Dangers in the Big Buildup

Reagan's $1.6 trillion defense program creates unforeseen problems

The full-page newspaper advertisement from Tenneco Inc. brimmed with pride. As its contribution to the Reagan Administration's arms buildup, the company announced that it had delivered not one but two potent new neclear-powered warships to the U.S. Navy in a single day: the 93,000-ton aircraft carrier Carl Vinson and the 6,900-ton attack submarine Atlanta. Proclaimed the ads' headline: MISTER PRESIDENT, WE HAVE BEGUN.

With a combined price tag of $1.63 billion, the cost of the two vesels is relatively cheap compared with the more then $1.6 trillion in defense spending...

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