Assigned Reading: Obama Loosens Missile Technology Controls to China
(FROM: The Washington Times)
President Obama recently shifted authority for approving sales to China of missile and space technology from the White House to the Commerce Department — a move critics say will loosen export controls and potentially benefit Chinese missile development.
The president issued a little-noticed “presidential determination” Sept. 29 that delegated authority for determining whether missile and space exports should be approved for China to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.
The presidential notice alters a key provision of the 1999 Defense Authorization Act that required that the president notify Congress whether a transfer of missile and space technology to China would harm the U.S. space-launch industry or help China’s missile programs.
The law was passed after a late-1990s scandal involving the U.S. companies Space Systems/Loral and Hughes Electronics Corp.
So, not only is this president taking steps which could strengthen the Chinese at American expense, but he is disregarding a law passed by Congress–albeit a Republican one–in order to do so.
The Washington Times piece does in fact note that Commerce Department officials will not result in any loosening of controls but, again, any such assurances should be balanced with the previous actions and statements which lend insight as to Barack Obama’s worldview and perspective on America versus the rest of the world. If Republicans in 1999 were so concerned about former President Bill Clinton and his attitude toward the Chinese so as to pass the Defense Authorization Act provision in question, they should be even more concerned now.
This is a different world than in the late 1990s. China is officially on the rise, and the United States is declining relative to the rest of the world. Capitalism in that communist nation is all the rage whereas, in this country, success and prosperity are becoming increasingly taboo. And while we’re just now seeing the consequences of the technological transfer made under the pretense of space cooperation a decade ago, I cannot help but wonder about the consequences of Barack Obama’s ignorance ten years down the road.