Archive for December, 2010

December 2010 Newsletter

Newsletter Vol. 2 p. 1

Welcome to the second issue of our Global Day of Action on Military Spending newsletter. More and more groups around the world are signing up to hold actions on April 12, our global day of action. This edition concentrates on East Asia, which has been the focus of military tensions in the last several months. These tensions are propelling governments in the region – Japan, China, S. Korea – to boost military spending. (The US, another key regional player, is already the world’s military giant). But peace groups in the region are also working hard to counter these trends. Read on to find out what’s happening in this critical region.

The Big (Military) Taboo

We face wrenching budget cutting in the years ahead, but there’s one huge area of government spending that Democrats and Republicans alike have so far treated as sacrosanct.

It’s the military/security world, and it’s time to bust that taboo.

Pentagon’s Christmas Present: Largest Military Budget Since World War II

pentagon

The proposed figure for the Pentagon’s 2011 war chest includes, in addition to the base budget, $158.7 billion for what are now euphemistically referred to as overseas contingency operations: The military occupation of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan.

The $725 billion figure, although $17 billion more than the White House had requested, is not the final word on the subject, however, as supplements could be demanded as early as the beginning of next year, especially in regard to the Afghan war that will then be in its eleventh calendar year.

Even as it currently is, the amount is the highest in constant dollars (pegged at any given year’s dollar and adjusted for inflation) since 1945, the final year of the Second World War. With recent U.S. census figures at 308 million, next year the Pentagon will spend $2,354 for every citizen of the country at the $725 billion price tag alone.

Last year’s Pentagon budget, by way of comparison, was $680 billion, a base budget of $533.8 billion and the remainder for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. In July of this year Congress approved the 2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act which contained an additional $37 billion for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Federal Budget: The Public’s Priorities

As Congress undertakes the process of making up a discretionary budget in response to the Administration’s recently proposed budget for FY  2006, the question arises of how well the proposed discretionary budget aligns with the priorities of the American public. To find out, the Program on International Policy Attitudes conducted a unique type of survey. Respondents were presented […]