June 20, 2017
By: Joe Gould
WASHINGTON — A House subcommittee is advancing language to support the Trump administration’s $12.3 billion funding request for America’s most elite military forces.
The Armed Services Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee on Tuesday offered its part of the full HASC’s 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, and HASC aides detailed it to reporters in advance of its release.
In its section of the draft bill, the subpanel endorsed authorizing $12.3 billion for U.S. Special Operations Command, including wartime funding. The subcommittee controls about $68 billion, aides told reporters.
The amount includes funds to buy General Atomics MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper drone aircraft as well as smaller tactical remotely-piloted systems. “It really is across the board,” a committee aide said.
Focusing on future conventional warfare, the bill includes funding for emerging technologies like hypersonics, 3D printing and directed energy weapons—capabilities that have been shorted of late in favor of counter-insurgency focused technologies, aides said.
For cyber operations and cyber warfare, the subpanel seeks to strengthen congressional oversight of sensitive operations. It also seeks to build partnerships in Asia to counter Chinese and North Korean aggression, and within NATO to counter Russian aggression.
The bill also includes language to strengthen DoD’s cyber resiliency, build its workforce and boost training. It also aims to better integrate cyber warfare in the Defense Department’s regional combatant commands.
Language in the bill supports counter-propaganda efforts, especially through the NATO alliance, aides said.
The subpanel is set to hold its public markup on Wednesday.
The full committee’s public markup of the NDAA is set for June 28. The House version is typically reconciled with the Senate version over the summer.