Has ITAR failed?

Taylor Dinerman looks at what he views as the failure of ITAR – the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. The American export control regime is designed to control the spread of military technology abroad. Instead, it has crippled the nation’s ability to compete in key technology areas, especially in satellite techology, Dinerman says.

“ITAR handed over control of an important part of the US high tech economy to a set of hyper-cautious, hyper-legalistic, and slow-moving bureaucrats,” he writes.

The National Security Space Office (NSSO) recently proposed loosening the ITAR regime, a move that received the endorsement of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Dinerman calls the proposed changes “minimal.”

“Even taking into account the statutory limits involved, few serious changes were offered. The most potentially important part was the promise to require decisions on licensing to be made within sixty days of the application,” he wrote.

Dinerman believes the next president should appoint a small task force to suggest meaningful changes in ITAR.