'Largest Pentagon Budget'

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."

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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 department’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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