that claimed to show that the US military has spent over $100bn on new building equipment over the last decade.
Now a new study, published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, shows that the spending is more likely to be $1.3bn.
The study, led by Andrew Zimbalist, a doctoral candidate in economics at the University of California, San Diego, looked at spending by the US government between 2005 and 2015 on new construction projects.
It found that the number of new projects was more than double the number that had been completed in the previous five years.
It found that of the 2,872 new projects that had gone up between 2005-2015, 2,979 were on the Pentagon’s list of projects that the government could use for “security and national security purposes”.
Zimbalism and co-author Andrew Schmitt examined the data for the US Department of Defense, the US Congress and the White House, looking at all projects that went up in fiscal years 2005-2014 and found that they had increased spending by more than $9bn.
“If you were looking at a $1bn per year budget, that means that the Pentagon spent over a billion dollars per year,” he said.
“That’s just staggering.”
Zimbals work on the study, which examined spending by all government agencies, took over a year to complete, and it was not possible to calculate the exact amount of money spent by the Pentagon.
The report’s authors say that while the figure of $9 billion is “unrealistic”, it “highlights the fact that the public has not been fully informed about the real size of the Pentagon spending”.
“We want to make sure that the next time we see a budget that includes spending on infrastructure, we don’t have to look too far in the future and think that it was really $9billion,” Zimbalist said.