Rapid Fire May 24, 2012: US DoD Foreign Transactions
The US DoD published two FY11 reports on purchases from foreign entities and to foreign countries [PDFs]. DoD procurement actions from foreign entities amounted to $24B or 6.4% of the total. 67% of that comes from fuel, services, construction, or food. 18% or about $4.3B were spent on imported equipment.
Meanwhile US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of $2M+ amounted to a total of $14.2B: $10.5B through the Army, $2.6B via the Air Force, $1B handled by the Navy and $102M via the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). One may conclude that the US exported $10B more in military equipment than it imported, but that would be a hasty conclusion. Substantial FMS transactions to countries like Afghanistan, Egypt or Israel are subsidized with American military aid funds.
Government Contract Costs, Pricing & Accounting Report has a scathing article [PDF] on the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA)…
RAND’s Arroyo Center surveyed the US Army’s supplier relationship management, after having published a similar report for the Air Force earlier this year. Their conclusions have a familiar sound: there should be more systematic, better information sharing, and links between acquisition and sustainment contracting.
US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry [D-MA] said during a hearing yesterday that he does not “currently intend to bring the [Law of the Sea] treaty to a vote before the November [presidential] election.” The Obama administration has been trying to drum up support for the US to join this UN treaty with a barrage of positive statements from senior civilian and military staff. But the issue has been moving at the pace of a glacier: 3 years ago Kerry was already trying to find how he could get this treaty ratified, and that was not the first aborted attempt to do so. Next step: lame-duck vote?