Management of the Defence Industry: the United States

  • Jacques S. Gansler


A broad ‘correlation of forces’ between the US and the USSR clearly shows the US strength to be based on its technological and industrial advantages. ‘Innovativeness’ and ‘responsiveness’ are the essence of the American economy, particularly when compared with that of the Soviets. These characteristics have driven US military strategy in the post-World War II era towards ‘technological superiority’, and US international economic policy toward ‘free trade’ (except, of course, with military equipment to communist countries); in both areas, the US has believed that these postures will provide favourable results. And, in fact, this has been the case, so far. Today, the US is recognized as the strongest nation in the world, both in terms of military and economic power. However, this position is being challenged — in the military sphere by the Soviets (with the increasing quality of their weapon systems and their larger quantities) and in the economic sphere by the Japanese. These challenges place increasing demands on US resources. By the end of the 1980s there was growing concern that America’s military posture would not be ‘affordable’ in the future and that its industry was no longer internationally ‘competitive’. Clearly, the military and economic spheres are strongly interrelated and, while the focus here is on the military arena, we will constantly keep in mind this strong interrelationship.


Weapon System Defense Advance Research Project Agency Economic Sphere Defense Advance Research Project Agency Manhattan Project 
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Copyright information

© Carl G. Jacobsen 1990

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  • Jacques S. Gansler

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