Democracy's Arsenal

Democracy's Arsenal: Creating a Twenty-First-Century Defense Industry

Jacques S. Gansler
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: MIT Press
Pages: 448
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  • Book Info
    Democracy's Arsenal
    Book Description:

    New geopolitical realities -- including terrorism, pandemics, rogue nuclear states, resource conflicts, insurgencies, mass migration, economic collapse, and cyber attacks -- have created a dramatically different national-security environment for America. Twentieth-century defense strategies, technologies, and industrial practices will not meet the security requirements of a post-9/11 world. InDemocracy's Arsenal, Jacques Gansler describes the transformations needed in government and industry to achieve a new, more effective system of national defense. Drawing on his decades of experience in industry, government, and academia, Gansler argues that the old model of ever-increasing defense expenditures on largely outmoded weapons systems must be replaced by a strategy that combines a healthy economy, effective international relations, and a strong (but affordable) national security posture. The defense industry must remake itself to become responsive and relevant to the needs of twenty-first-century security.

    eISBN: 978-0-262-29526-0
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  7. 1 The Challenge
    (pp. 1-8)

    America’s rise to a position as the world’s lone superpower (in terms of its economic, political, and military position) began at the beginning of the twentieth century.¹ President Theodore Roosevelt expanded U.S. reach globally, U.S. industry experienced enormous growth and reinvented itself to win World War II, the Berlin wall fell, and the Soviet Union collapsed. The twentieth century has been called “America’s century.” But politicians, scholars, and world observers seem to agree that the twenty-first century will be very different from the twentieth century. Perhaps the wake-up call was September 11, 2001. The terrorist attacks on that day ended...

  8. 2 The Defense Industry in Perspective
    (pp. 9-78)

    When people think about the U.S. defense industry, two thoughts come to mind—that it builds the best weapons systems in the world and that it played a major role in winning World War II. In fact, the war-production output of U.S. industry (primarily converted commercial plants) led to its being called the “arsenal of democracy.”¹

    The defense industry is a major sector of the U.S. economy, but because it has essentially a single buyer (the Department of Defense), has a small group of major suppliers (essentially an oligopoly in each sector), and is controlled by government laws and regulations,...

  9. 3 National Security in the Twenty-First Century
    (pp. 79-128)

    With the official end of the cold war in 1991, as Alvin and Heidi Toffler state in their 1993 bookWar and Anti-War: Survival at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century,¹ the industrial wars of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (which were marked by huge armies, mass production of modern weapons, and mass destruction) could be said to have ended. Industrial-age warfare was being replaced in the twenty-first century by information-age warfare. But in the post–cold war period, large standing armies continued to exist in the United States and elsewhere, and the organizations, doctrines, policies, and equipment of the...

  10. 4 Characteristics of the Defense Industry in the Early Twenty-First Century
    (pp. 129-234)

    Because government and commercial markets are different in terms of regulation, political involvement, unique contracting, specialized cost accounting, and buyer concentration, firms that operate in both sectors tend to separate their government and commercial operations into separate divisions and profit centers. Of interest here is the government sector, particularly the federal portion of it. But in the twenty-first century, there is growing interest in breaking down the legislative and regulatory barriers that have artificially forced separated defense and commercial operations and, instead to encourage dual-use industrial operations.

    In 2007, federal procurement in the United States was more than $400 billion...

  11. 5 The Workforce: Industry, Government, and University
    (pp. 235-252)

    For America to have the strongest possible national security posture and for warfighters to have the best possible equipment and support for that equipment, they need a capable and experienced acquisition workforce—in both government and industry. The government workforce consists of the military acquisition workforce, career civilian acquisition workforce, and senior political appointees. The industry workforce includes people from large, defense-industry firms as well as the small and midsized firms that often serve both military and commercial customers. This workforce is generally specialized by area, such as manufacturing, software, or services. Figure 5.1 shows total defense-related employment from 1965...

  12. 6 The Criticality of Research and Development
    (pp. 253-280)

    After World War II and during the cold war, U.S. national security strategy was based on technological superiority. The secretary of defense from 1977 to 1981, Harold Brown, and the undersecretary of defense during that period, William Perry, decided to offset the Soviet Union’s quantitative military superiority not by building bigger armies but—because the cost of DoD labor went up greatly with the end of the draft—by investing in technology.¹

    This policy has not been universally accepted (especially by many in the military, who would much prefer forces in being), but its effectiveness was demonstrated in the 1991...

  13. 7 Competition in Defense Acquisitions
    (pp. 281-306)

    Competition is the most important aspect of the Defense Department’s acquisition strategy (for both goods and services) since it is a way to create incentives for innovations that result in higher performance at lower cost. Because a single (monopoly) source lacks such incentives, it tends to maximize its profits by raising costs and producing the same goods and services as it has in the past. Unlike in the commercial world, where the quantity of goods sold increases significantly as the price falls (this is price elasticity), in the defense world the quantities to be bought are usually fixed by the...

  14. 8 The Defense-Industry Strategies of Other Nations
    (pp. 307-338)

    U.S. security for the twenty-first century (both militarily and industrially) requires a global strategy. In the future, virtually all security scenarios that affect the nation will involve other nations, and technology and industry will themselves be global. Moreover, we can learn a great deal by looking at the strengths and weaknesses of alternative industrial models that have been tried for the defense industries of other nations.

    The United States cannot by itself counter global terrorism, weapons proliferation, and regional instability. It also cannot depend solely on its traditional allies (like Europe, Japan, and Australia) but must develop strong alliances with...

  15. 9 Transforming the U.S. National-Security Industry
    (pp. 339-358)

    According to the literature on culture change, the first requirement for achieving change is acceptance of the need for it. Widespread recognition of the need for change in the U.S. national-security posture began with the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil on September 11, 2001. At that time, then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld called for a total transformation of the Department of Defense, but the needed changes were delayed by widespread institutional resistance to change, the diversion of attention to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the large increases in available defense dollars.

    In a February 2007 presentation at...

  16. Notes
    (pp. 359-402)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 403-410)
  18. About the Author
    (pp. 411-412)
  19. Index
    (pp. 413-432)