$1 trillion and counting


The Air Force could buy 864 B-2s for the money DoD has spent in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Everywhere senior military officials speak, one topic tends to keep coming up again and again: money.

Everyone expects the Defense Department’s budget to shrink in the coming years. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has already unveiled a plan to slow the rate of growth in the Pentagon budget. Lawmakers in Washington argue over how to best cut the deficit and reduce the debt.

For the Air Force, this will almost certainly mean doing more with less. Fewer aircraft. Less people. Older equipment.

With that in mind, Bloomberg had a good reminder of where a lot of the money has been going the past decade. The news service reported yesterday that defense spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as money to defend the U.S. homeland, has exceeded $1 trillion.

For fun, here’s a list of Air Force-related (and other fun stuff) gear that $1 trillion could purchase, all at their official costs:

■ 4,950 C-17s
■ 4.5 million Joint Direct Attack Munitions
■ 20,000 launches of a Minotaur IV
■ A force of 10,982,400 active-duty airmen for one year
■ 18,993,352 years at Harvard
■ 75,757,575 Ford Fiestas
■ 3.03 trillion packages of Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup
■ 152,207 years in the royal suite at the Burj al-Arab hotel in Dubai


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