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Boo Reporting for Duty


Not every new development makes the cut.

In 2007, the US allocated some $439 billion for defense. This staggering figure-almost more than every other country's military budget combined-doesn't even include money spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you include those costs, the figure is closer to $626.1 billion.

Much of that money goes towards paying for salaries and routine maintenance, but $73.2 billion is spent on research and development. Companies like Northrop Grumman (NOC), Boeing (BA), and Lockheed Martin (LMT) bring in huge sums of money from military contracts. In 2005, 95% of Lockheed Martin's revenues came from government agencies, including the Department of Defense.

Despite the vast sums of money spent on research, not every new piece of military technology takes off.

Every once in a while, the US military explores new weapons that just don't make the grade. Like the so-called Halitosis Bomb, which, upon impact, would cause enemies to suffer from debilitating bad breath. Or the infamous Aphrodisiac Bomb that would render enemy combatants powerless over their sexual urges.

Like they say, some ideas just look better on paper.

Broadcasting from the front lines of Afghanistan, Boo takes a closer look at military spending and the latest weapons to hit the market.
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