Thursday, March 09, 2006

US DoD Factsheet

Fact 1: The US Department of Defense (DoD) is one of the world’s largest landlords

“The Department of Defense is one of the world’s largest landlords with a physical plant consisting of more than 571,900 facilities (buildings, structures and utilities) located on more than 3,740 sites, on nearly 30 million acres” (121 400 km2) says the Base Structure Report for Fiscal Year 2005 of the US Department of Defence. The report also states that 98% of this acreage is located in the United States or U.S. Territories. This means that US DoD owns or leases an area slightly smaller than Mississippi, or half of the UK.

However, this is not the compelete picture. Because, in order to qualify for entry in the report the site located in a foreign country must be larger than 10 acres or have a Plant Replacement Value greater than $10 million. Moreover, it must be owned or leased by the DoD. Facilities provided by other nations at foreign locations are not included. It is because of this reason that one does not see all the US military bases abroad reported by DoD.

Fact 2: If the DoD were a country it could have the 17th rank in the world’s GDP ranking by counry

Defense outlays (actual expenditures) as a share of GDP is 3.0 in fiscal year 2006 ($424.4 billion). This figure does not include supplemental appropriations to cover costs of the war in Iraq. The budget request for the total national defense program (DoD activities and defense activities in the DOE and other federal agencies) is $441.8 billion in budget authority and $447.4 billion in outlays. [Air Force Magazine April 2005] This amount would, indeed, make the DoD the 17th highest in the world ranking of Gross Domestic Product by country. Note that, CIA World Factbook 2005 lists only 163 countries.

Defense budget of the US in percent is said to go down but it is the absolute value which is important. However, Air Force Association does not agree with that. They want a bigger share which means much more money.

Here is what they say in their web site: “Even though the nation is engaged in a deadly Global War on Terrorism, we are committing only about 4% of GDP to the Armed Forces. By comparison, in 1986, during the Cold War, our nation devoted 6.2 percent of the GDP to defense. In 1968, during the Vietnam War, we devoted 9.4 percent of GDP to defense. It is time to rethink the level of resources for fighting the war and funding the services” What is not said, however, is that during the Vietnam War total national defense outlays were less than $100 billion, but now over $400 billion in today’s prices.

Fact 3: The US DoD is the largest oil consumer in the US, and 31st largest in the world.

See my previous post on the US Military Oil Consumption

Fact 4: The US military is the biggest purchaser of oil in the world.

See my previous post on the US Military Oil Consumption

Fact 5: DESC (Defense Energy Support Center) is the single largest purchaser of biodiesel in the US

The following quote comes from “Fuel Line” magazine of the DESC

What alternative fuel is delivered to more than 100 U.S. locations by 32 DESC contracted suppliers? It is “Biodiesel.” As of July (2005), DESC suppliers deliver more than half a million gallons per month of biodiesel to the military services.

Fact 6: The DoD is the world’s largest employer, (p. 75) directly employing more than three million people.

Fact 7: On any given day, nearly 350,000 men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces are deployed or stationed in approximately 130 countries, according to the Quadrennial Defense Review Report 2006 (P. 9)

Hence, surpassing even McDonald’s. According to McDonald’s Corporation 2004 Summary Annual Report McDonald’s operates and franchises more than 30,000 local restaurants in 119 countries only.

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