Actions Speak Louder Than Words – Willful Blindness Series Recap

With Labor Day around the corner, the unofficial end of summer is almost here. So, here’s our final plug for beach reading from CTT special advisor Steve Coonen.

Coonen, who spent more than two decades in uniform as an Army artillery and foreign affairs officer and then nearly 14 years as an analyst at the Defense Technology and Security Administration (DTSA), wrote a nine-part summer series for CTT on America’s broken export control system. 

The need to expose the administration’s willful blindless as it relates to export controls could not be more timely. Multiple outlets are reporting that one outcome of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s visit to China is an agreement between the U.S. and China to begin a series of dialogues (Beijing’s favorite tactic for forestalling action) on export controls. BIS must answer the following questions to make sure the U.S. doesn’t perpetuate a failed export control regime: 

  • What was discussed in the initial conversations this week? 
  • What is the Chinese government’s plan to allow for meaningful end-use checks inside China? 
  • Will the dialogues address Secretary Raimondo’s concerns that China is gaining ground in legacy chips? 
  • What is BIS’ plan to make sure China cannot keep devoting dual-use technologies for military purposes? 

In the meantime, if you’re still on the beach, especially if you’re headed back to the Hill, Coonen’s columns are a worthwhile summer read.