Weekly National Security Working Group Update
Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), RSC Chairman
Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ), NSWG Chairman
May 16, 2012
The National Security Working Group (NSWG) comprises Trent Franks (R- AZ), Connie Mack (R-FL), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Allen West (R-
FL), and John Fleming (R-LA). We look forward to providing RSC members updates on national security issues and matters using this forum.
FY2013 NDAA Summary of Key Provisions (Rep. Franks)
The House was careful to identify non-defense sources for funding reductions to offset Defense budget increases to keep the overall budget below
Budget Control Act limits. Consistent with Chairman McKeon's call for commitment by the HASC, the FY2013 NDAA:
Restores fiscal sanity to a defense budget that is inconsistent with the threats America faces. Authorizes $3.7 billion more for defense than the
President's budget request. This will ensure that our armed forces have sufficient resources to meet the challenges of an increasingly dangerous
world. The Act also recognizes that the DoD budget has borne a disproportionate 50% share of deficit reduction cuts despite comprising only 20% of
the overall federal budget.
Keeps faith with America’s men and women in uniform. Authorizes a pay increase of 1.7% and extends bonuses and special pay for military
members. Rejects the President's calls to increase some TRICARE fees or to impose new TRICARE fees. Caps the number of troops that can be
separated from the military in any given year and requires that all troops designated for separation be reflected in the DoD base budget. Also includes
a bipartisan effort to combat and prosecute sexual assault in the military and includes a religious freedom clause for chaplains and service members.
Aligns our military posture in a dangerous world. Prohibits use of funds to house Guantanamo terrorist detainees in the United States. Requires the
President to notify Congress of any decision to reduce forces in Afghanistan before making the decision public. Bans the use of private contractors
for force protection, requires COCOMs to assess capability gaps with respect to North Korea, China, and Iran, declares a commitment to use all
elements of national power to prevent Iran from obtaining or developing nuclear weaponry, supports Israel in its self-defense, freezes security
assistance funding to Pakistan until Pakistan reopens vital supply routes in Afghanistan, modernizes our nuclear forces, and reforms the National
Security Administration to make the agency more efficient and independent. Includes $100 million for an East Coast third site for national missile
defense and boosts national security space programs by about $50 million above the Administration’s request.
Rebuilds a military tested by a decade at war. Denies the President's funding request for two BRAC rounds and preserves Air National Guard
personnel and aircraft including tactical airlift (C-130 Hercules, C-23 Sherpa, and C-27J Spartan) crucial to supporting warfighters with agile combat
support. Maintains close air support and ground interdiction capabilities provided by A-10 Warthogs and F-16 Fighting Falcons slated for premature
divestment. Restores three Navy cruisers proposed for early retirement. Retains the Air Force's Global Hawk Block 30 unmanned intelligence,
surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft. Supports counter-IED funding for the warfighter and sustains America's heavy armored production base by
maintaining minimum sustained production of Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, and Hercules recovery vehicles. Maintains the option for
additional airborne electronic warfare capabilities by supporting advance procurement for the EA-18G. Funds the Army Ground Combat Vehicle
development the procurement of 50 AH-64 Apaches, 59 UH-60 Blackhawks, 44 CH-47 Chinooks, 29 F-35 Lightning II aircraft, 26 F-18 E/F Super
Hornets, and 36 MQ-9 Reaper UAS. Authorizes a multi-year procurement for up to 10 Virginia-class submarines and a multi-year procurement for
up to 10 DDG-51 Arleigh Burke class destroyers.
NSWG Contact: Drew Nishiyama, Drew.Nishiyama@mail.house.gov, 5-4576
Cuba, a Small Island with a Global Reach (Rep. Mack)
Cuba’s ongoing relationship with terrorist groups and espionage and other acts of information warfare represent a serious national security threat to
the United States and the region. The real threat in this case comes from a lack of public information, and therefore an insufficient degree of
attention, focused on countering Cuba’s perilous global network.
The U.S. State Department’s latest country reports on terrorism reported that Cuba continues to have ties to active terrorist organizations. Experts on
various methods of irregular warfare have identified the Cuban regime as a trafficker of U.S. intelligence with illegal groups that utilize terrorist
methods and with State Sponsors of Terrorism. The sharing of intelligence by Cuban spies has reportedly degraded U.S. counterterrorism efforts in
the Middle East and elsewhere. According to the FBI, Cuban spies like Ana Montes have been “leaking classified U.S. military information.” Cuba
also shares information and collaborates with countries that are established cyber warfare threats. A threat assessment published in 2000 by the U.S.
Navy’s Strategic Planning Guidance, stated that, “Russia, China, India, and Cuba have acknowledged policies of preparing for information warfare.”
Experts have also warned that that China “has a listening post of some importance in cooperation with Cubans” and has supported Cuba in “the
development and use of sophisticated radar, early-detection, and anti-aircraft systems.”
According to Scott W. Carmichael, a former counterintelligence investigator for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), “the Cuban Intelligence
Service has penetrated the United States government” and is sharing classified information with U.S. adversaries like China, Russia, Iran, and
Venezuela. The Cuban regime’s pervasive, global intelligence network, collection methods, and their willingness to share critical U.S. military and
policy information with U.S. adversaries harms U.S. interests, military personnel, and the national security of the United States. This Thursday, May
17, I will be holding a hearing entitled, “Cuba’s Global Network of Terrorism, Intelligence, and Warfare” in Rayburn 2172 at 3:00pm, to shed light
on Cuba’s alarming activities and global capabilities.
NSWG Contact: Kristin Jackson, Kristin.Jackson@mail.house.gov, or 5-2536 in Rep Mack's office.
East Coast Missile Defense Site Critical to Meeting Iranian Threat (Rep. Fleming)
If the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) markup last week of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is any indication, missile
defense will prove to be a contentious spending issue during the forthcoming debates on the House and Senate floor. Last week, Democrat HASC
members attempted to strip funding to begin studies for the deployment of an East Coast missile defense site which would be required to reach
operational capability by the end of 2015. With only two operational Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) sites in the country, one located in
Alaska and the other in California, the East Coast site would fill a serious gap in the current missile defense shield. Efforts to halt deployment of a
missile defense site on the Eastern Coast are underpinned by the misguided logic that because Iran currently neither has a nuclear warhead nor Inter
Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), the United States should not build defenses to counter these potential threats.
However, such “logic” ignores the difference between current threats and emerging threats. Iran has made clear that it intends to pursue nuclear
armed ICMBs and the United States cannot take a gamble that this rogue nation will not follow through on its ambitions. Studies from the National
Academies have reported that Iran could reach operational capability of an ICBM as early as 2015 and have recommended that the United States
begin building an interceptor base in the Northeast region of the U.S. mainland in order to meet this emerging threat. There is no such thing as a
redundancy in missile defense when dealing with rogue nations that intend to develop the deadliest weapons imaginable. Rather than scrambling to
react to threats already well-developed, the NDAA funding language for the East Coast site ensures that the U.S. is prepared for future threats.
NSWG Contact: Matthew Silver, Matthew.Silver@mail.house.gov, 5-2777
Releasing Afghan Detainees: Ensuring Proper Constitutional Oversight (Rep. Hunter)
In a recent article in the Washington Post, Kevin Sieff documents how the Administration uses high profile prisoners as bargaining chips in “restive
provinces where military power has reached its limits.” These detainees are often notorious fighters, who are released from the Parwan prison in
Afghanistan, despite the fact that they wouldn’t receive the same treatment under the military legal system. Additionally, the detainee must promise
to give up violence and sever ties with the insurgency, but there is no mechanism in place to hold them accountable should they return to the
This unilateral action on the part of the Administration has weakened the role of the Afghan government because many “insurgent commanders
attempt to broker deals directly with American officials, excluding the Afghan security forces from the process.” Ultimately, and unlike the
detention center at Guantanamo Bay, this takes place because there are no direct reporting requirements to Congress for prisoner releases from the
Parwan prison in Afghanistan.
Congress needs to have better oversight and understanding of what the Administration is doing with these prisoners both in Afghanistan and at
Gitmo. In fact, the only certification that DoD is required to provide to Congress pertains with the country that the detainee is being sent to. There is
no requirement to report to Congress any information on the individual and the likeliness of recidivism for that person.
It is for this reason that I introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would require Congress to be informed 90 days
prior to the transfer of a detainee from the Guantanamo Bay Detention facility. In addition, the Department is also required to provide a detailed
summary of the individual’s history with foreign terrorist organizations and record of cooperation while in incarceration at the time of notification.
By haphazardly releasing prisoners, with an eye only on tactical gains, we may miss opportunities at the operational or strategic level. Ultimately,
without knowing who is being released and for what reasons, we take the very real risk of unwittingly setting the stage for a resurgence of the
Taliban when the predominance of military forces withdraw from Afghanistan at the end of 2014.
NSWG Contact: Jimmy Thomas, Jimmy.Thomas@mail.house.gov, 5-5672
Each NSWG Item reflects the position and view of the authoring office.
Direct all questions or comments about the NSWG to Derek Khanna, Derek.Khanna@mail.house.gov, 6-0718