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Convergence in Military Procurement Practice: Responses to Asymmetry

Josip Lučev ; Vrbik 33, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 112 Kb

str. 157-172

preuzimanja: 660



A certain degree of mystification surrounds all military decisions, as if their very existence stands for violence and irrationality incomprehensible to a fully civilized mind, and only justifiable with the harsh realities of the world. And yet, the armed forces in a liberal democracy are under civilian control, as is their spending. Their constitution and equipment reflect the role in which they are envisioned as well as goals they are intended to achieve. Concordantly, this article casts military spending policy as a rational and long-term process. Through large portions of the 20th century, explaining military procurement would have been focused on explanations of competitive military build-ups. Quite contrary to this, the contemporary policy challenges and solutions are more often compatible than competitive, due to the fact that the major players do not intend to make war on each other. Instead, the environment in which war-making is conceivably to take place is shared; an asymmetrical, low-intensity battlefield where once stood the threat of an all out war with an equal opponent. The intuitive approach to arming policy takes market structure and perceived security levels of countries into account. This article suggests that an improved perspective can sometimes be gained using a policy convergence framework. In particular, the author examines acquisitions of lighter armored vehicles with a fighting role by NATO member countries in recent years. The similarities in procurement projects such as Stryker (USA) and FRES (Great Britain) are viewed utilizing concepts of convergence mechanisms such as lesson drawing and policy emulation as compared to individual problem solving. A simplified model of military procurement is suggested in order to better distinguish these mechanisms. The author argues that in a high uncertainty context of military procurement coupled with urgency of the decision process, policy emulation can be preferable to technically more rational but higher cost policy-making processes.

Ključne riječi

military procurement; convergence; lesson drawing; policy emulation; FRES; Stryker

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