A Vast Arms Buildup, Yet Not Enough for Wars, in ’s New York Times shows how the $500 billion Arms Manufacturer Enrichment Fund is allocated. Would it surprise you to find out that funds to supply the troops currently at war are hard to find, while the money tap for the next futuristic superweapon (manufactured in many important Congressional districts) never runs dry?
Amid one of the greatest military spending increases in history, the Pentagon is starved for cash.
The United States will spend more than $500 billion on national security in . That represents a high-water mark, and it is creating boom times in the armaments industry.
Yet the military says it has run $1 billion a month short over paying for the basics of war fighting in Iraq: troops, equipment, spare parts and training.
The disparity between spending on the arsenals of the future and the armies of today is great, and growing.
The Pentagon will spend $144 billion in researching and building weapons for future wars, another record and twice the annual costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by most independent estimates.
The Pentagon says it has 77 major weapons programs under development. They include the $200 billion Joint Strike Fighter project, a fleet of next-generation aircraft; a $112 billion Army program to create networks of weapons and communications systems; and an experimental Navy destroyer, the world’s first $10 billion warship.
Those 77 arms systems have a collective price tag of $1.3 trillion. That is nearly twice what they were supposed to cost, and 11 times the yearly bill for operating and maintaining the American military.
The spike in weapons spending is a bonanza for the nation’s armaments contractors, almost all of which report surging profits and soaring stock prices.…
, prime Pentagon contracts awarded to the top 10 arms makers have nearly doubled, to $82.3 billion in . Lockheed’s sales have risen over that period to $31.8 billion from $24 billion; Northrop’s are up to $26.2 billion from $13 billion.…
The accelerating pace of arms spending is unlikely to slow noticeably no matter who wins the election on President Bush supports all 77 major weapons systems now under development; Senator John Kerry has said he would cut back on one, missile defense, which costs $10 billion a year, and use the money for more troops.…
The Pentagon’s budget, in actual outlays, is now nearly 10 times as great as any other nation’s.