National Security Spending and Budget Trends Since World War II

by Kevin N. Lewis


Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 8.9 MB

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


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback170 pages $40.00 $32.00 20% Web Discount

This Note surveys major national and DOD trends of interest to defense planners since 1945. In general, the Defense Department's budget has reflected the world situation fairly reliably. As an element of the national economy and the federal budget, the defense burden has generally followed a downward trend since the Korean War. Nondefense federal and net public budgets have grown (and can be expected to continue to grow), pressuring defense budgets. Procurement will be the probable defense budget battleground of the 1990s. Marginal adjustments and improvements to the budget problem could yield the most important dividends. Examination of the historical record shows that trends do exist, that they are stable, and that there are good reasons for this. Those who call for radical action on the budget and defense program should have the burden of proof. Excessive change, or too abrupt a set of changes, leads to turbulence or worse and jeopardizes the ability to shape the course of strategic events.

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

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation 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.