By Caribbean News Global
WASHINGTON – US Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, applauded final passage of H.R.6395, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA), stated: “[Today’s] bipartisan passage of the NDAA for fiscal year 2021 is an important step in fulfilling our obligations to the US military, and an opportunity to further several Senate Foreign Relations Committee-related priorities.”
Chairman Risch highlighted: “It is unacceptable that a North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally like Turkey’s president Erdogan has decided to purchase, keep, and test the Russian S-400 missile defense system. This year’s NDAA makes clear that Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 system is a sanctionable activity, and therefore mandates the imposition of sanctions on Turkey for this purchase. I will continue to work with my colleagues to hold Erdogan to account for his actions over the last several years.
“Last year’s NDAA included widely supported sanctions related to the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipeline – a project that threatens Europe’s energy independence and would further bolster the Russian government. I am pleased that this year’s NDAA further expands the scope of sanctionable activities to prevent the completion of the NS2 pipeline. These sanctions are important tools in countering Russia’s malign influence and protecting the integrity of our allies’ security.
“Inclusion of the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act in the FY2021 NDAA is a testament to our strategic relationship with Israel and the interests and values we share. This legislation authorizes security assistance for Israel through 2028, and allows for greater cooperation on issues such as COVID-19 and projects in developing countries. I was glad to work with Senator Rubio on its inclusion in this year’s defense legislation.”
Details of Senator Risch’s priorities in the FY2021 NDAA are:
- S-400 Clarification (Section 1241): This provision clarifies that Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 system is a sanctionable activity under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. It also mandates the imposition of sanctions on Turkey for this purchase within 30 days of the enactment of the FY2021 NDAA.
- Expanded NS2 Sanctions (Section 1242): This title expands the scope of sanctionable activities to include insurance and reinsurance of the vessels laying the pipe for the NS2 project and testing and certification of the pipeline.
- United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act (Title XII Subsection H): This legislation authorizes at least $3.3 billion annually in security assistance through FY2028, and authorizes US-Israel cooperative assistance projects in developing countries, health cooperation to combat COVID, the transfer of precision guided munitions, and the development of directed energy capabilities, among others.
One of Congress’ chief duties outlined in the US Constitution is to provide for the common defense. The NDAA ensures our military is best-equipped to defend our nation against America’s foreign adversaries.
A summary of the FY2021 NDAA can be viewed here.