DEFENSE: Ideas Under the Ceiling

If set too low, a strict ceiling on military spending could disastrously weaken the nation's defenses. But a ceiling that is merely uncomfortable can have beneficial results: it can force military leaders to cut down on overlap, make choices between concepts and weapons. Defense Secretary Neil McElroy, backed up by the President, has tried to hold the 1960 defense budget to a distinctly uncomfortable $41.6 billion, i.e., this year's level plus a 2% inflation factor. And one result of the painful ceiling is that the Pentagon is taking hard-eyed looks at duplication...

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