Saturday, January 29, 2011


So, this post really has no point other than just to point out how complex international business can get and to serve as my outlet for random thoughts involving some of my work. Enjoy.

If any of you know what ITAR, then you probably know how much of a mess the regulations can become. For those of you who don't know, ITAR is the abbreviation for International Traffic in Arms Regulations. The name of it is pretty self-explanatory and I doubt I need to go into detail on the various aspects of it for you to get the picture. Basically, it is a regulatory system for controlling the manufacture and distribution, internationally, of munitions and technology with predominately military applications. It regulates who may develop, export (and to whom), and who may even oversee the work of any item that falls within its parameters. Overall, it is not a regulation that I have much to complain about, other than it may cause awkward work environments, but that's another story.

Why am I wondering about this? I was working on a short paper involving regulatory reform and its impact on a corporation when I looked over the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program as a quick case study. I got to wondering about how much paperwork and hassle ITAR can cause when a civilian project for the military is being jointly worked on by international corporations and for multiple nations' militaries. The JSF program is certainly in that camp. The list of countries involved is small, but diverse, and various components are being developed by international teams (e.g. the engine is a joint project between General Electric and Rolls Royce).

To keep this in the terms of looking at international relations, has anyone else taken a look at the Chinese development of a 5th Generation fighter? Take a look at a variety of articles and posts about the Chengdu J-20.

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