Monday, February 5

Defense Is More Than 20 Percent of Bush's 2008 Budget

Of the 2.9 trillion dollars in next year's budget that President Bush presented to the Congress Monday, more than one in five tax dollars will be spent on defense. That translates to some $623 billion.

To give you a comparison,

Military Spending for 2007

1) United States $420.7 billion 43% of the world's money spent on defense
Which is approximately the amount that all of the next leading countries spent together.

2) China * 62.5 6%
3) Russia * 61.9 6%
4) United Kingdom 51.1 5%
5) Japan 44.7 4%
6) France 41.6 4%
7) Germany 30.2 3%
8) India 22 2% 8
9) Saudi Arabia 21.3 2% 9
10) South Korea 20.7 2% 10
11) Italy 17.2 2% 11
12) Australia 13.2 1% 12
13) Brazil 13.1 1% 13
14) Canada 10.9 1% 14
15) Turkey 9.8 1% 15

Where's it all going?
For the first time since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars began, the Pentagon has listed them as a separate budget item, totaling nearly $148 billion. The rest of the Defense Department budget will go to such things as paying salaries, buying new equipment and weapons, building new ships and aircraft, and increasing the size of the army and the Marine Corps.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the money is needed to maintain the readiness and capability of the U.S. military and to recruit and retain enough people for the all-volunteer force. And while the Congress now controlled by the Democratic Party will likely make many changes in the defense budget, and possibly reduce it, Secretary Gates says in its proper context $623 billion is not too much.

Among the defense programs that will receive more money in the coming year, if the Congress approves, are military space programs, which will have a 25 percent increase, and military purchasing programs, which will increase by 20 percent. Part of that is related to equipment destroyed or worn out in Iraq or Afghanistan, and part is an effort to modernize the U.S. military.

Programs receiving less money include missile defense, military intelligence, the effort to combat roadside bombs and military aid to Iraq and Afghanistan. But those programs could get more money later in the year in an expected supplemental budget request that is designed to cover unanticipated costs of the wars.

As he released next year's budget Monday, President Bush informed the Congress he will soon submit his defense budget supplemental request for the current year, in the amount of $93 billion.

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