Sequester the Pentagon

Winslow Wheeler described the $54 billion scheduled to be cut from defense spending by sequester as “puny.” The former congressional budget analyst who works for the Project on Government Oversight was not defending the cut. He was putting it in context.

TWS-1302 March 1 Infographics

More than 45 percent of all money spent on defense by all nations last year was spent by the U.S. The graphic above measures U.S. defense spending in 2012 against the 2012 defense budget of China, our major strategic adversary.

There are limits to comparisons. China keeps some military spending off budget (as does the U.S.). China is building. The U.S. is cutting back. The U.S. has defense commitments unlike any other country, and additional strategic adversaries: Russia and Iran. China is neither at war nor maintaining foreign bases.

Yet even if Russia’s $52.7 billion is added to China’s $88.9 billion, the combined spending hardly measures up to $739.3 billion appropriated for the Pentagon.

Source: International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Research by William Shuab.