The World Has Changed, So Should Export Controls

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates gave a speech Tuesday outlining the Administration’s proposals for modernizing the U.S. system of export controls. (Speech, Shopfloor coverage.)

Later that day, James Hursch, acting director, Defense Technology Security Administration, held a roundtable with bloggers explaining the policy proposals in more detail. The transcript is here. Excerpt:

The current U.S. export control system poses in our view a potential threat to national security, because the foundation is over 50 years old. It is essentially a system that was designed for the Cold War bipolar world and is not sufficiently focused on the most critical threats we face today.

The world has changed. The threats we face today are different, including global terrorism and the proliferation of mass destruction and advanced conventional weapons. And these threats come not from a single block of countries but from individuals, entities and countries located throughout the world.

In addition, the leading edge of some technologies has spread to other parts of the world from the U.S. And there are competitors for many systems that the U.S. is controlling elsewhere in the world.

The National Association of Manufacturers has made export control reforms a top priority. Recent materials:

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