The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Katie Mounts, 202.543.4100, ext. 2109,

U.S. Highest Defense Spender: Budget Eight Times that of Russia


A new report from the Center for Arms Control and
Non-Proliferation finds that the United States remains the global leader
in defense spending, surpassing the next closest country by more than
eight times.

2008, the most recent year for which complete global data is available,
the U.S. approved $696.3 billion in defense budget authority, (after
adjusting for inflation). This figure includes the Pentagon base budget,
Department of Energy-administered nuclear weapons activities, and
supplemental appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan.

total is eight times more than Russia, 15 times more than Japan, 47
times more than Israel, and nearly 73 times more than Iran.

"Examples of
wasteful spending span every branch of the Department of Defense
said Laicie Olson, a defense spending analyst at the Center. "At
a time of growing concern over the federal deficit, it is increasingly
important that all parts of the budget be scrutinized. Defense is no

Secretary of Defense
Robert Gates has called for the elimination of wasteful and ineffective
defense systems as recently as May 4 when he delivered a fiery speech
aimed at overhauling the Pentagon's budget and restructuring its
bureaucracy. "It is not a great mystery what needs to change,"
Gates said. "What it takes is the political will and willingness, as
Eisenhower possessed, to make hard choices - choices that will
displease powerful people both inside the Pentagon and out.

inflation-adjusted dollars, the total U.S. defense budget has grown from
$432 billion in fiscal 2001 to $720 billion in fiscal 2011, a
real increase of approximately 67 percent. The Congressional Budget
Office has regularly warned that discretionary spending, including
defense, will come under increased pressure in the coming years.

Find the Center's
latest report on U.S. vs. Global Defense Spending on our website here.

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.