Military Expenditure, Force Potential, and Relative Military Power

by Gregory G. Hildebrandt

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Military expenditure summarizes the flow of resources in the defense sector during some period of time; military force potential is a measure of the military output that can be produced with all the assets of the defense establishment, many of which are acquired over an extended period of time. The analysis presents a measure of military output called force potential which adjusts military expenditure to compensate for the durable character of many military assets. Soviet military expenditure information and a hypothetical military capital stock series for the Soviet Union are used to compute the growth of military force potential for 1967-1972. Also proposed is an indicator of the relative military power position of the United States in the long-term competition with the Soviet Union.

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