Conversion and the integration of economic and security dimensions

Release date: 1994-12

The rapidity of change which greeted the end of the cold war has put a strain on the successful management of down-sizing of defense budgets, armed forces and defense industry, and the practical reallocation of physical, financial and human capital. Initial attempts at conversion have faced various technical and financial constraints, as well as political and psychological barriers.
In this inaugural edition of the Bonn International Center for Conversion’s report series, Edward J. Laurance and Herbert Wulf broadly address the issue of conversion by introducing into the debate two seemingly contradictory forces―expansion and focus. Articulating the need to expand the conceptual framework of conversion―to include not just industrial restructuring, but also the reallocation of financial resources, the reorientation of military research and development (R&D), the demobilization and reintegration of personnel (both military and civilian) employed by the armed forces, the reallocation of military bases and installations, and the alternative use or scrapping of surplus weaponry―the authors also seek to bring to bear a focused and pragmatic application of available resources to tackle this daunting range of tasks by integrating security, economic and social dimensions.
The aforementioned six areas of conversion are, at the same time, those areas which form the basis for BICC’s research, information and project management services.