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Research Report

The Bulgarian Defense Industry: Strategic Options for Transformation, Reorientation & NATO Integration

Curtis M. Coward
Jeffrey P. Bialos
Copyright Date: Jul. 1, 2001
Published by: Atlantic Council
Pages: 46
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. v-v)
    Christopher J. Makins

    Discussion in the United States and Europe about the enlargement of the Atlantic Alliance has tended to focus on the central questions of security and defense policy. The difficult challenges of economic reform faced by the aspirant members of the Alliance have for the most part been treated separately and often primarily in the context of the enlargement of the European Union. Such an approach fails to address adequately the special problems faced by those countries of the former Warsaw Pact which were major contributors to the arsenal of the Soviet empire and its dependents around the world and which...

  2. (pp. 1-15)

    The Bulgarian defense industry has been through two major adjustments: first, the end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, and the resulting collapse of its traditional markets in Central Europe, the Soviet Union and its client states; and more recently, the Bulgarian government’s new policy against the illicit export of small arms and light weapons to embargoed countries and groups – the industry’s major source of revenue in the post-Cold War era. As a result, the industry faces significant challenges as it seeks to adjust to and compete in this new, post-Cold War environment.

    Founded more...

  3. (pp. 16-29)

    There is no quick or easy “silver bullet” approach to creating an environment in which the Bulgarian defense industry can be effectively transformed and repositioned for the 21st century. Rather, a series of short- and long-term actions by the Bulgarian government and its defense firms, as well as by NATO, its members, and western defense firms, can potentially facilitate the creation of conditions in which transformation can occur over time (i.e., in which the firms can shift toward producing and selling NATO standard defense products in NATO and other legitimate markets, convert facilities and other assets to civilian use where...

  4. (pp. 30-30)

    No one approach exists for restructuring and revitalizing the Bulgarian defense industry. However, a combination of the approaches recommended above is likely to produce short-term improvements in terms of increased profitability and employment stabilization. This can provide the window of time necessary for governments and industries to take the longer-term actions needed so that the Bulgarian industry can be positioned, through transformation and full privatization, to exploit the real, concrete opportunities for long-term revitalization....