A majority of the members of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees won back their seats during Tuesday’s election. Most notably, SASC Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) won despite contentious primary and general elections. His ally, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), was not as lucky. New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan beat the incumbent by only 1,023 votes, according to a release. Of the four senators on SASC who were up for re-election, only Ayotte lost. HASC Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and ranking member Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) held onto their seats. Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), an Air Force veteran and former A-10 pilot, also won. Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), who lost a Senate race, and Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), who lost in the primary, are among the HASC members who will not be returning. HASC member and Army veteran Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) won an Illinois Senate race. With the wins, McCain and Thornberry will be able to continue pursuing the Pentagon reforms and readiness efforts they are seeking to implement. (See also: Election Year Turbulence from the November/December 2016 issue of Air Force Magazine.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.