Friday, November 13, 2015

Fix Foreign Military Sales Program or Allies Will buy Chinese Weapons Instead

The head of Air Force acquisition, just back from the Dubai Air Show, said the United States must act fast to make it easier and quicker for allies to buy US weapons through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system.

If we don’t, Bill LaPLante said at an event put by on the Lexington Institute, a Washington thinktank, then we have to accept that our allies will buy Chinese weapons, even if they are copies of US gear and don’t work nearly as well as US weapons.

“US stuff is in incredibly high demand. Overseas people are desperate, they are desperate for our stuff,” Bill LaPLante told an event put on the Lexington Institute, a Washington thinktank. “We need to do something about it. It’s urgent.”

LaPlante made his case bluntly and with force: “Guess who’s over there selling stuff? I don’t know. China???” Their reconnaissance drone looked just like the Reaper. Their new fighter looks just like the F-35. Are they are as good, he asked rhetorically? Probably not. But LaPlante pointed to the intricate US system of approving Foreign Military Sales. It requires inputs and reviews by the State, Defense and Commerce departments. It requires congressional notification and review. It takes time, often years.

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