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Defense Conversion Strategies (NATO Asi Series. Partnership Sub-Series 1, Disarmament Technologies, Vol 9)

Defense Conversion Strategies (NATO Asi Series. Partnership Sub-Series 1, Disarmament Technologies, Vol 9)

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The world situation has witnessed dramatic changes in the recent past and defense-related science and technology are coming under increasing pressure to demonstrate their ability to contribute added value to national and international economies. But defense conversion is complicated by the absence of tested principles and there is no formal training to facilitate the conversion process. As a result, such factors as long-term implications for defense together with a broad range of issues related to economic, political and social questions are not being adequately addressed. Governments and industries are searching for optimum strategies to guide the defense conversion process without benefit of either historical precedents as models or a complete understanding of the process itself. The present book identifies and studies the elements of successful defense conversion strategies through a systematic analysis of the factors influencing them and the common features of specific national efforts. The book reflects a combination of theory and practical experience. International strategies are explored that stimulate the conversion of defense technologies to industrial capacity, global economic growth and stability, the preservation and enhancement of defense technology options, and the ability to capitalize on unique economic, political and social opportunities afforded by defense technology conversion. The nations of the former Soviet Union present a particular problem. In Russia, for instance, from 1990 to 1993 there was a 47% decline in industrial production and a 38% decrease in GNP. This clearly needs immediate action, but there are difficulties with the conversion processes, technology transfer and implementation of dual-use strategies. While many of these issues are generic to the process, there are national and cultural difficulties. At a time of unprecedented global political and economic instability, the collective knowledge and experience of NATO and its Cooperation Partners will be essential to the successful conversion of defense production capabilities to economic tools that can contribute to universal economic equilibrium and prosperity.