The Public Interest

Micromanaging the defense budget

Mackubin T. Owens

Summer 1990

IN 1982 GENERAL Edward C. Meyer, then Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, stated that in America “the explosion of lawmaking and regulation-writing in the ‘70s has greatly complicated the development of a coherent defense posture”; he suggested that the individual chiefs had to spend too much time dealing with Congress and too little time directing their services. The problem raised by General Meyer has become even more pronounced now, and affects more than the services. The impact is felt throughout the Department of Defense (DoD) as a whole.

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