10 Ways to Cut the Military Budget by 25 to 50%

US military spending is somewhere from $700 billion annually (a 100% increase in the last decade) to over a trillion dollars when you add in interest payments from past wars nuclear power weapons intelligence gathering !eteran benefits "omeland Security# etc# $t represents more than half of the discretionary spending in the federal budget and half of the world military spending# %he first step in ma&ing cuts in the '( to (0% range it to refocus our military spending from being the world)s policemen to the traditional approach of nonintervention and defending against invasion# %he US present strategic doctrine is *full spectrum dominance + air land sea space cyberspace# * %his neocon strategy advanced by the ,ush administration and continued under -bama is to protect *our* corporate and strategic interests abroad# %his doctrine is inherently opposed to cooperative security doctrines that rely on building mutual trust .oint security for sea lanes etc# and progressive disarmament# 1. Audit the Pentagon / Up to 00% un.ustified 1 $100s of billions per year potential savings# %he military budget is so out of control and government oversight is so la2 that the federal government has given up trying to audit it# %here was an effort late in the 3linton administration to start reconciling transactions with documentation in the 4epartment of 4efense# %hey audited $7 trillion in transactions and found that they could not .ustify $'#0 trillion of it# $n '011 the 5eneral 6ccounting -ffice reported *serious financial+management problems at the 4epartment of 4efense that made its financial statements unauditable*# See 6udit the 7entagon 6ct of '010 3ong# 8ee ("9 ((:)# 2. o!us on defending ".#. rather than poli!ing the $orld % up to $100 billion per year. *;ational security means defending our nation from invasion or true military aggression# <ith oceans being two of our borders and two allies (3anada and =e2ico) being the other borders US is one of the safest countries in the world in terms of e2ternal military threats# <e do not need to militari>e our borders against none2istent military threats or in violation of the human right to see& refuge from economic or political oppression# %he annual cost of our 1 100 overseas bases in over 100 countries is over $100 billion# Stop using our military to protect oil companies and multinational corporations#* &. "se go'ern(ent e(ployees rather than outside !ontra!tors % up to $100 billion per year. -utside military contractors cost on average nearly twice as much as the federal wor&ers who do the same .ob# %he 4efense 4epartment employs :00 000 civilians + more than twice as many as the ne2t+largest agency (!eterans 6ffairs) and e?ual to the remaining federal agencies combined# %here are also (@0 000 active+duty military personnel who *never deploy * and an estimated 700 000 *ghost* civil servantsAcontractors doing government .obs# Sen# 3oburn (9+-B) has called for staffing a ?uarter of these .obs ++ handling supply chain transportation human resources communications Awith cheaper civilian employees saving $( billion annually# Cour thin& tan&s have recommended reducing the 7entagonDs civilian wor&force by between 10 and '7 percent# 6dd to that outright !ontra!tor fraud) $hi!h so(e !riti!s !ontend runs as high as $100 billion a year# httpEFFwww#defenseone#comFmanagementF'010F11Fhow+cut+defense+spending+without+hurting+
militaryF70((0FGoref1d+channelriver

%here were numerous e2amples of war profiteering involving billions of dollars in $ra? and 6fghani station by firms such as "alliburton and ,lac&waterFHIFB,9#
www#huffingtonpost#comF'010F00F'0Fira?+war+contractorsJnJ':01100#html

9educing reliance on service contractors in the 4o4 was a priority of Secretary of 4efense 9obert 5ates# %he annual cost of 4o4 service contracts has nearly tripled since '000K many service contractors are perfor(ing inherently go'ern(ental fun!tions# Cutting these !ontra!ts by 15% $ould sa'e $&* billion annually. httpEFFwww#pogo#orgFour+wor&FreportsF'01'Fns+wds+
'01'0(0L+national+security+defense+savings#htmlMwasteful

6 1( percent reduction in non+4o4 national security agency spending on all service contracts would save $&& billion o'er then year while leaving service contract spending at these agencies at a higher level than it was in '007# www#pogo#orgFour+wor&FreportsF'01'Fns+wds+'01'0(0L+
national+security+defense+savings#htmlMwasteful

+. Bring all our troops and (ilitary !ontra!tors ho(e fro( ,ra- and Afghanistan . $/0 billion per year. Ivery hour US ta2payers paid $11#'@ million for %otal 3ost of <ars Since '001# http://costofwar.com 5. 1edu!e the si2e and !ost of (ilitary3s ba!4 offi!e bureau!ra!y . $50 billion per year. 3utting 7entagon overhead for its bac&+office bureaucracy from the private industry average of '(% would save roughly $L0 billion a year# 6 96;4 study of overhead and administration costs among defense contractors found them to be Ntremendous driversO of weapon costs at 0( percent# %he largest government domestic programsASocial Security and =edicareAget by with overhead costs in the single+digits# httpEFFwww#defenseone#comFmanagementF'010F11Fhow+cut+defense+spending+
without+hurting+militaryF70((0FGoref1d+channelriver

0. 1edu!e our nu!lear $eapons arsenal . $&5 billion per year. <e spend $@0 a year on nuclear weapons# <e could save $0( billion by reducing our nuclear weapons arsenal + which 9ussia says it would match# %he 7ro.ect on 5overnment -versight has recommend nearly $P0 billion in savings in 10 years through redesigning or ending various nuclear weapons facilities# Sen# =ar&ey when in the "ouse introduced the S6;I bill ("9 1(0@) to cut $100 billion over 10 years in nuclear weapon costs# www#pogo#orgFour+wor&FreportsF'01'Fns+wds+'01'0(0L+
national+security+defense+savings#htmlMwasteful K fcnl#orgFissuesFnuclearFsaneJactJreintroducedF

*. #top spending 10s of billions of dollars on $eapon syste(s that don6t $or4 . $1& billion per year 6 5overnment 6ccountability -ffice study found that the effectiveness of spending oversight was limited by not being able to re?uire that weapon be proven to wor& before going to production or use in the field# 6 '00L report noted recent e2amples that didnDt such as the "ellfire missiles on the ="+@0S 6rmed "elicopter <eapons System# %he missiles were designed to hang from e2ternal launchers on the chopperDs side but when fired during a training incident the force of the launch caused the launchers to brea& loose and pierce the copterDs fuselage# httpEFFwww#defenseone#comF
managementF'010F11Fhow+cut+defense+spending+without+hurting+militaryF70((0FGoref1d+channelriver

%a2payers for 3ommon Sense have proposed eliminating various weapon systems that would save more than $100 billion over ten years# Cor instance the 5round+based =idcourse 4efense (5=4) system consists of 00 interceptors designed to destroy ballistic missiles in mid+flightK %his =issile 4efense 6gency program has been plagued by cost increases test failures and delays# Cree>ing its development would save $@ billion# httpEFFwww#pogo#orgFour+wor&FreportsF'01'Fns+wds+'01'0(0L+ national+security+defense+savings#htmlMwasteful# 5. 7he (ilitary should stop dupli!ating e8isting go'ern(ent and pri'ate progra(s li4e health !are) re!reation !enters and gro!ery stores . $/ billion per year %en percent of the 7entagonDs non+war budgetA$(0 billionAgoes to health care# $t would be much cheaper to cover all 6mericans with =edicare# %he cost of %9$369I 4o4Ds health care system has more than doubled in the last decade# =any military retirees who are fully employed and have

health insurance available still opt for %9$369I which amounts to a government subsidy for employers# 3ongress has prevented attempts to halt this spending tra.ectory in the past#
www#defenseone#comFmanagementF'010F11Fhow+cut+defense+spending+without+hurting+militaryF70((0FGoref1d+ channelriver

/. #top spending A(eri!an ta8 dollars to defend 9apan) :urope and #. ;orea % o'er $& billion per year. %here are more than L0 000 U#S# troops stationed in Iurope# %he U#S# has built the capacity to deploy rapidly from offshore bases as needed# 9emoving .ust half of our troops in IuropeAP0 000 troopsA would save at least $0' billion over the ne2t ten years# Qapan has (0 000 6merican soldiers on :0 US military facilities particularly in -&inawa# %heir presence is a constant source of tension with local populations due to crimes (e#g# se2ual attac&s) committed by the servicemen military flights and land use# <hile Qapan does pay for much of the costs the US will spend $0 billion to transfer troops to 5uam# %he United States has 'L (00 soldiers in South Borea which pays about P0% of their costs. www#pogo#orgFour+wor&FreportsF'01'Fns+wds+'01'0(0L+national+security+
defense+savings#htmlMwastefulK rt.com/news/japan-usa-okinawa-drones-697/; www.stripes.com/news/talks-breakdown-on-sharing-costs-of-us-troops-in-korea-1. !"166

10. #top spending 10s of billions of dollars on $eapon syste(s that are not needed a for( of !orporate $elfare. Many i((ediately (othballed upon !o(pletion. %he U#S# has so many tan&s / which they donDt use / that they mothball thousands in the deserts across the U#S# as the government continues to build new ones despite ob.ections from the leaders of the 6rmed Corces# %an&s were needed to fight a land war in Iurope in the 1:(0s# 6 classic e2ample of spending money to fight the last wa rather than prepare for current military needs# %he ;R 7ost recently that $(@7 million was wasted by the 6ir Corce for a do>en new cargo planes (3+'7Q) that were delivered directly to a storage unit in the 6ri>ona desert since there is no use for the planes# %he desert comple2 is home to an estimated $0( billion in planes which there is no use for# %he 7entagon could save billions by canceling the I2peditionary Cighting !ehicle which brea&s down on average after eight hours of use and is ten years behind schedule# =arines haven)t stormed a beach in nearly half a century# 6nother unwanted system is the ne2t+generationO 8ong+9ange Stri&e ,ombers to augment the 6ir CorceDs fleet of ,+(' ,+1, and ,+' planes which drop both nuclear and conventional bombs# %he 7entagon says there no need for the 100 planes being built# Savings would be $@ billion# 8awrence Borb former 6ssistant Secretary of 4efense under 9eagan notes that the US *fields 11 aircraft carriers while no other country has even one of comparable si>e and power#* ;ew carrier construction costs $1( billion# 6nd while aircraft carriers were important in <<$$ they are .ust sitting e2pensive duc&s in the age of missiles# Borb details myriad e2amples of how the various armed services waste tens of billions arming themselves with competing and duplicative copies of the same weapons (e#g# Qoint Stri&er Cighter .ets)# %he 7entagon gets rid of tens of billions of *surplus e?uipment* often in new condition for pennies on the dollar while spending enormous amount to replace the e?uipment# %hey were selling chemical protective suits for $0 while other units were buying the same e2act one for $'00# (9# ;ader %he 17 Solutions)

If you support cutting military spending 25-50%, go here to sign the petition for a Budget for People, Peace and the Planet. If your organization supports this, organizations can sign on here.

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