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By Chief Mass Communication Specialist James E. Foehl, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
Nov. 27, 2013

Thirty academic experts, presenters and U.S. Naval War College (NWC) faculty participated in the William B. Ruger Chair of National Security Economics workshop, “Economics and Security: The Defense Industrial Base,” Nov. 14-15 at the NWC in Newport, R.I.

The two-day event served as an opportunity to promote discussion and inform the debate to retain a defense industrial base, which can provide the U.S. military with innovative and effective weaponry at an affordable price.

“This nexus of national security economic issues is a very important one,” said retired Ambassador John Cloud, NWC professor for national security affairs and Ruger chair.

“This is something we teach,” said Cloud. “We look at this issue with our students in national security affairs, so this will provide benefit to our curriculum. It also provides a greater awareness of some of the challenges that the U.S. will face in the future as we try to maintain our strong global position.”

The workshop featured remarks from three keynote speakers; David J. Berteau, Center of Strategic and International Studies; Gordon Adams, American University; and professor Jacques S. Gansler, University of Maryland, and consisted of three panel discussions highlighting industry, innovation and international implications.

“To maintain this type of state of the art weaponry, we need a healthy industry. One of our speakers argued, we needed transformed industry because we’re not looking at the same issues we needed to look at in the 20th century as we look at the 21st century,” said Cloud.

Cloud also commented on how innovation is a key theme of how the U.S. will provide the weapons our forces need in the future and how foreign countries play a part in providing technology.

“We can’t just look at what’s happening in the U.S. Yes, we are the leader in many ways on military technologies but other players have become very significant providers of certain niche technologies. We need to be aware of those. We need to be able to benefit from those when they’re providing higher tech equipment and more affordable equipment than is available in the U.S.

“The seminar has been very successful. I think there’s been a very positive exchange of views,” said Cloud.

According to Cloud, the challenge he and other faculty members now face is taking the information and carrying it over into the curriculum, research and academic writings.

Edited and posted by Daniel S. Marciniak