Center for Arms Control

Security Spending

National Security Spending

For the latest Security Spending related news and analysis, please see the Security Matters section of our blog, Nukes of Hazard.

The Pentagon, looking northeast at the Potomac. DOD photo.

While it is widely recognized that Cold War-era thinking about security is outdated, this recognition has not carried over into any real change in how the United States allocates its defense dollars. There are many elements of the defense budget which consume massive budgetary resources but provide little return in terms of security.

It is time to correct the artificial divide between military and non-military forms of security spending and return to a vision of security based on more than bullets and bombs.

The new reality in the post-September 11 world is that protection from terrorist attacks and other security challenges can only be provided by broadening our vision of national security to include law enforcement, intelligence, immigration policy, border security, foreign assistance, economic development, and diplomacy. Combining these non-military tools with a robust military is the prescription for global peace and security under American leadership during the 21st century.


John Isaacs

John Isaacs

Senior Fellow
202-546-0795 ext. 2222
jdi AT armscontrolcenter DOT org

Laicie Olson

Senior Policy Analyst
202-546-0795 ext. 2105
lolson AT armscontrolcenter DOT org


Oct 20, 2014

Growth in U.S. Defense Spending Since 2001

After adjusting for inflation, the overall trend in base U.S. defense spending has increased since 2001. Since the end of the war in Iraq, however, total spending has declined slightly and, over the last three years, the base budget has plateaued. This is largely due to spending caps put in place by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Sep 26, 2014

Defense One Publishes Article on Nuclear Spending By Angela Canterbury and Kingston Reif

"As the bill for nuclear weapons grows larger and larger in the coming years, Congress must scrutinize the commitment to keep last century’s nuclear arsenal."

Jun 17, 2014

Summary of the House Appropriations Committee version of the Fiscal Year 2015 Defense Appropriations Bill

A summary of the House Appropriations Committee version of the FY 2015 Defense Appropriations Bill.

May 14, 2014 Story on Nuclear Capability of the F-35 Quotes Center Spokesman

“Changing the internal wiring and engineering of the plane to accommodate a different warhead could be done, but not without significant challenges,” James Lewis, communications director for the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, told War is Boring. “Especially for a plane that’s had the extensive engineering challenges that have been the hallmark of the F-35 program.”

May 1, 2014

100 Leaders Write to President Obama on Non-Proliferation Spending Reductions

We write to express our serious concern about the FY 2015 budget request for vital nuclear material security and nonproliferation programs. These cuts are difficult to understand since the danger of nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists remains high.

Apr 30, 2014

Fact Sheet: The Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) Program

A detailed summary of the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) Program.

Apr 24, 2014

U.S. Defense Spending vs. Global Defense Spending

In 2013, the most recent year for which complete data is available, the U.S. approved $600.4 billion in defense budget authority (fiscal year 2014 dollars). This figure includes funding for the Pentagon base budget, Department of Energy-administered nuclear weapons activities, and the war in Afghanistan.


The FY 2012 Request l The FY 2011 Request l The FY 2010 Request l The FY 2009 Request l The FY 2008 Request

The FY 2007 Request l The FY 2006 Request l The FY 2005 Request l The FY 2004 Request l The FY 2003 Request

The FY 2002 Request l The FY 2001 Request l The FY 2000 Request l The FY 1999 Request l The FY 1998 Request

The FY 1997 Request

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