The folks over at the Irregular Times summarized a portion of recent Congressional hearings that included a discussion of robotic weapons such as unmanned aerial vehicles or drones. Be sure to read their deciphering of the back and forth between Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) and an industry lobbyist.
When advising clients preparing for Congressional hearings, you need to think ahead for every reasonable question that may be posed by a panel. It is no easy task and it takes weeks, sometimes months of careful planning and research. You not only need to know the issue, but know the views of the Committee Members and the staff. And even after all that preparation, you never know how these panels will turn out for the witness. This is especially true in the export controls arena.
With regards to controlling access to these high tech items, current laws and regulations are complex and in need of reform; however, they are not daunting or overwhelming either. They can be especially onerous on small and medium-sized businesses who do not have the budget or, at times, the long-term business need to invest in full blown compliance programs. But compliance need not break the bank.
There may not be an ironclad way to control the spread of the overall spread of this technology, but if it is U.S.-made, it is well worth it to make a reasonable effort.