A comparative analysis of the trends in Congressional control of Defense spending
Woodruff, Jason L.
Jones, Larry R.
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Each year the Department of Defense (DoD) prepares and submits a budget request through the President to Congress. Not only does Defense believe they need the resources that they ask for in the budget, but they also request a certain level flexibility in spending in order to meet the challenges of an uncertain future with a changing threat environment. When Congress increases their control over spending, the DoD's flexibility in spending directly decreases. So understanding Congressional control over Defense through the budget is important for Defense management. Levels and trends in Congressional control over Defense spending have been studied in the past. The goal of this thesis is to determine if the levels and trends in Congressional control of Defense spending within the post-Cold War era are consistent with those observed in the Cold War era. Comparative analysis through the use of graphs and statistics is the methodology used to determine the degree on consistency between time periods. Results show that the increasing trends of Congressional control over Defense spending observed in the Cold War era have significantly leveled off. It seems as if Congress has reached maximum capacity to control Defense spending.
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