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Read the summaries or dive deeper via the linked articles.
Today’s PDB includes a variety of critical, global national security issues.
READ TODAY’S PDB BELOW:
BIDEN’S DANGEROUSLY ANEMIC DEFENSE BUDGET – Does the proposed 2023 Defense Budget meet US security goals? The short answer is no—it is too small to pay for the necessary capabilities and capacity to deter and if necessary, defeat, challenges from major-power rivals China and Russia, as well as deal with those posed by Iran, North Korea, and global terrorism.
NASA joins the hunt for UFOs. NASA will bring a scientific assessment to the search to determine the origins of the objects.
HMMM – US, Chinese defense ministers meet face-to-face, seeking to avoid misunderstandings. U.S. and Chinese defense ministers met on Friday for their first in-person talks since the start of President Joe Biden’s administration, trying to ensure that broader tensions between the two countries do not spill over into military misunderstandings or miscommunication, officials said.
CAN WE SAY POLITICAL? – Mich. gubernatorial candidate arrested on Jan. 6 Capitol riot charge. Ryan Kelley allegedly waved on the mob headed into Capitol and tore inauguration-stage scaffolding.
CALLS FOR GUARD TO FIGHT CRIME IN ANOTHER DEMOCRAT-RUN CITY – New Orleans city councilman suggests calling in National Guard to combat surging crime. “Maybe it’s time to talk about bringing in the National Guard,” councilman Oliver Thomas said Tuesday, according to WDSU 6. “If it’s realistic to save lives, to stop these people from coming to shoot up our town.”
INVASION THREAT GROWS – Pacific allies worry about Taiwan invasion, call for closer US cooperation. America’s Pacific allies Japan and Australia want deeper cooperation with the U.S. in areas such as long-range weapons and military space activities with the goal of deterring a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan and to prepare in the event of one.
IS XI IN TROUBLE? – Swirling doubts herald major shifts at upcoming Chinese political meeting. Ahead of key Communist Party Congress, political tea-leaf reading has kicked into overdrive to determine the future shape of Xi Jinping’s power.
MAYBE – US Navy aircraft carriers may be useless in a war with China. Aircraft carriers such as the $13 billion USS Gerald R. Ford are floating symbols of the United States’ military power.
Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 107. The Ukrainian army has said its forces continue to frustrate Russian attempts to take the fiercely contested eastern city of Severodonetsk. The regional governor said Russians were “dying like flies”, but added that the Ukrainian forces were suffering from a “catastrophic” lack of artillery. The commander of Ukraine’s Svoboda National Guard Battalion, Petro Kusyk, said Ukrainians were drawing the Russians into street fighting in Severodonetsk to neutralise their artillery advantage.
Ukraine: Russia still attacking eastern city. The Ukrainian army says Kyiv’s forces continue to frustrate Russian attempts to take the fiercely contested eastern city of Sievierodonetsk.
NORTH KOREA THREAT
CHINA GAMES – After veto on North Korea, China says ‘let’s see’ on UN action over a nuclear test. China’s U.N. envoy said on Thursday that Beijing does not want to see North Korea carry out a new nuclear test, which is partly why China vetoed a U.S.-led bid to impose new U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang over renewed ballistic missile launches.
GOOD – US proposes helping Israel, Arab states harden air defenses against Iran. Proposed bipartisan legislation requires the Pentagon to help integrate Middle East air defenses to spur security cooperation against threats from Tehran.
RED DAWN REDUX? – Nicaragua authorizes deployment of Russian military forces. The government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has authorized Russian troops, planes and ships to deploy to Nicaragua for purposes of training, law enforcement or emergency response.
ISIS IN AFRICA – ISWAP blamed for church massacre in Nigeria. The responsibility for Sunday’s deadly bomb and gun assault in Owo town, Ondo state, which killed at least 40 churchgoers, belonged to the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), according to Nigerian officials. However, the armed group has yet to claim responsibility for the Sunday morning attack, and analysts noted this is unusual because ISWAP is known to quickly take credit for past violence.
US MILITARY AND SPACE
OR, HOW THE ARMY CAN HELP MOMS KILL THEIR UNBORN BABIES AND RUIN THEIR KIDS – How the Army can work around states cracking down on abortion, trans rights. As states like Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama pass legislation that prohibits transgender children from seeking gender-affirming care, and women from terminating their pregnancies, service members have been looking to their chains of command for solutions.
END of PDB