WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, voted to support the passage of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes a number of provisions to strengthen strategic competition with China and Russia and reaffirm our alliances and partnerships with other countries around the world.

“As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I have always believed that the U.S. position in the world is strongest when there is bipartisan support not only for our troops, but also for our overall foreign policy and national security goals,” said Senator Coons. “This year’s NDAA, which once again garnered broad bipartisan support, recognizes that as the United States addresses ongoing public health and economic crises at home, we must also provide our service members with the tools they need to ensure the United States can deter conflict and protect the American people.”

The fiscal year 2021 NDAA builds on the National Defense Strategy, including by:

  • Prioritizing strategic competition with China and Russia

This year’s NDAA establishes a Pacific Deterrence Initiative to bolster our commitment to defending our interests in the Pacific.  The Initiative will enhance transparency and oversight, address military capability gaps, reassure allies and partners, and bolster the U.S. deterrent in the region.  The defense bill also includes provisions to safeguard the U.S. defense industrial base and supply chain and protect our intellectual property from disruption, infiltration, or theft. 

In addition, the legislation recognizes that the United States is engaged in long-term strategic competition with Russia, and that confronting the Russia challenge requires sustained investment in and modernization of our military.  The bill acknowledges and responds to Russia’s efforts to undermine democracies, including by mandating a full examination of Russian support to racially and ethnically motivated violent extremist groups and networks in Europe and the United States.

  • Strengthening alliances and partnerships

The NDAA recognizes that our national security is best protected with the help of our broad network of alliances and partnerships.  Accordingly, the NDAA enhances our cooperation with key allies and partners and seeks to improve their own defense capabilities, which will serve U.S. foreign and defense policy goals for decades to come.

In particular, the bill funds the European Deterrence Initiative, reaffirms partnerships from Ukraine to India to Taiwan, and seeks to ensure the Department of Defense provides the resources necessary to U.S. Africa Command to promote security and stability on the continent. 

As the Senate and House of Representatives reconcile their two versions of the bill, Senator Coons will fight to ensure these provisions and more remain in the final version of the legislation and are signed into law.