Industrial Base:

Defense-Critical Industries

NSIAD-88-192BR: Published: Aug 15, 1988. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 1988.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on industries that are critical to the defense industrial base, specifically: (1) what the Department of Defense (DOD) and other agencies are doing to maintain the defense industrial base and strengthen industries critical to national security; (2) the methodology that a federally funded research and development center used to define and evaluate the strength of the defense industrial base; and (3) information on DOD prime contract awards to foreign sources.

GAO found that: (1) DOD began an initiative in 1987 to improve the competitiveness of U.S. industries critical to the defense industrial base, including a study to determine whether the industrial base's overall strength masked weaknesses in defense-critical industries; (2) of the federal agencies involved with the defense industrial base, DOD and the Department of Commerce had the most important roles in maintaining the viability of defense-critical industries and developing policies relating to national security; (3) some agencies expressed concern that DOD did not accurately represent the problems of defense-critical industries, prioritize the critical industries and minerals, or consider the effects of military coproduction agreements on U.S. industries' competitiveness; (4) although the research center's methodology was basically sound, it defined some industries as defense critical that were not clearly critical to national defense; and (5) DOD did not know the extent to which foreign-sourced components were incorporated in its acquisitions, although extensive dependence in a national emergency could have extreme consequences.

Jun 29, 2018

Apr 27, 2017

Apr 13, 2017

Sep 7, 2016

Sep 6, 2016

Aug 24, 2016

May 26, 2016

Apr 18, 2016

Mar 24, 2016

Mar 10, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here