CASE 2–1 Strategies in Defense of the Defense Budget
Once the budget justifications and numbers have been prepared, agencies face the task of marketing the package to the legislature. Conditions vary from year to year; the tactics applicable in one session may not be at all appropriate in the next. The changing approaches are described in the following review of strategies used by Sec- retary of Defense Caspar Weinberger in selling the budget for fiscal years 1982 through 1986. Recall that these years were the ones immediately before the collapse of the Soviet Union and the defense build up may have been instrumental in ending the Cold War.
Consider These Questions
1.Identify the budget strategies Weinberger used. Is there a common logic running through them, or is each independent of the others?
2.Would the strategies he used be applicable to the post–Cold War environment? Would the current secretary of defense be able to learn anything by reviewing Wein- berger’s script? How has the war on terrorism changed the budget environment?
3.To what extent would these strategies be transferable outside the national defense budget?
4.Use the historical statistics section of the most recent federal budget to trace the pattern of defense outlays and budget authority from 1980 through 1989. What pattern do you identify? Compare the patterns there with comparable data for 2000 to the present. Weinberger Finds His Well-Worn Strategies Always Succeed in Blunting Defense Budget By Tim Carrington Washington—Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger has privately referred to his campaign for a bigger defense budget as Kabuki, a highly ritualized Japanese art form in which all movements are tightly choreographed in advance. Despite the furor surrounding the Reagan administration’s push to add $29 billion to the mil- itary budget for the next fiscal year, many aspects of the contest seem to follow a set script. And after four years in the fray, the tireless Mr. Weinberger is noth- ing if not well-rehearsed. Since President Reagan launched his military buildup, Congress has provided the Pentagon with about 95 percent of the spending