The Naval Brief: Vaccine mandate repeal?; Taiwan’s new normal; Red Hill health concerns; and more…
Welcome to The Naval Brief, a weekly look at the news and ideas shaping the sea services’ future.
Calls for vaccine mandate repeal. Several Senate Republicans are demanding an amendment to end the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate be put to a vote, or they will try to block the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, Defense One reports. The mandate, in place since last August, has led to the discharge of more than 8,000 troops. The senators questioned the mandate in light of the ongoing military recruiting crisis.
Continued activity around Taiwan. Since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August, China’s military activities around the island have remained elevated, and Beijing plans to keep it that way, as the “new normal,” Defense One reports. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the Chinese military has been more provocative in the Taiwan Strait lately, with Chinese military aircraft conducting dangerous intercepts of U.S. and allied military planes.
Red Hill fuel spill exposure. Hawaii residents and military families are still reporting health problems they say were caused by exposure to fuel-tainted water after the Red Hill fuel spill a year ago, Defense One reports. A health clinic is being established at one of the military medical facilities to treat and document symptoms.
Sign up to get The Naval Brief every Thursday from Caitlin M. Kenney, Defense One’s military services reporter. On this day in 2012, the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) was inactivated in Norfolk, Virginia, after 51 years of service. The ship was considered the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
From Defense One
Just Half of Americans Trust the Military, Survey Finds // Marcus Weisgerber
Most want to continue helping Ukraine—and most don't think there's a clear China strategy, according to the Reagan Institute poll.
China Fired a New Missile After Pelosi's Taiwan Visit, PacFleet Says // Caitlin M. Kenney
The weapon was part of a barrage of missiles and live-fire exercises meant to signal disapproval of the U.S. visit to the self-governing island.
Boeing Defense to Cut Execs, Consolidate Divisions // Marcus Weisgerber
The reorganization is part of a wider culture change pushed by the business unit's new CEO.
Let's Put the Pentagon's China Report in Context // William D. Hartung
What do the relative sizes of the U.S. and Chinese nuclear arsenals really suggest?