Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Tuesday, 21 December 2021. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa
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- Army building Arctic Combat Brigade
- Biden deploys medics to battle omicron
- DOJ reviews university espionage cases
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ARMY EXPLORES ARCTIC BRIGADE: The Army plans to establish an Arctic force reportedly built on a Stryker Brigade Combat Team. The Army is interviewing Arctic experts and Alaskan soldiers for input, and the final report is due to the Army Chief of Staff in June for a final decision. The plans have been introduced after an increase in the number of northern threats. The Alaskan Command intercepted the most Russian military aircraft last year since the Cold War. During March, seven thousand soldiers will participate in a 10-day exercise to simulate what a ground threat would pose to the Stryker Brigade Combat Team. (Analyst Comment: Russia sent three submarines, MiG-31 fighters, and Russian ground forces to the Arctic in an exercise last May. The nation continues to exhibit adequate abilities for conflict in the north. China established its Arctic Strategy in 2018 and has since been working on its Arctic accessibility. – T.W.)
OMICRON SPREAD SPARKS TROOP DEPLOYMENT: The Biden administration is deploying around a thousand military medical personnel to hospitals to assist with the spread of omicron. The administration also announced they are building a website for Americans to order at-home tests. The website will not be operational until January. Omicron now accounts for about 75% of sequenced covid cases in the U.S.
DOJ TO REVIEW CASES OF U.S. ACADEMICS CHARGED WITH ESPIONAGE RELATED CRIMES: The new head of the U.S. Justice Department’s national security division is planning to review the department’s approach to countering espionage threats from China. This is after several U.S. academics and professors have been arrested and charged with espionage-related activities in their collaboration with Chinese government-backed research programs at Chinese universities. Both China and several U.S. academics have called for the DOJ to cease its pursuit of U.S. academics accused of transferring technology and research and development data to associates in China. The Federal government has estimated that $225 billion per year in intellectual property is lost to China. National-security officials have said publicly that U.S. universities are a key conduit in that loss.
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