US Air Force Secretary Directs Initiative to Speed Up Foreign Military Sales | World Defense

US Air Force Secretary Directs Initiative to Speed Up Foreign Military Sales

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US Air Force Secretary Directs Initiative to Speed Up Foreign Military Sales

By Lara Seligman6:27 p.m. EST December 2, 2015




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WASHINGTON — In response to complaints from partner nations about the challenges of buying US military equipment, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James has directed an effort within the service to speed up the clunky foreign military sales process.

During a trip last month to the Middle East, James noticed a trend: partner nations desperately want Pentagon products, but are repeatedly deterred by the arduous approval process for sales of US military equipment.

“The bottom line, having talked to all these individuals, is I believe the United States is the partner of choice for all of them,” James said Dec. 2 at an event at the National Press Club. “But I also heard repeatedly about the challenges they feel they face in working with us to get that total package” of US equipment as well as training and maintenance services.

Allies and industry have complained for years that the FMS process impedes sales. The system has always been incredibly complex, requiring approval from the Defense and State departments, and Congress, before a weapon sale can be cleared.

But the issue has taken on new urgency in the Middle East as Gulf nations become embroiled in new conflicts, particularly the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, and operations in Yemen. Industry and government officials alike told Defense News last month that Gulf partners are now threatening to look elsewhere for key military technologies.

In response, James said she has directed her staff to examine ways within the Air Force to speed up the FMS process – in particular in the area of munitions sales.


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As part of that effort, Heidi Grant, the Air Force’s deputy undersecretary for international affairs, is working on developing a strategy that will identify capabilities the US would like to see allies acquire to enable the service to better forecast and prepare for future sales, James said.

The Air Force is also working to set pre-approved technology transfer baselines for major systems, which could cut the process down by weeks or even months, James noted.

“I came back recognizing that I honestly don’t have the power to fix or speed it up in all those different arenas, but I was going to try to do my best to fix it where I could,” James said. “To that end, I’ve directed my staff to examine how the Air Force can speed up our part of the process and work with other stakeholders to make sure that US security cooperation efforts are responsive to evolving needs.”


US Air Force Secretary Directs Initiative to Speed Up Foreign Military Sales
 

explorerx7

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War is big business. Many developed countries try to simulate aggression as much as they can to promote the possibility of conflict, in order to advance the sales of weapons. These weapons are not cheap, therefore, lots of profit is to be gained from the trade.
Many developing countries have included a considerable amount of armament acquisition in their budgets, to strengthen their defence against any perceived possible threat.
So, for the manufacturers and distributors, it's important that their processes of presentation, sale and distribution is highly customer friendly to be able to be ahead of the competitor. However, at the same time, the procedures should not be too relaxed as to allow the weapons being acquired by undesirables
 

vegito12

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I think the trade will take time and also it will be interesting to see what happens later on as the process can be long and also there are many details that are needed to be understood and also hope that the communication gap is clear, so both sides understand what is required and will be interesting to see what happens later on in the coming months. The prices should be affordable and also, the product should be worth the money and it should be detailed so the other party understands what they are paying for and agrees to the cost and product which is something to think about during the negotiation process which is important. I hope that the US force does the process in the next few months which will mean both sides will benefit from the process and also there will be something to gain and wonder what the results show if this works out for the best in the process.
 

Corzhens

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I agree with @explorerx7 that war is big business. That's why sometimes I think the war in Syria is deliberately being propagated by the warring nations particularly the US and Russia since if the ISIS will be annihilated now then there will be now more business tomorrow. It's obvious that so many nations desire the equipment and weaponry of the US military and I guess they can get more from it if they would hold an auction for the sales of such.
 

djdefense

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Well they should speed up sales. I think the way that the French handle sales is great. You send out at least 10% of the products immediately so that countries can use them, train their pilots with the planes, etc. And then you basically take your time producing the other 90%.
 

xTinx

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Touche @explorerx7! You pretty much summed up what I want to say. Well at least in the context of American society, it's pretty much their bread and butter. America has been known to wage proxy wars so they can test their new inventions and then sell them to interested parties. Without those wars, no one would have reason to buy guns, ammunition and all manner of weaponry.
 
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