afghan Disaster
Documents reveal US military’s frustration with White House, diplomats over Afghanistan evacuation. An Army investigative report, numbering 2,000 pages and released to The Washington Post through a Freedom of Information Act request, details the life-or-death decisions made daily by U.S. soldiers and Marines sent to secure Hamid Karzai International Airport as thousands converged on the airfield in a frantic bid to escape.
Troops knew ‘an attack was coming’ at Kabul airport but their hands were tied, investigation reveals. The Marines tasked with guarding Abbey Gate at Hamid Karzai International Airport were horribly exposed, but so many other partner nations were using the gate for their own evacuation efforts that it was impossible to coordinate with them all, according to 82nd Airborne Division Command Sgt. Maj. David R. Pitt.
CENTCOM needs more resources to counter Afghanistan terror threat: nominee. Lt. Gen. Michael Kurilla says policing Afghanistan from afar is “extremely difficult, but not impossible.”
Biden’s pick to lead military in Middle East says US has a ‘moral obligation’ to help Afghans left behind. President Biden’s nominee to command U.S. troops across the Middle East said on Tuesday that he sees Iran’s regional influence and weapons programs as “vexing,” and that he believes America has a “moral obligation” to evacuate more Afghans who helped the United States during its longest war.
Military and Space
The Light Fighter is the Air Force’s manned-unmanned team solution. For an Air Force that wants to be ready to wage an effective air campaign against Russia or China without losing lots of expensive aircraft and pilots, manned-unmanned teaming offers an important avenue forward.
For the first time, Black Hawk helicopter flies without anyone aboard. A UH-60 Alpha-model Black Hawk helicopter flew for the first time entirely unmanned as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program, Sikorsky announced Feb. 8.
END of PDB