WASHINGTON – Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations, delivered the following opening statements at a subcommittee hearing on countering weapons of mass destruction:
Rep. Kelly remarks as prepared for delivery:
There is a lot going on from the usual bad actors of China, Russia, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and various terrorist organizations that I look forward to hearing about during this session. The continued use of chemical weapons by the Assad Regime, poisoning of Alexey Navalny and Sergey Skripal by Russia, and research of biological weapons by China are just a few highlights of this threat.
A growing concern, brought to the forefront from the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, is the threat of chemical and biological weapons directed at our military and private citizens. The risk of weaponized aerosol fentanyl is just one example of many alarming and growing threats. I am interested to hear from our witnesses today on what we are doing to not only identify these types of threats but also what we are doing to mitigate the threats both for our deployed troops and our citizens here in the homeland.
I am also interested to hear our witnesses’ views on the global threat posture, especially in the context of great power competition and potential for kinetic engagement with adversaries like China.
Lastly, I am deeply concerned about how the Biden Administration’s budget will affect our overall Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) preparedness. The ongoing use of chemical threats, coupled with the effects seen from the Coronavirus, illuminate the direness of this, and failing to properly invest in these resources will have grave consequences.
I want to thank our witnesses in advance for their time. I look forward to continuing to work with our Counter WMD experts during the 117th Congress to ensure we are appropriately postured to meet and defeat the threats shaped by weapons of mass destruction.