Since World War II, U.S. military superiority has been based on our technological advantage, and technology will be even more important in the unpredictable security environment we now face. However, many of the new technologies most critical to defense are emerging in the commercial sector, and defense access to these technologies is limited. Moreover, because Cold War defense budgets are no longer sustainable, we must be concerned with the affordability, as well as the performance, of our weapon systems.
The Defense Department's dual-use technology strategy is a response to these new realities. Building on the foundation of federal acquisition reform, this strategy is designed to eliminate the barriers created over the years between the commercial and defense industries. The goal is to leverage the advanced technologies and efficient production capabilities of commercial industry wherever possible to keep our military the strongest in the world.
Actions by the congressional majority threaten key dual-use programs:
These actions cannot be justified as an austerity measure. House Republicans have added almost $8 billion to the President's request for the 1996 defense budget, including a large increase for ballistic missile defense. Many of the Republican increases do more to serve narrow special interests than they do to provide for a strong national defense.
Sadly, the TRP and HPCC have become victims of partisan politics. But they have been and remain critical programs to the DoD, helping to provide our military with affordable, leading-edge technology for the twenty-first century.