Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) told Newsmax that foreign adversaries don’t take the US seriously anymore because there are “too many men in our military and our administration wearing dresses and doing crazy things.”
Pentagon Struggles to Feed War Machine
New York Times: “Industry consolidation, depleted manufacturing lines and supply chain issues have combined to constrain the production of basic ammunition like artillery shells while also prompting concern about building adequate reserves of more sophisticated weapons.”
Rick Scott Slams ‘Woke’ Military
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) criticized the U.S. military on March 17 as insufficiently “lethal,” claiming that top leaders are forcing service members to be too “woke,” the American Independent reports.
As an example, he claimed that a Navy ship tracking a Chinese vessel had had to abandon that mission because of a mandatory training program about transgender people.
Coast Guard Allowed Sexual Assault to Go Unchecked
CNN: “The Coast Guard is responsible for the initial vetting of mariners as well as continued monitoring and enforcement of misconduct on land or while on the job that would make them ineligible for a credential.”
“But the Coast Guard has failed to use its power to prevent and punish sexual assault and misconduct for decades.”
The Age of American Naval Dominance Is Over
The Atlantic: “Because freedom of the seas, in our lifetime, has seemed like a default condition, it is easy to think of it — if we think of it at all — as akin to Earth’s rotation or the force of gravity: as just the way things are, rather than as a man-made construct that needs to be maintained and enforced. But what if the safe transit of ships could no longer be assumed?”
Air Force Leaders Fired for Failing Nuclear Safety
“Two US Air Force commanders and four of their subordinates at a key nuclear base in North Dakota were relieved of duty this week after their units failed an inspection designed to ensure that the nuclear weapons stockpile is safe and secure at all times,” CNN reports.
Biden Administration Urges Congress to Renew Spy Law
“Top Biden administration officials urged Congress to renew an expiring surveillance law they say is vital to addressing a range of national security threats, launching what is expected to be a difficult campaign to persuade lawmakers to not curtail spying powers,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Gang of Eight to Get Briefing on Classified Documents
Trump-Era Officials Were Aware of Suspected Balloons
“A small circle of intelligence officials at the Pentagon during the Trump administration monitored a series of mysterious objects—now suspected to be balloons—but the incidents were never reported to the White House because it wasn’t clear what they were,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Hobbyist Balloon Feared One of Those Shot Down
“A small, globe-trotting balloon declared ‘missing in action’ by an Illinois-based hobbyist club on Feb. 15 has emerged as a candidate to explain one of the three mystery objects shot down by four heat-seeking missiles launched by U.S. Air Force fighters since Feb. 10,” Aviation Week reports.
Biden Says Additional Flying Objects Were Not from China
“President Biden said the three highflying objects taken down over North America following the shooting down of an alleged Chinese surveillance balloon were likely tied to private companies or related to recreation or scientific research, saying they were removed out of an abundance of caution,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Following days of questions about the administration’s response, Mr. Biden said of the three objects that ‘nothing right now suggests they’re related to China’s spy balloon program.’ He said he has directed his team to develop sharper rules for distinguishing objects that present safety risks and require action.”
He added: “But make no mistake, if any object that presents a threat to the safety and security of the American people. I will take it down.”
Biden Will Discuss Flying Objects Shot Down
“President Joe Biden is planning to deliver his most extended public remarks yet — as early as Thursday — on the unidentified objects that the U.S. military has been shooting down,” NBC News reports.
“Biden will use his address to explain how the administration intends to deal with aerial balloons and other objects spotted in the future, based on a study conducted by a series of government agencies.”
Senate Republicans Warn House About Defense Cuts
“Senate Republicans are warning their House GOP counterparts to stay away from the Pentagon’s budget as part of any proposed spending cuts tied to upcoming debt-limit talks,” Punchbowl News reports.
“Republican senators are generally supportive of Speaker Kevin McCarthy in negotiations with President Joe Biden over cutting spending in exchange for raising the nation’s borrowing limit. But they say recent suggestions by top House Republicans that defense spending would be on the chopping block is unacceptable.”
“Defense spending has risen significantly in recent years despite efforts by some lawmakers in both parties to slow it down. China’s growing military might, as well as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs, are motivating Congress’ defense hawks to once again substantially boost, not slash, defense spending.”
U.S. Had Been Tracking Spy Balloon for a Week
“By the time a Chinese spy balloon crossed into American airspace late last month, U.S. military and intelligence agencies had been tracking it for nearly a week, watching as it lifted off from its home base on Hainan Island near China’s south coast,” the Washington Post reports.
“U.S. monitors watched as the balloon settled into a flight path that would appear to have taken it over the U.S. territory of Guam. But somewhere along that easterly route, the craft took an unexpected northern turn, according to several U.S. officials, who said that analysts are now examining the possibility that China didn’t intend to penetrate the American heartland with their airborne surveillance device.”
“This new account suggests that the ensuing international crisis that has ratcheted up tensions between Washington and Beijing may have been at least partly the result of a mistake.”
Flying Objects Shot Down Were Likely Benign
“The White House said Tuesday that the U.S. intelligence community’s leading explanation for the three most recent unidentified objects shot down over North America is that they were being used for commercial or benign purposes,” NBC News reports.
Senators Ready for a Briefing Unlike Any Other
Punchbowl News: “The American public — including lawmakers — knows surprisingly little about these objects aside from the White House’s unequivocal contention that they have nothing to do with aliens.”
“And a Senate that badly wants to conduct oversight of the Biden administration’s handling of these incidents and figure out how to prevent more in the future has been largely paralyzed.”
Said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): “It’s impossible to make an assessment because there’s virtually no information available beyond what you’ve already seen publicly reported. And it’s just not a sustainable position. I will tell you, this is not usual. You don’t shoot things down over American airspace. We’ve never done that before. And we’ve done it four times in the last eight days.”
First Shot at Flying Object Missed
“The U.S. military jet that downed an unknown object in the Michigan sky on Sunday missed on its first attempt over Lake Huron,” Fox News reports.
“It wasn’t clear where the missile that missed ultimately landed. The second missile took down the target. Each of the missiles costs more than $400,000.”
Chinese Spy Balloon Payload Recovered
“A crane ship on the scene where a Chinese surveillance balloon went down in waters off South Carolina has raised from the ocean bottom a significant portion of the balloon’s payload,” ABC News reports.
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