Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee and co-Chair of the Congressional China Caucus, announced today that he has sent letters to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon, requesting for a second time this year that the Department of Defense release the Annual Report to Congress on the Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China. Pursuant to Section 1202 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000, the Department of Defense is legally required to submit the report to Congress no later than March 1 each year; as of today, the report is 175 days overdue, though it is rumored to be finally released in the coming weeks.
"The Department of Defense, State Department, and National Security Council continue to search for ways to effectively collaborate on a single report assessing China's military strength while disregarding the importance of the report's timeliness. This annual report provides vital information to Congress on China’s intentions and capabilities as it begins the national defense authorization process each spring. Although I value interagency cooperation, I do not believe it is an appropriate justification for flouting legal deadlines set by Congress. Moreover, the continued failure to provide the report paints the picture that the Departments' dithering is a direct result of the Administration's diplomatic calendar rather than any interagency or analytical challenges," said Forbes.
Congressman Forbes' letter to Secretary Panetta is available here.
Congressman Forbes' letter to Secretary Clinton is available here.
Congressman Forbes' letter to National Security Advisor Donilon is available here.
On May 6, 2011, Congressman Forbes called on Secretary Gates to comply with the legal deadline for submitting the “Annual Report to Congress on the Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China.” Under Secretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy responded on May 23 that the "...the development and completion of this report also entail close interagency coordination. This adds time to the process, but yields a more thorough and useful report."
Congressman Forbes' letter to Secretary Gates is available here.
Under Secretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy's response is available here.