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Since 1950, the U.S. Army's budget has waxed and waned on a roughly 20-year cycle. As the Army's role in Iraq and Afghanistan diminishes over the next decade, it will be entering the waning phase of this budget cycle. In this report, the authors examine historic trends in the Army's largest budget accounts (military personnel, operations and maintenance, and procurement) to provide a context for decisions relating to future spending and explore the recent public discourse on cuts in military spending. They also discuss the potential implications of these cuts.

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The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Army and conducted by the RAND Arroyo Center.

This report is part of the RAND occasional paper series. RAND occasional papers may include an informed perspective on a timely policy issue, a discussion of new research methodologies, essays, a paper presented at a conference, or a summary of work in progress. All RAND occasional papers undergo rigorous peer review to help ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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