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US defense bill may see Five Eyes swell to nine to counter China

Bill would require Biden administration to explore inclusion of three Asian allies, Germany in Five Eyes intelligence-sharing group

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The U.S. Capitol building is shown after sunset Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Washington. The Biden administration is beginning to distribute expanded c...

The U.S. Capitol building is shown after sunset Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Washington. The Biden administration is beginning to distribute expanded c...

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A bill now under consideration in the House of Representatives would oblige the Biden administration to consider adding three key allies in Asia to the Five Eyes intelligence alliance to deal with threats from China and Russia.

The House Armed Services Committee on Thursday (Aug. 3) approved the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which will authorize appropriations for the military and other American defense priorities. The House bill and its Senate equivalent will now be taken up in their respective chambers.

Included is a section from the intelligence subcommittee recognizing the merits of the Five Eyes, the intelligence-sharing group from World War II that includes the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Stating that the international landscape has changed much over the decades and that China and Russia now pose the main threats, "The Five Eye countries must work closer together, as well as expand the circle of trust to other like-minded democracies."

To this end, the provision would require the director of national intelligence and secretary of defense to submit a report by May 20, 2022, on the current state of intelligence and resource agreements among Five Eyes members and explore broadening intelligence coordination with Japan, South Korea, India, and Germany. The report should lay out the benefits of bringing these allies into the Five Eyes fold and recommend how to remedy any risks or technological constraints.

Two of those nations — Japan and India — along with Australia and the U.S. participate in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, which intends to maintain a "free and open Indo-Pacific." The group is widely seen as a platform to limit China's expansion in the region and has sparked speculation it could become an Asian NATO.

Additionally, the bill includes a provision calling on the government to continue to help Taiwan maintain its defense posture against external military threats and coercion. It also calls for joint U.S.-Taiwan military training as well as exchanges on policy, strategic, and functional levels to sustain interoperability between the two countries.


Updated : 2021-09-27 19:38 GMT+08:00