White House

Export control relief on the horizon?

An article in Thursday’s issue of CongressDailyAM (not freely availably online, unfortunately) suggests that the Bush Administration may be close to making some changes to the export control process that could benefit the aerospace industry. The changes are believed to be based on recommendations made earlier this year by the Coalition for Security and Competitiveness. Industry representatives told the publication that a “package of process improvements” could be announced any week now; these changes would affect how the export control regime is implemented but not involve anything that would require legislative action by Congress. Some of the coalition’s proposals back in March for items on the Munitions List include appointing a senior director on the National Security Council responsible for export policy, increasing the staff of the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, and implementing “more efficient, effective, and transparent licensing procedures and technology disclosure review processes”.

However, you shouldn’t necessarily hold your breath that these changes will be imminent: one person told CongressDailyAM, “This is the fifth week we’ve been told we will get an answer soon.”

6 comments to Export control relief on the horizon?

  • Jerry

    I am not in favor of this administrations priorities “for items on the Munitions List” this administration wants to export war and weapons. It has not benifited us. We pay more now for energy than ever before. Under the previous administration we exported diplomacy and products that other countries consumers wanted and our economy boomed. Yes, we also made weapon sales but it wasn’t the worlds focus of US export products. Be the technology and education leader of the indutrialize world we claim to be. By annoucing a major funding of Space research (Manned and Un-manned) to focus our country and the world on improving our knowlege of the universe. The answers to our energy and environmental problems are all ready invented by NASA to support man in space. The more we explore the more we will invent to reslove issuses as they arrive (i.e. global warming).

    Besides if asked “would you rather buy a trip on the space shuttle to the ISS or send 30 men and woman to mars, further develop and export “green technologies” to the 3rd world?” vs “Send more troops to Iraq, raise energy costs even more and don’t do much to reduce global warming.”

    I don’t think you’ll find much support for the latter. But then again, people who do think like that are running things for now.

  • ...

    Thirty five years ago the United States turned away from a robust space exploration program in order to “focus on our problems here on the Earth”. How is that going? The fact is that this turning away, a turning inward, has not solved the problems that we have spent trillions of dollars of national wealth addressing. In any experiment, in any business, in any nation, if after the spending of trillions of dollars one would expect that if the problem has not been solved, then we need to look at alternate approaches.
    Space is the startling alternative, one that has not truly been tried since the early 1970’s and the end of the Apollo program. However, that being said, we cannot continue on a path in the space agency or in our national commitment to space with halfway efforts. The time has come to be bold again, to take the president and congress at their word and construct a new space program that is a national program that goes well beyond simply NASA’s efforts, though NASA will continue to be the linchpin. – Dennis Wingo

  • Archaeological rule of thumb with a lot of historical and pre-historical evidence behind it: any society that turns exclusively (or even largely) inward “to solve its immediate problems” and ignores the wider world (or universe) is as good as dead. It is only a matter of time.

    Put another way, recall the three laws of thermodynamics. Nothing in the universe can remain static, it must either grow or die. There is no reason to expect civilizations, cultures, or nations to be exempt from these rules.

    We explore the Solar System or we die as a nation and a people, sooner rather than later. There is no middle ground.

    — Donald

  • Paul F. Dietz

    Archaeological rule of thumb with a lot of historical and pre-historical evidence behind it: any society that turns exclusively (or even largely) inward “to solve its immediate problems” and ignores the wider world (or universe) is as good as dead. It is only a matter of time.

    Sounds like vacuous codswallop to me.

    What does it mean for a society to be ‘as good as dead’? Societies aren’t organisms; what does ‘death’ even mean for them? As an example, justify your assertion w.r.t. that stereotypically inward looking place, China.

  • Firstly, China, clearly, no longer is an inward-looking place, and their culture (in every sense) is flowering in response. This example rather strongly supports my case.

    Second, societies are products of organisms, and in many ways they behave as organisms — and, in fact, they probably are organisms in any meaningful meaning of the term — in the same sense that you and I are collections of independently alive cells that cooperate in a larger organism. If a human body — a product of all the lives that make it up — is alive, than a human culture is alive in exactly the same sense. (Interesting statistic: while life appeared almost instantly as soon as Earth’s crust was cool and hard enough to support it, it took nearly half the total predicted life span of the sun for it to learn to cooperate enough to cough up the “Cambrian Explosion.” The lesson is that it is far easier to create life than it is to get it to cooperate.)

    Third, just as “death” does not necessarily mean the end of all the organisms that make up your body, the “death” of a society does not mean the end of all its component parts. The Roman Empire is quite dead — but there are cultural and organizational lines of descent to the Catholic Church and from the Eastern Empire to the Eastern Orthodox Church and today’s Russia.

    There are a number of serious scientists who subscribe to the Gaea Hypothesis. This idea considers the Earth itself “alive” (I know this is an oversimplification of the theory) in the sense that life affects Earth in ways that benefit life which life in turn must adapt to in a four billion year positive feedback. If the Earth itself can be “alive” it does not seem a stretch to consider culture, a direct product of life, equally alive.

    At the very least, your “vacuous codswallop” is far more of an oversimplification than anything I might of said. With respect, you, like many scientists, need to study a bit more outside of your field.

    — Donald

  • Paul F. Dietz

    Donald: sorry, you are just handwaving more vigorously there. It doesn’t make the empty nonsense you are pandering any less empty.

    And, no, ‘vacuous codswallop’ is not an oversimplification of your statements there.

    I particularly like your appeal to pre-historical evidence. Do you think any pre-historical societies are now ‘alive’? If they were, they wouldn’t be pre-historical! Your point is about as feckless as someone noting that all the people buried in a graveyard who didn’t eat beets are now dead.

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