WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, this week published an op-ed in Defense News highlighting the need for the United States to ease defense regulations for allies in order to ensure AUKUS is successful.
On the potential of AUKUS:
“Without a doubt, the United States and its allies have entered into a period of intense strategic rivalry with China. This competition is unfolding as the capacity limitations of the U.S. defense-industrial base have been exposed by both the war in Ukraine and the lengthy delay in weapons deliveries to Taiwan. Fortunately, the Australia-United Kingdom-United States security agreement, or AUKUS, announced in September 2021 has the potential to help remedy these industrial limitations and strengthen allied defense in the Indo-Pacific region.”
“In order for AUKUS to be successful, the United States must both change its approach to regulating defense trade with its closest allies and force the bureaucracy to adopt a more competitive mindset to manage the risks of technology transfer.”
On the importance of Pillar 2:
“The second pillar offers the possibility of accelerating the research, development and fielding of advanced defense capabilities in the near term. It can help ensure the allies stay ahead of emerging threats with its focus on jointly developing and fielding cutting-edge defense technologies like hypersonic missiles, advanced undersea capabilities and quantum technologies.”
“But to exploit the opportunity created by the second pillar, fundamental reform of U.S. export control laws and technology release processes is needed. Specifically, modernization of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and Foreign Military Sales processes are necessary to maintain an advantage over China.”
On a path forward – the TORPEDO Act:
“Earlier this year, I introduced the Torpedo Act (S 1471), which would do just that. This bill details what the United States needs to do to implement the second pillar successfully. Encouragingly, the core regulatory changes contemplated by the Torpedo Act recently passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on a bipartisan basis, demonstrating Congress’ will to align the ambitious rhetoric of AUKUS with needed reforms to our export control and technology release policies. Failure to do so would render our rhetoric hollow and signal that we are fundamentally unserious about competing with China.”
You can read the full op-ed on the Defense News website here.