US President Donald Trump has reportedly agreed to a Pentagon request to increase next year's military budget to $750 billion. However, just last week he slammed this year's defense budget as ‘crazy’.
RT spoke to David Lindorff, investigative journalist, and columnist for the Nation, who said that US military budget is now “larger than all the US debt in the history of the country.”
“Pentagon budget is $750 billion dollars at this point. And each year it has been lower than that before. And yet their accounting shows that they have $21 trillion additionally in the budget, the one they submit to Congress each year. One budget year it was $6.5 trillion budget just for the army – which that year really only had 122 billion,“ he continued.
He explained that Pentagon accountant service is “making up numbers and plugging them in …to make the financial documents that they submit to Congress each year for showing what they have spent the prior year and year before completely incomprehensible and unauditable.”
He called it an “astonishing fraud”.
Lindorff cited Jack Armstrong, who for five years was the supervising director of audits at the internal auditing agency for the Pentagon, the Office of Inspector General, and was supposed to monitor and make sure everything they are doing according to the way it is supposed to be, who said “If the Pentagon was being honest, they would tell Congress each year when they submit financial statements for the current year and prior years accounts that what they are giving them is garbage.”
He also recalled the words of Asif Khan, the head of the National Security Asset Management unit at GAO (Government Accountability Office) that monitors all government agencies, the Pentagon, the CIA, who said that the Pentagon for years has been at the top of his list of agencies that are high risk for fraud, waste, and abuse.
“Again, an astonishing fact that is not reported at all in the US corporate media,” Lindorff pointed out.
According to Lindorff’s sources that worked in the Pentagon, “they submit the financial statements from prior years showing falsely that it’s spent all its money and then asking for more.”
“And so Congress obligingly gives them more. But the money that they don’t spend each year gets stashed away in secret places within the Pentagon and gets used without any accountability at all. This means that they are able to do black operations that get no oversight. It means that they could use it for corrupt purposes. There are all kinds of things they could do with it. And that fund could be now as large as $100 billion which I would note is larger than Russia’s entire military spending, close to Chinese entire annual military spending. And that is a slush fund,” he told RT.
The military budget is at its highest level since World War II, but where exactly does all that money go and what wars are we even fighting these days? In this episode, Amy Walter finds out how much is being spent and how the money aligns with the military's strategic goals for the future of warfare. Plus, a look at how active duty service members feel about their commander-in-chief. And one retired colonel raises concerns about the way President Trump is politicizing the military.
WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
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