Hundreds of military promotions are on hold as a Republican Senator demands end to abortion policy

Top defense officials are accusing Republican Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville of jeopardizing America’s national security with his hold on roughly 300 military promotions, raising the stakes in a clash over abortion policy that shows no signs of easing.

Tuberville brushed off the criticism, vowing he will not give in. “We’re going to be in a holding pattern for a long time,” he said, if the Pentagon refuses to end its policy of paying for travel when a servicemember goes out of state to get an abortion or other reproductive care.

It’s a classic Washington standoff with rippling effects across the country, placing the lives of servicemembers effectively on hold as they await what has traditionally been routine Senate approval for their promotions.

Frustration mounting, the secretaries of the Navy, Air Force and Army wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post this week saying Tuberville’s efforts were not only unfair to the military leaders and their families but also “putting our national security at risk.”

They noted that three military branches — the Army, Navy and Marine Corps — have no Senate-confirmed chiefs in place. Those jobs are being performed without the full range of legal authorities necessary to make decisions that will sustain the United States’ military edge, they wrote.

In a CNN interview, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro accused Tuberville of “playing Russian roulette with the very lives of our servicemembers by denying them the opportunity to actually have the most experienced combat leaders in those positions to lead them in times of peace and in times of combat.”

Looking ahead, the secretaries said in their op-ed that prolonged uncertainty and political battles over military nominations “will have a corrosive effect on the force.”




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