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Tobin Harshaw

How Would You Spend $777 Billion? Some Suggestions for the Pentagon

A Q&A with budget guru Mackenzie Eaglen on the latest National Defense Authorization Act.

A steal at only $13.3 billion!

A steal at only $13.3 billion!

Source: U.S. Navy via Getty Images

We’ve all done a little daydreaming about what we might splurge on after hitting the Powerball jackpot. Just imagine if you were in the Pentagon right now, knowing what the Senate wants to bestow in its National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2022: a topline of $777.9 billion.

While it’s unlikely many people fantasize about being secretary of defense, we can all have the wonky fun of parceling out that almost unimaginable sum, virtually, thanks to the interactive Defense Futures Simulator, available here. A joint project of the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for Strategic and International Studies and War on the Rocks, the simulator aims to address Americans’ “lack of understanding about how defense strategy is translated into concrete budget choices.” It’s not exactly Fortnite, but give it a shot.