Soviet Defense Conversion - Problems and Opportunities

In August 1991, the people of Moscow and Leningrad demonstrated to the world that democracy is an idea whose time had come for the Soviet Union. As a result, the Soviet
government received a mandate for political reform. This reform, if successful, will result in a political system that will be very different from any that the people in the Soviet Union have ever known-a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Hand in hand with political reform, the Union and its republics will be attempting sweeping economic reforms. While recognizing how difficult it will be for the Soviet Union to achieve economic reform, it is also important to observe that it is at least conceivable now. A critically important component of economic reform in the Soviet Union is the conversion of their defense industry from a centrally managed monolith to a collection of independent, privately owned enterprises, producing civil products.