Skip to content

Shaheen Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Address Targeted Recruitment of Service Members by China

(Washington, DC) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a senior member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, along with U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ), introduced the Defending Against Adversary Recruitment Efforts (DAARE) Act, bipartisan legislation that would prohibit former American service members from working for the national security apparatus of the governments of China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Cuba. This important legislation comes amid reports that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China has sought to recruit U.S. and NATO-allied service members, including pilots with knowledge of stealth and advanced systems, to enhance the PLA’s military capabilities. Shaheen’s legislation will create the necessary protections to defend our national security interests and ensure our adversaries do not gain a competitive advantage over the United States or our partners and allies.  

“This targeted recruitment campaign led by the Chinese Communist Party is meant to undermine American national security and imperil our service members overseas,” said Senator Shaheen. “This legislation sends a clear message to our adversaries that American service members are not for sale.” 

“The Chinese Communist Party is doing everything it can to steal American military secrets—including targeting former military service members for their knowledge and skills,” said Senator Cotton. “Congress and the Department of Defense need to work together to ensure this doesn’t happen. This bill will prohibit current and former members of our military from working for America’s adversaries.” 

“As a 25-year Navy combat veteran, I know firsthand the might of our military power and how hard our foreign adversaries work to get access to it,” said Senator Kelly. “By addressing recruitment efforts of current and former American service members by China, this bill ensures that our military remains the best in the world while protecting our national security.” 

Earlier this year, Senator Shaheen included her DAARE Act legislation in the Senate-passed Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act. In October, Shaheen led a bipartisan letter with Senators Cotton and Kelly to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin urging the Department of Defense to take immediate action to deter the targeted recruitment of separating service members being conducted by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and backed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The senators sent the letter in response to a recent Air Force memo detailing PLA efforts to recruit service members separating from the military in order to learn the sensitive military tactics, techniques and procedures used by the U.S. military.