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Afghanistan War Shapes Engorged Defense Budget While Domestic Programs Freeze

The Obama Administration just unveiled a huge Defense Department budget for next year shaped by the Afghanistan war. War spending is exempt from the president's proposed spending freeze, despite President Obama's statement at West Point that, "we can't simply afford to ignore the price of these wars."

According to AFP:

The Obama administration plans to unveil a defense budget on Monday that pours billions into drones, helicopters and special forces, reflecting a focus on fighting Islamist extremists rather than conventional armies.

The Pentagon's spending priorities as well as its strategic vision -- which is also due to be unveiled this week -- are a product of the counter-insurgency campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan that have severely stretched the military.

The proposed 2011 defense budget comes to more than 700 billion dollars, a modest two percent increase, and unlike last year avoids sweeping cuts to major weapons programs, according to Pentagon officials and draft documents.

Politico also reports that the administration's war funding estimates for the next 2 years far exceed last year's estimates:

President Barack Obama's new budget, to be released Monday, forecasts two consecutive years of near $160 billion in war funding, far more than he hoped when elected and only modestly less than the last years of the Bush Administration.

In 2011 alone, the revised numbers are triple what the president included in his spending plan a year ago. And the strain shows itself in new deficit projections, already hobbled by lagging revenues due to the weak economy.

We can't afford to keep spending huge amounts of blood and treasure on a war that's causing massive human suffering and that's not making us any safer.

In other news, Bloomberg reports that, "Defense Stocks May Rise With Government Budget Increase." Note especially the giggling about the profitability of drones. Mass murder from above is good for business!