Decoding US military spending for the 2013

Many US neoconservatives are concerned about “disastrous” defense budget cuts proposed for 2013. by the Obama administration. Thus, I have decided to check how high defense-related spending really will be even after the cuts.

Let’s start with this document. First value is “Department of Defense – Military”. Quite straightforward, and it gives 613.916.000.000,00 USD.

Further, “Atomic energy defense activities” adds 17.975.000.000,00 USD. “Defense-related activities” add,00 USD. Total of above is 639.059.000.000,00 USD.

Now there is “Mandatory spending”. There, “DoD-Military” adds 6.344.000.000,00 USD. “Atomic energy defense activities” adds 1.444.000.000,00 USD. “Defense-related activities” adds 574.000.000,00 USD.

Grand total of above is 647.421.000.000,00 USD of direct military spending.


In “International Affairs”, “International Security Assistance” adds,00 USD, plus 143.000.000,00 USD of discretionary spending.

As such, direct defense spending is 661.619.000.000,00 USD.


“Foreign military sales trust fund” adds,00 USD. “Naval petroleum reserves operations” adds 15.000.000,00 USD.

“DoD Medicare-eligible retiree health care fund” adds 9.727.000.000,00 USD. “Armed forces retirement home” adds 68.000.000,00 USD. “Military retirement” adds 54.759.000.000,00 USD.

In “Veterans benefits and services”, discretionary spending comes to,00 USD, whereas mandatory spending comes to 76.532.000.000,00 USD. Total for “Veterans benefits and services” is thus 137.734.000.000,00 USD.

Interest on military retirement is,00 USD. That on “DoD retiree health-care fund” is 7.430.000.000,00 USD.

Total defense-related spending according to above would be 902.779.000.000,00 USD




Second section gives same data, but different figures.


Discretionary spending for National Defense is as follows: “Department of Defense – Military”: 666.154.000.000,00 USD. There is also,00 USD for “Atomic energy defense activities” and 7.596.000.000,00 USD for Defense-related activities.

Mandatory spending is 6.721.000.000 USD for “Department of Defense – Military”, 1.444.000.000,00 USD for “Atomic energy defense activities” and 574.000.000,00 USD for “Defense-related activities”.

Additional,00 go for “International security assistance”, 6.470.000.000,00 for “Department of Energy science programs”, 24.000.000,00 for “Naval petroleum reserves operations”,,00 for DoD Medicare-eligible retiree health care fund, 83.000.000,00 for “Armed forces retirement home”, 54.561.000.000,00 for “Military retirement”,,00 for “Veterans benefits and services”.

Above results in sum of 927.436.000.000 USD for defense related spending, producing interest (with 3,15% interest rate) of USD.


This document gives total direct defense spending as 702.217.000.000 USD, and total defense-related spending as 956.650.000.000 USD.


According to this document, total DoD spending is 672.879.000.000 USD for direct military spending.

However, Department of Energy defense-related activities add USD, Department of Homeland Security adds USD, Department of Veteran Affairs adds 139.742.000.000 USD, Military Retirement adds 54.561.000.000,00 USD, health care adds,00 USD, educational benefits add 164.000.000,00 USD, Armed Forces Retirement Home adds 68.000.000,00 USD, and Other Defense Civil Programs add,00 USD.

Foreign military financing programs add 6.556.000.000,00 USD, Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability program adds 640.000.000,00 USD, International Military Education and Training adds 104.000.000,00 USD, Peacekeeping operations add 416.000.000,00 USD, Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining, and Related Programs add 604.000.000,00 USD, Global Security Contingency Fund adds 30.000.000,00 USD, Military Sales add,00 USD.

Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board adds,00 USD. Intelligence Community Management Account adds 553.000.000,00 USD, United States court for appeals of veteran claims adds 38.000.000,00 USD.

Department of Homeland Security adds further 55.345.000.000,00 USD. Total is thus 1.029.534.000.000 USD.


This document gives total direct defense spending as 672.879.000.000 USD, and total defense-related spending as 1.029.534.000.000 USD.


To these figures, one should add 97 billion USD – how much is war in Afghanistan projected to cost in 2013 – and DoD share of interest on debt (21%; entire interest is 268 billion USD, which makes for 56,28 billion USD).


To sum up:





DoD – Military: 666.154.000.000,00 USD

Atomic energy defense activities:,00 USD

Defense-related activities: 7.596.000.000,00 USD



DoD – Military: 6.721.000.000,00 USD

Atomic energy defense activities: 1.444.000.000,00 USD

Defense-related activities: 574.000.000,00 USD


Total: 702.217.000.000,00 USD




International security assistance:,00 USD

Naval petroleum reserve operations: 24.000.000,00 USD

DoD Medicare-eligible retiree health care fund:,00 USD

Armed forces retirement home: 83.000.000,00 USD

Military retirement: 54.561.000.000,00 USD

Veterans benefits and services:,00 USD

Health care:,00 USD

Educational benefits: 164.000.000,00 USD

Other Defense Civil Programs:,00 USD

Intelligence Community Management Account: 553.000.000,00 USD

Court of Appeals of Veteran Claims: 38.000.000,00 USD

Departments’ defense spending:

– Department of Energy:,00 USD

– Department of Homeland Security: 55.345.000.000,00 USD

– Department of Veteran Affairs: 139.742.000.000,00 USD


– Military Retirement:,00 USD

– DoD retiree health-care fund: 7.430.000.000,00 USD

– DoD share of interest on debt: USD

War in Afghanistan:,00 USD


Total related: 603.276.000.000,00 USD


Total US defense spending request for 2013:

895.527.000.000,00 USD as absolute lowest

1.361.773.000.000,00 USD absolute maximum

5 thoughts on “Decoding US military spending for the 2013

  1. Thats a whole lot of spending!

    I want to thank China, Japan, Germany, and all the funds out there that continue to purchase U.S. Treasury Bonds. Although, the rate of return is probably less than rate of inflation.

    Although you will never be paid back (maybe inflation printed money at best, not true value) you should feel good that you have supported such a noble organization.


    1. Unfortunately, they are doing it for strictly selfish reasons. Look at the nations that the US has a current account deficit with and the foreign debt holders. China, Japan, and Germany hold huge surpluses with the US and as a result, accumulate debt.

      The reason why they are doing it is to maintain their trade surpluses, so that the US can outsource its manufacturing capacity abroad, while funding American consumption. They will never be paid back in full of course – that is not the purpose. It’s to keep the Asian currencies undervalued and US currency overvalued so that they can sustain their trade surpluses. That is far more valuable than any losses in investments.


      1. Very true Chris!

        I do wish the Us Federal Government would use more of that money for things that make life better for public (like cheaper secondary education, medical research, etc.) instead of overpriced weapons we dont need.


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