The U. S. Department of Defense is actually one of the world's largest planned economies. Like all planned economies, it has gross inefficiencies. This book is a penetrating analysis of the military-industrial-Congressional complex, and offers new insights into how meaningful reform can be achieved. Prior to World War II, the United States maintained insignificant military forces and weapons manufacturing industries during peace. But the weapons industry that has grown since the end of World War II inhabits an ill-defined zone between genuine private enterprise and complete government planning. Does this unprecedented military-industrial-congressional complex efficiently serve the public's interest in national security? In this book, eleven contributing scholars analyze such questions as whether overall military spending is too high or too low, why the military procurement system remains impervious to reform, and how special interests exploit the system. This book does not leave readers with simple solutions; depoliticizing defense spending and eliminating military procurement mismanagement will not be easy. But this book does lay the foundation of understanding to help necessary reforms take place.
Robert Higgs is senior fellow in political economy at The Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. Dr. Higgs received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, and Seattle University. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and was formerly a fellow for the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation. He has written three other books and over 100 articles for scholarly journals as well as publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and The New York Times.