Three defense industry issues for the President

The White House has its hands full.

From averting sequestration to explaining the Benghazi tragedy, November’s victory offered no respite. There are myriad other pressing issues, too. It is easy at a time like this to overlook critical areas where the involvement of the White House can help apply new pressure to fix old problems and hold people to a higher standard. Behaviors change when the boss is watching.

This is particularly true for the Defense Department and the defense industry, which faces three pressing issues that are worthy of immediate executive attention because of the long-term impact on the country’s national security. They are: what to do with the future of American airpower, particularly the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; the structure of the defense industry during sequestration; and determining what the roles and boundaries are of the government’s services contractors that flourished during the past decade of conflict. These are at the core of America’s ability to project power. They are also tied to stubborn policy or operational hurdles that the White House can help overcome.

Read more in my essay that is part of the American Security Project’s new report, “National Security Challenges … that we are not talking about.”