back to article Pentagon to Dept of Defense: Give us $580bn for cyberwar and spacewar

The Pentagon has asked for $582.7bn to bolster the US Department of Defense's (DoD) capabilities, especially when it comes to a future cyber and space war. Testifying before the House Appropriations Committee, which regulates the US Government's expenditure, the Defense Secretary Ash Carter explained why his department was …

  1. Chris G Silver badge

    $582 BEELLION?

    They should be able to buy and replicate The Justice League of America for that as well as S.H.I.E.L.D.! And then sit back and relax.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

      Re: $582 BEELLION?

      Maybe $582 billion gets us the Watchtower? I don't recall it costing that much in the comic books, but then the Justice League could hide a pile of crap off Wayne Enterprises' books.

    2. Kurt Meyer

      Re: $582 BEELLION?

      "Pentagon to Dept of Defense" = Silly

      I must say that I am expecting a just a little bit higher standard.

      Instead, how about;

      "Pentagon to Congress"


      "Dept of Defense to Congress"


      "DoD to Congress"

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: $582 BEELLION?

        It's gonna go through.

        You do know that the Community Organizer President ("imma aiming for a nuke-free world") is not averse to a nuke renewal/refresher program at the cool tune of USD 1 trillion? Because Russians are in Crimea or something.

        Even Hillary "I smoked Lybia" Klingon has said that she would "look into this" if elected.

        The cleansing economic crash can't come fast enough.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The Pentagon has asked for $582.7bn to bolster the US Department of Defense's (DoD) capabilities, especially when it comes to a future cyber and space war"

    This amount is necessary for them to have! Forget about the homeless, and the poor. We have to worry about Darth Vader invading the earth! It could happen at any time.

  3. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Wouldn't it be cheaper ...

    to just make friends with Russia?

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Wouldn't it be cheaper ...

      Well, yes, but obviously you don't understand the role of the DoD as a jobs program extending into every congressional district in the U.S!

      ("Zero Dark Thirty" black stealthi-copter--because we're probably getting a couple squadrons of them as part of the $582 billion)

      1. Hargrove

        Re: Wouldn't it be cheaper ...

        @ Marketing Hack

        "the role of the DoD as a jobs program extending into every congressional district in the U.S!"

        This WAS DoD's role. It has a higher calling now. That is to ensure the continued transfer of the wealth of the People of the United States to special interests as expeditiously as possible, under conditions that ensure that neither those who govern nor the special interests they serve can be held accountable for as much as a dime of it.

        Cybersecurity operations--conducted behind a veil of the highest classification levels--provide the perfect vehicle. The reality is that DoD has, for decades now, been critically dependent on Commercial Off-the Shelf Technology (COTS) information systems. The expertise and knowledge needed to address cybersecurity must come from the civil sector.

        The USG is funneling billions of dollars into what amount to administrative processes to collect massive amounts of data the end result of which is to be able to certify that systems are certified by virtue of having been certified by certification authorities certified to certify that the data was certified.

        At the same time the government appear to be going balls to the wall to make it illegal for the private sector to develop and deploy effective cybersecurity technology.

    2. DeeCee

      Re: Wouldn't it be cheaper ...

      i guess you dont have any experience with russians(more referring to government than nationality) - the only way you can be friendly with them is while holding a big gun to their head, else they will try to bite you. they are butthurt about not being relevant in the world anymore, and want to compensate that attacking their neighbors(countries that generally are to weak to respond, or are in political turmoil)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wouldn't it be cheaper ...

        " ... the only way you can be friendly with them is while holding a big gun to their head ..."

        I think you will generally find that if your idea of being friendly involves holding a big gun to the second party's head, you are liable to be bitten in your ass.

  4. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Curious that they want all that money for a domain where they are barred by international treaty from actually deploying weaponry. Sounds to me like they could save themselves a packet by doing a deal with the Russians and Chinese to, er, stay on Earth. Enforcement would be fairly straight-forward, since getting anything into even low orbit is a fairly conspicuous business and likely to remain so for the next few decades.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "... where they are barred by international treaty from actually deploying weaponry"

      An international treaty is good only as long as you adhere to it. When the US of A under JWB decided that adhering to the anti-ballistic missile defence treaty was no longer in their interest, they withdrew from it. The outer space treaty will be no different.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Maybe one of NASA's listening posts picked up something and they know the invasion fleet is on it's way? If that's not it, then one should wonder about the status of the treaty.

  5. Gray

    A chain of command

    Ash Carter makes his case to Congress; Congress authorizes the Treasury Department to issue another set of bonds; the Treasury Department sweetens the yield and sends a delegation to China; China buys the bonds.

    New Chinese islands in South China Sea receive a 'scolding' from US State Department, but proceed unhindered. A simple case of geopolitics.

    Overhead: hear the military-industrial complex barons sweetly singing: deep pockets in Sp-a-a-a-a-c-e-!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And the rest?

    So the article covers the first 3% or so of the spending...where's the other 97% of the money allocated?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And the rest?

      Put them on half of last years budget until they can account for the 8 TREEEELLLIIIOOONNN dollars that have gone unaccounted for over the years.

  7. Efros

    Just a comment

    this is about 5 times the estimated cost of free college for all US students.

  8. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Related story--time for a new bomber!!

    Note the bit at the end about fans of the new bomber suggesting that the Air Force announce the contractor list, to build a constituency across large numbers of states and congressional districts to get the program funded.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Unless we're expecting to be attacked by aliens, what's the point of starting another arms race? A race our enemies will happily sit out while mocking us as we bankrupt America...

    1. Diodelogic

      Re: Necessary?

      "Unless we're expecting to be attacked by aliens"

      My personal, unsubstantiated feeling is that most of the toys involved--railguns! lasers!--are just too cool not to build and improve. There's no need to envision using them in a conflict, they are their own justification.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: tnovelli Re: Necessary?

      ".....what's the point of starting another arms race?...." Well, if we accept your assumption that the only reason for this program is an arms race and nothing to do with defence, the simple response would be to point to the arms race instituted by POTUS Ronald Reagan that eventually broke the USSR and led to the falling of the Berlin Wall, something I hope you would consider a "good thing".

  10. DCLXV

    Public Purse > /dev/null

  11. PhilipN Silver badge

    The enemy is ..... ?

    That amount is more than US10bn PER WEEK.

    It makes the amount of cash invested by Silicon Valley et al and all other bedroom hackers around the world paltry to the point of inconsequential.

    Could they not just give a few million each to every adult human in the Middle East so they embrace middle class values and selfishness right away?

    Hell that is enough to give everyone on the planet a hundred bucks. Same again next year.

    Ok Uncle Sam. $100 please and I promise not to attack you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The enemy is ..... ?

      What perhaps wasn't that clear in the article was that the $580bn is for the entire US defence budget, not just the "cyber" bits to deter middle eastern hackers.

  12. x 7 Silver badge

    it would be cheaper just to preemptively nuke the commies. That way we get rid of the threat, and unilaterally disarm ourselves (to keep the peacemongers happy) by using up our nukes in the attack.

    Result: no risk from the commies, and the cost of supporting the nuclear arsenal is gone.

    Remember: get your retaliation in first! Revenge should always be preemptive! Respond BEFORE the enemy strikes!

  13. All names Taken

    Tangent: History channel

    I was watching a history channel quite recently.

    Apparently DoD staffers bigged up the number of Ruski aircraft capable of carrying nuclear bombs - it was a bit before missiles evolved.

    One estimate put Ruskie aircraft at 230+ set to double next year (well not next year as in 2017 but next year as in context of the documentary).

    Some time later (I suppose after the ruse of a bigging up estimated threat lead to bigging up budget?) the actual or finer estimate was less that there were fewer than 40.

    Budget controllers really need reality impacting rationalities no?

    1. x 7 Silver badge

      Re: Tangent: History channel

      part of the issue there was that the analysts were fooled by the Russian habit of having the bombers circle and return at the annual military displays in Moscow...........the "experts" thought each wave of aircraft was another flight/squadron, in fact they were the same ones reseen multiple times

      Naive, but as there weren't any western experts invited to the displays its an understandable error

  14. Tank boy

    Mmmm... Rail guns

    Tankers (or as you Brits call them Tankies) have been craving this for years. Just the thought of firing a projectile at hypersonic speed... Oh the possibilities. The Air Force can stuff it, they already have pissed enough money away on the F35 that no one wants. However I was under the impression that the Navy was looking into rail guns already.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mmmm.... Death Rays

    Thats a lot of multi-gigawatt lasers, mounted on sharks.

    Actually more like B2-B, ie scaled up version of the B-2 with PWDE's supplemented with RTGs (like NASA really needs that plutonium, right?) and cryogenic superconducting oxygen extraction systems.

    No wonder the Feds were crawling all over that crashed B-2, had to hide all the nuclear materials and advanced technology.

    See very old posts on USENET that explained some of the above, back in 1999 IIRC.

    It actually mentions a formula which to this day is still classified.

  16. kyza


    Surely for that amount of money it'd be just as cost efficient to get some unmanned boosters out to the Belt, attach them to some medium size rocks and boost them back to geostationary orbit with the boosters pointing toward Earth?

    I mean that's eventually what'll happen with any large orbital political conglomerates when they run into jurisdictional challenges from earth. Once you've got a power bloc in space, attempting to shout orders at it from the bottom of a gravity well isn't going to end in a good way.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. Asteroids

    Or just hide an existing one using a cloaking device,

    Well it worked in "Stargate SG1".. :-)

    I have some designs here for an Orion drive if anyone is interested, the reference design could reach Mars in less than 3 months so assuming we have 10 months warning for Dinosaur Killer Part Deux thats plenty of time to get ol' Brucey out of retirement and divert it off course.

    My modified pulse units are 22.5 kilos for a 220 ton yield based on external laser detonation and transuranic yield boosting so they are basically inert and worthless after 1.8 days once made onboard.

  18. Alan Brown Silver badge

    That kind of money

    Is pocket change down the back of the F-35 sofa.

    Perhaps they should look there.

  19. Pseudonymous Diehard


    For the Bladerunner reference.

    Im assuming if they get the budget we'll...see things you wouldn't believe.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great idea!

    Health and Education budgets.. meh.. Who needs them! Let's develop death rays!

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