Note: "SEA" is "Southeast Asia," in other words, the cost of the Vietnam War.

In January 1982, Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger used this chart to justify the largest peacetime defense spending increase in US history. That the assumptions behind it were questionable is an understatement.  The underlying calculations priced out Soviet forces at U.S. wages, for example.  So every time our military got a pay raise, Soviet "spending" increased further.  It also imputed labor, overhead rates and cost structures of U.S. contractors to Soviet factories when making estimates of spending for Soviet weapons.

Charts and Data