Military arms, U.S. intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security, and other national security groups have all received budget increases since 9/11. Yet, in 2011, economic debt-ceiling debates forced drastic cuts in military spending, and officials were faced with tough questions.
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Understanding the Military Budget through 2012

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The power and resources of the United States military far exceed any other military organization in the world. The US military is a proud symbol of strength and security to the rest of the world.

Military arms, U.S. intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security, and other national security groups have all received budget increases since 9/11. Yet, in 2011, economic debt-ceiling debates forced drastic cuts in military spending, and officials were faced with tough questions: since 9/11, has $11 trillion dollars of national security spending effectively made the US more safe and secure? Could reducing those military budgets could adversely affect our national security?

An important first step is to understand what the military spends, and then examine ways that spending can be improved to serve the future of our US economy and our national security.

$5.9 TRILLION FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS

$5.9 trillion accounted for the Pentagon's annual "base budget," from 2000 to 2011. The base budget, which includes nuclear weapons activities, increased from $302.9 billion in 2000, to $545.1 billion in 2011 - adjusting for inflation, that's an 80 percent increase. This budget total did not include the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

$1.36 TRILLION FOR IRAQ AND AFGHAN WARS

By Sept. 30 2011, another $1.36 trillion had been added to that total for the cost of the Iraq and Afghan wars, by the Pentagon, State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, and other federal organizations.

$636 BILLION FOR HOMELAND SECURITY

Exact budget figures are often vague for Homeland Security spending, which flows through dozens of federal agencies. Homeland Security spending however has increased dramatically, from the $16 billion requested for 2001, to the $71.6 billion requested for 2012.

ADDING UP THE NUMBERS FOR MILITARY SPENDING

The National Priorities Project accounts for military spending for the funds requested from Congress. But this is only one side of national security spending. A broader view of military accounting might also consider future military costs, and examine the economic effects of war-spending over other spending.

Veterans benefits, health costs for treating wounded service members, and interest payments on war-related loans, bring the projected costs of the Iraq and Afghan wars between $3.2 trillion and $4 trillion, making the projected 2001-2011 national security budget approximately $11 trillion.



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