For Immediate Release
How Much Does the Pentagon Need? A Quick Guide to US Defense Spending
WASHINGTON - Can the Pentagon do with
less? That's the question addressed
in a web memo just released by the Project on Defense Alternatives. In nine charts, Trillions to Burn? A Quick
Guide to the Pentagon Budget Surge, challenges the necessity of current
levels of US defense spending. Both the document and the charts are
designed to be downloaded, shared, and re-posted.
The memo comes in the wake of
the Obama administration's decision to freeze the top line for discretionary
spending, excepting defense expenditures.
The administration has proposed a record $708 billion budget for the
Pentagon in 2011.
"America needs to know that this level
of expenditure does not reflect the nation's security requirements in any
absolute sense," said PDA co-director Carl Conetta. Instead, the memo argues, national
leaders beginning in the 1990s have inflated the Pentagon's goals and missions,
failed to set strong priorities for weapon procurement, and saddled the armed
forces with occupation duties that are driving personnel costs through the
The memo's nine charts also
graphically put these decisions into the context of the nation's debt burden,
and they show how US military spending compares with
that of the rest of the world.
"The Pentagon has been
exempted not just from the spending freeze, but also from routine standards of
budget accountability," according to Conetta. "It's a remarkable combination," he
says, "and it reflects a failure of oversight as grievous as that which led to
the meltdown of our financial system."
the memo and charts: Trillions to Burn? A Quick
Guide to the Pentagon Budget Surge, nine charts, 3200 words. The Project on Defense Alternatives has offices
in Cambridge MA and the Washington