The US defence industry after the Cold War

Authored by: Elisabeth Sköns

The Global Arms Trade

Print publication date:  December  2009
Online publication date:  May  2014

Print ISBN: 9781857434972
eBook ISBN: 9780203851456
Adobe ISBN:


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During the 20 years since the end of the Cold War, the US defence industry has undergone profound changes. While these changes are multifaceted and have varied over time, it is possible to identify two major types of development, linked to changes in the defence demand. First, during the period 1989–98, when defence demand was falling, defence companies developed strategies to adjust to the contraction of the market. Second, during the period since 2001, when there has been a massive increase in US military spending as a result of the policies of the George W. Bush Administration, in particular due to the Iraq war, there has been a strong expansion of the US defence industry, in individual company arms sales, and a strong increase in the private military services industry. With the incoming Barack Obama Administration in January 2009, a new period may be in the making.

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