Defense Budget


The Price of Liberty: Paying For America's Wars

Speaker: Robert D. Hormats
Presider: Lawrence J. Korb

As the fight between Congress and the administration about Iraq war funding rages, Robert D. Hormats, vice chairman at Goldman Sachs and author of The Price of Liberty: Paying for America's Wars, contends that borrowing to pay for the Iraq war and an unclear fiscal strategy for paying for a long-term war on terror threaten not only our financial security, but our national security.

See more in Iraq; Wars and Warfare; Defense Budget; United States

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National Journal: Al Qaeda Strikes Back

Author: George C. Wilson

Writing in the National Journal, defense specialist George C Wilson considers two key defense budget documents – the “National Defense Estimates,” known to Department of Defense (DOD) budget analysts as “the Greenbook,” and the “Selected Acquisition Reports,” the DOD-released estimates of past and future weapons costs – to conclude that the US government is spending more money in real terms on the Iraq war than was spent on the Vietnam war, despite the deployed military force being only one quarter the size of that used in Vietnam.

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Foreign Affairs Article

The Underfunded Pentagon

Author: Martin S. Feldstein

The defense budget of the United States, the world's leading military power throughout the twentieth century, is not enough for the country to confront the threats of the twenty-first. It should be increased -- and can be without negatively affecting the economy. The money is available; it must be joined by political will.

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ArmyTimes: Limited Transparency on the Costs of the Global War on Terror

Author: William Matthews

The US Army Times reports comments from the acting Pentagon inspector general, that army spending on contractors is out of control: speaking before the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on readiness the inspector said that procurement laws are routinely violated, "price reasonableness," competitive awards and contractor oversight are abandoned, and millions of dollars are wasted.

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Analysis Brief

Debating Defense

With wars in Afghanistan and Iraq consuming lives, equipment, and political capital, talk of financial costs may seem petty. But this is budget season, and the way the Bush administration has been paying for the war is about to become a political issue.

See more in Defense Budget; Defense Technology

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CQ: White House Line on War Cost Called Too Low

This analysis in the Congressional Quarterly points out that three independent assessments place the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus anti-terrorism activities, at amounts in excess of the Bush administration’s figures. The difference ranges from $16 billion in the estimate of the Government Accountability Office to $18 billion in the view of the Congressional Budget Office to $23 billion in the estimate of the Congressional Research Service.

See more in Iraq; Defense Budget