For the Common Defense

2008-03-24

Over at Wash Park Prophet (and as I discovered via Planet Colorado), Andrew Oh-Willeke asks: how much of the budget of the U.S. Defense Department is truly devoted to defense of the American homeland, and how much is something else?

Andrew estimates that true defense would cost about $60-$80 billion a year (20% of the current budget). I don't have any special reason to dispute his figures, though I'd like to do some more research on the matter sometime. And although I think that the premium above that 20% is mostly a form of subsidy, I'm not quite sure I would chalk it up to foreign aid (some of it might be a form of subsidy to American corporations who trade overseas). I don't think that such a smaller military would be without costs of its own or that it would cause an outbreak of global harmony, but I do think it's worth contemplating what America and the world might look like under such a regime.


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal