POLICY AND PUBLIC INTEREST
Sandy Di Angelis 23, Sep 6 mins
6 mins
The Ritz Herald
Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks speaks to reporters during a briefing at the Pentagon, Sept. 22, 2021. © Air Force Staff Sgt. Brittany Chase, DOD
The Defense Department yesterday announced its strategy as approved by the secretary of defense to act on the recommendations of the 90-day Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the Military, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks said

In DOD’s implementation roadmap, the deputy secretary said DOD will make foundational investments to support sexual assault accountability, prevention programs, healthy command climates and quality victim care.

“To date, sexual harassment and sexual assault have been serious problems in our force with lethal consequences for service members and harmful effects on our combat readiness,” Hicks said.

“This administration has placed an unprecedentedly high priority on this challenge issued a memorandum to department leadership tasking them with reporting data pertaining to sexual assault and sexual harassment. On Feb. 26, at the direction of President Biden, Secretary Austin established the 90-day independent review commission,” she told reporters at the Pentagon.

When the IRC provided its findings and recommendations to Austin on June 21, 82 recommendations spanned four lines of effort in accountability, prevention, climate and culture and victim care, Hicks said.

On July 2, fewer than six months after stating his intent to lead DOD in countering sexual assault and sexual harassment, Austin directed an implementation way ahead.

“We have now created that way ahead called the implementation roadmap, and Secretary Austin has approved it in its entirety,” she said.

DOD constructed the roadmap by creating specialized teams comprising experts across the department. After reviewing the IRC’s recommendations, experts identified sequencing issues, estimated resource requirements and characterized the risks and benefits associated with different implementation paths, Hicks noted.

Built in consultation with DOD’s civilian and uniformed leadership, the roadmap represents a best-in-practice sexual assault and harassment prevention and response program that ensures rapid action and early and enduring results, she added.

Based on Austin’s guidance, DOD’s approach is…

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Nation’s Mayors Demand Congress Uphold Its Responsibility to Extend Federal Borrowing Authority
The Ritz Herald

In order to avoid a national financial crisis, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) is calling on Congress to extend the debt ceiling and avoid the kind of brinkmanship that could threaten the American economy. Demanding bipartisan and urgent action, USCM President Dayton (OH) Mayor Nan Whaley released the…

Inaugural Globe Summit Will Feature John Kerry, Senator Ed Markey, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Jenny Slate, Senator Elizabeth Warren
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The Boston Globe will bring together some of the greatest and most influential minds of our time during its inaugural Globe Summit conference on September 22-24. The Summit, which is free to attend, will feature three days of impactful programming around important issues that our country and the world…

Unconstitutional Anti-Abortion Law in Texas Puts Women at Risk With a Disproportionate Burden on Underrepresented Women
The Ritz Herald

Dr. Jennifer Nelson is a professor in the Public Policy Program at the University of Redlands and director of its Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program:

“The Texas anti-abortion law, which deputizes citizens to sue other citizens who help a pregnant person attain an abortion (some…

Anti-Ship Missile System Key to Modernization
The Ritz Herald

The Marine Corps’ top modernization priority is fulfilling the requirement for a ground-based anti-ship missile capability.

The operational requirement for this ship-killing capability is a relatively new development stemming from the Commandant’s Planning Guidance and the Corps’ Force Design 2030 efforts.

“As the Marine Corps’ first Ground Based Anti-Ship Missile capability,…

Budget Process an ‘Uphill Battle’ for Immigration
The Ritz Herald

The House Judiciary Committee marked up immigration provisions yesterday as part of the budget reconciliation process. Stephen Yale-Loehr, professor of immigration law at Cornell Law School and co-author of a leading 21-volume immigration law series, says that Democrats face an…

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. © Carolyn Kaster / AP
The Ritz Herald
The following statement is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken convened yesterday with Foreign Ministers of the People’s Republic of China, the French Republic, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom in their capacity as permanent members (P5) of the United Nations Security Council.  Secretary Blinken emphasized the importance of constructive P5 action to maintain international peace and security.

On Afghanistan, the Secretary called for P5 coordination to mitigate the emerging humanitarian crisis and prevent an economic collapse.  He noted the shared expectations for an inclusive and representative government.  The Secretary encouraged the P5 to remain united on Afghanistan, to hold the Taliban accountable to its commitments, and to work together to ensure humanitarian access, respect for humanitarian principles, and availability of funds to meet humanitarian needs.

On Iran, the Secretary reiterated the United States’ intent to pursue a path of meaningful diplomacy to achieve a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA and to address our full range of concerns with Iran.

4 mins
Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby briefs reporters at the Pentagon, Sept. 20, 2021. © Air Force Staff Sgt. Brittany A. Chase, DOD
The Ritz Herald
On Friday, the commander of U.S. Central Command, Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr., briefed the findings of an investigation into an August 29 airstrike in Kabul, where a Hellfire missile was launched in an effort to kill ISIS-K planners, but instead killed 10 civilians

The investigation performed by U.S. Central Command to look into the August 29 airstrike in Kabul will itself undergo further review, the Defense Department announced yesterday.

Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby yesterday announced that Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has asked Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall to task a military officer — three-stars or higher — to conduct a review of the Centcom investigation.

“Part of that review will be to examine the investigation itself, the thoroughness of the investigation, to study the degree to which any policies, procedures or targeting mechanisms may need to be altered going forward, if any, and of course to then take a look at what levels of accountability might be appropriate and if so at what level,” Kirby said during a briefing today at the Pentagon.

According to Kirby, the secretary of defense has asked that the review be completed within 45 days. He also said that the role of that officer would be to make recommendations, rather than to take actions. He said if the reviewing officer believes that there needs to be accountability, that should be annotated in the report when it is passed on to the secretary of…

Government Law Center’s New Explainer on Joint Investigating Committees, Their Role in a Post-Cuomo New York
The Ritz Herald

The Government Law Center (GLC) at Albany Law School has just released its latest explainer to help attorneys, politicians, and the public understand how joint investigating committees could help New York re-evaluate how it investigates, disciplines, and removes officials from state-wide office in the wake of…

Florida Governor Makes Misleading Claim About COVID-19 Vaccine and Immunity
The Ritz Herald

In a claim, published by Fox News on September 13, 2021, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said, “COVID-19 infection confers immunity so vaccine mandates unnecessary.”

In response to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ claim, pulmonologist Dr. MeiLan Han says “Though infection does provide some protection against future protection, it’s…

Ramstein Air Base: Setting Up an Instant City for Afghan Evacuees
The Ritz Herald

Young Abdul was teething and letting his grandfather know that he wanted attention.

His grandfather searched through the bags surrounding the family of 12 until he found the binky and quieted his young charge. ”He is not afraid to speak up,” Grandfather said. ”He will be a good American.”

The family…

Biden Calls Unity America’s Greatest Strength on 9/11 20th Anniversary
The Ritz Herald

Unity in America is the nation’s greatest strength – reflected by a coming-together of U.S. citizens in the days and months that followed the greatest attack on U.S. soil by terrorists on Septemper 11, 2001, twenty years ago, President Joe Biden said.

Speaking to the nation in a recorded address…

Remembering 9/11: America’s Darkest Day
The Ritz Herald

United Airlines Flight 93 was soaring over Pennsylvania en route to Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11, 2001, when then-Defense Logistics Agency Director Navy Vice Adm. Keith Lippert ordered an announcement for all McNamara Headquarters Complex employees to shelter in the auditorium. Planes had already crashed into the twin towers…

2 mins
The Ritz Herald
Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks meets with United Kingdom National Security Advisor Sir Stephen Lovegrove to reaffirm the U.S.-U.K. bilateral relationship, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Sept. 20, 2021. © Staff Sgt. Brittany A. Chase, DOD
Hicks and Lovegrove expressed their commitment to deepening the U.S.-U.K. defense and security relationship in their talks yesterday
By / Associate Writer

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks met with U.K. National Security Advisor Sir Stephen Lovegrove to reaffirm the U.S.-U.K. bilateral relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, a Defense Department spokesman said.

“I met with U.K. National Security Advisor Sir Stephen Lovegrove yesterday to discuss our wide-ranging U.S.-U.K. defense and security relationship — including the recently announced trilateral partnership,” the deputy defense secretary said in a tweet.

The two leaders met at the Pentagon and exchanged views on defense and security priorities, including the progress on U.S. strategic reviews and the recently announced Australian, U. K., and U. S. trilateral security partnership to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, the spokesman said.

Hicks also conveyed thanks to Lovegrove for U.K. assistance during the U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan last month, and she highlighted U.S.-U.K. naval cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, as demonstrated by the ongoing Carrier Strike Group 21 deployment, according to the spokesman.

The U.S. Navy announced the participation of the USS The Sullivans in Carrier Strike Group 21 on July 19, according to a Naval News press release. The Sullivans is providing multi-warfare defense to the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The first deployment of U.K. Carrier Strike Group 21is a historic achievement and…

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U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C. © Maria Oswalt
The Ritz Herald
While Democrats will try to find other ways to provide a path to a green card for Dreamers, the proposed rule could be a temporary safety net if legislation fails

The Office of Management and Budget completed its review of a proposed rule to preserve deportation protections for an estimated 700,000 ‘Dreamers.’ Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration law professor at Cornell Law School and co-author of a leading 21-volume immigration law series, says the new rule, which could publish any day now, would put Dreamers and the DACA program on more solid legal footing. Yale-Loehr says:

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Biden Submarine Deal With Australia a ‘Crippling Blow’ to France

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Long Commutes, Household Crowding Tied to COVID Transmission
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