Procurement: January 7, 2000

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A new Pentagon report entitled "Globalization and Security" says that the US military must change the way it does business or lose its technological dominance. The report noted many developing trends. Many companies that supply the military are now foreign owned. Military computers make increasing use of civilian programming and architecture. The US built the GPS system for its own military; now foreign militaries are using it. Microelectric components are growing too expensive for the military to test on its own. Increasing globalization is making it hard to protect key technologies. The report called for the Pentagon to adopt commercial practices to streamline its purchasing, rationalize its Byzantine export rules system, and to maximize use of commercially available items. The report called for the US government to clarify its position on cross-border defense industry mergers, and notes that "Today's ally can too easily become tomorrow's enemy". --Stephen V Cole

 


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