Republicans have had it with Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s nine-month blockade of military promotions. And after publicly putting pressure on the Alabama Republican to lift his hold on hundreds of officers, GOP senators are plotting new ways to break the impasse. During a special meeting planned for next week, some will ask Tuberville to focus his obstruction on only the Pentagon’s civilian nominees and not uniformed officers who have nothing to do with the policy he’s protesting. Others want to shift the fight to the courts to challenge the policy at the center of the hold, which reimburses troops who have to travel to obtain abortions and other reproductive services.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced visit to Iraq on Nov. 5—a significant stop on his whirlwind trip through the region. Blinken met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani in Baghdad for more than an hour. In the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, Iranian-backed proxy groups have scaled up attacks aimed at U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
Turkish police used tear gas and water cannons as hundreds of people at a pro-Palestinian rally on Nov. 5 tried to storm an air base that houses U.S. troops, hours before U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was due in Ankara for talks on Gaza. Turkey, which has stepped up its criticism of Israel as the humanitarian crisis in Gaza has worsened, supports a two-state solution while hosting members of the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Since the Israel-Hamas war started, protests have erupted across the country.
PODCAST: Congressional Defense Update; Conflict in the Middle East; and a China Threat Update: The Rendezvous
In Episode 153, Slick chats with Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula, USAF (Ret.), China expert Mike Dahm, plus Washington insiders Anthony Lazarski, and Todd Harmer about the latest developments in the beltway and the broader national security community. We discuss what new leadership in the House of Representatives will mean for defense equities on The Hill, including the likelihood for another continuing resolution and the risks that will drive. Panelists also explore the latest developments regarding the conflict between Israel and Hamas. We wrap with an extensive national security assessment regarding China, especially given DoD’s newly released 2023 edition of Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China.
Russia said Nov. 5 it had successfully test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads from one of its submarines. The launch of the Bulava missile, the first in just over a year, comes as Russia ramps up nuclear rhetoric since revoking its ratification of a key nuclear test ban treaty.
Eight days into Israel's ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces combat soldiers know the hardest battles lie ahead. Even in the ground offensive, much of the fighting is being done, for now, on screens. The tanks and infantry fighting vehicles have cameras giving the commanders views from every direction, day and night. It will become much more difficult to use tanks and IFVs as the IDF penetrates deeper toward its main objective: the Hamas leadership’s underground headquarters.
German air force chief Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz wants to see faster progress in the fielding of new military drones than what the timeline for the envisioned ti-national Future Combat Air System can offer. “We can have remote carriers out of that project much much earlier,” the air force chief told Defense News in an interview, referring to a class of drones that is envisioned to accompany the FCAS program’s central, sixth-generation warplane on future missions. “And we need to have it much, much earlier.”
The new U.S. security assistance package for Ukraine, announced Nov. 3 by the Pentagon, includes funding for additional weapons to take down Russian unmanned aerial systems. The equipment is part of a $425 million tranche of military aid, which includes $125 million worth of equipment from Defense Department stocks, plus $300 million in Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) funds. The USAI funding, which is used to procure systems from defense contractors, will go toward additional laser-guided munitions to counter drones and “strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses over the long term,” according to a release.
Whenever the United States wants to let bad guys know that now is not the time to test us, nothing gets the message across better than having two aircraft carriers operate in a region simultaneously. The Navy sent that message on Nov. 3 by releasing pictures of USS Gerald R. Ford and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower operating in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
There are intriguing indications that a complementary platform or perhaps even a successor to the RQ-180 is not only being developed by Lockheed Martin’s legendary Skunk Works, but that this even more advanced spy drone has already been delivered. These potential revelations come from the latest episode of the Defense & Aerospace Air Power Podcast, hosted by editor-in-chief Vago Muradian.
One of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen was given an honorary promotion to colonel at Air Force's game against Army Nov. 4. James H. Harvey III served in World War II and was the first Black fighter jet pilot during the Korean War. He retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1965 after 22 years of service.