All armed forces are maintained in two ways –in both the military way and the militaristic way. In this sense, every nation which has its own military has specific features of militarism, regardless of how dominant these features are over other parts of the society. The U.S. has its own type of militarism in its military and society. In the United States, there is a public belief that the US military should be number one in the world. This American public belief takes various shapes of military imperatives which connect every part of society with military. Furthermore, the imperatives lead the parts of society to cooperate and support the realization of themselves.

Part I of this report shows that military transformation in the post-Cold War era is an example that well captures how American militarism has been embedded in American society. During this period, public opinion showed a positive and significant correlation with defense spending. Within the US military, American Militarism has led the Department of Defense and military services to the endless preparation for a future adversary in the situation of strategic uncertainty after the Cold War era. Defense related industries have strongly supported the military’s effort to be Number One in military affairs. In the political arena, the congressional committees that are responsible for national defense seem inclined to be conservative in the matter of ideology – more conservative than the median in the House of Representatives.

Part II of this report explores how American Militarism has influenced on the decisions of each legislator in the roll call votes on amendments regarding defense authorizations and appropriations bills. The result reveals that authorization process 1) is quite different from appropriation process; 2) is more policy oriented and less budget related than appropriation process; 3) is more predictable than appropriation process. Furthermore, the result shows that the amount of PAC contributions to each legislator is a significant factor to determine legislators’ choices in roll call votes in authorization process even though ideological aspect of individual legislator’s ideology is still influential in decision making of each legislator.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction
1. Defense Policy as a Policy Domain
2. Military Transformation and American Militarism
3. Congressional Budgetary Process and Defense Acquisition

Part I. Military Transformation After the Cold War
Chapter 2. Military Transformation and Militarism
1. RMA, Military Transformation, Military Reform?
2. Theories of Military Transformation
3. Militarism in the United States
4. Social and Political Context of the Military Transformation

Chapter 3. The US Military
1. The Base Force Plan
2. The Bottom-Up Review
3. The Reports of Quadrennial Defense Review 1997
4. The Reports of Quadrennial Defense Review 2001
5. The Reports of Quadrennial Defense Review 2006
6. The Reports of Quadrennial Defense Review 2010
7. The Reports of Quadrennial Defense Review 2014
8. Summary

Chapter 4. Congress and Public
1. Committees’ Responses to Military Transformation
2. House Armed Services Committee Composition
3. Public Opinion and Defense Budget
4. Summary

Chapter 5. Defense Industries
1. Military Transformation and Industrial Base
2. F-35 JSF: A Representative of Military Transformation

Part II. Congressional Decision Making Process
Chapter 6: Congressional Decision Making Process
1. Defense Policy as a Federal Policy
2. Congress as a Political Institution
   A. The Process in which a Bill Takes in House
   B. Partisanship (Party politics)
   C. Ideological Position of Individual Legislator
   D. Armed Services Committee and Economic Benefits
3. Federal Budget Process
   A. Authorization Process and Appropriation Process
   B. Categories in Defense Budget
   C. Annual Budget Process
4. Factors and Hypothesis

Chapter 7: Method and Data
1. Unit of Analysis and Estimation Model
2. Dependent Variable
3. Independent Variables

Chapter 8: Analysis
1. Estimation of Models
2. Party Status
3. Ideology
4. Military Contracts to Congressional Districts
5. PAC Contribution

Chapter 9: Conclusion


The views expressed herein are solely those of the authors and do not reflect those of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

About Experts

KeeHyun Ahn
KeeHyun Ahn

Visiting Research Fellow

Dr. Ahn KeeHyun(Ken Ahn) is an officer in uniform of the Republic of Korea Army with the rank of LTC and currently working at the office of Policy, ROK Army HQ. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Political Sciences at the University of Kansas. His dissertation is concentrating on the decision making process in the US Congress regarding American Defense Policy. His fields of research are American Politics, International Relations, Military History, and Statistical Analysis.

Shin Beomchul
Shin Beomchul

Center for Security and Unification

Dr. SHIN Beomchul is a Senior Fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies. Until March 2018, he served at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy as tenured professor. He also served for the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the Director-General for Policy Planning from 2013 to 2016. Before he joined the Ministry, he was the Head of the North Korean Military Studies Research Division at the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses. Prior to that, he worked very closely with the Minister of National Defense of Korea as the Senior Policy Advisor in 2009 and 2010. He also has served in many advisory positions both at the National Security Council at the Office of the President and the National Assembly Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee. Dr. Shin is the author of several books on law and security, including North Korean Military: A Secret Report(2013) and International Law and the Use of Force (2008). He also has been publishing many other articles on Korea-U.S. alliance, Inter-Korea Relations, and Northeast Asian politics and security. Dr. Shin received his B.A. in Chungnam National University and did his graduate studies at Seoul National University, School of Law. He received his J.S.D.(Doctor of Judicial Science) from Georgetown University Law Center in 2007.