Tuesday’s terror attacks in Belgium reinforce the need for a broad coalition effort to defeat ISIS, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said. Twin bombings in Brussels killed at least 31, and injured dozens at the Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station. “Brussels is an international city that has been host to NATO and the EU for decades,” Carter said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday morning. “Together, we must and we will continue to do everything we can to protect our homelands and defeat terrorists wherever they threaten us. No attack can shake our resolve to accelerate the defeat of ISIL.” NATO member countries are already part of the counter-ISIS coalition, but Carter said NATO as a whole “has some force-generation capabilities that no individual country has.” President Obama, speaking during a visit to Cuba on Tuesday, said the US “will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally” and bring justice to those responsible. “This is yet another reminder that the world must unite, we must be together, regardless of nationality, or race, or faith, in fighting against the scourge of terrorism,” Obama said. “We can—and will—defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world.”
Rumored cuts to the F-35 from the fiscal 2025 defense budget—six from Air Force plans—would not be offset by recent Foreign Military Sales, and will disrupt ongoing Lot 19 negotiations, Pentagon and industry sources said.