Miriam Pemberton: Obama’s military budget

Dandelion Salad


While media plays up program cuts, total defense budget surpasses Bush by $20 B

Produced by Jesse Freeston


Obama’s military budget

While media plays up program cuts, total defense budget surpasses Bush by $20 Billion

On Wednesday the U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates presented his departments base budget proposal for the fiscal year of 2010.  Although some are claiming that the proposal has left expensive weapons programs with little funding, the SPADE Index which is composed of stock prices from 55 of the largest defense contractors, increased by 3.4%.  The Real News spoke to Miriam Pemberton, a military analyst at the Institute for Policy Studies to discuss this proposal.

Pemberton says this proposed budget represents an increase in military spending when compared to the Bush administrations, a fact that isn’t being reported by many of the mainstream media outlets, “despite the fact that they have made some proposed cuts in a number of weapons systems, this budget is actually larger than any budget that the Bush administration ever proposed by about 20 billion dollars or about 4%.”

Although a number of high profile programs were cut most notably the F-22 fighter jet, a plane that has been in development since 1986 and was put in to production in 2003, new contract recommendations were made which would ultimately result in an increase in military spending.

According to Pemberton they had no choice but to finally cut the F-22 program, “it’s so complicated, so expensive, about 330 million dollars per plane, (and) it’s never been used in Iraq or Afghanistan because it’s really inappropriate for those conflicts”.  She notes that they’ve essential swapped the F-22 for the F-35, “Lockheed Martin…assuming this all goes through is going to be losing the F-22 contracts but the Obama administration is talking about accelerating production on the joint strike fighter (F-35) which is the alternative next generation fighter to the F-22.”


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