May 4, 2020

In COVID-19, Congress Must Stop Providing Additional Money to the Pentagon


In a letter to members of the House of Representatives and Senate, NIAC united with over 50 organizations to urge against providing additional money to the Pentagon in this fiscal year, after it already received billions in COVID-19 response funding.

As Congress continues to provide urgent and vital relief in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, it is clear that federal spending is severely misaligned with our national priorities, including those of many Iranian Americans. For example, the combined annual budgets of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Health and the annual U.S. contributions to the World Health Organization combined equal just 7% of the annual Pentagon budget, with Congress assigning over half of all annual spending to the Pentagon. If spending had reflected human security needs before the outbreak of the virus, we may have been better prepared to face the global pandemic.

We urge Congress to view any arguments that the Pentagon cannot use existing resources to respond to the crisis with extreme skepticism, and to consider both short and long term solutions to find savings. Short term solutions include 1) redirecting funding towards the crisis by slowing the pace of training and overseas operations, which will also prevent U.S. service members from exposure to the virus and 2) considering the savings caused by the steep drop in the price of oil. Long term solutions involve ending wars, reforming defense contracting, right-sizing the military services, scaling back or forgoing the purchase of legacy weapons systems, and closing overseas bases. These measures would not only incur savings, but also create more security and stability in the U.S. and abroad.

You can read the full letter below:

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