The U.S. defense budget has ballooned since the end of the Cold War, yet that expansion hasn't translated into a more modern or effective military, as the defense budget has instead been used as a congressional hiding spot for a host of non-defense priorities, former officials say.
Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Elaine McCusker argued in a November report published by the American Enterprise Institute that the defense budget suffers from a chronic lack of transparency. She notes that non-defense related spending in the defense budget skyrocketed in the early 1990s amid the post-Cold War "Peace Dividend" from $3.6 billion in 1990 to $13 billion in 1994.
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