Cover: The Significance of Divergent U.S.-USSR Military Expenditure

The Significance of Divergent U.S.-USSR Military Expenditure

Published 1979

by Arthur J. Alexander, Abraham S. Becker, William E. Hoehn


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 2.4 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback66 pages $25.00

Due to steady increases in Soviet military expenditure over 15 years, plus sharp decreases in U.S. outlays in the first part of the 1970s, the size of Soviet military programs has exceeded that of U.S. programs for several years. The margin has been widening and is forecast to persist. The disparity in many mission outlay areas is impressively large: a three-to-one advantage to the Soviet Union in Strategic Forces; about 75 percent more than the United States for General Purpose Forces; and near parity with the United States in Support Forces. In military investment the Soviet margin has been 50 to 80 percent above the United States. These disparities constitute an additional indicator that the United States needs military effort. However, the so-called "defense spending gap" cannot indicate the U.S. effort required. The latter depends on the mix of military capabilities necessary to meet peacetime, crisis and long-term competition criteria.

This report is part of the RAND note series. The note was a product of RAND from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.