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 Fund our Communities - Reduce Military Spending

 The recession is increasing demand for services in our communities while sapping the funding they need.  Where are we going to find a permanent, reliable source of funding for the human and other services our constituents need?


Congressman Barney Frank has identified an ample funding source: unnecessary military spending. “The math is compelling,” he wrote in The Nation on March 2, 2009. “[I]f we do not make reductions approximating 25 percent of the military budget starting fairly soon, it will be impossible to continue to fund an adequate level of domestic activity.”


US military spending amounts to more than $700 billion a year if the off-the-books wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, nuclear weapons programs in the Department of Energy, and other agencies’ military line items are added to the Pentagon’s budget. The $175 billion that would result from a 25% cut could be redirected to veterans’ services, housing and family support for current military personnel, and social services – community health, mental health, education, community safety, to name a few – that are urgently needed in the recession and on an ongoing basis.
 We can cut military spending substantially without endangering the country’s security, and a growing chorus is saying that we should. In November the Defense Business Board, a Pentagon oversight body, said that major systemic cuts were absolutely necessary because the Pentagon’s budget was not sustainable. President Obama has cited $295 billion in cost overruns alone.
[i] Here is a more detailed list of potential cuts totaling $255 billion. 
  • Withdraw in a timely fashion from Iraq                $105 billion in year one
  • Withdraw from Afghanistan                                   25 billion
  • Eliminate wasteful weapons systems                      33 billion
  • Reduce active nuclear warheads                            16 billion
  • Close half of US overseas military bases                 51 billion
  • Trim unused air wings and sea forces                       5 billion
  • Eliminate waste in procurement and operations        20 billion

 “[W]e are developing weapons... that lack not only a current military need but even a plausible use in any foreseeable future,” wrote Congressman Frank. “If we do not reduce the military budget... we do severe harm to our ability to improve the quality of our lives.” Now is the moment to add our voices and demand a shift in our nation’s priorities.


What you can do:

  • Endorse the call for a 25% cut in military spending to fund our communities’ needs.
  • Call your congressman and urge him to join Barney Frank’s call for a 25% cut.
  • Spread the word to community organizations and others who will be interested.

 For more information contact


[i] R. Jeffrey Smith and Ellen Nakashima, “Pentagon’s Unwanted Projects in Earmarks: Democrats Press Backyard Spending,” Washington Post, March 8, 2009. Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told “Meet the Press” in January that “in the defense area...On an annual basis we have about $300 billion in cost overruns. That must be addressed, and we will be addressing it.” (Voters for Peace Action Alert, February 11, 2009)


 View the video on the June 11, 2010 report by the 
  Sustainable Defense Task Force
  The Pennsylvania Campaign for Smart Security 
The Hidden Cost of US War