Throwing Money at the War Machine: 5 Cases of Pentagon Waste


Last Updated on May 27, 2021.

President Biden is expected to request to increase Pentagon spending by $12.5 BILLION in Fiscal Year 2022, to a whopping total of $753 billion. Instead of investing in the health and safety of our communities, this budget will funnel more unaccountable money into the war machine. Here are just SOME of the things the Pentagon wastes money on:

The F-35: The most expensive, faulty combat plane in history

  • We’re spending $1.727 trillion on the flawed F-35 fighter jet program, when even the Air Force has admitted that the jets have failed — yet military contractors continue to lobby to produce more (and so far, Congress has complied). 

Enriching weapons contractor CEOs

  • Over half of the Pentagon budget goes to private contractors — companies that are rarely held accountable for mismanaging the services they provide while using federal funds to enrich their top executives with multi-million dollar salaries.

Redundant and dangerous new weapons of mass destruction

  • The U.S. plans to spend upwards of $1.7 trillion on its nuclear weapons arsenal over the next 30 years, including to build an excessive new intercontinental ballistic missile called the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent. The Pentagon’s rationale for building the GBSD is, simply put, absurd. The United States should be looking for ways it can eliminate these weapons of mass death, not continue their deployment for generations to come.

Mismanagement and profiteering at the Pentagon

  • The Pentagon has NEVER passed an audit due to its unaccountable spending. It also pays inflated prices for the military equipment and weapons it buys, driven by the profiteering of price-gouging contractors. 

Weapons and training for human rights abusers

  • Funded by both the Pentagon and State Department: the U.S. provides “security assistance” and sells weapons to foreign militaries all over the world, with little assurance that they won’t be used against civilians or abused by corrupt elites. When abuses do occur, the U.S. rarely holds partners accountable. 

We can’t continue throwing money at the war machine. The Pentagon’s spending spree does not keep us safe — it wastes hundreds of billions of dollars on war and enriching arms manufacturers. It’s time to cut the Pentagon budget and invest in peacebuilding, global health, racial justice, affordable housing, and climate solutions to truly build security for all. 

May 26, 2021