Government Contracts Law as an Instrument of National Power: A Perspective from the Department of the Air Force

51 Public Contract Law Journal 553 (2022)

24 Pages Posted:

Date Written: September 28, 2022

Abstract

Just as the law is increasingly recognized as an important instrument of national power, this article argues that government contracts law should also be recognized as such an instrument. Broadly construed, acquisition law encompasses a host of subjects that bear on national security. This discussion is divided into inward- and outward-facing components. Its inward-facing components are instrumental in nature because they serve as handmaidens to the military and other instruments of national power. Its outward-facing components are intrinsic in nature because various foreign policy tools, including foreign military sales (FMS), are governed by procurement law, making this component an instrument of national power in its own right. This article uses an example from Latin America to illustrate how U.S. laws that authorize, manage, and enforce the FMS program are used to give practical effect to standards of international law and thus to achieve national strategic objectives. It concludes by suggesting that the judge advocates in the Department of the Air Force who specialize in procurement law are perhaps undervalued.

Keywords: government contracts, public procurement, acquisitions law, defense procurement, national security, instruments of national power, military

Suggested Citation

Schoeni, Daniel, Government Contracts Law as an Instrument of National Power: A Perspective from the Department of the Air Force (September 28, 2022). 51 Public Contract Law Journal 553 (2022), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Daniel Schoeni (Contact Author)

U.S. Air Force JAG Corps ( email )

United States

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