Operation Desert Storm:

No Evidence That Foreign Suppliers Refused to Support War Effort

NSIAD-92-234: Published: Sep 2, 1992. Publicly Released: Oct 14, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed media allegations that foreign suppliers did not fully cooperate in supplying items needed by U.S. industry to support the Persian Gulf war effort, focusing on: (1) the validity of the allegations; and (2) whether the Department of Defense (DOD) had a policy encouraging establishment of domestic sources for foreign-produced parts and components.

GAO found that: (1) it could find no evidence substantiating the allegations that foreign suppliers refused to prioritize or expedite orders from U.S. contractors producing supplies for the Persian Gulf war effort; (2) although DOD has legislative authority to do so, it has not established a policy for second or multiple domestic sources for foreign-supplied products; (3) DOD has obtained reliable second sources where practical and cost-effective, but it has not followed through on GAO recommendations for determining its foreign-source dependency because it deems such action as cost-ineffective; and (4) by not systematically collecting data on foreign-sourcing of needed parts and products, DOD has limited its ability to know which critical domestic sources it needs to maintain for particular items.

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