Dilemmas and Decisions in US Security Assistance Policy: An Illustrative Focus on Aircraft Sales
DEFENSE INST OF SECURITY ASSISTANCE MANAGEMENT WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the complex decision-making environment for a number of issues in U.S. security assistance. The paper begins with a brief sketch of the history of U.S. security assistance, including the evolution of security assistance after World War II, and some of the relevant Executive and Congressional initiatives concerning Foreign Military Sales FMS and arms transfer restraints. Further context is provided by a short synopsis of the contemporary geopolitical environment for U.S. security assistance decision making. A primary illustration of dilemmas and decisions in U.S. security assistance is the case of the F-X, the U.S.-developed fighter aircraft for export primarily to countries in the Third World. The aircraft, as defined by the U.S. Government, was to be an intermediate fighter, something between the Northrop F-5E and first-line U.S. aircraft like the General Dynamics F-16A with F-100 engines. Factors leading to the decision, its announcement, and its aftermath -- including geopolitical, diplomatic, and domestic political and economic considerations -- provide a remarkable illustration of the dilemmas possible in decision making regarding U.S. security assistance.
- Administration and Management
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Military Forces and Organizations