Magazine article National Defense

Quadrennial Review: Pentagon Needs Better Grasp of U.S. Industrial Base

Magazine article National Defense

Quadrennial Review: Pentagon Needs Better Grasp of U.S. Industrial Base

Article excerpt

If there is one persistent theme in the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, it is the desire for change. The Pentagon still operates in Cold War-mode, as Defense Secretary Robert Gates often laments. How the department prepares for future wars, how it buys weapons systems and in general the way it does its day-to-day business have not changed much over the past few decades.

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Similar anachronisms apply to the defense industrial base, according to the QDR. As a result, neither the Defense Department nor its contractors are organized to cope with current challenges.

"America's defense industry has consolidated and contracted around 20th-century platforms rather than developing the broad and flexible portfolio of systems that today's security environment demands," the QDR says. "The range of products and services on which our forces depend requires that the Department develop a more sophisticated relationship with the industrial base, one that takes into account the rapid evolution of commercial technology, as well as the unique requirements of the Department. …

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