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The First Military Budgets of Barack Obama:
Change in Continuity

by Luc Mampaey, senior researcher at GRIP

17 February 2010

According to the proposition submitted on the 1st of February 2010 by Robert Gates, the military budget of the United States is expected to exceed 700 billion dollars for the fiscal year 2011. Despite this impressive figure, the first two budgets presented by the Obama administration represents a clear break with those of George W. Bush, and show a real commitment to curb financial excesses of several major weapons programs, previously considered as untouchable. However, it seems that this comeback to financial orthodoxy has been possible only through an under-estimation of certain expenses, and deferred necessary investments. Moreover, Barack Obama must deal with the inertia and cohesion of a military-industrial complex well determined to defend its positions and reinforced by the climate of permanent war that was installed since 2001. In this context, it is unrealistic to expect a critical shift of the path of military spending in the United States.

Keywords : budget, defense, military spending, DoD, Pentagon, military-industrial complex.
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