The Senate-passed, fiscal 2018 Defense Authorization Bill carries two little-publicized amendments that will impact future war-fighting capabilities.
But the measure fails to deal with the darkest cloud hovering over the Pentagon: sequestration. That problem was kicked down the road, thus requiring some eventual congressional action, since both the House and Senate have approved fiscal 2018 core Defense Department spending that far exceeds the lawful $549 billion cap required by the Budget Control Act.
More about that later.
Tucked into the Senate measure is language that Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said would provide Special Operations Command (SOCOM) “new authority designed to support the ability of our special operators to work with partners to counter irregular warfare, or so-called gray zone challenges, posed by our adversaries.”