Skip to comments.Rumsfeld Holds Out Against Buy America Weapons Policy
Posted on 10/17/2003 5:29:58 AM PDT by SLB
Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, yesterday reiterated his opposition to a controversial proposal that would force the Pentagon to buy all essential weapons parts from US manufacturers.
His remarks could undermine attempts by the White House and both houses of Congress to find a compromise that would allow the passage of this year's defence authorisation bill.
"I'm personally a free trader type," Mr Rumsfeld told a press briefing, adding that the administration had to "be careful" not to hurt relations with its allies.
The Buy America legislation - contained in the House version of the defence authorisation bill but not the Senate version - is the subject of tense talks between the White House and both houses of Congress, which must reconcile their two bills.
The European and US aerospace industry oppose Buy America, arguing that its protectionist language could undermine transatlantic defence relations.
The European Commission warned Congress of a fresh potential transatlantic dispute earlier this month.
A letter from the Commission to John Warner, chairman of the Senate armed services committee and Buy America opponent, warned that "the European Commission will consider the most appropriate action to take" if the defence authorisation package included "WTO-incompatible provisions".
The controversy over Buy America could endanger the whole package. Unlike appropriations bills, which allocate funds to government areas, the defence authorisation bill - which sets guidelines on how the Pentagon spends its money - is not mandatory.
Mr Rumsfeld denounced the provision in July, saying he and other senior advisers to President George W. Bush would recommend that he veto the bill if the final version included the provision.
But since then Paul Wolfowitz, deputy defence secretary, has tried to hammer out a compromise with Duncan Hunter, chairman of the House armed services committee and author of the provision. This would dilute Buy America by giving the Pentagon wide waiver authority over contracts.
These attempts at a compromise have been interpreted as a sign that the Defence Department had softened its stance.
"We had an understanding with some members of Congress that we would sit down to work out a compromise," Mr Rumsfeld said, referring to Mr Wolfowitz's attempts. "But the rest of the administration has to agree as well."
So far, the State Department, the office of the US Trade Representative and other government agencies are thought to oppose the compromise. It has also been challenged by Mr Warner, who has asked the administration to clarify its stance on Buy America.
Within a week I had traded my M-16 to an ARVN for his M-14. And I wouldn't have cared if that M-14 had been made in Hanoi by Jane Fonda.
More info *here*
Being one of only seven women in a graduating class of 120 atthe University of Western Ontario was a good primer for Sylvie Farrell, P.Eng. Armed with an engineering education and a broad business focus, Farrells career shifted into high gearin 2000 when she became the first female engineering manager at General Motors Defense in London. Farrell has close to 100 design engineers, process engineers, logistics engineers and CAD modellers in the Concurrent Product Development(CPD) Engineering department reporting to her. The department, made up of seven teams, is responsible for all aspects of the design for the family of light-armoured vehicles (LAVs). One of these vehicles, the new eight-wheeled Stryker, bridges the gap between heavy and light units. The U.S. Army will require 2131 vehicles over six yearsa hefty $6 billion (Cdn.). con-tract. Over 300 vehicles have been delivered to the armys first brigade who are currently undergoing training. Reports are that approximately 3500 American soldiers will be set to deploy by May 2003.The Stryker can carry a total of 11 personnel, including the driver and vehicle commander. While the U.S. Air Forces main C-130 aircraft can transport the Stryker at a maximum weight of 38,000 pounds (17.2 tonnes), the vehicle was designed for performance up to a weightof 18.5 tonnes. The vehicle, says Farrell,operates well in urban settings as well as rugged and steep terrain, can travel up to speeds of 100 km/h and is built to carry out combat missions in the battlefield with good tactical mobility.
Farrell recently had the opportunity to speak with American soldiers at a largemilitary tradeshow in Washington. The soldiers told her that front-line personnel training on the Stryker say they really like the product, which, Farrell says, is very gratifying to hear.Prior to her work on the Stryker, Farrell worked as a design engineer on Canadian military programs and the U.S. Marine Corps program, in addition to other international work. Developing the ballistic steel specifications and approving all drawings for materials, paint specifications, adhesive and rubber specifications were all part of a typical work day. She also had subsystem design responsibilities for the NBC (nuclear,biological, chemical) warfare protection system, fire suppression systems and other variant unique subsystems.In terms of recent Canadian projects,Farrell says that GM Defense just completed manufacture of 42 For ward Observation Officer (FOO) vehicles and that they are continuing to refit older units with the latest technology for the Department of National Defense. Moving in the right direction Farrells fascination and aptitude for math and science led her to pursue studies in engineering. Her father, a highly-educated teacher, and her mother, a university-trained nurse, encouraged her to set her sights high, says Farrell, and it was a high school guidance counsellor who suggested she apply to the engineering faculty. The thinking was that this was a profession where she could apply math and science and leave university with a degree that would qualify herimmediately for a job. During her time atWestern, Farrell spent a summer workingin the factory at GM and another summer as a sales engineer at GM Detroit Diesel. Shortly after graduating with a Bachelorof Engineering Science degree in materials science (similar to metallurgy but a broader discipline, where plastics, composites, etc. are studied in addition to metals), Farrell started working in the LAV division as an engineer. She became a licensed member of PEO in 1985. Her pursuit of new knowledge andexperiences eventually steered her to pursue further studies in an executive MBA program at the University of Toronto. Shecontinued to work full-time at GM in London, while studying part-time over a two-year span. I studied and completed homework on the train, says Farrell, who recalls making the four-hour London-Toronto round trip once a week along with a group of other students from London.In 1991, Farrell received her Master of Business Administration degree and became the engineering administration supervisor overseeing a group whose responsibilities included engineering schedules, budgets, and coordinating contractchange proposal activities.Lessons learnedFarrell became Chair of GMs Local Womens Advisory Council in 1991 andin 1995 chaired the General Motors of Canada National Womens Advisory Council. While working on a subcommittee on the council, she helped create a personnel development workbook thatstaff can use to map career plans. Drawing on her career and life experi-ences, Farrell has been able to share valuable insights with many women and men,gained through her work on committeesand as chair to the advisory council. Shesays she often urges them to take advan-tage of opportunities for further educa-tion or training, stressing that qualifica-tions give credibility. Farrell says shebelieves breadth of experience is alsoimportant, and that experience in as manyareas of the business as possible is vital.Its a good idea to accept a position thatmay be offered to you. Although the valueof a job may not be immediately appar-ent, you will always learn something ormeet people whom you can learn from,Sylvie Farrell, P.Eng., leads a diverse group of engineers responsible for the design of wheeled armouredvehicles at General Motors Defense in London, Ontario. Farrell is proud to be part of a strong managementteam at GM Defense which was recently acquired by General Dynamics, whose headquarters are located inFalls Church, Virginia. The Stryker, of which there are 10 different types, is pictured here with Farrell.
she says. I think if someone has made theeffort to offer you a position, theyve seensomething in you.Farrell also urges young engineers todevelop coping strategies in tough situa-tions in order to maintain credibility in thework environment. When dealing withaggravating circumstances or people, Farrell suggests drafting an email response before frustration boils over: Its a good way tovent when youre angry, but dont send ituntil the next day when youve had a chanceto cool down and make appropriate revisions. More sage advice from Farrelldontneglect your responsibilities in your current position, even if its not exactly where you want to be. What often happens, she explains, is that people set their sights on career advancement, while neglecting to do a good job in their current position, or they pay attention only to those aspects of their job they feel can help them advance.Continuously building on her own project engineering, planning and managementskills, while focusing on the job at hand, issomething that seems to come naturally toFarrell. And above all, emphasizes Farrell,treat everyone with respect: Its just theright thing to do.
A career highlight for Farrell was when the first Stryker was shipped to the U.S. this past February. It was definitely a team suc-cess and a proud moment. I think its a really neat product, she says with typical enthusiasm. Working in a great organization with really good people goes a long way tobuilding positive outcomes, she explains.Farrell is quick to credit all team members for the vital role each plays in ensuring scheduling, budgets, and quality are on target. Prior to her current position, Farrell was manager of the business process improvement department. A task group charged with exploring ways to enhance processes ultimately found strategies to reduce costs and lead time. The end result was a shift to a multi-disciplinar yapproach that put designers, 3-D CAD modellers, process engineers and logistics engineers onto teams. The team was then able to develop more robust designs that required much less subsequent design modifications. Although this process takes a little longer, ultimately what you end up with is a more reliable product thats easier to build and easier to maintain,says Farrell. Speaking engagements have also kept Farrell busy. Shes equally comfortable talking with children as part of Take our Kids to Work Day, or with military personnel about technical issues. Farrell, part of a panel speaking at a January 2003 meeting to celebrate the 20th anniversary of GMs National Womens Council, will talk about how participation with the council has affected her career. When she needs to unwind and re-energize, Farrell heads offto the golf course or, when time allows,stows away to an exotic island destinationwith her husband Ken.
That's a neat trick, considering that we never provided the ARVNs with M-14s. They had M-1s until about 70, and after that, M-16s.
Criminal Number 18F
Criminal Number 18F
Many of their LLDB carried M14s with shortened buttstocks, particularly in and around the Iron Triangle. They could chew through a Michelin Forest rubbertree better than a M1/M2 carbine, yet were not as heavy as a BAR, and the LLDB were around Americans often enough that they could pick up ammo from any M60 gunner. That was circa early-mid '68.
The first South Vietnamese I saw with M16s [not A1s] were the ARVN Marines, who got the rifles traded in when US troops got M16A1s. Around April of 1968, I got a detail of using the bench grinder in a battalion motor pool shop to grind off the bayonet lugs from about 200 M16 rifles fitted with XM148 40mm underbarrel grenade launchers. During the Tet '68 festivities it seems one of their gunners with the just-issued weapons fired a 40mm round through his XM148 while the bayonet was also attached. Bad career move....
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