defense

Space Corps Proposal Has Military Brass Going Orbital

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, center, seen here with Gen. David L. Goldfein, right, chief of staff of the Air Force, is opposed to the creation of Space Corps, seeing it as within the purview of her service branch. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It was, to be sure, a bold and audacious move from a relatively unknown member of Congress, who moved forward despite fervent objections from both the Defense Department and the White House and not so much as a full committee hearing or debate.

Alabama Republican Mike D. Rogers nevertheless used his perch atop a House Armed Services subcommittee to slip language into the annual Pentagon policy bill to create an entirely new military service focused on space.

Trump Threatens to ‘Destroy’ North Korea
President warns Pyongyang at UN address

A North Korean ballistic missile during “Victory Day” parade in 2013. (Stefan Krasowski/Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

The United States is prepared to “totally destroy” North Korea unless Kim Jong Un’s government gives up its nuclear arms and missile programs, President Donald Trump told the United Nations on Tuesday.

“We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea” unless it changes its behavior, Trump said in his address to the U.N. General Assembly. The president described Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs as a threat to the United States and its allies. He did not give North Korea a deadline before he deploys U.S. military troops to carry out his threat.

'America First' Approach to Dominate Trump's UN Address
President's foreign policy philosophy irks many Republican lawmakers

President Trump delivers remarks Friday at Joint Base Andrews in front of a B-2 bomber as he marked the Air Force’s 70th birthday as a standalone military service. (White House photo via Twitter)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday will take his vision to the United Nations for an America that leads on the global stage only when its sovereignty is threatened, a message that in the past has drawn howls from his own political party.

American allies reportedly are still struggling to fully understand Trump’s “America first” governing philosophy — and what it means for how it will shape foreign policy. Some of his top aides often say “America first” does not mean America alone, and the president will have an opportunity to reassure Washington’s longtime friends when he addresses the United Nations General Assembly for the first time.

Trump Again Floats Military Parade That Pentagon Once Vetoed
President wants July 4 parade of combat hardware down Pennsylvania Avenue

French military troops march in the annual Bastille Day military parade down the Champs-Elysees in Paris on July 14. (Courtesy Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique Pineiro/Wikimedia Commons)

The Pentagon might have vetoed President Donald Trump’s idea of parading U.S. military vehicles across the streets of Washington during his inauguration festivities. But now he’s the commander in chief and talking about holding such a show of military might on July 4.

Trump floated the idea to reporters during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, whom he joined in Paris in July for that country’s Bastille Day festivities. Trump was the VIP guest on the French president’s viewing stand for a parade of French military troops and equipment.

Safety Experts: Some F-35 Ejections Pose ‘Serious’ Death Risk
Degree of risk is at issue in Pentagon

A pilot sits in the cockpit of an F-35 fighter jet preparing for a March training mission at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah. Safety officials disagree about the risk if pilots use the plane’s ejection seats. (George Frey/Getty Images File Photo)

The F-35 fighter jets’ flawed ejection seats, which Air Force officials said in May had been fixed, still pose a “serious” risk that will probably injure or kill nearly two dozen pilots, according to an internal Air Force safety report that service officials withheld from the press.

The F-35 Joint Program Office — which runs the $406.5 billion initiative, the most expensive weapons program in history — has declined to try to save those lives by conducting less than a year’s worth of additional testing that would cost a relatively paltry few million dollars, the report shows.

Which of These Bills Is Not Like the Others? The Defense Budget
Testy and balky debate, like this year, still has ended with authorization for 57 straight years

Two U.S. army Blackhawk helicopters approach for landing at an airfield in Australia during a joint U.S. and Australian training exercise in July. (Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images File Photo)

For the uninitiated, it might have seemed last week like the annual legislation authorizing the nation’s military was about to come off the rails. And only now does it appear to be clamoring out of some thick mud — yet another example of a Congress so challenged when it comes to discharging even its most fundamental responsibilities.

Rest assured, though: There’s truly nothing more certain in the Capitol’s life cycle than enactment of the annual National Defense Authorization Act.

Senate Set to Pass Defense Authorization Measure

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, left, seen here with Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, expressed regret the chamber could not agree on how to bring up all the amendments senators wanted to vote on. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With the Senate’s 2018 defense authorization bill passing a procedural hurdle Thursday, the chamber is expected to vote on final passage of the massive military policy bill Monday.

The Senate voted 84-9 to invoke cloture and limit debate on a substitute version of the bill that includes 104 amendments.

Trump Casts Doubt on GOP Clearing 60-Vote Hurdle in Senate on Tax Bill
Criticizes UK officials after terror attack on London

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Senate Republicans in the East Room of the White House on June 27. On Friday, he again called for Senate GOP leaders to change the rules so legislation can pass with 51 votes; the president said Republicans “can't get” to 60 votes. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump on Friday declared Senate Republicans “can’t get” 60 votes in the Senate and again urged GOP leaders to alter rules for major legislation.

He followed his Twitter rant against Senate Republicans with his first comments on Friday’s terrorist attack in London to criticize British security officials.

McCain, Kerry, Hagel Co-Star at Burns’ ‘Vietnam’ Screening
Clips from new 18-hour documentary shown at the Kennedy Center

From left, former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, “The Vietnam War” co-director Lynn Novick, Sen. John McCain, “The Vietnam War” co-director Ken Burns, Anne Finucane and Brian Moynihan of Bank of America, and former Secretary of State John Kerry pose for a photo Tuesday night at the screening of Burns’ and Novick’s epic Vietnam War documentary. (Courtesy Bank of America)

Public servants who lived through the Vietnam War attended the Washington screening Tuesday of the upcoming PBS documentary on the conflict by filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. 

Before the preview screening of “The Vietnam War,” Burns asked Vietnam veterans in the Kennedy Center auditorium to stand up. Dozens did. After the crowd applauded the veterans, Burns asked people who protested the war at the time to stand up.

Bipartisan Push for Electoral Security Gets Priority Status
Amendment has support of Schumer, GOP national security leaders

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar wants to make voting security part of the debate on the defense policy bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 9:24 p.m. | A bipartisan effort to enhance election security is among the priorities for Senate Democrats as part of the debate on the annual defense authorization measure.

“The consensus of 17 U.S. Intelligence agencies was that Russia, a foreign adversary, interfered in our elections. Make no mistake: Their success in 2016 will encourage them to try again,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Tuesday. “We have state elections in a couple of months and the 2018 election is a little more than a year away. We must improve our defenses now to ensure we’re prepared.”