Protection & Nationwide Safety — Extra particulars emerge on missile that struck Poland 

When information broke on Tuesday {that a} missile had crossed into Poland and killed two folks, fingers rapidly pointed to Russia. However rising assessments from Poland and NATO counsel that it was a Ukrainian air protection missile that fell simply throughout the Polish border. 

We’ll share the most recent particulars on the investigation into the incident and what U.S. officers are saying, plus the sentencing of the three males accused within the
2014 downing of Malaysian Airways Flight 17 over Ukraine, the outcomes of the Pentagon’s newest audit and startling new figures on the Junior Reserve Officers’ Coaching Corps instructors accused of sexual misconduct. 

That is Protection & Nationwide Safety, your nightly information to the newest developments on the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and past. For The Hill, I’m Ellen Mitchell. A pal ahead this article to you?

Zelensky not ‘100%’ sure what occurred

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated he was not fully certain what occurred with the missile blast that killed two folks in Poland close to the border with Ukraine.  

Zelensky beforehand insisted that the rocket was not Ukrainian and needed proof if Ukraine’s air protection was accountable. However he softened his place at Bloomberg’s New Economic system Discussion board in Singapore on Thursday, saying that Ukrainian army leaders informed him that the crater from the blast web site instructed {that a} Ukrainian anti-air rocket couldn’t be solely accountable. 

“I don’t know 100% — I feel the world additionally doesn’t 100% know what occurred,” he stated. “We are able to’t say particularly that this was the air protection of Ukraine.” 

An investigation: Representatives of NATO nations rapidly gathered for an emergency assembly after two Polish folks have been killed in a village about 15 miles from Poland’s border with Ukraine.  

  • Following the assembly, preliminary investigations present the missile was possible the results of Ukrainian protection towards Russian missiles. 
  • And Polish President Andrzej Duda stated on Wednesday that it was “extremely possible” that the strike resulted from Ukrainian air protection and gave the impression to be an accident. 

The Pentagon’s view: At a press convention Wednesday, U.S. Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin stated the U.S. continues to be gathering data however has “seen nothing that contradicts [Duda’s] preliminary evaluation that this explosion was most certainly the results of a Ukrainian air protection missile that sadly landed in Poland.” 

“Regardless of the last conclusions could also be, the world is aware of that Russia bears final duty for this incident,” he added. 

A sigh of aid: The brand new assessments which have since emerged seem to calm worries that the strike would trigger the almost nine-month conflict to escalate, because it didn’t seem Russia had intentionally focused Poland. Such an incidence might have drawn NATO into the battle underneath Article 5 of the alliance’s treaty, which states that an assault towards one member is considered as an assault on all. 

Presenting proof: Zelensky stated Ukrainian investigators are touring to the positioning in Poland, and Polish officers have stated they are going to current their proof to the Ukrainian authorities. 

Learn the total story right here 


Russia’s army focused vitality infrastructure hubs within the metropolis of Dnipro in central Ukraine and the northeastern area of Kharkiv in a brand new wave of airstrikes, officers stated.  

Ukrainian state vitality firm Naftogaz additionally stated gasoline manufacturing services in japanese Ukraine have been broken or destroyed within the assaults. 

The top of Ukraine’s presidential workplace, Andriy Yermak, known as Russia’s newest assaults on vitality infrastructure “naive ways of cowardly losers.” 

“Ukraine has already withstood extraordinarily tough strikes by the enemy, which didn’t result in outcomes the Russian cowards hoped for,” Yermak wrote in a Telegram put up. 

Russian airstrikes additionally hit an enormous protection plant in Dnipro, Reuters famous, and focused the Odessa area in southern Ukraine for the primary time in weeks. 

Learn the remainder right here 

Three convicted over downing of jet over Ukraine 

A Dutch courtroom on Thursday convicted two Russians and one pro-Moscow Ukrainian separatist of homicide for the lethal 2014 downing of Malaysian Airways Flight 17 over japanese Ukraine, sentencing all three to life in jail.   

The courtroom discovered that “solely the best acceptable jail sentence can be acceptable” for former Russian intelligence brokers Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinskiy and Ukrainian separatist Leonid Kharchenko for the murders of 298 folks onboard who died within the downing of Flight MH17. 

The decision: The downing of the Boeing 777 — which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was introduced down by a Russian Buk missile on July 17, 2014 — triggered such “devastating penalties” that “a restricted interval of imprisonment won’t suffice,” a press launch from the Hague District Courtroom acknowledged.  

Although the three defendants didn’t fireplace the missile on the airplane, they have been discovered to have helped transfer the weapon from Russia into Ukraine. 

Justice served?: Not one of the three attended or took half within the trial in a courtroom on the Schiphol Judicial Complicated in Badhoevedorp, the Netherlands, and have been tried in absentia. They’re believed to be in Russia and extradition is unlikely. 

A world incident: The airplane’s downing, which killed 15 crew members and 283 passengers from 17 nations, occurred over territory held by rebels in japanese Ukraine early within the battle between pro-Moscow separatists and Ukrainian forces.  

The incident drew worldwide condemnation and the world watched in horror as pictures emerged of smoldering airplane wreckage and our bodies and baggage strewn throughout fields.   

Learn extra right here 

DOD fails one other audit, however makes progress  

The Protection Division has failed its fifth-ever audit, unable to account for greater than half of its belongings, however the effort is being considered as a “teachable second,” in response to its chief monetary officer.  

After 1,600 auditors combed via DOD’s $3.5 trillion in belongings and $3.7 trillion in liabilities, officers discovered that the division couldn’t account for about 61 % of its belongings, Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord informed reporters on Tuesday. 

An anticipated end result: McCord stated the division has made progress towards a “clear” audit prior to now yr, however later added “we didn’t get an ‘A.’”  

“I might not say that we flunked. The method is necessary for us to do, and it’s making us get higher. It’s not making us get higher as quick as we would like,” he stated.  

This yr’s end result was not surprising. 

Some background: Federal legislation for the reason that early Nineties requires necessary audits for all authorities companies, and since fiscal yr 2013 all however the DOD have been in a position to fulfill that requirement.  

  • The sheer dimension and scope of the division — which makes up for greater than half of the U.S. discretionary spending and has belongings that vary from personnel and provides to bases and weapons — makes it tough to audit.  
  • In December 2017, protection officers set out to scrutinize DOD’s books, the primary complete audit of the company in its historical past. That effort failed the following yr, and the 4 that adopted.   

A herculean enterprise: McCord stated the newest audit required 220 in-person web site visits and 750 digital web site visits by Pentagon officers and unbiased public accounting agency personnel. 

What they discovered have been a number of new weaknesses in how DOD accounted for its belongings, which embody almost 2.9 million army personnel; gear and weapons together with 19,700 plane and greater than 290 ships; and bodily gadgets together with buildings, roads and fences on 4,860 websites worldwide. 

Learn that story right here 

Abuse in JROTC extra intensive than was recognized

U.S. lawmakers wanting into the army’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Coaching Corps (JROTC) program discovered that a minimum of 60 instructors have been accused of sexual misconduct towards highschool cadets prior to now 5 years, a determine far past what was beforehand recognized.  

Of these 60 allegations, 58 have been substantiated, in response to a congressional memo launched Wednesday by the Home Oversight and Reform Committee’s majority employees forward of a listening to on the JROTC program. 

An earlier investigation: The New York Occasions launched a sweeping investigative report in July that discovered dozens of retired service members who grew to become leaders in JROTC applications focused, groomed and sexually abused or harassed underage women.   

The Occasions investigation discovered a minimum of 33 such instructors who have been criminally charged with sexual misconduct involving college students — along with many others who have been accused however by no means charged — over a five-year interval. 

Digging deeper: The report prompted Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), chairman of the committee’s nationwide safety subpanel, in August to write letters to the Pentagon asking for data on how the army providers conduct oversight of their respective JROTC corps.     

After that, an initially reported determine of 33 almost doubled when the Pentagon this month acknowledged there have been 60 allegations of sexual abuse, harassment and different sexual misconduct made towards JROTC instructors in the course of the previous 5 years. 

A ‘disturbing image’: “The knowledge our Subcommittee is releasing as we speak paints a disturbing image of how some JROTC instructors are utilizing their positions of authority to take advantage of and abuse college students who’ve positioned their religion and belief within the U.S. army,” Lynch stated in an announcement accompanying the brand new data.    

“What we now have realized from the division is really alarming,” Maloney stated on the nationwide safety subcommittee listening to Wednesday. “Our investigation has uncovered {that a} lack of Pentagon oversight seems to have enabled the predatory conduct of a few of the JROTC instructors. Any allegation of sexual assault, abuse or harassment on this program is one too many and must be addressed.” 

Learn the total story right here 


  • The George Washington College Elliott Faculty of Worldwide Affairs will maintain a dialogue on “Russia’s New Rising State Ideology,” at 10 a.m. 
  • Military Secretary Christine Wormuth will converse on the Middle for a New American Safety on “Recruitment, Retention, and High quality of Life within the Power” at 10:30 a.m. 
  • The American Enterprise Institute for Public Coverage Analysis will maintain a dialog on the e book “The Peacemaker: Ronald Reagan, the Chilly Conflict, and the World on the Brink,” at 2 p.m. 


That’s it for as we speak! Take a look at The Hill’s Protection and Nationwide Safety pages for the newest protection. See you tomorrow!