Beyond Micromanagement: Congressional Budgeting for a Post-Cold War Military
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Critics of Congress often attack it for micromanaging the defense budget-that is, for dictating how much to spend on particular weapons and imposing other detailed requirements on the Department of Defense (DOD). Those critics urge Congress to shift its attention toward broader issues of U.S. military strategy, which for budgeting purposes concerns the size and overall characteristics that U.S. forces should have. However, as the old saying goes, beware of what you wish for; you might get it. Since 1990, key legislators have launched a barrage of proposals on defense strategy. This activism highlights the need to rethink how legislators link the details of the defense budget to broader policy concerns, and how the end of the cold war is affecting the mechanisms legislators use to shape defense spending.
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