The U.S. Munitions Deficit Is a Political Problem

The best way to understand this lack of progress is as a form of collective action problem. Given the U.S. federal system’s grounding in a separation of powers, it has historically been very difficult to accomplish significant legislative reforms without a broad coalition that is both geographically distributed and capable of coupling private sector interests with political ones. Unlike software production—a capital-light, high-margin process—designing durable legislative regimes is more like industrial production: capital-intensive, low-margin processes that require symbiotic, long-term partnerships between the federal government and corporate America.

Foreign Policy