Procurement: Three Trillion Dollars Later

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December21, 2006: During the last fifteen years (1990-2005), the United States spent $1.6 trillion for military procurement. That's only about ten percent less (adjusted for inflation) than what was spent during the previous 15 years (1975-89), which included some of the peak spending years of the Cold War. Throughout the entire three decades, the three services got about the same percentage of this money (Air Force-36 percent, Navy- 33 percent and Army 16- percent.) The army is trying to get this changed, because the soldiers believe new technology enables the army to do many jobs (with UAVs and missiles) that the air force previously took care of. The navy also has a problem in that American naval power is equal to all the other fleets on the planet combined. This makes it harder to justify maintaining the fleet at its current size, and cost. Moreover, the size of the strategic nuclear forces are much smaller, not just because the Cold War is over, but because of disarmament treaties. So not as many expensive nuclear subs are needed.

Change is in the air. But when it comes to money, the air force and navy will fight hard to hang on to their traditional shares of the Pentagon pie.

 


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