News Release

Military Budget

The House is expected to debate the Fiscal Year 2008 “Defense appropriations” bill this week.

WILLIAM HARTUNG
Director of the Arms and Security Project at the New America Foundation, Hartung said today: “While Democratic leaders in the House talk about withdrawing from Iraq and closing Guantanamo, the only action that will come out of this military spending bill is an increase in spending on unnecessary weapons programs. At a time when the military budget is already higher than it was at the height of the Vietnam War, these increases represent corporate welfare at its worst.”
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DANTE ZAPPALA
Dante Zappala is a public policy consultant and a member of Gold Star Families Speak Out. He is the brother of Sgt. Sherwood Baker, who was the first Pennsylvania National Guardsman to die in combat since World War II. Baker was killed in action in Baghdad on April 26, 2004, while searching for weapons of mass destruction.

Zappala said today: “We’re continuing to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into the war in Iraq. … The surest way of supporting our troops is to get them out of a situation where they are on extended and multiple deployments fighting to achieve unclear military goals. Despite all the funds allocated, they are still under-equipped. While seeking appropriations for the continuation of death, destruction and corruption in Iraq, the Bush administration is looking to cut funding for children’s health insurance.”
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JOHN FEFFER
John Feffer is co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus and lead author of the FPIF report “Just Security.” He said today: “Congress is considering an increase in military spending which is not consistent with our domestic needs or what our policy should be internationally. For instance, the administration wants to spend over $8 billion on a missile defense project. That money could double the amount we allocate to post-conflict reconstruction in places like Iraq and Haiti. They want to spend $588 million in advanced funding for Virginia class submarines. That money could go towards non-proliferation efforts, and have the end result of actually increasing our safety.”

Feffer added: “Within a total military budget of $656 billion, the policing of our expanded sphere of influence constitutes 44.7 percent, or $289 billion. We can cut this in half with troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, and base closures elsewhere. We could save another $55 billion by trimming the Cold War weapons and Pentagon inefficiency out of the budget. The remaining military budget would be entirely sufficient to deter any attack on the homeland and to provide troops to internationally sanctioned peacekeeping and peacemaking operations. … We need to spend more money on preventing conflict than generating it.”

Feffer concluded: “We now face the threat of global warming. … Instead of producing more efficient killing machines, we must now produce more efficient factories, appliances and cars.”
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For more information, contact the Institute for Public Accuracy at (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan at (541) 484-9167.