Defense and State Department experts speak to lawmakers about modernizing U.S. arms exports and strengthening the security partnership among the U.S., Australia and the United Kingdom. Testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee are: Mara Karlin, the Department of Defense’s assistant secretary of defense for strategies, plans and capabilities, and Jessica Lewis, the assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. May 24, 2023.
Come to order. The purpose of this hearing is to discuss the challenges our allies and us industry face with our arms exports processes and how those challenges can be bridged to ensure America remains the partner of choice. And the trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States is successful. I now recognize myself for an opening statement from its increasingly aggressive posture in the water surrounding Taiwan to Chairman Xi stated goal to unify with Taiwan. The malign actions of the Chinese Communist Party pose a clear and present danger. I’ve seen China’s tactics. Firsthand, I recently led a congressional delegation to Asia where I met with our Indo Pacific command, the seventh fleet and leaders in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, including President Tsai. After I met with President Tsai, the C C P sanctioned me a badge of honor as far as I’m concerned in response to my delegation’s visit in speaker McCarthy’s meeting with President Tsai. The C C P launched more than 70 aircraft into Taiwanese airspace and deployed 11 war ships including an aircraft carrier to encircle the island nation. The C C P is testing their capabilities and Taiwan’s vulnerabilities in preparation for potential invasion. This will not intimidate us. In fact, it only strengthens our resolve to foster a more innovative defense industrial base that can develop and supply weapons for deterrents. And if necessary for defense. After seeing Taiwan’s defense capabilities, firsthand, I can say that they’re not where they need to be weapons sales. I signed off on four years ago and the ranking member have yet to make it to Taiwan, President Tsai asked me where are my weapons?
I paid for them. The war in Ukraine has shown us that weapons are needed before, not after conflict erupts now, more than ever, we need to work with our allies to counter this growing threat. The August partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States is just that and it will establish critical deterrence measures. However, for this trilateral partnership to succeed, we must reform prohibitive policies and complicate arms export rules as soon as possible through bipartisan legislation. It is this committee’s responsibility to examine the policy and effectiveness of the United States government for military sales and the international traffic in arms regulations known as it, the regulatory measure which controls the export of defense and military technologies from us. Defense companies. Last month, I held a classified round table with our partners first and then from our US industry representatives to discuss the challenges we face in the region due to growing C C P aggression and how best to address them. We heard from them that much more needs to be done. Specifically, I and our antiquated arms sales processes need legislative fixes for a to be successful. One of our partners dedicates 1% of their annual defense budget to simply navigate us export controls. In another case, it took a year and a half of paperwork to support the upgrade of a weapons system that we previously sold to them. Our approach to defense and military technology exports is in dire need of reform. This administration has failed to deliver. So Congress took bipartisan action in the last N D A A. My Taiwan enhanced resilience Act ensures that there can be creative solutions such as foreign military financing grants, training for Taiwan forces and war reserve stockpiles to bolster Taiwan’s defense chairwoman Young Kim’s arms export delivery solutions Act mandates the administration to report on why our weapons to Taiwan are delayed and to provide interim capabilities in the face of these delays. I also include a provision to better bring American innovation into Pentagon procurements to address delayed weapons development and address high tech challenges like quantum computing, hypersonic and artificial intelligence. Rebuilding our arsenal of democracy will require new thinking and innovative dynamic companies. To that end, the house recently passed the legislation that I introduced with the ranking member to strengthen the aus partnership through cooperation on advanced capabilities. This legislation focuses on ensuring the state department is authorizing technology transfers quickly to fully support implementation of this partnership. I will continue to lead efforts to help ensure the successful implementation of AUS throughout this congress through additional bipartisan legislation. The longer outdated and costly regulations stand in the way a successful implementation, the more it plays into the C C P’s hands and erodes our closest ally security. We are in a great power of global competition and for far too long at both the Department of Defense and State Department, it’s been business as usual. The year long delays are unacceptable. We need results, not interagency finger pointing. We can no longer accept the status quo of an ineffective and outdated system. The United States does not seek conflict but only through strength. Can we provide the deterrents necessary to secure the peace in the region and around the globe?
History has shown that projecting weakness invites aggression and emboldens dictators and despots. I still believe in Ronald Reagan’s policy of peace through strength and that was a doctrine that defeated the Soviet Union and one we must continue to employ to project American strength across the globe. The chair now recognizes ranking member uh Mr. Meeks. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And first let me start by thanking our witnesses uh for appearing before this committee today. We so appreciate being able to hear from both of you on the critical work that the Biden administration is doing with our allies and partners in pursuit of our shared security. For over a year now, we have seen how the United States in lockstep with our allies and partners has come to the aid of the Ukrainian people who are defending themselves against Russia’s brutal, unprovoked war of aggression with over $35 billion in military assistance provided. Since Russia’s full scale invasion, the administration’s commitment to Ukraine’s defense and that of Europe is ironclad and proven like Russia in Europe, we are seeing similar aggressive behavior from China in the Indo Pacific. Under the under the direction of President Xi. The People’s Republic of China has engaged in a rapid military buildup and become more aggressive in its coercive tactics against Taiwan in each of the military, economic and diplomatic realms. China has also made significant advances in key military capabilities such as long range bomber aircraft, cruise missiles and hypersonic. Last August just after I joined Speaker Pelosi on her historic trip to Taipei and other countries in the Indo Pacific. A record number of PR C aircraft violated Taiwan’s air defense identification zone and engaged in increasingly provo provocative maritime actions in its continued support for Taiwan. The Biden State Department has approved a record number of armed cases for Taiwan in the last two years to ensure it has the capabilities to defend itself and to deter potential Chinese military action. As Secretary Lincoln has stated when it comes to Beijing, the United States will compete with confidence, cooperate where we can and contest when and where we must. An integral part of this strategy is the recently announced aus trilateral security framework between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, which aims to strengthen defense cooperation and in interoperability. In the Indo Pacific. This new security framework represents an important step forward for the United States in the Indo Pacific and for our shared security and countering China’s pacing threat within the border of the Aus Agreement pillar. One will strengthen Australia’s undersea warfare capabilities at a critical time to counter the Pr CS aggression and burden share in the region. Pillar two advances military capabilities with the intent of developing and enhancing joint capabilities among Australia, the UK and the United States doing so, will engender greater cooperation and ultimately improve security and interoperability in the region. Part of pillar two’s focus includes efforts to improve processes related to arms exports and sharing of sensitive defense technologies between the participants. Now, this must include encouraging and guiding our partners on how to strengthen their regulatory frameworks to enable us to share advanced defense technologies safely. And I know both agencies represented here by our witnesses have been intensely focused on this in recent months and I’m hoping to hear more about what progress has been made thus far and the path forward in short to provide for the success of A and for the promise of Pillar Two to be fully realized and implemented. We must get it right, especially given the persistent and significant threat the PR C poses in the Indo Pacific and across the globe, we are facing rapidly evolving threats which underscore the importance of reinforcing our alliances to safeguard our shared security. And I’m supportive of the Biden administration’s efforts to do so in Europe with our NATO allies and in East Asia, in providing our allies as well as Taiwan, the capabilities not only to defend themselves but to deter potential aggression. The United States can and must continue to stand as a leader among nations leveraging not only our military strength but also our diplomatic tools that are grounded in our values. So we may defend our security, protect our interests and stand up for the rights and independence of free peoples throughout the world. And with that a year, gentlemen, you’ll back. Other members of the committee are reminded that opening statements may be submitted to the record. Uh I ask unanimous consent that the gentleman from Connecticut, Mr. Courtney be allowed to sit on the dice and participate in today’s hearing. Uh Welcome, sir. And without objection so ordered, we’re pleased to have a distinguished panel of witnesses before us. Uh Today, first, uh Miss Jessica Lewis is the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Political Military Affairs at the Department of State. And Doctor Mara Carlin is the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategies, plans and Capabilities at the Department of Defense. This committee recognizes the importance of the issues before us and are grateful to have both state and dod here today to speak with us on these important issues. Uh Your full statements will be made a part of the record. Uh And I now recognize Assistant Secretary Lewis for her opening statement. Thank you, Chairman McCall ranking member, Meeks, honorable members of the committee. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today. Almost exactly 20 years ago, today, I started my career with the House Foreign Affairs Committee and it is an honor to be here again. Today. I want to recognize the historic work of this that this committee is achieving under your leadership on critical foreign policy issues, whether it is a or otherwise. And I’m excited to talk to you about the role of the state department in realizing a one of the Biden Harris administration’s key national security initiatives. Today, I’m going to first provide an overview of a second outline our road map for realizing a including our aus trade authorization mechanism and third discuss the importance of export controls. I will also speak briefly on foreign military sales aus as you know involves two pillars, pillar one providing Australia with a conventionally armed nuclear powered submarine capability at the earliest possible date. And pillar two trilateral developing and providing joint advanced military capabilities ranging from artificial intelligence to hypersonic to cyber pillar two presents a generational opportunity to advance the key technologies of the future. With two of our closest allies but make no mistake. The success of A is not predetermined. It must be built for a to succeed. We need to both innovate boldly and to protect our technology from those who wish to take advantage of any vulnerability in our systems. As Australian Deputy Prime Minister said last week, this is a big task. The barriers in both systems are vast and complex. There is no silver bullet as such to implement A we are innovating within our existing regulatory system while simultaneously pursuing broad changes through legislation and international agreements. The road map consists of three steps. First, the Aus trade authorization mechanism known as Adam legislative changes and international consultations. First, the Department of State will implement a novel use of our existing authorities. The AUS trade authorization mechanism will provide an interim solution expediting and optimizing technology sharing and defense trade among only the Aus partners. Second and simultaneously, the administration plans to consult closely with Congress and propose legislative changes to meet the ambitions of August. To that end, we will seek legislation to clear a path to new exemptions for much of our defense trade with the UK and Australia. Under this legislative proposal, a partners will have many transfers pre-approved and not subject to case by case review. Third, the administration will also be seeking commitments from our partners on shared standards for protection of defense information and material. Let me walk you through the first piece of this road map. The state aus trade authorization mechanism. Under this authorization, the Governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia will work together to create seamless, secure and speedy defense trade between and among partners. While also safeguarding our national security, we will define the AUS authorizations by three overlapping criteria which are first a list of the project areas that fall within the scope of a second, a list of the technologies that cannot receive this preferential treatment. And third a list of the approved communities or entities within each country that are going to receive or access this technology, all transfers under this authorization could proceed without any further need for an authorization or license while maintaining the records necessary to conduct compliance. While state is clearing a path to to new exemptions, we are simultaneously moving forward with broader legislation and international action to develop a collective approach that streamlines defense trade with Australia and the UK while also protecting our technology. And as we follow through on the vision, President Biden set out, it will also be crucial to maintain strong protections to ensure that the technological momentum our three countries achieve remains secure. Export controls have only grown more important during this era of strategic competition. For years. We have seen widespread evidence that our strategic competitors including the People’s Republic of China, Russia. And then in addition, North Korea and Iran are seeking to obtain and exploit our advanced military and civilian technologies in this moment, we need to do all we can to move faster on a and also make sure that we have a calibrated expose uh approach to export controls. Finally, I would like to speak briefly about what we are doing to improve the speed of our foreign military sales writ large. Um We call this the F MS process and we’re working to deliver efficiencies both in the context of A and for our security partnerships across the globe. Us government stakeholders including the Departments of State Defense and the N S C are all identifying efficiencies in the foreign military sales process to optimize defense trade. The state department has identified 10 areas for improvement to the F MS process and we would be, we would be happy to brief you further on these recommendations. In closing, I’d like to reiterate that for a to succeed. We need to facilitate the flow of defense technologies and know how between our three nations while safeguarding against hostile actors who would damage this collaboration and our competitiveness. We are confident that we will succeed and we look forward to working with Congress to achieve this. Thank you. And I look forward to your questions. Thank you, Secretary Lewis, I now recognize Assistant Secretary Colin for her opening statement, Chairman McCall, ranking member, Meeks, distinguished members of the committee. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today on the August partnership. A partners took a monumental step forward in March when we announced the optimal pathway for Australia to acquire and develop a conventionally armed nuclear powered submarine capability that strengthens the global nonproliferation regime. But that is only one part of August. We are actively pursuing cooperation under Aus on a range of advanced capabilities, sending a strong message to the world in favor of a free and open Indo Pacific. Today. I hope to reinforce three main topics as they relate to Aus. First, how Aus fits into the 2022 national defense strategy?
Second, how we are seizing the generational opportunity that Aus presents?
And third, why we need to expand defense cooperation with our closest allies and partners in framing the security environment. The 2022 national defense strategy describes the People’s Republic of China as our most consequential strategic competitor for the coming decades. And it underscores how new and fast evolving technologies are complicating escalation dynamics. The national defense strategy describes integrated deterrence as a holistic response to the strategies that our competitors are pursuing and directs the use of campaigning to gain military advantage. It calls on the Department of Defense to build enduring advantages across the defense ecosystem, to shore up our foundations for integrated deterrent and campaigning. And it describes allies and partners as a center of gravity for the strategy. What is needed now more than ever before is an approach that enhances our caucus partners conventional military capabilities, open support to a more integrated defense industrial base increases information sharing and implements cooperative policies that reflect the concepts laid out in the national security strategy. What cannot be overstated is this?
We cannot do this alone and our AUC partners stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States as they have for many decades. As President Biden and Secretary Austin have said AUS is a generational opportunity and I want to thank this committee for its broad bipartisan support. Your work and support is vital to making Aus a success together with our partners. We have identified several advanced capability opportunities in areas that range from artificial intelligence and quantum to hypersonic. Over time. The work we do will advance our own capabilities as well as our partners and will enable us to address the challenges that we will collectively face. We have reached a point in the global security environment and technology landscape where there is not only a benefit but an imperative to expand our defense technology sharing practices. August is the beginning of a path that will lead to a more integrated and open defense ecosystem that balances the threats of strategic competition by harnessing the strengths of our collective capabilities. The US network of alliances and partnerships is a strategic advantage that competitors cannot match and maintaining. This requires an active whole of government approach. We have supported our Ukrainian partners against Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine without putting a single US service member on the front lines of that conflict as our response to Russia’s invasion has proven, has proven we must maintain the ability to cut off bad actors from dangerous capabilities, but we must also maintain the tools and vision to share and collaborate with our allies and partners preparation for future conflicts or deterring them from occurring in the first place, will rely on our ability to expand and enhance military partnerships before any shots are fired. American business is one of the strongest and most resilient assets in the National toolkit. We need to widen the aperture, foster collaborative defense innovation, advance military interoperability with our allies and partners and leverage our collective strengths as a force multiplier, Aucas has provided a lens into not only what military capabilities our closest allies need but also what barriers exist that hamper pursuit of our integrated national security strategy and how we need to adapt our approach to meet our national security objectives. To that end the administration plans to consult closely with Congress to propose legislative changes that would allow increased exemptions to licensing requirements for a partners and expanded to permit transfers of both unclassified and classified defense articles and services. This bold approach is critical to ensuring the AUC partnership continues to innovate and to progress to meet the challenges of the global security environment. Mr. Chairman, ranking member, Meek and distinguished members of the committee. Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you today and I look forward to answering any questions you may have. Thank you, Secretary uh Carlin. I now recognize myself for questions. Um First, uh we look forward to more of these conversations with you. Uh Obviously, this is very uh important. Uh We need more speed in the process, I think I well-intended, but we need exemptions, not just with pillar one, dealing with nuclear submarines, but also with pillar two. Um If we’re going to take the threat from China, uh seriously. And I’ve been um many um both private sector and our partners including Australia have told me how important this these exemptions are to speed up the process. Um My first question is uh you know, pillar one has the exemptions as you know, pillar two does not, how would you plan to implement uh these exemptions to pillar two?
Uh Secretary Lewis. Thank you for that question, Mr. Chairman. And um I agree with you that I think that um it’s very important that we focus on Pillar Two to create a speedy um safe and secure way to move forward with this defense trade uh between the three countries. Um So let me talk both um about uh the interim period and then on the legislative front, um we’re really looking for uh new exemptions. And the idea is that um if we know what is included under the A program, if we know technologies that cannot be included something, for example, that might be prohibited by a treaty. Um and we know who’s receiving it. Um, then we’ll be able to, in essence preapprove and have, um, these transfers move forward without needing a license on the front end. And I think when we talk about exemptions, that’s fundamentally what we’re all trying to get at. So we’d be looking at a preapproval not case by case process. Um, we also are going to be looking at, um, moving forward with, uh, third party transfers, um, a blanket exemption under a, um, and what that means is for items that are us defense articles that are controlled by one country that they can be moved to another country within a without needing authorization. Um, so all of these are the pieces, um, that we want to move forward with. We have this interim proposal so that we can get moving right now on the legislative side. We and I agree with you completely that we need, uh, more of these. Um, and we want to come and sit down and work with you and, uh, your excellent staff on getting that legislative language. Exactly. Right. And I think codifying will give certainty to our partners and also our contractors, uh, as well. I look forward to seeing your proposal legislation. We’d like to move. I think time is of the essence here. And so I look forward to working with both of you, Miss Carlin. Do you have any, anything to add to that?
So, I would, I would just add, this is a historic opportunity. So it does require historic change. And so as we are pursuing this legislative proposal, we’d like to consult very closely with all of you on how best to make that happen. But this really is a notable moment for ensuring that we can have stability and security in such a critical region of the Indo Pacific. Yeah, thank you. And we’ll, we’ll obviously consult with our uh armed services committee uh colleagues as well. Um Let me ask you, uh perhaps both of you. Uh uh as I mentioned, when I was in Taiwan, president asked me, where are my weapons?
Um I didn’t have a good answer and she said, I, you know, I, I paid for them. Um and you see the threat as they circle the island in a very aggressive way. Uh the ranking member and I signed off on 22 weapons systems. And as I look at the list, the earliest they, that any can be delivered is by 2025 and some as late as 2029. And I’d like to enter these into the record if I may with without objection. But um why is this taking so long?
Um Let me start. Um And we agree that there is urgency to make sure um that Taiwan is prepared um as part of deterrence uh to keep China from moving forward. Um Let me take a moment and talk about uh the way that the arms sales process works as, you know, once you clear a sale, um, which we have sent up here, um, it then goes on contract and only once it is on contract and Taiwan, in this case has paid for it does production start. Um, and so, um, I don’t have the exact list but I’m, I’m fairly sure I’m correct that, um, we are now in the point where we are looking at um the production timeline for those weapons to be built. Um Let me say a couple of things about that. Uh We agree that the defense industrial base needs to work together with us in the Department of Defense to speed up industrial production. This is a worldwide problem, not just Taiwan specific. Um And the Department of Defense has taken um urgent steps led by the Deputy Secretary on this issue. Um when it comes to Taiwan specifically, um I think as you know, um since 2017, we have sent up um billions of dollars in arms sales to be authorized through this committee. Um And in addition, over the past year, we’ve signed off on more arms sales to Taiwan than in the previous decade. Now, we need to work on them, getting produced and getting to Taiwan quickly. And I would just say time is yes, since I, I think they’re gonna try to influence the election presidential election in Taiwan. If they fail, then they’re gonna be looking at some sort of blockade event. And so, uh, my, um, question is, um, and I asked the secretary this question, can we redirect some of our weapon sales from one country and send it into Taiwan?
And then secondly, why can’t we do third party sales of some of these weapon systems that other countries have?
And we would simply give them permission to put these weapons in country. Well, I think we need to look at all available options. Um, obviously for third party transfers, one country would have to agree to transfer those weapons. Um, but I think you’re right to, to ask us to take a look at all of those, um, including some of the new authorities that were included in the bill that I know that you offered as well. Thank you. I, I, I’d like to speed it up and Miss Lin uh car. Do you have any uh additional thoughts?
Thank you. Well, I’d first of all, just like to thank Congress for the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act. I think that’s been really important and shows the bipartisan support for this important effort. Um Having appropriated resources can make that uh a little bit easier. Of course, in terms of being manifested. Uh I would also like to note as Assistant Secretary Lewis briefly highlighted, um, our deputy secretary um, has directed the department to find ways to accelerate and bolster Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities to strengthen cross strait deterrent. Looking at both material and non-material capabilities and it’s focused, it’s a senior level effort and it’s across the entire department to ensure that this critical issue is getting the resources and the attention that it needs. Well, I know you did an F M F and thank you for that. Uh I will be talking to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about um and also the Appropriations Committee about appropriating our authorization. Uh With that, I recognize the ranking member Mr. Meeks. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and thank you for your testimony. Uh And I think that uh we have on this committee tried to work in a bipartisan way uh understanding uh uh the, the, the need and the expediency of trying to make sure that our allies uh uh are working, we’re working collected together as we saw take place at the, at the G7. And one of the things that I’ve been trying to figure, you know, um was been asking her a lot because why does, and I listen to your explanation, why does it take so long to have the production lines done?
And I, I hear what you’re saying and, and when I talk to a number of those in the industry that sells it just, it takes time, it takes time for them to get the employees back online and to what it takes to produce and just, you know, there’s no way they tell me that they can uh expedite, you know, quicker than they’ve been doing. I don’t know whether there’s something that we can do to engage to help them in, in that manner or not, but that’s what they’re telling me. They’re telling me it is just difficult once it is authorized, once we go through the steps that you’ve enunciated here, uh, it just takes that amount of time to do business to, to, to align it together. Do you find that to be the case also?
Um Well, let me start by saying, I do think we are having a couple of factors happening at the same time. One, we’re seeing a significant increase in demand for defense articles around the world. Both obviously not just because of the Ukraine War in addition, because of the challenges um in the Indo Pacific. Um And so there is an increased demand that also coincided with COVID. It coincided with supply chain issues. I do think however, that there are steps that we can take working with industry. Um Sometimes it’s a matter and, and Doctor Carlin may have more of this on finding a part um from a sub sub supplier that had been shut down that we need to get moving again. Sometimes it’s investing a little money up front so that a production line can get started. I think there are a whole host of steps that we can take with industry as they look at the challenges that they have. Um you know, in terms of hiring new staff um adding actual capabilities, which is basically what I was asking, is there ways that y’all can work together, you know, uh to make sure that production is happening in a more, in a more timely fashion. Let me ask uh Doctor Collin, you know, one of the concerns that I do have is, you know, I in, in the 2023 worldwide Threat Assessment. Uh The US Director of National Intelligence emphasized the threat that’s posed by China’s persistent efforts to acquire foreign science and technology information and expertise, especially in the defense space and emphasize the extensive use of economic espionage and cyber theft. Now I have some concerns because I don’t want some of our sensitive uh uh equipment and technology and, and, and and brain to go to, to China. Uh And so it also particularly in, in, in, in uh Australia. Uh they said that there was an area of opportunity for China uh given its location and the comparatively uh nascent regulatory architecture that Australia’s Intelligence services emphasized this threat in its own 23 2023 threat assessment and its director stating that the targeting of Australian defense industry personnel having increased. And I quote since the August announcement last year, which gives me concerns and we know what China has been doing in a nefarious way. So I wanna make sure that the Australian and the UK regulatory structures that are controlling sensitive defense technologies that are comparable to what we have in the United States. It are they the same, do they differ?
Is it safe to make sure it does not get in the hands of of of, of the Chinese sir, as you know, Australia and the UK are among our closest allies in the world and they have mature defense trade control processes. We have a long history of working with them and have shared some of our most sensitive military technology to date F-35 being a great example, our F-18s as well. Uh not to mention submarine technology as it relates to August specifically, we will work very closely with them on ensuring we have trilateral standards for secure defense trade, making sure that all of us have the technological security, legal and regulatory frameworks that are providing export controls consistent with those that, that uh we implement in the United States as well. So thank you for that. So I, I wanna are there any improvements you think that needs to be done because you know, when we do talk to and when I do talk to our uh uh our, our allies in Australia and the UK, you know, sometimes we’ve had we had these conversations. So are there any improvements that you think in the regulatory structure are necessary to ensure appropriate protections against malign actors?
And uh and, and, and, and what if any risk to our national security is related to sensitive defense capabilities?
If our regulatory frameworks are misaligned. Um I very much appreciate the question and I think um it is important that we take these serious issues um under consideration as we move forward with a. Um again, uh we do have full confidence that we can work with our allies to protect these technologies. What I would also say is that any time that we are putting together um a structure like we are putting together with this new Caucus authorization, we always have to come together to make sure that we are aligned, that we’ve crossed every T and dotted every I. Um But I am very confident that we will be able to do this, given that these are uh two of our closest allies. Thank you, chair recognizes Mr. Smith. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and thank you both for your leadership and for being here today to testify. Let me just ask um um Secretary Lewis, you pointed out that the administration will also be seeking commitments from our aus partners on shared standards for the protection of defense information and materials, consistent with the steps the United States takes to protect such information and materials. Perhaps you could elaborate on some of those steps whether or not those commitments are actually yielding fruit. And I would just point out, you know, um for decades, the United States, as we all know, especially with dual use items, aided and abetted the Chinese Communist Party Post Tiananmen Square. We gave them just about anything they wanted and they built up a capacity and a capability courtesy of us and of course, the Europeans. So hopefully there’s been lessons learned there. But when it comes to our, our two allies, our two great allies, uh we’re talking about, uh I was wondering if you could speak to the issue of yes, defense corporations are one thing and I’m sure you’re looking at that very closely. I hope you’re also looking at colleges and universities. I chaired a series of hearings on Confucius Institutes uh and was shocked to some extent, uh even asked the Gao to look into it and they came back and said the agreements are confidential. They wouldn, wouldn’t share what they’ve agreed to uh with the Chinese Communist Party. And we know it’s a malign influence that they’re having on college campuses and university campuses. But we also know that that gives them a, a launching pad to be eyes and ears on the spot there uh to try to, particularly in, in colleges where there’s a great deal of defense work going on. And I’m wondering, you know, if we’re doing that well in the United States to ensure that those vulnerabilities are not exploited, but also with our two partners, uh you know, in the UK. And with uh because they have Confucius Centers too and they have many of them, the whole world has them. Uh but they have many of them as well. Again, thank you for the question. And I do think you are raising an incredibly important issue, which is as we move forward with speed uh within the framework, we also need to make sure that we do it in a secure way. Um And I think you are flagging a particular challenge um when it comes to the PR C because as you point out, we know the PR C has a long history of trying to exploit our technology um to uh take our intellectual property. Um They’ve looked at trying to uh get into a whole range of uh our technology and I am aware of the issues that you raised uh related to universities. Again, I think when it comes to the question of Australia and the UK, because these are truly our closest allies um because of the sophistication um of their systems and the way we are able to work very closely together, I am absolutely confident that we will be able to have the highest standards that you would expect to make sure that those exports and intellectual property don’t end up in the wrong hands. Um I very much appreciate you raising concerns related, not just into the defense field, but as we look across um educational institutions and universities and we will be certain to take that into account. I do appreciate that very much. Let me just ask, uh do you see any enhanced role for cooperation with the quad countries, Australia, India, Japan, of course, us and perhaps even with the Republic of Korea. Thank you for the question. I think at this moment in time, we’re very focused on getting August, right?
Um And that is the focus of what we’re doing right now. Um As we progress, we’re always happy to look at ways that we can further cooperate with other um allies and partners. Thank you so much. Yield back to balance and yields. Chair recognizes Mr. Sherman. Uh capitalist economy tends to move toward just in time delivery. You get, get it to your customer just when they’re ready to pay for it. So with baby formula, sometimes we have a shortage with certain drugs, we have a shortage um and we’re seeing a shortage in munitions as well. Um And what concerns me is that we don’t have enough together with all our allies to provide enough artillery shells, et cetera to Ukraine and their ability to fire to fire artillery shells is 1/10 of what our ability is. That is to say that’s a much smaller military. Um Have we do we have a system in uh defense procurement where we can pay companies not for what they deliver but for just having stand by manufacturing capacity. Ah Miss Carlin, thank you very much. I think Russia’s unprovoked and aggressive war in Ukraine has helped a whole lot of folks internalize something that we had seen in the environment. But probably hadn’t appreciated to the extent possible, which is that criticality of investing in defense industrial bases, both of our own and our allies. But more specifically, do we have a system where we pay military defense contractors to have stand by manufacturing capacity?
Well, uh I might specifically highlight that Congress has given uh I know the Department of Defense this multi-year procurement authority for munitions and that, that didn’t say multiyear procurement. I said stand by manufacturing, you pay somebody just to be ready to produce in the future, not for what they’ve produced, but for the capacity to produce. It’s a yes or no question. Do you have an answer?
I just wanna ensure, I understand the the question is there any, do you have the capacity to contract with a private munitions manufacturer to say in addition to what we may pay you for what you deliver, we’re gonna pay you to have a plant out somewhere that you’re not even using, that’s ready to go in an emergency. We have that capacity or not?
Do we use it or not?
I would like to get back to you on that. You get back to me on that if I might say that we are focused in particular because there’s such, I I I, I got limited time here. Um We uh have a process for uh a approving foreign military sales and often that process is slow and we’ve had discussions in this committee for over 20 years on that. And uh uh Congress has passed some legislation, I’ve been in draft involved in drafting it uh to speed that process forward. Uh MS Lewis are, are we in a position where if somebody applies to make a foreign military sale that that file gets dealt with immediately or is there uh literally a backlog where you gotta put that file aside because you’re working on something else, Can we immediately fully staff every application?
Um You mean that the State Department for before it comes here uh at, at, at the State Department?
Yes, we are, we immediately staff once a case comes in now, that’s whether it’s on the the commercial side or as you were referencing the foreign military sales side. So, uh and I think this is critical because not only do we have the foreign policy implications and a relationship with the country that’s applying, but every time we get a foreign military sale that builds the defense in interest infrastructure here in the United States and every time somebody is turned down by the United States and goes somewhere else that builds the military infrastructure somewhere else. Uh And that somewhere else is not fully aligned with us since we declined. Uh Do you take into consideration in saying yes or no?
What effect they saying no will have on both our infrastructure and the infrastructure of where else they may go for the military equipment. We certainly take into consideration, um, all of the issues that were required to, which includes a whole range of things including, um, the impact on that country, whether they’re competitors, human rights issues and all of those factors are taken into account. I just want to point out finally, burden sharing comes up. We like to set, say that we’re only doing 3.5%. We mislead the American people and we say that it’s well over 4%. And the difference comes from not counting veterans benefits as a cost of having a military in the private sector, any CPA who didn’t treat provision for retiree benefits as a cost of doing business would be in jail. So we’re spending way well into the forest. We’re asking others to do twos and I’m glad Ukraine and Australia are at least meeting that standard. I yield back. Chairman yields. The chair recognizes Mr. Wilson. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and thank both of our witnesses for being here today. And I share the concern of Congressman Brad Sherman uh in regard to artillery shells. Uh We actually, uh I’ve, it’s been brought to my attention by the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Mike Rogers, that we have nearly two million in inventory to pick them artillery shells. And these have already been, these type of weapons have already been used by Putin. And additionally, the Ukrainians also have used these weapons or artillery are very valued ally Toka has provided these shells. And so I hope uh every effort will be looking to uh providing these, we have them in inventory. In fact, they may become obsolete if we don’t use them sufficiently. And a great way to uh get away with obsolescence is to provide them immediately to u uh with that in mind, I’m really grateful that uh South Carolina is playing an important role uh with the Australian United Kingdom, us trilateral security pact uh towards this acquiring nuclear powered submarines. Currently, there are four Australian naval officers training at the Navy, Nuclear Power Training Command and Nuclear Power training unit located at joint base Charleston. This training is directly advancing and improving the Australian Navy capability under the trilateral security pact by ensuring that we can train Australian Navy leaders on the nuclear capabilities that are tied to their projected submarine acquisitions. These officers will graduate next month and we look forward that more officers and enlisted personnel will be coming in the future. And Secretary uh Carlin uh uh Chairman Mike McMullin made it so clear uh and but it it just has to be stated over and over again. The delays in foreign military sales truly are putting the I believe, putting the American people at risk. We should be working for peace through strength, not exhibiting the vulnerabilities of our allies and uh in the United States and uh in particular, uh by having weakness of not providing the equipment. Uh And it’s my understanding, it takes 18 months for a standard contract uh to be uh fulfilled. Uh To me that’s just um uh put some uh our allies and all of us at such risk. Um with the tensions that we have with the Chinese Communist Party, with war criminal Putin invading Ukraine, we need to expedite. And so what, what will be done to expedite and certainly less time. It is just absolutely, that’s just inexcusable. 18 months. Congressman. I completely agree with you that we have got to be able to provide the capabilities to our allies and partners as quickly as possible in support of their requirements and also in support of our national defense strategy. Last summer, Secretary Austin established a foreign Military Sales tiger team that focus on identifying efficiencies, clearing systemic issues and accelerating the responsiveness of the system to meet the capability requirements of our allies and partners. And this tiger team has focused on friction points within our process and has identified dozens of recommendations that are focused on exactly what you are saying, sir. So we are firmly committed to making sure that we can move as quickly as possible. Some of the solutions look like actually making sure we’ve got a data driven approach. So we have a complete picture of where in the process, these different sales are. Some of this looks like. Um ensuring there’s accountability in implementing the recommendations and making sure frankly that the most senior leaders of the department are tracking the particularly important ones. Um And so we’ve done a, a another number of things on that and uh our colleagues at the State Department have as well as assistant secretary. And to me, um uh chair McCall has been very creative for you. And that is that uh much of this equipment could be provided from our uh the inventories of our allies and then we backfill uh to the allies. This, this just needs to be expedited. We see that uh with Australia uh and really the people of Taiwan at such risk. Uh It, it’s been very frustrating to me as we work with the world’s largest democracy, India. They found that you can have expedited military sales from Putin. And so we need to be there to get ahead of that. Uh The world’s largest democracy should not be relying on war, criminal Putin. We should be providing the ability for the equipment to be provided as quickly as possible so that we can provide peace through strength to protect the United States, protect the Indo Pacific to protect the people of India, yield back yields. Chair recognizes Mr. Conway. Thank you Mr. Chairman and welcome. Um I wanna ask about capability. Uh The Ukraine War has highlighted uh weaknesses and strengths in our allied capability in responding to the Russian aggression and Dera in Ukraine. Um We formed this alliance. Um And I guess I, I I want to ask you about the capability of one of those allies Australia. Um The Australian government issued a report, the defense strategic review earlier this year and they concluded quote, the current Australian military is no longer fit for purpose unquote. That’s a stunning conclusion. Assistant Secretary Carlin, what are you, are you familiar with this report?
I am indeed. And does it concern you?
I think it is heartening that Australia’s government recognizes the urgent need. Yeah, I get it. That’s the State Department Line, not the defense department. Are you concerned about a report that says they’re not fit for purpose?
Isn’t that a pretty sweeping statement?
I think they are recognizing that they need to make important changes, that is hard and that is important and I applaud them for doing that. I would rather that they recognize the need for those. We’ll note your applause. I guess. I’m noting my concern and asking whether as people trying to form an alliance, the depth of that concern and you’re heartened. Assistant Secretary Lewis. Are you concerned at that conclusion?
And what it means in terms of what the United States has to do, working with this ally who’s certainly motivated uh to make sure that they are fit for purpose. Well, sir, I really appreciate you raising these issues. I also believe that we are going to be able to work hand in love with Australia, our experience with Australia. When we look at the capabilities that they have acquired over the years. I think you, Doctor Carlin mentioned the F-35, for example, they have shown us time and time again that they’re able to um take a problem, work on it and handle the most sophisticated uh technology and capabilities that uh anyone in the world has. So I remain confident and may I add one more thing?
I also think that the both pillar one and pillar two are gonna provide all of us our opportunities to strengthen our capabilities. Well, what do you think?
What do you think the phrasing means they’re not fit for purpose if you’re so confident?
Um I’m not able to assess exactly what that phrasing means. I think it, I assume it means that they are that the person who wrote the report is saying that they need to make improvements to be fit for purpose. Yes, they in fact identified six major areas where in where serious improvements have to be made. Uh Are you familiar with the report?
Um I have not read that particular report back to you. Assistant Secretary Carlin, you are familiar with the report. Indeed, I would say is the US military has had to make important shifts as it has moved away from the post 9 11 wars. So too do uh allies and partners, particularly those who are worried about security and stability in the end. Do you think that, let’s, let’s say it means something we’re not fit for purpose. Is that due, do you think in part to disinvestment or lack of investment in the defense sector in Australia over the years?
I think it’s probably due I would defer to them, of course, but I think it is probably due more toward them, seeing a threat picture that looks different and them putting Aus, for example, at the heart of this DS R as you are citing is actually quite positive. It shows for example, the need to invest in really sophisticated undersea capability, which is perfectly relevant, given what that changing security environment looks like in the Indo Pacific, I I I I agree with you. I mean, I, I’m, I’m, I believe in Australia. I want Australia to be a partner, but I also want us to recognize where there are weaknesses that have to be addressed as I started out, I I’ve been very involved in, in NATO and, and the European response uh to the situation in Ukraine. And we, we’ve got to be candid about acknowledging weaknesses to address them. Uh and that this report really caught my eye earlier this year and I just want to make sure that as we proceed, especially as we proceed to talk about nuclear submarines, that capability across the board in the Australian military has got to be upgraded if we’re going to meet the threat. And I take your point that there’s sort of a, a renewed appreciation of the threat assessment in the region, but we can’t, we can’t ignore years of neglect when they in fact occur. And, and by the way, finally, that brings us back to the chairman’s point about Taiwan. You know, we don’t have to 1929. Uh I mean, 2029 to address defense capability in Taiwan. Uh I don’t think we’re gonna have that luxury and that’s why we’ve got to accelerate that timeline. I would echo how the chairman’s response. I appreciate both of you being here and I back. Thank you, Mr. Chairman Gentleman Yel, chair recognizes Mr. Perry. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Um Secretary Carlin. Uh Look, I know we’re here to talk about August and in the United States, you know, needs to be a serious, a serious force. Uh And, and, and if we’re gonna lead even in that part of the world and have partners, they’re gonna wanna know that we’re serious as well. It’s my understanding, your office is responsible for drafting a national defense strategy. Is that, am I out of line there or is that correct?
Ok. I, I thought so, you know, in another life, people like me waited for that to come out to see what was in it, to guide us, power projection, uh planning, strategy, posture, force array, etcetera. And I’m just thinking about when I go to the section entitled Strength Resiliency and Adaptability. The report states that climate change is one of the biggest threats to the defense ecosystem. And it goes on to say that joint forces must, the joint force must integrate climate change into its threat assessments?
Ok. Fine, so to speak. Um, we live in a world of limited resources. I’m sure you know that that’s acutely. I think people in town are acutely aware of that right now. Can, can you quantify to me?
Is there some, is there some weapon that China or Russia or Iran or any of our adversaries have?
That’s, that’s gonna imperil are traditional fuel sources if we just say if you and I don’t know exactly what you mean because I read this climate change and integrate climate change into a threat assessment. Oh, is there, is there something they have some climate weapon that we’re trying to avoid or counteract?
How do renewable fuels do any better at counteracting whatever weaponry they have whatever strategy they have than traditional fuels for instance. So what that part of the National defense strategy is trying trying to get at, sir, is the operational impact of changes in weather?
So for example, rising sea levels affects our bases that are on the water and we need to account for that. Ok. So that’s it. That’s the only thing that we’re doing in as far as you’re concerned in that space. Uh So that is that is 11 example, one example, but there are, you would, would acknowledge there are many other examples I it’s trying to get at how the security environment is changing and the impact that, that is having on our forces ability to operate, whether that’s what I’m looking for direct impact. Because as far as I know the military, the navy in particular has been dealing with rising and lowering sea levels, if not for tides. If anything else, ever since it’s been the navy and the marines and the army. If you’ve been in the army, you sleep out in the rain. I, I, I don’t know. Look, I, I read through your credentials. You’ve got a long, you know, you’ve published a lot. You’ve been around a lot. I don’t know if you’ve ever done a carrier landing under goggles. I, I don’t know if you’ve flown a low level mission in the trees under a, I don’t know if you’ve humped the pack through the trails of Afghanistan. But the folks that are depending on what you write have to do those things and here’s what they’re not focused on. They’re not focused on a recycling program where the enemy is raining fire down on their heads. They’re trying to stay alive and win the war with the least amount of casualties as quickly as possible. And I wonder, and I’m concerned because this is what we project, what this is what we project to the folks in August and all around the world as the leader. And if we can’t focus on lethality and readiness, lethality and readiness and maybe in your case because it’s, it’s a national, uh, military strategy force projection. Then, then we’re in the wrong business, ma’am. We, we, we’ve got our eye off the ball and I don’t know if you’ve noticed recruiting levels lately, but maybe, instead of this paragraph, there ought to be a paragraph on why recruiting levels are unsustainable and why Americans no longer want to be in the military. And why do they no longer can, can qualify to be in the military because they’re overweight or because they’ve been incarcerated because they have addictions, maybe, maybe that should be the focus instead of climate change and rising sea levels. You know, if the base has rising sea levels, maybe you ought to look at China and just build a base out of a, you know, a reef that doesn’t where no base exists. Maybe that should be the military strategy. And I wonder if you’ve considered any of that. This national defense strategy is arguably among the punchiest and Pius, the Department of Defense has put out, it has one very clear priority which is the urgent need to sustain and strengthen deterrence focused on the People’s Republic of China. It looks at that from a strategic perspective and from an operational perspective as well. And sir part of the reason that we don’t need to build islands, the way that the Chinese do is because dozens of countries have welcomed our troops around the world to have bases there on bases that aren’t underwater because of rising sea levels. Mr. Chairman, I yield the Bell. Gentleman yields back. Uh Chair recognizes Mr. Keating. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I like to thank the witnesses. Um I’m curious, uh and I guess we could do it in the context of uh uh a pillar two, but we could do it more broadly. Uh I’m just concerned on, on an ongoing basis as we’re developing technology, advanced technology and defenses together. Uh the issue of artificial intelligence and A I is a concern, a growing concern about making sure we have controls over that kind of advanced technology. So it can’t be, get out of control or be misused somehow. Uh When we’re doing this research, uh is that an area that we’re uh doing independently or in conjunction with our allies like uh in a or two?
August pillar two is really trying to look at advanced capabilities exactly as you say, sir. Uh artificial intelligence being one example, hypersonic being, being another example and trying to figure out how we can better collaborate with our, with our allies uh to realize these capabilities, develop them, exercise them. But what about controlling them?
Uh Are we doing research so that somehow these can’t somehow uh get out of control spinning into a catastrophe, sir?
Um If I may um I think that you hit on a critically important point which is why um when we move forward with a um it doesn’t mean that um everything that anybody wants to send or share will just be sent. We are still going to have to know um the technologies that for example, can’t be moved, we’re still gonna have to know who’s going to receive them. Um And the reason that will be, but then we want, once we know that we want them to be able to move quickly and smoothly. But what you’re saying is we need to make sure that we have protections in place to make sure that they don’t get exploited even for our own use. Yes. And I think um that is something that, you know, particularly I know there are concerns in the A I space. Um But that we really are going to have to look at across the board. Uh I do think it’s something that we have to pay particular attention to going forward, given the advancements in A I. Uh secondly, we’re talking about delays quite a bit. Uh And, and they’re not just simply uh explained through a one dimensional view of what causes delays. Uh If you could, uh you know, I’m on uh armed services as well. We’re well aware of this, but some of our members here aren’t, could you describe, you know that period of the value of death when you’re taking it from prototype to real product and what you’re doing about that and, and, and explain that delay, what, what valley of death means in terms of delays in production. Absolutely. Uh The, you know, there, there are um i uh technologies that will be developed. And then the question is really, do you decide to mass produce them?
Do you decide that they um need to pop out in the right quantity so that they are irrelevant for the force?
And that, that is sort of the valley of death of how do you make that transition?
I can assure you, sir, this is an area Deputy Secretary of Hicks. Um and undersecretary Chu have been extremely focused on and how do we make that easier, particularly how do we make that easier for those smaller businesses who maybe don’t have the same level of experience of, of work working with the department. So some of these delays aren’t just pure regulation or uh delay and there are real life reasons for these delays. Uh And, and certainly uh we can do more and I and I uh assistant secretary chu I think is doing extraordinary work at in this particular area herself. Uh And uh I just want the members here to understand this isn’t just an issue of red tape or slowing down. There’s very real technological and production issues that are here, financial issues. And by the way, uh for the members of congress that are here uh budgeting from C R to C R to C R and not dealing with the real budget, we have to take responsibility as well. Uh When we don’t act the way we’re supposed to act uh with real order. So, uh I yields back. Uh Mr. Masters recognized. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate both of you being here. Obviously a lot of the conversations blur between both agencies, both bureaus. So I want to start with longer range missiles and start with you, Miss Lewis. Can you discuss with us right now?
What is the UK doing to provide longer range capabilities as their role to support the UK or the Ukraine?
Um Sir, first of all, uh we are all working very hard to get Ukraine the capabilities they need. Um those specifically I understand. Um You know, I am not gonna go into uh details on the exactly what the UK is providing or not. I do think that all of our partners have different capabilities that they’re able to provide at different times. And I think the goal is to make sure that as the fight changes in Ukraine, that Ukraine has what it needs for the fight. So whether it was in the beginning when we were looking at stingers and javelins to tanks later in the war to air defense right now, we are working together both with the UK, but with a whole host of about 50 other countries to make sure they get what they need. It doesn’t seem like the most effective way to wage war in that micromanaging way that that you’re looking at each and every distance. Is this the appropriate time given what bipartisanly has been discussed here about the timelines to get munitions from one place to another, even with, with allies, not at war, those timelines are just not reasonable to be the most tactical and, and the most capable entities on the battlefield. And, and so I think it does hurt the system as a whole, but let’s move to, to our own personal opinions if you’re not willing to speak about UK on this, are you concerned about Ukraine having longer range capabilities?
Um I believe that Ukraine has been responsible. Um And with what we have quantify responsible, please, when we started working with Ukraine, we have provided them over the past 15 months, over $36 billion in security assistance. Um They have used those weapons to fight the war to defend their homeland. I was just in Ukraine actually last week. What would you consider irresponsible?
Um Well, to step back from Ukraine, we have rules about how our weapons uh can be used across the board. Let’s just stick with Ukraine. What would you consider your response?
I think when we’ve provided weapons to Ukraine, we have provided them for them to use them in Ukraine, we provided them to use them to fight the war to defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity. So you consider it irresponsible for them to attack Russia in sovereign Russian territory. We have not provided weapons for that purpose, Miss Carlin, you work on strategy. Indeed, thank you. Uh Do you think that would be sound strategy?
It is our assessment from the Department of Defense perspective that with the existing gimler capability that the Ukrainians have on the high mars, they can reach the vast majority of targets that they need to inside Ukrainian territory. Moreover, we are working uh about outside of Ukrainian territory right now, We are really focused on making sure they have what they need to deliver effects on the battlefield to regain their sovereign territory. I think it’s also an important consideration when looking at the battlefield or to understand how Russia might look at the battlefield that whether I’m not trying to get you to say something that, that you shouldn’t. I understand the concerns about what you’re saying is responsible or not responsible, but to have an ally have a capability, adds another dimension to what Russia has to think about, has to calculate for whether our ally uses it for that purpose or not. I think it is important that you bear in mind what we make Russia have to worry about uh in that Mr. Chairman, I thank you for the time gentleman Yield. Who was that?
This is the chairman right now?
Yes, absolutely, Mr. following up on the gentleman’s questions that I think were implied. Uh Is it correct that some weapons Ukrainians have could fire and hit some parts of Russia and based on guidance and agreements, they have not, um, my understanding, I think as you know, the weapons that Doctor Carlin just described, um, do you have a different ranges and different cap?
Let me rephrase that. Have they fired on Russia during this, uh, engagement at all?
Uh, not that I’m aware of, but I’m not, I may not, there may be things I’m not aware of, but I’m not aware of them having done that. Ok. I think that was part of the gentleman’s question. I appreciate the gentleman yield. And we now go to the gentleman from California Mr. Beer uh to do some framing because Xi Jinping um and the PR C are, are gonna frame a as you know, being offensive and being anti-China, et cetera. And, and the truth is, you know, um very supportive uh of a very supportive of our working with our allies. But it is in response to um the Pr CS aggression in the maritime space, its aggression in um the South South China Sea, it’s aggression in the Indian Ocean region. And it is a response to, you know, keep a rules based order to keep freedom of navigation to continue what really has been a peaceful, prosperous, stable um number of decades in, in East Asia, in the Indian Ocean region in the Indo Pacific. Um one that China and or the PR C and Xi Jinping are moving to disrupt. Um So I reject um Xi Jinping’s narrative that, you know, these are, this is the United States being offensive with partners and allies. In fact, it’s Xi Jinping’s economic coercion reaction to legitimate um questions by the Australians uncovered origins and, and their ham handed economic coercion retaliation um that really has pushed the Australians to be one of our more hawkish allies here and, and understand um the competition that, that we face and where Xi Jinping wants to take the the Pr C. So I applaud the work of the administration, I think this is a very important deal and very important for us to again maintain an architecture, a rules based order, freedom of navigation, maritime security for not just the the the partners but also for the other countries in the region. You know, when I look at gray zone tactics around Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, when I look at gray zone tactics around the Philippines, when I look at um Xi Jinping’s aggression in the, the straits of Taiwan again, is not the United States that is changing this um the the dynamic in the region. It is an intentional change uh led under Xi Jinping’s leadership. And you know, I I am all in favor of dialogue with, with the PR C and you know, trying to reset this, but it is not the United States that’s looking for conflict. It is Xi Jinping um creating that context. So bring bringing it back to, to a um you know, I also sit on the intelligence community and um very much appreciate the, the, the partnership that we have with the Australians. But also, you know, as we start to share um critical technologies, um the Chinese are very good at stealing those technologies. And, you know, I do worry about cyber risks. I do worry about, you know, how we maintain um you know, um security around the these uh technologies and, and maybe either one of you or both of you if you’d want to talk to things that we should be thinking about from the congressional side um as, as we develop um and share, you know, the, the the most sensitive technologies that we can make sure that our partners have the highest level of cyber security as well. Well, thank you. Um And I agree, I think this is a critically important issue for us to look at. Um you know, I wanna start by saying that because it is Australia and the UK and because we’ve had such close cooperation with them on some of our most sensitive technologies, intelligence capabilities, um We really do believe that we work together as um we put standards in place um not just on the cyber front, but really across the board to make sure that we maintain that mission critical control over these key capabilities and sometimes information. Um I think that um when we look at uh other examples where we have worked very closely with countries particularly as it relates to their export controls. Um We have been able and I am confident that we will be able to do that in this um environment in this uh alliance as well. Um uh Excuse me, a authorization um that we will be able to make sure that all that we align um both from the technical level, but all the way up to uh the strategic level, I might just add to Assistant Secretary Lewis’s point, the emphasis on the trilateral standards. Really, all three of us taking this as seriously as possible. And I think we have really found in the conversations with our Australian and British colleagues that we all have the same strategic perspective on why we want to ensure, you know, why Aus exists and why it needs to be a success. Great. Thank you. I, I think the gentleman now recognize myself for a round of questions following up on my colleague’s question. Uh You use the word would be so uh it’s fair to say that you have some items which you believe that uh particularly Australia will uh in, in engage, provide and, and comply with that would allow you to have that full confidence currently rather than would, is that correct?
Um I think it’s both we currently have confidence and we will continue to have confidence. I think as you, but you are going to ask them to do certain things in order to uh, comply fully with our, our goals of, of not having uh sensitive equipment in any way fall into other hands. We are going to ask all three countries to do that. Ok. Uh But I just wanna make it clear that it’s, it’s a confidence that those laws and other efforts will be, will take place that causes you to ask for authorization, but recognize that it doesn’t actually begin the transfer until those terms are met. Um I think just to be clear, um and I appreciate the question. We also believe um we are going to do multiple things simultaneously. So given the urgency that um we have heard from you and that we feel ourselves, we believe under our current authorities that we have now um that we are going to be able to set up this structure using um the articles that we know that uh that I appreciate you do everything you can do without our permission and then come to our permission when you only are absolutely positive. You need it. Nothing, nothing surprising there after 24 years. Uh But you urgency is an interesting tee up for my next question and it is primarily a dod question. But uh uh earlier today, there was a figure of 36 billion that has been expended in Ukraine in, in actual weapons system. Fair number. That’s what I heard one of you say. Uh currently there’s about 19 backlog with Taiwan now in 15 months, $36 billion some of it pretty advanced weapons, some of it, bread and butter weapons have been successfully transferred and for the most part expended on the battlefield. Is that a fair statement?
So, I, I believe so unexpended, but I don’t wanna say that, I mean, they’re shooting the as fast as they can. Let’s be honest, we were there, we were there, we did, we didn’t see them holding back just in case they someday wanted to use it. We have no evidence of. Ok. So uh based on the assumption that 30 plus billion has been literally expended, delivered and expended in a 15 month period. What is our basis not to provide in a similar speed as though they were at war, the $19 billion rather than as an expenditure, but as a deterrent, you know, and I’m, I’m asking this because everybody has a reason. You can’t do something until the hits the fan. OK?
Then it’s come as you are, bring what you have, go find it and get it. I want to know why we have not in light of Xi Jinping’s aggression and threats of almost immediate invasion, why we have not expedited as though they were similar to Ukraine at least some of that $19 billion that they’ve agreed to pay for. Um, well, you and here in Congress actually in the most recent uh defense authorization bill provided us the ability to do so with $1 billion. Um So uh the vast majority of uh the assistant that has gone to Ukraine has gone through something called the president. I’m not talking about Ukraine, I’m talking about Taiwan. So I understand, I’m just uh I’m saying that we have used something called the presidential drawdown authority, which is allows us to take from dod stocks and directly to you. So you’re saying that it is the drawdown authority that accounts for virtually all of the $36 billion of transfers to Ukraine. It accounts for the vast majority over $20 billion of it and it is the speediest way to move forward. And Congress gave us that ability with Taiwan and the Secretary of Defense recently said that we are planning to move forward on that $1 billion as provided for by Congress. Now with the remaining time, uh a billion ain’t what it used to be. Uh Would you say fairly that the type of deterrent equipment necessary by Taiwan to truly cause China to think again about invasion would be dramatically greater than one billion. Meaning we need to look at the one billion and exponentially increase it uh to the extent that the authority could be used. That’s a fair statement, isn’t it?
I think that what Taiwan needs is significant. Obviously, I would defer to Congress on what it chooses to authorize. OK, I like that. Uh with that, we recognize the gentle lady from Pennsylvania, Miss Wild. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Um My first question is for Assistant Secretary Lewis. Um There are two distinct components of our strategy to defend core us interest vis vis. The PR C um first is building a broad coalition that will stand up against PR C attempts to undermine global rules. And the second is deepening security and strategic cooperation with our closest allies and partners to deter the PR C from considering military options. But sometimes these two things come into conflict. Um Some of our partners in Southeast Asia have expressed concerns about a and fear that our initiative could in fact ratchet up tensions in the region. How do we reassure those partners that A is a defense and deterrence focused initiative and that we are going to be a responsible partner in the competition with China so that they are less hesitant to support us. Um Thank you for the question and I do think it is really important that we talk about a for what it is. Um And really it is about uh deepening and strengthening the very close alliances that we already have with Australia. Um and the UK and it’s an opportunity for us to um take some of these very critical capabilities on A I on cyber um and hypersonic um and work together, I think when we talk to some of our allies in the regions as they um raise these concerns I think the message is, this is one piece of an Indo Pacific strategy that is going to involve working to get together with different countries in different ways. And I think as Secretary Blinken said, um our goal with China is to compete where necessary um to cooperate, where we can on mission critical issues that affect the whole globe um and then confront if we need to. Um And so I think it’s very important that we need to get that message across and we are working um part of my job and I know part of Doctor Carlin’s job is to work with all of our other allies and partners throughout the region as they look at both their security needs, their defense capabilities. Um and the ways that they wish to deepen and strengthen their relationships with the United States and our other allies. Do you believe we can do that in a way that will be reassuring to them?
I do believe we can do that. Yes. All right. I have more questions for you that I’m gonna submit in writing, but I wanna move on to a question. I have of Assistant Secretary Carlin, um having to do with the um production uh the output um of, of um our defense hardware. Um It’s my understanding that we are currently producing roughly 1.2 Virginia class submarines a year and we’d like it to see it closer to three. Um My understanding further is that part of August pillar. One is that Australia has signaled plans to make an investment into our shipbuilding industry which obviously would help with production. But on the other hand, I have concerns about what the impact might be on American workers and families if this kind of investment is made. Um I say that as a representative of a district that is on the leading edge of advanced specialized manufacturing, including in the defense field. Can you address that please?
Absolutely. And uh as, as you know, ma’am, the most recent um request uh from, from, for our defense budget included uh 4.6 billion in uh in, in investments in our submarine industrial base for both maintenance and production because we want to increase the number you highlighted and we want to have more submarines uh available and uh and ready exactly as you know, the Australians have committed to make a significant, significant contribution to our submarine industrial base that is perfect, important. Uh Obviously, it is meaningful in terms of jobs for Americans in terms of helping our industry. But I would highlight it’s also especially important because investment early we have seen in the industrial base is going to bear fruit and we have watched this with thanks to Congress’s leadership in recent years that that uh that that trajectory uh looks increasingly better. Ok. So, but, but how is it going to, what’s the interplay going to be in terms of how we make sure that we um produce as much as we can here while still accepting this generous investment. Thank you, the uh I I don’t know that these will um clash the investment that the Australians will be making. The significant investment in our submarine industrial base will be for our industrial base specifically for what we are producing. Obviously much of that is, is, is for um our own submarines. And then of course, those that uh that one would ultimately sell to Australia. So I don’t think there’s a mutual exclusivity here. Ok. We I think we may be talking about two different things at a time. Thank you, Chairman Green for five minutes. Thank you Mr. Chairman for uh holding this important hear, important hearing today and for your work to strengthen America’s alliances during a critical point in our nation’s history. The AUC partnership represents one of the most critical strategic frameworks for countering the Chinese Communist Party in the Indo Pacific and around the globe, working alongside our closest allies. The UK and Australia is a golden opportunity to roll back the gains. The C C P has made not only in the Indo Pacific but in other critical domains of competition such as cyber and financial markets as we celebrated victory in Europe day this week. It was a timely reminder of what can be achieved when we work together with freedom, loving partners, however, without consistent effort and efficiency and effective diplomacy. There’s no way Aus can live up to this potential. The Biden administration wants to take a victory lap for signing this agreement but doesn’t seem willing to make the effort to ensure we’re leveraging it in the fight against the C C P. American leadership is the most essential component of this alliance. But how can our partners trust us when they see how we treat our Taiwanese allies where we have $19 billion in backlog and weapons systems deliveries while they experience an existential threat to their way of life. I recognize the inherent challenges present in achieving the goals of aus many of which stem from bureaucratic inefficiencies and outdated statutes that don’t move at the pace of the threat or technology. I do thank our witnesses for their commitments to tackling these issues. Head on. I also thank my colleagues on this committee for making arms export reform a priority. And that’s what I’d also like to speak about. I, I would like to address the issue of I and I exemptions. This last week I traveled to the United Kingdom and I met with among others, the defense minister, he raised a very serious concern that Canada is granted an IRS full exemption but the UK, our greatest ally is not. He cited a specific example of A UK company that has technology that would advance our hypersonic missile capability. But the company, if the company sells to the US under Itar, that technology becomes exclusively controlled by the United States. That company has chosen not to sell the technology to the United States to help us with our capability. He also said compliance costs, have him spending half a billion pounds in every year. He specifically said that half a billion pounds could buy American equipment for him if he didn’t have to do that with compliance. The UK wants an exemption to Itar is equivalent to Canada as Winston Churchill noted regarding our World War Two alliance, there is only one thing worse than fighting with allies and that’s fighting without them. Uh We, we’ve got to fix this issue with England to miss the opportunity to have this capability is unacceptable and I have intentions to bring a bill that would do just that. And I’d like to ask my first question. Would you guys support that?
And if, if not, why not, sir?
First of all, let me start by saying, I think you raise sort of the core issue that we are trying to address here today, which is how to make sure that our defense trade, but specifically, in this case, our defense trade under a with two of our closest allies can move with speed um and with safety and in a secure way. Um As we look at the issue of how to make that happen, we have put together a, a plan that encompasses actually, not only the I R which only governs actually our commercial sales, but actually our foreign military sales, which are our government to government sales and just for reference, 90% of the sales that uh the trade that we do, for example, with Australia is actually under the foreign military sales process. Right?
I mean, he’s asking very specifically for an exemption that would uh we’re not talking AUS, in this case, hypersonic are, are not a part of a, as I understand, Aus uh I understand there’s a second phase of this. That’s A I and other things, right?
But um hypersonic aren’t in there. I’m not gonna go into detail in this setting on, on what he shared with us about the capabilities, advancement that that would be for our uh you know, development of that uh resource. But it ain’t happening because that company has made a business decision. They made a business decision not to give their technology that then would restrict their sale anywhere else. And we, I mean, it’s the United Kingdom, the they’ve been with us. I mean, it, it, the blood that has been shared spilled on the soil together on beaches in Normandy all over Europe. I mean, there is no reason why we can do the same with Canada, but we can’t do it with the UK. And so my, my argument is we’re gonna bring legislation and I would love for you guys to support this I exemption. And with that I yield gentleman’s time has expired. Chair now recognized Miss Jacobs for five minutes. Thank you, Mr. Chair and thank you both for being here. Um As, as we’re talking about how to improve our arms exports. I, I think one of the things that is gonna be really important is ensuring that our arms transfer policy aligns with our values and our broader strategic foreign policy goals. Um You know, it’s not only important um for human rights and, and all of the, the good things and, and moral reasons, but I, I think it’s actually really important for our long term security and our ability to have these alliances in the future. Um So I was really encouraged by the Biden administration’s new conventional arms transfer policy. And in particular, one of the specific changes that uh changes the standard from actual knowledge that arms would be used to commit atrocities to a commitment not to transfer arms that would more likely than not contribute to atrocities. So, a Assistant Secretary Lewis, I, I wanted to see if you could talk about how this policy is materially gonna change things, how you plan to do monitoring and evaluation to assess its impact on arms transfers and how you’re going to implement this new standard. Um Well, first of all, thank you for the question. I think um the conventional arms transfer policy, which is the policy that governs all of our arms transfers around the world. Um And actually, um you have uh you could have read from my talking points on that specific change uh that we made as it relates to the human rights standard. Um I would recognize that the cap policy um also includes a whole host of other things. Um For example, trying to make um our uh weapons uh looking at different ways to finance them and a whole host of other things um as we move forward. Um But to get to your specific question, um we already work very closely with our colleagues um in uh the in D R L, the bureau that oversees um our human rights issues um as we look at arms trans. Um and so we are using these criteria as we evaluate all of the transfers. Um We are gonna continue um our current end use monitoring programs, some of which are, are done by the defense department, some of which are done by the state department depending on the authorities. Um Again, to make sure that we comply with the law. And then, in addition, I think you’re probably aware that we also have to do lay vetting um when it is when arms transfers are funded through uh using us government money. So there’s a whole host of ways um that we have to address this criteria in the cap policy. Uh I’m glad you brought up any use monitoring. Um because um while this revised policy says the US will monitor and ensure uh transferred arms are used responsibly and in accordance with the conditions and obligations of the policy including human rights and international Humanitarian law. As, as you both know, at the moment, current us and use monitoring programs are really only focused on diversion risks. Um but they actually don’t monitor or track how us items are being used including in human rights or, or international humanitarian law violations. So how will implementation of the address this gap in how we do and use monitoring?
Well, I do think um we are going to continue to do and use monitoring as it complies with both the law and this program. I think we are and again, part of that, it includes the work that we do with D R L and the other pieces of the bureau. I’m sorry of the State Department that work on these issues. Um I know that this has been something that um from the president on down making sure that we consider human rights. Um as we look at these arms transfers will continue to be at the core of our policy. Ok. Well, that sounds great, although it sounds like most of what you’re saying is what you have been doing and not necessarily what’s changed based on this policy. So I’ll look forward to working with you to make sure that we’re actually, this is not just a continuation but, but actually doing something new. I I, I, I wanted to go to the, the F MS 2023. That, that you all just put out it references the cat policy in it, which I think is great. Um However, the F MS 2023 policy itself doesn’t mention human rights concerns at all. Um So how will the cat policy and F MS 2023 fit together?
And how will you ensure that retooling F MS doesn’t sideline the very human rights concerns that you’re addressing trying to addressed through the new cap policy. Um Thank you for that question. I think it’s actually a really important question to answer. Um these two things to me work, they align actually quite well together. If you look at what we put in the F MS uh 23 plan, we are looking at things about uh prioritizing uh having priorities as we look at the arm sales that we transfer. We’re looking at um making sure we take a regional perspective. We’re looking at issues um related to the training of the people who do uh the work uh in our embassies uh to get arms sales to move. We’re looking at um improving our processes with Congress. So I don’t think any of that work um is incongruent with the same, the principles laid out in the in the policy. Then a lady time has expired. Chair now recognizes Mr. Barr for five minutes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Um Thank you to our witnesses for being here and uh discussing the important uh trilateral relationship. Uh that is I think critical uh to uh deterring uh the Chinese Communist Party in the Indo Pacific. Um So let me start with Taiwan, uh Assistant Secretary Lewis. We know that Taiwan is waiting on a number of F MS deliveries uh from conventional weapons like the Abrams tank to F-16 upgrades, uh asymmetric harpoons and high Mars is state working with uh the defense industrial base to prioritize delivery of these asymmetric weapons that would be most effective at countering a cross strait invasion and um uh be happy for our defense department witness to offer her thoughts as well. Um Sir, I think that um we are all very focused on getting Taiwan what it needs to defend itself. Um As you know, that $19 billion that you’re discussing is um our sales that have already moved through our process and are now in the production phase. Um And I, I think I will just say one or two things and then let Dr Carlin speak more to that because the defense department has really been leading the charge on key capabilities to reduce the timelines or increase production so that we can get those mission critical capabilities to partners like Taiwan. Thank you. Uh We are um running an effort that is chaired by Deputy Secretary Hicks to make sure that uh Taiwan is getting the material and non-material capabilities it needs as quickly as possible and that there is the most senior level attention as possible. We are constantly engaging Taiwan as well to work with them in terms of an understanding of what those capabilities would look like. Uh Obviously, you know, in line with our long stay policy. Um and uh and our commitments, I would also just take a moment now to thank Congress because as it relates to our own military, uh congress’ support of multi-year procurement of munitions has been especially important for our military as we look at ensuring that we have the most combat credible force to deal with this. And Doctor Carlin, there’s a lot of bipartisan work going on, not just in this committee, but also in the select committee on the strategic competition between United States and China. And you’re, you’re gonna see those recommendations on multiyear procurement. The industrial base needs certainty on this. Uh And uh this is, this is gonna be an absolutely top priority of accelerating those F MS uh and getting those capabilities. Uh Now yesterday, what have you to, to uh that democracy?
Uh Let me follow up out of uh all of the open F MS cases with Taiwan. How many can we expect to be completed by the end of this calendar year?
Um I think in this setting, we are not gonna discuss when things will be delivered. Happy to continue that conversation. Yeah, fair point. I just just know that this is an urgent uh uh a priority for the Congress as, as you know, uh let me ask you about um uh a Governance Assistant Secretary Lewis, how is the state department planning on deciding which sectors or projects uh or a projects that will qualify for expedited approvals under the AUS uh trade authorization concept?
Um Sir, we are going to be sitting down both with um Australia and the UK to work through exactly those details. So obviously, it needs to fit into uh the, the definitions of what we’re working on within August. Um And then I think the second piece of that is um we’re also looking at making sure we understand sort of what’s excluded. Um And we did that very carefully because it’s easier to move quickly when you have a clear list of what can’t, right?
What cannot move as opposed to sort of uh trying to keep uh a, a track of what can move?
Uh And again, I don’t know if this is the right setting, but is there an example of a technology, a critical technology that is so sensitive that it could not be shared in the, I think I can answer that in a, in a broad, in a broad way, we have certain items that we are prohibited from transferring under treaties, for example, that would violate our, our, our nuclear nonproliferation laws. OK?
Um To both of our witnesses, clarity is key for a success industries wanting to participate in this opportunity. Need to know what is possible for this to work. They need a green light, red light system. Have either of your agencies actually sat down with your counterpart ministries in the UK or Australia and outlined specifically what barriers exist in their laws or regulations that could hinder implementation. We have been in a um really a nonstop conversation with our counterparts in Australia and the UK to try to make sure that all of our systems are aligned. Um And that will, that will need to continue as we continue to work through all of these steps to move forward. That’s great. Well, I appreciate that effort to, to give uh industry that clarity uh with that uh I yield back when yields back. Uh Chair recognizes Manning. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Doctor Carlin. As you know, um our ally, Japan faces serious challenges from China. I was recently on a congressional trip to Japan. We spent a great deal of time focusing on the dramatic increase of Japan’s military budget and the increasing importance of our relationship. And as you know, the next August step, the expansion into hypersonic weapons falls squarely into Japan’s priorities. So can you talk about whether there are ways Japan can contribute to different aspects of AUS and whether they could be brought into deeper cooperation with this group in the future?
Thank you. First, I would just like to applaud the extraordinary investments that we see by Japan. Exactly as, as you know, ma’am, they really are meaningful. We are also from the Department of Defense perspective, doing all we can to strengthen that relationship. Most recently announcing that we’re going to send our most capable marine uh regiment uh out to Japan. Um regarding uh an any sort of expansion right now, we’re really focused on ensuring that a can succeed as designed. And then as we’ve generated momentum on it, et cetera, we are absolutely interested in looking at exploring opportunities to integrate partners uh in into kind of certain uh activities or so as as we go forward, are there uh security or um other concerns that Japan would technology concerns that Japan would have to overcome to create a, a closer relationship with A I think we would want to ensure just as we were saying about the trilateral need to make sure we’ve got elevated standards. I think with any country we work with in such an intimate way on sensitive technology cooperation. You know, we, we all we have the same strategic goal. Let’s make sure that operationally we can make that a reality. OK. And under pillar two, the agreement seeks to expand technology sharing cyber and quantum capabilities as you’re just describing and artificial intelligence. How important is it that we have the upper hand in these critical areas?
And can you talk about what safeguards need to be put in place to prevent China from seeking to steal our technology and undermine our capabilities. Thank you. It is incredibly important as we see the security environment shifting. And I would highlight as we see the military technological environment shifting as well for us to be able to collaborate closely with our allies. And to be clear, uh all boats are rising here. We it’s a two way street. We are also getting, getting things from them and given these changes, uh AAA failure to collaborate and integrate and innovate will actually only hurt us. I think uh in this competition, we have got to do that though with these meaningful safeguards. And I do believe as it relates to Australia and the UK specifically that we’re in a similar headspace on the need to ensure that security. Thank you, Assistant Secretary Lewis. Can you talk about some of the challenges the defense production industry is facing overall, the impact it’s having in terms of our assistance to Taiwan and other countries and what can and needs to be done to help strengthen our supply chain. Um Thank you for that question. And uh I’ll certainly um talk about what we’re seeing, I think um we are really at a moment of what I call tectonic change when it comes to security assistance and cooperation around the world because we are seeing not only because of the war in Ukraine, but um because countries are concerned about the pr C threat and we’re seeing the eastern flank of Europe really change its security process dramatic increases in both uh security needs and defense spending. Um And that is happening at the same time that our defense indus industrial base is emerging from COVID just as many other industries in the United States have done. Um And we are working very closely with the defense industrial base to uh increase their production uh to see where we can make investments. Um And then, um as Dr Carlin has outlined, uh the defense, the Deputy Secretary of Defense has honed in on a specific set of capabilities where we need to really move more quickly if I could just add uh uh just uh really thanking Congress for the Chips Act um which has some profound relevance for all of this because it’ll help us bolster central American industry to maintain our military technical logical edge without, without which frankly much of this just won’t be feasible. And if there were cuts to uh what has been achieved through our Chips Act because of the deficit negotiations, would that have a negative impact?
I think there would absolutely be national security implications if we are unable to make the meaningful change that we need as a country to shore up our defense industrial base, which really is a core strategic asset. I want to thank you both for your service to our country and with that, I yield back yields back. Chair recognizes Mr. Burt. Thank you Mr. Chairman as the um someone whose questions get asked kind of late in the, in the day and is the 435th most powerful member of congress. I expect when I ask my questions, you all are attack shocked and maybe you can proclaim how profound my questions were and how intellectually they were, they were presented to you because that’s why when, when we record this and show it to my folks back home, that’s what I want them to think. Anyway. So, thank you all so much. Um uh uh Secretary Carlin uh ma’am, do you believe that stability in the Middle East is any way possible, shape form or fashion?
Honestly, stability in the Middle East is writ large. I do believe we can have some stability and security in the Middle East over the years. It has gone up and down right now. If we just look at Yemen as an example, we’ve had the longest period of quiet since the civil war broke out and that is indeed a positive. Ok. But you said this morning, any efforts to increase security and stability in the region should be welcomed by all. And of course, China has worked with Iran to build relationships with the Saudis. You believe that that should be welcomed?
I think efforts to bring the countries together in a more peaceful way are a positive. That said, I think it is quite clear that many of our Gulf countries have a threat, perception of Iran’s irresponsible and aggressive behavior that is quite in line with ours as well. Ok, China seems to be attempting to become a diplomatic actor in the region. Do you think that’s a good thing?
I think to the extent the People’s Republic of China is trying to play a more positive role in the region. That is a good thing. I do want to emphasize that there is absolutely no comparison to the level scope scale of us involvement in the Middle East, decades and decades long than what we say. The People’s Republic of China. I would also just note for our partners in the Middle East, of course, that uh that as they increasingly cooperate with the People’s Republic of China, we will of course, look at the technological implications of, of that cooperation, the communications uh of, of that cooperation as well. Um to ensure that our robust relationship can uh can, can result in this security that, that we need to. Yes, I feel like any any effort of the Chinese towards anything is is looking out for China and with them, their involvement in the Middle East, I think that is um to me that’s, that’s a dangerous situation. I think it shows especially any, any alignment with Iran who’s, who have stated that they don’t believe Israel should exist to me is a, is an affront to me and a lot of people that I represent. Um do you think the Chinese involvement in the Middle East is a threat to the Abraham Accords. Um uh I don’t know that I would see it as a threat that Abraham Accords per se. I think on the face of it, it is clear that the People’s Republic of China has a relationship with Iran and it is also clear that like us, uh the Gulf countries are worried understandably about Iran’s irresponsible and aggressive uh behavior. So I think, um that the, those who participate in the Abraham uh Accords would want to be, uh aware of how, how various countries understand the threats uh in the region, who is fomenting threats in the region and how best to tackle them?
Ok. The Israeli defense Chief of staff says Iran has right now has more enriched uranium than ever before and, um, is increasingly aggressive. Do you think your plan of deterrence is working?
We take, uh, effort to deter Iran very seriously across the US government?
I would note most recently in late March when there was an attack by Iranian sponsored militias, the US military responded, I think within 12 hours or so. And we believe the Iranians understood what that response was as well. Again, I would, oh, I hope the State Department and the White House would pay special attention to the situation with Iran. I just, um, with their, uh, statements of hostility towards Iran historically and currently I think is it ought to be a, uh, a what a note of awareness for us and the Chinese are hooking up with them. I would be really concerned. So, anyway, thank you, ma’am. And I yield the remainder of my three seconds, Mr. Chair, we thank the gentleman for his eloquence and for yielding back chair now recognizes Mr. Moskowitz. Uh Thank you Mr. Chairman. Um you know, actually kind of continuing the same line of thought uh from uh the previous speaker, I just got back from uh Israel Jordan, Egypt. Uh and Italy with the speaker and we met with the king of Jordan, we met with the president of Egypt, the Foreign Minister of Egypt, the CIA director of Egypt, the Prime Minister of Israel, the president of Israel, the Speaker of the House, the Prime Minister of Italy, the president of Italy, the Speaker of the House of Italy. And there was a consistent theme among these four countries and that was China. Uh and also the consistent theme was is that they were very honest, they want to do business with the United States, they want to buy our equipment, they think our stuff is superior, but if we can’t sell it to them, they’re going to get it somewhere else. And that’s new, I think for the United States that similar equipment can be purchased from Russia and China since the fall of the Soviet Union, maybe we’ve not had that in the space. Also, we heard from them that if we, if we start to pull out of the region, whether it’s in Africa or in the Middle East because we’re focused elsewhere. China is coming in and China is not coming in with grants, they’re coming in with loans, loans that at some point in time, China is hoping maybe won’t get paid so that they can take further control of those countries. Economics also when China comes in, they don’t lift these countries up and give, give the the projects, their funding don’t come to the workers of those countries because they bring in Chinese labor to, to build all of these things. And so I have serious concerns over that. I think we’re, we’re a general fighting the last war and that we have not changed with the times. Uh Secretary Carlin, did I hear you say or did someone bring up that it takes 18 months to do a contract?
Uh Someone did raise that figure. I, I can’t corroborate that figure. I don’t know if Assistant Secretary Lewis uh can either, I can’t either on that. I’d be happy. Can I address uh the issues that you raised previously?
Um because we’ve actually spent a lot of time thinking about this. The United States currently is about 41% of the world market on arms sales. That’s you take a 10 year average and that’s, and that’s we’ve actually increased from 38% percent to 41%. Russia has fallen from the second largest producer in the world to the third largest producer and China is, is, is down there in the single, in the single digits. So, um and our sales combined are uh is, is larger than the next sort of five countries um aligned uh below us. Listen, I understand where the data is. I’m telling you where it’s going. Ok, if we don’t fix some of these problems, um the they’re, you know, when these folks are looking us in the eye and telling us, you know, we, we purchase these things, we haven’t received them. We’d, we’d like them from you. We still think you’re the best partner, but at some point in time, we’re gonna buy them elsewhere or in some instances in Egypt, they already have. Um that’s, that’s putting us on notice that something isn’t, isn’t working. Uh Another one of my colleagues asked you about excess capacity. Let me tell you what he’s asking. OK?
Because this is no different than with COVID supply chain, right?
We didn’t, we had to buy stuff from all over, all over the world. We were competing with everybody but Antarctica for materials during COVID. OK?
And most of the stuff was procured from China and other countries it wasn’t made here. And we incentive, we had all this money and we incentivize all these companies to bring these new lines, right?
To make masks in country. It took months and months and months and months to do that or for them to change their lines to ventilators, it took months and months to do that. And so what he’s asking is that, are there excess lines that are already built?
Are we incentivizing producers to break, to have excess lines in the event we get into, I don’t know, a war or a proxy war. So that when, when we use the production Act, we’re not waiting, we saw when we use the Production Act, it wasn’t like this. It’s still months to bring these, these lines uh uh online. So that’s what the question was. Do we have excess capacity?
Are we incentivizing excess capacity that we can bring online because it’s already built. I I think what we, we are not at that stage yet frankly, because we are trying to increase that capacity. I hope that we will be at that stage going forward. But right now, what we’re trying to do especially in key areas is to signal to industry. And Congress is actually obviously been really, really important in this to be able to signal where we want our priorities, where we want to prioritize and how we can increase the security and the resilience of, of the, of the defense industrial. My last my last question because I’m out of time. Do we know?
And if you can’t share it, that’s fine. Do we know how many days we, if we’ve gotten into a hot war, do we know how many days of supply we have before we would be in an existential situation that would depend specifically on what platform you’re talking about. But we would be delighted to have that conversation in another forum. Thank you, Mr. Chairman Joe Yields. Uh chair recognizes MS Young Kim. Thank you, Chairman McCaul. And I want to thank all of our witnesses for joining us today. You know, as a chairwoman of the Indo Pacific subcommittee, one of my priorities is ensuring that our foreign military sales programs are supporting the most vulnerable allies and partners in the region. Last Congress Chairman McCaul and I introduced the arms exports Delivery Solutions Act which requires an annual report from Dod and D OS. Uh That details the efforts being taken to address the multi-billion dollar backlog of arms sales to Taiwan and our other allies in the in the Pacific. And two weeks ago, we received the 55 oh eight report due to us from that legislation regarding foreign military sales. And in that report, the state department highlights challenges such as the supply chain issues and long lead as causes for delays uh to that process. Um Question to you, Miss Lewis. One of the report requirement is for a description of interagency efforts to support Taiwan’s attainment of operational capabilities including training. Where is that part of the report?
I think if we’re certainly happy to discuss that with you further and if there’s additional information you need in the report I guess what I got in the report. That’s why I’m asking. But the report also require a description of the action the department is planning to take or has taken to prioritize Taiwan’s F MS cases. So when can we expect that portion?
Um If there is anything that’s not included, we’ll be happy, I’ll be happy to take that back and make sure that you get that. I’m also happy to answer any questions now or in another setting?
If that’s well, would you agree then the couple questions I ask it’s not there. So would you agree?
This report is incomplete and when should we expect to get the rest of the report?
That includes the information that we were asking through that legislation?
I’m happy to take that back and get back to you as soon as we can. Well, one of the requirements in section 55 08 B is for the State Department and dod to recommend to Congress authorities we can use and actions we can take to support expedited arms shipments to in the Pacific Allies and the report does not have these recommendations. So what are they?
Well, I think we’ve covered some of those here today because the issues that the region and that Taiwan are facing uh in terms of the production timeline, challenges that we are having are not specific to the region. These are across the board challenges for our defense industrial base. Um And so I think again, the work that Kath Hicks, uh, Secretary Deputy Secretary Hicks has done, um, at dod to prioritize specific capabilities. We have done things, for example. Um, we had lines that were cold, meaning they had, they had stopped producing items gone back, figured out why is that line cold?
Sometimes it comes down to a specific widget that a sub producer may have gone out of business. Thank you back forward to getting that specific recommendations in the report when you complete that section 55 oh eight, also required the State Department and dod to submit the report by March 31 of this year. So why were your agencies unable to meet that deadline?
And why is the report incomplete?
Um My understanding is we submitted the report on April 17th. I think as you know, we have a large number of reports that April Sember still not March 31. So I hope that uh we can expect the next report which is due March 31 of next year 2024 to be on time. Of course, next question, August is intended to strengthen the ability of the US Australia and the UK to support each respective government security and defense uh interest. And much of the conversation around this security pact has been about nuclear powered submarines. So what are the areas of cooperation other than the transfer of nuclear powered submarines to Australia that Aus can serve as a platform for. Thank you. There are indeed two pillars if you will of August one is, as you note the um the the um the United States providing Australia with a conventionally armed nuclear powered submarine capability at the earliest possible date. While setting the highest nonproliferation standard, that’s kind of known as pillar one, pillar two is that AUS will develop and provide joint advanced military capabilities to promote security and stability. As of now, a handful of those areas include um uh hypersonic artificial Intelligence. For example, what we really want to do is be able to lift up all of our defense, industrial bases and to cooperate together so we can enhance our competitive military edge. Thank you very quickly. Last question, I know there is a lot of numbers being thrown around about the, the exact dollar amount for Taiwan arms that’s on backlog right now. So is it 19 billion, 20 billion, 21 billion?
Do you know uh ma’am?
Uh I think that it depends what you’re counting. I think our view is um those have come out of the US government system and are items that are being that are in production. Um And so again, we would have to go industry by industry um to analyze that further. Thank you. My time’s up, I yield back uh generally uh yields back. Uh chair recognizes M DEV. Thank you, Mr. Chair first. Completely unrelated. I just want to say that Tina Turner died today. And she was the master of soft diplomacy and also a former constituent of mine. So I’m a little sad but I am glad uh that this committee is holding a hearing on the important topic of us, arms exports policy and reclaiming the underutilized oversight role that Congress plays in our security cooperation for trusted partners with closely aligned goals such as Ukraine and Taiwan. Us. Security assistance can be essential in helping our allies deter aggression and defend against existential threats. But as the revised cat policy acknowledges when our defense material is transferred to actors who do not employ it responsibly. Us weaponry can and has been used to violate human rights and international human humanitarian law, harm civilians and undermine long term us interests in stability and good governance abroad. There was an earlier question about um in use monitoring and I have a follow up question to, to that uh what tools and resources would the US government need to conduct robust monitoring of how arms delivered to security cooperation partners are actually used?
Um Well, we do end use monitoring and I’ll talk about the state Department side and the defense department as something similar. Um So when weapons are transferred, um we have uh on our side, it’s on the commercial side, we have the responsibility to account for those weapons. Um There are site visits, there are uh simple mechanisms such as making sure literally you have a log of those weapons you know, where they are. Um and a whole host of other ways is to um ensure that we know that they have been delivered and accounted for properly. I know the defense department has um similar uh mechanisms in place for uh their end use monitoring. But I think um one of the things that I actually think is really important is as we look at the human rights question, I think it’s not just an issue of end use monitoring. I think the leahy vetting piece is actually uh equally as important. Um And so I think as you know what the um we have, all of our partners have to sign agreements on the use of us, origin defense equipment um and comply with the armed, the laws of armed conflict and international Humanitarian law and respect for human rights. And then when it comes to Leahy vetting, we have to get down um even to the unit level uh to ensure that we are when that’s um just to clarify when, when it is provided using us government funding um that uh we are uh not providing those to units that have committed uh gross violations of human rights. So I think for me, um we tend to talk about end use monitoring. But I actually think for me, it’s the combination of that with the leahy vetting. Um that is mission critical in terms of meeting the goals that you’re laying out, right?
Because there’s a difference between how they’re being accounted for and then what they’re actually being used for and who they’re going to. Correct. Yes. Would you like to add to this M Carlin?
Thank you. Uh The only point I would add to what Secretary Lewis was saying is that uh when we are training partner militaries, we spend a ton of time on things like rule of law and human rights and we do that because it is our values. We also do that because there’s a lot of evidence that it will make them more effective. And so we want uh to, to ensure that they, they take that approach. Um But that, that sounds like the honor system. I’m not sure if I understand. As in you said, we go through these trainings and we’re talking about the use of uh international law, human rights violations, et cetera. So letting folks know what they should not be using them for a absolutely and also helping them understand that that’s ultimately not effective. Uh So they shouldn’t do it because it is wrong and they shouldn’t do it because it won’t ultimately achieve their strategic aims, right?
Also recognizing that people still do bad things with our weapons. And so there has to be consequential maneuvers as well. Absolutely. You may, yeah, all I would say is I think you have to look at these as combined. I think it is very important that we do provide training. Um and that we include in any training that we provide the human rights law, international Humanitarian law, et cetera because uh people need to know the rules of the game and then you’re right, then in addition, we have to do the other pieces. So my last question, um, from Miss Carlin is under the Biden’s administration’s new guidance. Do you anticipate any changes to the weaponry amounts or recipients of arms transfers that we’ve seen in the past?
Um I think you’re referencing the updated policy. Um and we have absolutely uh used that to inform our own F MS uh uh tiger team. Look as I know my state department colleagues have as well and we will ensure that that threshold that is highlighted the the big, the notable change in the threshold, you know, applying it more likely than not threshold um will will inform how we look at these uh at these transfers. Great. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Are you back?
Thank you. I now recognize Mr. Hea for five minutes. Well, thank you madam chair. Um uh Appreciate this. I don’t want to dwell too long on this. So let’s let’s move quickly uh before I get to it and, and foreign military sales. Uh but uh going off of what my colleague, Mr. Mass had had asked earlier earlier, is there evidence that Ukraine has struck Russia directly?
I I thought he asked a slightly different question, I think. Ok, well, then I’ll clarify that question, is there evidence that Ukraine has struck Russia?
Um, I have seen news reports indicating that beyond that, I don’t have any specific evidence myself. Ok. Um, do we know whether any us arms or us supplied arms were used in that we have seen those same news reports?
And I believe that we are looking into that. Um, as I think you also know, and as I said before, um, we provide our weapons for the Ukrainians to use in their fight in Ukraine. And I just want to say again that what we all know that obviously that the war would end today if Russia stopped its aggression. Um Do you have any concern about F-16s that’s just been announced of a potential transfer to Ukraine that that could be used or misused?
I do not have any concerns about that. I think that because you believe the Ukrainians would use them for the purpose intended. Uh I believe so, but obviously that hasn’t happened yet. Um But uh that would be my understanding. Ok. Would it not be better to have say Poland send the uh the uh M 29 S?
I believe Poland has already sent them big 20 nines, which they are um they are already trained on and using. And so, um the announcement that was made would be uh providing them with this uh additional training and capability. All right, I’m gonna, I’m gonna move on with, I’ll leave with this, this statement, many of us had encouraged this administration to get um whether it was tow missiles other arms in earlier prior to the conflict. Uh so that it could not be used as a, a um view towards escalation that the US is directly involved. I think that would have been a much better situation. Um I’m gonna move on to um I T and the uh foreign military sales. Uh I, I’ve been at this for a fair amount of time. I was a district director for my predecessor. Uh I was a state legislator. I have been in this position uh both in an older district and a new district. I’ve talked to suppliers um and uh both in the district and in, in Michigan, virtually all of them over the years have relayed difficulties that they face in compliance with some of the various frameworks. I being uh one of those and uh regardless uh it seems that the same issues arise, uh current I T framework is too burdensome and clients costs are too significant for smaller, oftentimes, mom and pop or small business shops with innovative technologies who um instead choose to enter the commercial market rather than using the military. In fact, I had a small supplier, tell me that they’re facing pressure from their tier one supplier to use non I R regulated products because they do not want to deal with the headache of it in their final supply chain. Um, so Assistant Secretary Lewis, uh how is state uh working to stop this process from getting in the way of innovative companies looking to bring their products to market uh within the defense industrial base. Well, I think, um, as you know, we have looked at these issues across the board and, um, when it comes to I T, uh in terms of a, I think we, I laid out a plan where we are going to be able to uh create a smooth moving system where we already know the people who are gonna receive it on the end. I’m sorry, only within a, um, we are doing that within a, um, right now we’ve also created in addition to a open general licenses which allow um some technology to also move freely. Um And I’m happy to continue to work with you. Um I’m a former staffer, so I appreciate the importance of talking to the people back in your district. If there are specific issues, I know that in addition, we have gone through a series of changes in our regulations and sometimes as simple as updating the website so that people can understand what’s there to try to help people with these compliance issues. Ok. Uh My last uh few seconds here, um Artificial Intelligence, uh we can’t be continue to be flat footed. Um What assurance do we have that your department, uh from your department, the United States is working to come back or deter the use of A I technologies against ourselves or our allies uh from places like China?
And is there an attempt for our allies and our partnership members to be sharing that information?
Um I think we’re working across the interagency on all of those issues. Yelled back. All right, I now recognize Mr. Costa for five minutes. Oh, it’s not here, Mr. Crowe. You are now recognized for five minutes. Thank you. Uh And thank you to both of you for coming in today and for your testimony. Um Assistant Secretary Lewis, I’d like to start with you. Your bureau has encountered a significant explosion of workload in, in the last year, in particular. But we have the largest land year in war, land war in Europe. Since World War two, we have a modernizing NATO with significant new investments. We have a and other deals going on right now. Can you just touch on for a moment?
Uh The, the impact of that workload on your bureau because at the same time is there’s a lot of people here are criticizing the speed at which you do things. A lot of these folks also are cutting your resources in your budget as well and making it harder for you to actually do the things that they’re asking you to do. So, I’d love to just comment on what your folks are doing day in and day out and the impact of that workload on them. Well, I very much appreciate the question. I have to say I came to the bureau about two years ago and it is an extraordinary team of professionals. We have over 25% are uh veterans in my bureau and then a significant number, um who we also have active duty, military serving. And the reason they serve in the Bureau of Political Military Affairs is because they believe in the mission. Um And they believe that and they are workloads in some cases have increased over the past 15 months, 15,000%. Um And those same 15,000 15,000% for some of the pieces of, and when I talk to my team and I say, hey, you’re here working late, um you might be here over a weekend to get something to Ukraine or to get something to uh Taiwan or to one of our partners and allies. They tell me that’s what we’re here to do. There’s been nothing else we’d rather do. In spite of that, we still move 95% of cases on the foreign military side within 24 to 48 hours. It is extraordinary. The work that is being done. I would note that um we had a $3 billion increase in foreign military financing going to the Eastern flank. Um My team has taken that on. We have concurrence in over $9 billion and growing from the defense department. Um And the team also negotiates all of our security cooperation agreements in a normal year. My security cooperation team negotiates four of those this year, they’re negotiating nine. The reason they’re negotiating nine of these agreements is because countries around the world want to deepen and strengthen their security cooperation relationship with us. Um And we are in charge of making sure that the, that we have the underlying agreements to do that. So it has been extraordinary and I’m both honored and humbled to be um at the of this bureau at this mission critical time. Well, that is an extraordinary effort and I appreciate you painting that picture and, and I thank you and your team for doing that uh critical work. So, um you know, with additional funding, say, hypothetically if, if Congress were to provide additional funding to your bureau, what would you use that funding for and what would the impact of it be?
I have to be careful to not get ahead of um any uh specific asks. But what I would say is um I am working very hard to um increase the staff that we have to meet the mission. Um I’ve always believed that one of the jobs of a good manager is to make sure your people match your mission as your mission shifts and change. And we are literally in the process of doing that. Um And so I think we would continue that work. OK. Thank you very much, Doctor Carlin to you next. Uh Are you aware of, um, the administration reconsidering policy with regard to cluster munitions and providing cluster munitions to Ukraine?
Thank you right now, we’re really focused on making sure that Ukraine gets what it needs that can be effective on the battlefield um, immediately, and we have thanks to Congress’s support, I think seeing the extraordinary impact of that over the last 15 or so months, obviously, cluster munitions would have a serious humanitarian impact and that has informed our thinking to date. Ok. Um Lastly, could you doctor Carlin comment on um the impact of technology and telecommunications investments by the, the PR C in places around the world and the impact that that has on our ability to develop uh enhanced intelligence relationships and export control relationships with our allies and partners. We absolutely look vigilantly at how and in what ways the PR C makes such investments. And I have been heartened to see that many of our partners around the world have increasingly recognized um that there will be uh pros and cons if you will of engaging in such activity. And I think we have seen a number of examples of partners who recognized that that that’s actually not a are we doing enough to communicate the, the risks at the long term and short term if they are to accept those types of investments?
Uh I can tell you we’re doing a lot from the Department of Defense um to these, you know where there are certain partners that we are um that we understand that they may be pursuing uh such relationships, we uh articulate to them uh in uh a frank conversation, the implications of doing so and frankly, the implications for our relationship. Thank you. I yield back. I now recognize Mrs. Rady Wagon for five minutes. Thank you, madam, Chair Carlo. And good afternoon, I want to thank the both of you for appearing and testifying today. We’re nearly at the two year mark since the original announcement for August. And since then, nefarious actors have spread misinformation about what Aus is. Quite simply, I want to address the Treaty of Rarotonga which formalize a nuclear weapons free zone in the South Pacific. I was there when they signed it. Now, we Pacific Islanders have a long memory and the nuclear weapons legacy of the early Cold War still impacts us today. We all know that a has nothing to do with nuclear weapons. Can you describe how the Department of Defense and the State Department are addressing misinformation regarding a and are you meeting and working with Pacific Island nations to address their potential concerns regarding a?
Um we are uh absolutely looking at this important point that, that you’re raising ma’am. Uh And I think uh you see the fruits of those conversations um in, in the reactions to the announcement that the three heads of state made about two months or so ago on the submarines piece, which is that our colleagues around the Indo Pacific uh largely understood what we were doing and understood what we weren’t doing. And so, while we recognize that there may be some parties who want to foment misinformation about what we’re we’re doing. Uh I think having those really um kind of active uh channels of dialogue with these partners has been incredibly important. Um And we, we are finding that there is uh you know, pretty, pretty clear understanding um among those partners of, of why we are engaged in and what that looks like. And all I all I would add is, first of all, I think your voice is very important in this. And I think we’re being very intentional when we talk about conventionally armed but nuclear powered submarine capability and being very clear about what that means. I also know that we’re working hard to strengthen our relationships across the Indo Pacific and one of these defense cooperation agreements that we just signed was signed was with the P N G um with P N G. And I think that indicates that um in addition to this conversation, we need to continue to work to deepen and strengthen our security cooperation relationships. Thank you for your answers. Now, on to the meat of the hearing, do you feel there’s a sufficient mechanism to solve both strategic level and policy level concerns between the three partners?
And can you please explain how that mechanism works. Uh Yes, I think the short answer is yes, I think these are some of our closest uh partners, I’m sorry, closest allies around the world. We already have a mechanism in place that allows us to meet regularly. Um And to sit and talk through both the strategic questions, but sometimes also really these nitty gritty technical issues which when it comes to defense trade, actually our mission critical um and we are meeting regularly with them now and that will continue going forward. I might just add, ma’am. Uh This is a historic opportunity that will require historic change. We are clear eyed about that. Congress is bipartisan support of Aus and realizing the intention of Aus is also really critical to that. And I believe our British and Australian colleagues get that too. Thank you, madam chair. I yield back the balance of my time. Thank you. I now recognize Mr. Schneider for five minutes. Oh, Mr. Costa is here. Sorry. Thank you. Uh madam chairperson, um Doctor Carlin, there’s been a lot of discussion uh over the pace of a and implementation timelines and I think on a bipartisan basis, no one’s satisfied with the timelines we’re looking at right now. I hope you’re not satisfied with them. Uh We had a uh a committee hearing um briefing with defense contractors last month uh and got a number of perspectives. There was a briefing, a comment from one of the witnesses from Adrian, a smaller defense manufacturer said that uh we ought to look at reimagining our procurement uh uh uh practices uh on capability development. Uh They use as an example. NASA instead of trying to do the ground up and everything, they’re now NASA is looking at really setting um uh details for um specifications uh on, on how the goals should be uh designed and implemented and then uh let uh the private sector uh try to achieve it once those goals are established in terms of uh what the end results of the, the Department of, of the Defense is seeking. Uh I wanna know whether or not uh you folks are looking uh at changing um your approach uh and looking at specific purpose or goals. In other words, don’t tell the industry what to build but tell them the mission and let the innovation occur. So what’s your reaction to this idea and how could it be applied for departments to move quicker whether we’re talking about a or in our current supply chain efforts with the war in Ukraine?
I think it’s a really reasonable and important approach, especially as we recognize how the technological and security environment is uh is changing as it relates to a specifically, this is why we really want to work closely with Congress on a bold and innovative approach with legislative change that we can advance AUS projects. And the corner stone of that would be exempted defense trade for Caucus projects. And bilateral defense trade to include classified information sharing. So we want to work with you closely on developing that because as, as I said earlier, this really is a historic opportunity. So we are going to need to make historic change. I think the moment does call for that. No, and I think there’s an opportunity here. And frankly, you know, it reminds me of that old, you know, one of the definitions of insanity is expecting, uh you know, doing things the way you’ve always done them and expect different results. It’s not gonna happen. And, and so we need to reimagine uh with the challenges we face with China uh in our efforts, dealing with UC. And also I think that applies in our current situation. I mean, I hear the Department of Defense, you know, concerns about our own supply chains and our own needs and, and certainly NATO partners are feeling similarly. So uh we ought to look at how we can do this better than we have in the past. I, I think that’s exactly right. I mean, you know, the, the goal of office is we’re really trying to increase our capability, our and to deliver deterrents at every phase. And we need that to succeed. And that requires the cooperation of our entire US government in addition, of course to our British. And yeah, let me just make one comment and, and this relates to the big picture that we’re all dealing with here as it relates to the uh uh lifting the deficit and getting our budget done by October 1st. And I’ll just underline what uh Representative Keating said, I’ve been here 19 years and I’ve heard Secretary of States and Secretary of Defenses that are Republicans and that are Democrats. Um And they all concur whether when we talk about our budget process, that the most difficult situation that we put the Department of Defense in and State is when we engage in these continuing continuing resolutions, uh, for a month, for two months and contracts on your part are not resolved. They’re left in limbo. Uh, defense contractors don’t know exactly what the lay of the land is and what to expect and we make ourselves most vulnerable when we don’t do our jobs and we don’t provide a budget on time. That’s an editorial comment and it hasn’t gotten much better here in the last 19 years. We need to work on that. That’s Congress’s responsibility. Thank you. I yield back the balance of my time. Thank you. I now recognize Mr. Waltz for his five minutes. Thank you, madam chair. Um Yep, Miss Carlin, you said a couple of times and I certainly agree that this is, um, historic opportunity and that needs historic change, uh, as it pertains to August. Um, I wanna speak for a few minutes as it pertains to Taiwan. Um, would you agree that that’s a historic threat that certainly certainly the case in multiple national defense strategies. I think you would agree. Um I think that also needs historic change in terms of our processes. We’ve talked about an August bubble. I think we need to talk about a Taiwan bubble. Uh and how we can accelerate fast track, provide waivers and work with the Congress to really peel back the layers on these weapon systems uh and get them there faster as a deterrent measure. Um Miss Lewis, you said we need, you’ve said a couple of times that you agree, we need to look at all options, but I don’t think that’s good enough. We need to understand what’s actually being done and then what barriers we need to remove to move faster. So, in that vein, um Miss Carlin on the Dod Tiger team, you mentioned 12 recommendations. Can you give some examples of what those recommendations were?
And can you provide those 12 recommendations to the committee?
Uh I think you uh Congressman, you may be referring to the State Department uh Tiger team, they outlined 10 recommendations. Um So I might defer this to Secretary Lewis. Ok. But didn’t uh Defense secretary Hicks also have a Dod Tiger team. Yeah, so there has also been an F MS Tiger team that the Department of Defense has run uh as as well. And were there recommendations?
Uh there, there have been a couple of key recommendations the entire uh so uh a couple of key key initiatives that I would highlight. So one is the need for us to have a data driven approach so that we can accelerate the development of a common operating picture on security cooperation. Effectively, we want to be able to figure out F MS cases where they from initiation to delivery, how do we have that whole life cycle?
So this is an F MS Tiger team, not a Taiwan. Uh So there are two separate efforts. That’s the F MS Tiger team. The uh other effort that you may be referring to is the um effort that Deputy Secretary Hicks has been highlight. Yes, exactly. So that, that one is on uh on Taiwan. Um And that one is looking at how we can ensure that we are finding ways to accelerate and bolster Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities, Miss Carlin, what, what are we doing?
Right. That I understand we went through the Tiger team last year. There’s recommendations we identified needs. Like, can you, can you provide the committee what you’re actually putting in place timelines troops to task, so to speak?
And what then the effect will be on these systems to accelerate them?
Is that possible?
Yeah. May I, may I jump in here because some of these are actually state department authorities?
So let me just uh walk you through a few of them. The first one is that um the we are looking at using a new authority for Taiwan that Congress provided which is a billion dollars. I know the P D A got it 500 million announced. Well, that just uh the reason I’m focusing on that is that it provides us the ability to immediately deliver, which I think is the question that you are asking. So that is that is thing one, the second thing and I can’t go into all of the details here. But what I can tell you is we have looked at a specific set of capabilities and specific sets systems that Taiwan needs and we have been able to prioritize those systems both in terms of if we have, let’s say 100 of them making sure a certain percentage go to Taiwan. And um again, I can’t get into all the details here for obvious reasons. We have been able to also make sure that certain systems are being produced more quickly, so they get to Taiwan more quickly. But we still have a case where we have M Q nine um M Q nine I S R, right?
That’s 2027 or later, the chairman has his list of 2022. For example, the harpoons took two years to get on contract award. The F-16s were just delayed. I mean we have a series of of major end items that are due somewhere between 2027 2029. And yet Xi has told his military to be ready by 27 arguably some analysts think he will accelerate before Taiwan has these capabilities. And from a deterrent standpoint, that’s too late. And if we look at the model in Ukraine and providing all of these systems after the country is devastated at huge expense to global stability and the taxpayer, that is a, that is a losing model. So I I look forward to working with you and I think we need a tiger team here uh in the Congress to peel back these layers and understand where we can accelerate authorities, whether it’s enhancing the P D A or accelerating those authorities to move faster. Thank you. Thank you. I owe my time. Thank you, madam chair. Thank you. I now recognize Mr. Schneider for five minutes. Uh Thank you madam chair and I want to thank the witnesses for uh your time here here today. And um as as was noted and you said very well, this is a historic opportunity that requires historic change in long term strategic thinking. Um And also, as mentioned, I look forward to working together uh with the administration and this committee to try to clear away obstacles and work to develop a smart, secure path forward. Uh for what is a vitally important region for our uh our nation and, and and for the world. When it comes to collaborating with close partners in tough neighborhoods, there’s a lot to be learned, I think from the history, our, our, our history of, of collaborating with uh another key ally. In this case, specifically Israel, our assistance has helped the Israel defense forces become one of the most effective militaries in the world less well known. However, is that the US assistance has helped develop Israel formidable defense industrial base. Uh So when it comes to the Indo Pacific, how would you think about goals of supplying our allies with capabilities versus helping them build up their own indigenous capabilities or capacities and capabilities uh specifically in the case of Taiwan. Um Well, this is a very interesting question and we actually um have paid close attention to the development of Israel’s defense industrial base and they um really have developed some very significant capabilities. I think as we look across the Indo Pacific. Um and Taiwan, when we talk about developing indigenous capabilities, um we need to do that in collaboration uh with our defense industrial base. Um And we have to make sure that we develop things. I’m going to get a little technical here, cooperative agreements, co-production agreements, all of these kinds of things. Um We’re very sensitive to the fact that our industry has to lead the way on the decision making in terms of what makes sense for them to do in coordination with another country. But I do think when we have countries that have significant capabilities that have an educated workforce that have um potentially their own defense industrial base, um that it makes sense to look at that potential moving forward. Ok. Assistant Secretary Carlin, I would completely concur with this is Secretary Lewis’s points, ok?
And I know just for the sake of time, I have many more questions, but we have only a little bit of time. I’m gonna yield back so others can speak. Thank you very much. I now recognize Mr. Kane for five minutes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you also to our witnesses for being with us today from the war in Ukraine to the preparation of defenses in Taiwan. And a request from our allies for equipment made in America. The United States once again stands as the arsenal of democracy. I like many of my colleagues. The caucus is a once in a generational opportunity to seek to counter the C C P’s Malign influence in the Indo Pacific and also strengthen our relationships with close regional allies. The success of this partnership requires that our arms exports are able to meet the security needs of our allies at a time where our friends in Asia and Europe continue to look to the United States for leadership. Um What is the specific choke points in these just slowing things down that you think we, that you’ve identified, that we can cut through more quickly for foreign military sales?
Um Let me start by talking about what we’ve identified at the State Department and then talk a little bit about the defense industrial base. And then Doctor Carlin may have uh more to add. So just to start with, as I said before, 95% of our cases move through the foreign military sales process in 24 to 48 hours. So we really took a look at what is, what sort of, what are the challenges in the other 5%. So um we have made a list of recommendations. So the first one is to make sure that we are prioritizing correctly based on our national security goals. That sounds like just talk, but that actually could make a significant difference in terms of being able to move forward on key priorities. Second of all, we’re looking at regions. So um rather than having to say, OK, um we can provide this new capability only to one country when we start that analysis, look at it from a regional perspective. So we’re prepared to move quickly and answer those questions for the entire region. We’re also looking at other things like working with this committee here on the congressional notification process to make for make sure that’s as streamlined as possible. I’m happy to talk about more details there. That would be great. There are a whole host of other things but, but just to give you a sense, OK, we’re going to talk uh region for a quick sec on Ukraine. Yes. Um Now that the Pentagon has realized it overestimated the value of the ammunition missiles and other equipment sent to Ukraine by around three billion has additional D authority. The Biden administration prepared to increase weapon packages. It’s transferring to Ukraine for critical counter offensive because I am concerned that the administration has been weapons to Ukraine ahead the count, the offensive, conservative presidential authority when in reality, it didn’t have to. And it’s known that since March, um, thank you for, for raising this. Uh, I have seen no evidence that the department has rationed it. Its uh, its support to Ukraine. Indeed, I can’t tell you um of another time where I’ve seen the department has mobilized for racing, uh assistance that has had a direct impact on the battlefield so quickly. Um As you do highlight sir, during our regular oversight process of the drawdown authority, these inconsistencies in how equipment for Ukraine was valuated, were discovered effectively. What happened in a handful of cases was that replacement costs were used rather than net book value was used. So the amount of the equipment the value of it was uh was over overestimated. Um that has not constrained our support whatsoever. And the dod control has worked to reissue guidance to ensure that that that clarity is there and, and, and finally I’ll yield back out of this. Um I was pleased to see the recent announcement regarding the administration’s decision to allow Ukrainian pilots to train on F-16s. However, this administration still refuses to provide to pick them which could have an immediate impact on battlefield as Ukraine prepares its counter offensive with other members of this committee have brought up that our allies are sending equipment and training in for long before this president has. Uh I just want to end with that statement you back. Thank you. I now recognize Mr. Lawler for five minutes. Thank you, madam chair. Uh as you both know, uh us arms exports to Turkey have been highly controversial in the past few years. Most recently, Turkey has requested to upgrade and add to its existing fleet of F-16 fighter jets. And last month, the administration approved a software uh software sale to the country to modernize its fleet. Notably, the administration didn’t approve the sale of 40 additional F-16s. Turkey requested. Can you please describe the process for reviewing and potentially approving uh this request?
Um I’m I’m happy to address that. Let me just clarify. Um I think the, the one the second sale you mentioned was for upgrades um that were mission critical for uh their ability to fly. In essence, the the software that went into the planes. Um I’m not. Yes. And then um I’m not, I’m unclear as to the, the third one you mentioned, you were saying we did not approve something specifically, didn’t approve the sale of 40 additional F-16s. Um I’m not aware that that’s uh it’s the new one um that uh just to be clear there when um we have reviewed that. Um And I think uh at this point when we uh place things into tiered review, which is the process where we put, uh, sales uh, before the committee, um, we can’t discuss anything publicly. So I think at this point, I think what would be the most effective to say is that we’ve certainly reviewed that case. Um, and that we are moving forward expeditiously. Ok. Um, given, uh, President Erdogan’s relationship with Vladimir Putin, will the upcoming runoff election in Turkey impact this decision making at all?
Um I think as we look at arm sales decision making, um we look at a whole host of criteria. Um I’m not aware as of right now that uh I know the election is happening in real time uh that we have sales before us where the outcome of that election uh would influence our decision making on a particular sale. And this past February Secretary Blinken visited Turkey. Um How did the secretary address the situation with uh President Erin?
Um I wasn’t, I’m not privy to his specific conversation, but I know he addressed a whole host of issues um while he was there uh ranging from obviously issues with NATO Turkey as a NATO ally and then a whole host of additional concerns that we have uh involving the region. And I’m sure although again, I was not there for that, that they discussed other issues like Ukraine and NATO accession. Uh when I visited Taiwan with the chairman of this committee, uh President Tsai expressed the need for increased defense training and cooperation and delivery of critical weapons systems. Uh It’s absolutely crucial that we provide Taiwan with the aid that they so desperately need to stand up to Chinese aggression in the Indo Pacific. Unfortunately, there’s been a huge uh arms backlog and I sent the letter today to Secretary Blinken along with some of my colleagues on that trip that urged the State Department to address these shipment delays uh as it is not consistent with us law to leave Taiwan without uh necessary arms that they purchased. Uh what exactly is the root cause of this delay?
And what is the State Department and dod doing to address it so that we can uh efficiently and effectively get these weapon systems to them. Uh As we saw in Ukraine, uh the failure to get these weapons systems to the Ukrainian people, uh government early uh military early uh was part of the problem here. Well, uh sir, and I’m glad you raised this issue. I think as you pointed out, these are um uh sales that have already moved uh through the department and through Congress. And um what the challenges are now moving forward really is on the production side, right?
So what is, what is the State Department and dod doing to address that?
Well, we have to work with industry on that. And so as I because industry is the one producing them. So what, so what are we doing?
Well, what we are doing is one we are working on them, having them increase production for specific capabilities so that they can produce more of the items needed. We’re also looking where possible to prioritize out of what’s being produced uh for Taiwan, I’m not gonna get into the specifics of what we’re doing in each capability in this setting. But we are working through that with industry, but ultimately industry is the one who has to, they have to, but we’re paying them. So we need to, we need to, we need to expedite this process. Taiwan is actually they’re purchasing the weapons, but it’s as a result of defense department contracts and state department contracts, we need to expedite in the interest of time because the votes are being taken. So I would like to call for Mr. Courtney for five minutes. Thank you uh madam chairwoman and again for the record, I just want to thank Mr. McCall and Mr. Meeks for the courtesy to join you from the House Armed Services Committee to talk about a which uh there’s great interest um after the uh announcement on March 13th out at uh naval base, Port Loma uh March 13th when the three heads of government, three navies uh stacked hands to make an extraordinary commitment. The government of Australia really within days uh announce a commitment of $386 billion which was supported by the opposition party to execute uh a over the life of the program. I think it’s important to note this is a country with 26 million people that’s smaller than the uh state of Texas, uh and the state of California. So, um, obviously they have uh committed in a big way, uh in terms of making sure that this is a success. Doctor Carlin, the Department of Defense sent over three uh requests for um, a implementation which are, uh in in in this committee. The first is a bill to authorize sale of two Virginia class submarines to Australia. The second to authorize um the Australian government to invest $2 billion into the US submarine industrial base. The third is to authorize training to Australian private industry to begin developing its own submarine industrial base. Can you talk for a moment about the need for Congress to reciprocate Australia’s extraordinary commitment by moving forward in terms of getting these bills to the president’s desk. Absolutely. First of all, Congressman Courtney, thank you for your tremendous leadership on all things. Aus it has been just tremendous as I noted. So we need to act on these three legislative proposals for pillar one, the submarine piece of August for uh several reasons. So first is it’s a signal of our commitment to August which is critical for generating deterrence across every phase of the optimal pathway acting. Now sends a message to our defense industrial base as well that there will be a persistent flow of business to come, which is a topic of course, that we’ve heard a lot about over these last few hours and uh and, and really ensuring that that submarine industrial base is able to start taking the steps that it needs with Australia’s contribution. Frankly, Australia is going to be making a significant investment in our submarine industrial base and absent this uh this legislative proposal, we actually don’t have a way to take that, that money in. And so we know that our submarine industrial base, you know, uh better than just about anyone has issues that long, long predate and have nothing to do with a which is why the administration has tried to make a historic investment in the submarine industrial base. Australia wants to do so alongside us and we wanna be able to absorb uh all of that. Um And you noted of course, that they have made robust commitments and really shown that they have a skin in the game on that uh other legislative proposal that you highlight is we need to start uh training Australians as soon as possible frankly, because we want them to be able to build the capacity to safely and responsibly be stewards of conventionally armed nuclear powered submarines. So that, that’s uh that, that’s really, really why that’s the case. And then of course, the ship transfer legislation, um We need to just show um just how seriously we are taking this. So we have a uh an ally in Australia who has made major commitments in terms of putting its money where its mouth is to demonstrate its seriousness with UC. This is in all of our interest to be clear. Uh And we want, we want to show that we can take their investment, that we can train them to be responsible and that we will also be able to deliver on the submarines, all of which I would just underscore helps our submarine industrial base. Great. Thank you. And I’m sure again, Mr. McCall and all our colleagues in this committee are going to do everything we can to demonstrate on a bipartisan basis. Just what Australia is doing on its own bipartisan basis. There was 1/4 proposal which came over last week on the Defense Production Act which uh President Biden and Prime Minister Albanese announced on Saturday at the G7, which is basically to include Australia and the UK within the scope of the Defense Production Act which will help stimulate all those other technologies that are part of pillar two. Again, can you talk about the need to make sure that we move this measure swiftly?
A absolutely look pillar two is it, it’s the scope, the scale, the complexity of it is really unlike anything that we have ever done, right?
This is a generational opportunity and the announcement that the president made over the weekend really highlighted how this change would accelerate and strengthen aus implementation. It would build new opportunities for us investment in the production and purchase of Australian critical minerals, critical technologies and other strategic sectors. So while we were still looking, of course, at what it would mean for specific aus projects, it underscores a point I made earlier that this is a two way street uh that actually given the security environment, given the the rapidly evolving technological environment, we need to be able to work with one another as much as possible. Thank you, madam chairman I yield back. Thank you. I thank the witnesses for their valuable testimony and the members for their questions. The members of the committee may have some additional questions for the witnesses and we will ask you to respond to those in writing in pursuant to committee roles. All members may have five days to submit questions, statements and extraneous materials for the record, subject to the length limitations without objection. The committee now stands adjourned.