We are all familiar with the influx of knockoff designer goods being sent to the U.S. and the crackdown on the criminal rings who are smuggling these goods into the U.S. Although this problem hurts our economy and supports slave labor, it is not as frightening as the recent discovery that counterfeit parts are being used in our weapons.
A months-long congressional probe found at least 1,800 cases of counterfeit electronics in U.S. weapons. The total number of suspect parts exceeded 1 million.
In more than 70 percent of the cases in which investigators traced parts back to their source, the trail led to China.
The results of the investigation, conducted by the Senate Armed Services Committee, were recently presented at a hearing where senators grilled defense contractors about lapses in monitoring their parts supply chain.
Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich) said, “We cannot allow our national security to depend on electronic scrap salvaged from trash heaps by Chinese counterfeiters.” He called the report’s findings — based on records from 10 defense contractors and their testers — “just the tip of the iceberg.” Levin said that China’s authoritarian rulers could stop the counterfeiting “if they want to stop it.” (more…)