Five Things to Know, June 10, 2024
(Jennifer French/U.S. Army)

Five Things to Know, June 10, 2024

1.   Among the 1,300 paratroopers from six nations who jumped into Normandy on Sunday were two Americans whose family members helped liberate France 80 years ago. Spc. Logan Crawford’s great-grandfather, Jack Schuyler Gray, fought in the Battle of Metz during World War II. He was injured while serving as a medic and lived with shrapnel in his leg for the rest of his life. “He was stationed just an hour away from where I am today,” Crawford said from Saint-Mere-Eglise. “This means the world to me, even being able to talk to men who were in the 95th Infantry, the same unit my great-grandfather was in. I’m really honored to get chosen to come out here.”

2.   U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken returns to the Middle East this week as a proposed Israel-Hamas cease-fire deal hangs in the balance after the dramatic rescue of four Israeli hostages held in Gaza in a major military raid and turmoil in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. With no firm response yet from Hamas to the proposal received 10 days ago, Blinken on Monday will start his eighth diplomatic mission to the region since the conflict began in October. He will meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo before traveling to Israel, Jordan and Qatar.

3.   The first aid from an American-built pier arrived in Gaza on Saturday since storm damage required repairs to the project, the U.S. military said, relaunching an effort to bring supplies to Palestinians by sea that had been plagued with problems. The pier constructed by the U.S. military was operational for only about a week before it was blown apart in high winds and heavy seas on May 25. A damaged section was reconnected to the beach in Gaza on Friday after being repaired at an Israeli port. About 1.1 million pounds (492 metric tons) of humanitarian aid was delivered to Gaza through the pier on Saturday, U.S. Central Command said in a statement. It reiterated that no U.S. military personnel went ashore in Gaza. The U.S. Agency for International Development works with the U.N. World Food Program and their humanitarian partners in Gaza to distribute food and other aid coming from the U.S.-operated pier.

4.   South Korea and the United States were set to hold talks on Monday in Seoul on better coordinating an allied nuclear response during a war with North Korea, amid anxiety over Pyongyang’s growing arsenal, Seoul officials said. The third meeting of the Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG) is designed to follow up on last year’s summit, during which the United States promised to give South Korea more insight into its nuclear planning for a conflict with the North. The talks came as North Korea races ahead to advance its nuclear weapons and their delivery systems, which triggered questions in South Korea about its reliance on “extended deterrence” - in essence the American nuclear umbrella.

5.   The Senate Armed Services Committee will mark up its draft of the annual defense authorization bill this week, but most of the work will take place behind closed doors and out of sight of the public. Unlike the House Armed Services Committee — which held its markup of the measure during a daylong, public session last month — the Senate panel traditionally debates defense policy and budget issues in closed sessions. The committee’s final draft is expected to be released by Friday. It will detail differences with the House version of the bill and set the outline for chamber negotiations for the rest of the summer. A final compromise is expected sometime this fall.