[Excerpt] The purpose of this report, conducted by High Road Strategies, LLC (HRS) of Arlington, VA is to examine the extent of this unraveling, and the resulting weakening of America’s defense industrial capacity in the coming decades. The approach taken here, however, is different than other efforts to assess the defense industrial base and its reliance on foreign sources of supply for critical items. Most of these efforts, especially the periodic assessments of defense preparedness that the Pentagon itself regularly undertakes, tend to focus very narrowly on a relatively limited group of technological products and the industries—or segments in those industries—that supply those parts, that the DOD deems vital for meeting defense needs.
Instead, the study reported on here analyzes a large body of evidence—drawn from industry and government sources, the professional literature, and many other sources—in an effort to examine the extent that the deterioration of the overall U.S. manufacturing base is contributing to the erosion of the nation’s defense industrial base. That is, its focus is on assessing the health and competitiveness of the nation’s civilian industrial base upon which a strong defense industrial base—including the ability to produce specialized defense-critical products—ultimately rests.