Senator Marsha Blackburn Introduces Bill to Empower Border States to Place Temporary Barriers on Federal Land

Blackburn Border Wall

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) joined a group of her Republican colleagues in introducing a bill that would authorize U.S. states bordering Canada or Mexico to place temporary structures on federal land to secure its border.

While the U.S. Constitution currently provides for the protection of states “against invasion” and reserves the right of states to defend themselves, states are unable to place structures on federal land without first obtaining authorization from the federal government under current law.

Read the full story

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson Calls on Biden to Urge NATO Allies to Meet Their Defense Spending Commitments

As President Joe Biden prepares for this weekend’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) is asking the president to hold NATO accountable.

Johnson joined 34 of his Republican colleagues in sending Biden a letter asking that he remind NATO allies to honor their commitment to spend at least 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense.

Read the full story

Chinese Spies Have Wormed Their Way into Taiwan’s Military

Policeman holding a rifle - in uniform

Chinese spies infiltrated Taiwan’s military as a part of a campaign to undermine the island’s defense, Reuters reported.

The effort involved recruiting senior officers at the center of the Taiwan’s armed forces, even reaching President Tsai Ing-wen’s security detail, Reuters reported. A retired presidential security officer and a serving military police lieutenant colonel in the unit had convictions upheld this year for leaking sensitive information about her security to Beijing.

“China is conducting a very targeted infiltration effort towards Taiwan,” retired Taiwanese navy Lieutenant Commander Lu Li-shih told Reuters.

Read the full story

Hackers Allegedly Breach Nine Companies Involved in Defense, Energy, and Other Vital Sectors

Ryan Olson

A security firm claims that foreign hackers have infiltrated at least nine companies in several crucial sectors of the economy and government, including defense, energy, technology, and others, according to CNN.

Palo Alto Networks (PAN) shared the information on the breaches with CNN, showing that other affected sectors include education and healthcare. They say that the National Security Agency (NSA) is working with cybersecurity researchers to expose this and other ongoing efforts by foreign entities to hack American infrastructure. PAN’s report included information contributed by a division of the NSA which focuses exclusively on threats against American industrial defense bases by foreign hackers.

Examples of the breaches include the inconspicuous theft of passwords, with the goal of using these passwords to remain inside these networks for a prolonged period of time without anyone even being aware that there was a breach. This would allow hackers to freely receive sensitive data sent over basic communications such as email or information contained on internal storage drives.

Read the full story

Democrats Turn National Defense Authorization Act Into Partisan Issue That Barely Passes House, Rep. DesJarlais Says

  Democrat infighting nearly prevented passage of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act in the House of Representatives Friday, U.S. Rep. Dr. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-04) said in a press release. The annual defense policy bill, which for 58 years has passed with bipartisan support, instead passed in the House on a party-line vote. It survived only because of concessions to far-left socialists, insisting on the elimination of programs critical to defending the United States from Russia, China, Iran and other adversaries, the congressman said. The House on Friday approved the bill after adopting a progressive amendment including a prohibition on deploying lower-yield nuclear weapons and a ban on sending new prisoners to the Guantanamo Bay detention center, Roll Call said. The final vote on the fiscal 2020 bill was 220-197. No Republicans supported the typically bipartisan measure that traditionally has earned more than 300 of the 435 available House votes. A video of DesJarlais addressing the House on the matter is available here. “The legislation simply doesn’t provide our military men and women with the resources needed to adequately protect the homeland and could negatively impact facilities in and around the Fourth District of Tennessee, including Arnold Air Force Base,…

Read the full story

Ohio Legislators Push for New Missile Defense Site to be Located in Ohio

A group of Ohio Legislators in an open letter Thursday called on Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan to select Ohio as the location for a new missile defense site and complex. The Continental United States Interceptor Site (CIS) is the only ground-based segment of the total U.S. defense system. It is currently run by the Department of Defense; Missile Defense Agency and is a major component of the “Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD)” segment, which is part of the overall Ballistic Missile Defense System. This system is responsible for protecting the nation from missile attacks, potentially launched by countries like “Iran and North Korea.” The overall missile defense system of the United States consists of three major segments: the Boost Defense Segment (BDS), the Midcourse Defense Segment (MDS), and the Terminal Defense Segment (TDS). Each focuses on different phases of a potential missile attack on the continent. BDS focuses on the detection and interception of a missile at the earliest possible moments, long before it reaches the apex of its launch trajectory. MDS focuses on the interception of a missile at the midpoint of its trajectory. TDS is last line defense for stopping a missile attack; when the missile is past the midpoint…

Read the full story

US Proposes Selling Taiwan Arms – This Time without Angering China

Washington’s notification of a second weapons sale to Taiwan in as many years is helping arm the client without, so far, enraging its military rival, China, or exacerbating already strained Sino-U.S. ties. The Pentagon notified Congress Monday of a $330 million arms package, including parts for American-made aircraft such as F-16s and F-5s. The package omits new fighter jets, such as F-35s, or technology for submarines despite Taiwan’s requests over the years. But the deal has drawn just a routine protest from China rather than the outrage expected from bigger sales. China claims sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan and insists the two sides eventually unify, by force if needed. Taiwanese prefer their autonomy of some 70 years. To resist China, Taiwan has fostered a military ranked by online database as the world’s 24th strongest. Sino-U.S. ties are already strained by a growing trade dispute. “Some might see spare parts as a kind of rejection, because what Taiwan really wants from the U.S. is many other larger items,” said Sean King, vice president of the Park Strategies political consultancy in New York. “But as I see it, this sale’s just another step in President Trump’s evolving support for Taiwan over the…

Read the full story

Industrial Base Analysis Picks Up Steam; Recommendations to White House by April

General Dynamics’ Lima tank plant, the only factory in the US capable of building main battle tanks. WASHINGTON: President Trump’s sweeping review of the national security industrial base — from shipbuilding to microchips, strategic minerals to vaccines — is almost halfway done. A score of working groups across the government, not just the Pentagon, will submit…

Read the full story

Representative Scott DesJarlais Joins Large Majority in Support of $584 Billion Defense Bill

Tennessee Star

Wednesday, Representative Scott DesJarlais, M.D. (R-TN-04) voted to boost troops’ numbers, pay, training, and equipment in the 2017 Defense Appropriations bill that passed the House of Representatives by a wide margin. The $584 billion defense spending measure for this fiscal year is the first of a series of appropriations bills the House will likely pass before April 28 – the date the continuing spending resolution expires. The final vote tally was 371-48, with five Republicans and forty-three Democrats voting to oppose. The military funding bill reverses the Obama Administration’s proposed troop reductions and includes $1.6 billion over the previous president’s budget request. President Donald Trump and the new Republican Congress have made rebuilding the U.S. military a centerpiece of their agenda, along with a stronger foreign policy to deter aggression. Politico reported on some specific line items of the bill: It notably includes a $6.8 billion boost in procurement funding above the Obama administration’s final fiscal 2017 budget request, including more fighters, helicopters and ships. That includes $979 million for 12 Boeing-made F/A-18 Super Hornets, $750 million for six additional Navy and Marine Corps F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and $495 million for five extra Air Force F-35s. Appropriators also added nearly $3 billion for Navy…

Read the full story