Defense: The Pentagon Portfolio

Since that first brave boast of "Millions for defense, but not a cent for tribute," Americans have forked over uncounted billions for their military establishment. Though most of the money has gone up—rather literally—in smoke, a handsome residue remains. Last week a Defense Department accounting of its assets as of mid-1966 showed that it was worth $183.6 billion, a $7.3 billion increase over the 1965 total.

Most—$125.4 billion—of the Penta gon's portfolio is in expendable equipment and supplies, from aircraft carriers and guided missiles to ballpoint pens and jungle boots. However, a sizable sum ($38.4 billion) represents...

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