NDAA FY18 Watch – Highlights from House Strategic Forces Subcommittee Mark Up

On June 22, 2017, the House Subcommittee on Strategic Forces completed its markup of the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Below is a summary of significant provisions that the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation is following:

  • Limits Funds to Extend New START
    • No funding can be used to extend the Russia-U.S. arms control agreement known as New START beyond 2021 until the President certifies that Russia has destroyed all missiles that are in violation of INF Treaty.
    • Cooper (D-TN) amendment to remove this provision was struck down in the subcommittee by voice vote.
  • Limitations on Nuclear Weapon Dismantlement
    • Extends a provision from the FY17 NDAA that caps funding for nuclear weapon dismantlement at $56 million for FY19 through FY21.
    • This provision would not affect the status of retired weapons.
    • Cooper (D-TN) amendment striking this provision failed by voice vote.
  • Limitation on Availability of Funds Relating to Implementation of the Open Skies Treaty
    • No funds can be used to conduct a surveillance flight by the United States unless the President submits a plan for all planned flights that year.
    • No funds may be used to modify U.S. aircraft to implement the Open Skies Treaty.
  • Establishment of a Space Corps in the Department of the Air Force
    • Secretary of Air Force must certify establishment of a Space Corps by January 1, 2019.
    • The mission of the Space Corps is to train and equip combat-ready space forces to fight and win wars.
    • The relationship between the Space Corps and Air Force would function similar to the Marine Corps and Navy – separate entities led by the same civilian leadership.
    • The Secretary of the Air has publicly opposed this provision.
  • Report on the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (new ICBMs) and Minuteman III ballistic missile
    • This provision was unanimously adopted as part of an amendment package.
  • Space-Based Sensor Layer for Ballistic Missile Defense
    • Requires the Director of the Missile Defense Agency to provide a plan for developing and deploying a space-based sensor layer for ballistic missile defense within one year of the FY18 NDAA’s enactment.
  • Restriction of Nuclear Security Cooperation with Russia
    • No funds may be used to cooperation with Russia on nuclear security initiatives
    • The Secretary of Energy has waiver authority if the threat “arising in the Russian Federation must be addressed urgently and that it is necessary to waive the prohibition to address the threat.”