The Economics of Mobilization in the Information Age
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
Pagination or Media Count:
Mobilization-the marshalling of resources for defense-is a multifaceted and multidimensional process dealing with military, political, diplomatic, social, and financial components of national power. This essay focuses on the economic aspect of mobilization the transformation of resources away from civilian to military uses, subject to budgetary, technological, and other constraints. Transformation implies choices hence, it is essentially an economic process. Economics, in turn, is the study of tradeoffs, with every gain coming at a cost and every goal ordinarily attainable through a variety of approaches. In any production process, economic choices must be made to maximize output from inputs used or to minimize the cost of producing a given level of output. Making such choices in the public sector is particularly difficult because there is no obvious way to gauge the economic or market value of national security services the government produces on behalf of the public. Even so, economic choices are made daily by legislators and government officials. Such decisions, whether they are made in peacetime or in wartime, always involve trade-offs.
- Economics and Cost Analysis