Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts The Changing Structure of the U.S. Defense Industry

The Changing Structure of the U.S. Defense Industry

Fundamental changes are occurring in both the demand for and the supply of military goods and services in the United States, and thus in the structure of the defense industrial base. Yet the effects of these changes on the U.S. defense industry are not widely understood, and public policy has not adapted to them.

The trends in military procurement are propelled in large measure by the novelty of the threats to national security. The focus has shifted from a world dominated by competition among superpowers to an unstable landscape of conflict involving dangerous governmental and private groups and individuals whose responses often involve unconventional actions that depart from traditional military functions. The types of weapons and systems required today are not the strategic bombers, nuclear submarines, and ICBMs of the Cold War era

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