We now spend just shy of a million dollars a minute, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on defense spending. Not only is our current defense budget a record, it also is nearly as large as the defense budgets of every other country in the world combined. According to estimates by the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, the United States spent more on defense in 2007, the most recent year for which complete data is available, than the next 14 highest spending countries in the world combined.
I take very seriously my oath of office that obligates me to provide for the protection of the American people. Ensuring our common defense is critical, but like other federal government programs, we are bound to ensure that each dollar is spent wisely. There are many elements of the defense budget that consume massive budgetary resources but provide little return in terms of security. Protecting America requires a broad vision of national security that includes diplomacy, foreign assistance, economic development, intelligence, and immigration policy. Particularly after more than seven years of war, I believe that U.S. defense policy should reflect sensible spending, clear priorities, and genuine oversight over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.