Workshop by IDSS Military Transformations Programme on “The Global Arms Industry in 2030 and Beyond”
The global arms industry is a dynamic phenomenon, a constantly moving target. It expands and contracts, it has phases of growth and prosperity and phases of crisis and decline, both on an historical and on a regional basis, and often the two are not in sync with each other. This makes sweeping generalizations about the current and future likely state of the global arms industry and about the process of global armaments production in general, difficult. The 1990s were a period of relative downturn and contraction, while the first decade of the 21st Century appeared to be one of stabilization and growth. The question today is, will the global arms industry over the next 15 years or resemble more the 1990s or the 2000s – or will it be something totally different? Will the expansion continue, or is a contraction sure to follow, given the highly cyclical nature of this particular business sector? And in any event, bust or boom, how will the global arms industry evolve and transform, in terms of size, structure, ownership, etc.? How will such influences as dual-use technologies, globalization, cyber, and the possible emergence of new major players affect the global arms industry?
Those are the questions that will shape and guide this workshop. This one-day workshop will address the potential effects of various macro-economic and geopolitical drivers affecting the global arms industry out to 2030 and beyond, and then also explore how national defense industrial bases might (or might not) change over the course of the next 15 years or so.