Tue May 21, 2013, 12:05 AM
Agnosticsherbet (3,899 posts)
Where's all the money gone?
Where's all the money gone?]
Outside the United States, the Pentagon controls a collection of military bases unprecedented in history. With US troops gone from Iraq and the withdrawal from Afghanistan underway, it's easy to forget that we probably still have about 1,000 military bases in other peoples' lands. This giant collection of bases receives remarkably little media attention, costs a fortune, and even when cost cutting is the subject du jour, it still seems to get a free ride.
With so much money pouring into the Pentagon's base world, the question is: Who's benefiting?
Some of the money clearly pays for things like salaries, health care, and other benefits for around one million military and Defense Department personnel and their families overseas. But after an extensive examination of government spending data and contracts, I estimate that the Pentagon has dispersed around US$385 billion to private companies for work done outside the US since late 2001, mainly in that baseworld. That's nearly double the entire State Department budget over the same period, and because Pentagon and government accounting practices are so poor, the true total may be significantly higher.
Not surprisingly, when it comes to such contracts and given our recent wars, the top two countries into which taxpayer dollars flowed were Afghanistan and Iraq (around US$160 billion). Next comes Kuwait ($37.2 billion), where the military has had a significant presence since the first Gulf War of 1990-1991, followed by Germany ($27.8 billion), South Korea ($18.2 billion), Japan ($15.2 billion), and Britain ($14.7 billion).
With Republicans hyperventilating about overspending, when they are not making up scandals on the fly, that is certainly a chunk of change poured down the rat hole of the big business of national defense. It is way past time we packed up and brought the boys home.
3 replies, 766 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Where's all the money gone? (Original post)
|Egalitarian Thug||May 2013||#2|
Response to Agnosticsherbet (Original post)
Tue May 21, 2013, 01:48 AM
Egalitarian Thug (12,448 posts)
2. Even if we left the boys there and just cut off the corporate welfare spigot housed in the Pentagon
we would save 60% of what we're hemorrhaging now.