Building National Security Partnerships in Collaboration with Industry

Last night, AIA continued its celebration of National Aerospace Week with a reception focused on the need to build national security partnerships in collaboration with industry. We were honored to welcome Ambassador Tina Kaidanow, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, as she shared her perspective on the current global threat environment, the role security cooperation plays in enhancing U.S. foreign policy and the importance of an effective U.S. government-industry partnership.

“At a time when the American public is looking to us to bolster U.S. national security, create economic opportunity, broaden U.S. markets in essential regions overseas, and achieve long-lasting growth, government and industry must work harder than ever before to be both strategic and fully collaborative in their approach to defense sales and arms transfers,” said Kaidanow during the event.

AIA is proud to represent the aerospace and defense industry’s 2.4 million workers who enhance our national security and economic prosperity each and every day they go to work. And with new and unforeseen threats emerging with increasing regularity, those workers must not only equip our U.S. armed services but also those of our allies, through predictable, efficient and transparent defense trade policy and processes.

Moreover, our more dangerous world includes technologically sophisticated adversaries that are flexing their global influence. To combat this trend, AIA believes that Security Cooperation Enterprise Reform (SCER) efforts to reform and streamline the security cooperation enterprise are critical to ensuring sufficient resources, training and interagency coordination with U.S. industry. Our exceptionally innovative sector needs our government to work in partnership to ensure continued American military and economic leadership in the global arena.

The benefits are numerous.  Sustainment of the U.S. leadership position in the global defense market leads to an increase in high-skilled and high-paying American jobs, funding of technology innovation at home, and while lowering of U.S. military acquisition costs.

In closing, Ambassador Kaidanow highlighted the opportunities ahead as we collectively work to enhance the security cooperation enterprise saying, “We have more ideas to build on our successes. Where there are bureaucratic efficiencies, we will gain them; where there are paperwork stovepipes, we will reduce them; and where there is unnecessary red tape, we will cut it.”

We are encouraged by the collaborative dialogue among industry and the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce. American jobs will thrive as policy-makers push not only to “Buy American,” but to “Sell American.” With U.S. leadership, we can ensure our partners and allies participate fully in support of our mutual security. But to do so, they need high-quality American technology, both now and well into the future.

(The Full Text of Ambassador Kaidanow’s remarks is available here.)