chapter  5
13 Pages

Heavy Hands on the Market

The plight of that symbolic ship suggests the situation of the defense R&D enterprise, hovering at sea between two powerful forces, the market and the government. Each one threatens potential dangers. Aboard the Pequod, where one vision prevails, the dangers are more clearly defined. But they are much less so for the R&D enterprise, in which critical decisions are typically subject to disparate points of view and rancorous disagreements. Distributed among several sources of political power, the vision of defense technology is often diffracted. The ways in which those political forces affect the defense R&D enterprise is our subject.