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National Defense, Defense Structure and Spending

Space Administration, National Aeronautics, Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Agency, Marine Corps

The Department of Defense reflects the continuing ethic of civilian control of the military. The Secretary of Defense is a civilian, and civilian secretaries direct each branch of the armed forces. The Department of Defense originally combined the Army and Navy departments and integrated them with the Air Force. Over time, however, the Departmentís structure has diffused and grown to include such offices as the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the National Security Agency, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

For the most part the Department of Defense has jurisdiction over the substantial amounts of tax money spent on the military. In the late 1990s the annual budget of the Department of Defense was over $250 billion. The Defense Department employed more than 3 million people, both civilians and armed forces personnel. In 1998 that figure included 480,721 people on active service in the Army, 377,039 in the Navy, 173,031 in the Marine Corps, and 365,639 in the Air Force.



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