by WorldTribune Staff, March 15, 2019
Though it ended its cooperation with the Pentagon, tech giant Google has no problem boosting China’s military, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
“The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military and I’ve been very public on this issue as well,” Gen. Joseph Dunford said on March 14 in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing that there is that indirect benefit and frankly indirect may not be a full characterization of the way it really is, it’s more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military,” Dunford said.
Following complaints from employees, Google reportedly has ceased cooperation with the Pentagon on several projects, including the Project Maven program which used artificial intelligence to enhance military drone operations.
Google said it also dropped a bid for a Pentagon cloud storage contract over concerns that working with the Defense Department could conflict with its principles.
“The way I described it to our industry partners is: look we’re the good guys and the values that we represent and the system we represent is the one that will allow and has allowed you to thrive,” Dunford said.
Google has “a lack of willingness to support DoD programs,” acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told the committee, adding that China often uses civilian technology to bolster its military forces.
“The technology that is developed in the civil world, transfers to the military world, it’s a direct pipeline,” Shanahan said.
Google’s lack of willingness to work with the Pentagon while simultaneously doing business with China was slammed by Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican.
“We are in a struggle with the Chinese government over whether or not they’re going to become a regional and maybe global hegemon with values very different from ours, certainly values that do not favor freedom in the world,” Hawley said.
“We have an American company that does not want to do work with our defense department which is one thing, but they’re happy to help the Chinese, at least the Chinese government that is, the Chinese military, at least indirectly, I think that’s just extraordinary,” Hawley added.