Defense and National Security Overnight – Details of Trump’s Final Days Quickly Call for Milley to Be Fired

It’s Tuesday, welcome to Overnight Defense & National Security, your nighttime guide to the latest developments in the Pentagon, Capitol Hill and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley has reportedly decided to limit former President Trump’s ability to call for a military strike or launch nuclear weapons days after the deadly Jan.6 riot on Capitol Hill, as the tells an upcoming book on the end of Trump’s presidency.

We’ll share details of Milley’s behind-the-scenes moves in Trump’s final days and the Congressional backlash sparked by the reports.

For The Hill, we are Ellen Mitchell and Rebecca Kheel. Email us with tips: [email protected] and [email protected]

Let’s go.

Milley decided to limit Trump’s military strike, book says

Worried that President TrumpDonald Trump Biden opposes Newsom on eve of recall: “Nation’s eyes are on California” On The Money: House Democrats cut tax hikes Biden Abortion providers warn the “chaos” if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade MORE could ‘go rogue’, following the deadly January 6 riot on Capitol Hill, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley has decided to limit the former Commander-in-Chief’s ability to call for a military strike or to launch nuclear weapons, according to “Peril,” an upcoming book on the end of Trump’s presidency written by veteran journalist Bob Woodward and Robert Costa of the Washington Post.

According to the two reporters, Milley “was certain that Trump had entered a serious mental decline as a result of the election, with Trump now almost manic, yelling at officials and building his own alternate reality on endless election conspiracies.”

Secret Meeting: Due to this perceived “decline”, Woodward and Costa wrote that Milley called a secret meeting at the Pentagon on January 8 to review the process of military actions. According to the CNN report, Milley ordered senior military officials not to take orders from anyone unless they were involved.

“No matter what you are told, you do the procedure. You do the process. And I’m part of that procedure,” he reportedly said.

Previous experience: Milley’s fear of the president going “thug” was apparently based on previous experience. According to “Peril,” Trump issued a military order to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan on January 15, five days before he left office.

As Woodward and Costa wrote, Milley “had no absolute certainty that the military could control or trust Trump and believed it was his job as a senior military officer to think the unthinkable and to take all necessary precautions “.

Other details: Woodward and Costa also wrote that Milley called Chinese officials in the final weeks of Trump’s tenure to assure them the United States was under control despite the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters.

RUBIO REQUEST BIDEN FIRE MILEY

After the news about Milley was released, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) On Tuesday called on President Biden to sack the four-star general for what he called “contemplation” of a leak of classified information to China.

Rubio also criticized Milley for undermining former Trump with reported communications with China.

“I write with grave concern about recent reports that the General Marc MilleyMark MilleyBlinken to defend Biden on Afghanistan in hearing of Bidens and former presidents on 9/11 anniversary Defense and national security: Air Force report reveals gender disparities and the breeds PLUSChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, worked to actively undermine the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces and envisioned a betrayed leak of classified information to the Communist Party of China ahead of a potential armed conflict with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) “reads Rubio’s letter.

Learn more about the letter here.

Senate lawmakers let frustration over Blinken show

Democrats and Senate Republicans on Tuesday blurted out their frustrations with the Biden administration’s handling of the US exit from Afghanistan, giving Secretary of State Antony Blinken an ear.

Republicans have called President Biden responsible for what they called a colossal failure in Afghanistan, which jeopardized America’s position while empowering adversaries like Russia and China.

“I supported a responsible end to the war in Afghanistan,” Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said during the hearing with the secretary. “No American thinks we should have left this way.”

Where is the fault? : Democrats have largely blamed the failures in Afghanistan on the presidents of both parties and Congress.

But Senator Bob Menendez (DN.J.), chairman of the panel, criticized the Biden administration for its handling of the situation and threatened to withhold Pentagon candidates and subpoena Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for failing to not appearing at Tuesday’s hearing.

Blinken Response: Blinken defended the Biden administration’s withdrawal operation, saying the president had a choice “between ending the war or escalating it”. Keeping the US military in Afghanistan beyond August 31, he said, would have triggered Taliban attacks on US forces and deeper military engagement.

The Taliban had halted attacks on U.S. personnel following a deal with the former Trump administration, which pledged to evacuate the entire U.S. military by May 1. Blinken said the Biden administration took the risk of extending that deadline until August depending on the needs of the military. to complete its drawdown.

Learn more about the audience here.

Army sets June 2022 deadline for COVID-19 vaccine

The military has set June 30, 2022 as the deadline for all of its military personnel to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with active-duty troops due to receive the vaccine even earlier, according to new guidelines released on Tuesday.

All active-duty army troops are to be fully immunized by Dec. 15, while National Guard and Reserve members have until later, the service said in a statement.

The original mandate: The new guidelines follow an order from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in late August for all service members to “start immediately” receiving the COVID-19 vaccine after the Food and Drug Administration gave its full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s version of the shot. Vaccination was previously available under emergency use authorization, preventing the Pentagon from making it mandatory.

Austin did not give a timeline for when the military should be vaccinated, instead ordering secretaries at service branches to “impose ambitious timelines for implementation.”

Other service deadlines: On August 30, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro sent a message to the force giving active duty sailors and Marines 90 days to be fully immunized and reservists 120 days. This gives these servicemen a deadline of November 28 and December 28, respectively.

The Air Force, meanwhile, demanded that its active-duty personnel be fully immunized by November 2 and that all Air National Guard and Reserve personnel be fully immunized by December 2.

Address reluctance: Yet some soldiers remained reluctant to be vaccinated, which the military addresses in its new guidelines.

Soldiers who refuse the vaccine will first be counseled by their chain of command and medical providers, but “continued non-compliance could result in administrative or non-judicial sanctions – including discharge from duty or discharge.”

Read the rest here.

Afghan evacuation flights to the United States remain suspended indefinitely

The Biden administration added another case to the small measles outbreak responsible for temporarily halting Afghan evacuee flights to the United States, leaving thousands of people waiting at bases overseas until that they can resume their operations.

“Out of caution and in accordance with CDC guidelines, we recently temporarily halted flights to the United States due to six diagnosed cases of measles among Afghan nationals recently arrived in the United States,” said a senior official at the United States. administration during a call. with journalists.

“We are approaching this situation with the utmost caution and caution as we have a responsibility to ensure the health and well-being of everyone who is part of this mission,” they said, a group which includes Afghans as well. as government employees.

Earlier: The Associated Press first reported on Friday that the United States halted evacuee flights to the United States after confirming a few cases of measles among a group that had just landed on American soil .

“When the first confirmed case returned, we took steps to stop the thefts. This then allowed us to contact the trace, to put in place measures to isolate the individuals, ”said the official.

An uncertain future: But it’s unclear how long the small outbreak will keep flights on the ground – leaving Afghan evacuees scattered by the thousands at bases across the world.

Read the rest here.

IN THE PRESS FOR TOMORROW

WHAT WE READ

That’s all for today. Check out The Hill’s Defense and National Security pages for the latest coverage. See you on Wednesday.

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