The good people at Wikipedia provide this insight: in ‘the United States Federal Budget for 2010, entitled ‘A New Era of responsibility’, the DoD [or Department of Defense] was allocated a base budget of $533.7 billion, with a further $75.5 billion adjustment in respect of 2009, and $130 billion for overseas contingencies. The subsequent 2010 DoD Financial Report shows DoD total budgetary resources for fiscal year 2010 were $1.2 trillion. Of these resources, $1.1 trillion were obligated and $994 billion were disbursed, with the remaining resources relating to multi-year modernization projects requiring additional time to procure. Budgeted DoD expenditure for 2009 represented approximately 43% of global military spending, the U.S. ranking second in terms of per capita military spending behind The United Arab Emirates. In FY 2010 DoD budgeted spending accounted for 21% of the U.S. Federal Budget, and 53% of federal discretionary spending, which represents funds not accounted for by pre-existing obligations. As a percentage of its GDP, the U.S. spent 3% of GDP on military in the year 2000, ranking it 28th in the world. Budgeted 2010 expenditure (including the GWOT supplemental) had risen to 4.5 % of Assumed Nominal GDP’. Or, as I posted last June: ‘Turns out that money does make the world go round, and money well spent is money no longer available for anything else. So, here is goes: “America spends more on its military than THE NEXT 15 COUNTRIES COMBINED”, “In 2007, the amount of money labeled ‘wasted’ or ‘lost’ in Iraq — $11 billion — could pay 220,000 teachers salaries [in the U.S.]”, “America’s defense spending doubled in the same period that its economy shrunk from 32 to 23 percent of global output”, “The yearly cost of stationing one soldier in Iraq could feed 60 American families”, “The total known land area occupied by U.S. bases and facilities is 15,654 square miles — bigger than D.C., Massachusetts, and New Jersey combined”, “Each day in Afghanistan costs the [U.S.] government more than it did to build the entire Pentagon”, “In 2008, the Pentagon spent more money every five seconds in Iraq than the average American earned in a year”, “The U.S. has 5% of the world’s population — but almost 50% of the world’s total military expenditure”’. And the above map shows us where all that money goes to . . . NORTHCOM, SOUTHCOM, EUCOM, CENTCOM, AFRICOM, and PACOM.
Looking at that map, one cannot but understand fully all those people talking about the American Empire (and its imminent demise due to overstretch). As such, in addition to the command structure pictured higher, there are U.S. Army installations in Bulgaria, Germany, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Kosovo, and South Korea. Whereas the U.S. Air Force has bases in Afghanistan, Australia, Germany, Greenland, Guam, Italy, Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and the UK. Last but not least, there is also the U.S. Navy which can avail itself of installations in these locations: Bahrain, the British Indian Ocean Territories, Egypt, Cuba, Djibouti, Greece, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, South Korea, Singapore, Spain, and the UAE. This giant military footprint is a leftover from the Cold War, when the U.S. was fighting for the preservation of ‘freedom, democracy and the American Way’. On the other side of the fence, or rather the Iron Curtain was the Soviet Union and its client states. Josef Stalin’s long shadow is thus still able to motivate American policy- and lawmakers in the 21st century. During the early years of the Cold War, Curtis Lemay (1906-90) ensured that the U.S. Air Force received top priority in America’s war plans, prior to the adoption of the MAD strategy and the universal endorsement of producing ever more ICBM – Mutually Assured Destruction as a result of deploying Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles. As a result, today the U.S. Air Force is literally ubiquitous around the world, while successive administrations seem eager to pay for the continued upkeep of bases and manpower and machinery Here is a clip showing this year’s defense budget hearing. The HASC or House Armed Services Committee, firmly controlled by the Republicans, met to receive testimony on the fiscal year 2012 national defense authorization budget requests from the U.S. Central Command and the U.S. Special Operations Command (3 March 2011).