The Foreign Assistant Act authorizes the President to transfer excess defense articles on a grant basis to countries which the State Department defines as eligible. The list of eligible countries must be included in the State Department’s annual Congressional Presentation for Foreign Operations. Although many transfers of surplus U.S. equipment are given away (“granted”) at no cost, there are also cases where supplies are sold to the recipient country. www.nipo.navy.mil/ABOUT/security-assistance/Foreign-Military-Sales/excess-defense-articles/
At the moment the US DoD is going through sequestration and apparently if the Senate and House of Representatives do not reach a funding agreement by 30 September 2013 come the start of the US 2013/14 financial year on 1st October 2013 sequestration part 2 automatically activates with more cuts to the Defence budget kicking in. That means that the possiblity for surplus US military equipment becoming available increases. If this is the case then there may be an opportunity for NZ.
NZ has funding issues when it comes to defence and the US has stated that NZ is important in the South Pacific and Asian security regime. Therefore one could argue that it would be in the USs interest to give NZ a helping hand in capabilities that NZ lacks and where NZ acquiring and mastering these capabilities would be in the USs long term interest. I think that this could be achieved via the excess defense articles programme and even if NZ has to pay for upgrading the equipment it still would be a win win for both countries.
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” ― George Orwell
Post by ngatimozart on Sept 6, 2013 18:48:47 GMT 12
That is the problem. The RNZN did have retention issues recently especially in the technical trades which does have a dramatic impact upon getting ships to sea. They say that they have now got the issue under control. I think the RNZAF would have similar issues with technical trades and aircrew especially pilots. Lets be honest the pay in civvy street is far better, plus you don't have to stand extra duties. Having said that there are sides to service life which are highly attractive and unique but unfortuantely don't always pay the mortgage and for the kids. If we look at USN ships they'd most likely be rust buckets. Just ask the RAN. Then you'd have integration issues because different systems to RNZN. It'd be different for RNZAF and NZ Army in the gear they use. However it all comes down to politics and funding. The both are inextricably intertwined. We'd need extra funding for ongoing life cycle costs of any equipment obtained & that would be the hard bit. Also it depends on whether the US would be willing to do so.
Interestingly enough talking about funding, the Cabinet has directed officials to undertake a study into long term defence funding in order to inform the 2015 DWP. This speech was made on20/3/2013. This is an excerpt from towards the end.
We are at a mid-point between the last White Paper and the next White Paper due to take place in 2015.
So now is an appropriate time to assess how we’re travelling and to have officials start some groundwork for what ultimately will be a future White Paper.
The officials have been tasked to start a piece of work called the DMRR, or Defence Mid-point Rebalancing Review, which undertakes analysis about long term Defence funding and capability.
This is set in the context that New Zealand’s spending on defence as a percentage of GDP has been steadily declining since the 1990’s when it was at 2 per cent of GDP to where it currently is hovering at about 1 per cent of GDP.
What understandably worries Defence planners is the current forecast for the defence budget for the next decade is a horizontal flat line. They are required to assume a fixed defence appropriation.
And that presents some obvious challenges.
On a fixed appropriation, the defence budget would eventually go into an operating deficit .
In reality I don’t think a flat line defence budget for the next ten years is a realistic option.
Whilst the savings and reforms have been excellent, you also need to guard against a rubicon moment where the money becomes so tight our defence strategy and capability are compromised.
So it is sensible for the DMRR process to be undertaken.
Cabinet has directed officials to analyse different levels of funding tracks for the future, and assess what level of military capability and equipment you get with each funding track.
It’s important to get the balance right.
I am at pains to say the DMRR is analytical work.
We will consider the results with an open mind. It is groundwork so that we’re well prepared for the next Defence White Paper anticipated in 2015.
The DMRR is likely to be reported back to the government later this year.
The over-riding objective is to ensure we have a capable, sustainable, deployable, and affordable defence force.