For 50 years the Minuteman missile has been armed and ready, day and night, for nuclear war on a moment’s notice. It has never been launched into combat from its underground silos, but this year it became the prime target in a wider political battle over the condition and cost of the nation’s nuclear arsenal.
“Recently, it was reported that the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assaults in the Military, established by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, recommended that it is time to remove commanders from the military justice system and to place in the hands of high-ranking military lawyers the decisions to prefer and refer court-martial charges. … We believe that removing the commander from decisions regarding court-martial charges is drastic and statistically unsubstantiated,” write law scholars Dave Schlueter and Lisa Schenck in The Hill.
Two Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence are sending another message to the White House in the fight to keep U.S. Space Command in Colorado: It’s bad for the Intelligence Community.
“As the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan began last week, the Biden administration released a redacted version of former President Trump’s policy playbook that governed the use of lethal force against terrorism suspects, including via drone strikes. The new release renews public attention on a program that has been a cornerstone of America’s forever wars for nearly 20 years, and accentuates long-standing public concerns about the legacy of the post-9/11 security apparatus and the impact of U.S. lethal engagements,” write the Stimson Center’s Rachel Stool and Shannon Dick.
The U.S. Space Force on May 11 issued three requests for industry proposals on technologies that the military will need to reach space and to operate spacecraft in orbit. The Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise is seeking proposals for next-generation rocket engine testing, launch vehicle upper stage enhancements, and capabilities to maneuver in space. Proposals are due June 10.
Defense officials are vowing to maintain some U.S. troop presence near Afghanistan for counterterrorism operations into the future, but would not say where that force would be based or whether it could be in place before all American troops leave the war-torn country later this fall.
The Air Force has started developing a contract to support the test infrastructure used to evaluate software developed inside its laboratories.
The Joint Staff has revised the Pentagon’s strategy for joint all-domain command and control (JADC2). Now Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks has to decide if it’s good enough. Also, the Joint Staff is making progress on an implementation plan for the new strategy as well as on a JADC2 reference architecture for sharing data across the services and combatant commands, said Army Brig. Gen. Rob Parker, deputy director of the Joint Staff’s J-6 directorate.
A ceremony on May 14 will redesignate the base near Lompoc, California, and the 30th Space Wing as Vandenberg Space Force Base and Space Launch Delta 30, under Space Operations Command, United States Space Force.
The Joint Requirements Oversight Council, led by Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Gen. John E. Hyten, is asserting new powers to direct how the services fulfill combatant commanders’ needs to ensure the future Joint Warfighting Concept is not undercut by competing service imperatives and parochial rivalries.
German defense leaders have admitted there is no firm financing plan for the Future Combat Air System, but they still plan to submit the project to lawmakers for approval soon. At issue are the next phases for the German-Franco-Spanish, next-generation fighter aircraft, dubbed 1B and 2. The decision to proceed marks something of a point of no return given the billions of euros to be pumped into flyable prototypes.
Time machines don’t exist, but this exhibit might be the next best thing. War Remains, an immersive virtual reality experience at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, takes visitors back to the bloody trenches of World War I during the 1917 Battle of Passchendaele, where about 450,000 Allied and German soldiers were killed, wounded, or went missing outside the Belgian city of Ypres.