Thursday, November 5, 2009

Latest Efforts: Assessing Armament Agreements

The majority of my time lately has shifted away from offsets since the report has been submitted. Since that time, I have spent most of my days at the office examining the feasibility of proposed DoD armament agreements. To explain this in greater depth, I think I will begin by explaining what an armament agreement is and how SIES is relevant to these agreement.

Essentially, a DoD component (e.g. Department of the Army, Department of the Air Force, etc.) will submit a proposal for some kind of agreement with a foreign entity-- usually a Minstry of Defense from overseas. The agreement could be for any number of tasks-- all somehow contributing to the advancement of DoD programs. They could simply be the proposal for the exchange of information or for the development new weaponry, aircraft, etc. DoD seeks concurrence from our office in this process. Our job is to assess the potential U.S. industrial base impact of the agreement and any export control implications of the agreement.

It is more difficult to understand this in abstract so I will give you an example. Let's say that the Army was interested in creating an information exchange agreement with the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence regarding the research of a helicopter. We will go on to examine the proposed information exchange. Is the information being exchanged in accordance with the ITAR? Is top-secret, secret information being shared? What costs are associated with it-- are they equitable? All of these are questions (among others) that we pose and analyze based on the proposal.

My first armament agreement was by far the most complicated strictly because of the number of countries participating in the agreement. Normally, there is 1 (maybe 2) proposed foreign partner. In this case, there were 27. Needless to say, there were far more issue areas to be considered, and far more time needed to assess the agreement.

So I will make my assessment, draft the review and send it in for approval/edits. Thus far, I think I have drafted reviews of 10 agreements. And at the pace they keep coming in at... I think I will have a lot more in no time!

No comments:

Post a Comment