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Afghanistan War Shapes Engorged Defense Budget While Domestic Programs Freeze

Posted by Derrick Crowe on February 1st, 2010

The Obama Administration is expected to unveil a huge Defense Department budget for next year shaped by the Afghanistan war. War spending is exempt from the president’s proposed spending freeze, despite President Obama’s statement at West Point that, “we can’t simply afford to ignore the price of these wars.”

According to AFP:

The Obama administration plans to unveil a defense budget on Monday that pours billions into drones, helicopters and special forces, reflecting a focus on fighting Islamist extremists rather than conventional armies.

The Pentagon’s spending priorities as well as its strategic vision — which is also due to be unveiled this week — are a product of the counter-insurgency campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan that have severely stretched the military.

The proposed 2011 defense budget comes to more than 700 billion dollars, a modest two percent increase, and unlike last year avoids sweeping cuts to major weapons programs, according to Pentagon officials and draft documents.

Politico also reports that the administration’s war funding estimates for the next 2 years far exceed last year’s estimates:

President Barack Obama’s new budget, to be released Monday, forecasts two consecutive years of near $160 billion in war funding, far more than he hoped when elected and only modestly less than the last years of the Bush Administration.

In 2011 alone, the revised numbers are triple what the president included in his spending plan a year ago. And the strain shows itself in new deficit projections, already hobbled by lagging revenues due to the weak economy.

We can’t afford to keep spending huge amounts of blood and treasure on a war that’s causing massive human suffering and that’s not making us any safer.

In other news, Bloomberg reports that, “Defense Stocks May Rise With Government Budget Increase.” Note especially the giggling about the profitability of drones. Mass murder from above is good for business!

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  1. unfortunately after the pharmaceutical industry, the military industrial complex owns our ass! Eishenhower tried to warn everyone before he left office!

  2. Gina Jones says:

    Time for everyone to wake up, we have a different persona in the White house, all dressed up in peace and love, hope and change. The same brutal policies still exist though. WAKE UP.. Why was it wrong under Bush and now it is all ok that we have Obama in office!!!!!!!!!!!
    Wrong is Wrong.

  3. Johnny says:

    We MUST continue to feed that beast knows as the Military industrial complex. It must be fed, or it will turn on us.

    When you make war profitable, you will have war.

    We are now a country which spends far more on killing people than we spend on saving people. America has a blood lust which can never be satisfied, not as long as out government and media conspire to keep us afraid.

    America has become the “Evil Empire” and the “Axel of Evil”. We kill, so we won't possibly be killed someday, by some random brown people from across the globe.

    The sooner that this great nation falls, the better off the rest of the planet will be.

  4. mayme says:

    I talked to one of our soldiers at Fort Drum and they are unhappy that they can't fight the war like they were—they say Obama has tied their hands. This sounds like a change in policy to me and I think we need to give him time to change the command structure and get things implemented. As much as I hate these wars it would be great to see Afghanistan really have a good government if it is at all possible. Personally, I would have liked to never started this war, it was a terrible mistake but one that Dems bought into way before we went to war. Surrounding Iran and protecting oil was more important to some than doing the right and honorable thing.

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