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U.S. lawmakers push for Pentagon reforms
by Ryan Maass
Washington (UPI) Apr 6, 2017

Lawmakers with the U.S. House Armed Services Committee heard from former Pentagon workers earlier in the week pushing for several key defense reforms.

On Tuesday, Representatives held a hearing featuring testimonies from three former defense officials with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who argued the U.S. Department of Defense should be doing more to manage its growing civilian work force and to expedite military acquisition.

In his opening remarks, committee chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) acknowledged progress in reforms under the previous administration, but echoed the concerns in the testimonies.

"While a lot has been done, a lot more needs to be done," he said. "The world around us is simply moving too fast for us to sit still and assume that the organizations and processes of the past will suffice for today and especially tomorrow."

In his testimony, Dr. Dov Zakheim said the Pentagon has likely benefitted from a growing civilian workforce, but should be wary of faltering capabilities as a result.

"It is arguable that the civilian workforce is insufficiently well-trained to deal with the acceleration of changes in technology," he said.

On acquisition, Zakheim suggested the Pentagon's procurement process faces unnecessary bureaucratic restrictions.

"The DOD procurement system is complicated, stove-piped and over-regulated," he added.

Republican leadership in the House Armed Services Committee indicated a desire to take legislative action in response to the concerns raised by Zakheim and his colleagues.

"We cannot do everything in a single bill or even in three years. But we must be willing to move aggressively to make the reforms needed in this volatile, dangerous world," Thornberry said.

Brazil boosting defense industry exports
Washington (UPI) Apr 6, 2017
Brazil plans to offer incentives - including lines of credit --- to countries buying Brazilian defense products, Defense Minister Raul Jungmann announced. The lines of credit to buyers would be offered by the Brazilian Development Bank. Insurance instruments for Brazilian manufacturers and a dedicated defense industry group within the Foreign Trade Chamber are also being eyed by ... read more

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