Global-U.S. military spending spiraling out of control

Ryan Frank and Ryan Frank

Combined, countries of the world are expected to spend a total of $1.47 trillion dollars to beef up their armed forces in 2009.

The United States is projected to be responsible for $711 billion dollars, a whopping 48 percent, more than the next 45 highest spending countries in the world put together.

In our recent past, there have been plenty of disgraceful occurrences capable of providing arguments for other’s disdain towards the United States.

Just glancing at the issue of global military spending reveals an avalanche of reasons why other countries are fed up with our hypocrisies.

Last month the U.S. released its 2009 budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins in October of ’08.

The U. S. Department of Defense aims to increase the amount spent on national defense for the11th straight year, with a proposed spending of $515.4 billion in 2009. But what does this mean exactly?

Most fail to realize that the D.O.D. represents only a little more than half of our country’s military spending.

The initial amount of $515.4 billion fails to include: $170 billion for military operations already in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as an additional $26 billion towards nuclear weapons (conveniently categorized under the Department of Energy.) Not to mention the Department of Treasury’s projected $12.1 billion plus interest, to be spent towards military retirement funds.

The increase in military spending began even before the war in Iraq, since coming into office; the Bush administration has increased military spending by 30 percent. This is an enormous amount of money considering the budget (for military spending) is getting closer and closer to a trillion dollars each year.

It is time for the leaders of our country to drastically reconsider our national budget. They need to begin focusing their efforts on pressing social issues at home with matters such as education and medical aid.

The issue of global military spending has come to parallel how American citizens are out of tune with the elite decision makers of our country.

It also parallels how those decision makers are divided in opinion as to what is best for our country’s future.

Politician’s opinions usually fall under one of two categories, the “hawk” or the “dove”. Nationalists concerned with fighting the war on terror out of fear have come to be known as, “hawks”.

Internationalists who share a hope for world peace are known as “doves”.

Despite boasting the world’s highest amount of military spending, the U.S. still manages to produce some of the most high-profile “doves,” calling for arms control t in the world.

Bill Gates has been an outspoken advocate on issues concerning arms control. Presidential candidate Barack Obama has said he would work to ‘dramatically reduce the stockpiles of nuclear weapons’ and would seek ‘a world in which there are no nuclear weapons’.

The famous American investor Warren Buffet, donated $50 million dollars which was matched by the U.S. government to help develop a nuclear fuel bank under the direction of the International Atomic Energy Agency.