Defense Industry

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  • The defense industry, in the broadest sense, encompasses commercial, government, academic, and other enterprises involving the research, development, production, and provision of military supplies and services. Sometimes called military industry, it includes weapon manufacturers, ammunition makers, suppliers of defense-related consumables, and contracted service providers. During World War II, the term war industry became commonplace. In a June 1942 article about hundreds of California farm workers leaving the fields to take higher-paying jobs in shipyards, Life magazine asked, “And isn't agriculture a war industry in time of war?” Critics of the defense industry, particularly during the interwar period of the 1920s through 1930s and again during the Cold War era, often equated it with munitions industry or arms industry, but those terms might connote only part ...

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