A new report released today by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) at the request of Congressman John Tierney, Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations, has found that a lack of information sharing among federal agencies has hindered our ability to keep drone technology out of the hands of our enemies.
"The fact that the U.S. Government has allowed drone technology to fall into the hands of our enemies is extremely troubling for our country and our military. The Administration must take immediate steps to increase efforts to curb the spread of drones and reduce this threat to our national security," Congressman Tierney said. "I call on the Departments of Defense and State to take swift action on the recommendations in this report."
Most notably, the GAO report released today finds that countries with drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) nearly doubled in seven years and many of the countries that have acquired UAVs could put U.S. military assets at risk. Due to inadequate information sharing, U.S. drone technology has made its way into the hands of so-called "countries of concern" and terrorist organizations.
Congressman Tierney today called on the Administration to quickly take steps to put GAO's commonsense recommendations into place, including:
As part of the Administration's export control reform initiative, the Secretary of State should establish a mechanism in the licensing database to better enable the identification of licenses authorizing the export of UAVs and related components and technologies;
All U.S. agencies with information relevant to the export licensing process should seek to improve mechanisms for information sharing; and
To close gaps in the implementation of UAV end-use monitoring programs that may limit the ability of DOD and State to adequately safeguard defense articles upon their arrival and basing, the Secretaries of State and Defense must take steps to harmonize their approaches to end-use monitoring.