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Economy and National Defense

Soldiers and civilians alike have long understood the close connections between economy and military capacity. Although the saying “an army marches on its stomach” is most frequently attributed to Napoleon, the importance of logistical support has been obvious since antiquity. Similarly, the financial underpinnings of armed forces have always concerned astute observers of the military. “The sinews of war,” said Cicero more than 2,000 years ago, “are infinite money.” In American history, certainly, there have often been very close connections between the broader economy and national defense. Although those connections may have become somewhat weaker in recent years than they were in the 20th century, for the foreseeable future soldiers and civilians will still be forced to grapple with difficult problems in the field of ...

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