Defense Spending

The Real Scale of U.S. Defense Spending

Nearly $1 trillion was spent on the war in Afghanistan, mostly under President Obama.

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The U.S. Army

Remember back in 2002 when President Bush allegedly canned his chief economic advisor, Larry Lindsey, for saying that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost more than $100 billion? Well, it turns out Bush was right to fire him because his estimates were way off! So far the cost of the wars to U.S. taxpayers is nearly $3 trillion—a figure that could double in the future as the associated legacy costs (e.g., veteran healthcare benefits) mount.  

And it can't all be blamed on President Bush, because President Obama hasn't been the tightwad peacenik that the military interventionists claim. According to a story in yesterday's Financial Times, the war in Afghanistan has cost $1 trillion thus far and roughly 80 percent of that total was spent under the administration our Nobel Peace Prize winning president. From the article:

The Afghanistan war, the longest overseas conflict in American history, has cost the US taxpayer nearly $1tn and will require spending several hundred billion dollars more after it officially ends this month, according to Financial Times calculations and independent researchers.

Around 80 per cent of that spending on the Afghanistan conflict has taken place during the presidency of Barack Obama, who sharply increased the US military presence in the country after taking office in 2009. …The Afghan conflict has led to other increases in public spending that are significant but difficult to isolate. As well as the separate war funding it has received since 2001, the Pentagon's "base" budget, which covers all its other costs, has also seen a dramatic increase, with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq one of the main factors.

Given the political pressures surrounding the wars, military healthcare premiums paid by serving military members have been kept low, prompting a surge in healthcare spending by the Pentagon, while salaries have risen above inflation. Since 2001, the defense department's base budget has increased by $1.3tn more than its own pre-9/11 forecasts

Speaking of unforeseen defense costs, it is worth noting that the actual taxpayer cost of maintaining America's global military presence and interventionist foreign policies is much higher than the Department of Defense's budget. The chart below shows the real scale of the government's spending on defense-related activities.  The total for fiscal year 2013 is roughly $861 billion (not including interest which amounts to roughly $58 billion). 

As we document over at Mercatus, while the majority of defense spending takes place in either the Pentagon budget or National Defense budget function, there is other funding related to national security and defense, which includes:

  • $137 billion to Department of Veterans Affairs to care for wounded or retired military veterans.
  • $46 billion to Department of Homeland Security for responding to terrorism and natural disasters.
  • $41 billion to International Affairs for additional war funding, weapons training to foreign militaries, and foreign aid. There are nondefense-related items in this amount, such as operating U.S. embassies and consulates and normal diplomatic operations. However, these are all key components of the U.S. government's national security apparatus.
  • $27 billion for retirement costs for military pension benefits not included in the Pentagon's budget.

The military interventionists on Capitol Hill having been agitating for an end to the 2011 Budget Control Act's spending caps since the day they were accidentally implemented. With the Republican Party back in control of Congress, expect the drumbeat for more defense spending (and, gulp, more military interventions) to grow louder. When they do, it would be helpful if the press pressed the Pentagon blank-check crowd on how much taxpayers are really paying to keep Uncle Sam's nose in everyone's business. 

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110 responses to “The Real Scale of U.S. Defense Spending

  1. Lets roll with it dude, this should be good.

    http://www.AnonBay.tk

    1. Of course you’d say that. Weaponized kill-bot research all comes out of the defense budget.

    1. Pogo ?

      We have met the enemy, and he is us.

  2. With life spans increasing due to technology, etc. and viagra itself, these wars could be costing taxpayers for the next 200 years. LITERALLY!

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB…..0954152394

  3. Hey, peanuts! Three Trill from your man, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH! Obama derp derpity HURR DURR HURRRRRR not as bad!

    CHRISTFAG! BUSHITLER!!!

    /8%

      1. Only with Messicans! But you peanuts love BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH. You’re all voting for Jeb in ’16.

        Have fun.

      2. gay butt sex..sponsored by the department of redundancy department

        1. +1 each Austin, Bergman, Ossman and Proctor

        2. Me and my army of messixsicans wants to have gay ass-sex with your deep-dish pizza, with all the fixin’s, including aborted Reese’s-fetus-pieces… I hope I have covered all the bases… If not, let it be said, all your bases are belong to us!

          1. Did ya hear what happened at the Alamo when the Messixican army showed up?
            Davy Crocket sees them all amassing, he turns to Colonel Travis, an’ he says:
            “Nobody tells me anything around here these days?
            Some big project going on, are we pouring concrete today?”

          2. You forgot pot! Otherwise most excellent.

    1. Stop, you guys are killing me.

  4. EXISTENTIAL THREATS ARE EVERYWHERE!

  5. the real question is, how much less would these wars have cost had we set up a US federal style government instead of a parliamentary style?

    Ok, so that’s not the real question- but it’s MY question…

    1. By US federal style government, you mean powerless provinces, and a central government run one way or the other out of the office of a strongman, with the occasional theatrics and democratic cover being provided by a legislative body or two?

    2. Hold on a darned second here. Under the rules, while a Democrat is in the White House there is to be no talk of either casualties or military spending. NONE.

      Now knock it off. Don’t make me get my belt and come back there.

  6. “Around 80 per cent of that spending on the Afghanistan conflict has taken place during the presidency of Barack Obama, who sharply increased the US military presence in the country after taking office in 2009. ?”

    Libya: $.5Bn – $1.5Bn
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2…..n_in_Libya
    Iraq: “Pentagon has spent an average of $7.5 million per day in Iraq for last three months”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..ee-months/

    I’m sure glad his priorities are diametrically opposed to that idjit Bush’s!

    1. Change we can Belieb In!

    2. Don’t think of this money as “spent.” Think of it as stimulus! I’m still waiting for my Christmas card from Boeing.

      1. “Invested,” Dude, “invested.”

        1. Where is my dividend check from Br?gger & Thomet?!

          1. I’d settle for a second-hand M60.

  7. Can’t wait til we get these wars wrapped up so we can focus on militarizing America!

    1. “We reject those who say that we must choose between imposing our military might on the world, and turning our own nation into an occupation zone.”

  8. and see what they’ve already done without the proper focus on it! Imagine a fascist utopia.

    1. Imagine a fascist utopia.

      I want that on a tee shirt.

  9. Hey you gotta spend money to make money.

  10. The next time a leftist tries to claim Somalia is a libertarian paradise, I’ve decided to claim Iraq as a progressive paradise:

    http://www.bloombergview.com/a…..s-problems

    “Half of the labor force works for the national government, either directly or indirectly, and another 20 percent or so is unemployed. “Iraqis believe that the only real job is a government job,” Gunter says. It “pays more, has benefits, you can’t be fired, and the work intensity is lower than in the private sector.” Gunter estimates that if the price of oil falls below $40 a barrel, the government is in serious trouble: below that price, it will not have enough revenue to pay salaries and pensions, even if no services are provided at all.”

    1. …”It “pays more, has benefits, you can’t be fired, and the work intensity is lower than in the private sector.””…

      Yep, every government, everywhere.

      1. Guess Spencer has the answer to his question above. Their government was modeled after ours after all!

    2. Gunter estimates that if the price of oil falls below $40 a barrel, the government is in serious trouble:

      Another progressive paradise sabotaged by so-called “free markets” ! Why don’t they just pass a law setting the price of oil at a sustainable level?

      *shakes fist at Koch brothers*

    3. Mission accomplished! Iraq is now a true Western liberal democracy.

      1. They’re so advanced they even learned the true lesson of social justice – that pensions and government worker pay must be protected at all costs, even if they aren’t actually providing any services to the public.

        1. And they did that shit in record time. What…11 years? Fast learners, those crafty Arabs.

    4. Have you read the “10 Facts of the Islamic State Everyone Should Know?” propaganda written by some female jihadi? It reads like Liz Warren’s platform:

      1. We don’t pay rent here. Housing is for free.
      2. We don’t pay for electricity or water.
      3. We are given monthly grocery supplies.
      4. Monthly allowances are not only given to a husband and his wives, but all his children as well.
      5. Medical checkups and medication are free. …

      etc.

      1. Its always easy to give shit away that you’ve stolen at gunpoint.

      2. 1. Free housing in a bombed-out favela.
        2. Free electricity for 1 or 2 hours per day, if that. Contaminated water from a well 3 hours walk away.
        3. Free grocery supplies in amounts that if we work very hard we can just barely avoid starvation
        4. Monthly allowances so we can buy a tank of gas for our 250 cc imitation Honda motorcycle.
        5. Medical care IF medicine is available. Usually not. Infibulation is covered however.

    5. Iraq? I always counter with the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea. No obstructionist to government action there!

  11. $4T and we are worse off than when we started.

    Bravo politicians. *slow clap*

    You cannot fight terrorism with conventional military action. If you attempt it, you are an idiot. Terrorism/insurgency evolved precisely because you cannot defeat them with conventional arms. They exist, BECAUSE, our conventional forces are indomitable.

    Bush was an idiot. Obama, is 10x worse.

    1. +1 Martin van Creveld

    2. You cannot fight terrorism with conventional military action.

      You can. We’re just not willing to do so. And that’s probably for the best, really.

      1. Yea, we could, and win, just some people wouldn’t like the body counts.

  12. First, retirement spending is related to past defense spending not current spending. Cutting defense spending now wouldn’t change the retirement obligations. So I don’t think that really counts in the debate. If you want to count retirement, you would have to count the current value of any future retirements that are going to have to be paid to today’s force. And that would be a SWAG at best.

    Second, Homeland Security is mostly border patrol, citizenship and customs enforcement. The amount of DHS spending that goes to responding to terrorism and responding to natural disasters is maybe 10% of the budget. So counting the entire DHS budget as “defense spending” because it goes to support “responding to terrorism and natural disasters” means that either DeRugy is dishonest or just fucking pig ignorant of the subject she is writing about. That is an obvious and idiotic mistake to make. Given that, why should anyone pay any attention to the rest of the article? If De Rugy is that misinformed or that sloppy here, what other things is she misinformed or sloppy about?

    1. You work for Defense, right? I guess everyone has their part do the pork they’d like to defend from criticism, but principles matter.

      1. Which part of “I agree that we spend too much on defense”, do you not understand?

        Just because you agree with the sentiment of an article, doesn’t mean the piece is well written, factual or well argued. This article is a piece of crap and it shows DeRugy doesn’t know shit about what she is talking about.

        My post is about the poor quality of DeRugy’s writing. It has nothing to do with the merits or spending more or less on defense.

        Do me a favor and try reading and understanding the posts before responding to them.

        1. I think your arguments against the article are bad enough to make special pleading for a wing of government you’re a part of the likely motivation. Your ‘I agree we spend too much here BUT’ is standard concern troll boilerplate.

          1. You think anything about my arguments against the article other than you don’t like them. You haven’t given one reason why any of them are false.

            So you don’t even know what you think let alone what I think.

          2. Bo,

            I don’t see where you have argued the points of John’s argument. I see where you are arguing at/with John himself, but not the argument.

            DHS’ budget is what it is, and it is terror-focused or it isn’t. Hard to include border control in the terror aspect so the context of the budget figures matters.

            1. John basically made the completely reasonable argument that De Rugy is counting things that cannot rationally be considered defense spending, at which point Bo declared that John was defending military pork because he is a hypocrite.

              There are those brilliant debate skills Bo learned in law school!

              1. I wonder what some future judge whom Bo appears before will think of this style.

              2. I’ve also explained why the arguments were weak Irish. It’s totally reasonable to count the pensions of yesterday’s employees. It’s totally reasonable to count the expanded roles the Dod pays for, totally reasonable to count agencies whose missions are fundamentally intertwined with defense.

            2. War eagle, one thing law school teaches is how to read details before jumping in. You might have caught this if you followed that:

              “Bo Cara Esq.|12.17.14 @ 1:19PM|#

              They’re both weak objections. Retirement costs are an inherent part of any government agency that employees full time workers, of course it should be counted. And to say DHS shouldn’t be counted because some of what they do is not explicitly defending the homeland is like saying we shouldn’t count police under LE expenditures because they spend a lot if time doing things like give people directions.”

              1. Notice the time stamp over ten minutes before you say

                “wareagle|12.17.14 @ 1:28PM|#

                Bo,

                I don’t see where you have argued the points of John’s argument. I see where you are arguing at/with John himself, but not the argument.”

              2. for some odd reason, Bo, this stood out:

                You work for Defense, right? I guess everyone has their part do the pork they’d like to defend from criticism, but principles matter.

                Because it’s not possible to work in a place yet disagree with some of its policies? And no one argued against current retirement costs being paid, costs that do not include DHS and its ilk since that agency is so new. By your reckoning, presidential pensions should count as Defense spending since the job entails being CIC.

                And nice job of finding a quote from a different part of the discussion and paste into this section.

                1. So you didn’t read the entire discussion but went ahead and made your general point, huh?

                  I have to say, I really enjoy how idealized your view of judges and the legal profession is. It’s like you really think you live in a world where if someone were testifying on the spending habits of an agency and I pointed out in cross that they worked for that agency the judge would start banging his gavel and admonish me for an argumentem ad hominen. Courtrooms are not logic classes.

        2. The only way to count retirement spending as a cost of the war is to determine how much bigger it is because of the war. Which gets to, how many people would have been in the military with and without the war.

          The same goes for health care spending.

          I’m not saying there isn’t some subset of these that can’t be attributed to the war. I’m saying its only a subset. I don’t know if its been accurately identified/defined in the analysis.

    2. To be fair, many politicians consider border patrol & customs enforcement to be a vital component of national security. It’s one reason why they want to increase funding for it. Additionally, they also play a role in fighting the drug war…

      On pg. 5 of this report you can find the DHS budget broken down according to the percentage allocated to each organization:

      http://www.dhs.gov/sites/defau…..Y15BIB.pdf

      John, do you expect that retirement spending will go down significantly when the soldiers who served in the WoT can start collecting? In any case, there is money being spent right now on retirees and it is defense-related.

      1. Yes, I do. The retirement benefits are a bit less generous than they used to be and the uniformed force is much smaller. We are currently paying the retirements of the much larger Cold War Military.

        The war might effect VA spending due to injuries. But the downsizing of the size of the uniformed services in the 1990s should reduce the retirement costs war or no.

        1. John, VA spending is expected to increase from around $150-160 billion to “$238.1 billion in 2024 as the human costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to grow.”

          Again, I think the money we are currently paying to Cold War veterans should still count (defense-related), but I do see your point about the reduction in active duty military personnel since the ’90s. If anyone wanted to do a historical analysis of spending then they should be consistent in regards to the incorporation of retirement costs. Don’t see an issue if you’re always counting current expenditures.

          1. I think it should count as “defense related”. But I don’t think they give you an actual picture of what we are spending now. It tells you about what we spent 20 or more years ago.

            I am fine with counting the cost of retirement benefits as “defense spending”. What is not fine and is just lazy and shitty writing is just pulling the current costs and calling it a day leaving it to imply something about today’s real defense spending costs. The point of the article is the “real cost of defense” meaning more than just the raw defense budget numbers. If you want to give the real cost, great, give the real cost and figure out what the discounted retirement costs of today’s force is. Don’t just dump the current number that is totally unrelated to anyone in the force now and pretend that means something.

            1. So would you prefer the term ‘defense-related spending ‘ or ‘National Security(-related) spending’ (POGO uses ‘National Security’ when adding up the costs of all these disparate departments)?

          2. VA spending is expected to increase from around $150-160 billion to “$238.1 billion in 2024 as the human costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to grow.”

            I would take that statement with some skepticism, as its all too easy for the VA to blame its inability to control costs on the war.

            That may be a good number, but its also a very convenient number for the VA.

            1. That too. And the VA is ripe with fraud. It will declare anything to be service related. The VA is not a problem of too much defense spending. It is a problem of poor defense spending, which is the biggest problem we have and one that no one seems to want to address.

              1. Can’t it be both?

                1. Sure. I’m just saying the likelihood of a bureaucracy producing a number that is both accurate and convenient is not high.

      2. To be fair, many politicians consider border patrol & customs enforcement to be a vital component of national security.

        So what? They are not just that. They are customs and border security. We could go completely isolationist and we would still have them. So counting them as part of “defense spending” is stupid and dishonest.

      3. They’re both weak objections. Retirement costs are an inherent part of any government agency that employees full time workers, of course it should be counted. And to say DHS shouldn’t be counted because some of what they do is not explicitly defending the homeland is like saying we shouldn’t count police under LE expenditures because they spend a lot if time doing things like give people directions.

        1. They are not weak at all. You are just a fucking moron. Seriously, lets count the entire budget of USCIS and ICE and the Secret Service as “Defense Spending” just like we count the budget for the Army and Air Force. That is what she is saying here.

          Only someone as simple minded as you could find such an argument compelling. You are like Shreek if he would ever take his proper meds.

          1. Now who is going on and giving no actual reasons of rebuttal?

            Of course an agenciy’s ‘non line’ expenditures are still expenditures. It’s as if you don’t want to count the pensions paid to NFL players as a NFL expense because it doesn’t directly involve playing football!

        2. Starting with Nixon, almost every President has said that illegal drugs are a threat to National Security.

          1. So? Just because they claim that doesn’t make it true. That is complete bullshit and no Libertarian would ever agree with it in any other context but this bullshit post by DeRugy.

          2. Which of course they are ! It is after all the “War” on drugs, how could we have a war without it being real !

  13. Then there is this gem

    There are nondefense-related items in this amount, such as operating U.S. embassies and consulates and normal diplomatic operations. However, these are all key components of the U.S. government’s national security apparatus.Z

    So if we didn’t have a defense department, we wouldn’t have a Department of State either? We would operate embassies and consulates in every country in the world regardless of what our defense budget is. Does DOS work with DOD a lot? Sure it does. But that doesn’t mean you can attribute the entire DOS Budget as “defense spending”.

    I happen to agree that we spend too much on defense. The problem is not the message contained in this article. The problem is that it is poorly written and it is clear DeRugy doesn’t know a fucking thing about the subject she is writing about. Even if she is right, it is clearly by dumb luck and not result of any intelligence or knowledge of her own.

    Reason owes its readers better than this. And DeRugy owes her readers better than this. If you want to write about a subject, get off your lazy ass and learn something about it. I am constantly struck at little most proclaimed “journalists” and “opinion writers” actually seem to know.

    1. The embassies are intertwined with Defense, as Chris Stevens could tell you if he wasn’t dead.

      1. That however does not mean that the embassies are part of the defense budget such that you can count the spending there as “defense spending”. The embassies and consults would still be there and cost virtually the same amount even if we didn’t have a defense budget or any kind of military. Is there a case to be made that DOS gets more money than it would otherwise because of defense needs? Maybe. But no one at State or DOD would tell you that. Each would say that all of State’s DOD related duties are basically unfunded and get paid for by DOD via the economy act. It is a subtle question how much of DOS budget could count as “defense spending”. But hey Bo, don’t worry about thinking about these issues. Just count it all and don’t worry.

        Maybe you should consider writing for reason. You child like reasoning skills might fit in well.

        1. One wonders why you spend so much time here reading their awful writers?

          You miss the point: consulates and embassies will always be intertwined with defense, so there’s good reason to include them.

          1. No there isn’t because their functions are separate and independent. DOS is intertwined with trade too. So should we count the Commerce Budget as State spending? It is a completely fucking dishonest and idiotic point to try and make.

            If there are parts of DOS that would not exist or get funding were it not for DOD, that money can fairly be counted as “defense spending”. Everything else is state spending.

            1. We can use your own test: embassies and consulates inherently need military guarding at the least and therefore wouldn’t exist without it.

              1. Bo

                which embassies, both ours and those of other nations, would not exist without military guards? That is quite a blanket statement.

              2. Sure, you can count the money used to actually defend the consulate as military spending. What you can’t do is count all the spending on consulates/ambassadorships as defense spending, since that spending is diplomatic spending through the state department.

                It’s disingenuous nonsense to argue that money spent on diplomatic organs is inherently defense spending.

                1. The embassies and state are always working DOD and intel angles.

                  It’s like you don’t want to count the Mouth if Sauron’s pay as included under the defense dept of Mordor!

                  1. Bo,
                    perhaps your argument should be for the elimination of State as a separate entity since you view it as a subsidiary of Defense.

                    And with that, business calls so I have to leave it there.

                  2. On my way to Afghanistan we stopped at a civilian German Airport in Leipzig. Obviously the cost spent by the German Gov to maintain airports should be factored into the Defense Budget, right Bo ?

              3. Your wrong on numerous accounts here. Embassies have Marine Gaurds to secure classified material. Embassies are mainly secured by diplomatic security and host nation support. Marine security guards are replaceable.

                Also, DOE is involved in our nuclear weapons programs. Thus, we should include DOE with your training. FAA works with the military …… you get my point.

    2. I get your point, but there is actually more money allocated to ‘Protect National Security’ within the International Affairs budget than to maintain ‘State Operations Diplomatic and Consular Programs’ ($5.4 billion out of $46.5 billion for DoS & USAID):

      http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/…..222870.htm

      1. But read the details of that. It is all international aid stuff being called “national security” spending. If you don’t like international aid, good for you. I am not a fan either. But things like this

        Middle East and North Africa ($7.0 billion). Bolsters security and economic partnerships with countries across the region to address high-stakes challenges. Provides robust support for Israel and Jordan while helping countries in transition like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. Includes resources to support the Syrian people, particularly by providing life-sustaining aid to those displaced by conflict; to address the regional impact of the Syrian conflict; and to promote successful transitions and reforms in the regio

        Cannot be characterized as “defense spending” in any meaningful definition of the term.

        1. If you’re arguing that our DOD engages in things which a ‘real’ defense department would not, then duh. But that’s kind of the point, we’ve made ‘defense’ such a broad concept to include nation building that no libertarian can support such a ‘defense’ apparatus.

          1. That is the DOS budget you fucking halfwit. Try reading the posts before responding.

        2. Security partnerships and military aid aren’t related to “national security” or “defense”? I recognize that some of it is economic or humanitarian aid, but let’s not pretend all of it is either.

          Even if we concede you are right in most instances then how much is the estimate provided above going to decrease? $40-100 billion?

          I’d also point out that the estimate doesn’t include the costs related to defense-related spending’s share of interest on the debt, but I assume you would object to including that as well.

          1. You are reading the taglines instead of the substance. They talk about “security partnerships” but read the rest of the paragraph. Those are not what you think they are. They are humanitarian aid that is called “security” because the thinking is that the better the humanitarian situation is, the more secure things will be.

            The programs you are thinking of, the real security aid programs selling arms and training and shit, are run through DOD and in the DOD budget not the State Budget.

            It is just another example of DeRugy not knowing shit about how the government actually works.

            1. John, the State Department is definitely involved in dispersing military aid. Just ask John Kerry:

              “So Madam Chairwoman, this budget keeps our ironclad partnership with Israel intact, $3.1 billion in security assistance.”

              http://www.state.gov/secretary…..223371.htm

              Also, check out the Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. They do collaborate with the DoD on aid, but it definitely looks like that part of the DoS’s budget is devoted to Foreign Military Financing:

              http://www.state.gov/t/pm/ppa/sat/c14560.htm

              1. The State oversees foreign aide in the sense that every Ambassador is the Chief of Mission to the country and manages all US government efforts there. The aide however is not generally paid for out of State’s budget. And foreign military aid is done by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. That is where the big dollars are not in State.

                Again, it is not as simple as you think it is and the terms you are reading don’t mean what you think they do.

                1. Here’s what happens:

                  “U.S. Congress appropriates FMF funds in the International Affairs Budget, the Department of State allocates the funds
                  for eligible friends and allies, and the Department of Defense [Defense Security Cooperation Agency] executes the program.”

                  Summary: Fiscal Year 2013 Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations

                  “…$5.8 billion is for Foreign Military Financing Program/FMF (includes $3.1 billion for Israel; $300 million for Jordan; and $1.3 billion for Egypt)”

                  http://www.leahy.senate.gov/pr…..opriations

                  Can you show me where they include it in the DoD budget?

              2. It’s also important to understand that DoD is a vehicle for aid/money. Where ARGs port is an example of such. It isn’t giving direct aid, but is an economic boon and as such can be used as a carrot from DoS.

            2. From the first DoS link:

              “Security, Law Enforcement, Counterterrorism and Related Assistance ($1.3 billion, excluding the Middle East, East Asia and Pacific, Afghanistan, Pakistan). Reduces potential threats from international terrorist activities; illicit trafficking of weapons, narcotics, humans, and wildlife; and nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. Strengthens security forces of key allies and coalition partners; builds military-to-military partnerships with countries around the world; and reinforces the rule of law.”

              1. You keep linking to shit and not understanding what it means. Take you paragraph.

                Reduces potential threats from international terrorist activities; illicit trafficking of weapons, narcotics, humans, and wildlife; and nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons

                That is all law enforcement and border security type aid. That is aid to cops not aid to armies. That is US aid not defense spending. I don’t see how teaching the Georgian border patrol how to stop hookers and drugs from leaving the country is “defense spending”. And that is what that means.

                Strengthens security forces of key allies and coalition partners; builds military-to-military partnerships with countries around the world; and reinforces the rule of law.”

                That is the Military attache program and a few other small programs. They are all told not even in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Again, the real defense aid done through the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

                You are reading things but you don’t understand what they mean.

                1. I’ve only been talking about defense-related/national security-related spending. Don’t care about whether it is ‘real defense spending’ or not. Also, it does mention things beyond narcotics and humans that have nat. sec. implications (e.g., nukes and weapons).

                  In any case, the programs run by DoS and DoD are meant to be complementary:

                  “Congress established the economic support fund (ESF) to promote economic and political stability in strategically important regions where the United States has special security interests. The funds are provided on a grant basis and are available for a variety of economic purposes, like infrastructure and development projects. Although not intended for military expenditure, these grants allow the recipient government to free up its own money for military programs.”

                  http://www.fas.org/asmp/profiles/aid/aidindex.htm

                  1. By far the hardest bridge to cross for those moving to a more libertarian position from the Right is the bridge labelled ‘the Military.’

                  2. Sure they are meant to be complementary. But a lot of things are complimentary to defense. Our entire economy is complimentary to defense in the sense that without it we couldn’t pay for our defense.

                    The government likes to sell a lot of things to Congress as “security related”. That does not however mean it actually is. It just means the executive is selling something that is not defense as contributing to the national defense. That is it.

                    Just because DHS says that enforcing Customs Duties is complimentary to national defense, doesn’t mean that you can count that as “defense spending” in any meaningful way or the way that DeRugy is implying here.

                    1. Have any response to this post?: https://reason.com/blog/2014/12…..nt_4972132

  14. I agree that Pauline `s storry is shocking… last week I bought a gorgeous Ford Focus after I been earnin $6233 this past month and over 10/k this past-munth . this is definitely the nicest-job Ive had . I actually started 3 months ago and pretty much immediately startad making minimum $71 p/h .
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  15. Imagine a fascist utopia.

    I want that on a tee shirt.

    With an illustration of an M134 minigun.

    “Brought to you by General Electric. We bring good things to life.”

  16. The amount of DHS spending that goes to responding to terrorism and responding to natural disasters is maybe 10% of the budget.

    The rest, such as whatever DHS pays you to troll us all day, is wasted, right?

    1. All 45Billion fucking dollars baby. It ain’t cheap operating the “Troll the Fuck out of P. Brooks desk”. And it wasn’t an easy job to get. I can tell you that.

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  18. Valerie `s posting is shocking… on saturday I bought a great new Jaguar XJ after I been earnin $6211 this last four weeks an would you believe 10k this past month . it’s by-far my favourite-work I’ve ever done . I started this eight months/ago and immediately startad bringin home over $71… per hour .
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