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Ruben Gallego’s Proposed NDAA Provision to Consider Expanding Five Eyes Alliance

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Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., chairman of the House Armed Services special operations and intelligence subcommittee, has proposed a language in the defense policy bill that would consider adding four countries to the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, Defense One reported Tuesday.

The provision in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act would direct the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Defense to report on the state of intelligence sharing among the Five Eyes member countries and assess the potential benefits and risks of integrating Japan, India, South Korea and Germany with the alliance.

The Five Eyes alliance is composed of the U.S., Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the U.K. It started as an intelligence-sharing pact between the U.S. and the U.K. to fight the Axis powers during World War II.

Gallego said adding India, South Korea and Japan to the alliance would enable the U.S. to broaden its network of surveillance assets to help track China’s activities.

“It is basically a warning to China, as well as a shot in the arm to these nations, that ‘we trust you so much that we are putting you in our sacred circle of intelligence sharing,’” he said.

The House approved its NDAA version containing Gallego’s proposed language in September. The Senate has yet to pass its defense policy bill, which needs to be reconciled with the lower chamber’s measure before it heads to the White House for President Joe Biden’s signature.