The New York Times (ever the good stenographer it has mostly become i.e. the government says it, we print it) revealed in a headline yesterday, "U.S. Orders Biggest Military Cuts Since 9/11". 
According to the interview with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, "The White House has ordered the Pentagon to squeeze almost all growth from its spending over the next five years". 
That's right; the Pentagon is to "squeeze" its gargantuan budget because of "extreme fiscal duress"  felt by the U.S. government thus "requiring the military to take a tough look at its spending practices". 
Please pass the crying towel in sympathy for the duress the Pentagon must be under.
In a budget that "officially" exceeds $550 billion (which doesn't include the "contingency fund" for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that together are well over $300 billion per year) the "cuts" would amount to some $78 billion  over the next five years (about $15 plus billion per year or 1.5% of one trillion).
Of course the Pentagon budget doesn't include the NSA and CIA funding (which incredibly are unknown presumably for reasons of national security but realistically must total in the hundreds of billions) so one can reasonably presume the overall defense tab is easily over $1trillion per year.
All this for our unnecessary pre-emptive wars and occupations, the drone attacks and missile strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, the over 860 military bases  around the world, the two new nuclear submarines that are produced each year (which according to Senator Joe Lieberman, [I. CT] are necessary "so we don't fall behind"), the anti-ballistic missile defense systems that have proven to be technically unfeasible and incapable of shooting down one ICBM under perfect conditions, the unnecessary new generation of jet fighters, additional aircraft carriers et al, all "necessary" against a terrorist enemy that has no army, navy or air force, no WMD and nothing more than hand held small arms and IED's.
The reality is our defense spending is nothing more than a gigantic, bloated and unnecessary public welfare system supporting giant defense contractors and the unnecessary weapons systems they build as well as an outsized, unnecessary military supplemented with private mercenary contractors all in the name of defending the country.
It is nothing more than an enormous con game foisted upon the American people conjured up and perpetuated by right wing reactionaries in the aftermath of W.W. II and the onset of nuclear age, the ensuing cold war against the Soviet Union and Communism and now in an endless war on terrorism.
Too many Americans and their sycophants in Congress have been susceptible to and come to accept and believe the "official" propaganda that is a swill of deceit.
It is all a false edifice that needs to be dismantled.
 U.S. Orders Biggest Military Cuts Since 9/11", by Thom Shanker and Christopher Drew, "The New York Times", January 6, 2011.
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|Retired. The author of "DECEIT AND EXCESS IN AMERICA, HOW THE MONEYED INTERESTS HAVE STOLEN AMERICA AND HOW WE CAN GET IT BACK", Authorhouse, 2009
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