Heavy Metal Beach Reading: Steve Coonen’s New Weekly Column Examines America’s Broken Export Control System

While many channel Alice Cooper with “School’s Out” as a summer anthem and get ready to kick back, the Chinese Communist Party remains steadfast in its ambition to be the dominant superpower, and chip supremacy is a top priority. As CTT Special Advisor Steve Coonen said in Willful Blindness, “The Chinese Communist Party is the greatest external challenge to American power of our time.”

This summer, Steve is providing heavy but necessary beach reading to counter this challenge with a focus on our broken export control system. His column will be prominently featured on CTT’s Willful Blindness page. Keep an eye on it as well as Twitter via @ChinaTechThreat for more.

For those who don’t know Steve, he joined CTT as a Special Advisor earlier this year. Prior to that, he spent more than two decades in uniform as a U.S. Army artillery and foreign affairs officer and then nearly fourteen years as an analyst at the Defense Technology Security Administration (DTSA), the Pentagon’s unit for developing export control and technology security policies.

At DTSA, he helped protect America from Chinese attempts to obtain sensitive American technologies that can be directed against our own military personnel. But in November 2021, he voluntarily resigned in protest. The reason was rooted in both principle and policy. As Steve said, “I had exhausted my ability to positively influence DTSA leadership to be more aggressive in denying the transfer of American technologies to China, which our enemies in Beijing have no doubt diverted for military purposes. I could no longer in good conscience continue to serve leaders who refused to recognize and correct U.S. export control policy failures concerning China.”

Now Steve is speaking out against a broken system in hopes of reforming it. Stay tuned for more!