In the years since September 11, 2001, the growth in military spending has gone virtually unchecked, soaring from $287 billion in 2001 to $530 billion last year. And that's before accounting for the primary costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
When those extra war costs are added in, the U.S. spent some $711 billion on its military in 2011 -- more than the next 13 nations combined, which spent a total of $695 billion, according to the Washington Post.
This spending growth is unsustainable, and most reasonable people agree that the military budget must be reined in. In fact, in May 2012 the Henry L. Stimson Center, a nonpartisan Washington, D.C., think tank, released the results of a survey which showed the majority of Democrat, Republican and independent voters want to cut military spending more severely than either party has proposed.