Policy Analysis No. 114                  November 30, 1988


by Robert Higgs
Robert Higgs is the William E. Simon Professor of Political
Economy at Lafayette College and the author of Crisis and
Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Govern-
ment (Oxford University Press, 1987).

Executive Summary

Anyone who has studied elementary economics has encoun-
tered the idea that a society's output may be either "guns"
or "butter" and that, once all resources are employed, having
more of one entails having less of the other. This categoriza-
tion of output is only a metaphor to make more concrete the
concepts of production possibility and opportunity cost. I
propose, however, to take the categorization seriously in
order to inquire into how the costs of America's cold war
military activities have been distributed between the private
sector and the governmental nonmilitary sector. Accordingly,
I extend the familiar metaphor slightly, dividing the U.S.
gross national product (GNP) into three exhaustive classes:
government military purchases, denoted by G-M; all government
--federal, state, and local--nonmilitary purchases, denoted
by G-NM; and all private purchases, whether for consumption
or investment (plus net exports), denoted by _. This categori-
zation permits one to view the societal opportunity costs of
military purchases as broadly as possible. One is examining
not just the division of the federal budget but the division
of the entire national flow of production (as conventionally

To provide empirical terms of reference for the analysis,
I consider periods of military mobilization to be defined by
a rapid, uninterrupted, multiyear increase of real military
outlays, and periods of demobilization by a substantial de-
crease of real military outlays. In the United States since
1948, three mobilizations have occurred, during 1950-53,
1965-68, and 1978 to the present. The first two were followed
by demobilizations. The third (as of this writing) is still
in progress--real military spending increased by about 3
percent in calendar year 1987--though budgetary authorizations
and appropriations already legislated make an eventual spending
retrenchment almost certain.

An increase of the share of G-M in GNP can occur at the
expense of either the share of _ or the share of G-NM or of
both. A natural distinction may be drawn between "capitalist"
buildups, when the share of G-NM declines, and "socialist"
buildups, when the share of P declines. Obviously, mixed
cases are possible. Demobilizations may be viewed in the
same way.

In light of the empirical findings, one may reconsider
the institutions and processes by which resources are allocated
among _, G-M, and G-NM. Of particular concern is the role
of ideology and information. Who knows what, and who believes
what, about national defense requirements and capabilities?
How is the existing information used in the political processes
that determine the broad allocation of resources? How stable
are public preferences, and what makes them change as they do?

Military Spending and output Shares in the Cold War Era

Culminating the demobilization of the World War II mili-
tary establishment, real military spending hit its postwar
low in calendar year 1947 at $10 billion, equivalent to about
$45 billion in 1982 dollars, or 4.3 percent of GNP. (Hence-
forth in this paper, unless otherwise indicated, all dollar
amounts are expressed in 1982 purchasing power.) But in
1947 relations with the Soviet Union were already deteriora-
ting, at least in the eyes of officials at the State Depart-
ment.[1] For the people on Main Street, however, other con-
cerns had priority. "Though the polls showed growing awareness
of Soviet aggressiveness, most Americans were still not ready
to undertake the dangerous, expensive job of opposing Russia.
. . . The Republicans had gained control of Congress in No-
vember [1946] by promising a return to normalcy, not an assump-
tion of Britain's empire."[2] To convince the public, and
thereby Congress, of the need for additional defense spending,
administration officials needed a crisis. The confrontations
over Greece and Turkey, which had flared up in 1947, could
not carry the full burden of the justification required.

Early Cold War Measures

Events came to the rescue when the Communists took over
the Czechoslovakian government early in 1948. Lieutenant
General Lucius Clay, military governor of the U.S. Zone in
Germany, helped to create a war scare by sending a telegram
warning that war between the United States and the Soviet
Union might occur "with dramatic suddenness. n In March Presi-
dent Truman called for a supplemental defense appropriation
of more than $3 billion (1948 dollars), which Congress quickly
passed.[3] Hoping to gain a rally-'round-the-flag response
from the citizenry while seeking reelection, Truman gave a
major speech that stressed the danger of war with the Soviets;
he denounced their "ruthless action" and their "clear design"
to dominate Europe.[4]

With these events, the cold war had definitely begun.
Congress approved defense appropriations for fiscal year
1949 about 20 percent higher than those for fiscal year
1948.[5] The Berlin crisis that began in mid-1948, the forma-
tion of NATO in 1949, and the outbreak of the Korean War in
1950 ensured that the superpower rivalry and confrontation
we know as the cold war--a state of permanent national emer-
gency and military readiness--would remain thereafter the
dominant fact of life in U.S. foreign and defense affairs.

NSC 68 and the Korean Conflict

Notwithstanding the sharp jump in real military purchases
in calendar year 1949, the first rapid multiyear mobilization
of the postwar era did not begin until after the outbreak of
the Korean War (see Table 1 and Figure 1). Previously, admin-
istration officials had encountered stiff resistance from
Congress to their pleas for a substantial buildup along the
lines laid out in NSC 68, a landmark document of April 1950.
The authors of this internal government report took a Mani-
chaean view of America's rivalry with the Soviet Union,
espoused a permanent role for the United States as world
policeman, and envisioned U.S. military expenditures amounting
to perhaps 20 percent of GNP.[6] But congressional acceptance
of the recommended measures seemed highly unlikely in the
absence of a crisis. In 1950 "the fear that [the North Korean]
invasion was just the first step in a broad offensive by the
Soviets proved highly useful when it came to persuading Con-
gress to increase the defense budget." As Secretary of State
Dean Acheson later said, "Korea saved us."[7] The buildup
reached its peak in 1953. The ensuing demobilization took
two years and left defense outlays during the next decade at
a level about three times higher than that of the late 1940s.
Between 1947 and 1950 real annual military spending never
exceeded $60 billion; after 1952 it never fell below $143
billion. Samuel Huntington, a leading student of U.S. defense

Table 1

Real Military Purchases (in Billions of 1982
Dollars), 1948-87

Year Spending Year Spending

1948 47.9 1968 209.8
1949 59.2 1969 198.2
1950 59.8 1970 182.9
1951 134.7 1971 166.9
1952 181.2 1972 166.5
1953 189.2 1973 156.6
1954 158.2 1974 153.0
1955 143.4 1975 151.1
1956 144.8 1976 148.0
1957 153.3 1977 149.9
1958 155.9 1978 150.8
1959 152.6 1979 155.1
1960 146.6 1980 166.5
1961 153.5 1981 178.2
1962 163.3 1982 193.8
1963 159.0 1983 206.4
1964 153.2 1984 217.8
1965 150.9 1985 232.7
1966 177.1 1986 243.1
1967 204.5 1987p 251.2

Sources: Figures for 1948-86 computed from nominal-dollar
purchases and GNP deflator in Council of Economic Advisers,
Annual Report (Washington: Government Printing Office,
1987), pp. 245-48. Figure for 1987 computed from prelimi-
nary data in Council of Economic Advisers, Annual Report
(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1988), pp. 248-52.

policy, has speculated that "without the war, the increase
probably would have been about the size of that of 1948-1949,"
that is, 20 percent instead of 200 percent.[8]

Figure 1

Real Military Purchases (in Billions of 1982 Dollars),

[Graph Omitted]

1948 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84

Source: Computed from nominal-dollar purchases and GNP de-
flator in Council of Economic Advisers, Annual Report (Wash-
ington: Government Printing Office, 1987), pp. 245-48.

Subsequent Buildups and Retrenchments

During 1955-65 U.S. military policy underwent substantial
recasting--first Eisenhower's New Look put major emphasis on
massive nuclear retaliation by the Strategic Air Command and
intercontinental ballistic missiles, then Kennedy's plan
moved toward flexible nuclear response, counterinsurgency,
and forces tailored to limited wars. But none of this had a
major impact on overall defense spending, which fluctuated
within a fairly narrow range of $143-63 billion. A much-
vaunted buildup after JFK took office raised spending by 11
percent between 1960 and 1962, but the decline during the
next three years brought the real spending total in 1965
below the 1957 figure. Because the Kennedy buildup was so
brief, so small, and so transient, I do not regard it as

Figure 2
Military Purchases as Percentage of GNP, 1948-86

[Graph Omitted]

1948 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84

Source: Computed from nominal-dollar purchases and GNP de-
flator in Council of Economic Advisers, Annual Report (Wash-
ington: Government Printing Office, 1987), pp. 245-48.

belonging in the same category as the three mobilizations
already identified.

Beginning in 1965, the Vietnam War buildup carried real
defense purchases to a mobilization peak in 1968, up by more
than one-third. The ensuing demobilization is harder to date
with certainty. I put its completion at 1971, when the mili-
tary share of GNP had fallen below the premobilization share
of 1965 (see Figure 2). After holding its own in 1972, how-
ever, the amount of real military spending continued downward
until it hit bottom in 1976. (The G-M share of GNP hit bottom
in 1978.) Despite this resumption of the decline that first
began after 1968, I believe that it would be incorrect to
describe the decline during 1972-76 as part of the Vietnam
War demobilization as such.[9] Although the latter decline
certainly reflected, in part, disillusionments and convictions
engendered by the Vietnam experience, it applied more to the
military establishment in general, especially the procurement
accounts, than to forces in or supporting military action in
Southeast Asia.[10] By January 1973 only 30,000 U.S. military
personnel remained in Vietnam and, although American air
attacks continued, all responsibility for ground combat was
shifted to Vietnamese troops.[11] The bulk of the military
retrenchment during 1972-76 reflected public and congressional
revulsion against militarism and the cold war rather than
savings associated with the reduction and eventual cessation
of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

Finally, after 1978 the Carter-Reagan buildup is obvious
in the spending figures. Between 1978 and 1980, real military
outlays increased by $15.7 billion, or 10.4 percent; between
1980 and 1987, by $84.7 billion, or 50.9 percent. Over the
entire nine-year buildup, outlays went up by $100.4 billion,
or 66.6 percent. (Remember, these figures are expressed in
inflation-adjusted 1982 dollars.) Not being associated with
a major shooting war, this vast military spending surge has
no precedent whatever in American experience.

Military analysts of diverse experience and perspectives
have questioned whether the recent buildup achieved much
real overall improvement of the armed forces and whether it
genuinely enhanced the national security of the American
people.[12] Many people suspect that a large share of the
additional spending was simply wasted through congressional
patronage and micromanagement, military intransigence and
inefficiency, contractor mismanagement and cost padding, and
sheer bureaucratic bungling at the Pentagon. Although some
modernization has occurred, the quality of enlisted personnel
has risen, and readiness may have improved, neither the overall
force structure nor the personnel strength of the armed forces
looks much different today than it did when the buildup began.

Before proceeding, one should note two "technical" but
important points. First, I have computed the data on real
military spending by deflating nominal-dollar defense purchases
by the GNP deflator. (All data are for calendar, not fiscal,
years.) While this procedure does not permit one to claim
that the resulting real spending series accurately portrays
the growth of real defense "quantity"--whatever that might
mean--it does permit one to approximate the opportunity cost
of military spending in terms of real nonmilitary output
forgone, which is at issue here.[13] Second, the military
spending being analyzed here is for purchasing newly produced
goods and services, including foreign military assistance.
This component of the National Income and Product Accounts
is not the same as budgetary outlays of the Defense Department,
which include a substantial sum for transfer payments such as
military retirement pay. (Since the mid-1960s, retirement
pay has been the fastest-growing part of the Defense Department
budget. In 1985 it accounted for $15.4 billion, or about 6
percent of the Pentagon total.[14] Also, some defense pur-
chases originate in other federal departments; for example,
the Energy Department purchases goods and services to produce
nuclear reactors and warheads.[15])

The Staggering Cost of Military Spending

Over the entire period 1948-86, real military purchases
cumulated to a total of $6,316 billion, averaging about $162
billion per year. There was, obviously, substantial fluctua-
tion: the standard deviation was almost $40 billion. The
trend was slightly upward. A trend equation fitted to the
data shows that over this period of almost four decades the
tendency was for defense purchases to increase by somewhat
more than $2 billion per year on the average.[16]

The appendix displays data on the shares of GNP going
to G-M, G-NM, and P purchases during 1948-86. Figure 2 dis-
plays graphically the profile of the military share. Over
the entire period, the military share averaged about 7.6
percent of GNP with a standard deviation of 2.2 percentage
points. The trend was slightly downward. A trend equation
fitted to the data indicates that the military share tended
to fall by a bit more than 1 percentage point per decade.[17]

The G-NM share, pictured in Figure 3, had a completely
different profile over the period 1948-86. Until the mid-
1970s its general tendency was upward; since then it has
drifted slightly downward, though not in every year. Over
the entire period, the government (federal, state, and local)
nonmilitary share averaged slightly more than 12 percent of
GNP with a standard deviation of 2.2 percentage points. Its
trend was upward. A trend equation fitted to the data indi-
cates that the government nonmilitary share tended to increase
by nearly 2 percentage points per decade.[18]

The private share is, by my definition, what's left
after the government shares are taken out (so, besides all
private consumption and investment, it includes net exports,
normally an almost negligible part of the total). During
1948-86 the private share averaged just over 80 percent of
GNP with a standard deviation of about 2 percentage points.
Its trend was slightly downward. A trend equation fitted to
the data indicates that the private share tended to decline
by two-thirds of a percentage point per decade.[19]

Who Pays?

Combining the information in the preceding three para-
graphs, one may conclude that over the four decades of the
cold war period, the tendency was for the government non-
military share to gain at the expense of both the government
military share and the private share, with the military share
absorbing almost two-thirds of the overall shift.[20] Although
it is true that the postwar American economy has remained a
tripartite mixed economy--simultaneously a welfare state, a

Figure 3

Government Nonmilitary Purchases as Percentage of GNP,

[Graph Omitted]

1948 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84

Source: Computed from nominal-dollar purchases and GNP de-
flator in Council of Economic Advisers, Annual Report (Wash-
ington: Government Printing Office, 1987), pp. 245-48.

warfare state, and a market economy--it is also true that
over the long run the welfare part has expanded its claim on
national output at the expense of both the warfare part and
the market part. Metaphorically speaking, both guns and
butter have tended--in relative, not absolute, terms--to lose
out to the great congeries of governmentally purchased civilian
goods and services.[21]

Given that overarching trend, one may proceed to ask
whether the cyclical increases in the G-M share occurred at
the expense of G-NM or P shares. The answer is clear: There
was no systematic tendency at all for the G-NM share to fall
when the G-M share rose. In fact, during military buildups,
the government nonmilitary share of GNP was more likely to
rise than to fall. The G-NM share was higher in 1953 than
it had been in 1950, and it was higher in 1968 than it had
been in 1965. Over the course of the Carter-Reagan buildup,
the G-NM share fluctuated, sometimes rising and sometimes
falling, but the share at the end (14.0 percent in 1987) was
virtually the same as it had been before the buildup began
(14.1 percent in 1978).

The behavior of the private share is another story.
Changes in the G-M and P shares have been almost exactly
offsetting. A trade off equation fitted to the annual changes
during 1948-86 shows that the implicit price of a 1 percentage-
point increase in the military share was a reduction of almost
exactly 1 percentage point in the private share of GNP.[22]
In short, during the cold war period, the private sector
alone has borne the full cost of military buildups.

In the language introduced above, one may describe the
buildup of 1950-53 as completely socialist and the demobili-
zation of 1953-55 as completely capitalist. But because the
magnitude of the military upswing greatly exceeded that of
the subsequent retrenchment, over the full cycle of 1950-55
the net change of the private share was minus 5 percentage
points. The buildup of 1965-68 was also completely socialist;
the demobilization was 64 percent capitalist if considered
complete in 1971, 60 percent capitalist if considered complete
in 1976. Over the complete cycle of 1965-71 the net change
of the private share was minus 1.5 percentage points; over
the period 1965-76 it was minus 0.4 percentage points. The
Carter-Reagan buildup during 1978-87 was almost 95 percent
socialist; the private share fell by 1.7 percentage points,
while the military share rose by 1.8 percentage points.
During the Reagan years alone, 1981-87, the buildup was com-
pletely socialist; that is, the private share fell even more
than the military share rose.

These relationships might well give pause to those who,
like the authors of NSC 68, espouse a large-scale military
buildup and the preservation of the market economy. If his-
torical experience is indicative of future developments,
this policy combination is unlikely to be realized. The
U.S. political economy--as it actually operates, not as someone
might wish that it would operate--apparently does not offer
this option. Earl Ravenal has observed that "an extensive,
engaged foreign policy and a large, active military posture
require big, intrusive, demanding government."[23] In view
of the findings presented above, one could add that those
demands are likely to draw upon the private sector, not govern-
ment's own civilian sector.

Of course, the workings of the political economy may
change. Perhaps in the future a military buildup can occur
at the expense of the G-NM share of GNP. But the burden of
proof lies heavily on anyone who thinks so--one must go back
more than 20 years to reach a time when the G-NM share absorbed
less than 13 percent of GNP (it's now 14 percent). If his-
torical relationships persist, those who espouse a large-
scale military buildup simply must choose: military output
or private output? Of course, some may be willing to make
further sacrifices in the market sector for the sake of more
guns. But a point will eventually be reached when the choice
becomes a cruel one indeed, when the allocation of additional
resources to the military threatens to destroy the very thing
the defense establishment is supposed to protect.

Ideology, Information, and the Conflict
of Elites and Publics

The foregoing evidence and analysis raise a variety of
questions. Only a few can be considered here. I shall focus
on issues relating to ideology, information, and the conflict
between elites and publics.

Consider first the profile of resource allocation to
the military during the cold war period. One might ask: (1)
What accounts for the unprecedentedly enormous base spending
level, that is, the level when the nation was not involved
in shooting wars? (2) What accounts for the deviations from
that base, that is, for the buildups? Until the late 1970s
the answers seem fairly transparent. The high base level of
spending resulted from the cold war ideology and the foreign
policy doctrines and military commitments that flowed from
it. The spending deviations were associated with the ex-
traordinary costs of participation in two major shooting wars
in Asia.[24] The Carter-Reagan buildup is a different matter.
Set in motion by a unique combination of external events,
astute partisan political action, and information management,
kept in motion by executive determination and institutional
momentum, it requires separate analysis.[25]

Recall (Table 1 and Figure 1) that during the "normal"
years of the post-Korean War period, 1955-65 and 1972-78, when
neither substantial mobilization nor demobilization was oc-
curring, real defense spending fluctuated within a range of
$143-66 billion. This contrasts with the $48-60 billion
range of the years 1948-50. One may conclude that the es-
tablishment of the full-fledged cold war regime caused real
defense spending almost to treble. Shooting wars entailed
marginal costs of another $20-60 billion per year. Even
without the periodic buildups, the "normal" cost of the cold
war military establishment would have cumulated to some $6
trillion in four decades--a staggering sum.

For about 20 years after World War II the dominant cold
war ideology and a bipartisan consensus on defense and foreign
policy, focused on containment and deterrence of the Soviet
Union, gave support to the unprecedented allocation of re-
sources to the "peacetime" military establishment.[26] Having
weakened somewhat under the strains of the Vietnam War con-
troversy and its political aftermath, both the ideology and
the consensus persist, subject now to a good deal of fraternal
squabbling, notably within Congress.[27] President Reagan's
rhetorical hostility toward the Soviet Union's "evil empire"
and the generally hawkish stance of his administration, espe-
cially during the president's first term, helped to refurbish
the tarnished cold war ideology.

This ideological milieu has been important, even essen-
tial, in maintaining high levels of resource allocation to
defense; but it has not been sufficient. Ordinary citizens,
almost none of whom have any direct contact with conditions
or evidence bearing on national security, may easily suspect
that too much is being spent, that genuine national security
does not really require such vast expenditures, and that mili-
tary interests, especially the uniformed services and the
big weapons contractors, are using bogus threats as a pretext
for siphoning off the taxpayers' money. Countless political
cartoons, featuring bloated generals bedecked with battle
ribbons, have promoted precisely such an image. Citizens do
not have to be natural cynics. The problem of creeping skepti-
cism is inherent in the remoteness of the subject from their
immediate experience. In addition, as Huntington has remarked,
"The longer a given level of military force is apparently
adequate for deterrence, the greater is the temptation to
assume that a slightly lower level might be equally ade-

Moreover, frequent newspaper and television reports of
waste, fraud, and mismanagement--and most recently, of wide-
spread bribery--foster the public's tendency to doubt what
the defense authorities say. Popular books explain how the
military-industrial-congressional complex constitutes an
"iron triangle," exploiting the taxpayers, distorting defense
policies, and blocking progress toward multilateral arms

Unfortunately, no one knows the production function for
national security. It is "difficult to correlate military
expenditure levels to distinct improvements in national secu-
rity. Citizens can only spend and hope." But "the indeter-
minate nature of the need to spend," along with the underlying
cold war ideology, creates a potential for the political
authorities to arouse the slumbering apprehensions of the

The tendency of chronic insecurity to lose its efficacy
in supporting high levels of spending can be offset by episodic
crises. In a perceived crisis, public opinion becomes vola-
tile. Many people suspend their reason, critical faculties,
and long-term judgments, reacting emotionally and with height-
ened deference to political leaders.[31] As Sen. Arthur
Vandenberg observed when Truman was first attempting to per-
suade the public to support a policy of containment in 1947,
gaining such support requires that national leaders "scare
hell out of the American people."[32] Sometimes the outside
world presents an inviting opportunity to take advantage of
a crisis, as when the North Koreans crossed the 38th parallel
in 1950. But usually the world does not supply such clear-cut
cases, and the national security managers must take matters
into their own hands.

Illusory Military "Gaps"

Since World War II the American people have been offi-
cially alerted to a series of ominous "gaps." [33] Right
after the war, Soviet force levels and offensive capabilities
were exaggerated: of the fearsome 175 Soviet divisions, one-
third were undermanned and another one-third were ill-equipped
militia.[34] Then came a bomber gap in the mid-1950s and a
missile gap between 1958 and 1961, followed within a few years
by an antimissile gap and a first-strike missile gap. All were
shown in due course to have been false alarms. Meanwhile,
the American people received an almost wholly fictitious
account of an incident in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964, which
stampeded Congress into giving its blessing to what soon
became a major war.[35] Subsequent gaps have been alleged
with regard to bombers (again), thermonuclear megatonnage,
antisubmarine capabilities, and missile throw weights. The
1970s were officially declared to have been a "decade of
neglect" of U.S. defense, one that opened a dangerous "window
of vulnerability." According to Defense Secretary Weinberger,
an "enormous gap . . . has emerged since 1970 between the level
of Soviet defense activities and our own," though fortunately
the Reagan administration has "managed to close much of this
gap."[36] Still, we currently face a Star Wars gap that can
be closed only through estimated expenditures eventually
cumulating to hundreds of billions of dollars.[37]

Although not every gap scare has led directly to a cor-
responding U.S. response, the endless succession of such
episodes has helped to sustain an atmosphere of tension,
distrust, and insecurity that fosters the maintenance of an
enormous ongoing arms program. Among the public, mood sub-
stitutes for information--a situation that suits the purposes
of the defense establishment quite well.

The Cult of Secrecy

The national security elite--the president, his National
Security Council (NSC), the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and high
officials of the State Department, the Defense Department,
and the Central Intelligence Agency, plus the heads of other
intelligence organizations, various aides, arms contractors,
scientists, and consultants, altogether a mere handful of
men among whom only the president and the vice president hold
elective office--possesses a near-monopoly over critical
defense-related information. This situation springs from
origins in the National Security Act of 1947, which created
the NSC and the CIA and "set in motion a cult of secrecy, a
far more pervasive system of classifying information than
had ever existed previously, and a growing executive deter-
mination to withhold sensitive information from the public
and from Congress."[38] An NSC member once declared, "Policy
decisions of the National Security Council are not a fit
subject for public discussion."[39] The need for a certain
amount of secrecy is obvious, but many people suspect that,
as Sidney Lens has observed, "mostly, secrecy is used against
the people of the United States."[40]

Manipulation of the Public

In view of the exclusive possession of critical informa-
tion by the national security elite, some commentators have
argued that the insiders must (sometimes? often? always?)
take actions in conflict with prevailing public preferences.
For example, Edward Kolodziej has written: "The public's
grasp of defense problems has often been cloudy, confused,
and fragmentary. . . . Fluctuating and unpredictable, the
changing emotive responses of the public are not likely to
be congruent with the short- and long-term needs of security
and foreign policy." Hence, correct policies must be sold
to the public by the informed and (need one add?) completely
selfless and trustworthy leadership and its agents.[41]
For those who believe that the captain, crew, and ship exist
to serve the passengers rather than vice versa, such arguments
seem elitist, cynical, and morally and intellectually ar-
rogant.[42] But however one views the virtues and vices of
an elite's "selling" its foreign policy to the public by
means of propaganda, one must recognize that this is in fact
the sort of campaign the government has been conducting
throughout the cold war era.[43] As J. Russell Wiggins, a
former editor of the Washington Post, has said, "Our government
repeatedly resorts to lies in crises, where lies seem to
serve its interests best."[44]

This easily documented observation comes as a shock to
only the most stubbornly naive or blindly patriotic. As
Lance Bennett has observed, information about public issues
is an inherently political commodity. It is concealed, re-
vealed, leaked, released, classified, declassified, jargonized,
simplified, and packaged symbolically according to the polit-
ical interests of those ubiquitous 'informed sources' who
have a stake in the outcome of the issue in question."[45]
Manipulation of information is central to what modern governing
elites do. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, no stranger to the inner
sanctums of government power, has observed that "knowledge
is power, and the ability to define what others take to be
knowledge is the greatest power."[46]

Elite management of information and manipulation of
public opinion operate within different constraints for domes-
tic, as opposed to defense-related, matters. On domestic mat-
ters, opinion makers are much more constrained because infor-
mation is far more dispersed. The authorities might want
the public to believe that Iowa is made of green cheese, but
they have scant ability to give the idea credibility. Being
in conflict with the evidence of immediate personal experience
can only discredit official pronouncements and their sources.
So the authorities must be more careful when speaking of
domestic subjects, though even here the remoteness of certain
things from common experience allows scope for interpretation,
selectivity, and other ways of shading the facts.

On defense-related and foreign policy matters, the scope
for information management and opinion leadership by the
national security elite is much wider.[47] It is virtually
impossible for anyone outside that elite to know much about
the military capabilities and intentions of our potential
adversaries--who are, after all, far more addicted to secrecy
than our own elite. The defense insiders themselves have
plenty of trouble knowing what to make of the information at
their disposal. But they unquestionably have vastly more to
work with than others have.

They also have interests of their own--personal, politi-
cal, institutional, material, ideological--interests that
they can serve through judicious control and dissemination
of the information to which they alone have access. They
have never hesitated to exploit the advantages of their priv-
ileged access to information. The Iran-contra affair and
the Pentagon bribery scandal are only the latest episodes in
a long history of self-serving mendacity. "The entire sequence
of decisions concerning the production and use of atomic
weaponry," for example, took place "without any genuine public
debate, and the facts needed to engage in that debate intel-
ligently [were] officially hidden, distorted, and even lied

Constraints on the National Security Elite

All this does not mean that the national security elite
can do anything it wants. If it could, retrenchments of the
military establishment presumably never would have occurred
after the buildups. Certainly the steep decline of 1968-76,
especially its latter phase, which defense interests stoutly
opposed, would not have been so steep. The fact that the
allocation of resources to defense has sometimes fallen, and
fallen substantially, refutes radical arguments that allege
the exercise of hegemony by the national security establish-
ment.[49] Although one must appreciate the tremendous polit-
ical resources possessed by the defense elite, it is possible,
and not uncommon, to overestimate its strength. It has lost
some political battles. That is why less than 7 percent of
GNP now goes to defense instead of 10 to 15 percent or more.
Of course, defense interests appreciate that proposals or
actions widely perceived as too grasping would be imprudent
and counterproductive. More important, however, are the
external factors that constrain the defense managers, despite
their unique control of information and their consequent
ability to mold, rather than respond to, public opinion.

The biggest problem for defense authorities who would
wield ideology, control information, and mold public opinion
arises from that proverbially inevitable duo, death and taxes.
These are the most evident forms taken by the costs of exten-
sive commitments of resources to military purposes. Of these,
death is obviously the more important. Notwithstanding all
their power and position, the authorities cannot credibly
deny certain realities; the word gets out when Johnny doesn't
come home, or when he does come home, but with an arm or a leg
missing. John Mueller fitted statistical models to public
opinion data gathered during the Korean and Vietnam wars and
found that "every time American casualties increased by a
factor of 10, support for the war dropped by about 15 per-
centage points."[50] Robert Smith reports public opinion
data showing that "complaints about taxes were high during
the two limited wars and increased as the wars progressed."[51]

Smith's data illustrate the enduring constraint on mili-
tary activities in the form of narrowly economic opportunity
costs. In the crisis of 1948 and immediately afterward,
Truman resisted recommendations for a huge increase in military
spending, facilitated by either increasing taxes or imposing
economic controls, because "he was convinced that these courses
were not economically or politically feasible."[52] In the
wake of the Soviets' Sputnik success, President Eisenhower
opposed the Gaither Committee's recommendation for a big
buildup because he had "a nagging fear that the American
people would balk at paying the bill." [53] Given this abiding
popular resistance, it was only to be expected that, as Hugh
Mosley notes, the Johnson administration "was reluctant to
resort to increased taxes to finance the war for fear of
losing public support for its policy of military escala-
tion."[54] Nixon is said to have "realized that for economic
reasons (the war was simply costing too much) and for the
sake of domestic peace and tranquility he had to cut back on
the American commitment to Vietnam," and the retrenchment
was "forced on [him] by public opinion. H [55] Jacques Gansler
observes that during the 1970s "the will of the people, who
were fed up with the war in Vietnam, was to devote all avail-
able resources toward improving the peacetime life of the
nation."[56] Yet at the same time, rising real marginal
tax rates inspired tax revolts, limiting the capacity of
governments to supply more nonmilitary goods. Something had
to give. Of the political coalitions struggling over the
three grand categories of output, the military coalition
proved the weakest, at least until after 1978.

Notably, the inverse relation of the burdens of death
and taxes to the popularity of a war (well documented for
the Korean and Vietnam wars) seems not to have characterized
public opinion during World War II. This difference may be
related to how the public understood the necessity of war
and its attendant costs in each of those cases. World War
II received unparalleled support because people were violently
provoked and angered by Japan's devastating surprise attack
on U.S. citizens and territory at Pearl Harbor and because
enemy leaders, especially Hitler, and their governments could
effectively be depicted as both diabolical and genuinely
threatening. President Roosevelt called World War II the
War for Survival--a primal characterization. The all-out
effort against the Axis and the insistence on total victory
and unconditional surrender also lent themselves to the mobili-
zation of active popular support. The war seemed an obvious
contest between darkness and light.[57]

Wars of geopolitical maneuvering, on the other hand,
have proved harder for the American people to understand and
support once the costs began to mount.[58] What exactly
was the war about? Why were our forces restrained from
attacking all sources of enemy support? What would the United
States gain in any event? The public must have been perplexed
by such revelations as the following, reported during the
Korean War:

Reporter: "General, what is our goal?"

Lieutenant General James Van Fleet: "I
don't know. The answer must come from
higher authority."

Reporter: "How may we know, General,
when and if we achieve victory?"

Van Fleet: "I don't know, except that
somebody higher up will have to tell

Lacking persuasive rationales to present to the public,
the authorities could only draw from the pool of patriotism.
But that is not a bottomless reservoir, and without replenish-
ment from sources that ordinary people can understand and
support, it eventually runs dry.[60] When it does, public
opinion cannot be effectively controlled by the authorities.
And when the opinion balance becomes heavily negative, it
works its way through political processes to affect the al-
location of resources to the military.[61] Eisenhower gained
election to the presidency in 1952 largely on the strength
of his promise to end the Korean War, a promise he quickly
fulfilled.[62] President Johnson declined to seek reelection
in 1968 mainly because of mounting opposition to his war
policy. The Nixon administration devoted itself to winding
down American participation in the fighting, ending the draft,
and eventually withdrawing all U.S. forces from Vietnam.
Recently, after an unprecedented peacetime buildup, the
secretary of defense complained that "new weapons can be
developed by our adversaries . . . much more rapidly because
[in the USSR] there are no funding restraints imposed by public


The past half-century has witnessed a new epoch in the
relation of military activity to the political economy of
the United States. Before World War II, the allocation of
resources to military purposes remained at token levels,
typically no more than 1 percent of GNP, except during actual
warfare, which occurred infrequently. Wartime and peacetime
were distinct, and during peacetime--that is, almost all the
time--the societal opportunity cost of "guns" was nearly
nil. The old regime ended in 1939. The massive mobilization
of the early 1940s drove the military share of GNP to more than
41 percent at its peak in 1943-44. Despite an enormous de-
mobilization after 1944, the military sector in 1947, at the
postwar trough, still accounted for 4.3 percent of GNP, three
times the 1939 share. Following the Korean War, military
purchases reached an unprecedented level for "peacetime"
and, despite some fluctuations, remained at or above this
elevated level permanently. During 1948-86, military purchases
cumulated to $6,316 billion, averaging about $162 billion
per year, or 7.6 percent of GNP. The trend has been slightly
upward for real spending, slightly downward for spending as
a percentage of GNP. The marginal costs of the Korean and
Vietnam wars were borne entirely through reductions in the
private share of GNP. During the post-World War II buildups,
the government nonmilitary share was more likely to increase
than to decrease.

The high base level of defense spending since 1947 re-
sulted from the dominant cold war ideology and the foreign
policy doctrines and military commitments it engendered.
The ideology alone, however, was an insufficient prop, and
episodic crises have played an essential part in maintaining
public support for vast military expenditures. The national
security elite has warned of one "gap" after another, most
of which have turned out to be exaggerated or nonexistent.
Given the secrecy in which much defense-related information
is held, it is inevitable that the national security elite
will, as it has in the past, use its unique access to infor-
mation to promote its own interests, often in conflict with
public preferences. There are limits, though, and in the
political struggles, military interests sometimes lose.
The authorities cannot always effectively mislead the citi-
zenry, especially where many deaths and heavy taxes (including
inflation) are involved. But the constraints on policymakers,
being subject to informational and ideological displacement,
are themselves elastic and manipulable.

For the public, whose designated role in the defense
process is to bear the economic burdens and spill the blood,
the lessons of four decades of experience only echo the warning
issued by President Eisenhower in 1961:

The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced
power exists and will persist. . . . We should take
nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable
citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge
industrial and military machinery of defense without
peaceful methods and goals, so that security and
liberty may prosper together.[64]

In heeding this enduringly resonant warning, opinion leaders
and the public should appreciate, as Eisenhower did, that
new crises--real and contrived--will continue to arise. On
those occasions especially, the public would do well to resist
the passions of the moment and to skeptically scrutinize the
emergency programs sure to be proposed, remembering what
experience has demonstrated about the workings of the postwar
political economy: ultimately, private citizens in their
capacities as consumers, investors, and living human beings
--not the decision-making elite or the beneficiaries of govern-
ment's nonmilitary spending programs--will bear the costs of
the military activities entailed by policies of ill-considered
global interventionism.


Shares of GNP (%), 1948-87

Year G-M G-NM P Year G-M G-NM P

1948 4.3 8.1 87.6 1968 8.9 13.3 77.8

1949 5.3 9.6 85.1 1969 8.2 13.3 78.5

1950 5.0 8.5 86.5 1970 7.6 13.9 78.5

1951 10.1 8.0 81.9 1971 6.7 14.4 78.9

1952 13.1 8.4 78.5 1972 6.4 14.2 79.4

1953 13.2 9.1 77.7 1973 5.7 13.9 80.4

1954 11.2 9.2 79.6 1974 5.6 14.7 79.7

1955 9.6 8.9 81.5 1975 5.6 15.4 79.0

1956 9.5 9.1 81.4 1976 5.2 14.8 80.0

1957 9.9 9.5 80.6 1977 5.1 14.4 80.5

1958 10.1 10.7 79.2 1978 4.8 14.1 81.1

1959 9.4 10.4 80.2 1979 4.9 13.8 81.3

1960 8.8 10.7 80.5 1980 5.2 14.2 80.6

1961 9.0 11.3 79.7 1981 5.5 13.8 80.7

1962 9.1 11.5 79.4 1982 6.1 14.1 79.8

1963 8.5 11.9 79.6 1983 6.3 13.5 80.2

1964 7.8 12.2 80.0 1984 6.2 13.2 80.6

1965 7.2 12.4 80.4 1985 6.5 13.9 79.6

1966 8.0 12.5 79.5 1986 6.6 13.9 79.5

1967 9.0 13.0 79.0 1987p 6.6 14.0 79.4

Sources: Figures for 1948-86 computed from data in Council
of Economic Advisers, Annual Report (Washington: Government
Printing Office, 1987), pp. 244-45. Figures for 1987
computed from preliminary data in Council of Economic
Advisers, Annual Report (Washington: Government Printing
Office, 1988), pp. 248-49.


[1] Samuel P. Huntington, The Common Defense: Strategic Pro-
grams in National Politics (New York: Columbia University
Press, 1961), pp. 33-39.

[2] Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas, The Wise Men: Six Friends
and the World They Made--Acheson. Bohlen. Harriman. Kennan.
Lovett. McCloy (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986), pp. 393-
94. See also Edward A. Kolodziej, The Uncommon Defense and
Congress. 1945-1963 (Columbus: Ohio State University Press,
1966), pp. 35-36, 67-68; Stephen E. Ambrose, Rise to Globalism:
American Foreign Policy since 1938, 4th rev. ed. (New York:
Penguin Books, 1985), pp. 71, 79-82, 93-94.

[3] Samuel P. Huntington, The Soldier and the State: The
Theory of Civil-Military Relations (Cambridge: Belknap Press,
1957), p. 425; Kolodziej, pp. 74-81; Hugh G. Mosley, The
Arms Race: Economic and Social Consequences (Lexington, Mass.:
Lexington Books, 1985), p. 7.

[4] Robert J. Donovan, Conflict and Crisis: The Presidency
of Harry S Truman. 1945-1948 (New York: Norton, 1977), pp.
357-61; Isaacson and Thomas, pp. 439-41; Ambrose, pp. 95-97;
Kolodziej, p. 72.

[5] U.S. Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of the
United States. Colonial Times to 1970 (Washington: Government
Printing Office, 1975), p. 1114.

[6] Huntington, Soldier and the State, p. 384; Huntington,
Common Defense, pp. 47-53; Mosley, pp. 7-12; Ambrose, pp.

[7] Isaacson and Thomas, pp. 504 (Acheson quote), 513. See
also Huntington, Soldier and the State, pp. 364, 382-84,
445-46; Huntington, Common Defense, pp. 53-64; Mosley, pp.
11, 13, 173; Ambrose, pp. 113-31; Kolodziej, pp. 124-56.

[8] Common Defense, p. 201.

[9] Here I part company with, among others, Richard A. Stub-
bing, The Defense Game: An Insider Explores the Astonishing
Realities of America's Defense Establishment (New York: Harper
& Row, 1986), pp. 14, 97. But Stubbing's own account seems
inconsistent; compare his pp. 299, 327-30. See also Mosley,
pp. 174-77.

[10] Lawrence J. Korb, The Fall and Rise of the Pentagon:
American Defense Policies in the 1970s (Westport, Conn.:
Greenwood Press, 1979), pp. 53-54, 62-64; Jacques S. Gansler,
The Defense Industry (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1980), pp. 21-
22, 26.
[11] Stubbing, pp. 297, 310; Ambrose, pp. 234-35, 242-54.

[12] For appraisals of the recent buildup, see William W.
Kaufmann, A Reasonable Defense (Washington: Brookings Insti-
tution, 1986); Edward N. Luttwak, The Pentagon and the Art
of War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1984); James Coates and
Michael Kilian, Heavy Losses: The Dangerous Decline of American
Defense (New York: Viking, 1985); A. Ernest
Fitzgerald, "Overspending to Weakness, n in More Bucks. Less
Bana: How the Pentaaon Buys Ineffective Weapons, ed. Dina Rasor
(Washington: Fund for Constitutional Government, 1983), pp.
299-320; William A. Niskanen, "More Defense Spending for
Smaller Forces: What Hath DoD Wrought?" Cato Institute Policy
Analysis no. 110, July 29, 1988.
[13] Mosley, p. 29.
[14] Stubbing, p. 239.

[15] For a discussion of the various sources and measures of
military spending, see Mosley, pp. 17-44.
[16] The linear regression equation describing the trend is
real defense spending = 116.494 + 2.272 time

where spending is measured in 1982 dollars and time is measured
in years.
[17] The linear regression eauation describing the trend is
G-M share of GNP = 9.824 - 0.112 time

where the share is measured in percentage points and time is
measured in years.
[18] The linear regression eauation describing the trend is
G-NM share of GNP = 8.509 + 0.179 time

where the share is measured in percentage points and time is
measured in years.
[19] The linear regression eauation describing the trend is
_ share of GNP = 81.691 - 0.066 time

where the share is measured in percentage points and time is
measured in years.

[20] Because the three shares exhaust the entire GNP, their
trend rates must add up to zero, which (except for rounding
error) they do. The trend rate for the G-NM share (0.179)
is equal in absolute value to the sum of the trend rate for
the G-M share (-0.112) and the trend rate for the P share

[21] Of course, the more characteristic type of spending of
the welfare state, governments' redistributive transfer pay-
ments, has increased enormously. But because these payments
are not for immediate purchase of currently produced goods
and services--that is, not components of GNP--they lie outside
the scope of the present analysis.

[22] The linear regression equation, fitted to the annual
changes, is

change in P share = -0.177 - 0.997 change in G-M share

where the annual changes are measured in percentage points.

[23] Earl C. Ravenal, Definina Defense: The 1985 Military
Budget (Washington: Cato Institute, 1984), p. 6.

[24] Charles W. Ostrom, Jr., "A Reactive Linkage Model Of
the U.S. Defense Expenditure Policymaking Process," American
Political Science Review 72 (1978): 955; William K. Domke,
Richard C. Eichenberg, and Catherine M. Kelleher, "The Illusion
of Choice: Defense and Welfare in Advanced Industrial Democ-
racies, 1948-1978," American Political Science Review 77
(1983): 30-31; Charles W. Ostrom, Jr., and Robin F. Marra,
"U.S. Defense Spending and the Soviet Estimate," American
Political Science Review 80 (1986): 824-39.

[25] Informative analyses of the Carter-Reagan buildup include
Korb, pp. 151-64; Stubbing, pp. 12-30; Mosley, pp. 145-60;
and Ostrom and Marra, pp. 819-42. See also the sources cited
in note 12 above.

[26] Huntington, Common Defense, passim; Leonard P. Liggio,
"American Foreign Policy and National-Security Management,"
in A New History of Leviathan: Essays on the Rise Of the
American Corporate State, ed. Ronald Radosh and Murray N.
Rothbard (New York: Dutton, 1972); Charles E. Neu, "The Rise
of the National Security Bureaucracy, n in The New American
State: Bureaucracies and Politics Since World War II, ed.
Louis Galambos (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1987), pp.
91-92, 100-101.

[27] All sides agree. For testimony from a variety of ideo-
logical perspectives, see Isaacson and Thomas, pp. 369, 725,
and passim; Ambrose, pp. 221-22 and passim; Douglas H.
Rosenberg, "Arms and the American Way: The Ideological Dimen-
sion of Military Growth," in Military Force and American
Society, ed. Bruce M. Russett and Alfred Stepan (New York:
Harper Torchbooks, 1973), pp. 170-92; Ralph Sanders, The
Politics of Defense Analysis (New York: Dunellen, 1973), pp.
176-77, 186-87, 201-2; U.S. Senate, Staff of the Committee
on Armed Services, Defense Organization: The Need for Change
(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1985), p. 573; Sidney
Lens, Permanent War: The Militarization of America (New York:
Schocken Books, 1987), pp. 43-44; James M. Cypher, "Ideological
Hegemony and Modern Militarism: The Origins and Limits of
Military Keynesianism, n Economic Forum 13 (1982): 10-15;
Peter Navarro, The Policy Game: How Special Interests and
Ideologues Are Stealing America (New York: Wiley, 1984),
pp. 259-62, 273-75; Caspar W. Weinberger, Annual Report of
the Secretary of Defense to the Congress. Fiscal Year 1988
(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1987), pp. 15, 41-50.

[28] Huntington, Common Defense, p. 205.

[29] Prominent examples include C. Wright Mills, The Power
Elite (New York: Oxford University Press, 1956); A. Ernest
Fitzgerald, The High Priests of Waste (New York: Norton, 1972);
Gordon M. Adams, The Politics of Defense Contracting: The Iron
Triangle (New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1982); and Lens.
For a brief attempt to place into perspective the military-
industrial-congressional complex and its most recent scandal,
see Robert Higgs, "Military Scandal, Again, n Wall Street
Journal, June 27, 1988, p. 12.

[30] Gordon M. Adams, "Disarming the Military Subgovernment,"
Harvard Journal on Legislation 14 (1977): 467. See also
Mancur Olson as quoted in Mosley, p. 19.

[31] Huntington, Common Defense, pp. 202, 214-15; W. Lance
Bennett, Public Opinion in American Politics (New York: Har-
court Brace Jovanovich, 1980), pp. 113-17, 216-19; Robert
Higgs, Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth
of American Government (New York: Oxford University Press,
1987), pp. 17-18, 62-67, and passim.

[32] Ambrose, p. 87.

[33] Huntington described U.S. military policy between 1946
and 1960 as "a series of prophecies of disaster which never
materialized" but qualified his statement by adding that
such prophecies "when credited by the right people are self-
nonfulfilling." Huntington, Common Defense, pp. 428-29.

[34] Kolodziej, p. 77; Isaacson and Thomas. p. 503.

[35] Ambrose, pp. 212-13; Lens, pp. 73-74, 123; Jonathan
Kwitny, Endless Enemies: The Makina of an Unfriendly World
(New York: Penguin Books, 1984), pp. 357-59.

[36] Weinberger, p. 17.

[37] On the gaps, compare Navarro, p. 240; Stubbing, pp.
xiii, 14-25; Lens, pp. 170-71; Huntington, Common Defense,
pp. 428-29 and passim; and Ambrose, p. 168.

[38] Ted Galen Carpenter, "Global Interventionism and a New
Imperial Presidency, n Cato Institute Policy Analysis no. 71,
May 16, 1986, p. 6. See also Huntington, Common Defense,
pp. 184-88; Mills, pp. 293-94, 355; Lens, p. 38; Sanders,
pp. 206-7; Adams, "Disarming," pp. 467-74, 486; Adams, Poli-
tics, pp. 95-96; Stubbing, pp. 56, 110; Neu, pp. 89-90, 98-100.

[39] Huntington, Common Defense, p. 183.

[40] Lens, p. 44.

[41] Kolodziej, pp. 442, 491, and, more generally, 488-505.
See also James L. Payne, "Foreign Policy for an Impulsive
People," in Beyond Containment: Alternative American Policies
toward the Soviet Union, ed. Aaron Wildavsky (San Francisco:
Institute for Contemporary Studies, 1983), pp. 212, 217, and

[42] For criticism of such arguments, see Mills, p. 294, and
Liggio, p. 253.

[43] Huntington, Soldier and the State, pp. 382-84; Liggio,
pp. 240-59; Isaacson and Thomas, passim; Lens, passim; Navarro,
pp. 254-55; Stubbing, pp. 5-6, 13-28, 70; Kwitny, passim.

[44] Lens, p. 119; see also pp. 122, 130, 168, 172.

[45] Bennett, p. 311. See also "Lies: The Government and
the Press," in Kwitny, pp. 355-78.

[46] Stubbing, p. 5. See also Mills, pp. 220, 222.

[47] Michael D. Hobkirk, The Politics of Defence Budgeting
(Washington: National Defense University Press, 1983), p.
60; David R. Segal, "Communication about the Military: People
and Media in the Flow of Information, n Communication Research
2 (1975); Neu, pp. 92, 98, 108.

[48] Mills, p. 355. See also Huntington, Soldier and the
State, pp. 382-84; Huntington, Common Defense, pp. 113-14, 303,

[49] For arguments that strongly suggest, if they do not
explicitly allege, that such hegemony has been exercised,
see Lens; Adams, "Disarming; and Cypher.

[50] John E. Mueller, War. Presidents and Public Opinion
(New York: Wiley, 1973), pp. 60-61.

[51] Robert B. Smith, "Disaffection, Delegitimation, and
Consequences: Aggregate Trends for World War II, Korea, and
Vietnam," in Public opinion and the Military Establishment,
ed. Charles C. Moskos, Jr. (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1971), p.
250. See also Kolodzie;, pp. 156-57.

[52] Kolodziej, pp. 91, 119-20.

[53] Huntington, Common Defense, p. 113; Neu, p. 89.

[54] Mosley, p. 153.

[55] Ambrose, pp. 242-43.

[56] Gansler, p. 22. See also Neu, pp. 100-104.

[57] Huntington, Soldier and the State, p. 332; Higgs, Crisis
and Leviathan, p. 197; Richard Rosecrance, The Rise of the
Trading State: Commerce and Conquest in the Modern World
(New York: Basic Books, 1986), pp. 111, 134. One also ought
to recognize, though, that during World War II the government
undertook far more extensive measures to conceal or obscure
the costs of war. For example, censors denied the public
information on casualties being incurred, and payment of
income taxes shifted midway through the war from taxpayer
remittances to payroll withholding. On the concealing and
shifting of costs during World War II, see Higgs, Crisis and
Leviathan, pp. 196-236.

[58] Huntington, Soldier and the State, pp. 387-91; Huntington,
Common Defense, p. 342; Korb, p. 22; Kolodziej, pp. 137-38.

[59] Mills, p. 185.

[60] Rosecrance, pp. 38, 131, 158; Higgs, Crisis and Leviathan,
pp. 64-65; Ambrose, pp. 249-50.

[61] Ostrom, p. 954; Ostrom and Marra, pp. 830-39.

[62] Huntington, Soldier and the State, p. 391.

[63] Weinberger, p. 16, emphasis added. For an analytical
survey of the extensive literature on the relation of public
opinion to defense policy, see Bruce Russett, "Public Opinion
and National Security Policy: Relationships and Impacts," in
Handbook of War Studies, ed. Manus Midlarsky (London: Allen
& Unwin, 1988, forthcoming). Russett concludes that "govern-
ments lose popularity directly in proportion to the length
and cost (in blood and money) of the war. n Public opinion
unquestionably affects policy, but the relation is complex.
"Leaders in a real sense interact with public opinion, both
responding to it and manipulating it."

[64] President Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the Nation,
January 18, 1961, as reprinted in The Economic Impact of the
Cold War: Sources and Readings, ed. James L. Clayton (New
York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1970), p. 243.

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