The U.S. Defense Industrial Base in an Era of Strategic Competition
Seth G. Jones: Welcome to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. I am really thrilled to have with us Congressman Mike Waltz from Florida – Mike is chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness – and Congressman Jason Crow from Colorado, also from the House Armed Services Committee, also ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Accountability. Thanks to both of you for coming.
Rep. Mike Waltz: Thanks.
Rep. Jason Crow: Thank you.
Dr. Jones: And thanks to both of you also for being leaders in the House on a range of issues, including holding Russia accountable for its invasion of Ukraine, as well as for helping prepare the U.S. government for its competition with the Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Rep.ublic of China, as well. Those are two of the most important issues that the U.S. is dealing with right now. And thanks to both of you for your service too, in U.S. Army Special Forces. I had the particular honor of working with Mike in Afghanistan, so. Maybe next time. (Laughter.)
Rep. Waltz: Too soon.
Dr. Jones: Too soon, that’s right.
Rep. Waltz: Sadly, there may be a next time.
Dr. Jones: Yeah, well. That may be a topic for another conversation, although maybe we’ll have time for that here. The focus really here is on the state of the U.S. defense industrial base in an era of strategic competition. And so I wanted to start off with your perspectives. Congressman Waltz, you first, on Ukraine. Your sense of some of the challenges the U.S. industrial base has faced in aiding Ukraine right now. There’s been a lot that’s been in the newspapers about Javelins in the lines, Stingers, 155 millimeters. What’s your sense about the challenges right now the U.S. industrial base has faced in Ukraine?
Rep. Waltz: Well, I mean, the industrial policy has suddenly become a cool hot topic again.
Dr. Jones: I’m working on it right now so – (laughter).
Rep. Waltz: You know, after the 20 years of both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan there just weren’t the kind of stresses on the system. There were new technologies that had to be developed but they weren’t – nothing really had to be necessarily developed at scale and masse.
Frankly, I think most people thought that we were beyond the days of a massive land war in Europe post-Cold War. So that has, certainly, I think exposed a lot of gaps, a lot of flaws in the system.
We have a continuous kind of mantra in both the Pentagon and, I think, national security circles of divest to invest. But typically when we do that the divestiture is to save money, to modernize, invest, and begin new production, but it leaves the bathtub. You know, it leaves kind of a bit of a dip. And as we invest in new systems we close down those old production lines. We let a lot of the technology – frankly, you know, the world moves on and we tend to lapse and now we’re facing a situation where we’ve – I think we’ve provided over a million artillery rounds. We’ve provided all types of munitions across the board. We had the stocks to do it, fortunately, I think mainly left over from the Cold War. But those stocks are becoming stressed.
I am – I know that is used by many and I just want to say this as a reason for not supporting the Ukrainians and, look, at the end of the day, they’re willing to do the fighting and dying bravely as they are for all of our freedom and they’re asking for the beans and bullets. I think that’s a worthwhile investment.
But I think the other thing that is exposed is the entire supply chain, not necessarily having the artillery round ready to go or the tubes. But do we have access to the supplies of steel? Do we have access to all the critical minerals?
I’ll tell just a quick story. One of the things that we saw through this was the Defense Logistics Agency came to the committee having real concerns about ammunition – the ability to produce ammunition and the cost of it, and as we – long story short, as we kind of pulled the thread on that we found out that an element called antimony, which is absolutely essential – can’t make a bullet without it – used to be mined extensively in the United States. They’ve all closed for various reasons, mainly regulatory and environmental.
Bottom line, the only three places in the world that mines and produces antimony now, which you have to have for a bullet, Tajikistan, Russia, and China. So we’re now creating a strategic stockpile of antimony. We are enhancing the broader critical minerals stockpile.
But I think it’s exposed not just whether we have enough, you know, of a stock of X, Y, and Z but do we have access all the way down, and in many cases we do not.
Dr. Jones: If we could pull up the – Figure 3, the volume of global casting, this highlights one of the issues. If you look at global casting production, China now makes five times the number of castings that the U.S. does.
These are critical for the defense industry. And if you broaden that to – yeah, so if you look here at China – that’s the top line here – you see that China dominates the global casting market right now. And if you include anodes and cathodes and lithium – a range of the materials that go into batteries, which are critical for our weapons systems – the Chinese are dominant. Rare earth metals I think you mentioned. That’s, certainly, a major issue as well.
So I want to turn to you just to start off on Ukraine. We’re going to broaden it, and Congressman Waltz noted this as well – we’ll broaden it to include the Indo-Pacific and other places. But your thoughts on Ukraine right now and to what degree the U.S. has faced challenges in giving the Ukrainians what it needs and also has sufficiently for other contingencies and what the – you know, your sense about what the department is doing, right – the Department of Defense is doing right now to backfill?
Rep. Crow: Yeah. Well, thanks, Seth, for having us. Really appreciate it. And thank you to CSIS as well. Always good to join my friend Mike. I feel much smarter when I’m hanging out with a Green Beret here.
Rep. Waltz: (Laughs.) As you should.
Rep. Crow: But we – (laughs) – we have a – we have a great collaboration, though, and do a lot of great work together. So good to be back with you, Mike.
Well, I mean, I wanted to push back a little bit on this notion that we were – we were woefully unprepared for Ukraine. And we kind of know that now to be true, but there weren’t a lot of people that were thinking that this contingency would happen. Now, first of all, it was only about two years ago that we saw the indications that Putin was going to launch a massive conventional invasion of Ukraine.
Secondly, nobody really believed us, other than our own intelligence community. And we embarked on a pretty robust effort to try to warn the rest of the world, including the Ukrainians, about this. And then the third is, not many people thought that the Ukrainians would be able to survive, and fight, and win, right? There were very, very few people that would say that we would be in this position today, a year into the war, where the Ukrainians are not only fighting, but they’re winning in many places, and forcing Putin and the Russian Army into a massive war of attrition in Europe.
So, you know, hindsight’s always 20/20. And we can go back and say we were unprepared, but this really wasn’t a contingency that most people were really planning for, right? We had been looking for years about how do we get more efficiency into this system, how we get more value for our costs out of the system. And when you talk about efficiency, a lot of times what you talk about is reducing stockpiles, right? And producing quick and fielding quickly, but not having the stockpiles, which of course are very costly. So we’re just in a different world now. And I think that requires a different level of assessment.
So where are we now and what do we need to do? First, there’s the personnel front, right? You look at our defense industrial base, and the number-one issue that all of them say across the board in terms of capacity to produce is personnel. They don’t have the people to make the weapons and equipment that we’re asking them to make. And a big driver behind that is security clearance issues. You know, 18 to 24 months to onboard somebody and get them a security clearance, that’s just not going to work.
So that’s why I have an IAA amendment right now that’s going to do something very unique. And it’s going to allow interns and apprentices at the high school and college level to actually start their pre-clearances before hiring, before finishing their programs, so that we can move that pipeline of personnel back in time and they’ll be ready to go, they’ll be cleared on day one. So we have to re-envision the way that we’re doing personnel hiring and workforce development.
The second is on the rare earth mineral front. And the NDAA, the fiscal year ’23 NDAA, actually envisioned this. We have a billion dollar investment in making sure that we’re doing a comprehensive assessment of rare earth minerals. We’re establishing a working group to actually look at this within the DOD. And the DOD now has an obligation to produce a Report, annual Rep.ort, to Congress that outlines shortfalls with rare earth mineral sourcing. So we’ve certainly made headway on NDAA, on that front. And then Mike and I and others will make sure that we continue to push on that.
But the third is, we’re going to have to take a different view of our defense industrial base, and open the aperture to allied cooperation, where we’re going to have to work with the EU and NATO and do it a little bit differently. And then I know we’re going to get some pushback with U.S. industry on that, but things like DIANA, for example, which is the new Defense Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic, is going to be a great opportunity for NATO countries to come together to make those collective investments, to look at commercial off-the-shelf technologies to meet immediate requirements and to field those. That’s a collaboration that we’re looking to do with NATO now for the first time ever.
Similarly, we just introduced a Future of Warfare Act today, as a matter of fact – me and Doug Lamborn, a fellow Coloradan, for future collaboration with Israel. This is the Future of Warfare Act that’s going to create an investment fund with Israel to look at emerging technologies of quantum, AI, directed energy, air defense, missile defense. So making those investments and doing more collaboration with our partners and allies is going to be essential to cracking the code.
Rep. Waltz: Can I just jump in on the critical mineral front? Twofold – two points. And I was on a supply chain taskforce where we really looked at this and, you know, would have some difficult conversations with some of my Democrat colleagues at times. On the one hand, we all agree that we have to have access to these supply chains. But one of the issues is that on average, for a mine – and we’ll talk about refining – but for a mine in the United States, it’s eight to 12 years for the permitting process. That is – that is basically impossible, from an investment standpoint. They just can’t raise the capital. And they’ve been starved of the capital.
And it’s been – it’s an argument that many people are making on ESG, that many people are making on oil and gas. But set that aside. If we agree that these are – and having these mines here at home are critical, then we need to get where the Australians are, which is two to four years; China, one. So we have to bring mining and refining back to the United States, in addition to – in addition to our allies. And we’re going to need bipartisan help on that because from a regulatory, from a NEPA or the environmental laws and other standpoints, it’s just – it’s just not workable.
Dr. Jones: So just to follow up on that, what’s your sense of the steps we need to take to get there, then?
Rep. Waltz: Well, a lot of them, I mean, these are – these are tough political issues. A number of them are on federal lands. Some of them need – I think we could – I think where we could find kind of a sweet spot or some national security exceptions to some of these laws, some of it’s both state and federal. And that’s what these miners and refiners run into, is it’s layered. You know, they finally make some progress in Washington, which is really hard to do, and then they have a problem at the state level and a problem at the local level. But you know, we’re trying to affect the part that we can affect and to get some national security exceptions.
And to the administration’s credit, they’ve started increasingly using DPA – Defense Production Act. And in the meantime, while we’re trying to sort this out, we are in a bipartisan way growing the critical minerals stockpile, which, frankly, had been sold off since World War II. I mean, it was kind of – a little bit of a slush fund. I don’t know where all those monies went. But to get it to the point, like the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, where we have it in times of emergency because right now we do not have access. You know, we’re reliant not just on another country, but our greatest adversary – (laughs) – for many of these minerals, and that is not a position that we need to – that we can be in.
Dr. Jones: Anything else you wanted to add on the rare earth minerals or mining or anything along –
Rep. Crow: I mean, Mike and I are pretty well aligned on this, right? I mean, we, obviously, need to be aggressive on this front.
But you know, I think something that’s worth mentioning, since the frame of the question was about Ukraine –
Dr. Jones: Yeah.
Rep. Crow: – a lot of what we’re talking about are mid-term solutions, right, where the minerals, supply chain, workforce, you know, addressing the shortfalls that this war has laid bare. The short-term problem is that they are going to need this stuff in the next six to nine months, or sooner in many cases. So none of these things – none of these supply chain or industrial base things are going to solve it.
And the reality that we face right now – and I’ve been pushing the administration on this – is we are going to have to tap into our contingencies. We’re going to have to pull stuff out of our own stockpiles. We’ve been using presidential drawdown. We’ve been using excess stockpiles. And there is a – there is a tension right now between those who don’t want to address our readiness and change our contingency plans and our op plans and are concerned about doing that. My response is: For what other war? Like, this is the war, right?
Rep. Waltz: And it is somewhat different, apples and oranges – land war in Europe, naval – largely air war in the Indo-Pacific.
Dr. Jones: We’ll get to that, definitely.
Yeah. That’s not to say –
Dr. Waltz: I mean, of course there’s some overlap, but you know –
Dr. Jones: Yeah.
Rep. Crow: And none of us take China lightly, right? We understand that. But the cascading secondary and tertiary effects of Russia winning this and the impacts on the West, impacts on NATO, impacts on our own security, we have to put them in a position to win.
And I’m of the view – for example, let’s use the case of ATACMS, right, because there’s now readiness concerns about pulling our own stockpiles of ATACMS. I think we do it, right? This is – this is shifting of risk. This is a risk-shifting exercise. And I think it’s worth tapping into some of our own reserves here and changing some of our op plans, if necessary, in order to help the Ukrainians win.
Dr. Jones: So just on the ATACMS, because that’s a – it’s a useful case to look at, there clearly are advantages to using the ATACMS. They’ve got longer range than what we’re currently putting on the HIMARS. That has advantages. There are some that have raised some concerns about escalation, that they’re potentially escalatory. The Ukrainians could conduct strikes into Russia. What’s your – what’s your response to that?
Rep. Waltz: Yeah. We were in – we were in Ukraine before the war. You know, we saw the buildup before the war started. Stingers were too escalatory. Harpoons were too escalatory. Basically, everything they were asking – the Ukrainians were asking –
Dr. Jones: HIMARS were too escalatory.
Rep. Waltz: HIMARS were too escalatory. I mean, we have – we have seen this administration continually be deterred by its own, you know, over-concern about escalation with Putin. Let’s make him worry about it, right, rather than us constantly restricting ourselves. And you know, I’m in agreement. Let’s give them what they need to win. Let’s define what that looks like, which really hasn’t been clearly defined. And hopefully, I think if we would do that rather than getting to the right answer about six months and just horrible casualties too late, then I think we’d actually be in a better place in the long run.
Rep. Crow: When there’s a resistance to changing the nature of support or creating additional support, it usually falls into one of three categories or sometimes several of the three categories. The first is you’ll hear that the Ukrainians can’t use it don’t know how to use it, right, or that they don’t need it.
Rep. Waltz: Takes too long to train.
Rep. Crow: The second is that it would be escalatory. And the third is that it would impact our own readiness. So let’s talk about those very briefly, right?
The first is the Ukrainians have shown time and time again that they know how to use these things, that they overperform everybody’s expectations. You know, when people are fighting for their survival and for their children and for their homes, they tend not to ask for things they don’t need, right? That is an imperative. They’re not going to ask for things they don’t need and don’t know how to use. And they’re overperforming everybody’s expectations. So we’ve kind of dispensed with that one.
The second, on escalatory, as Mike outlined, you know, very adeptly, the Ukrainians are not going to jeopardize our aid. We are their single biggest support and patron. They know that if they misuse something that we will cut them off and that will tamper – damper our aid. And they’ve shown responsibility in the use of our aid, so that’s less of an issue.
And the third, on readiness, to my last point that I made a minute ago, this is the war, right, that we have to help them fight and win, that’s going to have lots of other effects around the world and with great-power competition. So it is worth, in my view, taking some of that risk, tapping into our own reserves, and providing them what’s necessary to win.
Rep. Waltz: I would just put a small caveat on there. I would want a very close look and scrutiny. I agree with Jason in the sense that this was intended for the EUCOM theater. It’s largely land-based. But if they were items that were needed in the Indo-Pacific, I would want a lot of scrutiny before we tapped into those contingency stocks because what we do have, for example, out in Seventh Fleet in Japan in terms of stocks is not sufficient in and of themselves. So I’m partially in agreement, but would certainly want to tap the –
Rep. Crow: Well, I agree scrutiny. No doubt about that. Yeah.
Rep. Waltz: Yeah. Yeah. But before, is there anything that Admiral Aquilino or INDOPACOM thought they needed..
Dr. Jones: So I’ve got two questions that come from this discussion. If we can go to Figure 1 for a second, this is our general assessment of the status of the U.S. inventory. It’s a couple weeks dated. But if we look at especially the first categories here of Javelins and Stingers, our general assessment is what the U.S. has provided to the Ukrainians has led to a – or at least by late January or early February had significant impact on the status of inventories for some of those. Now, since then and partially with the NDAA, there have been efforts to, A, increase those numbers to the defense industry; and, two, to start to authorize multiyear contracts.
So I guess my question with you first, Congressman, is your sense about how some of the recent efforts that Bill LaPlante and others have taken. Have they started to address some of these challenges that industry has faced on the stockpiles and the inventories?
Rep. Crow: Yeah, they have, in my view. I mean, the DOD has formed a tiger team around this issue. They certainly are taking it seriously. I haven’t had any concern that they’re not, A, aware of the issue; and, B, taking it seriously. I think they are very aware of what’s going on and they’re taking it seriously.
And a hundred percent we need multiyear contracts, right? DOD can’t do that. They, obviously, need Congress to authorize that. And it’s far past time to do so, right? You cannot ask a private company – and we have a private defense industry in America, and those companies have fiduciary – legal fiduciary obligations to their shareholders, to their owners, to not take risks. And they are not going to hire people, they’re not going to increase their supply chains, they’re not going to contract with their vendors if they don’t have the certainty to do so. Actually, in many cases it would be a violation of their fiduciary duties to do so.
So I think our obligation now is to extend those multiyear contracts, which would allow them to open up those supply lines, for them to subcontract out and to hire the folks they need to solve this in the mid-term and long term.
Rep. Waltz: Yeah. Look, just the key is giving industry a consistent signal. I mean, we can’t – we can’t allow things to go cold and then suddenly say go. They don’t have the facilities. They don’t have the workforce. Often, the technology is completely lapsed. Many of these things we literally don’t even make anymore. So I think a consistent signal and a consistent budget, and getting it done on time, from Congress’s standpoint, will be key. But I think generally we’re heading the right direction.
Dr. Jones: I want to come back to one of the points you made, Congressman Waltz, earlier about wanting to make sure that the U.S. doesn’t use, inordinately, systems that it may also need for the Indo-Pacific. There are – there has been some concern among some senior folks in the Department of Defense – there’s been a debate about – you know, there’s a whole set of weapon systems that we’ll get to, long-range anti-ship missiles which – or, Tomahawks – that the U.S. is not going to provide to the Ukrainians. So that’s an Indo-Pacific issue. And that’s a separate challenge that we’ll talk about.
But there’s a – there’s another set of weapons systems, the guided multiple launch rocket systems, or GMLRS, the Stingers, the Javelins, which have a utility in both theaters, in both Europe and the Taiwanese have expressed an interest in increasing their stockpiles. When you look at roughly the OPLANS that the U.S. has for both Russia and China, we continue to use the number of some of those weapon systems that we’re using right now – there is a potential for risk in both the Russia OPLAN and the China OPLAN. So how are you – how do we square this circle?
Rep. Waltz: Yeah. I think a kind of Venn Diagram, right? There’s things that are really only appropriate for European land war, that theater, and then some for the Indo-Pacific. It’s where we really need the scrutiny is where that – where those two circles overlap. And I’m very concerned. I won’t get into the numbers, but in terms – I could tell you a priority – two top priorities for my subcommittee on readiness, which has responsibility for industrial base policy but also for global logistics and maintenance is, one, pushing our stockpiles, our own stockpiles, out of Hawaii and even out of Guam, to the extent possible, and get them distributed and pushed west of the date line. So that’s one.
Two is, in the Taiwan – in the recent legislation that we passed, I think it was Taiwan Reassurance Act, but also in last year’s NDAA we passed authorizations for additional stockpiles on island. And I think it’s important to put out there, and the Taiwanese government increased their defense spending. Not enough, in my view, but a substantial increase. So I firmly believe that a Harpoon on island today, from a deterrent standpoint but also actually operationally, is worth probably ten LRASMs if, God forbid, we enter into some type of conflict.
And so, one, we’ve recently passed a draw down authority for Taiwan to begin – go ahead and getting some of those critical items out of our stockpile. And then, two, and this gets very tricky, is we need to, I think, look very aggressively from a diplomatic standpoint, a mil-to-mil standpoint, at third-party transfers and other countries. Many countries are very reluctant to do that because of kind of wolf warrior diplomacy from the PRC, and the pressure and the economic coercion that the Chinese put on them.
But I think those are – that draw down authority, those third-party transfers, to the extent we can do that and countries are willing to do that, and then their own domestic production – and there is a domestic Harpoon version that – or anti-ship missile that they have – are kind of three legs of that stool. But we’re in a race against time.
Dr. Jones: So on the distributed westward, is the argument that we need to get them closer to the theater? That the one major advantage we have in Ukraine is obviously it’s an open border that we’re able to get in – essentially, whatever we want into Ukraine? If there was a conflict in the Taiwan Straits, that island is going to be tough to anything in or out.
Rep. Waltz: Oh, I mean, it’s twice the length of the Atlantic Ocean. I mean, the tyranny of distance is brutal. Now, one, and then in an A2/AD environment, in a long-range missile environment, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to push those stocks and munitions in.
And then, three, we’ve allowed our reserve fleet to atrophy in really, I mean, almost negligent ways. So by – just point in comparison – first Gulf War 400 ships taking our men, material, and supplies into the Gulf. Now we’re sitting at around 40 and they’re old. So we have a real issue, a logistics issue, facing us.
So to the extent we can get it prepositioned, hardened, mobile, and distributed, we have to do it, and, again, you’re going to hear from me time and time again we’re in a race against time.
Dr. Jones: It’s not just the types of munitions. It’s also prepositioning them in the right locations.
Rep. Waltz: That’s right. But protecting them.
Dr. Jones: And protecting them.
Rep. Waltz: In many case – in some cases, for example, with fuel rather than having a bunch of fuel bullets or storage or even underground facilities that are hardened, you know, can we mask some of that in the commercial space? Can we move it? Can we have it mobile? We have our preposition, our actual – not just our logistics but our vehicles and our stocks that are mobile as well so that we’re constantly distributing, moving, hardening, and, you know, keeping the PRC somewhat off balance.
Dr. Jones: And we’ve spoken to the Air Force also about their operational concepts that are relevant here like agile combat employment, which are designed to disperse quickly when the threat levels go so that those stockpiles and fuel and other critical aspects aren’t – you know, aren’t vulnerable to a Chinese attack.
Rep. Waltz: There’s a huge diplomatic effort with that as well, right, with the various islands that we need to pay a heck of a lot more attention to but also with our allies in the region. And, you know, fortunately, we’re moving in a much better direction with the Philippines. We do have a lot of investments going into Guam. Japan has really turned the corner, in many ways. But we still have a long way to go.
Dr. Jones: So I want to turn – since we’re in the Indo-Pacific, Congressman, I want to turn there. If we can just go to one of the charts we have here, which is Figure 2, use of munitions in a possible air campaign.
What I wanted to highlight is one of the concerns that has come from some war games, including war games that we’ve done here at the Center for Strategic International Studies, is that in a Taiwan conflict the U.S. – we did one recently, 24 different iterations of a Chinese invasion – amphibious invasion of Taiwan, that we in all 24 of those ran out of long-range anti-ship missiles, LRASMs and JASSM in about a week of the conflict.
Now, this is a study that was done by Mitchell Institute. They ran out after eight days. So, I mean, these are all unclassified studies but they do raise some questions and I’m curious if you have thoughts on this about the industrial base and its – and our preparation. This is munitions for not just war fighting, which is what this is, but also having sufficient numbers to deter the Chinese, in this case in Taiwan.
Rep. Crow: Yeah. Well, I mean, to – playing off of Mike’s last point here, I mean, the point of maximum risk, as you know better than most, is not on us yet but it’s coming, right. That point of maximum risk is when the Chinese have the capability to conduct offensive operations against Taiwan, which they don’t yet have. That’s coming, and I think we have a good sense for when that’s coming. Versus when we can restock our supplies and when we have enough munitions to supply Taiwan and our partners, right, and there’s an overlap between the two, when – you know, the point at which the Chinese capability starts where we have not yet restocked our supplies and that is the point where we have to separate those two timelines through expedited production of our Defense Industrial Base.
But one thing that – we were talking a lot about physical munitions here. But China also has a different card they’re willing to play that will end this way before stockpiles deplete and that is their cyber operations and their space operations, right.
We know that their strategy or their strategy as they are developing it and building the infrastructure is to cut off our ability to communicate and also destroy the cyber operation capability of the Taiwanese military and our military to operate in that area as well and that’s something we can actually do right now, right.
We can be accelerating and making additional investments in cyber hardening, training, joint operations with Taiwan, as well as making investments in our own space architecture both defensive and offensive, and that’s not something that we’ve been talking enough about.
And I’ve been pushing the administration to actually start declassifying some of this information so we can have a more open discussion about those investments. I think it behooves some level of declassification so we can actually have discussions about that funding in Congress because, frankly, a lot of folks just don’t understand these concepts and what role space and cyber is going to play, and we need to jumpstart those conversations.
Dr. Jones: I mean, along those lines too, you know, we’ll come back to conventional, even nuclear, issues in a moment. But I think Congressman Crow brought up an interesting example with cyber and space but there’s also the irregular domain, too, which is providing assistance, much like the U.S. has done historically with the Baltic States about in case of an invasion providing them the ability, and that could include even civil defense forces that they can resist in case of an invasion.
Are we where we need to be to provide Taiwan the ability not just to have the weapon systems that it needs but also to face or conduct subversive or sabotage operations?
Rep. Waltz: Yeah. So to answer your question directly, no. I do think President Tsai rightly sees the need to shift their doctrine and their defense planning in that direction. They did pass recently – they, the Taiwanese government – a mobilization law. They’ve extended conscription back to a year. It had been lessened to four months. Now it’s back to a year. They know that their training needs to be more realistic and probably more fulsome.
It’s interesting. If you survey lot of young Taiwanese they just don’t take military training very seriously, kind of sitting around a lot and not really having realistic, difficult exercise and training where they need to get and then also, you know, you’re starting to get into kind of domestic firearm registry, ownership caches.
So there is a recognition they need to head in that direction and we are, particularly the Special Operations community, are working with them to move more towards a partisan resistance model.
At the end of the day, when every time Xi thinks – he looks across the strait, thinks he can do this quickly and thinks that it will – you know, the Taiwanese will fall with very little resistance, we need to – you know, he needs to see the message back that not yet, not now, and that increasingly they will get bogged down on the island with a – you know, with a Ukraine style resistance.
I think one of the lessons that we’re seeing the PRC learn from Ukraine is that if given time for the United States to move assets in place, for coalitions to form, for a global consensus, for the economic sanctions and isolation – diplomatic isolation to go into place that does not work. It has not worked in Russia’s advantage. It would not work in the PRC’s advantage.
So, increasingly, we’re seeing them want to accelerate their timelines. Anything we can do to slow that down or at least create the perception that it will be slowed down will help deterrence.
Dr. Jones: Yeah. And that’s what it’s about in part, deterrence.
Rep. Crow: It is. And I, you know, would add that this is going to have three components to your question, Seth, and one is the use of Special Operations and covert programs for resupply, right. Like, you made the point earlier that we don’t have a land border with Taiwan – the tyranny of distance – and the very big challenges of resupply over an open ocean.
You know, covert and Special Operations, I think, have a very important part to play in that in addition to the prepositioning and the hardening that’s going to be essential. But prepositioning and hardening alone is not going to do it. There’s going to have to be some supply chain and they will, largely, rely very on our – very much on our unconventional forces to do so.
The second thing we can do right now, again, that’s not contingent on the very systematic changes in the Defense Industrial Base that need to happen is the training piece, both the training within Taiwan as well as here, and that’s actually, largely, a factor of two things.
We’re actually capable of doing it today. I’ve talked a lot with the Defense Department, a lot with the folks who actually are doing that training already, and they said they can almost immediately ramp up the training pipeline. The problem is, is the limitations that have been established and the number of uniformed U.S. military personnel in Taiwan because we’re concerned about escalation with China. We’re concerned about diplomatic issues.
So, you know, I think that cat is out of the bag. I think it’s pretty clear now that where we’ve cast our lot –
Dr. Jones: Should we change those limitations?
Rep. Crow: I think we should. I think the cat’s out of the bag. It’s very clear we’ve chosen sides here.
Rep. Waltz: And also limitations on operability.
Dr. Jones: Exactly. Yeah.
Rep. Waltz: I mean, I’m very worried about – we have a – we have a fight on the island, hopefully an all of nation partisan resistance, the cavalry’s coming. Fighting through their A2/AD, whether that’s in space, missile, on the surface, what have you. But when we meet up, understanding blue, on green, on red, where everyone’s located, and having that common operating picture, much less if you then start adding in Japanese forces operating from the Philippines. If you look at that whole picture, this isn’t NATO. We don’t have those decades of muscle memory –
Rep. Crow: Which is why the training. I mean when you look at Ukraine, and people are amazed at our ability to have interoperability with Ukraine, that’s because it started in 2014. We have been doing it for almost a decade prior.
Rep. Waltz: That’s right, yeah. The Green Berets.
Rep. Crow: Right? Exactly.
Dr. Jones: The 20th group – was that 20th group that –
Rep. Waltz: It was actually – at the time, it was – it was a mix of the groups, but I’m proud to say it was Florida National Guard that was pulled out just before the invasion.
Rep. Crow: OK. So we can and should, though, lift those caps. Put more folks on the island, but also bring some of their folks here and other places, training grounds around the world to train them as well.
But the last piece is this will to fight component, right? We’re not great at assessing the will to fight. So I have an IAA amendment actually now, which I’m sure you’ll support. (Laughter.) But what it does is it, you know, dovetails off of the 2014 –
Dr. Jones: Bipartisanship we’re seeing right now. (Laughter.) See how it happens.
Rep. Crow: You know, it dovetails off the, you know, 2014 RAND study that kind of laid the groundwork for doing a better job of assessing will to fight. And it’s going to force the IC to do a three case study analysis. It’ll look at the fall of the Iraqi Army in 2014 under ISIS. It’ll look at the fall of Afghanistan in 2021 and our mis-assessment of that. And it’ll look at Ukraine too, on the opposite end, how we underestimated the Ukrainians.
Dr. Jones: And overestimated the Russians.
Rep. Crow: And overestimated. And look at, you know, what analytical tools did we use, what assumptions did we make, what analytical gaps existed, and how we can restructure the IC to do a much better job of assessing will to fight. Because I can tell you right now, I’m not getting really great answers as to the ability of Taiwan to resist. Which, as we know, is – you know, that you can’t underestimate the issue of will.
Rep. Waltz: Well, and – not to beat this horse too long, Seth. But our IC are phenomenal. Our intelligence community, both defense and otherwise, counting and seeing planes, tanks, ships, movement, massing. But understanding adversarial jointness, doctrine, leadership, training, morale – we had a – just had a massive miss, a couple of them, over the last few years. So it’s not just the Taiwan’s will to fight and capabilities, but also the PRC’s own assessment of itself and its abilities. It hasn’t fought a war since 1979 when they went into Vietnam.
Dr. Jones: And they didn’t do that well, either.
Rep. Waltz: And they didn’t do that well. So what are – we were seeing their massive gains in various key technologies, but the ability to pull it all together both of their own assessment and then our assessment, is something that we’re going to work hard to improve.
Dr. Jones: Yeah. And that’s – you know, the intelligence community, and this is hard, didn’t get that right entirely both the Ukrainian and the Russian side. And what’s interesting also on the Russian side is other things like corruption start to impact the quality of forces, the ability without a noncommissioned officer corps to have initiative at lower levels starts to impact your ability. Having really thought through the logistics side. The Russians ran into problems both in Kharkiv as well as the Kyiv components of the initial offensive. When I was in – just before the holidays when I was in Australia, it was the dominant theme of senior Australian officials that I talked to, was will to fight. Sort of the Ben Connable RAND study on both sides – both Chinese, and then their ability to do it, and then the Taiwanese as well.
But I wanted to come back to one issue just because – just because this gets to timelines. If we go to figure four, which is selected munitions production timelines, you know, one of the challenges I think – because we’ve talked about various aspects in the Indo-Pacific. One of them, when you get into the reality that this is a – will include – will likely include, even for deterrence, long-range precision fires. You’re talking about Tomahawks. We’ve got Block Vs here, JAASMs, LRASMs, the PAC-2, PAC-3 missiles. Those are, you know, as many as 24, almost 30 months for the Javelins to produce.
So if we’re running shortfalls right now, you know, we’re talking about on average for initial deliveries at least two years for a range of cases. Are we operating with sufficient urgency to try to close these gaps? Or, you know, what’s your sense about how urgent the situation is, and how do we – how do we move that fast?
Rep. Crow: There’s no doubt it’s urgent. And I think we do have the urgency. This isn’t for lack for urgency. I’ll just go back to workforce. OK, workforce is the long pole in the tent here. When you talk to these contractors and the companies making these systems, and they are not running full supply lines. They just don’t have the people. So we have to look at, you know, innovative ways of recruiting these folks, training them, getting them rapidly cleared, in the instances that they need security clearances. So we’re going to have to do something to assist the DOD to more rapidly clear these employees.
So it really is a workforce issue. That’s what all the companies are telling me. And it’s not just the primes, but it’s the subs as well because, in many instances, the primes are waiting for their subcontractors and their vendors to provide their supplies as well. So that backup is happening. And it really is this workforce issue. And that’s why we have to be looking I think first and foremost at that.
Dr. Jones: I do want to come back to the workforce and personnel, but anything else on urgency and timelines here?
Rep. Waltz: Well, I think this is a little bit of a longer-term solution but, you know, the rubber meets the road with industry on how you structure their contract. And so on the supply chain task force that we had on the Armed Services Committee a few years ago, we put in measures to get better visibility. Some, for example, using blockchain. But really getting better visibility all the way down the supply chain, but then contractually how do we start incentivizing having a closed loop? Kind of like, you know, Apple had a completely closed system that it domestically sourced and understood all the way through.
How do we start incentivizing that? How do we start grading your bid and proposal when you can say not only I have visibility all the way through, I have – if not control, we have a full understanding of where it’s all coming from? That’s separate from the workforce issue, but it is – we hear those two things all the time. We don’t have the people and we just can’t get the materials. And so that’s what we’re looking at. You know, how do we contractually incentivize getting those materials at least out of the hands of our adversary, if we can’t get it all the way here at home?
Rep. Crow: And I’ll also add, I mean, we’re going to have to look at some of these more innovative procurement methods, like the SOCOM, you know, accelerated procurement that we use under the global war on terror. And I’m going to say something that’s actually going to get me in trouble with the services, because I already talked to the services about this.
Dr. Jones: Too late right now. You’re already in trouble.
Rep. Crow: You know, I think we should take things like the SOCOM, you know, special procurement authority, that’s been used with remarkable effect, where they’ve identified a requirement in the field, they rapidly go to market, they get something commercial off the shelf, and they just put it in the field within months in some cases. I think we should do the same and expand that to some of the COCOMs, right?
No reason why INDOPACOM can’t identify a requirement and then go out there with authority and find something that’s commercial, or somewhat commercial, or dual use to meet that requirement, why they have to go through the services all the time. Because it’s slowing everything down. So I’d like to see the expansion of that. And then similarly, we’ve cut funding for things like RDER. You know, I think things like RDER have great promise within the DOD for rapid acquisition. We should be investing in those programs instead of cutting them back.
Dr. Jones: So I want to come back to the workforce issue, because, you know, one of the areas where there has been some of the more significant workforce challenges has been the shipyards. And, you know, when you visit any of the shipyards, you know, for jobs like welders, there’s just a lot of competition in local markets for other kinds of activities. So one of the most recent – the most recent announcements has been the next phase of AUKUS. And we know, as part of the next phase of AUKUS, that the U.S. is going to sell at least three Virginia-class attack submarines, possibly two more. What’s not clear to me – I don’t know if it’s been decided yet – is to what degree are those new submarines or to what degree are those currently existing ones that would then have to be backfilled for the U.S. But regardless, that has the potential to put some strain also on the shipyards. Do you – what’s your sense about the next – I mean, there are some huge positives of AUKUS, but this potentially – does this potentially put strains on an already-strained shipyard industry?
Rep. Crow: Well, I’m from Colorado, so I’m not shipyard expert by any stretch of the imagination. (Laughter.) But you know, we keep on finding – (laughter)-
Dr. Jones: We’ll stick to NORTHCOM with you. (Laughter.)
Rep. Crow: We keep on finding ourselves coming back to workforce, though, right, and – which, of course, ties into Mike’s earlier point about multiyear contracts and yours, too, Seth, right? I mean, if you’re a welder, right, and you can walk to your opportunity – and you know, there’s plenty of opportunities for advanced welders – you’re going to go to some place where you know you can have a job for more than a year or two, right? And that’s why making these longer-term contracts available to our base is very important.
But also –
Rep. Waltz: And us passing a budget on time.
Rep. Crow: Passing a – which provide cascade.
Rep. Waltz: Give them some predictability, yeah.
Rep. Crow: So there’s no doubt – there’s no doubt about it.
But you know, on issues of shipyards, I will – I will defer to the –
Dr. Jones: Defer to the –
Rep. Crow: – to the low-country folks. (Laughs.)
Rep. Waltz: To the water guy. Yeah. Yeah. (Laughter.)
So I just had the admiral in charge of submarine maintenance and the deputy assistant secretary of the Navy over for a briefing this morning. The picture is not good. Right now, our submarine fleet is down 40 percent in terms of maintenance availability. I am – a number of things happened in the years during sequestration and during 20 years of Middle East wars that are now coming home to roost and that we’re now kind of having to fix, so to speak. I am confident we’re moving back in the right direction. The CNO has made maintenance and sustainability a key – I mean, it is his number-one priority and they’re – and they’re almost doubling the dollars that are going towards it.
But part of that – a key part of that is consistency in terms of the demand signal. You can’t let something lapse for two or three years and then suddenly say, you know, fix it or produce it. And so we talked a lot today about the public shipyards which sustain/maintain our nuclear fleet, the aircraft carriers, ballistic-missile submarines, fast-attack submarines consistently outsourcing out to the lower-tier shipyards rather than keeping it all to ourselves and extending that timeline. So they’re going to increase the outsourcing to the mid- and lower-tier shipyards, number one.
Number two is tremendous workforce investments in those welders, those electricians, and everyone that’s needed. I mean, it is – it is amazing to me that we had about 36 to 40 percent of America that were – of our workforce in the late ’80s that were bending steel and doing these trade-related jobs, and we’re down to 12 percent now. So this is a much broader societal issue on the value of a four-year degree, the value of a trade, how we incentivize trades.
Our maritime security fleet’s down a thousand billets. I do think there’s a growing awareness and those investments are being made, but kind of my theme for today, it’s a race against time because we won’t see those investments really pay off till probably 2026, 2027.
Rep. Crow: Can I offer some good news here? I mean, obviously, we absolutely need to be having the tough conversations and there’s a lot of big challenges that we face. There’s no doubt about that. But you know, we did pass the CHIPS and Science Act, which is going to help make big investments in that ecosystem, right? It may not help the shipyards per se, but reinvesting in onshoring that advanced manufacturing capability and, you know, that workforce is going to be helpful.
But Russia and China also have major problems. They have bigger problems than we have, right? Russia is buying microwave ovens and toasters and dishwashers and yanking microprocessors out of them to put them in cruise missiles. That is not a great system, right? They have a really, really hard time, it turns out, delivering a payload across their border to the extent that, you know, they have a 40 to 50 percent failure rate on many of their missiles and their systems.
And you had mentioned the point earlier about corruption, right? We are slow. There’s no doubt about it. But we do test. We do have quality controls. We do have oversight through Congress and other mechanisms. And it takes us a long time to build something, but when we build it, it turns out it works really, really well, and it works much, much better than the stuff that Russia and China are putting up. So, yes, we absolutely need to with vigor address our challenges and improve our systems, but Russia and China are not 10 feet tall here. They don’t have that transparency. They don’t have the quality-control checks because they’re autocratic, closed societies and there’s no incentive built into their system to do that. And of course, corruption is endemic there as well.
So I think we have to be fair in our comparisons.
Rep. Waltz: Yeah. I think the fact in some ways that the Russians were forced to go to the North Koreans for help on artillery does show how deep in the barrel they’ve had to go for assistance.
Rep. Crow: That’s not something a superpower tends to do, right? (Laughter.)
Rep. Waltz: Yeah. See, well, I hear you. I agree with you. On Russia and China I’m much more concerned, I mean, for example, they have over 50,000 commercial vessels flagged now. We have less than five. You take their largest shipyard, just the one, you could put all of ours inside of it just by sheer scale. So what they’ve done is essentially created a massive industrial base capability for their navy by the entire world wanting to buy cheap container ships or LNG transports or tugs or what have you.
So I was just on with MARAD, the Maritime Administration, admiral today on the way over here. We’re going to seek to dramatically increase their program – their grant program for small shipyards so that – and these are match programs. I’m a public-private sector advocate. But we have to – once we have that little bit of government dollar, this isn’t massive industrial-base policy, but that little bit of government dollar, that really unlocks a lot of private-sector dollars in terms of these investments.
And this is for offshore oil and gas. This is for offshore wind. We have a domestic fleet here that I think we could reinvigorate that could be used in time for an emergency if it’s moving Marines from Guam to the Philippines. And so I think that commercial-sector invigoration will really pay us a lot of benefit for the Navy if we can do it fast enough.
Dr. Jones: One last question before having you guys summarize some of your key issues is, Congressman Crow, for you first, foreign military sales and ITAR. I’ve heard directly from some of our strongest allies and partners, including Five Eyes countries, that our foreign military sales and ITAR processes and regulations are too slow, even if they’re trying to buy U.S. You know, that’s a perspective. Not saying that’s the right one. I’m not saying – but your sense, because we’ve talked a lot about the industrial base but there are – you know, Department of State has a role to play here in foreign military sales and ITAR. Your sense here about where we’re at and where we need to be for those processes and regulations.
Rep. Crow: Yeah. Well, you know, one of the lesser-known facts is I spent years as an export-control and trade-sanctions lawyer before becoming a member of Congress, so – (laughter) –
Dr. Jones: That’s why I’m asking you first.
Rep. Crow: Yeah. So I’ve – you know, I’ve spent more time looking through the ITAR and the CCL and everything than I would care to admit.
There’s no doubt that it’s an antiquated and slow system, right? I mean, ITAR, that regulatory regime was created in an era where you know, we essentially had a monopoly over much of that technology, right? The world has changed rapidly and now many countries have that type of technology. So the customers for that technology that we would want to sell or those products we want to sell, those customers have a lot of options. They can go to a lot of different countries now to do that. And I think we have to speed that process up. I think we have to be more permissive, but with checks and controls, right? It is important we have end-user agreements. It is important that we have oversight and licensing for stuff to prevent that from falling in the hands of our adversaries. But it is time for us to open up a little bit and make sure that if people are buying this stuff they’re buying it from us, because they do have those other options.
And then, similarly, I talked earlier at the beginning about some collaborations: you know, my U.S.-Israel Future of Warfare Act; the new NATO DIANA, the Defense Innovator Innovation Accelerator. We’re going to have to figure out how we can start working with, you know, Five Eyes countries, NATO countries, ASEAN, and others to jointly develop products and technology because we can leverage their investment, we can leverage their capital, we can leverage their intellectual capital, their talent. We can bring that together in a sensible way. If we could speed it up, it would be better for the U.S. taxpayer because we’re not fully footing the bill, and we can do this in a collaborative way and also, at the same time, further solidify our own alliances. Because we still have that alliance network that our adversaries largely do not have, and what they’re telling us they just don’t want military cooperation but they want economic cooperation, too. And if we can bring that to the table, then alliances and our power will be so much more effective.
Dr. Jones: And just to highlight that too, we’ve seen now HIMARS coproduced with the Poles. We’ve SM-6 and Tomahawks with some of our Indo-Pacific allies, coproduction. So we are starting to see coproduction with our European – key European and Indo-Pacific allies and partners.
Rep. Waltz: I would – just two small adds. Yes, I’ve seen – I’ve actually seen brochures from other countries selling their defense products that say: Ours may not be as good as the Americans’, but you don’t have to deal EAR, or ITAR, or their export regime. I mean, that’s not a good place to be. I’m less concerned. Yes, reforms are always needed, and the FMS process is incredibly bureaucratic. And we get a lot of State, DOD, Commerce, and the Congress all pointing at each other for those reasons. So it’s important for any reform effort that you get everybody in the room. And that would be cross-committee as well, within the House, and then you got to deal with the Senate. So it’s – you know, it’s a lot of hands in that jar.
However, I’m less concerned with that as I think we get more bang for the buck with ITAR and export reform. Just by numbers, you’re looking at about 7 billion dollars in foreign military financing, about 30 billion dollars in FMS, and 110 billion dollars in direct commercial sales. So where Lockheed, or Raytheon, or a shipyard just sells directly to, with the appropriate controls. So just by dint of getting our stuff out there to our allies in a way that’s interoperable, I think you get more bang for the buck with taking a closer look at the ITAR piece.
Dr. Jones: So I’ll start with you on the wrap up, Congressman Waltz, and then we’ll let you finish us off, from the great state of Colorado.
What gives you hope? I mean, the U.S. is in a – we’re in a very different position than we were for the decade or two after 9/11, where it was a focus on counterterrorism in many areas. And we’re in a state of competition.
Rep. Waltz: Which hasn’t gone away.
Dr. Jones: Which has not gone away.
Rep. Waltz: Yeah. Despite many proclamations of victory and it’s all over.
Dr. Jones: That’s true. That’s true
Rep. Waltz: Had to get that in there. (Laughs.)
Dr. Jones: Yeah, that’s – don’t disagree with that. But we still are – we’ve got the Chinese. We’re in a direct war with the Russians – or, at least, indirectly involved in a war with the Russians in Ukraine. What gives you hope when it comes to the – our industrial base, the innovation of Americans or American companies? What gives you hope that we’ll get there, or that we can get there if we do this right?
Rep. Waltz: Well, I think the fundamentals of our system are – you know, have their flaws. And we’ve talked about a lot of them today. But are far superior. I mean, Jason really hit a great point that let’s not overestimate. We did overestimate the Russians, in many ways, their conventional capability. And so we always have to be mindful of that. And we have to continue to press our intelligence community to, I think, take a more focused look at it, or at least understand where there’s gaps.
But, look, I’ll remain focused on untangling our defense supply chain, understanding to the extent they are tangled and have invisibility all the way through. And then if we can’t domestically source let’s get them in the Western Hemisphere at least, or let’s get them into the hands of our allies. That’s a top priority for my subcommittee, to contested logistics, that we talked about. If, God forbid, you know, the conflict balloon goes up, trying to surge those across the Pacific in an A2/AD environment with a construct that the PRC has deliberately developed to be able to deny our ability to do that, or at least impose such costs on us that we politically, domestically, won’t want to do that, is incredibly important.
And then finally, which we touched on, the recruiting, retention piece in our services and in our – in our industrial base. We’ve got to have the people to be able to produce the munitions and then be able to operate the munitions. And we are – we’re not in a good – we’re not in a great place there. What gives me optimism is we have our struggles, but the bad guys have theirs. But also us, plus the Australians, the South Koreans, the Japanese – I’m co-chair of the India Caucus; I think that is one of the most, if not the most consequential relationships of the 21st century – plus our European friends and allies, I think together, as countries, absolutely interested and willing to fight for the liberal world order that we have enjoyed since World War II. We can get there and we will prevail.
Dr. Jones: We have lots of friends. That’s true.
Rep. Waltz: Yeah, that’s right.
Dr. Jones: All right. You get the last word.
Rep. Crow: All right. Oh. Well, you know, a couple of things give me hope.
One is our capacity to innovate, and I think that’s because of who we are, right? Free and open societies will always innovate better than closed and autocratic societies because we have the ability to actually have discussions like this. We have great higher-education institutions. We have freedom of thought. And that always will give us an advantage. Now, we can’t take that for granted. And that’s why China has actually spent most of their time stealing it from us, because they don’t yet have the ability to do that. They’re trying to create it, but they’re having a really hard time Rep.licating that because of the type of society that they have created and the oppression of the CCP. So making sure that we are promoting that freedom, that innovation, making the investments, getting out of our own way – we’re our own worst enemy sometimes with that – is really important, but also making sure we’re closing –
Rep. Waltz: It’s also conservative, Jason.
Rep. Crow: (Laughs.) We have a lot in common, Mike.
Rep. Waltz: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Rep. Crow: Also making sure we’re closing that backdoor that they’re using to steal that innovation from us is extremely important within higher education, within our research institutions as well.
The second is our capacity for self-correction. The fact that we’re having discussions like this, that we have debates on Capitol Hill, that stuff is not happening in Russia and China. They just don’t do that. And we actually see, a year in, the lack of ability for self-correction in Russia. They haven’t addressed their problems. We know what their problems are now better than they do, probably.
Dr. Jones: They’re pretty obvious.
Rep. Crow: (Laughs.) They’re pretty obvious, right? But they’re not actually moving to address it because nobody wants to deliver the bad news to Putin. Putin doesn’t want to hear it. There’s no incentive to do so. We have the ability to self-correct, and that gives me hope.
And then the last is our alliance network. We are still, by far, the preferred partner. We’re the preferred partner because we come at our relationships with mutual respect, with a recognition of sovereignty, with openness. You know, we have through NATO countries combined over a billion citizens, right, and we treat those folks as equals, and we have tough conversations with them sometimes, but that’s what a family does. We have that alliance network. It is stronger than it has been in my lifetime by any stretch of the imagination. Russia and China have failed to develop that.
Now, we have to take a close look at and be wary of the connection of Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China, because they’re looking at combining forces. But we have to develop that network, and that includes engagement with the Global South, right? That is up for grabs. Africa, South America, they are up for grabs right now. And if we don’t make very quick and aggressive engagement and investments in those areas, they will move away from our sphere of influence towards Russia and China, and that will make for a less-prosperous world.
Dr. Jones: Well, thank you both for a great discussion. I don’t think – as both of you highlighted, I don’t think we’re hearing and going to hear these kinds of discussions happening either in Moscow or Beijing, but they are definitely happening in Washington, including on a bipartisan forum. So appreciate you coming to the Center for Strategic and International Studies and those of you online that joined us. Have a great day.