The attacks on the oil facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais in Saudi Arabia are neon flashing warning signs of the threat presented by the proliferation of low flying precision guided weapons like drones and cruise missiles.
President Trump signed off on a two-year budget deal that does many good things: it keeps that the government running, raises the debt ceiling, funds defense and domestic programs at levels their proponents can accept and does all this two months before the fiscal year begins. The downside is that the deal adds $1.6 trillion to the deficit over the next ten years, a bill the current generation has no intention of paying and which it happily sends to its children and grandchildren.
Germany’s former Defense Minister, Ursula von der Leyen has become the new President of the European Commission. Amidst the long list of challenges awaiting her, von der Leyen must find a way to mitigate political disputes within the EU and between the U.S. and NATO to consolidate conflicting visions of European defense.
Between findings of the Russia investigation report by special counsel Robert Mueller, belated FBI briefings on voter registration hacks in Florida, and anticipated bipartisan findings from the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation, it would be inexplicable and inexcusable for lawmakers to fail to act.
The Trump administration is not requesting that Congress raise the budget caps at all, either for defense or non-defense. Instead, the administration is asking Congress to use a loophole in the law to allow for higher defense spending without breaching the budget caps: overseas contingency operations (OCO) funding.