Pentagon Spends More Money Fixing Old Crap Than Canada Spends On Its Entire Military

How much is $US22.5 billion? The US government could buy over 150 shiny new F-35s. Or it could fund the entire public school system for a quarter of the year. Instead, it spent it repairing rusting-away boats, planes and tanks. Ugh.

Let's play What's More Disquieting!

Is it that America's already extremely expensive defences require $US22 billion in repairs just to scrape off rust?

Is it that we're buying weapons from companies that make vessels so conducive to expensively rusting away? After all, some of our boats are literally dissolving in the water.

Is it that we have money to spend on de-rusting boats built to defeat the Soviet Union, but not enough money to fund manned spaceflight? Or keep Medicare funded? Or hire more teachers?

To put that staggering 22.5 in perspective, some other numbers: Canada's entire military budget in 2009 was $US21.8 billion. We spent more on rust fixes than the entire GDP of Cameroon. The Pentagon's rusty stuff cost just a little under the price of the entire Manhattan Project. And that was just in 2009, DoD Buzz reports.

Now maybe this is inevitable — things get old and rust. It's science! But it's also a reminder of the nigh-unfathomable amount of cash we spend on military technology. [CDR Salamander via DoD Buzz]

Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty

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