On July 23, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. The bill allocated $68,340,000 for a naval facility in Bahrain, $26,000,000 for an Air Force facility in Qatar, and $322,500,000 for continued counterterrorism activities in Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Specifically, the bill calls for an assessment of how cyber strategy could play into U.S. campaigns in Iran, the effect of lifting a U.S. arms embargo on Iran, potential Iranian influence in Afghanistan, and Iranian nuclear weapons activity. The bill also requires plans for a timeframe for construction projects in Iraq, a description of how funding will strengthen the U.S.-Iraq relationship, and approval for a number of Qatar-funded construction projects at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. Funds from the bill are restricted from going to any entity that partners with Iran for research or technology licensing. The bill was introduced by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) on June 23 and has now been sent to the House.
- Senate Passes the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (S.4049)