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Thursday, June 20th, 2024

Bipartisan effort calls for details on foreign attempts to infiltrate U.S. military bases

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A group of seven U.S. representatives recently wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a search for details on foreign adversaries’ attempts to spy on U.S. military bases.

Led by U.S. Reps. Keith Self (R-TX) and Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), the members asked Austin to detail the number of encounters with infiltrators aligned with countries such as China, Russia and Iran.

“Since 9/11, our country has witnessed increased threats from foreign adversaries,” Moskowitz said. “However, these adversaries have transitioned from terrorist groups to nation-states with the sole intent on destroying America and our way of life. For Congress to better enact policies to keep our soldiers and the American people safe, the Department of Defense must better inform Congress of attempted encounters on military bases. Transparency is key so we can better protect our country.”

Calling for a return to policies of peace through strength, Self added that it was time to implement deterrence measures against foreign intelligence operations.

The group asked for the number of times spies have attempted to access U.S. military bases, the steps the Biden administration is taking to hold the nations responsible accountable, details of any information adversaries may have acquired in these spy endeavors, and how U.S. military bases are actively combating the use of items like drones to spy on them.

The members underlined their concerns by citing the Chinese balloon incident from last year, during which a high altitude balloon drifted across North America before being shot down over U.S. territorial waters. U.S. officials later claimed the balloon appeared to host intelligence-gathering equipment, but debated the possibility any information was sent back to China.

In a statement separate from his colleagues, Self nevertheless claimed the balloon captured sensitive information about critical military installations, and accused a new axis of evil of working nonstop to steal sensitive technology, influence lawmakers and spy on the military.

“While many encounters are known, many have not been disclosed and deserve additional scrutiny,” the members wrote as one. “We must act to harden our bases and make it more difficult for our adversaries to steal sensitive technology and spy on our men and women in uniform.”