Cost of National Security

What's New

Explosion in beirut on 2006-08-13

Photo by Patrick Abi Salloum

As federal lawmakers and the American people grapple with the possibility of U.S. military intervention in Syria, our team at National Priorities Project unveils Cost of National Security. The new site features counters displaying the real-time cost of military programs, including the Tomahawk Cruise Missile – the weapon to be used in a strike on Syria. That weapons program costs U.S. taxpayers more than $36,000 every hour.

In addition to the Tomahawk, Cost of National Security displays rolling counters tracking the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the entire Department of Defense, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Foreign Military Aid, and Homeland Security. The  site also allows you to see the local cost of these programs for 9,900 cities and towns, and every state, Congressional District, and county in the nation. And in tandem with Trade-Offs you can see what your city or town could have bought instead – from police officers to school teachers to Pell grants. 

According to recent polling, only 26 percent of Americans support military intervention in Syria, while 40 percent favor humanitarian assistance instead. In addition to military-related spending, Cost of National Security tracks spending on humanitarian aid as well as the cost of other kinds of national security, from education to health care to nutrition assistance.

What counts as national security to you?

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