This ain’t gonna cut it….

Feb 14, 2011

Friends at the National Priorities Project have a quick assessment on President Obama’s budget. Here’s their take on the defense and security budget:

Defense spending, which accounts for roughly 58 percent of discretionary spending and 20 percent of total federal spending (both based on FY 2011 estimates), will continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace than in recent years.

The $553 billion base-line Department of Defense request is approximately 3% higher than current funding levels. This figure does not include funding for nuclear weapons or $117.6 billion for the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

…The chart below shows defense spending as 58% of all requested FY2011 discretionary spending (left bar) and security spending as 66% of the total (right bar).

This means that the projected freeze and subsequent savings on non-security discretionary spending in FY2012 will have to be absorbed by an even smaller percentage of the overall discretionary budget.


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Jon Western has spent the last fifteen years teaching IR in liberal arts colleges at Mount Holyoke College and the Five Colleges in western Massachusetts. He has an eclectic range of intellectual interests but often writes on international security, U.S. foreign policy, military intervention, and human rights. He occasionally shares his thoughts about professional life in liberal arts colleges. In his spare time he coaches middle school soccer, mentors the local high school robotics team, skis, and sails.