LAUREN L. VAN METRE (Alexandria, VA, U.S.A.) DEFENSE CONVERSION IN THE SOVIET UNION: WILL IT SUCCEED? Introduction to Conversion. Cursory examination of recent Soviet literature indicates that a new dimension to both "new thinking" and perestroika has entered recent political debate. This new factor is the notion of disarmament economics, defined by A. Kireev as "the study of the effects of a balanced and proportional reduction of military budgets, the implementation of the conversion of military produc- tion, the restriction and banning of the international arms trade and the transfer of resources saved as a result of disarmament to the conversion process."l At first glance, these ideas hardly seem novel. Most military powers have considered converting defense industries to civilian purposes (e.g., post World War II demilita- rization and American post-Vietnam conversion studies). In most instances, these considerations proved fleeting, as new threats emerged. When viewed within the larger context of the frenzy of economic, foreign policy and arms control initiatives emerging from the Soviet Union, however, disarmament eco- nomics must be taken more seriously. Under these conditions, disarmament economics in the Soviet Union can be seen as part of a mutually reinforcing series of policy initiatives combining
The Soviet and Post Soviet Review – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1990
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