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An Undisciplined Defense: Understanding the $2 Trillion Surge in US Defense Spending

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Publication Date: January 2010

Publisher(s): Project on Defense Alternatives (Commonwealth Institute)

Author(s): Carl Conetta

Funder(s): Commonwealth Institute (Cambridge, Mass.)

Funder(s): Commonwealth Institute (Cambridge, Mass.)

Topic: Military and defense (National security)

Keywords: military; Pentagon; defense; budget

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


The report analyzes the unprecedented post-1998 rise in defense spending and the return to Cold War budget levels. The causes include overly ambitious US military strategy and goals; weakness of reform and transformation efforts; failure to make hard choices in acquisition; and conduct of wars ill-suited to the US military. Also examined: the surge in military construction and the expanded role of private contractors. 75 pages with Executive Summary and 21 charts and tables.