U.S. Domestic and National Security Agendas: Into the Twenty-First Century

By Sam C. Sarkesian; John Mead Flanagin et al. | Go to book overview

7
The Implications of Globalization for U.S. National Security: Defense Industrial Production and the Proliferation of Military Technology

Stephanie G. Neuman

Changes in the economic and political structure of the international system are having dramatic effects on the way states plan for their defense. The purpose here is to analyze the globalization of the defense sector and its implications for U.S. national security.

As defined here, the globalization of the defense sector refers to the growing international character of defense industrial production worldwide and the rapid diffusion of military technology. In the United States, the term generally refers to the import penetration and foreign source dependence in the defense industry, that is, increasing U.S. reliance on foreign military technologies, foreign manufactured products, and items purchased from U.S.-based subsidiaries of foreign corporations. 1 An ancillary trend, one intimately associated with this development, is the proliferation of advanced military items to other countries and regions of the world.

A debate is underway over the implications of globalization for basic U.S. national security interests and over what peacetime policies should be adopted to deal with it. 2 What are U.S. national security objectives in a changing world order? Facing reductions in the size of the U.S. armed forces and the spread of advanced weapons, Presidents Bush and Reagan expressed the view that U.S. national security requires the ability to develop in peacetime advanced weapons and defensive systems, and during crises the ability to obtain sufficient quantities of weapons, ammunition, and other military equipment. 3 To this end, in his 1991 strategy statement, President Bush reasserted the need to maintain "our edge in defense technology" and the capability of "industrial surge." 4 Given these publicly articulated national security objectives, some analysts wonder whether globalization of the defense sector will allow the United States to achieve them.

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