Protection & Nationwide Safety — Protection authorization invoice enters last stretch

Lawmakers are staring down the ultimate leg of the journey to getting the annual protection spending invoice handed, however not with out a few hiccups alongside the way in which, together with final minute efforts to tack on unrelated payments to the laws and a late GOP push to attempt to finish the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for navy service members.  

We’ll share the place the invoice is in all of this plus the secretly modified rocket programs despatched to Ukraine and the way the Ukraine-Russia struggle is affecting U.S.-Russia nuclear talks. 

That is Protection & Nationwide Safety, your nightly information to the most recent developments on the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and past. For The Hill, I’m Ellen Mitchell. Enroll right here or within the field beneath.

White Home opposes repealing mandate through NDAA 

The White Home opposes utilizing the annual protection spending invoice to repeal a vaccine mandate for navy service members, nationwide safety spokesperson John Kirby informed reporters on Monday. 

President Biden is in settlement with Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin that the mandate ought to stay in place, Kirby stated. Republican lawmakers have threatened to delay passage of the annual protection authorization invoice if the navy’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which was instituted final 12 months, is just not rescinded. 

“He continues to consider that every one People, together with these within the armed forces, needs to be vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19,” Kirby informed reporters, calling it a “well being and readiness concern for the drive.” 

Some background: Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who’s vying for the Speaker’s gavel within the subsequent Congress, stated on Sunday that he believes the vaccine mandate for the navy shall be lifted by means of the Nationwide Protection Authorization Act (NDAA). 

“In any other case, the invoice is not going to transfer,” McCarthy stated on Fox Information’s “Sunday Morning Futures.” 

A attainable compromise: McCarthy and different congressional leaders met with Biden final week on the White Home. 

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), chairman of the Home Armed Companies Committee, informed Politico final week {that a} rollback of the vaccine mandate was attainable in a compromise NDAA. 

The GOP argument: Republican officers have argued for months {that a} vaccine mandate for the navy is an instance of presidency overreach. Former President Trump and others have argued that members who have been discharged for refusing the vaccine needs to be reinstated. 

Learn the complete story right here 


Not less than two progressive Democrats on Monday stated they’d vote in opposition to a protection spending invoice if it comprises components of Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) allowing reform push.  

Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) tweeted that they’d vote in opposition to the NDAA if it contained what they described as “giveaways to the fossil gas trade.” 

“We will advance allowing for clear power with out taking a hatchet to environmental protections for frontline communities. This isn’t what @RepMcEachin would have needed,” Grijalva stated, invoking the late Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va.).  

“I’ll vote in opposition to the NDAA rule if we proceed with this fossil gas giveaway,” he added.  

Optimistic: In the meantime, Khanna expressed optimism that the laws could possibly be stopped. 

“I’ll vote in opposition to the rule for NDAA consideration if it contains giveaways to the fossil gas trade. If even 10 Home progressives vote in opposition to it, it possible can’t move,” Khanna tweeted. 

Learn the remainder right here 

Additionally from The Hill:  

US secretly modified HIMARS for Ukraine   

The Pentagon secretly modified superior rocket programs it despatched to Ukraine to make the weapons unable to fireplace into Russia and escalate the struggle. 

Since June, the U.S. has provided Kyiv with 20 of the Excessive Mobility Artillery Rocket Techniques (HIMARS), however the weapons are uniquely modified to allow them to’t fireplace long-range missiles, The Wall Road Journal reported, citing U.S. officers. 

Extra on the weapon: The HIMARS are wheeled automobiles geared up with rocket programs, that are connected to the again. 

Together with the HIMARS, the U.S. has provided Guided A number of Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) with a variety of fifty miles, which have been used to strike Russian ammunition depots and command facilities inside Ukraine. 

Earlier: When President Biden introduced the Protection Division was transport the HIMARS and ammunition to Ukraine on the finish of Might, he stated they’d solely be used for protection and the administration was “not going to ship to Ukraine rocket programs that strike into Russia.” 

  • Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelensky additionally promised on the time to not use the missile programs to strike targets inside Russia. 
  • The U.S. has additionally resisted sending Military Tactical Missile System (ATMS) rockets, a surface-to-surface missile that may hit targets as much as 186 miles away. Officers cited related issues about Ukraine hanging targets in Russia. 

Ongoing name to arms: Calls to supply Ukraine with longer-range missile programs and extra superior weaponry to strike again have grown extra pressing after Russia in October started bombarding civilian infrastructure and power grids in Ukraine. 

A brand new wave of Russian rocket strikes hit cities throughout Ukraine on Monday. 

Learn the remainder right here 

Ukraine struggle bleeds into Russia-US nuclear talks    

Rock-bottom relations between the U.S. and Russia amid the Ukraine struggle are bleeding into some of the high-stakes space of the connection: strategic communication over nuclear weapons.  

Russia’s rejection of assembly U.S. officers in Egypt for nuclear talks over a soon-to-expire treaty is elevating the danger that Washington is shedding its means to speak with Moscow, even over some of the fragile and preserved problems with mutual significance.   

Russian President Vladimir Putin has appeared to tone down rhetoric threatening the usage of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, however consultants say the free speak, coupled with a breakdown in diplomacy, has put the danger of nuclear battle almost on par with the Chilly Struggle.  

“Even in the course of the worst of the Chilly Struggle, we have been nonetheless speaking to at least one one other,” stated Jim Townsend, who served as deputy assistant secretary of protection for Europe and NATO in the course of the Obama administration.  

“We would like this stuff to occur as a result of it means we’re making an attempt to convey some sanity to the nuclear world.” 

Learn that story right here 


  • The Brookings Establishment will maintain a dialog on “The arc of insecurity within the Horn of Africa and new breakthroughs,” at 8:30 a.m. 
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken and nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan will communicate on the Worldwide Anti-Corruption Convention on “Uprooting Corruption, Defending Democratic Values,” at 9 a.m. 
  • The Home Overseas Affairs Committee will maintain a listening to on “Confronting Yemen’s Humanitarian and Political Crises And not using a Ceasefire,” at 10 a.m. 
  • The Middle for Strategic and Worldwide Research will host a dialogue on “The Function of Digital Administration Techniques in Ukraine’s Reconstruction,” with Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandra Azarkhina, at 11:30 a.m.  
  • Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will communicate at a Hudson Institute speak on “Australia’s Function within the China Battle,” at 12:30 p.m.  
  • The Atlantic Council will maintain a discussion board on “Securing area: Making ready for future area contingencies,” with Principal Protection Division Director of House and Missile Protection Coverage Travis Langster, at 2 p.m. 


That’s it for immediately! Try The Hill’s Protection and Nationwide Safety pages for the most recent protection. See you tomorrow!