The U.S. passes an NDAA annually, and has done so consistently for the past 52 years. It’s one of those rare pieces of legislation that always manages to engender bipartisan support at the end, despite misgivings over certain details during the deliberations process.
As has been the case for the past couple of years, certain aspects of it have been exceptionally controversial, and this year’s no exception. While many have complained about budget cuts for America’s servicemen and women, other details are no less important to note, though they haven't been given much attention in the mainstream media:
NDAA 2015 expedites the process for getting oil and gas drilling permits in the U.S., essentially unleashing the potential to turn the entire country into frack-central. Energy prospectors will now have an easier time getting permission for drilling wherever they please, bringing all of the resultant aftereffects with them. The U.S. government has been encouraging this practice lately, in order to achieve what it describes as "energy independence," but it’s been conveniently turning a blind eye to the repercussions.
America’s fracking days might be numbered, however, since the trend of lower global oil prices (and gas prices, too, which are indexed together) may make the entire procedure unprofitable and kick many startup frackers out of the industry.
The bill says that the U.S. must end its dependence on Russian-built rocket engines, specifically the RD-180, by 2019, except to honor existing contracts or for national security reasons. Read another way, the US wants to breathe new life into its stagnant space program by creating the impetus for a more robust domestic space-industrial complex. Whether or not this is feasible within the next few years is dubious, but the intention could possibly lead to more tax dollars going into this endeavor.
The U.S. media seems to be largely silent on the topic of NDAA 2015 extending Obama’s authorization to continue the proxy war in Syria. Congress has approved the president’s request to train and arm the anti-government insurgents fighting against the democratically elected government there, ensuring that the country’s horrors are far from over.
Although not contained within the document itself, previous information has been released indicating that insurgents are to be trained in Turkey and Jordan, in what could be plans for a two-pronged offensive, aided by American airstrikes, sometime in the future.