SEC. 1259D. STUDY ON UNITED STATES INTERESTS IN THE FREELY ASSOCIATED STATES.
(a) Study Required.—The Secretary of Defense shall enter into an agreement with an appropriate independent entity to conduct a study and assessment of United States security and foreign policy interests in the Freely Associated States of the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia.
(b) Elements.—The study required pursuant to subsection (a) shall address the following:
(1) The role of the Compacts of Free Association in promoting United States defense and foreign policy interests, including the United States defense posture and plans.
(2) The status of the obligations of the United States and the Freely Associated States under the Compacts of Free Association.
(3) The economic assistance practices of the People’s Republic of China in the Freely Associated States, and the implications of such practices for United States defense and foreign policy interests in the Freely Associated States and the Pacific region.
(4) The economic assistance practices of other countries in the Freely Associated States, as determined by the Comptroller General, and the implications of such practices for United States defense and foreign policy interests in the Freely Associated States and the Pacific region.
(5) Any other matters the Secretary considers appropriate for purposes of the study.
(c) Department Of Defense Support.—The Secretary shall provide the entity conducting the study pursuant to subsection (a) with timely access to appropriate information, data, resources, and analysis so that the entity may conduct a thorough and independent assessment of the matters covered by the study, including the matters specified in subsection (b).
(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than December 1, 2018, the Secretary shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report setting forth the results of the study conducted pursuant to subsection (a).
(2) FORM.—The report required by paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified for, but may include a classified annex.
Defense Department to Investigate Chinese Aid to Former US Territories in Micronesia
by Our Correspondent