The Problem: Russia’s military and political strength grew to their present and increasingly-threatening state during the eight years of the Obama Administration, which scoffed at the idea of Russia as a geopolitical threat.
As Secretary Mattis said, “Russia also continues to modernize and invest across the full range of military capability, including new aircraft, submarines, armor, counter-space, and air defense systems, while also modernizing conventional and nuclear strike capabilities. These investments and activities are specifically designed to limit our power projection capability and undermine the credibility of U.S. alliances, especially NATO.”
How the FY19 NDAA Confronts Russia:
Helps Our Allies Defend Themselves Against Russian Aggression
- Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to increase engagement and military-to-military cooperation in the Western Balkans region.
- Authorizes $250M for security assistance and intelligence support to the Government of Ukraine, including lethal defensive weapons.
- Modifies the current Russia sanctions regime to allow countries that demonstrably reverse their relationship with Russia to do business with the United States--a change endorsed by Secretary Mattis.
Targets the Russian Arms Industry
- Applies new sanctions to the Russian arms industry and anyone who does business with it, including sanctioning persons involved in the purchase of an advanced conventional weapon from the Russian arms industry.
- Requires a report on the supply chains for Russian arms sales programs.
Limits Contact and Assistance to Russia
- Extends the limits on military-to-military cooperation with Russia.
- Prohibits funds for atomic energy defense activities from being used to enter into a contract with, or otherwise provide assistance to, Russia.
Forces Russia To Comply with Treaties It Is Breaching
- Cuts funding for the Open Skies Treaty, which Russia has been breaching, while simultaneously leveraging America’s Open Skies technology investments. Redirects Open Skies funding to other ISR platforms.
- Funds research and development to counter non-INF Treaty compliant systems being deployed by Russia.