US industry maintains some 86 percent of America’s critical defense infrastructure. (The rest is government-owned.) To make certain defense companies secure that industrial base, as charged by President Bush, the Pentagon is conducting assessments to find where security needs beefing up, noted Paul McHale, DOD’s assistant secretary for homeland defense, in a speech Tuesday. That would be OK, except defense officials apparently are working from a list of key assets prepared before the end of the Cold War, and the industrial landscape has changed a bit. Good news for governors who may still be reeling from recent BRAC decisions: DOD plans to share its review of facilities by state with appropriate governors.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.