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Countries naturally interact with their strategic environment, which includes other countries, as well as undefined groups. Threats can emerge from this environment. To protect themselves and to deter potential conflicts, officials in charge of defense anticipate the means to ensure security through defense policy. As full protection against all threats is not affordable, officials have to make choices and determine priorities. To implement a defense policy, budgetary means are required. Defense budgets, then, reflect the monetary means devoted to the defense mission. This entry discusses the parameters and composition of defense budgets, as well as their relation to public spending and public policy.

Defense Budgets Parameters

Defining clear parameters for defense budgets is critical. Defense policy guidelines are a starting place for such indications. Obviously, military ...

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