WASHINGTON - March 1 - A policy task force comprised of nine defense and national security experts today released a report that concludes the Bush Administration's steep military spending increases haven't strengthened U.S. security since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
In A Unified Security Budget for the United States , the authors argue that a disproportionate share of the cumulative $240 billion increase in U.S. security spending from 2001 through 2004 buttressed a force structure and weapons systems poorly matched with today's most urgent security threats. Recent funding increases, the report concludes, came at the expense of critical military and non - military security programs, such as diplomacy, homeland security, arms control treaties, foreign aid and export controls that would further increase U.S. and global security and more effectively combat terrorism.
Despite the administration's promises of a comprehensive approach to fighting terrorism, its budget concentrates seven times as many resources on the military as on all nonmilitary security tools combined, including homeland security, said report co-author Miriam Pemberton, research fellow and peace and security editor at Foreign Policy In Focus.
Cutting the Comanche program was a good start, said co-author Marcus Corbin, senior analyst at the Center for Defense Information. Our report identifies 10 other programs, including the F-22 fighter and DDX destroyer, that could be safely cut or reconfigured to free up resources for other neglected security priorities, such as diplomatic operations, WMD nonproliferation, and port container inspection.
The report suggests that fixing the unbalanced security budget will require a unified approach to security that integrates nonmilitary tools into our security strategy and rebalances military forces for today's security challenges. The document provides an early working model for how to rebalance the security budget, without reducing overall spending levels on security, and without increasing the deficit. It shows how funding can be shifted within military accounts for an overall savings of $51 billion. And it outlines $52 billion in spending on nonmilitary measures that could enhance U.S. security substantially.
The following security experts served on the Task Force:
Marcus Corbin, Center for Defense Information (Co-Chair)
Miriam Pemberton, Foreign Policy in Focus (Co-Chair)
Carl Conetta, Project on Defense Alternatives
Christopher Hellman, Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation
Dr. Lawrence Korb, Center for American Progress/CDI
Don Kraus, Citizens for Global Solutions
Col. Dan Smith (Ret.), Friends Committee on National Legislation
Cindy Williams, MIT Security Studies Program
John Zavales, Cuny Center
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