Procurement: December 22, 1999


A new study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies says that the defense budget needs to be increased by $100 billion per year, to $368 billion, just to maintain the current force. This calculation is based on the cost of replacing each tank, plane, or ship as it wears out. Current US annual military spending is about 3% of the Gross National Product, half of the Cold War level and less than the percentage of GNP that the US was spending on defense during the 1930s. The study calls the current policy of retiring weapons faster than they are replaced a sure path to a "train wreck". --Stephen V Cole


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