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date: 24 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

During the first decade of the twenty-first century, defence firms could, in one sense, be said to have never had it so good. Defence- and security-oriented companies on both sides of the Atlantic had never been so integrally and comprehensively engaged in all aspects of military activity — from research and development (R&D) to procurement to planning to operations — including direct ‘in the field’ support of weapons and equipment deployed in expeditionary peacekeeping, crisis stability, and combat operations. Indeed, according to the US Congressional Research Service (CRS), in September 2009 there were 1.63 contractors working for the US Government in support of its operations in Afghanistan for every US soldier. By comparison, the ratio of troops-to-contractors in the 1991 Gulf War was 50 to 1. Judging by governmental policy pronouncements, the transatlantic defence industry may in recent years also never have felt quite as needed . In his first interview with reporters after being sworn in, the Obama administration's chief procurement officer for the Pentagon declared that defence firms were ‘partners in equipping our forces’ and emphasized, ‘We're in this together’.

Keywords: defence industry, security environment, global security, defence firms, military activity, combat operation, Obama administration

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