Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Daily on Defense: House divided begins work, White House threatens veto of defense bill, Kim arrives in Russia, Ukraine pleads for ATACMS

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ROAD TO SHUTDOWN: The House reconvenes today after a long summer recess, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has his work cut out for him. McCarthy wants to pass a stopgap continuing resolution, or "CR," to keep the government funded into November while he tries to reconcile the demands of the raucous hard-right wing of his party.

Without passage of the CR, the federal government would have to shut down Sept. 30, 18 days from now, of which only 11 are working days. Members of the House Freedom Caucus are demanding a vote on impeaching President Joe Biden, an end to so-called woke Pentagon policies, and no more money for Ukraine.

This crisis was supposed to have been averted under the debt ceiling deal that McCarthy brokered with Biden earlier this year, but the hardliners are threatening to block an afternoon procedural vote on the defense appropriations bill until they get a guarantee that all 12 appropriations bills will include cuts below the levels agreed upon by Biden and McCarthy.

"The objective is to save a country that is currently crumbling around us with open borders, a weakened military, spending driving inflation, a Department of Justice that's got its focus on the wrong space," Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) told reporters yesterday. "A shutdown isn't an objective. The objective is to force the administration to the table to come sit down with Republicans and say how are we going to fund a government that's supposed to carry out its responsible duties for the American people."

McCARTHY'S PERILOUS PATH: In order to get temporary spending authority passed, McCarthy may need the votes of some Democrats, a move that would infuriate the far-right factions. The last time McCarthy did that to pass his debt ceiling deal, Freedom Caucus members blocked the House from considering any legislation for a week.

"I think, if he reaches across the aisle, and gets Democrat votes, and goes with a higher number than he has promised before … I think [it] will cause him problems down the road," Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) said on MSNBC Sunday. Buck, a member of the Freedom Caucus, said it will be very difficult to pass a continuing resolution with only Republican votes.

"I think there's a perfect storm brewing in the House in the near future," Buck said. "On the one hand, we've got to pass a continuing resolution. We also have the impeachment issue. And we also have members of the House, led by my good friend, Chip Roy, who are concerned about policy issues. They want riders in the appropriations bills, amendments in the appropriations bills that guarantee some type of security on our southern border … McCarthy, the speaker, has made promises on each of those issues to different groups. And now it is all coming due at the same time."

"And as Republicans, we need to stay focused on the border. We need to stay focused on crime, particularly in urban areas. We need to stay focused on inflation. Those are issues that Americans care about," Buck said. "If we start going down these paths that really bear no fruit — we are not going to get an impeachment through the Senate … And so we can waste our time on issues that are not important, or we can focus on issues that are."


WHITE HOUSE CRIES FOUL: In a memo issued yesterday by the Office of Management and Budget, the White House accused House Republicans of reneging on the Biden-McCarthy budget deal and larding the House version of the Pentagon budget with "partisan policy provisions."

"In May, the Administration negotiated in good faith with the Speaker on bipartisan legislation to avoid a first-ever default and protect the Nation's hard-earned and historic economic recovery… The agreement held spending for non-defense programs roughly flat with FY 2023 levels, a compromise that protected vital programs Americans rely on from draconian cuts House Republicans proposed," the memo stated. "House Republicans had an opportunity to engage in a productive, bipartisan appropriations process, but instead, with less than a month before the end of the fiscal year, are wasting time with partisan bills that cut domestic spending to levels well below the agreement and endanger critical services for the American people."

"The draft bills also include numerous new, partisan policy provisions with devastating consequences including harming access to reproductive healthcare, threatening the health and safety of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) Americans, endangering marriage equality, hindering critical climate change initiatives, and preventing the Administration from promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion."


Good Tuesday morning and welcome to Jamie McIntyre's Daily on Defense, written and compiled by Washington Examiner National Security Senior Writer Jamie McIntyre (@jamiejmcintyre) and edited by Conrad Hoyt. Email here with tips, suggestions, calendar items, and anything else. Sign up or read current and back issues at DailyonDefense.com. If signing up doesn't work, shoot us an email and we'll add you to our list. And be sure to follow me on Threads and/or on X @jamiejmcintyre



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HAPPENING TODAY: The Senate Armed Services Committee meets at 9:30 a.m. to consider the nomination of Gen. David Allvin to be chief of staff of the Air Force.

You can add Allvin to the growing list of senior officers whose promotion or confirmation has been put on hold by Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL). Allvin is supposed to take over for the current Air Force chief, Gen. Charles Q. Brown, who has been nominated to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Brown will likely remain at his current post until he's confirmed, while current chairman Gen. Mark Milley will be retiring on Sept. 29.

"If the holds are not lifted by then and a chairman is not confirmed, then, as I understand it, the vice chairman would be the acting chairman and would be essentially serving in both roles as the acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff," Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters yesterday.

Tuberville, who, when first elected, was unable to name the three branches of government, appeared surprised to learn Milley would not be able to stay on, according to a post on X by CNN's Haley Britzky. "When told he had to leave by law, Tuberville said, "He has to leave? … We'll get someone else to do the job."

MILLEY: PUTIN HAS 'TIN CUP IN HAND': Milley, who has been doing a round of exit interviews in his last month as chairman, told ABC's Martha Raddatz that Russian President Vladimir Putin has approached North Korea "with a tin cup in hand, asking for weapons munitions and support."

In the interview, which is scheduled to air next Sunday, Milley says he doesn't think whatever Putin gets will "make a substantive difference" in the war. "He'll probably get something," Milley said. "I'm not sure how much or how fast, but he'll probably get something out of the North Koreans… "But I don't know that they're gonna get so much that it'll make a substantive difference."

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency confirmed that Kim Jong Un arrived in Russia today, traveling on his personal armored train and accompanied by members of the ruling party, government, and military.


BIDEN CLOSE TO DECISION ON ATACMS: President Joe Biden is reportedly close to deciding whether to grant Ukraine's long-standing requests for the long-range guided missiles and multiple-launch systems made by Lockheed Martin, known as ATACMS.

The consideration comes as time is running out for Ukrainian forces to break through Russian defenses before the Autumn rains make maneuver warfare difficult and as Ukraine's pleas become more desperate.

"We need more heavy weaponry, heavy weaponry, and again heavy weaponry," said Ukraine's new defense minister, Rustem Umerov, in a speech yesterday. "We need it today. We need it now. We need it more."

At the Pentagon, spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said he had nothing to announce about ATACMS but noted the next meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group will be held one week from today at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

"We'll have the opportunity to meet Minister Umerov in person during that event," Ryder said. "We will continue to maintain close contact with Ukraine and our allies and our partners on their security assistance needs … Of course, we're going to work with Ukraine to provide them what they need to be successful."


IRAN PRISONER DEAL NEAR: The Biden administration notified Congress yesterday that it has cleared the way for about $6 billion in South Korean currency to be transferred to Qatar, as part of a deal with Iran to unfreeze oil revenues in return for the release of five Americans held prisoner in Iran.

The deal has drawn fire for going beyond a simple prisoner swap and providing billions to Iran, which, while the money will supposedly be limited to funding humanitarian needs, it will free up other funds Iran can use to fund terrorism.

"There is no prisoner swap with Iran. There is a trade of 5 US citizens for dangerous criminals & $6 billion," posted Richard Goldberg, a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "There is no standalone hostage deal. There is a new phase in a larger deal. $10 billion from Iraq. $7 billion IMF. Billions more in oil exports. Much more still to come."

People familiar with negotiations said the detainees could be back on U.S. soil as early as next week. They include Siamak Namazi, Emad Sharghi, and Morad Tahbaz, along with two others who were not identified.


The Rundown

Washington Examiner: Kremlin confirms Kim Jong Un's visit to Russia at Putin's invitation

Washington Examiner: Inside Kim Jong Un's armored train: The hulking locomotive North Korean despot takes instead of flying

Washington Examiner: Biden administration paves way for Iran prisoner swap deal, signing $6 billion cash waiver

Washington Examiner: Lloyd Austin speaks with new Ukrainian defense minister for first time

Washington Examiner: Joe Biden threatens to veto House appropriations bill for DOD

Washington Examiner: McCarthy not worried about Gaetz threats to speaker's gavel: 'Go ahead and do it'

Washington Examiner: Marine who entered Capitol on Jan. 6 given one hour of community service for each Marine casualty during Civil War

Washington Examiner: What a soldier's complaints tell us about Russia's war effort

Washington Examiner: Pentagon honors victims of 9/11 on anniversary

Washington Examiner: Opinion: Biden deserves credit for Indo-Pacific diplomacy

Washington Examiner: Opinion: Russia's SVR spy chief reminds us of his service's affection for fiction

Politico: Biden Inches Toward Decision on Long-Range Missiles as Ukraine Ups Pressure

AP: Ukraine claims to recapture Black Sea oil platforms seized during Crimea's annexation

AP: Elon Musk's refusal to have Starlink support Ukraine attack in Crimea raises questions for Pentagon

Reuters: China Economy Woes Could Threaten Taiwan, Says U.S. House Committee Chair

Bloomberg: Lockheed Risks $800 Million Withheld Over New F-35 Software

Kyodo News: U.S. Marines Shifting Focus To China, Threat Is "Real": Top General

New York Times: China Uses A.I. to Spread Lies About U.S. Fire

AP: On The Brink Of Joining NATO, Sweden Seeks To Boost Its Defense Spending By 28%

Defense News: NATO Prepares Industry Plan To Boost Arms Production

Military.com: Republican Bill with Massive Boost to Junior Enlisted Pay Sparks Veto Threat from Biden

Air & Space Forces Magazine: Hundreds of Airmen Stuck Waiting To Start Pilot Training As Shortage Persists

Air & Space Forces Magazine: PACAF Boss: China Risks 'Disaster' With Unsafe Intercepts of US Aircraft

Air & Space Forces Magazine: Kendall: Major DAF Review to Focus on 5 Key Functions with Recommendations by January

Air & Space Forces Magazine: 'Your Duty to Provide': Kendall Pushes Lawmakers to Act on Three Fronts

DefenseScoop: Boeing Wins $70M Contract Award for Glide Breaker Counter-Hypersonic Weapons Tech

Defense One: Military Hopes Commercial Airlines Adopt New Hybrid Plane Design

Flight Global: RAF Capability Gaps Leave UK 'Dangerously Exposed', MPs Warn

Air & Space Forces Magazine: Space Superiority May Come Only in Blips, Industry Exec Warns

Air & Space Forces Magazine: Air Force C3 Modernization Czar: 'We're Deploying Capability Starting Now'

Breaking Defense: As DOD Readies New Commercial Space Strategies, Industry Frets Funding Gap

Space News: Air Force Satisfied with SpaceX Services, Not Concerned About Its Growing Dominance

19fortyfive.com: Replicator: How America Plans to Take on the China Military Challenge

The War Zone: KC-135 Tankers Being Eyed For Drone Launcher Role

Air Force Times: Four-Star to Push for Top Unit Award for Airmen Involved in Kabul Evac

Forbes: Opinion: Army Heeds Lessons Of Ukraine, Rethinks How Abrams Tank Will Fight And Win Tomorrow's Wars

The Cipher Brief: The Power of Solid Alliances for Good



7 a.m. 2941 Fairview Park Dr., Falls Church, Virginia — ExecutiveBiz Trusted AI and Autonomy Forum, with Kimberly Sablon, principal director for trusted AI and autonomy at the Defense Department; Ted Maliga, chief technology officer of the U.S. Secret Service; and Landon Van Dyke, chief technology officer and technology senior adviser at the State Department https://events.executivebiz.com/events/register

8:25 a.m. 165 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Maryland — Air and Space Forces Association Air, Space & Cyber Conference, with Gen. B. Chance Saltzman, chief of space operations; William LaPlante, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment; Gen. Anthony Cotton, commander of U.S. Strategic Command; Thomas Bussiere, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command; and Chief Master Sgt. of the Space Force Roger Towberman https://2023asc.expotracker.net/index.aspx

8:30 a.m. 58 E 68th St., New York, N.Y. — House (Select) Strategic Competition Between the U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party Committee field hearing: "Systemic Risk: The Chinese Communist Party's Threat to U.S. Financial Stability," with testimony from Jay Clayton, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission; Jim Chanos, president and founder of Kynikos Associates; and Anne Stevenson-Yang, founder of J Capital Research https://selectcommitteeontheccp.house.gov

9 a.m. Fort Moore, Georgia — Army 2023 Maneuver Warfighter Conference with acting Army chief of staff Gen. Randy George; Gen. Andrew Poppas, commanding general, U.S. Army Forces Command; Gen. Gary Brito, commanding general, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command; and Gen. Charles Flynn, commanding general, U.S. Army Pacific https://www.moore.army.mil/mcoe/maneuverconference/

9 a.m. — Intelligence and National Security Alliance virtual discussion: "Strategic competition with China," with David Frederick, assistant deputy director of the National Security Agency's China Strategy Center; and Bishop Garrison, INSA vice president for policy https://www.insaonline.org/detail-pages

9 a.m. — Middle East Institute virtual discussion: "Defense and Deterrence on NATO's Front Line: The Cases of Romania and Poland," with Eoin Power, research fellow at the MEI Black Sea Program; Yekaterina Klepanchuk, research fellow at the MEI Black Sea Program; and Iulia-Sabina Joja, director of the MEI Black Sea Program https://www.mei.edu/events/defense-and-deterrence-natos-front-line

9:15 a.m. 9/11 Memorial & Museum, New York, N.Y. — House Homeland Security Emergency Management and Technology Subcommittee field hearing: "Evolving Threats: Security and Safety in a Post-9/11 World" https://www.youtube.com/channel

9:30 a.m. — Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the nomination of Gen. David Allvin to be chief of staff of the Air Force http://www.armed-services.senate.gov

10 a.m. — Center for Strategic and International Studies virtual discussion: "Army Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Strategy: Defining a New Course," with OSINT Defense Intelligence Senior Leader Dennis Eger; and Shawn Nilius, director of the Army OSINT Office https://www.csis.org/events/army-osint-defining-new-course

11 a.m. — Wilson Center Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies virtual discussion: "How Does the Kremlin Man the War in Ukraine?" with Olesya Tkacheva, associate professor at the Brussels School of Governance's Center for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/how-does-kremlin-man-war-ukraine

12 p.m. — Washington Post Live virtual discussion: "Bipartisan efforts to regulate artificial intelligence," with Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM); and Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) https://www.washingtonpost.com/washington-post-live

1 p.m. — Stimson Center virtual discussion:: "U.S. Policy Toward Afghanistan," with Tom West, U.S. special representative and deputy assistant secretary of state for Afghanistan; Elizabeth Threlkeld, senior fellow and director, South Asia Program, Stimson Center; and Brian Finlay, president and CEO, Stimson Center https://www.stimson.org/event/us-policy-toward-afghanistan

1 p.m. — U.S. Navy Memorial virtual discussion with Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy James Honea https://www.navymemorial.org/new-events/sitrep-0923

1 p.m. 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW — Center for Strategic and International Studies virtual and in-person discussion:: "Next War Online: Using Cyber Games to Understand Emerging Threats," with Ben Jensen, CSIS senior fellow for gaming, future war, and strategy; Lt. Col. William Chesarek, senior program manager, General Dynamics Information Technology; John Foti, public-private partnership wargame and exercise lead, Booz Allen Hamilton; Nina Kollars, associate professor, Cyber and Innovation Policy Institute, U.S. Naval War College; Jacquelyn Schneider, director, Wargaming and Crisis Simulation Initiative, Hoover Institution; Yasir Atalan, graduate fellow, Center for Data Science, American University; and Emily Harding, deputy director and senior fellow, CSIS International Security Program https://www.csis.org/events/next-war-online-using-cyber-games

2 p.m. — Georgetown University Center for Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Studies, Walsh School of Foreign Service virtual and in-person discussion: "Transforming the Indo-Pacific Order: The AUKUS Wager, with Charles Edel, Australia chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies https://www.georgetown.edu/event/transforming-the-indo-pacific-order-the-aukus-wager

4 p.m. 1030 15th St. NW — Atlantic Council discussion: "Navy Financial Management: Building the Force," with Russell Rumbaugh, assistant Navy secretary for financial management and comptroller https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/event/navy-financial-management

4:30 p.m. — Government Executive Media Group discussion: "Propelling Innovation: How the Air and Space Forces Are Embracing New Tech," with Luke Walter, division chief at the Air Force AFWERX Insight Division; Daniel Ateya, managing director of RTX Ventures; Christian Brose, chief strategy officer at Anduril Industries; and Marcus Weisgerber, global business editor at Defense One https://events.defenseone.com/cocktails-and-conversation-air-space-cyber


TBA 325 Russell — Senate hosts first "Artificial Intelligence Insight Forum," with Elon Musk, CEO of X and Tesla; Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft; Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI; Rumman Chowdhury, CEO of Humane Intelligence; Clement Delangue, CEO of Hugging Face; Eric Fanning, president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association; Tristan Harris, co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology; Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia; Alex Karp, co-founder and CEO of Palantir; Arvind Krishna, CEO of IBM; Janet Murguia, president of UnidosUS; Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft; Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google; Deborah Raji, researcher at the University of California, Berkeley; Charles Rivkin, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association; Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google; Elizabeth Shuler, president of the AFL-CIO; Meredith Stiehm, president of the Writers Guild of America West; Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers; Maya Wiley, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights; and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta. RSVP: Gracie Kanigher, gracie.kanigher@schumer.senate.gov

8:15 a.m. 165 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Maryland — Air and Space Forces Association Air, Space & Cyber Conference, with Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne Bass; and Adm. Christopher Grady, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff https://2023asc.expotracker.net/index.aspx

9 a.m. — Center for a New American Security virtual discussion on a new report: "Strengthening the Shield: Japan's Defense Transformation and the U.S.-Japan Alliance," with Zack Cooper, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; Jimbo Ken, managing director of the International House of Japan; Yuki Tatsumi, director of the Stimson Center's Japan Program; Jacob Stokes, senior fellow at the CNAS's Indo-Pacific Security Program; and Joshua Fitt, associate fellow at the CNAS's Indo-Pacific Security Program https://www.cnas.org/events/virtual-launch-event

10 a.m. — Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies Brzezinski Lecture Series event, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken http://www.sais-jhu.edu

10 a.m. 2128 Rayburn — House Financial Services Committee hearing: "Oversight of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. and Other Efforts to Strengthen National Security in the U.S." http://financialservices.house.gov

11 a.m. — Washington Post Live virtual book discussion of Elon Musk, with author Walter Isaacson https://www.washingtonpost.com/washington-post-live

12:30 p.m. — Atlantic Council discussion: "Three years on: The regional impact and future of the Abraham Accords," with Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL); Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN); Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC); Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC); Bahrain Ambassador to the U.S. Abdullah bin Rashed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa; National Security Council Senior Director for the Middle East Army Lt. Gen. Terry Wolff; and David Makovsky, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy's Koret Project on Arab-Israel Relations https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/event/the-regional-impact-and-future-of-the-abraham-accords

1:30 p.m. — Center for a New American Security virtual discussion: "Cyber Resiliency: Discussing the 2023 DOD Cyber Strategy," with John Plumb, assistant defense secretary for space policy; Mieke Eoyang, deputy assistant defense secretary for cyber policy; and Richard Fontaine, CEO of CNAS https://www.cnas.org/events/virtual-event-cyber-resiliency

2:30 p.m. 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW — Wilson Center Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies discussion: "Scenarios for Post-Putin Russia," with Sergey Aleksashenko, member of the Anti-War Committee of Russia; Vladislav Inozemtsev, special adviser at the Middle East Media Research Institute; Denis Bilunov, researcher at the Charles University in Prague; and Irina Olimpieva, founder and executive director of the Center for Independent Social Research in the USA https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/scenarios-post-putin-russia


9:30 a.m. G-50 Dirksen — Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the nomination of Adm. Lisa Franchetti to be chief of naval operations http://www.armed-services.senate.gov

10 a.m. HVC-210, U.S. Capitol — House Foreign Affairs Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia Subcommittee hearing: "Iran's Escalating Threats: Assessing U.S. Policy Toward Iran's Malign Activities," with testimony from Norman Roule, former national intelligence manager for Iran; Behnam Ben Taleblu, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Masih Alinejad, author and activist; and Suzanne Maloney, vice president and director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution http://foreignaffairs.house.gov

11 a.m. — National Endowment for Democracy virtual book discussion: Beijing Rules: How China Weaponized Its Economy to Confront the World, with author Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, China reporter at Axios https://www.ned.org/events/beijing-rules-with-bethany-allen/

1 p.m. — Carnegie Endowment for International Peace virtual discussion: "The Ukrainian Counter-Offensive: Implications for U.S. Policy," with Dara Massicot, senior fellow at the CEIP Russia and Eurasia Program; Michael Kofman, senior fellow at the CEIP Russia and Eurasia Program; and Aaron David Miller, CEIP senior fellow https://carnegieendowment.org/2023/09/14/carnegie-connects

1:30 p.m. 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW — Center for Strategic and International Studies discussion: "Integration of the U.S. Missile Defense Enterprise," with William Greenwalt, nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; and Roger Kodat, senior project director of the National Academy of Public Administration https://www.csis.org/events/integration-us-missile-defense-enterprise


9 a.m. 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW — Brookings Institution discussion: "Ukraine, the West, and the World: Breaking Point or Transformational Moment?" https://www.brookings.edu/events/ukraine-the-west-and-the-world

9:30 a.m. 2401 M St., NW — George Washington University Project for Media and National Security Defense Writers Group conversation with Mieke Eoyang, deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy. RSVP: Thom Shanker tshanker@email.gwu.edu

11 a.m. — Center for a New American Security virtual fireside chat of CNAS report: "'Production is Deterrence': Investing in Precision-Guided Munitions to Meet Peer Challengers," with William LaPlante, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment; and moderator Stacie Pettyjohn, senior fellow and director of the CNAS Defense Program https://www.cnas.org/events/virtual-fireside-chat-the-honorable-dr-william-laplante


"China is preparing for a war, and specifically for a war with the United States. Again, war is not inevitable, and no one can predict when or if it will occur. Our job is to deter that war and to be ready to win if it occurs."
Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, speaking at the Air and Space Forces Association Air, Space & Cyber Conference Monday.
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