Surprise! Weapons’ Costs Continue to Rise

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They’re called “SARs” inside the Pentagon, and they’re not referring to what the doctors called severe acute respiratory syndrome nearly a decade ago. Nope, these are the Pentagon’s quarterly reports on how well the military is doing at buying weapons. The latest SARs – it stands for Selected Acquisition Reports in the Pentagon – shows weapons prices rising 4 percent over the past year, more than double the overall national rate. Stated simply, the cost of the military’s top 95 programs rose $63.9 billion to $1.7 trillion between New Year’s Eve 2009 to New Year’s Eve 2010. You get a sense of the scale of this spending when a $64 billion jump translates into only a 4 percent hiccup.

Here‘s the accounting, in Pentagon-speak, or in a boring, black and white chart. If you’re not familiar with acronyms and Pentagon nomenclature, you’ll likely find it more confusing than a Chinese menu…in Chinese. But you might want to check it out, anyway – after all, they’re yours.