Revolution in the Pentagon : McNamara and the military budget

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1970

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Abstract

The thesis attempts to accomplish three goals. First, it tries to analyze the changes which McNamara hoped to make in the defense budget. Second, it analyzes the McNamara budgets to decide how successfully the changes were implemented. Third, it spells out that the lessons of McNamara's experience are for future civilian control of the Department of Defense. In order to analyze McNamara's changes, the budget for Fiscal Year 1960 is given as it was formulated so that there can be a base with which to compare McNamara. The conclusion of this chapter is that Secretary of Defense McElroy was unable to control the military influence and that there was little civilian control within that budget. Then the changes McNamara wanted to make are given as he proposed them. They consist of a three-part program of Planning, Programming, and Budgeting. In addition, there were some, specific policy changes which he hoped to make, including an expanded limited war capability and a stronger missile deterrent. Finally, McNamara's budget procedure is given to analyze how successfully the changes were implemented. The conclusion is that McNamara was able to implement the changes which required a direct result, but was not able to implement changes in procedure. The reason was that, as one man, he was unable to enforce changes which would have to be watched constantly and over all outputs. As a result, the only hope for civilian control of the Pentagon is to abandon the hope for control of outputs and to devise some way to change the goals of the services so that they will want to produce the results which the civilian leaders want.

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Military budget

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