As the sequester kicks in, automatic cuts will kick in across the board- including cuts to the defense budget. However, when one considers how completely out of whack our defense budget is in the post 9/11 age of perpetual war, the cuts will still leave us with a military budget that dwarfs all other countries- combined.
The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein breaks it down this way:
Over the past decade, we’ve been at war. And our spending went way up. In 2001, under President George W. Bush, the military budget was $287 billion. In 2012, after accounting for the military budget and the war spending, it was about $700 billion. That’s a bigger increase in spending than we saw for either the Vietnam War or the Cold War.
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And here’s where it left us: $700 billion is more than China, the U.K., France, Japan, India, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Brazil, Italy, South Korea, Australia and Canada spend on their militaries combined.
The video below (an excerpt from the critically accaimed documentary, American Autumn) examines different ways we could have spent the money spent on the Iraq and Afghan wars alone.