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September 15, 2022

King, Cornyn, Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Keep National Defenses on “Cutting Edge” of Technology

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) have introduced bipartisan legislation to help keep America’s national defenses keep up with rapidly changing technologies. The American Defense Programs, Logistics, and Acquisitions for our Nation’s Security (American Defense PLANS) Act would study the Department of Defense’s (DOD) acquisition and modernization efforts and create recommendations for how DOD programs can continue to modernize with evolving defense challenges.

Technology wins wars. From the long bow at the Battle of Agincourt to nuclear weapons in World War Two, technological advancements frequently turn the tides of battle and define conflicts,” said Senator King. “As America faces growing threats from global adversaries like Russia and China, our defense technology must keep up with the times, and prevent our enemies from gaining a competitive advantage. This bipartisan bill will help the Department of Defense stay on the cutting edge of rapidly-evolving capabilities, keep our warfighters well equipped, and make sure our nation is ready to address any potential threat. It’s a critical step in keeping America safe – and without it, I fear we could someday pay the price.”

“Ensuring America has the most technologically advanced military in the world is a matter of survival, plain and simple,” said Sen. Cornyn. “By seeking out recommendations for modernizing our military, we work towards making sure our national defense is well-positioned for success in this rapidly-changing threat environment.” 

In order for the United States to match threats posed by China and Russia, Department of Defense (DOD) programs and acquisitions need to keep pace with rapidly-changing critical defense technologies and evolving adversary capabilities. The American Defense PLANS Act legislation directs the Office of the Secretary of Defense to conduct an outside study of DOD programs to make recommendations for how these programs and acquisitions can keep up with an shifting technological landscape. The study would be led by independent organizations that are established leaders in national security and technology.

As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Strategic Forces – which oversees the United States’ nuclear arsenal and posture – Senator King has been an outspoken voice on the need to keep up with evolving national security threats. Senator King has recently expressed concern about the emerging challenges posed by Russia and China’s development of “nightmare weapon” hypersonic missiles, which he has described as “strategic game-changers.” He’s also worked to ensure the Department of Defense has the tools at their disposal they need to protect America’s national security. 

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