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Building Resilience: The Defense Industrial Base in an Era of Great-Power Competition
January 27, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.

How ready is the United States for war? The answer to this question requires more than just ship counts or quantities of munitions. True readiness cannot be measured without an honest assessment of America’s defense industrial base. Over the last 30 years, the makeup of the defense industrial base has changed dramatically. There are far fewer prime defense contractors, more cases of single-source suppliers for key components, and fewer people with the necessary skills to design and produce defense items. The defense of America, now more than ever, is dependent on overseas supply chains.

Unfortunately, these weaknesses are surfacing at a time when we can least afford them. China is on the rise as a near-peer competitor, throwing the weight of its economy into development of military resources through civil-military fusion.

To address this complex situation, there is no more qualified expert than Dr. Jerry McGinn, Executive Director of the Center for Government Contracting at George Mason University and the former senior career official in the Defense Department’s Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy.

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