On Thursday, May 28, 2015, the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security welcomed professional staff members, William Greenwalt and Vickie Plunkett, of the Senate and House Armed Services committees, respectively. Steven Grundman, the Atlantic Council’s M.A. and George Lund Fellow, moderated the latest event in the Corporate Strategy Forum, titled Congressional Perspectives on Defense-Industrial Issues.
Levels of American research and development funding, especially in the defense sector, continue to decrease, while global levels steadily increase. China’s research and development spending, for example, is on track to surpass the United States’ in 2022. This adds pressure to create a more effective defense acquisition structure, with higher rapid fielding cycles and better channels of communication between the Defense Department and commercial industries so that the United States does not lose its technological edge. Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) of the House Armed Services Committee set the agenda for defense acquisition reform this congressional term with the introduction of the Senate’s FY2016 Defense Authorization Bill and the House’s National Defense Authorization Act for 2016. This event’s discussion surrounded the implications of both the House and Senate bills on the defense-industrial sector.
The Corporate Strategy Forum convenes chief strategists of transatlantic companies in aerospace, defense, security, and government services for a private roundtable discussion about issues confronting the long-term health of these industries.