Small Wars, Big Defense: Paying for the Military After the Cold War A Twentieth Century Fund Book

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9780195072488: Small Wars, Big Defense: Paying for the Military After the Cold War A Twentieth Century Fund Book

One of the most difficult issues facing the United States government is how to maintain an adequate defense in a period of budget stringency. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait made it clear that the United States must be able to respond to rapid changes in the international scene. On the other hand, with the extraordinary events in Eastern Europe, reductions in US-Soviet tensions, and a worsening budget deficit at home, it is equally obvious that the military budget will be squeezed substantially in the early 1990s. The issue of defense spending is at the forefront of the US political agenda, and with it a host of fundamental questions: How much military strength does the US really need in a post-Cold War world? How can economic policy handle large cuts in defense? And what is to be done with the people and companies now working on defense projects? In Small Wars, Big Defense, Murray Weidenbaum, the former Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors, draws on years of government and industrial experience to offer a provocative look at the troubled US military complex as it confronts a radically changing world. After a careful assessment of present and likely future threats to US security interests, he takes a hard look at the the American military and defense industry, demonstrating how cycles of "feast and famine" in military budgeting have been so wasteful. He calls for a fundamental reform of the spending process, including an overhaul of the procurement system, more sensible ways of paying military personnel, and reductions in regulation of the defense contractors. At the same time, he offers concrete policies on how the American economy can best adjust to large defense cutbacks and move toward a more civilian-oriented economy. Finally, he presents ideas for getting the most out of lower defense budgets, while maintaining the capability to reverse course if necessary.
A timely book on the most pressing cluster of political and economic issues of our time, Small Wars, Big Defense will be required reading for planners, politicians, military personnel, and anyone with an interest in the direction of this country's future.

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About the Author:


About the Author:
Murray Weidenbaum is Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor and Director of the Center for the Study of American Business Washington University in St. Louis. He was Chairman of President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisors in 1981-1982 and is the author of many books and reports on public policy issues, most recently Rendezvous with Reality (1988).

Review:

Named Outstanding Book in Economics in the 1993 APA Seventeenth Annual Professional and Scholarly Book Awards

"As the United States once again downsizes its Armed Forces, Murray Weidenbaum's timely prescription for doing it right this time is must reading by opinion leaders, policy makers and defense industry leaders."--General Alexander M. Haig, Jr. (USA/Ret.)

"Nobody is better equipped than Murray Weidenbaum to analyze America's changing defense economy, and his new book is likely to shape public debate over the military budget. If we listen to Weidenbaum, we can ensure not only our national security, but our prosperity as well."--Ethan B.
Kapstein, Director, Economics and National Security Program, Harvard University

"A much-needed analysis of defense economics in an environment of diminished threat and declining budgets provided by a leading expert."--Herbert Stein, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

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