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War Pay: The Pentagon Wants to Spend $716 Billion Next Year

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  • Part 1: The Pentagon Wants to Spend $716 Billion Next Year 
  • And they’re justifying it by playing on fear.
  • Part 2: War Pay
  • 
Another Good Year for Weapons Makers Is Guaranteed

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: The Pentagon Wants to Spend $716 Billion Next Year
 

https://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/afghanistan-mattis-nicholson-ap-img.jpg?scale=896&compress=80US Defense Secretary James Mattis and US Army General John Nicholson meet the Afghan delegation in Kabul, Afghanistan, on April 24, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst / Pool Photo via AP)

And they’re justifying it by playing on fear.
 
Danny Sjursen, Tom Dispatch

February 20, 2018 | Think of it as the chicken-or-the-egg question for the ages: Do very real threats to the United States inadvertently benefit the military-industrial complex or does the national security state, by its very nature, conjure up inflated threats to feed that defense machine?

Back in 2008, some of us placed our faith, naively enough, in the hands of mainstream Democrats—specifically, those of a young senator named Barack Obama. He would reverse the war policies of George W. Bush, deescalate the unbridled “Global War on Terror,” and right the ship of state. How’d that turn out?

Danny Sjursen is a US Army strategist and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge.

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Part 2: War Pay

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Another Good Year for Weapons Makers Is Guaranteed 


William D. Hartung, Tom Dispatch

January 11, 2018 | As Donald Trump might put it, major weapons contractors like Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin cashed in “bigly” in his first year in office. They raked in tens of billions of dollars in Pentagon contracts, while posting sharp stock price increases and healthy profits driven by the continuation and expansion of Washington’s post-9/11 wars. But last year’s bonanza is likely to be no more than a down payment on even better days to come for the military-industrial complex.

President Trump moved boldly in his first budget, seeking an additional $54 billion in Pentagon funding for fiscal year 2018. That figure, by the way, equals the entire military budgets of allies like Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Then, in a bipartisan stampede, Congress egged on Trump to go even higher, putting forward a defense authorization bill that would raise the Pentagon’s budget by an astonishing $85 billion. (And don’t forget that, last spring, the president and Congress had already tacked an extra $15 billion onto the 2017 Pentagon budget.)  The authorization bill for 2018 is essentially just a suggestion, however -- the final figure for this year will be determined later this month, if Congress can come to an agreement on how to boost the caps on domestic and defense spending imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The final number is likely to go far higher than the staggering figure Trump requested last spring.

William D. Hartung, a TomDispatch regular, is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy.  His most recent book is Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex.

Full story … 

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