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Field of national economic management concerned with peacetime and wartime military expenditures. It arose in response to the greater scale and sophistication of warfare in the 20th century. Most nations seek to avoid the vast financial and human costs of warwhich include the lost earnings of those killed or injured, lifetime medical care needed for those permanently incapacitated, and losses to the economy caused by diverting resources from investments in future economic capacityby maintaining a level of military preparedness sufficient to deter aggressors. Peacetime defense economics focuses on issues of allocation of resources between the military and civilian sectors, the relative size and character of the various armed forces, and the choice and design of their weapons.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on defense economics, visit Britannica.com.
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