Abstract and Keywords
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.
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