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The Winds of Reform : Time , March 7, , 1983

March 7, 1983


From the document: “Runaway weapons costs prompt a new look at military planning. The Army decided to build a light antitank bazooka at a cost of about $75 each. But once all the designers and program directors had finished tinkering, the weapon ended up costing $787. Even so, it would be hard pressed to knock out a modern Soviet tank. Reason: its shell cannot pierce the tank's forward armor. Congress tried to kill the project, but there is still money for it buried in the Pentagon budget. Allowing for inflation, the Army is spending the same amount of money ($2 billion in 1983 dollars) on new tanks as it did 30 years ago, toward the end of the Korean War. But the number of tanks produced has declined by 90%, from 6,735 to 701. In 1951, 6,300 fighter planes were funded by the military at a cost in 1983 dollars of $7 billion. The U.S. is now spending $11 billion to build only 322 planes, 95% fewer than in 1951.”



Isaacson, Walter



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