home politics Missilegate Continues, Maybe

Missilegate Continues, Maybe

spy_vs_spy_by_ragdollnamedgaryBrietbart is keeping the Hellfire missile in Cuba story alive. It is good that someone is doing so. There is a lot more to this story than U.S.-Cuba policy, important as that may be. There is the export controls and economic sanctions aspect to it that, we hope, that administration and Congress will plumb a little more.  John Hayward, who happens to have a great Twitter handle — @Doc_0 —  pens that many unanswered questions surrounding this story add to

… the mystery of why the Hellfire bungle or theft occurred, why it was kept under wraps for so long, and why it is surfacing now. Maybe some of this story manipulation is intended to make the Hellfire in Cuban hands seem like a bigger deal than it really is, to distract bad actors and give them a distorted impression of where the cutting edge in American missile technology lies.

Citing the Extreme Tech blog,

exposing Hellfire technology to Cuba might not matter all that much because that technology is already available. Not only is there a strong possibility that hackers have looted Hellfire data during numerous raids on U.S. systems, but the weapons have been sold to dubious allies like Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, who would have had many opportunities to share Hellfire tech with their even more dubious allies.

That may, or may not be true. In the case of any loss of U.S. defense articles or technology, it makes no difference. There are no “technology is already available” escape clauses or exception in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) or the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). Beyond the legal issues, there are multiple policy equities, including Cuba, export controls, and national security matters, that warrant additional review. Congress, and the administration, should make it so.


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