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Defense Industrial Base Remains Focused on Weapons

Posted on Apr 01, 2020 07:52 pm

Although defense contractors have been deemed “essential businesses,” the federal government is generally not asking the companies to shift their missions to producing needed medical equipment within existing contracts or through the Defense Production Act.

Instead, the Pentagon is asking them to continue weapons delivery, which is itself a challenge for many contractors that are struggling to keep their workers and facilities safe, CQ reported.

“A lot of what I’m seeing is industry just struggling just to meet the contractual requirements they have with the government,” Center for Strategic and International Studies analyst Andrew Hunter said.

Some are arguing the Department of Defense could have helped by using the Defense Production Act sooner, when it was clear there was a threat.

“DOD and the rest of the government should have been doing this planning months ago, looking around, identifying shortages, saying where can we ramp up production capabilities, where do we have authorities to expedite things if we need them,” said Mieke Eoyang, who runs Third Way’s national security program. “This was all predictable.”

Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jarrod A. Schad

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Post courtesy of the Association of Defense Communities

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