the portion of the United States federal budget set aside for any expenses on behalf of the Department of Defense and defense-related expenditures in general. This includes the training, salaries, and caring for all military and civilian personnel, along with maintenance of facilities and equipment, in all branches of the United States military. This expansive definition of defense spending puts the 2009 Department of Defense figure at approximately $1 trillion (Higgs). Such an expansion in the budget for defense inevitably follows as a direct consequence of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. These two conflicts fuel the rapidly expanding allocation of federal tax revenue into defense. The efficacy of these expenditures in bringing about meaningful or measurable benefits for the American people is subject to some debate, as well as the issue of whether to increase the already overwhelming figures related to military budgets. Convincing arguments can be made for each side, which makes the question of increasing defense spending difficult to resolve in simple terms.
In 2009, approximately 21% of the United States federal budget, and 24% of federal tax revenues, is allocated to the Department of Defense, with an additional 10% to 17% allocated to defense spending outside of the Department of Defense. Annually, military budgets expand by approximately 9%, and have done so since 2000 (Congressional Budget Office). In this time, total Department of Defense spending adds up to 4.8% of the U.S. GDP, which is not historically high, even while the Department of Defense budget, in absolute terms, is the highest it has been in history. A roughly 1% expansion in defense spending would put that 4.8% plateau of GDP back into peak military spending seen during the climax of the Cold War immediately before the collapse of the Soviet Union. The immediate impact, or tangible result, of this expansion is unclear. Nevertheless, arguments can be made for further incremental