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Outsourcing Security: Defense Manufacturing Goes the Way of the Automobile

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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 12:35 PM
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Outsourcing Security: Defense Manufacturing Goes the Way of the Automobile

http://www.truth-out.org/outsourcing-security-defense-m...


From the microchips that fly F-16s and activate nuclear warheads, all the way down to the lowly (but deadly) bullet, more and more US military weapons are being made overseas by foreigners.
Some experts say that outsourcing defense contracts not only costs Americans jobs and America's connection to the war, but one of the nation's most essential assets, as well: its security.

According to William R. Hawkins, a defense expert on military contracting and former Republican Party staffer, foreigners have been manufacturing critical and sophisticated components of US weaponry for nearly 20 years now.

He says the Pentagon started outsourcing the manufacturing of "high-end" computer chips to Taiwan in the early 1990s - microchips used in US fighter jets and missile defense systems, for instance. Over time, the Taiwanese have "second-sourced" most of these contracts to the Chinese, he says.

-snip-

Indeed, on June 13th on 60 Minutes, Jim Gosler, an expert on cyberwarfare, said the US government has uncovered sabotaged microchips within some of the nation's most powerful weapons. "It's very clear that a foreign intelligence service put them there," he added.

-snip-

To grasp just how much the US defense industry's loyalty to its own nation has eroded, take what Alliance TechSystems (ATS) has done to make a simple bullet.

ATS of Minneapolis is the US military's largest civilian small-arms ammunition maker, and since 2008 has been awarded $200 million in American taxpayer dollars to deliver AK-47 rounds (7.62 x 39mm) to Afghan security forces.

Two-hundred million to make bullets sounds like a stimulus plan for American defense manufacturing. Yet ATK went on to "second-source" the contract to the former Soviet Union. ATK claims they had no choice but to go overseas, and offered only the following statement in explanation:

"There are no large manufacturers of non-standard, non-NATO ammunitions in this country," says ATK spokesperson Amanda Covington. "There are only small manufacturers."

-snip-

"We make a lot of weapons," he says, "It's one of the last few sectors not running a negative trade balance. As of today, it is not a major issue, but look at the global market and how electronics, automobiles and other manufacturing have been outsourced and undermined by foreign competitors." The process has begun with defense.
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the US of A has become an empty shell.
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