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FY 2008 - U.S. Military Budget


Military Budget

(Credit: Chris Hondros / Getty Images)

U.S. Military Budget - DoD Base Spending:

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has the single largest budget of any government agency in the discretionary budget.
  • In Fiscal Year 2006, the Defense Department base budget was $474.2 billion. This included some State Department costs.
  • In FY 2007, the base budget was $498 billion.
  • In FY 2008, it was approved by Congress at $549.6 billion.

This so-called base budget was the basic level needed to keep the DoD in readiness.(Source: OMB Summary Tables show actual spending for prior years, FY 2008 Budget Table S-3;FY 2009 Budget Table S-3)

FY 2006 Supplemental Funding:

The Defense Department base budget did not include “one time only” costs attributable to the The War on Terror (WoT), which were submitted as Supplemental Funding. The War on Terror received $120.4 billion. This brought the total to $594.6 billion for Defense and the War on Terror. (Source: OMB Summary Tables, FY 2008 Budget Table S-2)

FY 2007 Supplemental Funding:

In FY 2007, $70 billion in supplemental security spending was approved during that fiscal year. The President’s FY 2008 Budget added to that an additional $103.6 billion to be spent in the remainder of that fiscal year (January - October 2007). That meant Supplemental Spending for the WoT for FY 2007 was $173.6 billion. This brought total Military spending for FY 2007 to $671.6 billion. (Source: FY 2009 Budget, Summary Tables, Table S-2)

FY 2008 Budget:

In FY 2008, Supplemental Funding was enacted at $89.4 billion. However, before the fiscal year was out, the another $108 billion was added to the FY 2008 budget. This brought Supplemental Funding for the War on Terror to $197.5. When added to the Base Budget, the total was $747 billion requested. However, two years later the budget showed that only $686 billion was actually spent. (Source: FY 2009 Budget, Table S-2; FY 2010 Budget, Table S-4)

Now That You Understand the U.S. Defense Budget, What Does It Mean?:

In summary, the total DoD/WoT spending went from $566 billion to $747 billion between FY 2006-FY 2008. The President and the Department of Defense said this was the minimum they needed to continue to wage the War in Iraq and the War on Terror.

This level of spending raises the following questions:

  • Was $500-$700 billion enough to achieve the nation's goals in the War on Terror?
  • Could the U.S. really afford the cost, given a projected budget deficit at around $250 billion each year?
  • Was this really our nation’s highest priority for scarce discretionary funds?

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