Monday, January 11, 2010

Stat of the day

Do we really need eleven carrier strike groups?

Doug Bandow:
Using 2000 for constant dollars, the U.S. devoted $774.6 billion to the military in 1945, the last year of World War II. In 1953, the last year of the Korean War, military outlays ran $416.1 billion. Peak expenditures during the Vietnam War hit $421.3 billion in 1968.

In contrast, in 2010, before the Afghan surge and other unplanned expenditures, the administration expected to spend $517.8 billion ($700 billion including Afghanistan and Iraq). That is more than during two large, hot wars. More than during a lengthy, often warm Cold War. And two-thirds as much as during the worst conflict in human history.
It's nearly impossible to envision any realistic scenario for getting our fiscal house in order which doesn't involve profound cuts in defense and a serious rethink of our military posture in the world. It defies sense that our spending on defense is at such a historic high when the world is arguably the most peaceful it has ever been. Remember, don't confuse the fortunes of defense contractors for the security of the United States.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is the same proportion of the defense budget actually being spent on defense as was in the past? Increasingly it seems, Congress likes to hide other pet projects in essential expense categories.