By Judd Legum /AlterNet – Think Progress / April 11, 2011
A new report released today by SIPRI, a Swedish-based think tank, reveals that U.S. military spending has almost doubled since 2001. The U.S. spent an astounding $698 billion on the military last year, an 81% increase over the last decade.
U.S. spending on the military last year far exceeded any other country. We spent six times more than China — the second largest spender. Overall, the world expended $1.6 trillion on the military, with the United States accounting for the lion’s share:
As a percentage of GDP, U.S. military spending has increased from 3.1% in 2001 to 4.8% last year.
The report notes that, “even in the face of efforts to bring down the soaring US budget deficit, military spending continues to receive privileged treatment.” Indeed, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and others on the right are passing legislation increasing defense spending. At the same time, they are insisting on massive cuts to social programs that provide vital assistance to the elderly, the poor and the middle class.