May 22nd, 2012
06:25 AM ET

Probe finds 'flood' of fake military parts from China in U.S. equipment

By Larry Shaughnessy

The results of a more-than-year-long Senate investigation into counterfeit parts being used in U.S. military equipment were released Monday and - as they had from the start - investigators are putting most of the blame on China.

"Our report outlines how this flood of counterfeit parts, overwhelmingly from China, threatens national security, the safety of our troops and American jobs," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which launched the investigation.

The probe began in March of 2011. But it was not easy for the committee staffers to conduct because the Chinese government refused to grant visas to committee staff to travel to mainland China as part of the investigation.

Last year, as the committee was still pushing for the visas, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, the committee's rankling Republican, said, "It should be in Chinese interest not to have counterfeiting of these electronic parts going on because it would harm legitimate Chinese companies as well."

The committee reviewed in detail approximately 1,800 cases of suspect counterfeit parts. All told, the 1,800 cases involved more than 1 million counterfeit parts.

The investigators dug through the supply chain for three types of suspected counterfeit parts on U.S. military aircraft:

  • The SH-60B is a Navy helicopter that hunts for enemy submarines and assists with surface warfare. The investigation found that a part that compromised the copter's night-vision system contained counterfeit parts that investigators traced back to China.
  • The probe found counterfeit parts in the systems that tell pilots of the C-130 and C-27 cargo planes about the aircraft's performances. The part could have caused those systems to go blank. Again the part in question was traced back to China.
  • The P8-A is a Navy version of the Boeing 737 used for anti-submarine warfare and other duties. The Navy is testing the aircraft now and intends to buy more than 100 of them. But the test planes contained a reworked part that never should have been on the airplane. The part was used but made to look new. The part, investigators found, originally came from China.

But the committee didn't reserve all its blame for China; some of it was directed right at the Pentagon itself.

The report said in each of the three cases that the committee investigated in depth, the Department of Defense was unaware that counterfeit electronic parts had been installed on certain defense systems until the committee's investigation.

Even though the report just came out, the committee has already taken action to deal with the problem. Levin and McCain offered an amendment to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act to address weaknesses in the defense supply chain and to promote the adoption of aggressive counterfeit avoidance practices by DOD and the defense industry.

The amendment was adopted in the final bill signed by President Barack Obama on December 31, 2011.

Part of that law will mean that when a contractor finds bad parts on a weapons system, the contractor or the parts supplier will pay to fix the problem. In the past, those costs were often borne by the DOD.

Pentagon spokeswoman Col. Melinda Morgan gave CNN this response to the report: "We are aware (the Senate Armed Services Committee) has issued their report on counterfeit parts and look forward to reviewing it. The Department takes very seriously the issue about counterfeit parts. We are working aggressively to address this issue to include implementing section 8.18 of the FY12 NDAA."

Levin and McCain hope this aggressive push against fake electronic parts will help beyond the American military.

According to the committee, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) says, "counterfeits cost U.S. semiconductor companies more than $7.5 billion annually in lost revenue, a figure SIA says results in the loss of nearly 11,000 American jobs."

CNN reached out to the Chinese embassy in Washington for reaction but did not immediately receive a response.

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Filed under: Congress • Military
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Jen

    A big part of the problem is that there are loopholes that allow these parts to enter the supply chain. I knew about an investigation with NVG and counterfeit parts where the supply managers were not properly trained on managing paperwork and accountability. A authorized repair depot was soliciting business with a flyer advising troops "send to us for repair/reset because we do not require paperwork". People who put in the requisition for parts were dealing with an approver who had a grudge against those who kept ordering. He approved purchases only for his cohorts and denied everyone else in the US/THEM battle that has gone on since the beginning of time. The denials opened the path for fraud and the no paperwork enticement further promulgated it. The authorized manufacturers stopped production all together of the parts because the orders stopped coming. The American people had to bear the cost of re-launching the product line and expediting it, as well as the personal gain by the people who were selling the parts to the units as "new" when they were refurbished and counterfeit – absolutely and 100% not MILSPEC. You can't blame just any one agency or any one organization. It is a lack of communication, a lack of training the new property holders who typically rotate every 6 – 24 months.

    December 26, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Reply
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  6. Darkman

    Old news! I work for DOD procurement support. DOD lets DLA (Defense Logistics Agency) buy crap hand over fist and say they are the procurement agency of choice. No inspection no verification just buy it put it in the depot. We have more parts that were made in china than Wal-Mart!

    May 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  7. Johnna

    I'll say it a thousand times over, you just can't trust those gooks in China !!!!!

    May 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Reply
    • Sodomite

      I'll bet they say the same thing about us round-eye devils.

      May 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  8. WakeUP

    The only way to fix this problem is to address the root-cause, which is greed. Greed is very hard to tackle because it has become a huge global problem. However, I have a simple solution to fix this problem. STOP SENDING F'ING E-WASTE TO THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES. These countries do not have a magic E-waste box that they put this stuff in and make it magically disappear. WTF did they, the brilliant people who thought sending our e-waste to China was a good idea, think the Chinese were going to do with it? Pushing the problem back soley on manufactures does not fix or address the problem. The government is largely to blame for letting deals like this happen and for allowing the amount of outsourcing/exploitation by US companies.

    May 23, 2012 at 11:50 am | Reply
  9. jmburger

    I think there is a lot of misconception in the comments. First, the Chinese are not "manufacturing" these counterfeit chips. Rather they are harvesting the chips from the three million tons of eWaste we send them every year. The harvesting techniques (as detailed in the report) – even if it is the right chip, and often it isn't – result in undependable chips. (See http://www.businessweek.com/go/tv/counterfeit for a video tour of the Chinese reprocessing). Second, the majority of semiconductors are manufactured in this country. Nevertheless, we need Congress to do more to keep hi-tech industry in the US, e.g., permanent R&D tax credits, more visas for the foreign students we educate here and then throw them out so they can go back to their countries and compete with us, etc.

    May 23, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply
  10. jayman419

    Six hundred and some odd billion dollars a year spent on defense, and we can't afford to build the stuff here? No wonder China's been able to go from 0-60 on their anti-ship missiles, 5g fighter, and other hardware. We handed them the blueprints and said 'build this please, oh yeah, we're probably gonna use it to kill you when this whole Taiwan situation pops off, so build it real good, too".

    May 23, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
  11. palintwit

    I am Palin. Therefore, I am filth.

    May 23, 2012 at 9:39 am | Reply
  12. Chut Pata

    Why does the defence committee have to go to China to investigate? The crooks who put cheap Chinese parts instead of genuine American parts are right here in the USA i.e. the defence contractor. In all countries it is the department of defence that makes defence equipment, but in USA corporate world is the god and it has to be outsourced so that big corporations can make huge profits by endangering US security.

    May 23, 2012 at 7:32 am | Reply
    • FatyMcButterpants

      D..E..F..E..N..S..E!

      May 23, 2012 at 9:16 am | Reply
  13. MARK JESSUP

    check the f-22 :) chinese parts :( supposed to be american parts :) but are not :( thats why it doesnt work :( american defense companies are supposed to be making these parts not buying them from china its in the contract..all of them should be pulled in front on congress and then fined billions of dollars

    May 23, 2012 at 1:09 am | Reply
  14. gggg

    Never quite understood how US high tech companies could export work to China. You'd think they'd have learned by now that sending the work to China is basically an open invitation for their intellectual property to be stolen and put in cheap copies. But, most of these companies apparently just don't understand that short term gain comes at the expense of larger long term gain. But, of course, they can only care about the what the shareholders want tomorrow. They always seem to forget that if a company did what is best to maintain their products, the stock price, over the longer term, would take care of itself.

    May 22, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Reply
    • Rj

      Great comment, I'd like to have a beer with you. lol

      May 23, 2012 at 12:17 am | Reply
    • Chut Pata

      True. The corporate executives want a dollar today at the cost of bankruptcy tomorrow. They do so because their bonuses are many times more than their salaries, and they get their fat bonuses only if the profits exceed targets. They are hugely cutting down RnD costs to bloat the profits. That is the reason American companies have started falling behind.

      May 23, 2012 at 7:37 am | Reply
  15. Sodomite

    This cracks me up. Fucking hilarious.

    May 22, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Reply
  16. NN

    "If it's out there, we'll find it." Seems to be a common sales pitch with the suppliers of hard-to-find parts. http://www.oemtechnology.com/componentbrokers/index93.html . The euphemism for parts salvaged from junked equipment could well be excess inventory. These brokers may claim ISO9000 certification, but I wonder what requirement that places on verifying the pedigree of the parts they sell. If corporate management has no policy in place and people are under pressure to meet deadlines then I can see how wishful thinking can overrule good sense. Then there is the issue of the procurement people not being fully aware of the engineering ramifications of using marginal parts as well as design engineering not being fully aware of the pitfalls of bad source selection.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  17. AnnieO

    Why are contractors allowed to have these vital components be manufactured in China? What's wrong with having them made in the U.S.? All military items should be made in this country.

    May 22, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Very simple answer, profit and greed! Did JP Morgan Chase behave honorably, did Moran Stanley follow the rules when they warned their favored clients that the Facebook IPO would flop? No, Chase had their eye on the big prize if their risky bets went right. Morgan Stanley had billions in stock to sell to suckers so they could make their juicy profits! Can we blame defense contractors for taking the same bets? If all goes well, bigger profits! If not, just dial up the taxpayers to pay the bill!
      Remember, we absolutely must deregulate to improve our economy! Ha, ha, ha!

      May 22, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Reply
      • Joe

        Excellent post and spot on.

        May 22, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • smitvict

      That was tried and failed. In our global economy, we don't make everything necessary to meet the hardware needs of the DOD. To pass such a bill leads to the inability of the DOD to meet mission due to the lack of materials and parts.

      May 22, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Reply
      • Chut Pata

        If we don't make everything we need, then we SHOULD make everything we need. This is defence we are talking about.

        May 23, 2012 at 7:40 am |
  18. pondliner

    I wonder if some of those fake part found their way into that Russian airliner that crashed a few weeks ago?

    May 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  19. cas

    No problem, they are only set to self-distract when their homing signal approaches Chinese territory, and the chips will amazingly transmit your data, hands free.

    May 22, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  20. slinky

    The Chinese make all of our cell phones, smart phones, and much of our computers. Our government and the Pentagon say they are out enemies, will spend trillions overtime to support a vast navy against them. A few Chinese engineers could never add some extra circuits to the cell phones, smart phones, and pc's? Like listen to anyone, locate anyone, turn off your equipment at any strategic time? Imagine the entire phone system going down because they make it? And they could deny that they did it.

    May 22, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  21. Yoshinobu Tokugawa

    You trust Chinese, you pay the fees. Chinese man and wife tell the press they will have white baby. Nine months later, sure enough, white baby is born. Press ask how. Chinese man say: Wooly, wooly me no foolie, sprinkle javex on my tooly, if you wonder where the yellow went, we wash away with pepsodent.

    May 22, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Reply
    • Chinese

      Just wonderting, does your father or mother was raped by a chinese, and accidently, you was born?
      If you don't like chinese or chinese products, don't buy it AT ALL. if you don't like your iphone, throw it away.
      Look at your home, which part is not made in china. who told you made in US is good. nobody eat america beef, outside of the US. cause only us eat mad cow. nobody eat genetic food outside of the US. Only you country, only, has some many super fat stupid guys like you site at home, and complain the world.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Reply
  22. sheikyerboutie

    I don't understand. Whenever my company made parts for the military, we had to use raw materials from the US and make the parts in the US. A government official would then check all the paper work, inspection reports, and made sure we had all our X's and T's crossed

    May 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • juanmoretime

      I worked for defense companies as a circuit board designer and every component had to be Mil-Spec complied to. Vendors had to be qualified in Mil-Specs. If non spec parts were used, these had to be documented and approved by DOD procurement. Obviously some contractors have bought cheap components and billed the gov't for more expensive ones. Very unamerican I say.

      May 22, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
      • ed

        Well, just because it's MIL Spec that doesn't mean its made in the US. Tons of electronic parts are simply not made in the US. There's no choice unfortunetly. Piece parts especially like some chips, capacitors, etc...

        May 22, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Frank

      What happened, though, when your company got bought by a foreign company?
      DOD contractor Raytheon is actually a JAPANESE company. There's a "Military Systems Division" that's specifically US- only. Yeah sure. Preserve the myth at any cost.
      Heck, IBM PC division is a Chnese company!

      May 22, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Reply
      • juanmoretime

        Sorry, Raytheon has NEVER been a Japanese company and IBM sold it's PC business to Lenovo of china. If you have FACTS, put them here, otherwise its just dribble.

        May 22, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • StanCalif

      Your company was just too stupid to avoid buying from the Chinese and making a much bigger profit! Paperwork means nothing, anyone can create documents instantly! As long as the paperwork looks real, who cares?
      Follow the GOP and deregulate so more of this can happen!

      May 22, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  23. Glue Stick

    WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE !!!!!!

    May 22, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Reply
    • DoD

      perhaps just you.

      May 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  24. palintwit

    The little yellow skinned weenies are not our friends.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  25. Marc

    You'd think we'd be able to rely solely on American sources from raw materials to parts manufacture for equipment used to defend our country, especially if it's new or experimental. You don't think the Chinese wouldn't have an idea what we're developing by looking at the list of parts our government keeps getting?!? What if we go to war or relations are strained? We just go without the materials and weapons our country needs to keep itself safe? This is a prime example of needing manufacturing and production jobs back in America and not overseas.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  26. Keith

    Disgusting.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
    • Lorinov

      I totally agree. FAILURE!! That’s what the Americas Summit turned out to be as it ended today. ABSOLUTE FAILURE! And for the USA and Obama it was a complete embarrassment! His secret service agents got caught with a CHEAP $47 WHORE along with military personnel and Sec of State danced the night away at the Havana Club drinking and getting STUPID! Oh yes this is the new and improved Nazi AmeriKa! A total DISGRACE to the entire planet! Dignity? Our leaders have NO DIGNITY today because they come from the crap bottom of the can!! Is it just me or does it seem like our leaders do anything they can to darken the reputation of our country and people? How the hell can ANYONE on this planet respect the US and the American people now? And you’re still wondering why the world hates us???

      Barack Obama is a total FOOL! The biggest thing he had to say is that part of his “job” at the summit was to check out his and Michelle’s next vacation spot! Excuse me but is that ignorant or is that IGNORANT! I am ashamed and disgusted by the behavior of US leaders and their side kicks at this summit! And guess the hell what? NOTHING WAS RESOLVED OR AGREED ON. Surprised? You shouldn’t be because all that the Latin American leadres wanted to talk about was the SEX SCANDAL involving Obama’s SS laying with CHEAP $47 WHORES!! This is outrageous! NO this is BEYOND outrageous! It shows what our nation has sunk to. THE CESSPOOL!!

      May 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Reply
      • AaaaCccc

        Sorry this all started with Clinton and continued with Bush 2. We compromised security long before Obama. His policy of transparency enforced by the average Internet user has brought to light problems rampant for years. no matter who s President next, if we don't pressure them to keep open adminstrations, this will continue.

        May 22, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
      • Thomas

        Sorry aaacccc I don't remember Bush's secret service guards sleeping with hookers while on the job, and while Clinton was a filanderer, he was better at doing business abroad than Obama.

        May 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
      • StanCalif

        So, you trust Romney, the business man? What business shenanigans have we just learned about in the past few days? Chase (using their off shore office) placed casino style bets and lost! Morgan Stanley failed to notify anyone, except their favored clients, that the Facebook IPO would blow up! What we need is MORE deregulation so that the 1% can make even more money! Screw everyone else!

        May 22, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
  27. Paul

    Let me get this straight. We borrow money from the Chinese, which we then give back to them for fake military parts? If a business sold you a fake fire extinguisher which didn't work and your house burned down, wouldn't you sue them? This seems like a way to at least lessen out trade deficit with them if we just sue them over their unethical and illegal business practices. Fake military parts have to be putting our soldiers sailors and airmen in danger.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Reply
    • DoD

      The parts sneak into out supply chain just like fake prescription drugs do. You don't have a clue Steve as to how that supply chain works. As I read further, I say you're a damned liar too.

      May 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
      • RandyMarshCT

        The parts don't "sneak" into our supply chain. Someone makes a conscious effort to use them because they are cheaper. Why doesn't the DoD incoming inspection detect this? I KNOW for a FACT the these parts can be identified with the EXACT thorough inspection procedures the government has in place. This is not a mistake. Somebody is intentionally flowing these parts into the supply chain and they are making it right through the inspection process.

        May 23, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • StanCalif

      Sue a Chinese businessman? Are you kidding!
      If this were so simple, we should sue Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan! Where are all our wonderful lawyers?

      May 22, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Reply
  28. Fed Up

    More government pork – pure and simple. We make it so easy for phantom companies to submit huge invoices that are paid. My tax dollars at work? Nope. More is wasted from the administration level to solve a problem that should have never existed.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  29. svann

    I dont blame China for making counterfeit parts. I blame the corporation for buying their supplies from China.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
    • John

      Haha!! So, I don't blame the drug dealers, I blame the people that buy drugs.... :-)

      May 22, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
      • Peter

        It is like the chicken or the egg come first question. We should blame both. Neither one is innocent

        May 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  30. DaleW in MA

    US DOD firms should NEVER be importing parts, ever! It's just another example of greedy corporations sleezing a buck here or a million there. The US Military's inventory should be made in the USA all the way and the primary DOD contractors should be held criminally responsible if they get caught. Too bad they'll get off by buying all the politicians with money they 'earned' overcharging on previous contracts.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  31. svann

    If a military contractor is buying their parts from China, Id think that would be a criminal offense. Why isnt the corp being punished?

    May 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Simple, free trade, no regulations enforced. Romney wants more of this! Greed and profit is supreme! So let's all vote to end regulations and cut taxes on the super rich!

      May 22, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  32. slinky

    All of the smart US cell phones are made in China. Which makes it even easier to undermine the US. The Chinese would never re-engineer components in phones so that they could listen to anyone, locate anyone, and turn off all the phones in the US, or would they?

    May 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  33. Calidip

    First question is: Why are we importing ANYTHING from a China Manufacturer for our MILITARY parts?!

    May 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Reply
    • Frank Jimmies

      We aren't. It specifically says "counterfeit" in the article. They're American parts made for cheap and with improper materials sold online and in the US.

      May 22, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
      • DoD

        some people that post here are pretty stupid and should avoid confirming that via a post.

        May 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  34. sawolf

    Obtaining parts from an adversary is plain stupid. Of course they will sabotage our military anyway they can.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Reply
    • svann

      We buy from the corporation. They buy from China. China is not the one breaking the law – the corp is.

      May 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  35. domingo

    USA should require all companies who deals with defense related programs to manufacture all related components here in the USA WITH NO EXCEPTIONS. It might be expensive, but so too the lives of our men/women in uniforms and it is good for our economic health..

    May 22, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Are you suggesting that American workers should be employed for a living wage? Why? China has so many workers eager to work for nothing! It's all about GREED! Who really cares about American workers?

      May 22, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Reply
    • RandyMarshCT

      This is already a requirement. This is law. Someone is cheating the rules.

      May 23, 2012 at 9:11 am | Reply
    • Peter

      Good idea but we are not just buying from Chinese for equipments also we buy a lot of from European countries for our military equipments as well.

      May 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  36. Orion

    I am so amazed and shamed to read this "....the committee criticised China for failing to shut down counterfeit manufacturers ....."

    Pass the buck, blame someone else!

    Shouldn't it be the responsibility of you to check the components before using it. If you buy a fruit, and it has a worm in it would you use it?

    Such a total shame that the whole manufacturing process, leave alone defense related components has been outsourced. Now China effectively has controls over US military related components? What a shame!

    May 22, 2012 at 11:12 am | Reply
  37. NN

    What exactly are they calling counterfeit? Are these parts falsely labeled as MIL-STD-883 qualified or was there some other problem? I seem to recall more than a few scandals over the years where US semi-manufacturers were caught doing that exact same thing. DoD is a standing joke when it comes to procurement, they have long abandoned science and engineering in favor of a workforce which is mostly superficial low-level ( and unemployable) management types. The hardware is just the tip of the iceberg, the real hidden timebomb is their buggy and poorly tested software.

    May 22, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • Floyd Johnson

      Good question, and one that was not addressed in the article. Some are recycled. Old electronics are sent to china, disassembled, the chips are polished up and returned to the market as new products. Some are produced by second party manufacturers and have incomplete Quality Assurance and are then labeled erroneously (essentially putting grade A on a grade B product). We certainly do not want a $300 million plane to crash because a chip out of a 1985 VCR was polished up and sold as new. The problem is once everything is assembled, how do we identify the chip that was assembled in a sub-standard "clean room".

      May 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  38. Liam

    I would have thought that it would be in the nations security interests to keep the entire supply chain of military parts in the US rather than destroy the supply chain in the US and help build it up in a country that at times can seem pretty hostile towards the US and the West in general. Yeh it might initially cost more to buy parts made in the US but wouldn't it turn out cheaper in the long run with the jobs it creates and taxes those jobs pay?

    May 22, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
  39. Hahahahahaha

    I knew there was a chink in our procurement procedures!!!!!!!!!!!! Hahahahahahahaha

    May 22, 2012 at 9:24 am | Reply
    • du hallo?

      lololololoollool fap fap fap soi soi soi

      May 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  40. Steve

    I have been in the electronic wire and cable industry supplying MIL spec cable to the military since 1985. We had literally thousands of US and Canadian manufacturers which we supplied back then and found that US DND officials were approving parts from China and India at record pace in order to save a buck. I personally wrote dozens of letters between 1986 until 1999 pointing out that the majority of foreign parts were substandard or fake. Congress and DND ignored this again trying to save a buck but causing the thousands of North American suppliers to close their doors leaving only a hand full left. Only now they are putting in measures in place to blame China is not the answer. US Inspectors in China and India are paid off the same as those officials from those countries the answer is simply force the remaining manufacturers to bring production back to North America for ultimate control the way it was in the 80's..

    May 22, 2012 at 8:35 am | Reply
    • ML

      Steve,
      Congress didn't ignore it, they abetted it since many of their big donors we deeply involved in outsourcing the processes and jobs you mentioned to China / India / etc.

      Combine that with closed loop engineering & logistics career paths on the DoD side. Program officers no longer have to return to the field / fleet and live with or actually experience the consequences of their short cuts and trade-offs. That's a buck that gets passed to their relief, who is usually only concerned with procuring the latest whiz-bang system since it's well know that promotions are made that way and not fixing lingering problems.

      Engineers mostly come from college straight to DoD and too often have no actual military experience using these systems in a real world environment. Thus they don't really understand or appreciate maintainability.

      The DoD civil service world is the poster child for the Peter Principle, i.e. promote the idiots up and away so they can do their damage elsewhere. Which all too often creates upper tiers filled with the utterly clueless.

      It all speaks volumes for our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who manage to get the job done despite the crazy culture that runs things.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
    • DoD

      BS steve! You know nothing about DoD procurment. NOTHING!

      May 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Reply
      • RandyMarshCT

        The DoD knows nothing about DoD procurement. It is all outsourced to contractors who cut corners. That way, when something fails, it is someone else's fault. I know, my business is a specialty alloy provider for DoD contracts (has been since 1983) and the past 10 years have devastated us. We ALWAYS follow the rules and our payback for that is loss of orders. It's very expensive to meet all the government's demands, unless you aren't a US company.

        May 23, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Captain Obvious

      This is not a mistake. This has happened on purpose. The fact is tha there are many people within the U.S. , including the military and politics, who really do not like America. Policies that forced U.S. technology to go directly to China (Clinton), to aquisition regulations that force U.S. manufactures to outsource everything, including intellectual property,or go bankrupt, are the result.

      Even idiots get something right sometimes. This whole debacle was not do to idiots. It is intentional.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  41. Steve

    I have been in the electronic wire and cable industry supplying MIL spec cable to the military since 1985. We had literally thousands of US and Canadian manufacturers we supplied back then and found that US DND officials were approving parts from China and India at record pace to save a buck. I personally wrote dozens of letters between 1986 until 1999 pointing out that the majority of foreign parts were substandard or fake. Congress and DND ignored this again trying to save a buck but causing the thousands of North American suppliers to close their doors leaving only a hand full left and only now they putting in measures in place to blame China is not the answer. US Inspectors in China and India are paid off the same as those from those countries the answer is simply force the manufacturer to bring production back to North America for better control.

    May 22, 2012 at 8:25 am | Reply
    • RandyMarshCT

      You are spot-on. My company (US) is a supplier for government contracts and our business has fallen sharply in the past 10 years. We have rigorous inspections and constant demands to produce paper trails for MIL Spec components to prove that all our material is made in the USA, which it is. We've lost so much business to China and India and I constantly wondered how they could get the business when the demands on us are "It must be completely produced in the USA". I'm all for 100% USA manufactured and produced parts being used for all military applications, but then you hear stuff like this and think, "What the H@LL?!" Our own military is cheating on us and our businesses are desperate for work. It all comes down to the almighty dollar, and ours is worth less and less every day.

      May 23, 2012 at 8:58 am | Reply

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