By Donna Park
Most Americans who either support or accept the large amount of money spent on the U.S. military probably do so because they think it makes our nation secure. But does it really?
We certainly spend a lot of money on the military, much more than any other nation. U.S. economic expert Kimberly Amadeo estimates that FY2020-2021 expenditures on the U.S. military will reach $934 billion, the second largest expense category behind Social Security. The Peterson Foundation reported in May 2020 that the United States devotes more money to the military than the next 10 nations combined, and that is based on a more conservative estimate of $732 billion for the year.
Why do we spend so much money on the military? According to Todd Harrison, the director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, “Our current strategy is based around us being a superpower in Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. We’ve sized our military to be able to fight more than one conflict at a time in those regions.” As a team of New York Times journalists covering the issue concluded: “The United States has higher military spending than any other country partly because its foreign policy goals are more ambitious: defending its borders, upholding international order and promoting American interests abroad.”
[The rest of this piece can be read on the Citizens for Global Solutions website.]