Monday, March 14, 2011

Tip of the Iceberg

Every minute of every day the United States government spends $2.1 million on the military.

Over the weekend, the NYT’s featured a half page graphic on the back of the week in review section highlighting Pentagon weapons systems that are boondoggles...

“Unworkable or unnecessary systems [that] tend to have something in common: their costs are often uncontrollable. A 2009 Government Accountability Office study of 96 major defense acquisition programs found that almost two-thirds of them suffered major cost overruns — 40 percent above contract prices, over all — with average delays of nearly two years. Those overruns totaled close to $300 billion, about the amount of President Bill Clinton’s last full defense budget request a decade ago.“

The word mask's the real violence behind this weapons systems and the institution itself.

The author, John Arquilla is a professor of defense analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School and author of “Worst Enemy: The Reluctant Transformation of the American Military”. He is making the point that the proposed (long-term) cuts announced by Secretary Gates were not enough. His figures reveal the parameters of cuts and restraint that have insider support. Think bookends on the low end. Neither author is going to challenge the tremendous increase of power and money the Pentagon has received in the post 9/11 era.

But the reality is that the US Government spends more than $1 trillion dollars a year on the military. People around the world are not safer and we are not more secure. Take a look at the real numbers on the updated One Minute for Peace page.

AFSC Resource: End Reliance on Military Solutions

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