Annual Defense Policy Bill Released

The House Armed Services Committee on Monday released the text of the chairman’s mark of the annual defense policy bill.

Most of the interesting details were revealed Friday in Republican and Democratic summaries of the bill, as well as a Republican background briefing.

But some interesting tidbits emerged Monday.

Bill would make White House lead on efforts against ‘malign foreign influence’: The bill would mandate that the National Security Council coordinate the government’s effort to counter “malign foreign influence.”

While the document does not specifically mention Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the provision appears to be a direct response to Moscow’s influence effort.

The proposal would direct President Trump to designate a member of the National Security Council to coordinate the interagency effort against malign foreign influence. Trump would also be required to submit to Congress a strategy for countering malign foreign influence within nine months of the bill’s enactment.

The proposed legislation would specifically define malign foreign influence operations and campaigns as “the coordinated, integrated, and synchronized application of national diplomatic, informational, military, economic, business, corruption, educational, and other capabilities by hostile foreign powers to foster attitudes, behaviors, decisions, or outcomes within the United States.”

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