Vital Signs 2020

Vital Signs Pulse

The declining health and readiness of the defense industrial base

The national defense industrial base serves as the economic foundation of the United States defense enterprise. The defense industrial base includes an extended network of manufacturers, service providers, technology developers, and commodity suppliers to supply America’s warfighters with superior equipment, capabilities, and resources. Despite its importance in achieving the U.S. national defense mission, many assessments of national defense capacities, capabilities, and needs overlook the strengths and weaknesses of the defense industrial base. The lack of attention to the health of the defense industrial base contributes to a defense policy process that consistently falls short in meeting the requirements of a healthy defense industrial base into national defense strategy, budgeting, policy, and planning. This study establishes the basis for a regular, reliable, nonpartisan, and empirical assessment of the health of the defense industrial base to inform the national defense policy community.

Final report available late January 2020

Vital Signs 2020