Procurement and War

Nick Witney

in The Oxford Handbook of War

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199562930
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

Procurement and War

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Buying for war presents particular complications. In the civilian world, globalization has confirmed the power of competition to secure goods and services with the best combination of price, quality, and promptitude — as well as to spur technical innovation and constant improvement, so as to meet and even anticipate the needs of consumers. For a number of reasons both good and bad, defence procurement in all societies continues to resemble more closely the communist model. Certainly, the relationship between governments and their supplying defence industries bears only a faint and imperfect resemblance to the normal customer–supplier relationship of Western market economies. Governments are, after all, the sole domestic customers of the defence industry — and, through their control of defence exports, have a veto over their industries' efforts to find customers elsewhere. Those industries' very freedom to exist is subject to government licence.

Keywords: defence procurement; communist model; defence industries; market economies; defence exports; domestic customers

Article.  6212 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; International Relations

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