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. In Democracy’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.
Gansler discusses such topics as the globalization of defense business, consolidation and greatly reduced competition in the defense industry, the blemished performance of the Defense Department and the dysfunctional behavior of Congress, and the role of defense contractors and their employees in supporting combat operations. He outlines clearly the changes that need to be made in the industry and in Defense Department business practices. He concludes that we can meet the new challenges of national security—but only if we acknowledge that a total transformation is necessary, and we find leaders with the vision, the strategy, the set of actions, and the courage necessary to overcome the expected resistance to change.
About the Author
Jacques S. Gansler is the author of the influential books The Defense Industry (1980), Affording Defense (1989), and Defense Conversion: Transforming the Arsenal of Democracy (1998), all published by the MIT Press. He is currently Professor and Roger C. Lipitz Chair, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, and served as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics from 1997 to 2001.