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US weapon sales boss talks China, arms exports and his agency’s future

WASHINGTON — After years of working various jobs related to security cooperation, Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper took over the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency in August 2017. It was an appointment that coincided with a major push by the Trump administration to increase weapon sales as an economic driver. Three years later, as he gets ready to retire, Hooper sat down with Defense News for an exclusive exit interview.

This interview was edited for length and clarity.

You came in as DSCA director in 2017, when the Trump administration was making a concerted push to increase arms sales abroad. Has that push been successful?

Certainly I think the answer to that question is: “Yes, absolutely.” When I assumed responsibility at DSCA, we saw a convergence of three authorities that helped to create conditions that would help us to move forward and to elevate security cooperation. The first one was the

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