No. 9. Advancing Defense Exportability


Most defense community members in government, think tanks, universities, and industry are unfamiliar with the importance of defense exportability (DE) in achieving U.S. national security and defense goals. Broadly defined, DE reflects the level of defense capability and technology a country is willing to cooperatively develop, sell, or transfer to other nations. From a U.S. Government (USG) and Department of Defense (DoD) perspective, DE comprises the various levels of capability and technology in U.S. defense systems and equipment that we have decided to authorize for export to other nations. The breadth and depth of DE’s impact on U.S. political–military, economic, and industrial collaboration with its allies and friends around globe is undeniable. However, establishing specific DE levels in our current and future systems has been, and continues to be, a byzantine process. This white paper explores USG and DoD efforts to achieve DE over the years, highlights current problems that deserve urgent attention, and suggests alternatives to improve performance. 

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