For the record, this is the question I tried to present to an EAG dinner debate Wednesday 12th December 2012 "Delivering Security in an Age of Austerity"
During the 1980's Israel developed a new ground attack fighter, VERY similar to the US F16, called the Lavi, which ultimately contained a lot of US defence technology. But that development led to concerns that doing business with an Israeli company would result in ideas and designs being appropriated without proper compensation; when the US supports a foreign competitor.
Airpower Journal Vol. IV, No. 3, (Fall 1990): 34-44
In 1995 eight Special Ops Chinook helicopters were ordered by the UK MOD, but the contract did not include access to security codes which were to have been created, without Boeing's involvement, by the MOD to reduce costs. That contract omission in turn became a very long story taking many years to resolve resulting with a first flight in 2009.
Such difficulties, caused by the absolute, and, dare I say it, admirable commitment by the US; to retain complete control over its defence technology; led the US to propose a new Defence Trade Cooperation treaty between the UK, (and Australia), to achieve fully interoperable forces which was signed into existence by the US Congress in 2007.
On the face of it, this is an excellent treaty, removing many previous obstacles to UK MoD access to US defence related technology.
The problem is; for the individual British private inventor; this treaty is an abomination.
What it has done in effect is remove my British citizenship, my right to defend my nation; and replace it with a right presented to the US to take any new technology I might create; and use it for their own purposes:
"without a license or other written authorization".
[For clarity; the Treaty reads:
This Treaty provides a comprehensive framework for Exports and Transfers, without a license or other written authorization, of Defence Articles, whether classified or not, to the extent that such Exports and Transfers are in support of the activities identified in Article 3(1).
(1) (d) United States Government end-use].
All the US need do is list any technology and it automatically becomes subject to the treaty.
But this has much wider implications; as my interpretation reads that, from now onwards; the treaty precludes the UK from ever again developing its own unique defence technology base.
We have become a defence colony of the US.
1. Many of us, outside of the MoD "charmed circle" have felt for some decades now that the UK executive government does not have our interests in mind at all; that the civil service only cares for itself, first and foremost, with the wider interests of the nation following a long way behind. This treaty illustrates that perfectly. We have been summarily "Rolled Over" and have agreed to a very one sided treaty that; if it had been presented to a strong organisation, visibly dedicated to the development of a long term British industrial defence structure; invented, designed and manufactured by British inventors and designers; they would not have accepted it. Instead, once again, they traded British long term potential for a short term fix from the US defence industry.
2. On the other hand, British inventors have grown to understand that the US does not abide by international treaties such as the Patent Cooperation Treaty and that within the US, today, the rule of law is moot.
That the government of the United States is quite prepared to ignore their own law, if that will suit their own purposes. (Chapter 12, The Road Ahead from a Grass Roots Perspective).
I say this to the UK government:
You sir, are the leader of the Royal Navy, and not the leader of the civil service, so this is a little unfair; but we outside can see no one acting as the leader of the United Kingdom executive government; which in turn seems weak and leaderless; so I ask you to please take my concerns inward with a view to establishing who exactly IS supposed to lead them; and to strengthen their moral, ethical and leadership structures with a view to returning this once fine industrial nation; Great Britain; back to full strength.
Lastly to the United States:
You claim to be the world leader; the strongest nation; but that in turn presents the responsibility to defend the rule of law; dare I say it; beyond any other related responsibility. What I see is a nation being driven down a dark alley by a defence industry dedicated to always winning by force of arms; when the rest of the planet yearns for peace.
At the end of WW2 you forced the UK to abandon it's colonies; yet here, with this treaty, you have colonised the inventive and industrial capacity of the United Kingdom.
That treaty is an abomination and must be revised to permit the British inventive spirit to once again prosper and succeed.