For Immediate Release
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
'Largest Pentagon Budget'
WASHINGTON - Reuters reports: "President Barack Obama on Monday asked Congress to approve a record $708 billion in defense spending for fiscal year 2011, including a 3.4 percent increase in the Pentagon's base budget and $159 billion to fund U.S. military missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan."
Comerford is executive director of the National Priorities Project, which analyzes budget choices. She said today: "The Obama administration has handed us the largest Pentagon budget since World War II, not including the $160 billion in war funding for Iraq and Afghanistan. It contains some small progress on Cold War weapons, but these are 'low-hanging fruit.' The president has called for 'hard choices' in federal spending, but the Pentagon hasn't been asked to make any."
MIRIAM PEMBERTON, via Tamar Abrams
Research fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies' Foreign Policy in Focus, Pemberton said today: "At $744 billion, the military budget (including military programs outside the Pentagon, such as the Department of Energy's nuclear weapons management) is a budget of add-ons, rather than choices. And it makes the imbalance between spending on military vs. non-military security tools worse. The Secretary of Defense himself has said, repeatedly, that the extreme imbalance between what is spent on military and on non-military foreign engagement is not in our best interests. The budget released today actually makes this situation worse, and his own departmentâ€™s budget is primarily responsible."
Pemberton, who is on a task force that produces the annual "Unified Security Budget of the United States," just co-wrote the piece "A Military Budget of Add-ons, Not Choices, Makes the Security Imbalance Worse."
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