True US military costs and waste

The U.S. military budget is $824.6 billion. That’s the budget for Fiscal Year 2018 which covers the period October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018.

1. $574.5 billion base budget for the Department of Defense.
2. $64.6 billion Overseas Contingency Operations for DoD to fight the Islamic State group
3. $78.9 billion Department of Veterans Affairs
4. $44.1 billion Homeland Security
5. $27.1 billion State Department
6. $9.5 billion FBI and Cybersecurity in the Department of Justice
7. $13.9 billion National Nuclear Security Administration in the Department of Energy
8. $12 billion in OCO funds for the State Department and Homeland Security to fight ISIS.

The DOD now spends one third of its budget on personnel and maintenance. Retirements and medical costs will rise to 100 percent by 2024 unless there are massive cutbacks in the civilian military and closing of bases.

Buying the wars on a credit card

As of 2017, the US has paid $534 billion in interest. Assuming the US debt is not cleared then the additional $1.5 trillion of direct military spending from 2001-2013, adding more than $7.9 trillion to the national debt.

The Cost of War estimate does not include state and local government costs not subsidized by the federal government. It does not include the costs for caring for Veterans beyond the VA.

Annual interest, VA, retirement and costs in the 2020s

The US will have extra interest, VA and retirement costs of about $300 billion per year in the 2020s and 2030s.

US Real percent of GDP spent on military is about 5-6% of GDP

Russia and the USA are spending 5-6% of GDP on military.

China has not been in any foreign wars since a brief border war with Vietnam back in the 1980s.

4% of GDP that China has saved with less spent on military means $400 billion per year that China can spend on other things like Belt and Road projects to build trade and soft power influence.

By the mid-2020s China will have about $700 billion per year it can spend on other projects.

US could trim $100-200 billion per year from military waste

1. Drop the F35 and other wasteful unneeded military procurement. The US is not threatened by Russia now. Russia’s economy is ten times smaller than the USA and can barely maintain its post-soviet military. China is rising but is decades away from matching the US military. Military gear that the US gets now will need to be updated in the future if there was a need to match China’s military. A stronger US economy would be more helpful.

2. Cut the 100,000 civilian workforce of the DOD added in the last decade.

3. Cut the pentagon identified 21 percent excess capacity in all its facilities and military bases.

4. Find more efficient options for dealing with the goals in Afghanistan and the middle east.

Use antivegetation spraying to take out the poppy fields that are funding the enemy in Afghanistan.

US could shift to other options for dealing with the middle east that rely less on deployed military personnel.

The US has to deal with its debt and deficits.

9 thoughts on “True US military costs and waste”

  1. China is an aggressor busy grabbing territory from its neighbors. China defense is growing way faster than America’s. In the context of the Pacific theater it is already in par with the western resistance. I don’t think that China appetite is limited to its local Arena. It is a repressive regime vying for global rule. And here we have a China peon blogger working extra time putting the West to sleep with a China good global intentions propaganda.

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  2. As someone who has lived near military bases in the US and known numerous civilian workers on those bases as well as the soldiers…they are pretty bad. Not bad people but the companies are BS.

    There is no saving of money. The government still has to buy all the tools and pay oceans of money to the companies compared to what it cost to get a GI to do it. This was all done mainly to cut back the active personnel in the military to get a draw down,

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  3. “The US has to deal with its debt and deficits.” is absolutely correct.
    But Defense spending could be zeroed & debt would still devour the budget.

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  4. Sigh. We could cut the military to zero and would still go broke via entitlement spending, which is far larger & growing much faster. This is mere Chinese & left wing claptrap to get the US to disarm even more than it already has…

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    • How about we dont start wars that we cant finish? $5T and counting on Iraq and Afghanistan. Entitlements are part of the issue, but the larger part of the issue is our Adventurism overseas.

      As far as the suggestions in this article, yeh.. no.. The F-35 isnt going anywhere, nor should it.

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      • Well we spend about 3TT a year on the welfare state and over 20TT just on the war on poverty during its history, so I’m gonna go with no, military spending isn’t the larger part of it.

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        • You either spend on welfare to keep the have-nots pacified or you spend on the military to fight against the armed have-nots wanting their stomached filled out of desperation. Fighting insurgencies in the USA will not cost less than 23TT, because the factories and tax payers supporting the military will get destroyed, the American will be burning candle at both ends.

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