Saturday, November 22, 2008

Squaring the Pentagon

Forget Hillary, forget the $700 billion dollar bailout. Obama's next big challenge is how to reform the US defence department:
The Pentagon is used to getting what it wants, as evidenced by its recent spending spree. The "base" defense budget, which excludes the expense of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has grown 40 percent since 2001 to an estimated $518.3 billion requested for fiscal year 2009. But this doesn't tell the whole story. If you figure in other military expenditures, such as those incurred by the departments of Homeland Security, Energy, Veterans Affairs, and the numerous defense "supplemental" bills that the Bush administration has relied on to fund its foreign adventures, US defense spending stands at a staggering $863.7 billion. This exceeds the collective annual defense spending of the world's militaries combined.