President Joe Biden’s historically high Pentagon spending plan is a dramatic turnaround for Democrats, who were expected to restrain military spending after budgets soared during the Trump years.
After Congress approved a massive $783 billion Pentagon spending bill for Fiscal Year 2022, Biden requested a whopping $813 billion for 2023.
Although Biden asked for a $30 billion increase from the prior year, but both Republicans and Democrats wanted to waste billions more.
The House-passed National Defense Authorization Act is $37 billion above the president’s request. For a second straight year, Democrats and Republicans endorsed significant increases as fear-mongering, short-sighted political calculations, and greed from the Military-Industrial Complex have proven very difficult to overcome.
This $847 billion total includes funds for the Defense Department, the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons, and other security-related activities.
It is the largest military budget that America has ever seen.
“The narrative of mass waste and a misallocation of American taxpayer dollars runs deep throughout post-9/11 military spending,” said Derek Paulhus. “Of the billions that have been poured into bolstering the United States and allied militaries, much has gone towards a broken military contracting system that is riddled with fraud and authoritative negligence.”
FY2019’s military budget was $693 billion while President Barack Obama sent Congress a proposed budget request of $582.7 billion to fund the Department of Defense in Fiscal Year 2017.
That 45 percent increase over six years dwarfs the inflation rate that has Americans so deeply on edge.
Spending more on weapons and war doesn’t make Americans more secure, and in fact, it diverts precious resources away from serious challenges like the climate crisis, racial and economic injustice, and the COVID pandemic.
“The horrendous war in Ukraine has proven that Russia’s military, despite its ruthlessness and cruelty, is far less powerful than Americans had been led to believe. We have also seen that overwhelming U.S. conventional and nuclear superiority did not deter Russian aggression or prevent Putin from threatening nuclear use.”
critics like Fareed Zakaria, H.A. Goodman, and others point to the rise of ISIS and the incompetence of Middle Eastern forces in general—namely that a combined Middle Eastern military force of four million has been ineffective against an ISIS force of 30,000—as evidence that American military intervention has done little to curb terrorist forces or guarantee allies capable of ensuring peace in the region.
An Institute for Economics and Peace report noted that terrorist attacks were rising sharply rather than declining at the hand of American military intervention.
Is America safer today than it was on Sept. 10, 2001?