The period from 1980 to 1985 marked the largest peacetime military build-up in United States history. During this period, defense appropriations increased approximately 50 percent in real terms. The cost of defense was not an issue; instead, debates on national security concentrated primarily on external factors: the size and nature of the Soviet threat, the merits of a maritime strategy versus a coalition defense strategy, and the viability of a strategy to fight prolonged nuclear conflicts.
Blechman, Barry M. and Lynn, William J.
"Defense Planning and Policy: Introduction,"
Yale Law & Policy Review: Vol. 5
, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/ylpr/vol5/iss1/2