Nothing can penetrate the walls of the Pentagon, certainly not the news that the budget deficit is growing and Congress is looking for ways to save money. That is the lesson today as it was revealed that the Pentagon is poised to unveil a new $553 billion budget.
$553 billion, not including the inevitable “emergency funding” bill that will come later in the year, is already the largest budget in the entire history of the US military and, by extension, the entire history of the planet.
But Secretary of Defense Robert Gates insists this budget, this record, monstrosity of a budget with all its spending hikes, is the “minimum level of defense spending necessary,” and officials are citing a myriad of possible “threats” in an attempt to justify it.
See, the Pentagon isn’t just about occupying Afghanistan and Iraq, and threatening to occupy Iran. The military sees a number of threats to national security, from imaginary pandemics, to piracy, to cyber warfare, to rising oceans and education.
And incredibly, the “national debt.” Yes, the military is actually arguing that it needs to spend more money on itself to combat the threat of the government spending too much money (largely on the military).
That budget for fiscal year 2012, is just the tip of the iceberg too, as despite all the promises of “cuts” the projection is $643 billion in 2015 and $735 billion in 2020. The national debt threat is growing, you see, and so too must the spending, apparently. Given that the US dependable hurls a couple hundred billions of dollars in extra “emergency” money at the military every year, the $1 trillion war budget may be here sooner than you think.