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The Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Senator Jack Reed says he will hold off on marking up this year’s National Defense Authorization Act until July. The Senate will use the extra time to consider nominees for top posts in the Defense Department.

  • Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Roger Zakheim said the delay, along with debate over issues that will come up, could push the entire timeline later into calendar year 2021.
  • Points of contention will probably include the United States nuclear triad (deterrence platforms and weapons), the F-35 aircraft program and legacy systems, said Zakheim.
  • Zakheim also commented on his recent conversation with House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith about the F-35 program, reiterating his argument that finding a replacement for the plane would be difficult.
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