What Are ‘Dirty Bombs’ and Why Is Russia Talking About Them?
On September 2, 2017, the Trump administration released a National Defense Authorization Act that includes a request for authorization of an additional $8.8 billion to fight ISIS.
The bill was passed by the House on April 5, 2017, without a single Democrat voting against it. However, in the Senate, two Democrats – Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of Indiana – voted against the defense authorization bill. They feared that it would authorize the U.S. military to wage war against Russia. They were concerned that the bill would allow President Trump to order a military strike against Moscow.
“We need to be very careful,” Donnelly said in his statement on April 3, 2017. “We have to be sure we don’t get in the way of Russia’s own efforts to degrade and destroy the ISIS caliphate, and then move on to the next step, which is to deal with the Syrian refugee crisis.”
Both senators were concerned that the bill would be used as justification to use military force against Moscow.
But the bill’s supporters were not afraid of that possibility. They were determined to use the bill to justify Trump’s decision to attack Moscow. And they were convinced that if the defense bill was signed by Trump, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin would sign it, too.
When the bill was first passed, it was known as the “Russian Reset Act,” and was a direct response by Democrats to Moscow’s attempted interference in the U.S. election, when it was revealed that the Russians had spread negative campaign ads that depicted Donald Trump as a danger to the United States.
The bill was named after Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who spoke at length about the “Russia reset” in an interview with the PBS program, Charlie Rose