The discussion that isn’t happening

Slate
by Fred Kaplan

09/21/07

The Senate is debating the defense bill now, and the central fact about the proceedings is that nobody’s talking about money. Certainly this is strange. The military budget in question — not including any money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — totals $500 billion. This is roughly equal to the military budgets of all the rest of the world’s nations combined. Adjusting for inflation, it is larger than the U.S. military budget at the peak of the Cold War — in fact, larger than any budget since the Korean War. Again, this is true, apart from the money allocated for the current wars. Shouldn’t some legislators be asking about the ways the Pentagon is spending so much money and whether all those ways are necessary?

//www.slate.com/id/2174398/



How much are we spending? Don’t ask the Pentagon

Mother Jones
by Winslow T. Wheeler

09/20/07

For the Pentagon, telling the American public how much has been spent on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is fundamental to its effort to garner (and maintain) public and congressional support for these ongoing military operations. It should be a simple question. It isn’t. In late July, for instance, the Department of Defense (DOD) reported to Congress that the war in Afghanistan had cost $78.1 billion; the seeming precision of the decimal point notwithstanding, the number is laughably inaccurate. Here’s why: The figure accounts for DOD ‘obligations’ as of May 2007, which doesn’t include congressional appropriations or the amount the Pentagon has actually spent...

//tinyurl.com/2mwcfb


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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