Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Wednesday he “couldn’t support further nominees” with a defense industry background. Speaking during a nomination hearing for four nominees, including a former Raytheon executive tapped to be the next Army secretary, McCain said he had reservations about nominees coming from the Trump administration, but then said he would move the four selections through “as quickly as possible.”
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Adapted rules of engagement for the space domain would be necessary in order to take full advantage of the capabilities of current military satellites, Lt. Gen. John Thompson, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center, told reporters Thursday at a Pentagon press briefing. The National Security Council is considering
such a change, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said in October. Thompson said that today’s satellites in the SBIRS, AEHF, and other constellations are operating in a “baseline configuration.” Within the current ROE, “almost all of those systems…have planned upgrades” to a “second baseline” with greater capability, Thompson said. “If our senior leaders in government make changes to rules of engagement, then I actually see in our future a third baseline,” he said, not permissible under the current ROE. When pressed for specific inadequacies in the current ROE, Thompson said, “we’ve got to get away from systems made to operate in a benign environment and get more towards systems able to be resilient in a contested environment.” —Wilson Brissett
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