Resource: Guide to Current War Dept. Expenditures

Trillions to Burn?

Commonwealth Institute's Project on Defense Alternatives has made available A Quick Guide to the Surge in Pentagon Spending, a series of charts and graphs that make it easier to understand the unconscionable expansion of the military budget under George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
With his decision to further boost defense spending, President Obama is continuing the process of re-inflating the Pentagon that began in late 1998 – fully three years before the 9/11 attacks on America. The FY 2011 budget marks a milestone, however: the inflation-adjusted rise in spending since 1998 will probably exceed 100% in real terms by the end of the fiscal year.

Taking the 2011 budget into account, the Defense Department has been given about $7.2 trillion since 1998, when the post-Cold War decline in defense spending ended. Approximately $2.5 trillion of this total is due to spending above the annual level set in 1998. This added amount constitutes the post-1998 spending surge.
You'd think that it would hardly need repeating that none of America's domestic problems -- decrepit infrastructure, declining schools, chronic unemployment, the crisis in health care, and so on -- can be addressed so long as the Pentagon is gobbling up resources.

The rest of the story: For more detailed analysis, see An Undisciplined Defense – Understanding the $2 Trillion Surge in US Defense Spending and The President’s Dilemma: Deficits, Debt, and Defense Spending (both Project on Defense Alternatives 2010-01-18).

See, also: Pentagon’s Black Budget Tops $56 Billion by Noah Shachtman (Wired 2010-02-01)

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