Long-term military competition, past, present, and future: remarks before the USAFA-RAND Conference on National Security Economics
Like a firm facing competition, the Department of Defense (DOD) must decide how to produce a given output at minimum cost, the quantity of what output to be produced, and what outputs should be produced. To do the latter DOD must periodically assess the long-term military competition (LTMC). Early research on LTMC was largely descriptive, followed by a wealth of material on organizational process models. Currently, there are two schools of thought on the dynamics of the competition: the business policy approach and the neotraditional economics approach. The business policy approach tries to apply business planning to the LTMC. The neotraditional economics approach draws upon microeconomics, particularly game theory, which can provide insights not otherwise attainable. Future research may combine the best of these approaches which could lead DOD to identify more useful kinds of intelligence products and define more appropriate long-term strategies.