US/Department of Defense

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United States Department of Defense logo.svg
Predecessor• U.S. Department of War
• U.S. Department of the Navy
FormationAugust 10, 1949
Parent organizationUS
HeadquartersThe Pentagon
LeaderUnited States Secretary of Defense
Subgroups• U.S. Department of the Army
• U.S. Department of the Navy
• U.S. Department of the Air Force
• Defense Intelligence Agency
• National Security Agency
• Defense Information Systems Agency
• National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
• National Reconnaissance Office
• Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
• Defense Logistics Agency
• Missile Defense Agency
• Defense Threat Reduction Agency
• Pentagon Force Protection Agency
• National Defense University
• National War College
• U.S. Special Operations Command
• National Guard Bureau
• Office of the Secretary of Defense
• Joint Staff
• Office of the Inspector General
• Office of Net Assessment
The action arm of the Military-industrial-congressional complex, whose functionaries are rewarded in rough proportion to their ability to stifle dissent and channel funds to arms manufacturers.

The United States Department of Defense was formerly referred to as the US War Department.


The department is less interested in defending US citizens than in maximising the control of the deep state forces that sustain it, and has spent a steadly larger and larger fraction of the US government's income on weapons, irrespective of the lack of real threat to the USA. It cannot be understood in isolation from the Military-industrial-congressional complex spoken about by President Eisenhower.


President Harry Truman signs the National Security Act Amendment of 1949

The United States Congress created the War Department in 1789 and the Navy Department in 1798. The secretaries of each of these departments reported directly to the President as cabinet-level advisors.

In a special message to Congress on December 19, 1945, President Harry Truman proposed creation of a unified department of state defense, citing both wasteful military spending and inter-departmental conflicts. Deliberations in Congress went on for months focusing heavily on the role of the military in society and the threat of granting too much military power to the executive.[1]


On June 1, 2001, the DoD changed the rules for military assistance relating to aircraft hijackings, the first time since 1997, to state that for all non-immediate responses, assistance from the DoD must get personal approval from the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld.[2]


In 2009, the DoD faced criticism after referring to "protest" as "low-level terrorism".[3]

The DoD has faced criticism about its program of distributing surplus military equipment to US police forces. In 2014, Los Angeles Unified school police officials returned three grenade launchers to the military, although they kept the M-16 rifles and the armored vehicle.[4]