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Weekly Debrief #43

Aarzu Maknojia, Friday, September 4, 2020

1. We Are to Blame For The Us Manufacturing Decline

(The Hill) "A country's industrial policies and clear strategic priorities matter. We need to think more deeply about how we bolster American manufacturing long-term. Policymakers must make this more than stimulus checks for job creation by providing the support required to help American electronics manufacturers to compete on the global stage they once dominated."

2. Pelosi And Mnuchin Agree on Plan to Avoid Government Shutdown

(Politico) Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have tentatively agreed to use a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown at the end of September. While there were discussions that additional stimulus efforts were going to be tied to the stopgap, Pelosi and Mnuchin still remain hundreds of billions of dollars apart. It is unclear how long the stopgap is expected to last but precedent suggests through mid-December.

3. One Billion Dollars Needed to Bolster Space Industry

(National Defense Magazine) According to a report on the "State of the Space Industrial Base" released earlier this year, deteriorating business conditions necessitate a robust U.S. government investment in the commercial space industry to ensure the military has a healthy industrial base to tap into. It is important that the Space Force leverages the technologies and approaches at the frontier of this commercial expansion.

4. Top Defense Department Research Office Names Director

(C4ISRNET) The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency named Victoria Coleman, the former chief executive of Atlas AI, to its top job. Peter Highnam, who has been the acting director since January this year, will return to his previous role as deputy director, according to a DoD press release. Dr. Coleman’s career spans over 30 years in academia, the private sector, and government, including previous service as the founding Chair of DARPA’s Microsystems Exploratory Council and membership on the Defense Science Board. She has led cutting edge research and development across the technology sector.

5. F-35 Program Costs Are Evolving, And These Savings Matter

(Defense News) Last month, Congress held an oversight and accountability hearing regarding the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s burdensome logistical IT system. In an era of increased military competition against peer adversaries and during a period of tremendous budgetary constraints in the United States, incremental savings across a large enterprise such as the F-35 program matter.
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