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Edited by: CQ Press

In: Congress and the Nation, 1985-1988, Vol. VII: The 99th and 100th Congresses

Chapter : Defense Policy

Edited by: CQ Press

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781483302706.n5

Subject: Congress

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Defense Policy
Defense policy
Introduction

By the end of Ronald Reagan's second term, the president and his political allies were claiming that his policy of “peace through strength” was bearing fruit in the less bellicose tenor of Soviet foreign policy under Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

But during the very period in which Reagan claimed his military buildup and his hard-line bargaining tactics with Moscow were starting to pay off, congressional critics were cutting more and more deeply into the buildup and putting more and more strings on his arms-related negotiating stands: As early as 1983, Congress began routinely slashing Reagan's annual requests to boost the defense budget. Given Reagan's adamant refusal to countenance a tax increase and the growing political unacceptability of boosting the federal deficit, his Pentagon spending plan ...

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