Looking at the Fine Print

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Looking at the Fine Print

What do you really know about Bush's new Pentagon budget? Probably not as much as Slate's Fred Kaplan, who passes along observations like these:

It's not $481.4 billion, as the Defense Department is claiming. No, a squint through the fine print of the White House and Pentagon budget documents reveals that the true request for new military-spending authority comes to $739 billion.

... The budget requests $3.1 billion for a new aircraft carrier, $2.7 billion for a new Virginia-class submarine, and $3.4 billion to complete construction of two new DDG-1000 (formerly "DDX") cruisers.

It's hard to leave the cruisers half-built, but do we really need another nuclear-powered carrier and submarine? The U.S. Navy is not stretched beyond its capacity (unlike, say, the Army); there is no maritime mission it can't fulfill; no other country has a navy that's remotely threatening.

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