This paper is intended to be a methodological essay that discusses how broadening budgetary analysis and quantitative information in the area of defense can serve as an instrument of transparency and public oversight. Although it is based on the case of Argentina (which the author knows intimately), the goal is to open the discussion on the broader publication of quantitative information in the region. The paper is the result of the author's double frustration with the data offered by international and official sources. The fundamental requirement for the production of useful quantitative information is that the analysis is simultaneously fed from various angles: from the budgeting systems specialist, and from the expert in the theory, policy, history and institutions of the defense sector. The author suggests possible end-users of the data, a precise definition of military expenses, and 19 series or indices with a brief explanation of their usefulness.
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