December 29, 2023

How to Stop Our High-Tech Equipment From Arming Russia and China

The U.S. government’s efforts to stop Russia and China from using American equipment to boost their defense sectors have resulted in tough rules — but leaky enforcement. As a result, American-made tools keep turning up in Russian missile factories and in Huawei’s supply chain. With war in Europe and China threatening its neighbors, that’s just not good enough.

Facing a revanchist Russia and adversarial China, we need to revitalize these techniques, or else our tools will continue to be used to build their militaries.

The United States and its allies make the most advanced tools for both precision metalworking and semiconductor manufacturing. With international tensions rising, the United States and its allies have been right to try to prohibit adversaries from using these tools to manufacture weapons that undermine America’s military edge. In October 2022, the United States imposed restrictions on American firms selling and servicing equipment to manufacture chips below the 14-nanometer level, which covers chips necessary for building supercomputers and training frontier artificial intelligence models, aiming to limit China’s access to the chip technology used to train A.I. systems for military use. And when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, the United States and its allies tightened sales of cutting-edge machine tools to Russia to prevent them from being used for military purposes.

Read the full article from The New York Times.

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