The Pentagon isn’t allowed to ban personnel from having ZTE and Huawei devices for personal use (not yet anyway) but it can stop retail outlets on US military bases around the world from stocking them.
For every week that passes there seems to another step-up for US aggression in the looming trade war with China. This week now sees the Pentagon move to ban the sale of Huawei and ZTE devices on any US military base around the world, according to the Wall Street Journal. It should hardly come as a surprise, as the Trump administration continues to squeeze all available routes to market it can directly influence.
“Huawei and ZTE devices may pose an unacceptable risk to the department’s personnel, information and mission,“ said Pentagon spokesperson Dave Eastburn. “In light of this information, it was not prudent for the department’s exchanges to continue selling them.”
Specific security concerns have not been detailed, but that doesn’t seem to be a requisite of such a move, though sources claim the US government is concerned personnel could be tracked through the devices. While this might seem like heightened paranoia, data released from exercise app Strava was detailed enough to give away sensitive information on where military bases are located. The data was released with the best intentions, though military personnel using the app inadvertently mapped out the layout of the bases pretty accurately.
Various US intelligence committees and reports have pointed towards the nefarious intentions of the Chinese puppet master and the apparent helpless actions of the marionettes. Eastburn also stated the Pentagon is considering a military-wide advisory regarding the purchase or use of the devices would be necessary. What is unclear is how this will impact visitors entering the facilities. While ZTE and Huawei do not have the biggest presence in the US, the devices are more popular in Europe and Asia where the US does have bases.
China is yet to offer any meaningful reaction to the protectionist agenda from the US, though it might be prodded into action before too long. These incremental steps are seemingly leading to an all-out ban for both on US shores.