The Defense Budget is the budget of the Department of Defense—but everything we spend on defense is NOT included in it. If we were remotely honest, we would feature a National Security budget instead—and then we would have a much better fix on what we spend to defend ourselves.
Well, theoretically we would have a better idea. It’s hard to know the truth of the matter though because the Pentagon has made itself impossible to audit. Yes, I know it’s the law; but the Pentagon is—in effect—above the law, or beyond it, or something. Either way, the place has so many incompatible accounting systems that auditing has become ‘mission impossible.’ You’ve heard of ‘too big to fail?’ Well, we also have ‘too big to audit.’ So much for checks and balances. And, by the way, this situation has gone on for years.
But doesn’t Congress have oversight? Why don’t they do something?
You can’t oversee what you can’t audit. Currently, we shovel money in—but have no way of checking where it all goes. In fact, we don’t really know what the Pentagon owns. We have ‘official figures,’ but such figures are unverifiable claims.
Only in America.
What is missing from the DOD budget?
- Veterans Administration
- Homeland Security
- Nuclear Weapons
- Various Black Programs
- A lot of other stuff I have forgotten.
What does the total come to? Something well over $1 trillion. So we say we’re spending about 4.5% of GDP but the real total is more like 6.25%.
Weirdly, just about everyone takes the Pentagon budget at face value—even the international institutions who should know better like SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute). Thus, when we compare our Defense Budget to that of others, we are not comparing like with like.
Is anything being done about all this?
To quote a good friend of mine—he was talking about Congress: “Watch what they do—not what they say.”