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Defense Security Cooperation Agency Eyes Streamlined Foreign Military Sales

Navy Vice Adm. William E. Landay III, Photo: navy.mil

The director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency has announced the Defense Department is revamping the way it deals with foreign military sales, including a streamlined approach for high-demand technologies, such as unmanned aerial vehicles.

Foreign military sales have averaged $30 billion in the last three years, said Navy Vice Adm. William E. Landay III, according to an American Forces Press Service report on DSCA’s new approach.

Increasingly, many foreign buyers are willing to pay more for faster delivery, he said.

“This is a different environment,” Landay said. “What we need to do is make sure that the foreign military sales system we are operating is changing with that environment, and preferably, changing ahead of that environment so we can continue to support our customers.”

The new initiatives will stress customers requesting already-developed technologies rather than those still undergoing development to speed up the delivery process, Landay said, as well as a “systematic approach” to processing orders for in-demand technologies.

At the end of the day, a successful foreign military sales program supports the country’s national interests, not just its bottom line, he suggested.

For example, in the wake of the social upheaval in Egypt, the U.S. was able to keep strong ties with the military because of the Egyptian military’s history of U.S.-arms buying.

“Part of that was built on a longstanding foreign military sales relationship and program between the Egyptians and the United States,” Landay said. “While built on foreign military sales, it also established those relationships [and] those partnerships so that when other things came up, we at least had the ability to pick up the phones and talk to each other.”

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