News Release

Why do McCain, Obama and Clinton Want a Bigger Military?

ERIK LEAVER
Leaver is a research fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. He said today: “Obama and Clinton have both talked about cutting some wasteful systems but both have also talked about increasing the size of the military — a far more costly endeavor. So any of those savings will be dwarfed by troop increases. Obama wants to increase the size of the military by about 90,000 troops. McCain wants 150,000 additional troops.”

WILLIAM HARTUNG
Director of the Arms and Security Project at the New America Foundation, Hartung’s most recent piece is “Dems: What About the Military Budget?” in which he writes: “Earlier this month, the Bush administration announced a proposed military budget of $614 billion, not counting the full cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This represents the highest level of [military] spending since World War II, even though our most dangerous adversary is a dispersed terrorist network measured in the tens of thousands, not a nuclear-armed Soviet Union whose armed forces were measured in the millions.

“If Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Michael Mullen have their way, these massive levels of spending will continue even after the end of the war in Iraq, with a ‘floor’ on military spending of 4 percent of our Gross Domestic Product.

“Not only have the major presidential candidates been largely silent on these record expenditures, but they want to increase them. Barack Obama has said we will probably need to ‘bump up’ the military budget in a new administration, and both he and Hillary Clinton have committed themselves to increasing the size of the armed forces by tens of thousands of troops. On the Republican side of the aisle, John McCain and Mike Huckabee are looking to spend even more than their Democratic counterparts.”
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167