Recent Pentagon Increases Exceed Russias Entire Military Budget

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WILLIAM HARTUNG, williamhartung55 at gmail.com, 
Hartung is the director of the Arms and Security Project at Center for International Policy. He is author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex. He recently wrote the paper “Ready to Profit: Corporate Beneficiaries of Congressional Add-Ons to the FY 2018 Pentagon Budget.”

He said today: “The House of Representatives’ $716 billion Fiscal Year 2019 Pentagon spending bill is one of the largest since World War II.  Spending at this level is both dangerous and unnecessary. It’s good news for Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and other weapons contractors, but bad news for the rest of us.

“The increase in Pentagon spending in the last two years alone is greater than Russia’s entire military budget.

“The bill continues to waste billions of dollars on a new generation of nuclear weapons, part of the Pentagon’s planned $1 trillion-plus nuclear weapons buildup over the next three decades. Even many advocates of nuclear deterrence acknowledge that other countries could be prevented from attacking the United States with a fraction of its current arsenal of over 6,000 warheads. And the only true way to protect us from nuclear weapons is to get rid of them altogether by supporting the global ban that passed the United Nations General Assembly last year.

“The new Pentagon spending bill will also continue to underwrite America’s seven current wars, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Niger, and Yemen.  America’s post-9/11 wars have done more harm than good, resulting in over 370,000 deaths on all sides at a cost of $5.6 trillion and counting, according to the Costs of War project at Brown University. Congress should be acting to end these devastating conflicts, not continuing to fund them.”

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