Overnight Defense: Senate votes down Paul's bid to repeal war authorizations| Mattis wants to keep all three parts of nuclear triad | Boeing wins Air Force One design contract

Overnight Defense: Senate votes down Paul's bid to repeal war authorizations| Mattis wants to keep all three parts of nuclear triad | Boeing wins Air Force One design contract
© Keren Carrion

THE TOPLINE: The Senate on Wednesday killed an effort by Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLewandowski: Trump-Putin meeting advances goal of world peace Rand Paul to travel to Russia after downplaying election meddling Implementation of a 'universal basic income' program would be a disaster MORE (R-Ky.) to repeal two war authorizations.

The outcome was expected, but still marks the first time the full Senate has voted on the issue since 2002.

The Hill's Jordain Carney has more:

Senators voted 61-36 Wednesday to table an amendment from the Kentucky Republican to get rid of the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force (AUMF).


Paul wanted to attach a six-month sunset of the two war bills to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that is moving through the Senate. The 2001 AUMF was approved the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, while the 2002 AUMF authorized the Iraq War.

Paul warned that voting against his resolution was voting to let the president do "whatever he wants."

Read the rest here.


MATTIS BACKS TRIAD: Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Fears rise over Trump-Putin summit | McCain presses Trump to hold Putin 'accountable' for hacking | Pentagon does damage control after NATO meet Mattis doesn't mention Russia by name at meeting with Balkan officials: report Trump references ‘legitimate media and fake-news media’ at meeting with NATO leader MORE said Wednesday that the U.S. needs to keep all three of its methods of delivering nuclear weapons, acknowledging his views on the nuclear triad have changed.

"I've questioned the triad," Mattis told reporters flying with him to Minot Air Force Base, according to The Associated Press.

"I cannot solve the deterrent problem reducing it from a triad," he added, referring to the delivery of nuclear weapons by land, sea and air. "If I want to send the most compelling message, I have been persuaded that the triad in its framework is the right way to go."

Prior to becoming Defense secretary, Mattis supported eliminating silo-based intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Read more here.


$600M FOR INITIAL AIR FORCE ONE DESIGN CONTRACT: The Air Force has awarded a $600 million contract to Boeing for "preliminary design efforts" on the new Air Force One planes, officials announced Wednesday.

The contract covers the design of electrical power upgrades, a mission communication system, medical facility, executive interior, self-defense system and autonomous ground operations capabilities, according to the Air Force.

Maj. Gen. Duke Richardson, executive officer of the Air Force's presidential airlift recapitalization program, called the contract "the next major step forward toward ensuring an overall affordable program."

Read more here.


HOUSE VOTES TO BLOCK IRAN AIRCRAFT SALES: The House passed two amendments Wednesday that would block aircraft sales to Iran, which were allowed under the 2015 nuclear deal.

The Hill's Cristina Marcos reports:

The House adopted measures on Wednesday to prevent sales of commercial aircraft to Iran, despite warnings from some Democrats that it would undermine the international accord to curtail the country's nuclear weapons program.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) offered two amendments to a 2018 government spending package that would specifically prohibit the use of funds to authorize financial transactions for the sales. It would also prevent the Office of Foreign Assets Control from clearing licenses to allow aircraft sales.

Roskam said the U.S. should refrain from selling the aircraft to Iran given the country's history of using commercial aircraft to transport resources, like weapons and troops, to support President Bashar Assad in Syria.

"Until Iran ceases using commercial aircraft to support terrorists and war criminals, western companies ought not be allowed to sell Iranian airliners more aircraft that they can use to fuel Assad's brutal war," Roskam said during House floor debate.

Read the rest here.



The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hear from State and Treasury Department officials on U.S. policy options to support democracy in Venezuela at 10 a.m. at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, room 419. http://bit.ly/2gRncmj



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