THE GLOBALIZATION OF DEFENSE PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION: IMPACTS ON U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY
Czerska, Alexandra M.
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Globalization of the defense industrial complex, including the production and sale of weapons, has increased the extent to which highly sophisticated weaponry is shared. As the number one arms producer and seller in the world, the United States (U.S.) must be cognizant of its potential consequences. This thesis analyzes the impacts of the globalization of the defense industrial complex on U.S. national security via increased international production, U.S. sale of weapons to allies, and U.S. sale of weapons to regional alliances. Chapter one explores the globalization of defense production, post-Cold War, through the joint production effort of the Joint Strike Fighter, and the rise of China as a competitor defense manufacturing hub with differing foreign policy interests. Chapter two focuses on how U.S. arms transfers to allies affect alliances by exploring U.S.-Saudi and U.S.-Egypt arms transfer alliances. Chapter three assesses the impact of U.S. arms transfers on regional alliances and U.S. national security by analyzing the effects of such on the Arab League, the African Union, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This thesis demonstrates that these aspects of the globalization of the defense industrial complex affect U.S. national military and economic security and the ability of the U.S. to attain its foreign policy objectives. U.S. production and sale of weapons to foreign parties’ bolsters U.S. economic and military might through contributions to U.S. GDP and cost sharing of U.S. defense acquisitions, while simultaneously providing an avenue to strengthen alliances and increase influence. At the same time, the U.S. must continue to guard against the negative side effects of this globalization; the proliferation of complex and highly capable weaponry, competitor defense production hubs, and weapons falling into enemy hands.