White House Proposes Export Control Changes
The Obama administration is proposing to shift tanks, trucks and other military vehicles currently controlled on the U.S. Munitions List (USML) to the less-restrictive U.S. Commerce Control List (CCL) by year’s end as part of a broader effort to reform the U.S. arms export licensing process.
“We anticipate that later this year the Department of State will issue a final version of Category VII” of the USML, which controls military tanks and trucks, said Eric Hirschorn, undersecretary of commerce for the department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, who spoke July 19 during an export control conference here. Hirschorn says the overhaul of Category VII would be followed by proposed modifications to other USML categories that control the export of naval ships, aircraft and electronics. The plan is to have nearly all categories revised and in final form “well before the end of next year,” he says.
France’s interest in pursuing exoatmospheric-intercept capability is two-pronged, say industry and government officials. Besides gaining experience in national defense, the country’s leaders want to ensure that when upgrades and a follow-on to the M51 submarine-launched ballistic missile are developed, France will know how to defeat missile defenses to uphold its strategic deterrent.
Although a new report by French senators on the need to pursue missile defense does not specify immediate funding, the document is considered an important strategic marker. It is the first time the legislature has forcefully advocated missile defense, and sets the stage for the mission area to be a key element in the new defense white paper to be written following next year’s presidential elections.