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Pentagon Waives Billions in Expenses to Promote Foreign Arms Sales

© AFP 2021 / JANEK SKARZYNSKI This picture taken on March 21, 2015 shows US troops from the 5th Battalion of the 7th Air Defense Regiment emplace a launching station of the Patriot air and missile defence system at a test range in Sochaczew, Poland
This picture taken on March 21, 2015 shows US troops from the 5th Battalion of the 7th Air Defense Regiment emplace a launching station of the Patriot air and missile defence system at a test range in Sochaczew, Poland - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The Department of Defense has waived $16 billion that could have been collected from foreign buyers of American military equipment during the past six years by citing numerous foreign policy and national concerns, the General Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report published on Wednesday.

"In the past 6 years, the Department of Defense (DOD) approved waivers valued at nearly $16 billion that it might otherwise have collected from foreign governments as part of its sales of major defense equipment through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program," the report said.

The report, which covered fiscal years 2012 through 2017, found that the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) only denied three out of 813 waivers, resulting in a 99 percent approval rate.

"The value of approved waivers significantly increased to nearly $6 billion last year, which is due to 2 waivers totaling nearly $3.5 billion for sales of missiles and related support systems," the report said.

American soldiers wait on the tarmac in the Mohammad Agha district of Logar province, eastern of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. - Sputnik International
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The Arms Export Control Act authorizes the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) within the Defense Department to waive nonrecurring costs in certain circumstances, such as to standardize equipment with allies, prevent the loss of a potential sale or to shore up the US military industrial base, the report said.

The report faulted DSCA for using an "inefficient and repetitive" process to approve $16 billion in waivers since 2012, while also urging the agency to continue efforts to streamline the process.

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