Welcome to the Defense Download! This new round‐up is intended to highlight what we at the Cato Institute are keeping tabs on in the world of defense politics every week. The three‐to‐five trending stories will vary depending on the news cycle, what policymakers are talking about, and will pull from all sides of the political spectrum. If you would like to receive more frequent updates on what I’m reading, writing, and listening to—you can follow me on Twitter via @CDDorminey.
- “Warren, Smith introduce bill to bar US from using nuclear weapons first,” Joe Gould. Two Democratic leaders just introduced a bill, “The No First Use Act,” to make it the stated policy of the United States not to use nuclear weapons first in a conflict. This is in direct competition to the administration’s Nuclear Posture Review that reserved the right to use nuclear weapons in response to “significant non‐nuclear strategic attacks.”
- “Lawmakers renew challenge to Trump over Yemen, Saudi Arabia,” Joe Gould. A bipartisan coalition in Congress is reintroducing a resolution in both the Senate and House to withdraw American support for Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen. A similar piece of legislation, SJ Res 54, passed the Senate 56–41 back in December but the House did not vote on the issue.
- “Mike Pompeo to speak at Missouri‐Kansas Forum amid Senate bid speculation,” Rachel Frazin. Rumors are circulating that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may be leaving his post to run for the seat that Pat Roberts (R) of Kansas will vacate in 2020.
- “Great Power Competition, Part I,” Emma Ashford, Trevor Thrall, & Joshua Shifrinson. This episode of the Power Problems Podcast addresses the emerging era of great power competition and features an in‐depth discussion on the rise of China.