WASHINGTON, DC -According to the Director of National Intelligence in last week's Wall St. Journal, “China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom world-wide since World War II… Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically.” As the threat China poses to America’s security and prosperity becomes clear, there is “proven bipartisan interest in measures to constrain China’s influence.”
The FY21 National Defense Authorization Act contains a number of new tools that can only go into effect once the NDAA is enacted. According to yesterday’s Washington Post:
“The annual defense bill, which lawmakers are expected to vote on starting Tuesday, establishes a program to strengthen the United States’s posture and alliances in the Indo-Pacific region and funding for additional attack submarines that senior Pentagon officials have said are vital for countering China’s powerful maritime forces.
“The legislation also creates a new director of cybersecurity position to coordinate such activities government-wide, and establishes a plan to make the Defense Department less dependent on Chinese manufacturing, from microelectronics to face masks.”
Click Here to Learn More About China Provisions in the NDAA
As the Washington Post reports, the NDAA includes a new Pacific Deterrence Initiative to bolster American posture in the Indo-Pacific:
“The flagship China-focused program in the defense bill is the new Pacific Deterrence Initiative, which aims to establish a regionwide approach to countering China in its immediate area of influence. Its inspiration comes from the European Deterrence Initiative, launched in 2014 to bolster the presence of U.S. forces to help defend NATO allies against Russian aggression.
“The new initiative is funded at $2.2 billion for the first year…and charged, generally, with enhancing the United States’ defense posture, capabilities and alliances in the region.”
According to the Post, the NDAA also beefs up Congress’s oversight tools, ensuring that the President takes the China threat seriously:
“For Congress, however, the new initiatives are driven not just by the desire to bolster the country’s posture against China, but to give lawmakers more control over how the coordinated competition with Beijing is staged.
“The bill orders the defense secretary to tell Congress by February exactly what resources the Pentagon will need to achieve the goals of the deterrence initiative, and follow up with periodic status reports…
“Compliance with the reporting requirements is expected to influence not only the debate on Capitol Hill, where there is proven bipartisan interest in measures to constrain China’s influence, but also the way that defense funds to address the region are apportioned in the future.”