Understand How the Military Budget Works:
The military budget
consists of three categories. First, there's the base budget for the Department of Defense (Dod). After the 9/11 attacks
, the President Bush convinced Congress to add contingency funds for the War on Terror. This covered operations in Afghanistan, and later the war in Iraq. The Obama Administration stopped using the name War on Terror, but kept the contingency spending. It added all other defense-related departments together and called it security spending. As a result, security spending has become one of the largest single spending items in the budget.
FY 2010 Military Budget Proposal:
For FY 2010
, the President requested $533.7 billion for the Department of Defense Base Budget
. This was a 3.5% increase over the FY 2009
budget request of $515.4 billion. There was an additional request of $130 billion for the overseas contingency fund. This supported an increase of troops in Afghanistan, and a safe wind-down in Iraq. This was a 72% increase in the $75.5 billion supplemental request for FY 2009.
However, there was no additional funding request for the War on Terror or BioShield operations, as there was in the FY 2009 budget. Total requested Security/DoD/WoT spending was $738 billion in FY 2009, compared to $663.7 for FY2010.(Source: OMB, Defense Department Budget, 2010; Mid-Session Review, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2009 Table S-2.)
What Did the 2010 Military Budget Focus On?:
The budget requested funds to support troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also expanded pay for retired military personnel and for Veterans Disability Compensation. It allowed for improved care for wounded service members, especially those mental health needs.
The Defense Department promised to review acquisitions and defense technology development to eliminate waste. It also focused on improving the facilities used by service personnel.
What Was Actually Spent in FY 2010:
The OMB provides actual FY 2010 figures two years later, in the FY 2012 budget. Actual spending turned out to be much higher -- $850 billion. Here's the breakout:
- Defense Department Base Budget - $530.1 billion.
- Veterans Affairs - $53.1 billion.
- State and other programs - $49.8 billion.
- Homeland Security - $39.8 billion.
- National Nuclear Security Administration - $9.9 billion.
- Overseas Contingency Operations - $167.3 billion.
(Source: OMB, FY 2012 Budget
, Table S-3 and S-11)
More on the FY 2010 Budget:
Compare to Other U.S. Federal Budgets