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PFM, Vol. 7 No. 3, (2007)

This paper provides an introductory background to the symposium on defense, security and the public finances. It outlines the recent dramatic transformation of both the global defense industry and the geo-political environment within which it has to operate. Within this, changing political, strategic and military strategies are reviewed and the principal factors driving change in the defense sector are explored. The paper reviews the consequences of the end of the Cold War and explores the impact of recent ethic conflict, the Iraq and Afghanistan developments and the terrorist threat. Additional forces driving change in defense are also considered; in particular, the so-called ‘revolution in military affairs’ and the widespread restructuring of the defense industrial base over the last decade and a half. Finally, budgetary response is discussed briefly before an overview of the papers contained in this symposium is presented.

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