Senate Passes Defense Bill with Romney Measure Requiring U.S. to Craft Grand Strategy to Counter China Threat

WASHINGTON—The Senate today passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022, with a key amendment offered by U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) to require the president to develop a grand strategy to address the threat China poses to the global order.

The NDAA importantly includes measures to strengthen the national security of the United States—including supporting the role Utah’s Hill Air Force Base plays in bolstering the U.S. nuclear deterrent, expanding a hiring authority pilot program to help Utah bases and installations compete for talented military retirees, strengthening the ability of the U.S. to defend against the military threat from China, and increasing U.S. support for Ukraine as Russia threatens Ukraine’s borders. The bill will also authorize a memorial to honor members of the Armed Forces—including Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover, of Sandy, Utah—who were killed in the terrorist attacks at Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 26, 2021.

“Despite unnecessary delays, our annual defense bill has finally made it across the finish line,” Senator Romney said. “This bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation we have taken up this year, and I’m proud that it includes my measure to require the United States to develop a unified, strategic approach to China. We must take decisive action now to confront China’s growing aggression and dissuade them from pursuing a predatory path around the world, and this year’s defense bill will help us accomplish that end.”

Summary of Romney’s China Strategy Amendment:

  • U.S. Grand Strategy with Respect to China: Requires the president to develop a grand strategy to address the new era of geostrategic and geoeconomic competition with China. Convenes an advisory board of outside experts from the private sector, academia, and think tanks to review the current strategy, including challenging its assumptions and approach, and make recommendations to the president for the strategy.