National Security and Export Controls

by Robert Klitgaard

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An examination of the analytical issues and the decisionmaking process in determining the national security impact of our export control policy. Currently, a good can be restricted if two questions can be answered affirmatively: (1) Does it have military uses? (2) Is it not producible or obtainable in communist countries? Analysis of the decisionmaking process, especially as it relates to the export of large computers, suggests the following improvements: (1) redefine the criteria to go beyond mere technological assessment, (2) incorporate economic considerations, and (3) consider the broader political uses of export controls.

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