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Weekly Debrief #54

Aarzu Maknojia, Friday, November 20, 2020

 1. DoD Prioritizes December Launch of ‘Trusted Capital Marketplace’

(DoD) Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment said that while plans are underway for a change in administration, they are aiming to implement the “Trusted Capital Marketplace” by December. Within the Trusted Capital Marketplace, the department will be involved in matching up businesses in need of investment with investors that have been shown to not have ties to adversarial nations.

2. Pentagon is Bullish on Health of Defense Industrial Base, Even as COVID-19 Cases Mount

(Defense News) Despite increasing coronavirus cases in the United States, Ellen Lord said that she was confident that defense companies would remain open throughout the winter and keep weapons production on track.

3. Biden Administration will Seek to Restore Stability at Pentagon 

(Washington Post) A Biden presidency is expected to strike a relatively steady course at the Pentagon, seeking to restore stability in military decision-making while reemphasizing alliances and pressing ahead with efforts to respond to China’s rise. Biden’s approach will be partly defined by the fate of the Senate, where the race for several seats won’t be concluded until early next year. A Republican Senate would also probably result in more centrist nominees for top Pentagon positions.

4. Use Legacy Systems as Tech Playgrounds for Innovation

(Breaking Defense) The Pentagon and Congress have hard choices to make in order to modernize the force. Regardless of how many dollars—or how few—are given to the Pentagon, over three-quarters of the forces fighting today will be the same in 2030 due to production schedules, industrial base constraints, and previous investment decisions. We should not be trapped in a competition that sets legacy weapons against modernized technologies. Instead we should be conceptualizing modernizing legacy systems with today’s technology.

5. SpaceX Launches First Operational Crew Dragon Mission to ISS

(Space News) A SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying four American and Japanese astronauts launched on November 15. The Falcon 9 lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center and successfully docked to the International Space Station on November 16 at 11pm.
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