The U.S. needs to repair the extreme imbalance in our security spending to strengthen our non-military security tools. This year’s Unified Security Budget would create that balance by getting serious about waste, reviewing roles and missions, and reforming the budget process.
In this fifth annual edition of the “Unified Security Budget,” as with the previous four editions, a non-partisan task force of military, homeland security, and foreign policy experts laid out the facts of the imbalance between military and non-military spending. The ratio of funding for military forces vs. non-military international engagement in the Bush administration’s proposed budget for the 2009 fiscal year has widened to 18:1 from 16:1 in the 2008 fiscal year, according to the report.
Since the beginning of the republic, U.S. presidents have used some form of secrecy in the course of governing. In the wake of the Watergate scandal, congressional hearings in the 1970s and the disclosure of covert U.S. programs of assassination and destabilization overseas temporarily reduced the scope of secret activities sponsored by the executive branch. From the 1980s on, however, presidents have come to rely increasingly on secrecy-related practices. Though the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly grant executive secrecy in the list of Article II powers, presidents have increased their powers through legislation, the federal courts’ recognition of legal defenses to conceal information, and responses to the ongoing threat of terrorism.