Budget Matters Blog

Category: Military & Security


Veterans and the Cost of War

Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, National Priorities Project has tracked the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have focused on the tax dollars expended related to the conduct of these wars, and offered comparisons to funding for other government programs to demonstrate the ...


Accounting for War

The last U.S. combat forces were withdrawn from Iraq on Dec. 15, 2011. And this past week at the NATO summit in Chicago, member nations endorsed President Obama’s plan to remove most foreign combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.Yet the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq and ...


You Ask, We Answer: Funding Veterans, Plus the Military

Tom from St. Paul, Minnesota, wrote in to ask why our federal budget numbers don't combine funding for veterans with military spending, since they're both part of a larger national security category.


You Ask, We Answer: How Much of the Federal Budget Funds the Military?

In some charts, you see that military is more than half the budget. But in others, you see that it's much less than that. Let's settle this once and for all.


New Data: Nuclear Research and Development

There's a new dataset available in the Federal Priorities Database: Nuclear Energy Research and Development: shows U.S. Federal spending (by state and by county) on research, development, and demonstration of nuclear energy and its underlying sciences.

The Pentagon Battles Health Care Costs

As the Pentagon scrambles to find ways to save money, the Defense Department has included in its fiscal year 2013 budget request a political bombshell – increasing beneficiary contributions to its healthcare programs.The Defense Department’s healthcare network – known as TRICARE – provides a range of benefit plans to active ...


You Ask, We Answer: How Much Do We Spend On Intelligence?

Nancy Albert, of San Juan, Puerto Rico asks how much do we spend on the CIA, and where in the budget would you find that money?The short answer is, we don't know. Now here's the longer answer, which includes what we do know about what the government spends on intelligence, ...


You Ask, We Answer: How Much Aid Do We Give Foreign Countries?

Kris from Concord, California, wrote in to ask how much aid the United States gives to foreign countries. Foreign aid and diplomacy together comprise around 1 percent of the federal budget, or $56 billion in President Obama’s 2013 budget request. That money goes toward global poverty alleviation, including a contribution ...


Analysis of Fiscal Year 2013 Pentagon Spending Request

On February 14, 2012 the Obama Administration released its proposed Fiscal Year 2013 budget for the federal government. The request includes $525.4 billion for the Department of Defense (DoD) in Fiscal Year 2013, which begins on October 1, 2012. Adjusted for inflation, this is 2.6 percent below FY2012 levels, the ...

Budget Brief - Cost of War

Senior research analyst Chris Hellman examines the cost of war up to this point, and looks at what will be changing in the next few years.