Amidst a storm of proposed budget cuts and deep partisan divides in Congress, President Obama delivered a speech on Wednesday in which he announced his plan for reducing the nation's growing deficit. Happily, the Commander-in-Chief did not fail to mention our overwhelming bloated Pentagon budget.
Outlining his "approach that puts every kind of spending on the table," President Obama lauded Sec. Gates for championing $400 billion in savings in current and future Pentagon spending, adding, "I believe we can do that again."
Mr. President, we have a few suggestions.
Peace Action was proud to join Rep. Barney Frank's bipartisan Sustainable Defense Task Force, which outlined $1 trillion in cuts to Pentagon spending over the next ten years. In the last month, Peace Action members from around the country have brought proposals to Congress calling for deep cuts to our bloated Pentagon spending, including:
Cutting Nuclear Weapons Arsenal - $100 billion savings
The current Administration has included $85 billion in its latest budget for maintenance and modernization of the nuclear weapons infrastructure over the next decade, plus at least $100 billion for maintenance and modernization of nuclear weapons delivery vehicles. The bipartisan Report of the Sustainable Defense Task Force suggests cutting our nuclear arsenal to 500 deployed warheads—saving $100 billion. The US should quickly get down to 500 on the way to global abolition of all nuclear weapons.
Ending the Wars - Billions and Billions Saved
In fiscal year 2011, the Pentagon will spend at least $158 billion in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have already spent over a trillion dollars in direct costs in these two countries since 2002 and many more billions in indirect costs. Many analysts believe that these wars, rather than making Americans safer, have increased the number of our enemies, thus making us more vulnerable. Nearly 20% of the House of Representatives voted for the Congressional Progressive Caucus's "People's Budget," which would end the wars in Afghanistan in Iraq in 2012 and substantially cut the Pentagon's wasteful spending. Safely redeploying our servicemen and women from Afghanistan and Iraq would free up billions of dollars annually with no loss to our security.
Next week, we'll outline even more cuts to get our country on track.
Humbly for Peace,
Paul Kawika Martin
Organizing & Political Director
P.S. Peace Action has even more ways to cut spending. Download an overview of specific cuts to the Pentagon budget that can be made right now to fund domestic programs. ( Word format can be printed on letter size paper and stapled together or make a fold over pamphlet by printing front to back on legal size paper in the PDF format.).