The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Travis Sharp,202.546.0795 ext. 2105,

Media Advance Copy: Analysis of Obama's Defense Budget Set for Release Thursday


With the Obama
administration set to submit a preliminary outline of its spending
priorities and agency budgets on Thursday, the Center for Arms Control
and Non-Proliferation today released a report that analyzes the
enormous and unprecedented growth in U.S. defense spending over the
past decade.

Read an advance copy of the full report online.

Press reports indicate that Thursday's budget outline may request as
much as $537 billion for the Department of Defense "base" budget, which
excludes funding for both Iraq and Afghanistan and nuclear weapons
programs. Congress approved $513 billion in Pentagon base budget
funding for the current fiscal year.

If Thursday's budget is indeed approximately $537 billion, "President
Obama's first Pentagon budget will be bigger than both the Bush
administration's future plan and the rate of inflation,"
Travis Sharp, who prepared the report and serves as military policy
analyst at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
"However, President Obama's budget this year would increase Pentagon
spending by less than was the annual average during the Bush era."

President Obama wants to increase personnel benefits for the troops,
which may explain the overall increase and may result in cuts to
expensive weapons systems.

As detailed in the Center's report, the Department of Defense's base
budget grew steadily over the last decade, increasing from $370 billion
in fiscal year 2000 to $513 billion in fiscal year 2009, an
inflation-adjusted total increase of $143 billion (39 percent) or an
average increase of $16 billion per year.

When including funding for Iraq, Afghanistan, and nuclear weapons
activities, national defense budgets have grown in inflation-adjusted
dollars from $387 billion in fiscal year 2000 to approximately $694
billion in fiscal year 2009, a real increase of 79 percent. President
Obama plans to include future war costs in Thursday's budget blueprint.

The Center's report includes the following sections:

  • Recap of the FY 2009 Defense Budget
  • Growth in U.S. Defense Spending Over the Last Decade and Since 1948
  • U.S. Defense Spending vs. Global Defense Spending
  • Selected Weapons Systems - Program Costs and FY 2009 Funding
  • Three Weapons Systems to Watch in 2009: F-22 Raptor, DDG-100 destroyer, Future Combat Systems
  • Recommendations for
    Action in 2009: Cut missile defense, reduce nuclear weapons, oversee
    arms sales to Iraq, reform Pentagon procurement

Read an advance copy of the full report online.

Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to enhancing international peace and security in the 21st century. The Center is funded by grants from private foundations and the generosity of thousands of individual donors.