Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Brigadier General John Adams sounds the alarm.

In an opinion published today in the Orlando Sentinel, Brigadier General John Adams exposes the frightening reality of America’s growing reliance on foreign nations for its military equipment. With thorough analysis, Adams identifies the danger of outsourcing our defense industrial base and the consequences of doing so, which are already manifesting themselves in our growing reliance on nations like China for our very security. General Adams served more than 30 years as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Army, and he clearly has not lost his concern for the safety of soldiers, his devotion to his country, or his courage to fight for the preservation and prosperity of America.

Brigadier General John Adams (Ret.)

Among the many alarming trends identified in the article, there are a few general concepts that are worth highlighting for a brief analysis:

  • Outsourcing America’s Defense Industry Makes Us Vulnerable. The threat of military supply chain disruptions due to natural disasters, traversing disputes in the South China Sea, foreign unrest, regime change, or price manipulation could result in a lack of needed materials like the components that we import for night vision goggles, communications equipment, missile guidance systems and other mission critical assets. And if China (whom we rely upon heavily for defense components) decides to cut shipments, then America’s military will be left non-mission capable. Case in point: China did this to Japan in 2010 in response to a maritime dispute.
  • Overseas Production Reduces Standards in Quality. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines depend on equipment that is reliable and of the highest quality. Foreign supply chains have allowed the infiltration of counterfeit parts into some of our most advanced machinery. An investigation by the Senate Armed Services Committee found upwards of 1 million counterfeit components destined for use in “critical” defense systems.
  • Eroding Our Defense Industrial Base Costs Innovation, Knowledge Base and Jobs. America is losing the knowledge and innovation bases that are vital to staying on the cutting edge of new military technology that puts our warfighters a step ahead of our enemies. A growing reliance on foreign suppliers for military needs is resulting in the closure of U.S. factories, meaning fewer job opportunities for everyday Americans – including veterans, who are more likely to work in manufacturing than non-veterans.

Photo courtesy of the 132d ESC

I would like to thank General Adams for his continued service to his country. His warning will not go unheeded. Learn more about the dangers of an outsourced defense industrial base, and reading his opinion here.