The United States government as well as the rest of the world is still under threat from the eventuality of acts of terrorism even today. In the spending bill that former President Bush presented to the United States Congress, greater emphasis was given on the resources that would end the threat to the security of the citizens of the United States. Why did the United States put such a high premium on stopping the war on terror in that it merited such special mention in this spending bill?
The 2008 Federal Budget: Plugging the threat of terrorism
The global conflict against terrorism will persist for some time. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are likely to drag on since the issues there have not been thoroughly and decisively resolved one way or another. In the budget for 2008, the United States government has allocated more resources for combating the instances of terrorism. This is to totally neutralize the threat of terrorism in the world as well as the American political and security landscape.
According to the speech the President, he states that his paramount concern is the well-being of the security of the nation as the country’s Commander in Chief (George Bush, 2007). In his budget, Bush (2007) argues that the administration has allocated significant amounts of financial resources to combat the global threat of terrorism (Bush, 2007). But the budget allocation does not that the American military or the utilization of the superior American military war machine will be the only option in the campaign against this threat (Bush, 2007). The increased budget means that the United States personnel will not suffer a dearth of resources and logistics in addressing this global threat (Bush, 2007).
In addition to the increased logistical and financial support that the Administration will be allocating for the military, the Bush government will also operate in the foreign affairs arena in terms of relating to the nations that the American military is operating (Bush, 2007). Focusing mainly on military operations in Iraq, Bush (2007) advocates the increased participation and cooperation from the duly elected government in the country (Bush, 2007). In the budget, there is little room for error in what the declared goals are for the increase in spending for the American military (Bush, 2007).
The budget is mainly outlined in the threat against plots or terrorist organizations operating beyond the borders of the United States (United States Office of Budget and Management). The budget also increases the protections that may be planned against the United States and increased initiatives in the arena of foreign affairs (United States Office of Budget and Management). The increased funding will allow the United States military to logically operate and fulfill its mission in the operating combat fields of Iraq and Afghanistan (United States Office of Budget and Management). Looking to the future, the allocation will allow the military to morph into a newer fighting machine for the challenges of the coming century (United States Office of Budget and Management).
In the adoption of the United States Congress of the supplemental fund for 2008 and the bridge funding for the same year, Federal lawmakers have allotted $864 in total funding for the United States military establishment (Amy Belasco, 2008). This monies will be appropriated for military expenses, securing military installations, rebuilding, aid to foreign countries and health allocations for the military personnel involved in the theaters of combat in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks (Belasco, 2008). But is the budget for the global war on terror really what it seems? Is there more to this than meets the eye?
In the global fight against terrorism, it is surely assured that the military will need vast amounts of resources to adequately answer the challenge of combating and neutralizing the enemies of the United States. But in the chart below, it can be seen that the spending for the military campaign against terrorism will rise steadily, with 2009 topping almost $ 200 billion dollars on that year (War Resisters League). It is estimated that the budget for the United States military alone is bugger than 15 countries, led by the China and Russia, combined altogether (War Resisters).
(Table 1: Military Spending of the United States Military 2001-2009. Source: Center of Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.)
It is declared in some quarters that the government is not spending enough in terms of homeland security or negating the threats of terrorism in the United States (James Jay Carafano, 2007). In the statement released by the White House regarding the issuance of the national strategy against terrorism, it did not make any grand or visionary declaration that they can end all threats of terrorism (Carafano, 2007). In the statement, the government mentioned some things about their strategy about the instance of terrorism (Carafano, 2007). All they declared was that there was coordinated effort against terrorism, that the policy initiative was crafted decrease the perceived weaknesses that might contribute to opening America to terrorist attacks, and reduce the damage that may result if a terrorist attack were to succeed (Carafano, 2007).
The programs designed by the Homeland Security Department are not meant to be the singular solution in the fight against terrorism (Carafano, 2007). It is not by military might alone, nor of the work of good intelligence work, but the combined efforts of all security agencies working in concert (Carafano, 2007). State and local authorities must strengthen programs on local and state security measures as the Federal government takes on the responsibility focuses on terrorism measures in the international arena (Carafano, 2007).
Belasco, A. (2008). The cost of Iraq, Afghanistan and other global war on terror operations since 9/11. Retrieved March 13, 2009, from http://ftp.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33110.pdf
Bush, G.W. (2007). The budget message of the President. Retrieved March 13, 2009, from http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2008/message.html
Carafano, J.J. (2007). Homeland security spending for the long war. Retrieved March 13, 2009, from http://www.heritage.org/Research/HomelandSecurity/hl989.cfm
Office of Management and Budget. (n.d.). Overview of the President’s 2008 budget. Retrieved March 13, 2009, from http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2008/overview.html
War Resisters League. (n.d.). Where your income tax money really goes. Retrieved March 13, 2009, from http://www.warresisters.org/pages/piechart.htm