Tuesday, May 17, 2005
DOD Warns Of IC "Drain"
A Pentagon report amplifies growing concerns about the migration of semiconductor manufacturing from the U.S. to Asia, warning that the "alarming" rate of the shift to countries like China threatens U.S. national and economic security.
The report by the Defense Science Board, a Pentagon advisory board made up of industry executives, academics and former DoD officials, said its greatest concern centered on diminishing sources of supply for microelectronics for military and intelligence applications.
While most Pentagon procurement contracts include Buy American provisions (a rare example of pork-barrel politics actually providing for the common good), there's also a desire to adapt commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology to reduce costs. Nowadays, those are conflicting goals, since, ya know, we don't build anything in this country anymore (certainly not when it comes to electronic components).
One of these days, in the very near future, this country is going to lose the manufacturing prowlness that allowed us to win WWII. I certainly hope that cheap DVD players and power tools are worth it.