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Wed, Jun 21, 2017

No, Senator, it’s not 90 percent.

Senator John McCain of Arizona was rather tough on the administration’s nominee to be deputy defense secretary. The senator is simply incorrect about the concentration of supplier power in defense in the United States. The Pentagon’s five biggest supply accounts were awarded 27.8 percent of the gross value of its new contracts in 2014. None of these figures approach 90 percent.

Defense Industrialist by James Hasik

Defense Industry Security & Defense

Thu, Jun 15, 2017

Is imported aluminum a threat to American national security?

Indeed, price is the point. Whether by Chinese mercantilism or Canadian hydropower, the price of raw aluminum in the US has dropped about 20 percent in the past four years, benefiting American producers of automobiles, aircraft, and those trendy-again beer cans. So how is that not good?

Defense Industrialist by James Hasik

Defense Industry Economy & Business

Wed, Jun 7, 2017

What’s the real effect of America First on the arms trade?

Volvo’s sale of Renault Trucks Defense won’t be a test of anything. The report in Defense News this week on how “Three bidders emerge in battle to buy Renault Trucks Defense” contains a prediction of just who won’t win that auction. For some time, Volvo has been aiming to sell RTD, and bids are now in from […]

Defense Industrialist by James Hasik

Defense Industry Economy & Business

Sat, May 27, 2017

Exports and end-use

We can ask the US Army to arm, advise, and assist its allies in the Iraqi Army, or we can ask the Army to consolidate its spreadsheets. For Iraqis, this fight is existential, and I’d rather they simply crushed ISIS. Wars may be audits themselves, but wars this hot may be no time for audits.

Defense Industrialist by James Hasik

Arms Control Defense Industry

Fri, May 19, 2017

Too secret a secret weapon?

The secrecy around the USAF’s B-21 brings military value, but some ill-understood costs. The Defense Department’s Inspector General (DoD IG) has opened an investigation, at the behest of the Congress into whether the Air Force has imposed excessive secrecy. At this point, we should hope for a methodologically broad inquiry. For if the DoD IG focuses just on whether regulations were broken, then the government will not get the answers it needs.

Defense Industrialist by James Hasik

Defense Industry Security & Defense

Wed, May 10, 2017

Is imported steel a threat to American national security?

It hasn’t been, it isn’t now, and it probably won’t be in the future. Last month, President Donald Trump promulgated a memorandum on “Steel Imports and Threats to National Security,” directing Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to consider whether “steel is being imported into the United States in such quantities or under such circumstances as to […]

Defense Industrialist by James Hasik

Defense Industry Economy & Business

Fri, May 5, 2017

Must go faster

The Army, Navy, and Air Force Departments all seem to be talking up new ideas for fast-moving weapons. So does the Pentagon need to be putting more money there? Does any other defense ministry? Perhaps, but sometimes necessity is truncated by feasibility. For with hypersonics, the tactical advantages are great, but so are the technical challenges.

Defense Industrialist by James Hasik

Defense Industry Defense Technologies

Fri, Apr 28, 2017

Evolution and the occasional über-gizmo

Thoughts on corporate strategies in the military aircraft industry  Last week, I provided a guest lecture at the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, that graduate college of the National Defense University formerly known as the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. The school was founded in 1924 as the Army Industrial College, on a […]

Defense Industrialist by James Hasik

Defense Industry Defense Technologies

Fri, Apr 21, 2017

An excess of buying and hiring American

There are, of course, very valid strategic reasons for the United States to retain some degree of autarky in its armaments production. But if the engineers, logisticians, marketers, and financiers are coming to the United States, to work in the United States on long-term visas, building armaments for the American military, aren’t they then Americans?

Defense Industrialist by James Hasik

Defense Industry Economy & Business

Mon, Apr 10, 2017

R&E + A&S > AT&L

Separating technology from procurement in the Pentagon may provide important organizational incentives for innovation. It’s old news by now, but in February 2018, the Pentagon’s under secretariat for acquisition, technology, and logistics (AT&L) will be split into two separate under secretariats, one for research and engineering (R&E, rather a chief of technological innovation) and another for acquisition and sustainment […]

Defense Industrialist by James Hasik

Defense Policy Security & Defense