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    PDB Situation Report | June 8, 2024: Biden's Asylum Cap & Russia's Counter Space Weapon

    enJune 08, 2024

    Podcast Summary

    • Border CrisisDespite political tensions, Biden's executive order on border control marks first action since taking office, but it has exceptions and significant impact on asylum seekers, with 1.8 million still expected to enter annually.

      Despite the current political tensions and anxiety in the country, history shows us that challenging times are not new. President Biden's recent executive order on border control, while a political move ahead of the 2024 election, marks the first comprehensive action he's taken to address the border crisis since taking office. However, it's important to note that the order contains exceptions and doesn't apply to all immigration programs, such as the controversial CBP1 app and the mass parole program. The potential impact of the order on asylum seekers entering the US is significant, with roughly 1.8 million still expected to be granted entry annually, even with the daily cap on crossings. The Biden administration's previous claims of securing the border through legislative action have also been contradicted by this executive order.

    • Border PoliticsBiden's border action viewed as political stunt to boost polls, focusing on daily cap and potential Mexican involvement, may face legal challenges and prolonged duration

      President Biden's recent executive action at the U.S. Southern border is seen by some as a political stunt aimed at improving his poll numbers, rather than a genuine attempt to address the immigration issue. Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, believes the administration is focusing on numbers, such as the daily cap of 2,500 migrants, based on public opinion research and focus group results. The process for handling migrants trying to cross the border when the limit is reached is unclear, but it's speculated that Mexico may be involved in some capacity. The order is likely to face legal challenges and could drag on beyond the presidential election.

    • Immigration policiesThe recent executive order on immigration does not address the root causes of high asylum seekers and may allow over 1.8 million people to enter annually without proper vetting, posing potential security risks.

      The recent executive order on immigration by the Biden administration does not significantly change the situation at the border as it does not address the root causes of the high number of asylum seekers. The 2,500 daily cap on asylum applications will only affect a small number of people, and there are other ways for individuals to apply for protection. However, the administration's actions, such as closing asylum cases and creating new lawful pathways, will continue to allow large numbers of people to enter the country without proper vetting. The estimated number of individuals entering the US through these means, along with known and unknown "gotaways," could result in over 1.8 million people entering annually. The lack of proper vetting raises concerns about potential security risks.

    • Border issuesDespite additional resources, current policies may not effectively address the complex issue of illegal immigration due to widespread global root causes and potential involvement of organized crime and national security threats.

      The current border situation in the United States, as discussed during the interview with Marc Bakorian, Executive Director at the Center for Immigration Studies, is a complex issue that goes beyond just staffing and resources. The root causes of illegal immigration are widespread and global, and current policies, even with additional resources, may not effectively address the issue. The new administration in Mexico could potentially be cooperative, but there are concerns about the performance and effectiveness of Vice President Harris' handling of the border crisis. Furthermore, the issue is not just limited to countries like Mexico and Central America, but also includes individuals from various other countries. The situation is further complicated by the involvement of organized crime and potential national security threats, such as Chinese nationals. Ultimately, a comprehensive and long-term solution is needed to address the root causes and secure the border effectively.

    • Counter space weapons disruptionRussia's launch of a counter space weapon raises concerns about potential disruption to satellite networks, leaving U.S. military and civilian population 'deaf, dumb and blind' in a conflict, and the U.S. is dependent on satellites and currently behind in hypersonic weapon development and defense.

      Russia's recent launch of a counter space weapon raises concerns about potential disruption to satellite networks, which could leave the U.S. military and civilian population "deaf, dumb and blind" in the event of a conflict. Counter space weapons, such as the one Russia launched, can deny access to space for another country, making satellites, which are crucial for military operations and communication, vulnerable to attack. The U.S. military is more dependent on satellites than any other military in the world, and the loss of satellite capabilities could render the U.S. military combat ineffective. Additionally, China and Russia are developing hypersonic weapons, which could render current air defense systems obsolete, leaving the U.S. vulnerable to attack. The U.S. is currently behind China and Russia in hypersonic weapon development and defense against such attacks.

    • Hypersonic Weapons RaceChina and Russia are leading the development and deployment of hypersonic weapons, leaving the U.S. vulnerable due to evasive capabilities and theft of intellectual property. The U.S. must invest in 4th industrial revolution technologies and protect information to compete.

      China and Russia are making significant strides in the development and deployment of hypersonic weapons, leaving the U.S. in a potentially vulnerable position. These weapons can evade current air defense systems due to their unpredictable speeds and angles of attack. Both China and Russia have working models, while the U.S. is still in the theoretical phase. The situation is compounded by the fact that the U.S. has allowed for the theft of intellectual property and high-tech secrets related to hypersonic weapons by these countries. The current state of play within the U.S. government and military is that there's a recognition of the danger, but resources and capabilities needed to counter this threat are not being fully devoted. The private sector's cooperation in developing these technologies is also crucial but currently directionless. The U.S. needs to invest heavily in fourth industrial revolutionary technologies and protect its information to stay competitive.

    • AI in Military OperationsChina's military-civil fusion approach puts them on track to surpass US capabilities in AI, raising concerns about the potential for removing human element from decision-making in military operations

      The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in military operations is a growing concern, particularly between the US and China. AI enables greater efficiency and speed in attacking targets, and both countries prioritize its development. However, China's military-civil fusion approach allows for long-term planning and production of advanced chips, putting them on track to surpass US capabilities in AI. The potential for removing the human element from decision-making in the use of AI is a cause for concern, especially with regimes like China and Russia, which may not prioritize human life in the same way as the US. The Iranian regime's recent comments regarding the October 7th Hamas attacks on Israel reveal their true intentions to disrupt US-brokered negotiations and draw regional countries closer to them. This highlights the complex geopolitical landscape and the importance of staying informed about global events.

    • Iran's role in Palestinian conflictsIran's support for Hamas during the conflict with Israel was criticized by Palestinian Authority for sacrificing Palestinian lives for Iran's geopolitical objectives, resulting in devastating consequences for Palestinians including loss of lives and destruction of infrastructure.

      During the recent conflict between Hamas and Israel, Iran's Supreme Leader publicly supported Hamas, acknowledging their role as pawns in Iran's larger geopolitical objectives against Israel. This support was met with criticism from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his advisers, who accused Iran of sacrificing Palestinian lives for its own gain and extending its influence in Palestinian territories. Hamas, funded, trained, and resourced by Iran, was directly responsible for the devastating consequences of the conflict, including the death and injury of thousands of Palestinians and the destruction of infrastructure. The situation highlights the complex dynamics of the region and the potential for external powers to manipulate internal conflicts for their own interests.

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