With the long-awaited Defense Industrial Base report finally released, analysts have begun pouring over the 146-pages-long document.
One of the first issue experts to offer commentary in a national publication was Jeff Green, president of Washington, D.C.-based government relations firm J.A. Green & Company, and member of the ARPN panel of experts.
Writing for Defense News, Green argues that the report – which outlines nearly 300 supply chain vulnerabilities and sounds the alarm on China represents a significant and growing risk to the supply of materials deemed strategic and critical to U.S. national security – provides “a significant step forward for the U.S. military.”
His rationale for this assessment is that the report “goes further than the Department of Defense has traditionally wanted to venture.”
“The report clearly identifies five macro factors that have weakened the defense industrial base, including the ‘Industrial Policies of Competitor Nations.’ Though U.S. manufacturing has declined for a variety of reasons, the report notes that China, in particular, has used illegal means to dominate critical global markets. These means include espionage, evasion of export controls, market access restrictions, subsidies, and dumping, among others.”
“Fortunately, the report goes beyond problem identification to provide a Blueprint for Action. Though many of these are locked away in a classified annex to the report, the White House has provided some clues as to how it wishes to proceed.”
Green offers some commentary on some of the report’s suggested fixes, which, among others, include the creation of a “national industrial policy to support national security efforts,” an area in which he says the “Department of Defense has been deficient for decades.” Other suggestions include the encouraged “use of direct funding to target and support critical sectors of the supply chain,” as well as educational efforts and outreach to global allies.
The bottom line, according to Green, is:
“The Department of Defense and the White House have started an important conversation by doing the research to bring these problems to the foreground, and it will be up to Congress next year to provide the resources and legislation necessary to cure them.”