In the light of the realities of shrinking defense budgets in the post-Cold War era and coalition approach to resolving international conflicts, participation in international cooperative R&D in key technology areas such as those described in this section is becoming increasingly important. These efforts offer high payoff opportunities for leveraging U.S. investments in technology development with those of our international partners and help build the political relationships that are required for coalition operations. Such leverage will help maintain U.S. technological advantage, stimulate battlefield interoperability, and, through subsequent co-development of advanced dual-use technology products, sustain our economic competitiveness. Cooperative R&D offers the U.S. Army a means of remaining oriented to future and next generation needs and continuing to learn about new ideas and new approaches.
Secretary of Defense Perry, in his policy memorandum of 25 June 1993, calls for a renaissance in armaments cooperation:
As we address issues of defense reinvestment and as our armed forces and those of our allies draw down, it is critical that we look for every opportunity to increase the effectiveness of those forces while making the most efficient use of the resources we apply to our collective defenses. I believe that armaments cooperation can be a primary means of achieving those ends. Our objectives in armaments cooperation must include the following:
- Deployment and support of common, or at least interoperable, equipment with our allies.
- Leverage of our resources through cost sharing and economies of scale afforded by coordinated research, development, production, and logistics support programs.
- Exploitation of the best technologies, military or civilian, available for the equipping of alliance forces.
In the sections that follow, the discussion covers the mechanisms for international cooperation, specific technology leveraging opportunities, and future trends. The specific technology leveraging opportunities are designed in coordination with Chapter 4 and in conjunction with Annex E of Volume II to provide the researcher with enough information and connectivity to allow facilitated access to allied technology.