After the September 11 attacks, the U.S. used part of the war maintenance fee to finance new equipment at high prices.
Amid the discussions in Congress to reduce military costs, a survey by The Stimson Center, an independent study conducted on peace and security, shows that the United States spent $1 trillion (1.74 trillion dollars) in equipment and weapons since the attacks of September 11.
The survey "What We Bought: Defense Procurement From FY01 to FY10" exposes Pentagon spending in recent decades and its close link with the U.S. arms industry.
The data weakens the justifications of the military and conservatives in Congress that cutting the defense budget could harm American troops in battle - as in the period analyzed, there were no problems to finance the purchase of modern gadgets.
The study's author, Russell Rumbaugh, a retired U.S. Army and former CIA military analyst, points out that the discussion concerned the military courts in the misuse of taxpayers' money. Annually, additional funding is voted for war disbursement, with a separate query for the regular Defense budget.
The extra tax is primarily intended to keep daily operations going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, but eventually it is used to buy weapons. Since 2001, 22% of a trillion dollars mentioned in the study came from this mechanism.
Thus, the U.S. spent 232.8 billion dollars to manufacture modern weapons such as heavy tanks and F22 fighter jets. Therefore, the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the risk of cuts worries the country's arms industry, which will no longer have this "money" available.
Barack Obama announced the withdrawal from Iraq by the end of 2011. According to the study in recent years, the U.S. renewed its fleet to upgrade its capacity, especially in the construction of existing systems and incorporating new ones. However, it took more to buy a smaller amount of equipment and weapons.
In 80 years, the country bought 375 jets for about $7.5 billion adjusted to current values. In 2010, with 4 billion dollars, the U.S. gained only 25 jets, a 800% increase in price. Two decades ago, the devices cost $20 million each, but in 2010 for the cost was 160 million dollars a unit.
The data also reveals that from 1981 to 1990, the U.S. bought 2,063 jets with 68 billion dollars, while between 2001 and 2010, they acquired 220 jets for 38 billion dollars.
Translated from the Portuguese version by: