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How Did the Pentagon Budget Get This Bad?

A billion here, a billion there and suddenly you have a defense budget that is 40 percent of all world defense spending. While the President is focusing on countering cyber-attacks and away from large-scale ground invasions, the Pentagon is still buying hundreds of billions of dollars in new weapons for old wars.

There are a lot of moving parts in the Pentagon budget that add up to the $689 billion the U.S. spent in 2011, but this Bloomberg story does a great job of briefly breaking them down.

From the story:

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the Pentagon had $1.58 trillion of major weapons projects on its books. Those include the F-35 jet fighter, which is seven years behind schedule and costing 70 percent more than planned; the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship, plagued by cracks, flaws and a price that’s doubled to $440 million each; and M1 tanks the Army doesn’t want.

Even if the budget cuts happen, U.S. defense spending is projected to grow about 2.4 percent annually through 2021, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Read the rest of the Bloomberg story for a great list of many of the costs that are creating such a big Pentagon budget.

By: Andre Francisco
Online Producer, POGO

andre francisco Andre Francisco is the Online Producer for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: National Security

Related Content: Defense, Joint Strike Fighter, Littoral Combat Ship, Star Creep, Wasteful Defense Spending

Authors: Andre Francisco

Submitted by Dfens at: February 21, 2013
From the Bloomberg article, "Pentagon contracts plunged to $12.1 billion in January, a 67 percent decrease from December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as the military reined in spending in anticipation of the [10%] cuts that may be coming." Clearly what is going on right now has more to do with the Military Industrial Complex playing politics than it does with reality. The defense contractors pretend to be indispensable, but they can be replaced in a heartbeat. The Army can go back to designing its own weapons. The Navy can go back to designing its own ships. The Air Force can design their own aircraft. All we would miss is the $25 million dollar salaries of the CEO's, and the $200+ per hour charge for their $50 per hour engineers.

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