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CONVERSION - in the meantime the term for the process of converting arms industry into industrial production of non-military goods - is becoming a key subject in the building of the eastern economies. These Proceedings contain all important presentations of an international Conference in Dortmund in 1992. Speakers were well known experts from economy, politics, science and military, thus this book gives an up-to-date, excellent overview.





1. Conversion and Environmental Conflict

The aim of this paper is to discuss how conversion and the notion of environmental conflict might interact with each other. It first considers the idea of conversion as supplementary to the concept of arms reductions, after identifying some strategic prerequisites. In the following sections the discussion centres on the ideas of environmental security and environmental conflict, approaching the subject from the perspective of the interaction between states. Finally, the paper explores areas of linkage between the conversion process and environmental conflicts.

Arturo Abriani

2. The Conversion of the Military-Industrial Complex in Progress in Argentina

The end of the cold war has provided the world with a great opportunity for achieving important goals in terms of peace keeping and disarmament, which would have been hard to believe just a few years ago.

Alfredo Luzuriaga



3. Conversion as Conception Confusion

Conversion faces a very challenging triangle. (This triangle symbolised in its three pillars: Technology, Environment and Security).

Moustafa Ahmed Moustafa



4. Between Disarmament and Sovereignty? The Issue of the Conversion of Arms Industries/the French Example

The French arms industry has already known some periods of conversion in the fifties or after the end of the Algerian war. The “direction technique des armaments terrestress” (state’s ordnance, become recently “GIAT-INDUSTRIES”) closed seventeen bases from 1950 to 1971 (and a third of the number of employment opportunities has disappeared).

Jean - Paul Hébert



5. Sustainable Development — A Challenge for the World Economy

The economic history of the so-called industrialized nations reveals a remarkable correlation between economic growth and the use of natural resources. Even before the industrial revolution, irreversible forest exploitation for energetic use and manufacturing had depleted all the natural forests in Europe. Thereafter, in the course of the industrialization process, economic growth took up momentum, leading to an unprecedented increase of fossil fuel consumption. As a result, today’s industrialized nations are highly dependent on fossil energy resources. Due to the rising energy prices and increasing public awareness with respect to environmental damages, some industrialized nations are currently attempting to decouple the use of natural resources and economic growth. In economic to decouple the use of natural resources and economic growth. In economic terms. This process involves substitution of natural resources as a factor of production for financial and human capital. Given their relatively rich endowment with these factors of production, industrialized countries can relatively easily adjust their economies.

Torsten Amelung

6. Armament Conversion

Certainly, “Armament Conversion” is no longer a foreign word for the wellinformed, politically interested German people, but the problems started therewith already with the conceptualisation. The word, “Conversion”, is of Latin origin and means “Rearrangement, Change”. The term originates from theology, more precisely: the Catholic dogma1 and means the passage from the “false” to the “right” belief.

Christoph Butterwegge

7. Technologies for Contaminated Military Sites

I am glad to present some experiences with technologies for contaminated soils. The Ruhr is still the industrial heart of our state even with all the problems of the past. The structural renewal of our towns, industrial sites and military bases requires various technologies for the decontamination of soil and groundwater.

Jürgen Fortmann

8. Utilization of Hardware — Options and Constraints the NVA Case

With the unification formally completed, Germany ranks number two -- after the CIS --on the list of disarming European States. Germany alone is challenged to reduce more than 10,000 systems (TLIs) under the settlement of the Treaty on Conventional Force Reductions in Europe (CFE).

Hans-Joachim Giessmann

9. Dual Use Technologies, Conventional Arms Control and Conversion

During the years of the Cold War the military use of research and development reached a level unparalleled in history. According to the estimates of Colin Norman, a quarter of the global R & D expenditures was feeding the world’s military machine in the 1980s. Another similarly inaccurate calculation adds up global outlays for military R&D to some 100 billion dollars or 10% of the worldwide military expenditures.1 In the highly industrialised countries the greater part of these outlays were spent in industries as aerospace, electronics and components, instruments, electric machinery and advanced material. This led to a great demand for related equipment like machine tools which are frequently cited as an industry that has been harmed by military research and development projects.

Burkhardt J. Huck

10. Strategic Concepts for Remediation of Soil Contamination in Eastern Germany

The withdrawal of Soviet troops has been agreed upon for the period 1991 to 1994 by the contract between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics. This contract also regulates the conditions for the definite stay and the modalities of the planned withdrawal of Soviet troops from the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany. The current facts provide for the transfer of about 1,000 properties (total area about 250,000 hectares) of widely varying structure and size to the Federal Property Offices in the five new Federal States. It is expected that a considerable number of residual loads such as contaminants, fuels and ammunition will be found.

Dieter Joos

11. Proposal to Establish a Federal Agency for Baltic Sea Marine Environment Monitoring and Protection

In public debate the task of “conversion” and the “peace dividend” are often dealt with as totally different, if not contradictory. Conversion is viewed upon as an attempt to safeguard vested interests and given assets (jobs, demand, profit); the peace dividend on the other hand is seen as serving the public interest by being invested into solutions for common or even global problems (environment, development). This dichotomic view is by no means self-evident or given by nature. If and to what extent conversion and the realisation of the peace dividend fit with each other depends on how and to what end conversion programs are shaped. One proposal bringing both into line shall be sketched here: the formation of a Federal Agency for Baltic Sea Marine Environment Monitoring and Protection, called BfO (Bundesanstalt für Ostseeschutz und -überwachung).

Ulrike Kronfeld-Goharani, Christian Wellmann

12. The Use of Remote-Sensing Methods for Assessing Military Exercise Areas from the Viewpoint of Environmental Geology

Seen as a whole, the landscape of the Colbitz-Letzlingen Heath area is part of the Altmark. Like the Flaming area further eastward, the Colbitz-Letzlingen Heath is mainly a sandy highland area formed during glacial times (see also Wagenbreth & Steiner 1982). Its present appearance is characterized by a succession of three NW-SE trending terminal moraines. These are the Planken terminal moraine in the southern part of the heath, and the Letzlingen and the Neuendorf-Brunkau terminal moraines as well as several outwash fans. Although all glacial forms of this older moraine landscape were considerably modified locally during the post-Saalian Ice Age, the moraines are still clearly visible as ridges. They are cut by numerous wide drainage channels. The Magdeburg Börde, a loess zone, adjoins them in the south. The military exercise area covers the whole series of glacial landscapes.

Friedrich Kühn, R. Glaser, S. Dech, H. G. Carls, F. Böker

13. The Economic Costs of Peace — An Assessment of the Burden to Overcome the Burden of the Military-Bureaucratic-Industrial Complex

For more than twenty years the intricate relationship between armaments and development ranked high on the agenda of the United Nations. Reports commissioned by the Secretary General1 and dozens of publications produced by many agencies of the UN-system, particularly during the last decade, give ample evidence of the perceived conceptual linkage of the arms race with the manifest incapacity of the existing world order to cope with the imperative development needs of the South.

Peter Lock

14. Political, Economic and Legal Conditions for the Process of Conversion of International Security Systems — Emerging Perceptions for Global Sustainability

Almost 50 years have passed since the signing of the UN Charter launching the vision of a new peaceful international order. The name United Nations was used during the Second World War to denote all the nations allied against Germany, Japan and Italy. It was later adopted as the name of the postwar world organization. It was the threat of fascist dictatorship which cast different regions and cultures of the world into one international mould.

Peter Menke-Glückert

15. Contaminated Sites in the Ownership of the Federal Defense Forces

The Federal Army of Germany, along with the other military forces, is in possession of land holdings encompassing approximately 453,000 ha. The land holdings of the former National People’s Army (NVA) in the eastern part of Germany encompass approximately 240,000 ha. Those of the Soviet army are around 540,000 ha. Due to the integration of the army of the former GDR into the Federal Army of Germany, the withdrawal of foreign forces from German territory and the reduction of the total number of troops, consideration must be given to the future utility of these sites. Criteria which must be considered for further utility are the existence of sources from which dangerous contaminants may intrude into air, soil and water and the extent to which these media are already contaminated. Prior to releasing the sites for other uses, it must be made clear whether any clean up is required.

R. Mull, Wolfgang Schröder

16. Conversion and Disposal of Explosives and Propellants

Conversion and disposal of explosives and propellants are important tasks for future activities. Modern technologies have to be employed to meet the given environmental standards and at the same time to be economically competitive. The applicability of recycling as well as chemical conversion as disposal technologies are heavily restricted. Although for both technologies products could be figured out, investigations are underway in order to develop processes and to improve product quality. Experimental studies showed the biotechnological degradability of a series of explosives. A pilot plant is being set up to obtain technical data for a large-scale process. Studies were carried out to optimize the throughput in an incinerator on a minimum level of hazardous components in the flue gas produced. It was found that the oxygen supply and the transfer, as well as the reaction kinetics dependant on the temperature, are main influence parameters on the flue gas composition. With the data obtained, the up scale will be realized. At present the incineration of the explosives and propellants with an additional flue gas treatment is the only fully developed large-scale technique readily available.

Bernd Niemeyer, Theodor Rosendorfer

17. Disarmament Economy — A New Industrial Activity?

The debate on disarmament, conversion and peace dividends has begun to cause irritation, a development dating roughly from the first attempts to apply these concepts in practice. Once a magic word, “conversion” is rapidly becoming a threatening notion to those affected by it. At least this is the case in those countries that have so far significantly reduced military expenditure -- above all the East European states, including the republics of the former USSR. The causes are manifold; they are, of course, strongly influenced by the specific situation of these countries, which find themselves in a fundamental process of systematic transformation. Despite the specifics of this situation, however, the lack of expected and fundamental consequences of conversion, in the form of the civil use of resources freed by disarmament -- financial and human capital and industrial capacity -- call for a reappraisal of current thinking on conversion.

Petra Opitz

18. Federal Environmental Agency

The military and political dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the agreement over the conventional troops in Europe (KSE-1 Agreement), the executive power of the German unity and the reduction of allied troops in Germany linked with it, have considerable effects on the armament industry, the military service sector and the regional garrisons for troops in the Federal Republic of Germany. It is to be observed here that, in connection with the developing sites or regionally related conversion projects, the interest of environmental protection in diverse ways can be touched upon. On the one hand, environmental risks brought about through armament conversion, for example in association with the concern for ammunition and explosives, should, as far as possible, be considered unimportant. On the other hand, the environment related conversion projects can just open up chances for development and environment.

Reinhard Peglan

19. Project-Oriented Environmental Management Constraints and Strategies for Restructuring Large-Scale Industry

Improper and unchecked treatment of waste and environmentally damaging material in the former GDR has led to the creation of residual deposits and residual pollution of sites with disastrous consequences for the environment.

Joachim Schatz

20. Environmental Applications of Military Information and Communication Technologies

Highly sophisticated technologies (high-tech) are essential elements of the national security and economy of advanced countries. Modern semiconductor technology, nuclear technology, laser technology, computer and communication technologies are employed not only in the manufacture of non-military products but also increasingly in the production of weapons.1 While in the past the military was the pacemaker in many fields of high-tech development, scarce resources, problems of political acceptance and converging demand profiles of civilian and military technologies lead to a strategy of commercial predevelopment: a technology is to be developed in the civilian sector first and used for military purposes afterwards (dual-use).2 To overcome the enormous financial bottlenecks due to the rising costs for research and development (R & D) in the area of short-living electronic components, NATO increasingly buys civilian parts off the shelf and integrates them later into upgraded weapon systems.

Jürgen Scheffran



21. From Military to Civilian Production: The Present Problems of the Military Industry in Italy

The statistical data presented in this paper show the deep crisis of the Italian military industry. The reduction in arms exports has already been described in the first part of this issue. In addition to this, a fall in the purchase of arms by Ministry of Defence has been thoroughly documented.

Piero Tani, Giuseppe Catalan



22. Conversion Opportunities for Development and Environment

The past two years have witnessed big changes in the structure of the world balance of military and political power. The detente state of relations between the East and West has been transformed into what appears to be an unprecedented, though incipient (as yet), state of entente. An era marked by fear, distrust, tension and uncertainty has ended and it does not seem unrealistic to hope that the present state of transition in the world security system can be guided into an era of co-operation, trust, peace and security. It is a universal feeling that the opportunities offered by the tremendous change should be built upon and that even a partial reversal of the emerging situation would be a tragic setback to human efforts for peace and progress of all mankind.

Ather Sultan



23. Conversion as a Chance for Development and Environment

“CHETEK” International Corporation is not a State structure (See Annex). The name of our company is derived from the initial letters of three Russian words: Man, Technologies, Capital.

Vladimir Dmitriev

24. Defense Conversion on the Declining Economy: Chances and Dangers

Renewed interest in conversion in the former Soviet Union (papers are based mainly on the topics related to Russia, which concentrates 82% of defense industry potential of the USSR) was caused by the entirely new situation that defense industry faced in the dramatically changed economic and political environment. This situation might be briefly described by the following facts.

Ksenija Gonchar

25. Problems and Possibilities of Technology Transfer

A unique laboratory in one of the Urals Research Institutes is developing highly effective technologies of melting steel and alloys with definite properties and a pre-set structure (MP technology). It is used in aircraft and space industry. In aircraft components, the alloys melted according to “MP” technology are used in an engine of the “Suhoy-27” combat aircraft. The engine was successfully demonstrated at the Exhibition “Conversion-90” in Munich. This technology provides operational reliability of engines and increases their “service life” by 50%. 143 components melted from heat-resistant alloys using the “MP-technology operate in the spaceship “Buran”. The “MP” -technology increases the corrosive resistance of stainless steel components by 3–4 times. There are many other possibilities for this technology. In all cases, the “MP” technology helps to improve the quality of metals and alloys without changing their chemical composition. Different methods of influence on liquid metal can be used: ultrasonic and electro-hydroimpulse treatment, electric current effect and the time-temperature treatment as the simplest method of controlling liquid metal structure before solidification. However, the transfer of the technology in a formalized way (tables, diagrams, etc.) does not guarantee metal quality. It is a flexible technology based on the investigation of samples selected over many years. The laboratory is ready to render service using the “MP” technology by sending 2–3 experts to a customers plant. They will acquaint the customer with melting technology, without going into details and breaking the know-how or other commercial secrets, for the physico-chemical investigations in the Urals in order to work out, during 1–2 months, recommendations according to the customers order. Paymentfor the service can be made on obtaining the final results of the technological tests and implementation of recommendations. But utilisation of this technology abroad is possible only in case of good marketing. We have used again for this purpose our partner, the JTM company, which has also good connections with some companies involved in technology transfer or metal melting. Next month the first customer from Germany is going to visit the Urals and sign a contract. In case of success, some other laboratories of the institute can be involved in this process of conversion.

Evgueni Gouklin

26. Specific Aspects of the Conversion Problem in the Evolving Russia

Dramatic events of the last months, which culminated in the Treaty signed in Belorussia by the leaders of three republics which shortly transformed the USSR into the new version of the Commonwealth created by the eleven republics, have made the Soviet Union the fact of history and have seriously changed the military strategic landscape in Europe and the rest of the world. These factors have led to the necessity to reconsider the all-traditional approaches towards the military security problem. It is evident that in the current economic situation inside the Commonwealth, and the external militarypolitical environment, the real amount of defense spending will be substantially lower than in the previous years.

Alexander Konovalov

27. Some Military Production Conversion Aspects

Within the framework of the former Soviet Union, since 1989 the work on military-industrial complex conversion has been undertaken on a large scale. This is a complex and multisystematic process concerning many hundreds of thousands of specialists. Suffice it to say that in Russia alone, conversion involved about 500 enterprises and 200 scientific-research and development organizations. The main deficiency of the programme is the difficulty of putting it into practice. In this case one should take into account that curtailment of production runs with double speeding-up against the plan. Because of this, many enterprises of defence branches are put into a hard financial position. Lack of the conversion fund prevents the organization of effective use of released capacities and scientific-engineering potential for new technologies, to expand the output of civilpurpose products and consumers’ goods.

Vladimir Nikitin

28. Main Directions of Radiochemical Technology Convertice at A.A. Bochvar Ausri of Inorganic Materials

A.A. Bochvar All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Inorganic Materials (AUSRIIM) is a large research centre within the Ministry of Atomic Power and Industry and is a leading one in tackling some important problems of nuclear technology.

Anatoli Poljakov

29. Ecologically Sound Construction Technologies for the Russian Military

The joint project of Terra Block Soviet Union and Building for Peace Foundation of constructing housing for the Russian military, is an effort to derive benefit from the assets of the Terrablock construction systems for the socially unstable Russian military.

Alexander Rackitsky

30. Pulsed Equipment — Problems of Conversion

The scale of modern chemical industry places progressively more stringent requirements upon the apparatus which is used. The high efficiency and reliability of equipment that provides for the specified production in a single line must be also associated with high effectiveness. The latter circumstance requires a turbulent motion to be established in a reactor which permits the removal of an external diffusion barrier between reagents and conversion of the process to the sphere of chemical kinetics. It is a pity, but it is only in a liquid-gas system that it is possible to establish conditions of this type; in liquid-liquid, liquid-solid and even liquid-solid-gas systems the rates of reagents do not permit the above regime and additional power must be supplied to the reactor. For this purpose mechanical energy is used. In most cases an agitator is introduced into a reactor and pneumatic mixing is also sometimes employed. The principal disadvantage of these methods is a nonuniform distribution of power across the section which limits the volumes and efficiency of the reactor.

Leonid Raginsky, E. I. Zaharov

The Foreign Policy Association

The Center for Arms Control and Strategic Stability

The Center is set up as a non-government, non-profit research organization, acting as a department of the Foreign Policy Association, headed by E.A. Shevardnadze.

Anke Brunn, Lutz Baehr, Hans-Jürgen Karpe

31. Thermionic Energy Conversion, Space Technology for Energy Conservation

Only a few years ago, Obninsk could not be found on any USSR map. Still it is a city of 150,000 inhabitants who are employed by about ten different institutes. Most of these institutes are related to nuclear science. There is for e.g. a hospital which specializes in radiation therapy and treatment of radiation diseases. There is a meteorological institute, but one of the most important Obninsk Institutes is without doubt the Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE). The IPPE was founded in 1946. In 1951 it was charged with the design and construction of the world’s first nuclear power plant. On June 27, 1954 this nuclear power plant came into operation.

Lodwijk Reiner Wolff, Valerylvanovit Yarigin

United Kingdom


32. National Case Studies in Conversion: The United Kingdom

As a country with a historically high defence burden and a history of relative economic decline, the changing strategic environment has considerable implications for the UK. The end of the cold war has led to defence cuts and a restructuring of the defence industry, and promises of more cuts. The pressures upon the defence budget have a longer history, however, with the UK seeking a decline in military spending since the mid 1980s. In addition, there was the application of an industrial policy based upon “Thatcherism”, which was intended to open the defence industry to competitive forces. These factors have already led to a considerable restructuring of the defence industrial base and together with responses to the Single European Market initiative, a restructuring of the European arms industry.

Paul Dunne, Sue Willett

United Nations Organisations


33. The Macroeconomic and Environmental Effects of Military Conversion

The events of 1989 in Eastern Europe, the end of the cold war and the subsequent easing of military tensions and conflicts in other parts of the world have created an environment which makes it possible for a number of countries to receive “peace dividends” — or savings on defence expenditures which can be obtained without sacrificing national “security”. The savings arise from the fact that the improvement in the security environment has favourably changed the relationship between amounts of defence inputs that are required to produce the given levels of national “security”. The prospect that a number of countries may receive these savings has intensified the debate on military conversion — or the process of transforming military facilities and retraining human resources formerly employed in military industries to make them suitable for civilian use — and has rekindled the debate on the economic effects of military spending. There are two broad (opposing) views on the economic effects of military spending.

Timothy R. Muzondo

34. Military Resources to the Environment

The cold war is over. A totally new situation has developed in Europe. The WP-pact does not exist any longer. Drastic disarmament of both nuclear and conventional weapons now takes place. Common security and cooperation has replaced the former suspicion and rivalry. This new international situation has totally changed the map of Europe both politically and militarily and the risk of military confrontation between the two former opponents has dramatically diminished.

Maj Britt Theorin

35. Technical Co-Operation to Support the Conversion of Military to Civilian Industry

Disarmament is proceeding at an increasing pace in many countries. They include the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in which UNIDO has always had technical co-operation programmes, together with the republics of the former Soviet Union (the CIS states). In the medium term, it is hoped that similar trends will emerge in developing countries as development aid is increasingly being linked to such criteria as the level of military expenditures compared to other key indicators of development.

Horst Wiesebach

United States of America


36. Debt Reduction in Exchange for Arms Conversion: The Case for Linking Conversion, Development and Debt Reduction

The disengagement of the United States and the former Soviet Union from the Cold War brings with it the prospect of deeper reductions in world military spending. Clearly this is a welcome opportunity for these nations to end the nuclear and conventional arms races. Moreover, reducing military spending could free financial resources for these countries to address their respective budget deficits and many pressing domestic needs.

Gregory Bischak

37. Converting U.S. Science and Technology Resources to Civilian Use: Industrial Exigencies and Political Implementation

Nothing new is being said today when academic and government work points to the inability of many American industries to compete effectively with rival nations, most notably Japan.1 Similarly, nothing new is being said when we hear that U.S. living standards are not markedly improving. However, it is disturbing, though not exactly new, that the most recent data show that in 1990, for the first time since 1982, the U.S. experienced a real decline in its standard of living.2

Antony DiFilippo

38. Military Conversion and Economic Development the China Case

The cold war is over; but international violence, and preparations for it, are not. Despite major changes in global politics brought on by Soviet-American detente and the revitalization of the United Nations as a peacekeeper, the militarization of world politics continues. The Persian Gulf War, ethnic conflict in Yugoslavia, and fighting in Northern Ireland and Georgia attest to the importance of warfare in the post-cold war era. Global military spending has somewhat diminished; but at somewhere between $ 900 million and $1 trillion, it still is a major factor in the budgets and ambitions of most countries, large and small. As hopeful as the end of the cold war is, the best we can claim is that we are in an era of relative peace.

Mel Gurtov

39. Problems and Prospects of Conversion

For the first time in over 45 years, since World War II ended, the United States (Government and Citizens) can contemplate a substantial reduction in its military budget and military hardware, troops, and bases. The world has not become completely peaceful--many armed conflicts continue to rage, e.g., in Yugoslavia, Africa, South and Southeast Asia.

Betty G. Lall

40. Defense Industry Conversion: The Case of Czechoslovakia

In 1989, following Soviet President Gorbachev’s address to the United Nations in December 1988, Czechoslovakia*, Poland and Hungary cut their military expenditures and armed forces sharply. They continued the cuts in 1990 and 1991, and with the dissolution of the Warsaw Treaty Organization, (WTO), these states were strongly motivated to reallocate resources away from their defense sectors. In addition to drastic cuts in their standing armed forces this also meant a program of defense industry conversion. They will attempt to convert a portion of their industrial infrastructure, which had been devoted to weapons production for the previous 40 years, to the production of civilian products. Most precisely defined, conversion is the utilization of existing defense industrial plant and personnel at the same factory site to produce non-military products. The conversion process is of greatest importance to the U.S.S.R. Its defense industrial sector was many times larger than that of any other state and its economy is in the direst condition and in greatest need of resources for its civilian sector. Czechoslovakia was the second largest weapons producer in the WTO and even before the loss of power by the communists the Czech government had announced that weapons production by its defense industrial sector would be drastically cut. In some of the earliest statements made by President Vaclav Havel and Foreign Minister Jiri Dienstbier after they assumed power in January 1990, they declared that Czechoslovakia would end its export of weapons. However by 1992 it was apparent that both the plans for extensive defense industry conversion and a cessation of weapons exports had been severely compromised by the domestic politics ofpotential Slovakian secession. It is therefore of some interest to see how this process played itself out in an economy in which the size of the defense industry was not altogether out of proportion, which is not in a state of total crisis and imminent collapse, and in which the government was accepted as being seriously interested in seeing the process succeed.

Milton Leitenberg

41. Soviet Resources in the Defense Sector and Their Availability for Economic Recovery

The economy of the former USSR is in acute crisis. It was stagnant or in actual decline since the late 1970s1. It is now recognized that the sums expended by the USSR in military expenditure for four and half decades since the end of World War II represented approximately 25 percent — or more — of its national product. The reallocation of resources from the military to the civilian sector was always necessary. But there was no reallocation. There was none before March 1985 and Secretary Gorbachev’s accession to power. There was none between 1985 and the first announcement of projected reductions in military expenditure in 1989, and there was hardly any between 1989 and 1991. The issues were the same before the August 1991 attempted coup, before the dissolution of the USSR at the turn of the year 1991–92, and they are the same now. Even in the period since 1989 the responses of senior soviet policymakers in the defense sector, as well as individual defense industrial plant managers, have been haphazard, ineffectual, and frequently overtly resistant to any change in the status quo of the defense industrial base.

Milton Leitenberg

42. Successful Conversion Experiences

Since the Second World war, the United States has experienced several major wind-downs in defense spending, all of which have led to various degrees of conversion from military production to appropriate civilian lines of business.

Seymour Melman

43. Environmental Dimensions of Disarmament and Conversion

The 1990s mark the beginnings of an era in which fundamental change occurs in two domains critical to the future of human existence. The first is the realm of national and international security. National security has been and still is invoked to justify the relentless pursuit of military prowess -- the maintenance of large armed forces, the deployment of ever deadlier weapons systems, and the frequent intervention in the affairs of weaker nations. But the end of the Cold War provides a unique opportunity to dismantle and convert to peaceful uses a large portion of national war-making capacities and to redirect society’s priorities. The second area is the fate of the biosphere. The assault on the environment has reached crisis proportions, threatening to exhaust the earth’s regenerative capacity. Humanity now stands at the threshold to irreversible degradation of many of the natural systems that underpin all of human life. At the same time, though, environmental awareness is soaring in many countries and the concept, of “ecological sustainability” is gaining ground as an alternative approach to economic development, suggesting that the current destructive path may yet be abandoned.1

Michael Renner

44. Conversion and the Death of the Soviet Military — Industrial Complex

As the most demanding sector in the Soviet economy, as one of the most privileged elements of Soviet Society, and as the very foundation of Soviet military power, the military-industrial complex shaped much of the Soviet System’s evolution over the last seven decades. The effort to convert military enterprises to civilian production, therefore, has meant more than mere industrial reform. Because the military-industrial complex has played such an important role in the country’s evolution, its demise offers a rare perspective on the economic, political and military decay of the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, the transformation of the country since August 1991 has shaken this crucial foundation of the Soviet Union’s international stature beyond reasonable chance of repair.

Christopher Smart

45. Technology Policy & Economic Conversion in the United States: Beyond “Dual-Use — Targeting National Needs for Economic Development

In the early eighties, aerospace giant McDonnell Douglas Corp. (MDC) was in a serious quandary. Its Douglas Aircraft plant in Long Beach, California was operating at only 30 percent capacity and as many as 10,000 of its employees had been laid off. MDC is the product of a 1967 merger between the St.Louis-based McDonnell Aircraft Co., a highly successful builder of military fighter aircraft, and the Californiabased Douglas Aircraft Company, known mostly for its commercial jetliners (the DC-9 and DC-10). Cash-rich McDonnell had hoped to establish a counter-cyclical ballast for its boom-and-bust military business, while Douglas was looking to be bailed out of its financial woes. But the marriage failed to produce the desired results for either partner. Soft civilian aircraft markets, accidents involving its planes, mismanagement, and bungled sales all contributed to Douglas’ predicament.

Joel Yudken


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