What's a Tomahawk missile?
March 19th, 2011
07:38 PM ET

What's a Tomahawk missile?

The Tomahawk cruise missiles that were launched Saturday against Libya are unmanned, single-use, programmable jet-engine missiles used only by the U.S. and British navies.

They fly very close to the ground, steering around natural and man-made obstacles to hit a target that is programmed into them before launch. Newer versions can be reprogrammed in flight but in this case that was not done, at least not yet.

They are different from other unmanned aerial vehicles in that they can only be used once - they are fired, they fly to the target and blow up. End of missile. A Predator and some other unmanned aerial vehicles can carry missiles, hit a target, then continue flying.

Tomahawk missiles normally carry a 1,000-pound conventional warhead. They can also carry 166 combined-effects bomblets, or mini bombs that spread out over a larger area. They can also carry nuclear warheads.

Tomahawks, developed in the 1970s, were first launched operationally by the United States during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. They are about 18 feet long with a wing span of nearly 9 feet, and they can fly at about 550 mph. Regarding Saturday's strikes against Libya, Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, director of the Joint Staff, said the missiles were in flight for about an hour, so they were likely fired several hundred miles from their targets.

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Filed under: Libya • Military • U.S. Navy • United Kingdom
soundoff (439 Responses)
  1. Ludensian

    I have no problem with seeing Ghaddafi get what's coming to him – my only concern is that the sheer confusion and delay in getting to the the point of actually taking decisive action exposes the weaknesses of the West as a coalition of well-meaning democracies. I hope we're not too late to save the 'rebels' from being slaughtered by a pitiless regime headed by a psychopath.

    However, if we (and the UN) feel justified in intervening in this mess, should we also intervene – and for the same reasons – in the ongoing repression in Yemen, Bahrein and even Saudi Arabia? Coming to think of it, how about recent events in Tibet and Chechenya?

    March 20, 2011 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
    • guest

      those are two separate questions? I have a feeling the answer to the second one has to do money and oil.

      March 20, 2011 at 6:36 am | Report abuse |
    • guest 2

      Actually the answer is money , and the "squeaky wheel gets the OIL' !

      March 20, 2011 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. onthetelly

    Proud Sailor what "boys" are you referring to? We don't have personnel on the ground for this conflict, hell it's not even our conflict; this is support for a UN sanctioned no-fly zone.

    Just looks like were in the business of overthrowing the leadership of countries who aren't inline with the current US policy, and business is booming.

    March 20, 2011 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Don't think for one second the the UN actually took the lead here..this was the USA's version of smoke and mirrors.

      March 20, 2011 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      Correct. Ghadafi is a terrorist and since we are fighting terrorists, he is not inline.

      March 20, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Wrong. Laser-guided missiles hit a target that is "painted" by personnel on the ground who shine a laser (invisible to the naked eye but visible to the missle) on to the target.

      We don't have thousands of boots on the ground, but we have special forces in there, painting those targets.

      March 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • rep

      @Dave. While I don't doubt special forces, CIA etc are on the ground. Laser guidance isn't the only way to guide a missile to its target. Speaking as someone who works with guidance and navigation technologies, In fact there are several. And that doesn't include means that are particularly classified.

      March 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Accountability

      They were going to use JASSM joint air to surface strike missle's but when CNN filmed them in flight they looked too much like a 767 jet. There must not be any towers in Libya.

      March 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • CranMalReign

      Tomahawks aren't laser guided. Thanks for playing.

      March 20, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      Yes oil, we have been pillaging Iraq and Afghanistan of there oil for the last 8 years. Thats why gas prices and oil prices have steadily decreased over the years. Also we did fight a war with North Korea morons, it was called the korean war, read a book. North Korea is not currently bombing its own people and there is currently no revolution going on over there. Its perfectly fine for a country with the resources such as the USA , UK, France, Spain, Italy, ETC. to help a country in such turmoil. This is an International effort not an American so before you start hating on the US because we are such "War Mongers" realize there are 2 other countries who are as much part of this as we are.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny Hanning

      To 'onthetelly', I agree. That was $150,000,000.00 we just spent on a 'war' that has no strategic value to the US at all. Money that is much better spent right here in the USA. Yes, the business of war is booming and that sucks. It is very very sad that in the 21st century we are still using war as an engine for commerce. Sad, and destructive.

      March 20, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • jason

      @peter im confused, are you stupid or just "special" where the hell do you live that gas and oil prices have been DEcreasing?!? im sure me and everybody else in this thread may just pack up and move there.

      March 20, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lol

      Nice, Dave thinks that Tomahawks are laser guided. A Tomahawk is a cruise missile with a predetermined target, launched by a ship. There are no special forces in Libya. You don't need boots on the ground to take out SAM sites.

      March 20, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leon J

      You consider Quaddafi a "leader"?

      March 20, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arod16

      I think they forgot to mention that each tomahawk costs 1 Million dollars. How many have we fired, 112?? Does someone have a calculator?

      March 20, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • skeptic1

      arod – you need a calculator for that? if so, our schools have failed.

      March 20, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • targeted individual

      Watch a Pre-January 8th copy of Inception. Listen closely when the actors say imagine, reality, and safe, or point pistols. You'll hear the words, Loughner, offin' her, part of the word Giffords, and much more. Some even say they hear, do it.

      April 2, 2011 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  3. Anika

    Just to play Devil's Advocate here: why aren't we in N. Korea defending the people of that country against the starvation and a million other human catastrophes that their horrible dictator has inflicted upon them? :And all of the other places run by nut-jobs? There is no oil there that's why............hmmmmmmmm? AND what would a U.S. President do if there was a faction of revolutioneries here? Not attack? And then France came in w/their military; and attack the U.S. ? Would our President be p'o'd? YES! Would he defend it? YES! Would there be a lot of Americans (just like in LIbya) t;hat would fight to defend the U.S. President? Yes! Also, more than likely this revolution was created in more ways than one by our government, if you guys actually think that what we are being fed on the news is true you are mistaken.........sad but true.

    March 20, 2011 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
    • felipe

      Anika i agree with you 100%. It is not our business. This so called coalition of french,british and states will break down
      leaving only the U.S and its soldiers and finance in a deep crisis. Do not get involved. It is not our problem.

      March 20, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
    • GCC

      Simple: because there has been no substantive popular uprising in N. Korea. If there were, we'd be in there in a heartbeat, current administration not withstanding.

      On a separate note, the biggest surprise out of all of this? That we now have to look to the French for leadership on international affairs. Unlike most Americans, I am not a Franco-phobe (I have worked there for many years, and understand the reason for French-American tensions is because we are so similar!). Yet it is discouraging that we seem to dither under this administration, and be perceived as irresolute. I'm sometimes less concerned with the actual decision made at some points, than the fact of whether we can be decisive... that's how much of the world judges us (or any other power, for that matter). The reputation for decisiveness and willingness to act actually allows one to forestall/end conflicts before ever firing a shot... diplomacy backed by an aura of willful strength is the most effective. With that in mind: well done, Sarkozy!

      March 20, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Baccusboy

      Maybe it's because Seoul has thousands of military pieces and missiles pointed at South Korea - most of which are pointed at Seoul (which has a population of over 15 million people). Thousands of innocents would certainly die within minutes of such an attack. I should know, because unlike armchair comment artists such as yourself, I actually live in Seoul.

      March 20, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • MDC

      We are not in Korea because...N. Korea is not attacking its own people. Your "thoughts" are not backed up with any facts, just assumptions.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • KT

      The only nut job here is you. Your thinking is as bad as the right wing media. Distorted truths and rederick. Korea will fall some day too. And if the US helps thats all fine with me. But seriously I think China will get rid of them. And take it over for safety reasons. You see the way to win a war with china is to go through the Korean peninsula. So they need to hank on to it. Have you ever been out side the US? Or any impoverished nation? I dought it. Sounds like you just home.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Pleiva

      I agree wholeheartedly with GCC. Well said. The ostriches with their heads in the sand will always contradict logic and common sense.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • roland

      If you know one thing about international diplomacy you would know we don't fight n. korea because of China.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Skipper Tom

      We're not in N. Korea because Kim Jong Il has nuclear weapons. And no oil, just a bunch of skinny Koreans. We're trashing Libya because we don't like Ghadafi very much and now we have the chance to get him. Oh, and Libya has oil. And skinny Libyans.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • felipe

      Im just saying that we dont see an end to iraq and afghanistan anywhere in sight! Why should be send more american
      soldiers to risk their lives when it is not our civil war. Anika made a good point, how would be take it if any other
      country interfered in our current national affairs? If this thing escalates we will loose american lives. Can we afford
      another internation affair at this time?

      March 20, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • felipe

      Also if our government will simple tell us "We are going in to try to stop this to stop spilling "democracy thing" to Saudi Arabia so that we can avoid $200/barrel of gas in a few months..." i am sure american will understand and maybe even
      back our government up. Dont play the humanitarian card when we know its about good ol' oil. I admire our military for following through what our govt has put em through.

      March 20, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Oily man

      move some oil wells from Libya to N Korea, the tomhawks will go there too.

      March 20, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • felipe

      I agree oily man. Its not that I don't care about dictatorship in govt., its just that it always starts with a couple of tomahawks/missiles here and there, a blackhaw flyover=blackhawk gets shot down=soldiers get injured or killed=america wants revenge for our fallen soldiers=FULL MILITARY INVOLVEMENT. I dont wana see more military die.

      March 20, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Billy Davis

      Your wrong. Period. We did enter Korea when their people had an uprising. It was called the Korean War. MY relatives fought in it. It is why there is a South Korea now. But there is peace on the peninsula for now. But the real issue in Korea is politics with China. It was a proxy war against them, just as Vietnam was. This is within China's sphere of influence and is they have dibs on it's fate, not us. Learn some history knucklehead.

      March 20, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • ConnerD20

      North Korea is like the boy who crys wolf they threaten us and threaten us, but all we have to do is give them humanitarian aid and they don't do anything. Besides, their failing economy will eventually lead to their downfall.

      March 20, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • felipe

      There is no need for name calling Billy, Im just giving my opinion if u disagree i respect that. I hope you are right and that this thing does not escalate. But do you agree that 3 international military affairs w different countries at the same time is pushing it?

      March 20, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • jayman419

      North Korea has significant supplies of coal, oil, lead, tungsten, zinc, graphite, magnesite, iron ore, copper, gold, pyrites, salt, fluorspar and clean water. What North Korea does not have, at least not at this point in time, is a military which uses the most advanced weapons black market money can buy to conduct a war of conquest upon their own civilians.

      That battle was fought long ago.

      March 20, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryan

      Because Anika, their leader is viewed as a living god. They have been so brainwashed over in North Korea, that they would die for him. Quaddafi is now being viewd by his people as the tyrant that he is. Huge difference between the two situations. If you want to think it is all about oil, promote clean and safe drilling here in the USA and get us off of the rest of the world.

      March 20, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Riley

      Anika, well said! NORTH KOREA treats there people just as bad, if not worse than IRAQ or LIBYA. It's funny how we have never attacked NORTH KOREA. Why? NO OIL!!!! We bomb the crap out of this little countries, bully them around and leave them in shambles!!! ALL FOR OIL!!! If I was Chavez down in Venezuela, I would be worried...he is the next target. Why? LOTS OF OIL!!!!

      March 20, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Hey Baccus, "Seoul has thousands of military pieces and missiles pointed at South Korea – most of which are pointed at Seoul (which has a population of over 15 million people)."
      So, let me get this straight, Seoul, the capital of South Korea, has weapons pointed at itself? Why would South Korea want to destroy it's own capital? And you live there so this makes you an expert? I think you need a basic geography lesson about where you live.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reason & Logic

      No one wants to see war but when a repressive dictator is slaughtering thousands of his own citizens then global intervention is necessary. Those of you criticizing this action but who also lamented the lack of intervention for the Iraqi Kurds, the genocide in Rwanda, and the Pol Pot massacres should be ashamed of yourselves.

      March 20, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny Hanning

      GREAT point Anika! the people of North Korea have needed the help of the US for generations! I stand for a united DEMOCRATIC Korea. Why bother with some drugged out Arab dictator, let his people take him out and stand aside.

      March 20, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      Anika hit the nail on the head. The powers that be can't find any good reason to waste a perfectly good smart weapon that cost tax payers $1.4 million a pop on an insignificant resource-less country like N. Korea. I mean that wouldn't be cost effective now would it? But I do find it interesting that many of these oil rich middle eastern countries are suddenly finding themselves embroiled in internal struggles. Isn't that just the most convenient thing that could ever happen for an oil hungry super power or two that just happen to be in the neighborhood?

      March 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Moby

      Why not North Korea?? One word NUKES!!

      March 20, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tewrobert

      Cause NK is better arned?

      March 20, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • chessdad

      Nowadays we have the internet. Our source for true news. And a lot of bunk too! 😉

      My dad used to say something like history books are the lies they teach in school.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • chessdad

      Regarding North Korea, the US was already there... in the 1950s. That is why the people in South Korea are free to vote and live decent lives unlike their North Korean brothers.

      Since the US already saved South Korea, maybe another superpower like China could save North Korea. Sounds fair.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Because North Korea has one of the largest armies on earth and they have nuclear power. Seems like of easy to me.

      March 21, 2011 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
    • myklds

      @Anika and other "OILY" minded people on this board....I have some $M question for all of you.

      Was or is there any strong protest, uprising, unrest, revolt, etc. ever happened in North Korea that gone or is going out of hand that had caused or causing thousand of civilians to perish(ed)?

      Ghadafi's Greedy Grip of the Government and power drove away his sanity. The guy has gone crazy killing his own people. He is becoming suicidal and he's willing and ready to drag the entire Libya to hell.

      He must be taken down ASAP and at all cost.

      March 21, 2011 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. Oldeye

    He likely had too much beer and can't think or type.
    Shame on you, Soldier!
    Just be careful, you might fall off the ship!

    March 20, 2011 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
  5. john

    I think everyone here that are writing from the US or any other WESYERN COUNTRIES are simply IDIOTS!!! what will you or your government do if some tyrants gathered themselves together in the name of wanting to liberate themselves because they don't like the president and start shooting down military personels and people across NEW YORK and TEXAS and call on CHINA to declare a no-fly zone over the UNITED STATES and start shooting down everything possible with their DONGFENG 16 because they know they can and because some idiots will dance to their tunes at the UN SECURITY COUNCIL and call it LEGITIMATE because of some IDIOTIC COALATION OF THE WILLING?The only sin Ghadaffi committed is being in power for too long and nothing more...and HE has every right to use every means possible to rest LIBYA from these REBELS! most of you IDIOTS have not even been outside of your countries before talkless of AFRICA and you don't know the TRIBAL POLITICS of that REGION...you just feed on the propaganda your MEDIA HOUSES are feeding you. And just because LIBYA has oil your oppressive governments are oppressing them.LIBYA happens to be one of the most liberal and developed country in the MIDDLE EAST and AFRICA and they have used their OIL MONEY well and that is why there a lot of IMMIGRANTS who you will not allow in your WESTERN COUNTRIES went there to WORK!!! why are your government not sending your tomahawks to YEMEN or BAHRAIN where people are dying everyday...? it is understandable,there is NO OIL there in YEMEN but the government there is a partner against terror and US has an AIRFORCE BASE in BAHRAIN and you get a lot of MONEY from their OIL becasue they ALLOWED US AND WESTERN COUNTRIES TO INVEST IN THEIR OIL!!! All of you are just SELFISH , IGNORANT, FOOLISH and WAR MONGERS!!!

    March 20, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
    • GCC

      All of this talk of oil as a motivator for the West is ignorant. Iraq and now Libya have proven that. All of these tyrants' economies are propped up by revenues from one single industry: oil. They MUST keep the oil flowing, or they collapse within a matter of quarters, if not months (no exaggeration; do the research). Keeping despots in place is by far the cheapest way to keep the price of oil low. Clearly, the $100s of billions spent on Iraq did not get justified by the decrease in oil prices... which, as you could tell at the pump even before this year's round of North African unrest, didn't happen! Therefore, the motivation must be something else, even accounting for miscalculation and poor execution. Americans are, by nature, motivated to support the underdog... it comes out in our actions year after year, and (in my view) is not a bad thing, as costly as it may be over the decades. If you have spent significant time on five continents, as I have, the view you get is that of an altruistic, but frequently bumbling, behemoth. It is rarely ill will on the part of the US, rather, a simple-minded calculus bogged in politics and minimal appreciation of the realities in foreign environments.

      March 20, 2011 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Ithinkthat

      @GCC: It's not about cheap oil. It's about revenue for oil companies. Expensive oil isn't a symptom that the goal wasn't achieved.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • roland

      libya only has 2 percent of the worlds oil. No one is attacking them for that reason. The problem is the blood spilling of Gadaffi could spill into other countries. One thing to know about the middle east once the fear lid is raised people tend to follow. Who's to say a radical in Libya doesn't pull a Napoleon and want to free all of the middle east and northern africa from Tyranny. Better to step in and let them know big brother cares. As opposed to the do it yourself policy and they find out they have just as much money and know how to take over the world.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • felipe

      LIke i posted on other thread, Im with you john. Do not get involved. It is not our business. Let them settle their own issues.

      March 20, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      If we really wanted their oil, we would take and it would be called America...in case you havent looked at a map in awhile, Iraq is still Iraq, Libya is still Libya, Afghanistan is still Afghanistan. We have the technology and war capabilities to take the land and oil for ourselves and set up a government run oil subsidy...we havent. In ten years of fighting, I can gurantee you that the United States could have owned nearly all of the Middle East. We dont. I am not denying that the oil was a factor in our invasions...we need it. Your country has foriegn interests as well and will fight to protect them. Im guessing that you guys rely on oil and coal quite a bit, and if conflicts around the world prevented you from gaining access to needed supplies, you would intervene...Perhaps you are the ignorant one and should shut up

      March 20, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • J R Brown

      John, I'm having a hard time taking you seriously calling everyone in the West an idiot when you can't even exhibit decent grammar. I, therefore, am going to assume that English is not your primary language for the duration of reading any of your diatribes so I don't dismiss you as an uneducated, ignorant dupe.

      You were saying?

      March 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • felipe

      Very good point Matt. I see exactly what you mean,i just worry about more lives lost thats it. I cant imagine what hell parents/family members of our miltary go through when their loved ones get deployed..(I know, i know, they signed up for it) but i just cant help it. I recently attended a burial of a marine not even closely related to me, but i left devastated. Thats somebody's son/husband/father we are sending out there. They should not be expendable.

      March 20, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • felipe

      It also seems that this "democracy/overthrow the dictator" is gaining lots of momentum in the middle east, are we to assume or expect that when the next country in line starts their uprising the US is going to interfere too? Or are we just going to help the countries that the UN decides is worth "stabilizing"? I mean democracy is contagious and this thing can really catch on with other middle eastern countries. Can we help them all? Should we?

      March 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • B

      John is a smart man who gets it. Americans need to wake up and see what their country has become. Nothing more than a Jewish war machine hell bent on greed and safeguarding Isreal. Sad....

      March 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leon J

      Ignorant??? Who taught the "people" sitting on the oil HOW to extract it from the ground in the first place?

      March 20, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Terry

    I really like the Tomahawk System. Every time one of those babies fly, several small businesses get more work. War is nothing more than economic redevelopment for small businesses here at home.

    March 20, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
    • roland

      Yeah but its not very effecient because their is a huge markup along the way to construction that the government waste a whole lot of money.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • DMR

      Yep, last I heard, $1 million a pop. That outta do WONDERS for our deficit. Oh yeah, this 'defense' stuff is part of what we HAVE to have, much more important than health care for everyone in the US.

      March 20, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • J R Brown

      @ DMR...I completely agree that our collective wealth should be spent less on military excursions and more along the lines of providing health care to bona fide American citizens...however, until we have a single payer option in this country, we're just giving MORE money to corporations. Our "new" health care legislation doesn't provide health care for everyone...it merely ensures the profitablity of health insurance companies.

      March 20, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bruno

    So this where part of my paycheck goes to?????

    March 20, 2011 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Almost40Pct


      US Military Budget for 2010
      Components Funding Change, 2009 to 2010
      Operations and maintenance $283.3 billion +4.2%
      Military Personnel $154.2 billion +5.0%
      Procurement $140.1 billion -1.8%
      Research, Development,
      Testing & Evaluation $79.1 billion +1.3%
      Military Construction $23.9 billion +19.0%
      Family Housing $3.1 billion – 20.2%
      ** Total Spending $685.1 billion +3.0%

      Program 2011 Budget request[11] Change, 2010 to 2011
      F-35 Joint Strike Fighter $11.4 billion +2.1%
      Ballistic Missile Defense
      (Aegis, THAAD, PAC-3) $9.9 billion +7.3%
      Virginia class submarine $5.4 billion +28.0%
      Brigade Combat Team
      Modernization $3.2 billion +21.8%
      DDG 51 Aegis-class Destroyer $3.0 billion +19.6%
      P–8A Poseidon Subs $2.9 billion -1.6%
      V-22 Osprey $2.8 billion -6.5%
      Carrier Replacement Program $2.7 billion +95.8%
      F/A-18E/F Hornet $2.0 billion +17.4%
      Predator and Reaper Unmanned
      Aerial System $1.9 billion +57.8%
      Littoral combat ship $1.8 billion +12.5%
      CVN Refueling and Complex
      Overhaul $1.7 billion -6.0%
      Chemical Demilitarization $1.6 billion -7.0%
      RQ-4 Global Hawk $1.5 billion +6.7%
      Space-Based Infrared System $1.5 billion +54.4%

      Budget Breakdown for 2011
      Defense-related expenditure 2011 Budget request & Mandatory spending Calculation
      DOD spending $721.3 billion Base budget + "Overseas Contingency"
      FBI counter-terrorism $2.7 billion At least one-third FBI budget.
      International Affairs $10.1–$54.2 billion At minimum, foreign arms sales.
      At most, entire State budget
      Energy Department, defense-related $20.9 billion
      Veterans Affairs $66.2 billion
      Homeland Security $54.7 billion
      NASA, satellites $3.4–$8.5 billion 20% and 50% of NASA's total
      Veterans pensions $58.4 billion
      Other defense-related $7.5 billion mandated expenditures
      Interest on debt incurred in past wars $114.8–$454.2 billion
      Between 23% and 91% of total USA interest
      Total Spending $1.060–$1.449 trillion (Rob Soc.Sec. to pay for Wars)

      March 20, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • chessdad

      Actually a much bigger chunk is going to Medicare, Medicaid.

      The medical system is bleeding the US dry.

      Turn on the TV. Every commercial break is filled with drug company advertisements.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sayan Majumdar

    Comments are not getting posted.


    March 20, 2011 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. The Great Satan

    We are indeed great

    March 20, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  10. calvim worsl

    I am a proud soldier in the us army. I am infantry and have fought in iraq and afghanistan. Tho some people dont agree on us being over there how can u not agree on this? We are helping inocent people retain there lives, family, and maybe have a better way of life. the navy is doing a damn good job and there actions are helping people and also keeping americans like me alive by using there fire power so grunts like me dont have to run around and get shot over there. God bless america and god bless all the armed forces. Hooah army strong and thank u navy

    March 20, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Thanks for serving...God bless America

      March 20, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Al

    It really earns its nickname "The Homing Pigeon"

    March 20, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. 5th emperor

    Everyone of you have missed the point.What matters now are the markets. The West will protect the markets. Chechnya and North Korea have no commodities to effect markets. Saudi, Venezula have oil so the world will protect those . When the markets get volatile or plunge world act.
    Wake up everyone to the new reality

    March 20, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mark

    Oh no – back to the business of overthrowing countries and meddling in other countries affairs and oh – did I mention riling up Muslims who have already compared this action to the crusades? Wait – didn't Bush do that too? Pot meet kettle. LMAO – I am loving this and seeing the lefties go into melt down. Oh – how's that hopey changey thing workin out for ya? Doncha love it?

    March 20, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Quoting Sarah Palin isn't part of a good argument doesn't show any greater intellectual prowess on your part.

      March 20, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • J R Brown

      uhm...I don't know what planet you are on but "the lefties" are NOT up in arms over this. After the last 6 years of GWB's 1st and 2nd terms, they've been quiet as a church mouse of his 3rd.

      March 20, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • gmd

      We've been engaged in the middle east for years now. By this point no informed person should still be referring to the whole region as simply "The Muslims." Let's show we've learned something about the world.

      March 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dbzl

    Did this come out of my parents paycheck in the 70's, my McDonalds paycheck in the 80's my NFL check in the 90's or part of my international taxes? I would imagine we bought enough of them so its not still coming off.
    What is the shelf life?

    March 20, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. Zach

    Wow thank you CNN because I thinking Call of Duty: Black Ops when I heard this I had no idea what that missile was

    March 20, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
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