Overnight Defense & National Security – United States tries to restore relations with France – .

Overnight Defense & National Security – United States tries to restore relations with France – .

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

The United States and France moved closer to normalizing relations after last month’s agreement on American submarines with the United Kingdom and Australia created a wedge between the two longtime allies .

We’ll break down what both parties discussed, what was agreed upon, and how much work remains to be done to fix the links.

For The Hill, I’m Ellen Mitchell. Write to me with advice: It’s[email protected].

Let’s go.

Blinken meets Macron in the middle of the rift

Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris to discuss ways forward, including possible US-French cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and other regions, said to the press a senior State Department official.

The approximately 40-minute one-on-one session at the Elysee Presidential Palace, described by the State Department official as “very productive” and “serious,” was the highest in-person interview. level between Washington and Paris since September 11. 15 announcement of the submarine agreement.

What caused the rupture: The new deal canceled a separate $ 40 billion submarine deal that France struck with Australia in 2016, prompting Paris to accuse the Biden administration of Trump-era tactics that valued dollars by relationship with the allies.

France has also responded by canceling a planned gala in Washington, DC, and temporarily recalling its ambassadors to the United States and Australia.

What happened at the last meeting? : During Tuesday’s meeting, the United States and France agreed that more work needs to be done to mend the relationship, and the two countries are “still in the early stages of doing so,” the official said. State Department, adding that the discussions centered on “using this as an opportunity” to “deepen and strengthen coordination.”

Blinken told the French president that the United States was “certainly in favor of European defense and security initiatives” which do not undermine NATO, the official said.

In addition, they discussed counterterrorism cooperation in the Sahel region of Africa and Afghanistan.

Other conferences are planned: Blinken, who was not initially scheduled to meet with Macron, was in the country to meet with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Macron’s national security adviser Emmanuel Bonne. He is also attending meetings of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development until Wednesday.

The State Department official said the Blinken and Macron talks would “trigger” a meeting later this month between Biden and the French president, but did not give further details.

The White House announced later Tuesday that National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will also be traveling to Paris this week to meet with Bonne.

Read the full story here.


President BidenJoe BidenUS & Israeli Security Officials Talk Iran & Palestinians In Washington Over Money – Presented By NRHC – Biden Plays Hard With Debt Limit With The Long, Winding Road Of Bill McConnell Highway MORE “Had not been fully aware” of the negative impact of an agreement on American submarines between the UK and Australia had over France after its announcement, according to John KerryJohn KerryJohn Kerry expresses optimism about upcoming climate summit Biden calls for international cooperation, but how to cooperate with China? Overnight Energy & Environment – Brought to you by the League of Conservation Voters – EPA finalizes rule to cut off HFCs READ MORE, the presidential special envoy for the climate.

“He was literally unaware of what had happened,” Kerry said in an interview with French television channel BFMTV that aired Monday.

Kerry said Biden became aware of the situation after asking the former secretary of state what had happened.

“I don’t want to go into detail, but suffice to say… the president is very committed to strengthening the relationship and making sure this is a small event from the past and moving on to a great future. more important, ”says Kerry.

More to work: Kerry, who spoke with Macron Monday said the two countries understand they “have so much to work on.”

“I am absolutely convinced that the biggest issues we need to work on are nuclear weapons, cyber warfare, climate…. We have a lot of work to do and we can’t get lost in a momentary event that I think we’ll get past very quickly.

Pentagon demands COVID-19 vaccines for all civilians by November 2

The 700,000 civilians in the Department of Defense must be fully immunized against COVID-19 by November 22, the Pentagon announced Monday evening.

The mandate – in line with the Biden administration’s decision last month to require federal agencies to implement vaccine requirements – “will save lives and enable the defense of our nation,” according to a memo signed by Assistant Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks on Friday.

Response of the legislator: On Tuesday, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) Said the move “will save lives and further protect communities across the United States from this deadly virus” and applauded it as “The right decision for our public health and national security.

Earlier: In late August, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered all military personnel to “start immediately” to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

He allowed the military services to set their own deadlines for the requirement, and Hicks’ memo stipulates the timeframe from which civilian personnel must begin receiving shots based on the mark.

What’s the timeline? : Those who receive the Food and Drug Administration-approved Pfizer vaccine must receive their first dose by October 18 and the second by November 8.

People who choose the Moderna vaccine have a slightly different schedule, with their first dose needed before October 11 and their second before November 8.

Those who receive the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine, meanwhile, have until November 8.

Learn more about the new memo here.

DOD employees with security clearance must be monitored at all times

The Defense Department will use a new verification process for its employees that will continuously scan government and commercial databases for any aberrations, replacing the previous system that reviewed this information every five to ten years, officials said on Tuesday. of the defense.

What Has Been Done Before: The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) – the branch of government that grants security clearances to government employees – previously checked individuals’ criminal backgrounds and credit reports once every 10 years if they had a secret clearance and every five years if they had a top secret clearance.

What will change: Under the new method, however, the DCSA will automatically scan databases for new information that may emerge. In addition, other agencies will contact Defense investigators if they discover that a criminal investigation or major financial loss has occurred with a Pentagon employee, DCSA director William Lietzau told reporters.

A Wider Effort: The new scrutiny of Defense employees will help the Biden administration’s broader plan to tackle domestic terrorism, an issue highlighted in the wake of the events of the Jan.6 insurgency on the Capitol Hill by supporters hoping to keep former President Trump in Power. A number of current and former servicemen were found to have participated in the violent attack.

Read the full story here.


  • The Foreign Policy Research Institute will host an event on “Examining AUKUS and the Future of the Indo-Pacific” at 9:00 am.

  • The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transport will hold a hearing on “improving data security” at 10:00 am.

  • The Stimson Center will hold a discussion on “Addressing Gender in the Arms Trade Treaty Process” at 10:00 am.

  • The Aspen Institute will host the second day of the “2021 Aspen Cyber ​​Summit”, which begins at 11:00 am.

  • The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security will host a virtual event entitled “Women in Uniform: Does Participation Change US Culture and Military Operations?” ” at 12

  • A House foreign affairs subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Development Aid During Conflict: Lessons from Afghanistan” with John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for the Reconstruction of Afghanistan, at 1 pm.

  • The George Washington University Media and National Security Project will host a Defense Writers Group conversation with Major General Corey Martin, director of operations for the US Transportation Command, at 2:30 p.m.


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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