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The Militarization of America At What Cost?. Prepared by Peace Action Montgomery Topics. How Much do We Spend on the Military? Where Does the Money Go? What Does American Militarism Cost You? To Reverse Militarism, Can We Safely Cut the Military Budget?

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the militarization of america at what cost

The Militarization of AmericaAt What Cost?

Prepared by Peace Action Montgomery

  • How Much do We Spend on the Military?
  • Where Does the Money Go?
  • What Does American Militarism Cost You?
  • To Reverse Militarism, Can We Safely Cut the Military Budget?
  • Fund Our Communities: Bring the War Dollars Home
total federal budget fy 2010 both discretionary mandatory
Total Federal Budget, FY 2010 Both Discretionary & Mandatory
  • Mandatory: Required by law Examples:
  • Interest on Debt (9.5%)
  • Social Security (21%)
  • Medicare
  • Unemployment
  • Discretionary: Negotiated each year Examples:
  • Military
  • Education
  • Research

Source: National Priorities Project

obama budget proposal fy 2011
Obama Budget Proposal FY 2011
  • “All other” includes:
  • Environment
  • Science
  • Transportation
  • International affairs
  • Everything else except entitlements and debt.

Source: National Priorities Project, FY 2011

growth in military spending excluding wars
Growth in Military SpendingExcluding Wars

Source: Project on Defense Alternatives

discretionary spending by category 2009
Discretionary SpendingBy Category, 2009

Billions of Dollars

Source: Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, Briefing Book

2010budget military recruitment vs peace corps
2010Budget: Military Recruitment vs. Peace Corps


Sources: American Forces Press Service; Peace Corps Web Site

u s military spending vs other countries in rank order fy 2009
U.S. Military Spending vs. Other Countries, In Rank Order, FY 2009

Source: Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation

montgomery county citizens share of pentagon expenditures fy2010 budget
Montgomery County Citizens’ Share of Pentagon Expenditures, FY2010 Budget
  • About $3 billion


  • $2,000 per person

Source: National Priorities Project

with 3 billion montgomery county could instead have paid for
With $3 Billion, Montgomery County Could Instead Have Paid For:
  • All expenses at a public university for four years for every 18-year-old in the County, and
  • Renewable electricity for three years for all the homes in the county, and
  • Over 5,000 new affordable housing units.

Source: Computed from National Priorities Project and census

state of maryland
State of Maryland

What MD residents paid in FY 2010 towards the Pentagon budget: $13.7 bn

Entire State FY 2010 budget: $13.9 bn

Shortfall: 2.6 bn

State spending cuts:

Public Health



Source: National Priorities Project, Out of Balance

where does the money go
Where Does the Money Go?
  • War costs
  • Foreign military bases
  • War profiteers
military budget 2011
Military Budget, 2011

Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

total war costs iraq and afghanistan through 2010
Total War CostsIraq and Afghanistan Through 2010

Total direct cost of both wars by 2010: over $1 trillion

Iraq: $747 billion

Af/Pak: $332 billion

Total: $1.079 trillion

Source: National Priorities Project

1 trillion is a thousand billion
$1 Trillion is a Thousand Billion

Imagine that you spent $1 million/day beginning with the birth of Jesus—to spend a trillion dollars, you’d need to keep spending $1 million/day until mid-way through the 28th century.

If you laid out $1 trillion end-to-end in $100 bills, you could circle the Earth at the equator 39 times.

A trillion dollars could pay the salaries for a year of 18 million people at $55,000 per job.

afghanistan war costs
Afghanistan War Costs
  • Total U.S. defense spending in Afghanistan, FY 2010: $101 billion.
    • $1 million: cost to send one soldier to Afghanistan for one year
    • $400 per gallon: US military’s cost of gasoline in Afghanistan

Source: Congressional Research Service Report RL 33110

afghanistan war vs world military spending
Afghanistan War vs. World Military Spending

In 2010, the United States will spend more on the war in Afghanistan than any other country in the world spends in total on the military.

Source: Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation; Reuters

it s a choice
It’s a Choice!

Are lengthy occupations of Iraq & Afghanistan how we want to spend our money? We have other threats!

where does the money go21
Where Does the Money Go?
  • War costs
  • Foreign military bases
  • War profiteers
u s foreign military bases
U.S. Foreign Military Bases
  • The US maintains about 1,000 foreign military bases
  • Foreign bases cost taxpayers about $250 billion per year

Source: Foreign Policy in Focus, Anita Dancs

floating bases
Floating Bases
  • The U.S. has 11 nuclear powered aircraft supercarriers—the entire rest of the world has 11 carriers, and these are all much smaller than those of the U.S.
  • The U.S. maintains over 100 deployed ships and submarines at any given time—with 30,000 sailors afloat.

Source: United States Navy; Project on Defense Alternatives

military bases as the new imperialism
Military Bases as the New Imperialism

95% of all the military bases on another country’s soil are U.S. bases.

“Once upon a time, you could trace the spread of imperialism by counting up colonies. America's version of the colony is the military base.”

Chalmers Johnson, 2004

Source: Chalmers Johnson

the movement to end foreign bases
The Movement to End Foreign Bases

International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases:

Source: International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases

foreign bases a provocation
Foreign Bases: A Provocation

The Declaration of Independence criticizes the British "for quartering large bodies of armed troops among us" and "for protecting them . . . from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States.“

Foreign bases create enemies and make us less safe.

where does the money go28
Where Does the Money Go?
  • War costs
  • Foreign military bases
  • War profiteers
war profiteers example lockheed martin
War ProfiteersExample: Lockheed Martin
  • 84%

Percent of L/M profits derived directly from US tax payers, 2008

  • $4.4 billion

Amount of tax-payer money distributed as profit, 2008

  • $42.68 million

Total compensation of Lockheed Martin CEO, 2009

Sources: Forbes; LM Company Statements;

lockheed martin
Lockheed Martin
  • Paid $577.2 million in fines because of contract fraud since 1995
  • Found guilty of 50 instances of various kinds of misconduct (including contractor kickbacks, nuclear safety violations, fraud, etc.)

Source: Project on Government Oversight

lockheed martin forms of influence
Lockheed Martin: Forms of Influence
  • Political donations, 2008 cycle: $2,801,455 (from L/M PACs and individuals, per FEC)
  • Paid lobbying, 2008: $15,981,506

Source: Open Secrets

lockheed martin forms of influence32
Lockheed Martin: Forms of Influence

Geographic distribution of subcontractors

“The ideal weapons system is built in 435 Congressional districts and it doesn’t matter whether it works or not.”

Alain C. Enthoven, economist and former Pentagon official

In 2009, Lockheed Martin placed full-page ads in the Washington Post showing the number of jobs for F-22 construction, by Congressional district, throughout the nation.

lockheed martin forms of influence the revolving door
Lockheed Martin: Forms of Influence—The Revolving Door
  • Lockheed's former vice-president, Bruce Jackson, worked in the DOD, and then organized and chaired the “non-profit” Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (2002-03): It lobbied hard for the Iraq war—a war that dramatically increased Lockheed Martin profits
  • 8 other senior Bush Administration members had similar ties to Lockheed Martin

Source: Hartung & Ciarrocca

what do military contractors do
What Do Military Contractors Do?
  • Feed troops
  • Maintain facilities and equipment
  • Transport cargo
  • Wash clothes
  • Provide security guards for bases and diplomats
  • Engage in military actions

Contractors are doing everything that used to be done solely by the military—for a profit.

contractors vs troops in afghanistan
Contractors vs. Troops in Afghanistan

Source: Congressional Research Service

who are mercenaries
Who Are Mercenaries?

Soldiers-for-hire or “private security contractors.”

They are recruited from all over the world.

outsourcing the military
Outsourcing the Military
  • Powerful companies promote war because it is profitable, not because of the interests of the nation
  • The profit motive, in war, can be counter to the military’s goals and the nation’s
  • Oversight of contractors is negligible and contractors often do poor jobs—costing lives and more money
  • Cost-plus contracts , the most common DOD-type contract, encourage waste and unnecessary spending
what does the militarization of america cost you
What Does the Militarization of America Cost You?
  • Economic Costs
  • Environmental Costs
  • Cost to Democracy
a weaker economy
A Weaker Economy

Increased spending on the military relative to other parts of the economy leads to :

  • Fewer jobs
  • Higher interest rates
  • Greater inflation

Source: Center for Economic and Policy Research

u s job creation with 1 billion spending
U.S. Job Creation with $1 Billion Spending

Number of Jobs Created

Education Health Care Clean Energy Consumption Military

Source: U of MA, Political Economy Research Institute

a weaker economy43
A Weaker Economy

Money to finance wars displaces productive investment, for example to rebuild infrastructure at home.

As a result of not making these investments, future output in the U.S. will be smaller.

  • Source: Stiglitz and Bilmes, The Three Trillion Dollar War
economic costs debt service
Economic Costs: Debt Service

Interest costs alone are so high that they will soon dwarf federal spending on other priorities

Source: Congressional Joint Economic Committee Majority Staff, Nov. 2007

personal costs projected costs of wars 3 5 trillion by 2017 almost 50 000 per family
Personal CostsProjected Costs of Wars: $3.5 Trillion by 2017Almost $50,000 per Family

Source: Congressional Joint Economic Committee Majority Staff, Nov. 2007

total estimated costs of iraq afghanistan 3 5 trillion
Total Estimated Costs of Iraq & Afghanistan: $3.5 Trillion

With $3.5 trillion, for the next 133 years, we could send every 18-year-old in the U.S. to a state university. We could pay all their education expenses--tuition, fees, and room and board--for four years.

what does the militarization of america cost you47
What Does the Militarization of America Cost You?
  • Economic Costs
  • Environmental Costs
  • Cost to Democracy
environmental costs
Environmental Costs
  • The U.S. military is the biggest polluter in the world, generating an estimated 750,000 tons of toxic waste every year.
  • The military burns an estimated 20 million gallons of gasoline daily—about the same as the entire country of Iran.
  • The military writes its SOFAs to exempt the U.S. from responsibility for cleaning up environmental damage.

Sources: Graydon Carter; Barry Sanders

what does the militarization of america cost you49
What Does the Militarization of America Cost You?
  • Economic Costs
  • Environmental Costs
  • Cost to Democracy
threat to democracy
Threat to Democracy
  • Militarism restricts freedom at home
    • Recent arrests of peace activists in Chicago and Minneapolis
    • “Protest zones” established
threat to democracy51
Threat to Democracy
  • Militarism involves immense amounts of money that corrupt the political system
    • Campaign contributions, election ads and lobbying by war profiteers and other corporations (e.g., oil)
  • Militarism leads to secrecy which is incompatible with democracy
    • The “State Secrets Privilege”
    • Patriot Act provisions
threat to democracy52
Threat to Democracy
  • Militarism erodes fundamental rights
    • Denial of Habeas Corpus in “War on Terror”
    • “Legalization” of torture
    • Military Commissions Act of 2006, creating kangaroo courts
  • Militarism demonizes certain citizens--who then lose basic rights
    • Japanese-Americans in WW II
    • Muslims and Arab Americans today
threat to democracy53
Threat to Democracy
  • Militarism expands government surveillance of citizens
    • Maryland activists placed on “terrorist” list, organizations monitored by State police
    • NSA data mining
  • Militarism leads to powerful secret paramilitary organizations, illegal actions by government, and lack of accountability—destroying the rule of law
    • CIA – Black sites and illegal violence in many countries
    • “Extraordinary rendition”— kidnappings and disappearances
threat to democracy54
Threat to Democracy

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is . . . most to be dreaded because it comprises . . . the germ of every other. . . No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

James Madison

what does the militarization of america cost you55
What Does the Militarization of America Cost You?

Because our economy is weaker due to excessive military spending, we have:

Less to invest in new businesses and new ways of doing things

Less to spend on health, education, infrastructure, art and culture

We all have to work harder and longer hours, just to stay even.

We endanger the ability of human beings to live on earth.

We place the future of our democracy at risk.

the cost of militarism
The Cost of Militarism

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.

Dwight Eisenhower

myth 1 the more we spend the more secure we are
Myth #1: The More We Spend, the More Secure We Are

“The vitality of our economy is the cornerstone of our nation's strength.”

Source: Experts Letter to Deficit Commission

myth 1 cont d the more we spend the more secure we are
Myth #1, cont’d: The More We Spend, the More Secure We Are

Since 1968, most terrorist groups have ended because:

(1) They joined the political process (43 percent), or

(2) Local police and intelligence agencies arrested or killed key members (40 percent).

Source: Rand

myth 2 u s military spending protects americans from foreign threats
Myth #2: U.S. Military Spending Protects Americans from Foreign Threats

The U.S. military is designed for:

  • “Power projection”: the capacity to intimidate other nations and implement policy by means of force or threat of force
  • Military intervention around the globe

Do power projection and wars make us safer?

Bacevich, Washington Rules

myth 2 cont d u s military spending protects americans from foreign threats
Myth #2, cont’d: U.S. Military Spending Protects Americans from Foreign Threats

Example: Suicide Attacks

2000: 20 suicide attacks, one was anti-American

2009: 300 suicide attacks, 270 were anti-American


Source: Pape, Foreign Policy

myth 3 only force or threat of force can keep us safe
Myth #3: Only Force or Threat of Force Can Keep Us Safe

Other sources of power:

  • Diplomacy
  • Economic power
  • Moral suasion
  • International cooperation (e.g., intelligence, policing)

Peace & security require justice

Justice requires law

myth 4 military spending is the only good government spending
Myth #4: Military Spending is the Only Good Government Spending

We’re not “number one”:

  • 11th : Percent of 25-34 year-olds who have graduated high school
  • 22nd: Broadband Internet access
  • 24th: Life expectancy at birth
  • 32nd: Infant mortality rate
  • 37th: Health care quality
  • 48th: Quality of K-12 science and math

Sources: National Academies Press; UN Social Indicators

myth 5 the u s is responsible for organizing the world
Myth #5: The U.S. is Responsible for Organizing the World

We are the “good guys”

who fight to:

  • Create democracy
  • Save lives
  • Kill the “bad guys”
  • Eliminate evil dictators
how much for security
How Much for “Security”?

The U.S. spends:

55 times as much as the combined spending of the six “rogue” states that we have demonized (Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria)

But 47% of Americans fear that our military is inadequate!

Source: Daily Kos

how much could we cut the military budget
How Much Could We Cut the Military Budget?

Andrew Bacevich:

We should reduce the US military budget to a level that does not exceed the combined military spending of all ten of the next highest-spending countries in the world.

Source: National Priorities Project—Security Spending Primer

deficit commission proposal
Deficit Commission Proposal

Co-chairs of the President’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform:

Cut $100 billion by 2015


Cut specific weapons systems

Cut 1/3 of foreign military bases

Charge military more for health care

barney frank ron paul proposal
Barney Frank/Ron Paul Proposal

Sustainable Defense Task Force:

Cut $998 billion over 10 years


Cut nuclear warheads

Reduce size of military forces

Cut certain weapons systems

Source: Debt, Deficits and Defense

institute for policy studies
Institute for Policy Studies

Task Force on A Unified Security Budget for the U.S.:

Cut $75 billion in 2011:


Nuclear weapons: $7 bn

Missile defense: $7 bn

V-22 Osprey: $2.7 bn

Source: Task Force on a Unified Security Budget

fund out communities bring the war dollars home
Fund Out Communities:Bring the War Dollars Home
  • A growing coalition:
  • CASA de Maryland
  • Chesapeake Climate Action
  • Columbia United Christian Church, Peace & Justice Committee
  • Gray Panthers /Metro DC
  • Network of Spiritual Progressives/MD
  • Pax Christi/MD
  • Peace Action Montgomery
  • Progressive Democrats of America/MD
  • Southern Christian Leadership Conference/ Montgomery County
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom/DC
fund our communities goals
Fund Our Communities: Goals
  • Significant increases in domestic spending for jobs, veterans’ services, infrastructure, education, health care, the environment, and human services.
  • Major reductions in the Pentagon budget, amounting to at least 25% over the next five years.
coalition member activities
Coalition Member Activities
  • Campaign endorsement
  • Education of own group
  • Legislative advocacy
  • Events
  • Outreach to other organizations
campaign activities peace action montgomery
Campaign Activities:Peace Action Montgomery
  • General Assembly resolution and/or letter
  • County Council resolution
  • Series of events in March, with cost-of-war sign a focus
  • Public presentations on cost of war
  • Lobbying Congress
  • Community organizing: building the coalition

Fund Our Communities:

Bring the War Dollars Home

  • American Forces Press Service,
  • American Friends Service Committee,
  • Amnesty International,
  • Bacevich, Andrew, Washington Rules, America’s Path to Permanent War, Metropolitan Books, 2010.
  • Center for Arms Control and Non Proliferation, 2009 Briefing Book,
  • Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, “Putting Afghanistan Troop Increases in Perspective,” Dec. 2.
  • Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, “Analysis of 2010 Defense Authorization Agreement,” Oct. 21, 2009.
  • Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation:
  • Center on Budget and Policy Priorities,
  • Center for Economic and Policy Research:
  • Chalmers Johnson, America’s Empire of Bases.
sources continued
Sources, continued
  • Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, Interim Report, June 2009:
  • CNN , Congress to Probe Private Military Contractors in Afghanistan:
  • Congressional Joint Economic Committee Majority Report. War At Any Price?:
  • Congressional Research Service Report RL 33110, September 28, 2009
  • Congressional Research Service Report R40764, September 21, 2009,
  • Congressional Research Service Report RL 33222, US Foreign Aid to Israel,
  • Congressional Research Service:
  • Daily Kos: “Our Taxes Are off to War,” March 8, 2010:
  • Anita Dancs, Mary Orisich, Suzanne Smith, The Military Costs of Securing Energy (National Priorities Project – October 2008)
sources continued82
Sources, continued
  • Debt, Deficits and Defense, Sustainable Defense Task Force, 2010:
  • Tom Englehardt: Tomdispatch,
  • Experts Letter on Defense Spending, Nov. 18, 2010,
  • Forbes:
  • Foreign Policy in Focus: Anita Dancs, The Cost of the Global U.S. Military Presence, July 2009:
  • Foreign Policy in Focus, A Unified Security Budget:
  • Friends Committee on National Legislation, “Keeping Military Spending in Balance with the Nation’s Priorities,” March 16, 2009.
  • William Hartung and Michelle Ciarrocca, “ Corporate Think Tanks and the Doctrine of Aggressive Militarism,” The Multinational Monitor, Jan/Feb. 2003.
  • Huck Gutman,
  • ublications/NPP_Security_Spending_Primer.pdf
sources continued83
Sources, continued
  • Iraq Coalition Casualties:
  • Jeremy Scahill, interviewed by Bill Moyers, June 2009.
  • John Feffer, “Good War vs. Great Society,” Foreign Policy in Focus, Sept. 22, 2009.
  • Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, The Three Trillion Dollar War, Norton & Co., 2008.
  • Just Foreign Policy:
  • National Priorities Project:
  • National Priorities Project Security Spending Primer:
  • National Academies Press, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, 2010,
  • National Priorities Project, Out of Balance:
  • National Priorities Project, President’s Budget FY 2011:
  • Newser:
sources continued84
Sources, continued
  • Open Secrets: and
  • Pape, Robert A., “It’s the Occupation, Stupid,” Foreign Policy , Oct. 18, 2010:,0
  • Peace Corps Web Site,
  • Political Economy Research Institute, U. of Mass., Robert Pollin and Heidi Garrett-Peltier , “The U.S. Employment Effects of Military and Domestic Spending Priorities ,” , Oct. 9, 2009:
  • Project on Defense Alternatives:
  • Project on Defense Alternatives,
  • Project on Government Oversight,
  • Rand, “How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering Al Qa’ida ”
  • Refugees International:
  • Reuters, Chinese Military Spending:
sources continued85
Sources, continued
  • Right Web: Committee for the Liberation of Iraq:
  • Smartrend:
  • Task Force on a Unified Security Budget, Institute for Policy Studies:
  • United Nations, Social Indicators:
  • U.S. Budget:
  • United States Navy Fact File,, accessed November 15, 2009.
  • War Resisters League:
  • Ycharts: Lockheed Martin:
u s arms dealer to the world
U.S.: Arms Dealer to the World

Arms Transfer Agreements with The World,

By Supplier, 2008

Source: Congressional Research Service, Sept. 2009

sales to other countries example israel
Sales to Other Countries:Example Israel

Proposed U.S. Military Aid to Israel

FY2009-FY2018: $30 billion

Israel is required to use 74% of its aid money on U.S. purchases, totaling $24.4 billion.

Source: Congressional Research Service: US Foreign Aid to Israel

sales to other countries example israel90
Sales to Other CountriesExample: Israel

Pentagon Seeks $15.2B Fighter Sale to Israel

Sept. 30, 2008

“The Defense Department said today it wants to sell up to 75 fighter jets to Israel in a $15.2 billion deal . . . The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said it notified Congress on Friday that Israel has asked to buy 25 of the F-35s made by Lockheed Martin Corp., with an option to buy an additional 50 at a later date.”

Newser Online News Journal

sales to other countries example israel91
Sales to Other Countries:Example Israel

US gives Israel billions of dollars

US requires Israel to spend most of it by buying from US arms manufacturers

Israel buys planes from Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin makes more profits

White phosphorus:

Causes deep burns through muscle and down to the bone, continuing to burn until deprived of oxygen.

Can contaminate other parts of the body, poisoning and irreparably damaging internal organs.

Is extremely painful and very lethal.

White phosphorus was used extensively in the war on Gaza 2008-09

Fragments of a US-made M155 white phosphorus carrier artillery shell fired by Israeli forces into Gaza

Source: Amnesty International

remains of a us made hellfire missile that killed 3 paramedics and a child in gaza
War on Gaza, ‘08-’09:

American-made planes

Dropping American-made bombs

Paid for with American taxpayer funds

Remains of a US-made Hellfire missile that killed 3 paramedics and a child in Gaza.

Source: Amnesty International