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The downsizing of the United States defense industry in recent years had a multitude of effects on defense and defense-related manufacturers. Besides the inevitable loss of jobs, these firms essentially had to reinvent themselves in order to compete in the commercial sector more effectively. Moreover, the defense cutbacks also resulted in implications for the U.S. as a whole. These include questionable preparedness for armed conflict, as well as the potential loss of defense-related suppliers that could affect the ability to sustain armed conflict. These and other insights were gleaned from plant-level interviews and tours of several, small defense-related manufacturers.