President Obama vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act late Thursday afternoon, a move Republican members of Congress derided as a partisan political game that puts US troops at risk. Obama said in a veto ceremony at the White House that while the bill “does a number of good things,” it “falls woefully short in key areas,” namely by keeping the sequester in place and using budget “gimmicks,” preventing a “wide range of reforms that are necessary for us to get our military modernized.” The legislation also blocks Obama’s ability to close Guantanamo. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a press conference shortly before the veto that in his more than 25 years in the Senate, he has never seen anything as “misguided, cynical, and downright dangerous” as vetoing an NDAA “for reasons that have nothing to do with defense.” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), a pilot in the Air National Guard, said if he was deployed right now and heard that the President was vetoing the defense bill, he would be “deflated and disheartened.” In a written statement, the highest-ranking member of the SASC, Sen. Jack Reed, said troops “deserve a budget that matches their courage and sacrifice,” and urged Congress to drop “the [overseas contingency operations] fund charade” and get back “to honest budgeting.”
March 4, 2024
The Air Force has published images of an operational hypersonic Air-Launched Rapid-Response Weapon (ARRW) in Guam; a disclosure possibly meant to send a message to China but which raises questions about the future of the ARRW, which the Air Force insists it is not planning to procure in quantity.