Fed contractors profit from war on terror

Released: 
March 01, 2013

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pentagon spending on defense contractors skyrocketed, totaling $3.3 trillion over the past decade.

The years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks have been a boon to defense contractors. Back in 2001, Defense Department contracts totaled $147.9 billion. After that, contract spending went up every year to a high of $402 billion in 2008. Add up the full decade of post-9/11 spending on defense contractors and it comes to $3.3 trillion – nearly as much as the entire federal government spent in 2012.

These contractors do everything from build ships and warplanes to serve meals to troops abroad.

There are already plans in place to cut back contractor spending, and sequestration could force even deeper cuts if Congress fails to agree on a spending plan by the end of the year.

Check out our infographic for more on contract spending and which companies are profiting. See “What Do Others Say?” for more opinions, then add to the discussion below. Do we need so many contracts? Is this money well spent?