Saturday, January 16, 2010

Overspent and Overextended: Why is Washington Spending So Much on the Military?

By Doug Bandow in
The U.S. dominates the globe militarily. America’s reach exceeds that of the Roman and British Empires at their respective heights. The threats facing the U.S. pale compared to its capabilities. So why is Washington spending so much on the military?
The military budget is the price we pay for the nation’s foreign policy. The U.S. currently is spending nearly as much as the rest of the world. In real terms, Washington is spending more today than at any time during the Cold War, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War.
In 2010 the U.S. will spend roughly $700 billion on the military. The Obama administration’s original non-war defense budget was $534 billion. The latter is an increase of $20 billion, or 4 percent (2 percent after inflation). Yet conservatives attacked Obama for “cutting” military outlays. Robert Kagan of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace charged that the administration was signaling that “the American retreat has begun.”
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