ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Dépenses militaires record des États-Unis
by Michel Muller
Translated Monday 17 May 2010, by Gene Zbikowskiand reviewed by
The defense budget for fiscal year 2011 will reach 1.65 trillion dollars, setting a new record, whereas austerity is the rule for most other budget items.
President Barack Obama is keeping his promises: the commitment made by the White House in 2009 not to limit military expenses will be observed. Never has the defense budget been so heavily padded: it will exceed total U.S. expenditures on defense during World War II.
The federal budget for fiscal year 2011, which Congress is to vote on October 1st, will amount to 3 trillion dollars (2.3 trillion euros), not counting the amounts raised to finance basic retirement pensions. Whereas the sum dedicated by the federal government to education only represents 2% of expenses, 53% of federal tax income, around 1.6 trillion dollars (1.25 trillion euros) will be dedicated to military expenditures, according to Information Clearing House, a progressive U.S. website. (1)
The sum includes the 717 billion dollars requested by the Pentagon, to which must be added a 200-billion-dollar credit to finance what the White House euphemistically terms “overseas contingency funding” – in plain English, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Plus 40 billion dollars for “black box” intelligence agency funding. Another 94 billion dollars for military activities funded through NASA, the State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security, etc. $123 billion will be dedicated to veterans’ benefits and health care spending, while $400 billion are foreseen for interest on debt raised to pay for “prior wars.”
In constant dollars, this is the biggest military budget the United States has ever seen. According to the War Resisters League, in 2009 US military spending accounted for 47% of all money spent on “defense” by all of the countries on the planet. To this, one must still add in the military expenses of United States traditional allies. In comparison, China dedicates 130 billion dollars to the military sector and Russia spends 80 billion dollars a year.