President Obama isn’t giving up on the Senate ratifying the New START arms control agreement with Russia during the lame-duck session of Congress. The White House even announced that the President is willing to push his vacation back until that happens, reports the Washington Post. But as the clock ticks, Senate Republicans continue to debate the need for additional missile defenses. However, the President got a boost with the announcement by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) Dec. 10 that she now supports the treaty’s approval. She said her new position came after Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton assuaged her concerns over Russian’s large inventory of tactical nuclear weapons versus the much smaller US holdings. They told her the United States remains committed to seeking reductions in Russian tactical nukes and better security of them.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.