WASHINGTON — A measure proposed on Tuesday in the U.S. Senate would prohibit Washington from financially supporting the integration of a Chinese missile system with U.S. technology that is to play an essential role in an evolving NATO defensive shield.
The amendment to the Senate version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill, offered by Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), pertains to a possible Turkish effort to buy an antimissile system from Beijing.
If adopted by the Senate and ultimately moved into law, the provision would prohibit any appropriated monies from being spent “to integrate missile defense systems of the People’s Republic of China into United States missile defense systems.”
The amendment also offers a separate “sense of Congress” that Chinese antimissile systems “should not be integrated” with the NATO ballistic-missile shield.
It is not known when the amendment might come up for consideration by the Senate, which is currently debating the authorization bill. Once the upper chamber passes the defense legislation, it will have to be meshed in conference committee with a House version — passed by that chamber in June — before being sent to the White House for the president’s signature.
Kirk and a number of other Republican senators have raised concerns about a possible decision by NATO ally Turkey to purchase the FD-2000 antimissile system produced by a Chinese government-controlled company that is under U.S. sanctions for violating the 2006 Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act.
A Pentagon spokesman on Wednesday said the Defense Department would not comment on pending legislation.
The Obama administration and NATO leaders have publicized their concerns that the Chinese technology will not be compatible with other alliance member states’ missile defense technology. Those systems are intended to be integrated with each other, in accordance with a plan to establish a comprehensive anti-ballistic missile capability for Europe.
There are also worries that Chinese developers might install digital backdoors into the FD-2000 so they can gain access to classified NATO data and military plans.
The United States is supplying the bulk of the interceptors, radars and other technology planned for use in the NATO missile shield. For that reason, it is unclear whether Chinese technology could be integrated into the alliance’s framework if it is prohibited by the U.S. government from being connected to U.S. defensive systems.
Kirk and a number of other GOP senators in a letter sent last month to the Pentagon and the State Department urged the Obama administration to “ensure NATO will never allow such a system to be integrated into NATO’s security architecture.”
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Tuesday told reporters that Secretary of State John Kerry in a Monday meeting with his visiting Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, “reiterated our concerns and the importance of procuring a NATO interoperable system.”
In response to the uproar, the Turkish government has said it has not made a final decision on acquiring the FD-2000. Ankara has invited European and American defense contractors to sweeten their proposals for providing Turkey with a national missile-defense capability that could be integrated into the NATO shield.
An unidentified senior U.S. diplomat in the Turkish capital told Defense News this week that any Turkish companies that become subcontractors to the China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp. in building the FD-2000 could be penalized by the U.S. government for working with the blacklisted organization.
“Turkish entities to be involved in this program in partnership with [the Chinese firm] CPMIEC would be denied access to any use of U.S. technology or equipment in relation to this program,” the envoy reportedly said.
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”