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Reviews trends during the past several years that culminated, in 1979, in an apparent consensus that the United States should increase military spending and display a more assertive presence abroad. Although that consensus might appear at first glance to have been inspired by recent perceptions of an increasingly hostile international environment, the authors suggest that the Carter administration's increases in military spending may mark the start of an already rising trend which, like the underlying public mood, could persist.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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