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A Unified Security Budget for the United States, FY 2009

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Both presidential nominees have cited increasing spending on non-military foreign engagement as a key security measure. In July John McCain said that "Foreign aid really needs to eliminate many of the breeding grounds for extremism, which is poverty, which is HIV/AIDS, which is all of these terrible conditions that make people totally dissatisfied and then look to extremism." Barack Obama has said, "I know development assistance is not the most popular of programs, but as president, I will make the case to the American people that it can be our best investment is increasing the common security of the entire world and increasing our own security." Both men have, in fairly non-specific terms, expressed an interest in reining in runaway military spending.

Increasing spending on non-military security tools and curbing unneeded military spending are crucial. This report tells McCain and Obama how they could do both.