In This Review

Defense Conversion
Defense Conversion
By Jacques S. Gansler
260 pp, MIT Press, 1995
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This is a rather broader book than its title implies. Gansler, an experienced and well-regarded student of the defense industrial base, argues that civil-military integration -- relying on a single industrial base -- requires substantial changes in how the Pentagon does business, including a dismantling of much of the military's depot system of maintenance and upgrades. In making this case the author is illuminating on a number of matters, including legislative impediments to sound acquisition practices and trends in civilian technology, which he believes should help undermine the military specifications that have long made defense technology outrageously expensive. An important book, which deserves attention not only in the Pentagon but, more important, on Capitol Hill.