Demilitarization of Significant Military Equipment
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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This report examines the process and problems associated with demilitarizing significant military equipment in the United States. The demilitarization of military equipment is an important issue today evidence has shown that because of some failures in enforcement, potentially harmful weaponry and parts are finding their way into the hands of private citizens, as well as possible enemies of the United States. Multiple agencies are involved in the control of excess and surplus defense equipment and weapons because DOD does not have the authority to fully enforce all demilitarization standards. Even the DOD demilitarization policy in place is regarded as ineffective and incomplete. There is no centralized federal authority to manage the program as each federal agency has its own policy and internal regulations which govern the acquisition, use, and disposal of demilitarized property. Proponents who argue for the demilitarization of military equipment say that it is necessary to prevent accidental injury and death, while avoiding the unnecessary transfer of potentially harmful technology or military capability to domestic or foreign sources. Opponents, however, argue that the demilitarization issue is an attempt by the federal government to usurp the legal rights of law-abiding citizens and groups to own or possess firearms. In the future, Congress may consider several demilitarization options ranging from 1 permitting selective exemption 2 appointing one agency as Executive Program Agent for all agencies 3 convening an independent panel 4 conducting hearings or, 5 taking no action. This report will be updated as warranted.
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
- Government and Political Science