March 04, 2020

Washington’s desperate search for a Huawei substitute

Featuring Martijn Rasser

Source: National Journal

Journalist Brendan Bordelon

After failing to strong-arm Europe into banning Huawei from its budding 5G networks, Washington is pivoting from stick to carrot.

The decision by the United Kingdom in January to bring cheap Chinese telecommunications equipment into its network—despite earlier threats by the U.S. to halt intelligence-sharing with the U.K. if it did so—revealed what little stock Europe places in warnings that Huawei is a backdoor for Beijing’s spies, and how defiant even America’s closest allies can be in the face of U.S. pressure.

“Europeans don’t like being threatened that they’re going to have their intel cut off. It makes them unhappy,” said James Lewis, the director of technology policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

So with Europe’s 5G build-out now underway—and with Huawei’s heavily subsidized hardware set to become embedded in several national networks—Capitol Hill and the Trump administration are searching frantically for a sweetener: an economical alternative to Huawei that satisfies U.S. allies looking to balance security fears with their bottom lines.

Read the full story and more in National Journal.

Authors

  • Martijn Rasser

    Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Martijn Rasser is a Senior Fellow in the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Prior to joining CNAS, Mr. Rasser served as...