U.S. foreign military sales have increased from $28 billion in 2013 to $34 billion in 2014 to $47 billion last year as the Obama Administration seeks to shift some of the burden of regional security to overseas partners. The government currently receives over 140 requests from other nations to initiate arms sales every week, and international sales have become a big share of the business mix at major military contractors. However, it is hard for the State Department and the Defense Department to keep up with surging demand, and delays in processing requests could become deal killers. The system isn’t broken, but it is overburdened, and things would probably work more smoothly if the workforce got more professional training. The government has launched numerous initiatives to speed up the process. In the end, though, a transaction needs to serve the goals of U.S. foreign policy if it is to win timely approval. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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