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William S. Cohen Papers | Senate Legislative Materials, Defense

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MS Defense 1977-1996 129 boxes

Cohen was a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee during each of his three terms in the Senate. He served as the Chair of the Sea Power and Force Projection Subcommittee from 1981 to 1986 and again from 1995 to 1996. He was Chair of the Strategic and Theater Nuclear Forces Subcommittee from 1981 to 1983. The roll of the Senate Armed Services Committee in defining the defense program grew during Cohen's years under the leadership of John Tower, Barry Goldwater, Sam Nunn, and Strom Thurmond. This period was also marked by extremes in the global political environment leading to dramatic changes in the nation's military requirements. Defense spending peaked in the mid 1980s and the committee took the roll of overseeing defense reorganization within a broad view of national security. A primary function of the Committee is authorization for the entire defense appropriations budget, an annual effort requiring research reports, hearings, and debates.

As was the practice of Maine Senators before him, Cohen actively pursued defense policy which would support economic development in Maine and participated in all aspects of the oversight role of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He and his staff focused extensively on foreign relations and intelligence as related to national defense; veterans as well as active duty personnel or manpower in the military; defense contractors worldwide; base closure review and defense conversion; defense reorganization and the changing nature of warfare; and other topics including many specifically corresponding to the different branches of the military.

The records in this subseries are arranged by subject area under a) Foreign Relations, b) Intelligence, c) Loring Air Force Base, and d) Veterans and by staff members names under e) James Bodner and Chris Mellon, f) James Dykstra, and g) Dale Gerry depending on the manner in which the issues were handled in the office.

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Contact the Cohen Papers: 207.581.2665 | | Revised: 01/05/2015
5729 Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5729
Phone: 207-581-1661 | Fax: 207-581-1653
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The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469