The U.S. defense budget - by far the largest of any country in the world - is the subject of regular controversy. But while multi-billion dollar weapons development programs that blow past budgets and deadlines will always be subject to political scrutiny, much of America's annual military spending is less controversial. Nearly one-quarter of the $718 billion in U.S. military spending in fiscal 2021 went to pay and retirement benefits of service members. (Here is a look at the failed weapons the U.S. wasted the most money on.)
Though there are thousands of active-duty U.S. military personnel deployed abroad and on ships at sea, the vast majority of American troops are stationed at bases within the United States. Across the country, there are hundreds of military bases that are collectively home to over 1 million active-duty service members and their families. These domestic military installations vary considerably in personnel capacity, and many of them have populations equivalent to that of a mid-size city.
According to the Department of Defense's report Demographics Profile of the Military Community for 2019 - the most recent year of comprehensive data by base - McGuire Air Force Base, located 18 miles from Trenton, ranks as the largest military base in New Jersey by troop count.