Sequestration, which imposes deep across-the-board reductions to defense spending, is a threat to the industrial base. With future capital declining and uncertain, the Department of Defense (DoD) is struggling to fill its shelves with the goods and services war fighters need today, and facing more difficulty in planning for the future. The DoD, in conjunction with congressional armed services committees, continues to strive to better align available resources to the military’s current and future needs while ensuring access to the best and most innovative products in the world. Yet none of these efforts will succeed without a financially robust and technologically advanced U.S. industrial base.
In the coming years, the DoD will increasingly purchase from what NDIA has coined the “Millennial Industrial Base.” As defense budgets flatten or even decrease, our industrial base will become more global, more commercial and more financially complex, and it will be marked more by its disposability than its continuity of service. This reality is truer today than it was yesterday, and will be truer tomorrow than it is today. The defense industry and the suppliers that comprise it are constantly adapting to the department’s requirements, the conditions of the marketplace, and the rules imposed by a bloated and bureaucratic acquisition system. The DoD now must adapt itself to acquire goods and services from this new and different supplier base if it is to reap the rewards of private and commercial investments.