This interesting chart surfaced last week at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Global Security forum. Note how the black line – representing the number of troops in the U.S. military by year – generally tracked the blue bars, representing how much money we spend on defense each year. Until 9/11, that is, when the money soared – including the emergency funds to pay for the wars, in red – while the number of troops remained basically flat.
You wonder how the ills affecting our troops and vets would be different if the black line, post-9/11, had jumped above the blue and red money bars, as this chart shows they did during Korea and Vietnam. More importantly, we should wonder: why didn’t it?