U.S. Military Spending Has Almost Doubled Since 2001

by on April 12, 2011 · 14 comments

in American Empire, Popular, War and Peace

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.


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Gary Ghirardi April 12, 2011 at 9:49 am

More than a quarter of what you pay in taxes goes to finance Washington’s military adventure in the Middle East and the deployment, around the World, of an extensive arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.

These figures do not include the various black budgets allocated to the military and intelligence apparatus, which do not appear in US public accounts.

The surge in defense hits Education. For every dollar spent on education, more than five dollars are spent on what is euphemistically referred to “defense”.

–Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research


barbara April 12, 2011 at 3:39 pm

It says military spending almost doubled but then in the same sentence says it has gone up 81% since 2001. More than the rest of the world combined. We are now the world’s biggest exporter of weapons. Sometimes after the good guys become bad and we don’t like them anymore, we get more and better weapons to knock out t he weapons we sold them earlier. Israel loves to buy weapons from us. So does Saudi Arabia. Consider us the Walmart Superstore of weapons. Without this industry we would have no economy to tout getting stronger.


Allen Lewis April 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm

I think the American people should question the motives of our government, something that the people don’t do. Unlike others in other countries we by the propaganda that is sold to us, and this is the corner stone of America. Our government says be afraid and we are, so… who is it we really should be afraid of ?


barbara April 12, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Alan, some of us do and have been doing so for a very long time now. It is those FOX watching, low information American’s who remain ever in the dark. Did you see those reports this week that brains of liberals are larger where info and complexity is processed and conservatives are bigger where FEAR is processed?


Allen Lewis April 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Yes Barbara I know I’m not alone, what a lonely world it would be if I was. But by far the FOX watchers along with others (I will not mention) are the majority. So you end up with the Fat Cats, Dirty Rats and the Piss Ants.


Shane Finneran April 13, 2011 at 8:54 am

I don’t think the FOX-watchers are the majority. In fact, studies show the average age of FOX viewers in in senior citizen territory. It’s a small but visible (and voting) minority that tune in that garbage.

I’d say the bigger problem then FOX is APATHY. Polls show that most people support the progressive side of most issues. But so many of those people never make it to the polls…


Allen Lewis April 12, 2011 at 7:37 pm

O yes, let us speak of fear. This is why we spend so much on defense. It seems we as Americans are the most afraid in the world, and our spending shows that. We are afraid of people of different race, religion, and afraid of countries that our trying to take away our freedom. So what is freedom anyway? If we can’t be of different color or religion. It seems to me that’s how we are controlled in this country is by fear.


barbara April 12, 2011 at 7:49 pm

I have been arrested a number of times over the last 10 years protesting. The storm troops all decked out in their ninja gear have been getting more and more physically brutal. Just recently, several older people, including Daniel Ellsberg,in his 80’s, were crushed and then drug by some force dressed in black with no name badges or other identifying insignia. Ray McGovern, CIA RET, was assaulted at a Hilary event, left bleeding in his cell. He is a cancer survivor and in his 70’s. I mention this to say I am much more afraid of my government than any boogeyman they want me to fear. From personal experience, this president does not care about civil liberties of we the people.


Allen Lewis April 12, 2011 at 8:28 pm

You speak to my point, If we spend our time fearing people from other countries then we don’t look at home.” Watch my left hand”.


Rick Ward aka mr.rick April 12, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Try number three.If everyone paid a straight % into an account for our military escapades and everyone served two yrs,no deferments. maybe our defense budget would shrink. Oh yeah,school for service. We need to pet social security taxes to the highest paid public employee.Mr. Obama. What 500k? What is good for the goose. It would un-american to take the taxpayers and not pay the same taxes as the poor secretary. Mr. Buffets example.Of course we would have to means test.Paris Hilton does’nt need social security.And the donald does’nt need medicare.But all those guys will do every thing they can to get it. But as long as the williams sisters can get thier tax cuts.As Serena asked after a tournie at the beginning of “Ws” first term. Of course she was worried about that winners check.


Allen Lewis April 13, 2011 at 8:20 am

In the last two years we have accumulated national debt at a rate more than 27 times as fast as during the rest of our entire nation’s history.. Over 27 times as fast. Metaphorically speaking, if you are driving in the right lane doing 65 MPH and a car rockets past you in the left lane. 27 times faster, it would be doing 7,555 MPH!


Allen Lewis April 13, 2011 at 8:40 am

This is a must see for all Americans. Yes defense spending is of great concern, but it’s part of a much bigger problem. This link pretty well frames the financial situation our politicians have and continue to put us in. It is staggering to say the least.


Gary Ghirardi April 13, 2011 at 9:37 am

American citizens are insignificant in the realm of empire. You pay your taxes and keep your mouths shut and pretend that it is worse everywhere else. If you get in the way, you get run over. If you speak out against the common grain you are less than subversive, just marginalized. Congress, our closest representative body are nearly as powerless when it comes to the “global adventure” that spends the tax dollars, and need not their approval for our wars anymore. All the apologists for empire who comment on this site will find more reasons than there are congresspeople to find a bright side to all this. After all, when we see the administrative spokespeople and politicians on the tube, the generals, the defense contractors, they all seem so reasonable, like the folks next door; because they are the folks next door!. Either they are us or we have become them, not to puke and toss our Television sets out the window. American democracy needs a birth, not a re-birth.


Allen Lewis April 13, 2011 at 10:04 am

I feel the way we do government today is antiquated. Voting is everyones responsibility, but we need to change how it doesn’t work. Today we live in the communication age, so the BIG $ spent on campaigning is a big wast, and the big $ only go’s to two parities. also the electoral collage worked in the old past (1800’s) but today it only messes thing up. Bush would not have had a second term if not for the electoral collage. Who are these politicians any way? mostly lawyers from the same schools. Our President today for those that didn’t see through him was our new hope for change,( yes I know what was the alternative) and what has happened? business as usual. As a nation we are failing and if something isn’t done soon I hate to think what comes next.


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