Drawing on nearly 40 years of news writing focused on military issues, George C. Wilson takes the reader through a fascinating, but little understood, process: how the Pentagon and Congress spend $500,000 a minute on guns and soldiers. Interweaving personal stories and insights from the major players throughout a fast-paced narrative, Wilson provides an inside look at how the 105th Congress and the Pentagon battled for a 250 billion dollar defense budget.
Wilson demystifies the "realpolitik" among the individual armed forces and highly partisan members of Congress, as well as civilian and military leaders, thus giving a sense of the trade-offs involved on all sides. Exclusive interviews with major players—including Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, Rep. David R. Obey, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Hugh H. Shelton—relate their distinctive perspectives on how Congress allocates and the Pentagon spends defense dollars.
Wilson takes a look ahead—with a critical eye—to the wars of the next century and asks tough questions: Are we ready for future wars or are we still preparing for the last war, the Cold War? Does the Pentagon need more money? Or can it really do its job with less?