News

September 13, 2017
 

News Briefs – September 13, 2017

Sen. Reed wants Congress to authorize military base closings

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., wants Congress to authorize a new round of military base closings.

The Rhode Island Democrat filed an amendment with Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain to the Senate’s defense authorization bill for fiscal 2018 Monday to authorize a round of base closures and realignments, starting in 2019.

McCain is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Reed is the ranking member.

Reed said Sept. 12 their approach for base closings addresses concerns with past rounds, and the Pentagon needs to close excess installations so the money can be better spent.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said they could save $10 billion over five years.

The Trump administration wants closings to start in 2021. The Republican-led House rejected that request. Military installations are prized possessions in congressional districts. AP
 

Collins amendment would protect transgender service members

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is one of a pair of senators introducing an amendment to prevent the U.S. Department of Defense from removing service members from the military because of their gender identity.

Collins, a Republican, is working on the amendment with Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. They say their amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act would protect transgender service members.

The senators say their amendment would require Secretary of Defense James Mattis to proceed with a report on military service by transgender people and provide findings to Congress. Collins says the U.S. should be “expressing our gratitude to them, not trying to exclude them from military service.”

President Donald Trump announced in July that the government wouldn’t accept transgender people to service in the military. AP
 

UK says it may still join EU military missions after Brexit

The British government says it’s willing to contribute troops to European Union military missions after the U.K. leaves the bloc.

Britain says it wants close cooperation with the bloc on defense and foreign affairs, including joint foreign-policy positions and cooperation on sanctions.

The government planned to publish details of its proposals Sept. 13, in the latest in a series of position papers on aspects of Brexit.

Opponents of Brexit argue that leaving the EU will undermine cooperation with the bloc against crime, terrorism and military threats.

Attempting to allay those concerns, the government says it wants a security partnership “that is deeper than any other third country and that reflects our shared interest.”

Brexit Secretary David Davis says “it’s in our mutual interest” to work together against terrorism and other threats. AP




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