Arbitrary budget cuts and the U.S. national security posture
McCaleb, Clyde J., III
Looney, Robert E.
Parker, Patrick J.
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This thesis examines the problems confronting the decision-makers today as they are forced to make tough budgetary decisions affecting the U.S. national security posture. Due to the dramatic changes occurring throughout the world, particularly in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, there is growing pressure upon Congress to reduce defense expenditures and realize a 'peace dividend'. The danger to U.S. national security lies not within the cuts themselves, but rather, within arbitrary budget cuts implemented to appease the American public and realizes a quick 'peace dividend'. Both the executive and legislative branches of government must consider the impact of current changes in defense spending on the long-range U.S. defense posture. This first requires a consensus between both branches of government on exactly what the future U.S. defense strategy should be, a dilemma made more difficult due to their political differences. The planning methods used by the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Defense must become more realistic, and the budgetary perspective and practice of Congress must become more long-range in scope. The U.S. must learn to operate more efficiently with less resources, while maintaining an adequate U.S. national security posture.
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