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F-35 contracts by Picdelamirand-oil

Posted by picard578 on November 5, 2016

It is completly flaw. That is the normal wrong way to compute F-35 price. People takes the last contract price to L.M. and divide by the number of planes. In this case it is $6,370,955,495 divided by 57 that is to say $ 111.77 Millions but the real price have to takes into acount all contracts related to LRIP 9 like long lead items and so on. Here is the list Read the rest of this entry »


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F-35s cost reduction promises and reality

Posted by picard578 on December 25, 2014

On page 6, it is stated that the F-35s cost has increased by 7,4 billion USD, which is in direct contradiction to statements that the F-35s costs are decreasing. It should be noted that increases due to reduced production rate only account for 5% of the figure, and probably less. Life clycle costs are said to be decreased, but that is in the rank of glass ball prophecies.

On page 18, total acquisition cost for the F-35 is stated to be 398.584.600.000 USD. Read the rest of this entry »

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Briefing on DODs QDR and 2007 Budget

Posted by picard578 on June 22, 2013

By Winslow Wheeler,
Straus Military Reform Project

February 14, 2006

My recent briefing to the press on DOD’s new Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and the new 2007 defense budget made the following points:

  • The new 2007 defense budget achieves a post-World War II high for defense spending, and yet it supports new lows in the quantity of Army divisions, Navy combat ships, and Air Force wings.
  • In their depictions of the defense budget, both liberals and conservatives bias their typical presentations to conform to their preconceptions. These days, few consider a depiction of the threat.
  • Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s new QDR fails to address the key rationale established by Congress in the statute calling for QDRs: that the defense budget be sized to execute the new defense plan and that the new defense plan be devised to implement the national defense strategy. The 2005 QDR does not address budget requirements even superficially, and while the strategy focuses on unconventional 4th generation war (“the Long War”), the defense plan remains focused on conventional war.
  • Many of the new budget’s ideas for strengthening our forces for 4th generation war are too little, too late, and other ideas start to fall apart on close inspection.
  • Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has requested a budget he knows Congress will augment and expand. Proposals to reduce the Army Reserve and National Guard, to truncate C-17 production, and to retire prematurely the F-117 “stealth” bomber (and other proposals), are what some call “Washington Monument Drills” (“WMDs,” they are proposed budget reductions the Pentagon knows Congress will immediately add back into the budget). The thought that any such money will be saved is surely illusory.

In sum, in a time of war and when certain critical elements of the defense budget require steadfast support and straightforward justification, today’s Pentagon leadership gives the nation mismatches between rhetoric and realities and a focus on budget gimmicks. A copy of the briefing slides is attached (1 MB PPT).

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Decoding US military spending for the 2013

Posted by picard578 on December 29, 2012

Many US neoconservatives are concerned about “disastrous” defense budget cuts proposed for 2013. by the Obama administration. Thus, I have decided to check how high defense-related spending really will be even after the cuts.

Let’s start with this document. First value is “Department of Defense – Military”. Quite straightforward, and it gives 613.916.000.000,00 USD.

Further, “Atomic energy defense activities” adds 17.975.000.000,00 USD. “Defense-related activities” add,00 USD. Total of above is 639.059.000.000,00 USD.

Now there is “Mandatory spending”. There, “DoD-Military” adds 6.344.000.000,00 USD. “Atomic energy defense activities” adds 1.444.000.000,00 USD. “Defense-related activities” adds 574.000.000,00 USD.

Grand total of above is 647.421.000.000,00 USD of direct military spending.


In “International Affairs”, “International Security Assistance” adds,00 USD, plus 143.000.000,00 USD of discretionary spending.

As such, direct defense spending is 661.619.000.000,00 USD.


“Foreign military sales trust fund” adds,00 USD. “Naval petroleum reserves operations” adds 15.000.000,00 USD.

“DoD Medicare-eligible retiree health care fund” adds 9.727.000.000,00 USD. “Armed forces retirement home” adds 68.000.000,00 USD. “Military retirement” adds 54.759.000.000,00 USD.

In “Veterans benefits and services”, discretionary spending comes to,00 USD, whereas mandatory spending comes to 76.532.000.000,00 USD. Total for “Veterans benefits and services” is thus 137.734.000.000,00 USD.

Interest on military retirement is,00 USD. That on “DoD retiree health-care fund” is 7.430.000.000,00 USD.

Total defense-related spending according to above would be 902.779.000.000,00 USD




Second section gives same data, but different figures.


Discretionary spending for National Defense is as follows: “Department of Defense – Military”: 666.154.000.000,00 USD. There is also,00 USD for “Atomic energy defense activities” and 7.596.000.000,00 USD for Defense-related activities.

Mandatory spending is 6.721.000.000 USD for “Department of Defense – Military”, 1.444.000.000,00 USD for “Atomic energy defense activities” and 574.000.000,00 USD for “Defense-related activities”.

Additional,00 go for “International security assistance”, 6.470.000.000,00 for “Department of Energy science programs”, 24.000.000,00 for “Naval petroleum reserves operations”,,00 for DoD Medicare-eligible retiree health care fund, 83.000.000,00 for “Armed forces retirement home”, 54.561.000.000,00 for “Military retirement”,,00 for “Veterans benefits and services”.

Above results in sum of 927.436.000.000 USD for defense related spending, producing interest (with 3,15% interest rate) of USD.


This document gives total direct defense spending as 702.217.000.000 USD, and total defense-related spending as 956.650.000.000 USD.


According to this document, total DoD spending is 672.879.000.000 USD for direct military spending.

However, Department of Energy defense-related activities add USD, Department of Homeland Security adds USD, Department of Veteran Affairs adds 139.742.000.000 USD, Military Retirement adds 54.561.000.000,00 USD, health care adds,00 USD, educational benefits add 164.000.000,00 USD, Armed Forces Retirement Home adds 68.000.000,00 USD, and Other Defense Civil Programs add,00 USD.

Foreign military financing programs add 6.556.000.000,00 USD, Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability program adds 640.000.000,00 USD, International Military Education and Training adds 104.000.000,00 USD, Peacekeeping operations add 416.000.000,00 USD, Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining, and Related Programs add 604.000.000,00 USD, Global Security Contingency Fund adds 30.000.000,00 USD, Military Sales add,00 USD.

Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board adds,00 USD. Intelligence Community Management Account adds 553.000.000,00 USD, United States court for appeals of veteran claims adds 38.000.000,00 USD.

Department of Homeland Security adds further 55.345.000.000,00 USD. Total is thus 1.029.534.000.000 USD.


This document gives total direct defense spending as 672.879.000.000 USD, and total defense-related spending as 1.029.534.000.000 USD.


To these figures, one should add 97 billion USD – how much is war in Afghanistan projected to cost in 2013 – and DoD share of interest on debt (21%; entire interest is 268 billion USD, which makes for 56,28 billion USD).


To sum up:





DoD – Military: 666.154.000.000,00 USD

Atomic energy defense activities:,00 USD

Defense-related activities: 7.596.000.000,00 USD



DoD – Military: 6.721.000.000,00 USD

Atomic energy defense activities: 1.444.000.000,00 USD

Defense-related activities: 574.000.000,00 USD


Total: 702.217.000.000,00 USD




International security assistance:,00 USD

Naval petroleum reserve operations: 24.000.000,00 USD

DoD Medicare-eligible retiree health care fund:,00 USD

Armed forces retirement home: 83.000.000,00 USD

Military retirement: 54.561.000.000,00 USD

Veterans benefits and services:,00 USD

Health care:,00 USD

Educational benefits: 164.000.000,00 USD

Other Defense Civil Programs:,00 USD

Intelligence Community Management Account: 553.000.000,00 USD

Court of Appeals of Veteran Claims: 38.000.000,00 USD

Departments’ defense spending:

– Department of Energy:,00 USD

– Department of Homeland Security: 55.345.000.000,00 USD

– Department of Veteran Affairs: 139.742.000.000,00 USD


– Military Retirement:,00 USD

– DoD retiree health-care fund: 7.430.000.000,00 USD

– DoD share of interest on debt: USD

War in Afghanistan:,00 USD


Total related: 603.276.000.000,00 USD


Total US defense spending request for 2013:

895.527.000.000,00 USD as absolute lowest

1.361.773.000.000,00 USD absolute maximum

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The Tyranny of Defense, Inc

Posted by picard578 on December 8, 2012

I ask you to read, and think about, this article:


AMERICAN POLITICS IS typically a grimy business of horses traded and pork delivered. Political speech, for its part, tends to be formulaic and eminently forgettable. Yet on occasion, a politician will transcend circumstance and bear witness to some lasting truth: George Washington in his Farewell Address, for example, or Abraham Lincoln in his Second Inaugural.

Fifty years ago, President Dwight D. Eisenhower joined such august company when, in his own farewell address, he warned of the rise in America of the “military-industrial complex.” An accomplished soldier and a better-than-average president, Eisenhower had devoted the preponderance of his adult life to studying, waging, and then seeking to avert war. Not surprisingly, therefore, his prophetic voice rang clearest when as president he reflected on matters related to military power and policy.

Ike’s farewell address, nationally televised on the evening of January 17, 1961, offered one such occasion, although not the only one. Equally significant, if now nearly forgotten, was his presentation to the American Society of Newspaper Editors on April 16, 1953. In this speech, the president contemplated a world permanently perched on the brink of war—“humanity hanging from a cross of iron”— and he appealed to Americans to assess the consequences likely to ensue.

Separated in time by eight years, the two speeches are complementary: to consider them in combination is to discover their full importance. As bookends to Eisenhower’s presidency, they form a solemn meditation on the implications—economic, social, political, and moral—of militarizing America.


DURING EISENHOWER’S PRESIDENCY, few credited him with being a great orator. Yet, as befit a Kansan and a military professional, Ike could speak plainly when he chose to do so. The April 16 speech early in his presidency was such a moment. Delivered in the wake of Joseph Stalin’s death, the speech offered the new Soviet leadership a five-point plan for ending the Cold War. Endorsing the speech as “one of the most notable policy statements of U.S. history,” Time reported with satisfaction that Eisenhower had articulated a broad vision for peace and “left it at the door of the Kremlin for all the world to see.” The likelihood that Stalin’s successors would embrace this vision was nil. An editorial in The New Republic made the essential point: as seen from Russia’s perspective, Eisenhower was “demanding unconditional surrender.” The president’s peace plan quickly vanished without a trace.


Largely overlooked by most commentators was a second theme that Eisenhower had woven into his text. The essence of this theme was simplicity itself: spending on arms and armies is inherently undesirable. Even when seemingly necessary, it constitutes a misappropriation of scarce resources. By diverting social capital from productive to destructive purposes, war and the preparation for war deplete, rather than enhance, a nation’s strength. And while assertions of military necessity might camouflage the costs entailed, they can never negate them altogether.

“Every gun that is made,” Eisenhower told his listeners, “every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” Any nation that pours its treasure into the purchase of armaments is spending more than mere money. “It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.” To emphasize the point, Eisenhower offered specifics:

“The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities … We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.”


Yet in Cold War Washington, Eisenhower’s was a voice crying in the wilderness. As much as they liked Ike, Americans had no intention of choosing between guns and butter: they wanted both. Military Keynesianism—the belief that the production of guns could underwrite an endless supply of butter—was enjoying its heyday.

At the time, the idea that militarizing U.S. policy might yield economic benefits outweighing the costs seemed eminently plausible. The authors of the National Security Council report “NSC-68,” the 1950 blueprint for U.S. rearmament, had made this point explicitly: boosting Pentagon spending would “increase the gross national product by more than the amount being absorbed for additional military and foreign assistance purposes.” Building up the nation’s defenses could serve as a sort of permanent economic stimulus program, putting people to work and money in their pockets. The experience of World War II had apparently validated this theory. Why shouldn’t the same logic apply to the Cold War?

So Americans disregarded Ike’s brooding about a “cross of iron” and a trade-off between guns and butter. The 1950s brought new bombers and new schools, fleets of warships and tracts of freshly built homes spilling into the suburbs.


Eisenhower and his fellow Republicans were more than happy to pocket the credit for this win-win outcome. Yet the president, if not his party, also sensed that beneath the appearance of Ozzie-and-Harriet prosperity, momentous and not altogether welcome changes were taking place. The postwar boom in which the American middle class took such satisfaction was reconfiguring, redistributing, and redefining American power. Washington itself ranked as a principal beneficiary of this process—and, within Washington, the several institutions comprising what some were calling the “national-security state.”

This national-security state derived its raison d’être from—and vigorously promoted a belief in—the existence of looming national peril. On one point, most politicians, uniformed military leaders, and so-called defense intellectuals agreed: the dangers facing the United States were omnipresent and unprecedented. Keeping those dangers at bay demanded vigi­lance, preparedness, and a willingness to act quickly and even ruthlessly. Urgency had become the order of the day.

In his 1956 book, The Power Elite, C. Wright Mills, a professor of sociology at Columbia, dubbed this perspective “military metaphysics,” which he characterized as “the cast of mind that defines international reality as basically military.” Those embracing this mind-set no longer considered genuine, lasting peace to be plausible. Rather, peace was at best a transitory condition, “a prelude to war or an interlude between wars.”


Perhaps nothing illustrates military metaphysics more vividly than the exponential growth of the U.S. nuclear stockpile that occurred during Eisenhower’s presi­dency. In 1952, when Ike was elected, that stockpile numbered some 1,000 warheads. By the time he passed the reins to John F. Kennedy in 1961, it consisted of more than 24,000 warheads, and it rapidly ascended later that decade to a peak of 31,000.

As commander in chief, Ike exercised only nominal control over this development, which was driven by an unstated alliance of interested parties: generals, defense officials, military contractors, and members of Congress. True, Eisenhower had established “massive retaliation”—the threat of a large-scale nuclear response to deter Soviet aggression—as the centerpiece of U.S. national-security doctrine. Yet even as this posture was intended to intimidate the Kremlin, the president expected it to offer Americans a sense of security, thereby enabling him to rein in military expenditures. In that regard, he miscalculated badly.


DURING THE EISENHOWER YEARS, military outlays served as a seemingly inexhaustible engine of economic well-being. Keeping the Soviets at bay required the design and acquisition of a vast array of guns and missiles, bombers and warships, tanks and fighter planes. Ensuring that U.S. forces stayed in fighting trim entailed the construction of bases, barracks, depots, and training facilities. Research labs received funding. Businesses large and small won contracts. Organized labor got jobs. And politicians who delivered all these goodies to their constituents hauled in endorsements, campaign contributions, and votes. Throughout the 1950s, unemployment stayed tolerably low and inflation minimal, while budget deficits ranged from trivial to non-existent. What was not to like? As a result, Pentagon budgets remained high throughout the Eisenhower era, averaging more than 50 percent of all federal spending and 10 percent of GDP, figures without precedent in the nation’s peacetime history.

For its beneficiaries, girding for war was a gift, and one they expected would never stop giving. The presumption that military capabilities qualifying as adequate today would surely not suffice tomorrow—the Reds, after all, weren’t standing still—generated a ceaseless quest for bigger, better, and more. Every ominous advance in Russian capabilities offered a renewed rationale for opening the military-spending spigot. Whether the edge attributed to the Soviets was real or invented mattered little. The discovery during the 1950s of a “bomber gap” and later a “missile gap,” for example, provided political ammunition to air-power advocates quick to charge that the nation’s very survival was at risk. Alarm bells rang. Congressional committees summoned expert witnesses. Newspapers and magazines nervously assessed the implications of these new vulnerabilities. Ultimately, appropriations poured forth. That both “gaps” were fictitious was beside the point.


None of these developments—the excessive military outlays, the privileging of institutional goals over the national interest, the calculated manipulation of public opinion—met with Eisenhower’s approval. Knowing at the time that the United States enjoyed an edge in bomber and missile capabilities, he understood precisely who benefited from threat inflation. Yet to sustain the illusion he was fully in command, Ike remained publicly silent about what went on behind the scenes. Only on the eve of his departure from office did he inform the nation as to what Washington’s new obsession with national security had wrought.

In 1961, as in 1953, his central theme was theft. This time, however, rather than homes or schools, Ike suggested the thieves might walk off with democracy itself.

The Cold War, he emphasized, had transformed the country’s approach to defending itself. In the past, “American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well.” But this reliance on improvisation no longer sufficed. The rivalry with the Soviet Union had “compelled” the United States “to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.” As a consequence, “we annually spend on military security alone more than the net income of all United States corporations.”

The “economic, political, even spiritual” reach of this conglomeration was immense, Eisenhower explained, extending to “every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government.” Although the president could not bring himself to question explicitly the need for this shift in policy, he warned of its implications. “Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved,” he said. “So is the very structure of our society.” With corporate officials routinely claiming the Pentagon’s top posts, and former military officers hiring themselves out to defense contractors, fundamental values were at risk. “In the councils of government,” Eisenhower continued,

“we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted.”

Having defined the problem, Eisenhower then advanced a striking solution: ultimate responsibility for democracy’s defense, he insisted, necessarily rested with the people themselves. Rather than according Washington deference, American citizens needed to exercise strict oversight. Counting on the national-security state to police itself—on members of Congress to set aside parochial concerns, corporate chieftains to put patriotism above profit, and military leaders to hew to the ethic of their profession—wouldn’t do the trick. “Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

Reaction to the president’s speech was tepid at best. The headline in TheBoston Globe reported “Ike Says Farewell After Half Century in U.S. Service” and left it at that. With the country agog over Jack and Jackie, the mood of the moment did not invite introspection. Eisenhower’s insistence that citizens awaken to looming danger attracted little attention. His valedictory qualified, at the time, as a one-day story.

So Ike departed, but military metaphysics survived intact and found particular favor in the upper echelons of the next administration. On the campaign trail, Kennedy had promised higher defense spending, enhanced nuclear capabilities, and a reinvigorated confrontation with Communism. Once in office, he proved as good as his word.


IN THE FIVE decades since Eisenhower left the White House for his retirement home in Gettysburg, much has changed. The Soviet Union has disappeared. So too, for all practical purposes, has Communism itself. Yet in Washington, an aura of never-ending crisis still prevails—and with it, military metaphysics.

The national-security state continues to grow in size, scope, and influence. In Ike’s day, for example, the CIA dominated the field of intelligence. Today, experts refer casually to an “intelligence community,” consisting of some 17 agencies. The cumulative size and payroll of this apparatus grew by leaps and bounds in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Last July,TheWashington Post reported that it had “become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.” Since that report appeared, U.S. officials have parted the veil of secrecy enough to reveal that intelligence spending exceeds $80 billion per year, substantially more than the budget of either the Department of State ($49 billion) or the Department of Homeland Security ($43 billion).

The spending spree extends well beyond intelligence. The Pentagon’s budget has more than doubled in the past decade, to some $700 billion per year. All told, the ostensible imperatives of national security thereby consume roughly half of all federal discretionary dollars. Even more astonishing, annual U.S. military outlays now approximate those of all other nations, friends as well as foes, combined.

In Ike’s day, competition with the Soviet Union provided the rationale for such outsized expenditures. Today, with no remotely comparable competitor at hand, devotees of military metaphysics conjure a variety of arguments to justify the Pentagon’s budgetary demands. One such, usually made with an eye toward China, is that relentlessly outspending any and all would-be challengers to U.S. preeminence will dissuade them from even mounting an attempt. A second transforms modest threats into existential ones, with the mere existence of a Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Osama bin Laden mandating extraordinary exertions until the United States eliminates every last such miscreant—a day that will never come.

The threat inflation that led to the bomber and missile “gaps” of the 1950s remains a cherished Washington tradition. In memos written after September 11, then–Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld urged his staff to “keep elevating the threat” and demanded “bumper sticker statements” to gin up public enthusiasm for the global war on terror. The key, he wrote, was to “make the American people realize they are surrounded in the world by violent extremists.” What worked during the Cold War still works today: to get Americans on board with your military policy, scare the hell out of them.

In the meantime, the revolving door connecting the world of soldiering to the world of arms purveyors continues to turn. For those at the top, the American military profession is that rare calling where retirement need not imply a reduced income. On the contrary: senior serving officers shed their uniforms not merely to take up golf or go fishing but with the reasonable expectation of raking in big money. In a recent e-mail, a serving officer who is a former student of mine reported that on a visit to the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army—in his words, “the Sodom and Gomorrah of the Military Industrial Complex”—he was “accosted by two dozen former bosses, now in suits with fancy ties and business cards, hawking the latest defense technologies.”

If anything, Eisenhower’s characterization of the cozy relations between the military and corporate worlds understates the contemporary reality. C. Wright Mills came closer to the mark when he wrote of “a coalition of generals in the roles of corporation executives, of politicians masquerading as admirals, of corporation executives acting like politicians.” Add to that list the retired senior officers passing as pundits (often while simultaneously cashing the checks of weapons manufacturers), policy wonks pretending to be field marshals, and journalists eagerly competing to carry water for heroic field commanders. Throw in the former members of Congress who lobby their successors on behalf of defense contractors, and the serving members who vote in favor of any defense appropriations that send money to their districts, and one begins to get a sense of the true topog­raphy.

With what result? Not peace, and not prosperity. Instead, American soldiers traipse wearily from one conflict to the next while the nation as a whole suffers from acute economic distress. What has gone amiss?

In the wake of 9/11, when the George W. Bush admin­istration committed the United States to a global war on terror, it was blithely confident that the U.S. military could win such a conflict handily. Events in Iraq and Afghanistan have since demolished such expectations. The irrefutable lesson of the past decade is this: we know how to start wars, but don’t know how to end them. During the well-armed Eisenhower era, American weapons were largely silent. Today, engagement in actual hostilities has become the new normal, exacting a steep price. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost at least $1 trillion—with the meter still running. Some observers estimate that total costs will eventually reach $2 trillion or even $3 trillion.

Furthermore, military Keynesianism has proved to be a bust. In contrast to the 1950s, military extravagance is depleting rather than adding to the nation’s wealth. In the Eisenhower era, the United States, a creditor nation, produced at home the essentials defining the American way of life—everything from oil to cars to televisions. Today, we import far more than we export, with ever-increasing debt as one result. Furthermore, in the 1950s, we were mostly at peace; today we are mostly at war—and, as a result, more of the resources provided to the military go abroad and stay there.

Certain enterprises flourish, notably private security firms such as DynCorp, MPRI, and, of course, the notorious Blackwater (now known as Xe). At MPRI, they like to say “We’ve got more generals per square foot here than in the Pentagon.” But even if those generals are doing fine, the grandchildren of Ozzie and Harriet, coping with 9.8 percent unemployment and contemplating the implications of trillion-dollar deficits, see little benefit from our exorbitant Pentagon outlays. If paying Pashtun drivers to truck fuel from Pakistan into Afghanistan is producing any positive economic side effects, the American worker is not among the beneficiaries.

In short, the guns-and-butter trade-off that Eisenhower foresaw in 1953 has become reality. To train, equip, and maintain one American soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan for just one year costs a cool million dollars. Meanwhile, according to 2010 census figures, the number of Americans falling below the poverty line has swollen to one in every seven.

Thanks to its allies and abettors, the military-industrial-legislative war complex remains stubbornly resistant to change­—a fact President Barack Obama himself learned during his first year in office. While reviewing his administration’s policy in Afghanistan, the president repeatedly asked for a range of policy alternatives. He wanted choices. According to Bob Woodward of TheWashington Post, however, the Pentagon offered Obama a single path—the so-called McChrystal “surge” of additional troops. As recounted in Woodward’s book Obama’s Wars, the president complained: “So what’s my option? You’ve given me only one option.” The military’s own preferred option was all he was going to get. (Just months before, Woodward himself had helpfully promoted that very option, courtesy of a well-timed leak.)

No doubt Dwight Eisenhower would sympathize with President Obama, having himself struggled to exercise the prerogatives ostensibly reserved to the chief executive. Yet Ike would hardly be surprised. He would reserve his surprise—and his disappointment—for the American people. A half century after he summoned us to shoulder the responsibilities of citizenship, we still refuse to do so. In Washington, military metaphysics remains sacrosanct. No wonder we continue to get our pockets picked.

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On US defense budget

Posted by picard578 on December 1, 2012

While Chinese and Russian defense budgets are incomplete, so is the US defense budget. In reality, US defense sprending is between 1 and 1,4 trillion USD a year, that is 6,3 to 8,8 % of US GDP of 15,974 trillion USD as opposed to the base budget of 711 billion USD in 2012 (or 4,5 % of GDP; to compare, Croatian defense budget accounts for 1,7% of GDP). 2012 defense-related budget request was between 1,09 and 1,42 trillion USD, depending on variables.

For another comparision, base UK defense budget was 62,7 billion USD, around 2,6% of GDP, and that of China was 143 billion USD, or 2% of GDP. When adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity, base defense budget of China was 228 billion USD, or 32% of US one, while China’s GDP is 48,4% of US one. While it is indeed correct that China’s total defense spending is higher than these figures – up to 250 billion USD, not accounting for PPP – that is, as I have shown above, also true of the US defensu spending, so the ratio remains similar.

In fact, using PPP values, total defense budgets of largest NATO spenders (US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Turkey) combined add up to 932,6 billion USD. When major non-NATO allies (Japan, Australia) are thrown in, value goes up to 993,9 billion USD in PPP, with United States accounting for 71,5 % of total value. Thus, United States outspend China 5:1, or 3:1 when PPP is taken into account. However, unless United States are going to attack China first, they will have support of NATO, as well as Japan and Australia. Thus, spending ratio will be – even with PPP – in 4,4:1 neighbourhood. For comparision, take a look at the graph below.

defense spending comparision

defense spending comparision

US major allies alone spend more than China on defense, while United States alone spend more than four times as much as China does. Yet, China has populace of 1,347 billion people, compared to the US 314 million.

In 2011, there have been many developmental programmes. Low-performance bomber F-35 was the most costly at 11,4 billion USD. By cutting it, and other programmes of very questionable usefulness (LCS, UAVs), 16,6 billion USD could have been saved.

Fact is that large US defense budget does not produce military capability that is in line with size of the budget. Reasons for that have to be looked for in how weapons procurement works: contractors in armaments industry are free to work with almost no oversight, and lessons from past wars are ignored. In fact, armament manufacturers are inclined to increase complexity and cost of every single weapons system, as it means that they spend less on raw materials and work force, while receiveing large sums of money on both production and drawn-out R&D. Such complexity increases do not, however, mean that weapon is really more capable. Due to that, we get to the paradox where less defense spending could result in more capable military.

Many spending-defenders argue that defense spending saves jobs. That is not true even when looking only at the defense industry. In fact, Lockheed Martin and Boeing have fired thousands of workers at the same time they were receiveing very lucrative contracts.

While increase in defense spending can indeed create jobs when done right, it is terrible job creator even then. For example, only 1,5% of F-35 program costs goes on workers’ pays. In fact, same amount of defense spending creates 25% fewer jobs than a tax cut; one and one-half times fewer jobs than spending on clean energy production; and two and one-half times fewer jobs than spending on education. It also creates less jobs than public works. For exact figures, consider that every 100 billion USD of a military budget (not spending) creates, approximately, 830 000 jobs in military and military industry. When same amount of money is spent for education, both the number of jobs and the average pay are going to be higher. If it is spent on health care or infrastructure, average pay will be less, but total pay compensation will be more than with military industry, and number of jobs created will be far more (for the same amount of money, health care 151%, education 207%, mass transit 231% and construction of infrastructure 150% as much jobs as defense establishment. All of them have additional benefits: more capable work force, reduced pollution, etc. Also, US infrastructure is currently in very poor shape). Total compensation to economy is also larger than that of defense, at 23 – 124% more.

In fact, “Converting the American Economy” study from 1990s has found that a gradual reduction in military spending, starting with $35 billion in 1990 and reaching $105 billion in 1994, would have produced a net gain of 477,000 jobs within the U.S. Economy.

Yet, only 75 billion USD were spent on education in 2007, and military spending accounts for 50% of total Federal spending.

Tax cuts, however, are the worst option for helping the economy, possibly even worse than defense spending. One of reasons is the fact that tax cuts primarly target the wealthy part of the populace, who accumlate money. As economy is all about flow of money, not its accumulation, result is economy slowdown. Tax evasion has similar effect, however – and major armaments companies are spending large sums on lawyers so as to evade taxes.

Important thing about the defense budget is that it must not be governed by GDP, but by military realities. One reality is that United States should not, as it is doing now, fixate on China as a threat. China does seem to be impatient and agressive, but question remains how much of blame for that goes to the United States themselves. While United States should be able to defend itself, military solution of its issues with China should be the last option. However, there are more powers on work here, such as US military contractors, who need a dangerous opponent so as to justify further defense spending increases, and maintain their influence as well as their peace of the budget cake. As such, realistic assessment of situation cannot be expected, at least from the US Government and weapons contractors.

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Military aircraft costs

Posted by picard578 on October 8, 2012

F22 (costs are inflation-adjusted):

1988 – 60 million USD per plane flyaway (est.)

2005 – 258 million USD per plane

2006 – 361 million USD per plane (177,6 million USD per plane flyaway cost)

2008 – 177 – 216 million USD per plane flyaway cost

2009 – 218 million USD flyaway (3. month), 250 million USD flyaway (8. month)  more more2

2011 – 412 million USD per plane

2012 – 425 million USD per plane link

By 2014, it could have increased to 477 million USD per aircraft in FY2014 USD.

150 million USD official flyaway cost

678 million USD lifecycle cost

61 000 USD per hour of flight operating cost


2001 – 84.2 million USD per plane

2011 – 207.6 million USD per plane w.s. flyaway (304.15 million USD per plane with R&D)

2012 – 197 million USD for F35A, 237,7 million USD for F35B, and 236,8 million USD for F35C

(all weapons system flyaway)

2013 – 176.5 million USD F-35A, 236,8 million USD F-35C

2014 – 182 million USD F-35A, 252 million USD F-35B, 299 million USD F-35C (production cost) (later increased to 185,4 million USD for F-35A). 480,77 million USD F-35A unit procurement cost.


2011 – 110 million USD per plane flyaway cost

EFT (UK version):

2006 – 143,8 million USD per plane program unit cost (118,6 million USD per plane w.s. flyaway), Tranche 2 (?) (102,8 and 141,9 million USD German version).

2008 – 122 million USD per plane (68.9 million GBP, 77.7 million EUR) w.s. flyaway

2009 – 90 million EUR per plane (141 million USD) (Tranche 3)

2011 – 199 million USD per plane program unit cost (121,5 million USD per w.s. plane flyaway), Tranche 3

18 000 USD per hour of flight operating cost

Dassault Rafale

Rafale C

2008 – 82.3 million USD flyaway cost (68,8 million USD without VAT; VAT is 19,6%); 135.8 million USD unit program cost

2011 – 88,8 million USD unit flyaway

2014 – 92,7 million USD flyaway cost

Rafale M

2008 – 90.5 million USD flyaway cost (75,7 million USD without VAT); 145.7 million USD unit program cost

2011 – 102 million USD unit flyaway

2014 – 109,6 million USD flyaway cost

Rafale B

2011 – 95,6 million USD unit flyaway

2014 – 102,6 million USD flyaway cost

10 000 Euros for Rafale C and B, 7 000 Euros for Rafale M per hour of flight in 2012; 19 000 USD per hour of flight in combat operations in Mali

F15 (flyaway)

1998 – 30 million USD per plane (42,57 million USD per plane in 2012 dollars)

2006 (F15K) – 100 million USD per plane

2006 (F-15C) – 108,2 million USD per plane

30 000 USD per hour of flight F-15C, 28 000 F-15E

F16 (flyaway)

1998 – 18.8 million USD per plane (26,3 million USD per plane in 2012 dollars)

2009 – 60 million USD per plane

2013 – 30 million USD F-16A, 70 million USD F-16C

2012 – 4 600 – 7 000 USD per hour of flight (7 000 USD per hour block 50)


16 million USD in 2012 dollars flyaway


67 million USD in 2012 dollars flyaway

2012 – 11 000 – 24 400 USD per flight hour


66,9 million USD in 2012 dollars flyaway

A10 (flyaway)

2009 – 15 million USD per plane

2014 – 20 million USD per plane (including upgrades)

3 000 USD per flight hour

Gripen C

2008 – 35 – 40 million USD per plane flyaway; 76 million USD program cost

2014 – 43 million USD unit flyaway cost

2012 – 4 700 USD per fligh hour

Gripen E

2012 – 50-60 million USD per plane; 150 million USD with R&D costs (calculated from Swiss purchase*)

2014 – 43 million USD unit flyaway / 42 million USD unit flyaway

  • Switzerland is a development partner, and is buying 22 Gripen NG at cost of 3,1 billion Swiss franc


1993 – 18 million USD (?) (27 million USD in 2012 USD)

B2 (in 2010 USD)

1,07 billion USD flyaway cost (1,135 billion in 2012 USD)

3,17 billion USD unit procurement cost (3,36 billion in 2012 USD)

135 000 USD per flight hour in 2012


72 000 USD per flight hour in 20?


2012 – 20 – 30 million USD flyaway


2012 – 45 – 65 million USD flyaway

AV-8B Harrier II

1996 – 24 – 30 million USD flyaway (34,28 – 44,11 million in 2012 USD)

18 900 USD per hour of flight

Harrier II Plus

1997 – 29,75 – 34,5 million USD flyaway (42,33 – 49,09 million in 2012 USD)


2008 – 50 million USD flyaway (?)

NOTE: Labor and material costs are highest in Europe, followed by United States, Russia and then China. As a result, Rafale or Gripen for example would cost less than shown here if built in United States.

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