US Military Facilities Vulnerable To Spying
U.S. military training facilities are vulnerable to foreign spies, and experts are saying the Department of Defense has done almost nothing about it.
A government oversight report detailed the threat and the inadequacy of the Defense Department’s response.
“Some DOD officials stated that they are concerned about foreign encroachment, which may provide an opportunity for persistent surveillance of DoD test and training activities,” the report states. “However, DOD has not prioritized its ranges or assessed such threats because, among other things, there is no clear guidance on how to conduct assessments of the risks and threats posed by foreign encroachment.”
The U.S. has 533 training facilities at home and abroad. The report says that Navy and Air Force officials were particularly concerned about foreign spies setting up shop near their training facilities. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed four training ranges and officials at all of them expressed similar worries.
“Those officials told us that they were particularly concerned that foreign entities may have an increased ability to observe sensitive military testing or training activities if they are able to establish a persistent presence outside the services’ test or training ranges,” the report states.
This is not a new issue.
“This GAO report lays bare an uncomfortable truth about the security of our government’s domestic training sites in the globalized and privacy-oriented country in which we live and operate,” national security attorney Brad Moss told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Although better late than never, the report’s recommendations realistically should have been considered years ago out of an exercise of caution.”
The report calls for agencies to work together so that the DoD can better understand which facilities are most at risk. For example. The Federal Aviation Administration collects the information it needs to know about buildings taller than 200 feet. However, if the FAA collected more information, such as who owns the building, that could help the DoD better assess the threat of that building being used for spying.
In a response to the report, the DoD agreed with the recommendations and said it would increase its efforts to assess this threat and work with other agencies on gathering threat information.
“If properly implemented, the agency coordination envisioned by the GAO’s recommendations will relieve DoD of the task of gathering information outside its scope of responsibility or, quite candidly, authority,” Moss told TheDCNF. “That information, evaluated in compliance with standard facility security assessment guidelines, would go a long way towards minimizing the risk of foreign surveillance of our military’s most sensitive capabilities.”
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