United States to focus on arms exports; Canadian prime minister pushing for restructuring of the armed forces
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  • According to reports, U.S. Defense Department is looking at designing new weapons and equipment so to attract foreign nations and thereby increase her exports. Senior Pentagon officials are looking at exportability within development programs including one for a radar and another for an electronic warfare system that will serve as pilots for this effort. Underscoring this point, Frank Kendall, Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics said, “We might want to have a slightly different variation of the product that we sell.” This initiative is part of a hefty overhaul of DoD weapon buying guidance — dubbed Better Buying Power 2.0 — which is designed to improve efficiency in arms production. Since, defense spending is slated to decline in the coming years, US has looked to exports of weapons to makeup for the loss in the military budget. “ In the current climate with budgets around the world coming down for defense spending, industry is looking to foreign sales more than ever to help keep their base healthy,” Kendall said. 1
    In another development, according to reports, Canada’s prime minister wants to economize the military spending and has asked for restructuring of the armed forces. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has asked the military’s leaders to change the structure of the military to save money. “The forces must be restructured to ensure administrative burdens are reduced and resources freed up for the front line,” he said at the October 29 ceremony to swear in the new chief of the Defence Staff, Gen. Tom Lawson. The service must transform itself into a modern military, with “more teeth and less tail,” Harper told the senior officers. Apart from several other measures to cut cost, the Canadian Forces will pull its personnel out of the NATO airborne warning and control system program, and it has withdrawn from NATO’s Alliance Ground Surveillance system, which is to acquire a fleet of UAVs. 2