ON THE GLIDE SLOPE: Mark Esper President Trump who was nominated as a replacement candidate for the Department of Defense, did everything yesterday to get a quick and easy affirmation. With one notable exception (see below), he effortlessly went through his 2-hour, 45-minute hearing before the Armed Forces Committee, telling the senators exactly what they wanted to hear, assuring them that he would work on their concerns and show them in general deep understanding of the problems of the US military.
The hearing was largely a bipartisan love affair that began with the candidate's presentation by former Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine compared Esper with Jim Mattis the widely respected former Defense Secretary, which resigned last December because of political differences with the president.
"Most of us were very disheartened by the resignation of Secretary Mattis. And what we were hoping for is a successor who can show the same openness and the same principle even under the most difficult circumstances and who can show the willingness to remain independent, "said Kaine at the beginning of the hearing. "I believe that Dr. Esper has these qualities."
IN THE FORM OF MATTIS: Although Mattis' resume is lacking as a decorated general and legendary commander, Esper has a solid military background, having worked for 1
And while Esper was not exactly Mattis' protégé, he took over his positions including the three "lines of effort" to lead the Pentagon into the 21st century, namely building a more deadly force To strengthen alliances and reform the Pentagon to free resources.
Michigan Democrat Gary Peters asked Esper up close: "Would you be a Secretary of Defense whose views are more with Minister Mattis or rather with President Trump
"No, I know where to choose between the two," Esper told His Values, Esper said, "Anyway," adding, "In the army, I grew up with the view, that you are asked to do anything illegal, immoral, or unethical to consider resignation and you would be prepared to do so. "
WARREN'S CRUSADE : The one tense part of the hearing took place when Democrats and President Elizabeth Warren aggressively started Esper on a barbecue from their pet issues. Warren has proposed laws to tighten conflict-of-interest rules when members of the administration come from or move to the private sector.
Warren repeatedly urged Esper to voluntarily agree on an extension of the deadline for requiring reuse from matters affecting his former employer, Raytheon, from two years to the remainder of his term. And she wanted a promise that he would never ask for a waiver, which is provided for under extreme circumstances by law. Both go beyond the current ethical requirements.
But it was Warren's accusation that demanded yes-or-no answers and refused to let Esper give nuanced answers, which put many of her colleagues in the wrong direction.
The Chairman of the Committee Jim Inhofe had to intervene so that Esper could answer Warren's question. Later he apologized for the exchange, which he described as "unfair". The Democrat Joe Manchin also expressed consternation and said to Esper, "I hope you recognize that this is part of this process."
"I am very disappointed that Sen. Warren you after decades Demonstrate service only because you have served in the private sector. "Said Rick Scott a Republican from Florida. "There are many of us who have worked in the private sector and who do not interfere with our ability to do our job, and I assume it only took a moment for their presidential campaign," Scott said. [GoodmorningWednesdayandwelcome Jamie McIntyre's Daily on Defense written and compiled by Washington Examiner National Chief Security Author Jamie McIntyre ( @jamiejmcintyre ) and published by Kelly Jane Torrance ( @kjtorrance ). You can send us an email here for tips, suggestions, calendar entries, and so on Friend has been sent and you want to sign up, click here .If the registration is not working, please drop us an email and we will add you to our list us on Twitter: @dailyondefense .
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DONE TODAY: The annual Aspen Security Forum begins tonight in Aspen, Colorado, with a discussion on the future of NATO. Jens Stoltenberg . The three-day event features a who-is-who of national security greats, including Adm. Philip Davidson Commander of the US Command for the Indo-Pacific; Lt. General Robert Ashley Director, Defense Intelligence Agency, Zalmay Khalilzad US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation; and Adm. Karl Schultz Commander of the US Coast Guard. The video of the different panels will be broadcast live until Friday. The full agenda can be found here .
TRUMPING TURKEY? The Pentagon, the State Department and Congress have repeatedly said last year that Turkey can not have both The US F-35 fighter and the Russian S-400 missile system to launch it.
After Turkey has accepted the delivery of sophisticated Russian air defense, we have been waiting for a formal announcement as to whether the US will do away with its threat and consider whether Ankara will impose additional economic sanctions on Ankara, as stated in Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) is provided.
There is still no official announcement yesterday President Trump reluctantly admitted that the US can not give Turkey the 100 ordered F-35s or even allow them to build parts for them, even though he says that Turkey is here Victim is.
"We have a situation where Turkey is very good with us, very good, and now we tell Turkey that we will not sell you the F-35 fighters because you were really forced to to buy another missile system. It is a very difficult situation they are in and it is a very difficult situation we have been transferred to, the United States, "Trump said. "After all that is said, we work on it. We'll see what happens, but it's not really fair.
ALL OBAMA'S ERROR: Trump accuses the Obama administration of allegedly refusing to sell US Patriot missiles to Turkey and "forcing" NATO ally to go with Russia , One reason why the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed an agreement with Moscow is that it contains a co-production agreement that would eventually allow Turkey to build its own missile defense systems based on Russian technology.
The US was ready to sell Turkish Patriot missiles but did not give up the technology behind them. Ultimately, it was alongside Erdogan's increasing abandonment of NATO and of Russia, which killed the sale of the Patriots.
DO SANCTIONS COME? Congress called on Trump to abide by the law and punish Turkey without challenging them only from the F-35 program. "The secretary and the president are considering all options provided for in the CAATSA legislation," Foreign Ministry spokesman Morgan Ortagus said under US law. "
IRAN SUSPECTED BY SHIPPING: An oil tanker under panamanian flag last seen near the Strait of Hormuz may have been seized by Iranian naval forces.
The MT Riah has disappeared, according to the ship's data, after entering Iran's waters at the weekend. US intelligence officials believe it may have been transferred to Iranian territory by members of the Iranian Navy of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps according to CNN Barbara Starr . Some reports claim that the Riah belongs to the United Arab Emirates, but an official from the UAE denied that statement on Monday.
McKenzie in the GULF REGION: This latest incident is a US Central Commander gene. Frank McKenzie travels to the region and examines US plans to prevent Iran from threatening international shipping.
"Of course we would take this very seriously," said McKenzie CBS's David Martin traveling with him.
McKenzie is considering plans for the US to lead what Secretary Esper called "passive patrols" yesterday as part of a mission called Operation Sentinel.
The theater has acted to deter them. And I think we are in a time when they are recalculating and trying to judge our intention. McKenzie told CBS.
MORE DIPLOMACY NEEDED: We do not want a war with Iran, we do not want a war with Iran, we have to return to the diplomatic channel . "The agreement with Iran should include a more permanent end of Iranian nuclear activity and its ballistic missile program," I think we need to negotiate with them "Esper version of the [2015 nuclear deal] if you will, which finally appeals to a verifiable, irreversible and permanent ban on their nuclear work and efforts."
"So that would be the number one, and then we have to speak it too the funds to deliver them, ICBMs, "he added.
YOU ARE DA GAIN: Just over three weeks ago, President Trump and North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un all smiled at their historic meeting in the DMZ, but now they bring The rhetoric back on track in North Korean media and complained about the latest round of US and South Korean military exercises.
"This is clearly a violation of the spirit of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on June 12, joint declaration and an undeniable pressure on us," it said in a statement by the official Korean Central Intelligence Agency .
"The suspension of joint military exercises is what President Trump, Commander-in-Chief of the United States, personally commits to the DPRK-US summit in Singapore under the eyes of the entire world," reads an English translation.
The complaint was associated with the threat to resume missile testing and possibly nuclear weapons. "With the US unilaterally failing to meet its obligations, we are gradually losing our legitimacy to comply with US commitments."
A Moment of Remembrance: In Other Korean News A photo of Trump and Kim is one of four new photos hanging in the White House. The photos were added to the West Wing by Jennifer Jacobs Monday, according to White House Bloomberg correspondent .
The photo shows Trump and Kim from the DMZ last month. Trump was the first seated US president to visit North Korea when he entered the country for a few moments through the DMZ.
Other photos show Trump with soldiers in the DMZ, Presidents with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles and Trump with French President Emmanuel Macron in Normandy ,
HAZARDOUS CONNECTIONS: The Center for Strategic and International Studies has issued a new mandate: " Dangerous Links: Russian Cooperation with Iran in Syria ."
The Key to Success: "As tensions between the United States and Iran escalate in the Middle East, Russia is in covert and open cooperation with Iran in a way that undermines US national security interests Satellite imagery at Syria's Tiyas Airbase shows the extent and proximity of Russian and Iranian military ties: If Washington wants to stem Tehran and prevent further Iranian expansion, US policymakers must increase pressure on Moscow to stem Tehran's activities in countries such as Syria.
New York Times : The Iranian leaders strike defiant tone, as Trump says: "We are not looking for a regime change"
Breaking the defense : Esper: F-35 does not reach 80% readiness, citing stealth parts
Bloomb erg : The US needs new bases in Asia to counter the threat of China, says Esper
Wall Street Journal : US lobbies to secure the Gulf
The diplomat : Japan debates sending warships to the Strait of Hormuz
Washington Post : Secret locations of US nuclear weapons in Europe were inadvertently included in the report of the NATO Parliament.
CNN : Duterte appeals to military pact with the US In dispute over the South China Sea
[1 9459003] Military Times : US forces can learn a lot from the fight of Ukraine against Russia Taliban raids in eastern Afghanistan
Military Times : Pentagon: "Robust" counterterrorism in Afghanistan must continue – even if
Washington Examiner : Internal fight for Purple Heart brand leads to wounded veterans  National Defense Magazine : Defense Ministry accelerates the development of ultrasound weapons
Air Force Magazine : The B-2 at 30: Improvement with Age
Washington Examiner : Air Force warns to storm Area 51 as 1.3 million People log on to slump
Defense News : Comment: The Pentagon should treat Congress as a partner, not as an obstacle
WITH ESDAY | July 17
8 o'clock in the morning at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. The Woodrow Wilson Center's two-day symposium at the Polar Institute on the impact of an ice-reducing Arctic on maritime and marine operations. Speakers include: Sen. Lisa Murkowski R-Alaska; Sen. Angus King I-Maine, Deputy Commander of the Coast Guard Adm. Charles Ray Deputy Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere Tim Gallaudet and Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette . www.wilsoncenter.org/event
11:30 am 2799 Richmond Hwy. Greater Washington Chapter of the Surface Navy Association Discussion with Rear Adm. Gene Black Director of the Surface Warfare Division. navysnaevents.org
2:00 pm Webinar on "Impact of Climate Change on US National Security", sponsored by the American Security Project and the Environmental Defense Fund, with Retired Marine Corps Brig. General Stephen Cheney CEO of ASP, and Elgie Holstein Senior Strategic Planning Director at EDF. The webinar can be viewed here: www.americansecurityproject.org/event/webinar .
15:30. 1630 Crescent Pl. N.W. The Meridian International Center is conducting a purely invitation discussion with high-level House of Representatives Michael McCaul R-Texas, on national and global security as well as US foreign relations.
19.00. EDT 5:00 pm MDT Aspen, Col. Panel discussion of the Aspen Security Forum "NATO at the Age of 70: An Alliance in Crisis?" With Jens Stoltenberg NATO Secretary General, and Courtney Kube NBC Pentagon correspondent. Full agenda at aspensecurityforum.org/agenda . Watch live video at aspensecurityforum.org/media/live-video .
THURSDAY | 18 JULY
8:00 PM 300 Pennsylvania Ave. N. W. Second Day of the Woodrow Wilson Center Symposium at the Polar Institute on "The Impact of a Weakening Arctic on Sea and Maritime Missions". Speaker: Air Force Lieutenant-General Thomas Bussiere Commander of the North American Alaska Aerospace Defense Command, Deputy Commander of the Coast Guard for Operations Vice-Administrator Daniel Abel and Rear Adm. John Okon Commander of the Naval Command for Meteorology and Oceanography www.wilsoncenter. org / event
91616 Rhode Island Avenue NW Center for Strategic and International Studies Discussion on "The Future of the US Counter-Terrorism Strategy", with Rep. Abigail Spanberger D-Va. ; Rep. Michael Waltz R-Fla .; and Seth Jones Director of the CSIS Transnational Threats Project. www.csis.org
14:00 1616 Rhode Island Ave. N. W. Discussion of the Center for Strategic and International Studies on "King of Battle: The Future of Long Range Precision Firing" Col. John Rafferty Director of the Cross Functional Team of Army Futures Command for Long Range Precision Fire; and Thomas Karako Senior Fellow at CSIS www.csis.org
15:15 EDT / 1: 15 MDT Aspen, Colorado Discussion at the Aspen Security Forum "A New Era of Great Power Competition "with Jane Harman (19459003), CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (19459003), Robert Kagan (19459004), the Brookings Institution (19459003) and Joe Nye (19459004), Co-Chair of the Aspen Strategy Group, Anne-Marie Slaughter (19459003), CEO, New America, and Peter Baker (19459004), White House Chief Correspondent, The New York Times (19459009) at aspensecurityforum.org/agenda . Watch the live video at aspensecurityforum.org/media/live-video [194an59007].
17:30 EDT / 3: 30 MDT Aspen, Colo. Aspen Security Forum discussion "Clash of Great Powers in the Arctic: The Battle for the Northern Frontier", with Matti Anttonen Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Finland; Elizabeth Economy Council on Foreign Relations; Sherri Goodman former Assistant Undersecretary of Defense; Adm. Karl Schultz Commander of the US Coast Guard; and Jeanne Meserve Transatlantic Commission for Electoral Security. Full agenda at aspensecurityforum.org/agenda . Watch the live video at aspensecurityforum.org/media/live-video .
19:30. EDT / 5: 30pm MDT Aspen, Col. Discussion in the Aspen Security Forum: "Military Competition with China: Maintaining American Leadership", with Adm. Philip Davidson Commander of the US Command for the Indo-Pacific and Nicholas Burns Executive Director of the Aspen Strategy Group. Full agenda at aspensecurityforum.org/agenda . Watch the live video at aspensecurityforum.org/media/live-video .
FRIDAY | JULY 19
8:30 am 300 First St. S.E. AFA Mitchell Institute Space Breakfast Series Space, with Brigadier General DeAnna Burt, Director of Operations and Communications, Headquarters, Air Force Space Command. www.mitchellaerospacepower.org
12:30 EDT / 10:30 am MDT Aspen, Col. Aspen Security Forum Discussion: "Technology and National Security: A New Era of Innovation," with Mike Brown Director, Defense Innovation Unit; John Demers Deputy Prosecutor General for National Security; Edward Screven CEO of Oracle; and Kara Swisher co-founder of Recode. Full agenda at aspensecurityforum.org/agenda . Watch the live video at aspensecurityforum.org/media/live-video .
15:30 CET / 1:30 CET Aspen, Colorado Discussion in the Aspen Security Forum: "A Discussion with the Defense Secret Service Agency Director" with Lt. Gene. Robert Ashley Director, Defense Intelligence Agency, and Jim Sciutto CNN Chief National Security Correspondent. Full agenda at aspensecurityforum.org/agenda . Watch the live video at aspensecurityforum.org/media/live-video .
16:15. EDT / 2:15 pm Discussion of MDT Aspen, Col. Aspen Security Forum: "Is Peace Possible in the Eternal War?" Defense Correspondent, PBS NewsHour . Full agenda at aspensecurityforum.org/agenda . Watch the live video at aspensecurityforum.org/media/live-video .
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"What's personal to me, what I've lived through, what my wife has lived through, we take care of our families, families are vital for readiness, you can not be a soldier, sailor Encourage airmen and navies to move out and worry about what happens at home. "
Secretary of Defense Candidate Mark Esper testifying Tuesday before the Senate Armed Forces Committee.