According to the United States Federal Budget for Fiscal Year 2012, of the nearly $3.8 trillion to be spent, nearly a full quarter of it (24%) is assigned to the broad category of Defense. Much is made of the Pentagon’s budget in terms of aggregate dollars (and it’s a big number), but the truth about military spending is that many of the expenditures are used in operations deemed in the interest of national security. As such, these unknown military programs and international espionage initiatives are considered too vital for open financial accounting, necessitating a portion of the military budget to be provided regardless of the cost and the lack of an explanation. Military waste has been well-documented, but secret military waste has not.
In addition to accounted expenses in the Pentagon budget, off-budget operations are also implemented and the money for those operations is often cloaked in as much secrecy as the operations themselves with the the rationale of national security. Only a select few within the Pentagon know how the money is used. Neither is fund procurement well explained: providing “black” funds for “black” ops behind the highly convenient claim of national security creates a climate of distrust because accountability is non-existent and the only response is “just trust us.”