top of page

White House Asks Congress For Largest Defense Budget in History

Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Via Slate.

Yesterday, the White House revealed OMB’s budget that asks Congress for $741.2 billion in new military spending, including a $548.9 billion base budget for fiscal year 2011.  The administration is also asking for an additional $33 billion in fiscal year 2010 supplemental funds for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have already cost one trillion dollars since 2001, and the new budget calls for roughly $159 billion dollars to cover the costs of the US missions there — including about $11.6 billion to expand the Afghan security forces.

The fiscal year 2011 budget request “builds on the reforms begun in last year’s defense budget,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a statement on the budget. “These substantial changes to allocate defense dollars more wisely and reform the department’s processes were broadened and deepened by the analysis and conclusions contained in the Quadrennial Defense Review.”

Secretary Gates breaks down that $159.3 billion in some detail ($89.4 billion for operations, $21.3 billion to repair broken equipment, $13.6 billion to train the Afghan and Iraqi security forces, etc.).  However, The Center for a New American Security calculates that, adjusting for inflation, this sum is 13 percent higher than the defense budget at the peak of the Korean War, 33 percent higher than at the peak of the Vietnam War, 23 percent higher than at the peak of the Cold War, and 64 percent higher than the Cold War’s average.

Proposed Revenues and Spending for 2011 Fiscal Budget. Via NPR.

Read the OMB Fact Sheet on Department of Defense spending.


bottom of page