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Increasing Pentagon Funding With More Tax Dollars Won’t Enhance Our Safety

The Pentagon (Credits: The Nation)

April 15, also known as Tax Day, serves as a poignant reminder for U.S. taxpayers to consider how their money is allocated by the federal government.

Despite the continuous discussions on military engagements and armament support to nations like Ukraine and Israel and the tough stances against adversaries like China, a particular portion of taxpayer dollars is funneled into the Pentagon, potentially reaching the $1 trillion mark in the coming years.

According to a study by the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, the average American taxpayer contributes over $2,900 annually to the Pentagon’s budget.

More Money for the Pentagon Won’t Make US Safe (Credits: Common Dreams)

Remarkably, $1,748 of this goes directly to arms manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies (RTX), known for their hefty contracts with the Pentagon.

However, this massive investment in defense and weaponry is not without its flaws. A considerable amount of this funding is squandered through cost overruns, performance issues, and sometimes outright fraud.

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet is a prime example, plagued by operational failures that render only about 30% of the fleet mission-capable at any given time. Despite these shortcomings, the F-35 program is set to be the most expensive in the Pentagon’s history, projected to cost $1.7 trillion over its lifetime.

Other defense contractors like Boeing have also faced criticism, particularly with the V-22 Osprey aircraft, which has seen multiple fatal crashes and continuous technical problems since its introduction.

Despite these issues, the aircraft was recently cleared to return to service, much to the dismay of critics who believe the underlying issues have not been adequately addressed.

The Pentagon’s procurement practices extend to other controversial projects like the new Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), the Sentinel, which has seen its costs balloon by 37% above initial estimates.

Former Defense Secretary William Perry (Credits: Politico)

Critics, including former Defense Secretary William Perry, question the necessity of such a weapon, citing the heightened risk of nuclear war from a system that leaves little room for error in a crisis.

These financial missteps highlight broader systemic issues within the Pentagon’s approach to national defense, particularly its prioritization of costly and sometimes unnecessary military hardware over more pressing domestic needs such as infrastructure, public health, climate action, and socioeconomic inequality.

The debate over military spending is also a debate about America’s role in the world now . The pursuit of global military dominance has often come at a steep price, failing to yield the intended peace or stability while draining resources that could be better used elsewhere.

Reevaluating and potentially reducing the Pentagon’s budget could allow for a more balanced approach to national security and domestic welfare, aligning military strategy with contemporary realities and needs. This shift could ensure that America not only remains secure but also thrives, using its resources to build a more sustainable and equitable future.

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