By Dave Lindorff

US share of military spending as Pentagon budget hits 31-year record high (Stars&Stripes newpaper and Stockholm International Peace Research Institute image)


Something very unusual happened on Thursday, Oct. 17. The New York Times suddenly ran an article on its opinion page explaining how to cut $300 billion from the $1-trillion military budget — enough, the article explained, to fund Bernie Sanders’ proposed program for an expanded Medicare program to cover all Americans without raising a dime in new taxes.

The article, written by Lindsay Koshgarian, director of the Institute for Policy Studies’ National Priorities Project, explained that by shifting the US diplomatic and military strategy from one of confrontation, endless wars, expansive overseas basing, and unilateralism to one of diplomacy, a pull-back from foreign bases and global deployments, with a concomitant reduction in the  nation’s 2.4 million-person military could be accomplished with no threat to US national security.

Koshgarian’s opinion article actually listed the cuts that could be made, attaching a dollar value to each one. Examples were:


  1. End the practice of supplemental appropriations for war funding, much of which is actually used for more spending on other unintended military programs and which have only led to unending wars that have done nothing to make the US safer, for example in Iraq and Afghanistan. Savings: $66 billion per year.

2    End funding for other nations’ militaries. Savings $14 billion a year.

Close foreign bases (Almost one-third of all uniformed US military personnel serve abroad, most of them in non-crisis-zone locations or combat zones). Savings:  $90 billion

4  Cancel nuclear programs. The US has 1550 or more operational nuclear weapons — enough to destroy any enemy, and indeed the whole globe, yet at the end of his second term before leaving office, President Obama signed a bill launching a 10-year $1.7-trillion program to “modernize” and upgrade the US nuclear arsenal — a completely unneeded and destabilizing program certain to trigger a new global arms race. The immediate savings from eliminating this program: $43 billion a year.

5  Cancel pointless weapons programs from the F-35 and F-22 to new Navy destroyers and aircraft carriers. These are all weapons that will never be used in any war against the US as all such wars, experts agree, would almost instantly go nuclear. Savings:  $57 billion.


Just these five areas of cuts alone would save a total of $270 billion. The remaining savings came from smaller cuts, such as the $9 billion for Trump’s Mexico border wall.

The surprise isn’t that there are enormous savings to be had by ending America’s imperial military and slashing it’s extravagant annual budget, which by one reckoning done by the Project on Government Oversight’s Straus Military Reform Project is actually now closer to $1.25 trillion a year. It’s that this opinion piece by Koshgarian is the first time that a major US news organization has published an article explaining how vast that spending is, and how useless and damaging to US society it has become.

But Koshgarian is the first to admit that her article really didn’t tell the whole story…


For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site please go to:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.