Wait….What? How Much? US Military Spending and National Priorities​

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 12:00pm



PDF of Additional Resouces HERE.

In 2019, the US allocated $732 Billion dollars for military spending. The next “Top Ten” ((China, India, Russia, SA, France, Germany, UK, Japan, South Korea and Brazil) spent $726 Billion; the rest of the world (139 countries) spent a total of $460 Billion. 

What are our national priorities? How does the U.S. military budget compare to federal spending on other programs?  With the looming crisis of climate change, the crushing force of the pandemic, and the existence of vast inequality, what exactly does “national security” mean?  Join us for an informative and compelling conversation with Dr. Heidi Peltier on national priorities and US military spending. We’ll also discuss possible solutions to unwind the complicated web of the military-industrial complex and create a more sustainable and equitable society. 

Dr. Heidi Peltier is a Research Fellow at the Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and Director of the "20 Years of War" Project at Boston University. Previously, Dr. Peltier was a Research Fellow at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Peltier’s research includes analysis of the employment impacts of public and private investments, particularly those that support the transition to a low-carbon economy. She has written and contributed to a number of reports on the clean energy economy, and is the author of the book, Creating a Clean-Energy Economy: How Investments in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Can Create Jobs in a Sustainable Economy. Heidi has developed a quantitative methodology to estimate the impacts of spending on various domestic programs, including infrastructure investments, military spending, clean energy, education and healthcare. She has also written various reports and articles regarding the employment impacts of military and domestic spending, and has authored a number of papers with Brown University’s Costs of War project since its inception in 2010.


Subrata Ghoshroy is a research affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society. He is also a specially-appointed Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan. Earlier, he was for many years a senior engineer in the field of high-energy lasers. He was also a professional staff member of the House National Security Committee, and later a senior analyst with the Government Accountability Office. GO HERE for a recent paper by Mr. Ghoshroy published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that examines American Congressional bipartisan support of missile defense.