- For its European installations, DoD not to purchase energy sourced from inside the Russian Federation
Department of Defense is proposing to amend the DFARS to implement section 2821 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 (Pub. L. 116-92). Section 2821 prohibits use of energy sourced from inside the Russian Federation in an effort to promote energy security in Europe. The prohibition applies to all forms of energy “furnished to a covered military installation”, as that term is defined in the statute, and only to main operating bases as defined and identified by DoD. This means the energy itself must be furnished to the military installation, not to a third party that uses it to create some other form of energy (e.g., heating, cooling, or electricity). The prohibition applies only to Europe, not to Asia; for example, those parts of Turkey located in Asia are not affected by the rule. DoD will promote the energy security of its European installations by encouraging energy security and energy resilience and will not purchase energy sourced from inside the Russian Federation unless a waiver of the prohibition in section 2821 is approved by the head of the contracting activity. The approval authority for the waiver may not be further delegated.
- The head of the contracting activity has balanced these national security requirements against the potential risk associated with reliance upon the Russian Federation for furnished energy.
The full document can be accessed here:
- U.S. Department of State: Looking Ahead at the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
2020 was uniquely challenging for our nation and the world. As we faced the complex challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we adapted and found new ways to continue meeting our mission to strengthen U.S. allies and security partners worldwide. I am proud of our achievements last year on many fronts in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM), and, as we embark upon the first quarter of 2021, I want to share some of the ways our bureau leveraged security cooperation, defense trade, and other tools of American diplomacy to help shape the security environment for this year and beyond.
Strengthening Allies and Partners Through Defense Trade in 2020
Even with the many difficult challenges that came along with 2020, our bureau was still able to accomplish our core mission and strengthen our security partnerships. Last year, American defense sales rose by 2.8 percent from $170.09 billion to $175.08 billion, sustaining and even adding thousands of jobs to the U.S. economy.
The three-year rolling average of State Department-authorized government-to-government Foreign Military Sales (FMS) cases implemented by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency rose to $54 billion in FY20 from $51 billion in FY19. Additionally, the dollar value of potential FMS sales formally notified to Congress rose by more than 50 percent from $58.33 billion to $87.64 billion.
In the commercial sector, the value of Department-authorized commercial export licenses via Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) totaled $124.3 billion in FY20, up from $114.7 billion in FY19, representing an 8.4 percent increase. This included several multibillion-dollar sales to partners like India, Australia, and Japan, as well as the United Kingdom and other NATO Allies. This increase in demand reflects our partners’ longstanding national security requirements and demonstrates why the United States remains the security and defense partner of choice for nations around the world.
Success with U.S.-Poland Defense Cooperation
Throughout 2020, the United States bolstered its defense cooperation with its European allies. In August, the United States and Poland signed the U.S.-Poland Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which provides the framework for both nations to work together to strengthen NATO and increase Transatlantic security for decades to come. The EDCA supplements the 1951 NATO Status of Forces Agreement and establishes a modern framework for implementing U.S and Polish efforts to enhance and modernize our capabilities in support of collective defense of the NATO Alliance. In addition, the EDCA provides the necessary authorities for U.S. forces to access specific Polish military installations as well as to conduct activities for the mutual defense of the United States and Poland.
Poland’s in-kind contributions under the EDCA will offset costs for the United States and will also directly benefit the Polish economy. Additionally, the United States will continue to bear the greater costs of training, equipping, and deploying U.S. forces to Poland. These combined efforts provide improved security and stability for our nations in a cost-effective way.
The United States values our strong bilateral relationship with Poland, and we applaud Poland’s ratification of the EDCA. This step will permit us to implement fully the enhanced defense cooperation envisioned by Presidents Trump and Duda.
- Democracies Don’t Start Wars. But Democrats Do
But more to the point, the Democrats have a worse track record than do the Republicans when it comes to starting unnecessary wars. Donald Trump made the point of denouncing “stupid wars” when he was running for office and has returned to that theme also in the past several weeks, though he did little enough to practice what he preached until it was too late and too little. Clinton notoriously intervened in the Balkans and bombed a pharmaceuticals factory in Sudan and a cluster of tents in Afghanistan to draw attention away from his affair with Monica Lewinsky. His secretary of State Madeleine Albright thought the death of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S. sanctions was “worth it.” Barack Obama tried to destroy Syria, interfered in Ukraine and succeeded in turning Libya into an ungovernable mess while compiling a “kill list” and assassinating U.S. citizens overseas using drones.
So, it is Joe Biden’s turn at the wheel. One has to question the philosophy of government that he brings with him as he has never found a war that he didn’t support and several of his cabinet choices are undeniably hardliners on what they refer to as national security. The lobbies are also putting pressure on Biden to do the “right thing,” which for them is to continue an interventionist foreign policy. The Israeli connected Foundation for the Defense Democracies (FDD) has not surprisingly issued a collection of essays that carries the title “Defending Forward: Securing America by Projecting Military Power Abroad.” If one had to bet at this point “defending forward” will be what the Biden Administration is all about. And oh, by the way, as democracies don’t go to war with democracies, it will only be the designated bad guys who will be on the receiving end of America’s military might. Or at least that is how the tale will be told.