A new report details billions of dollars that could be used to support troops around the world.
Military leaders tried to bury the report so the public couldn’t discover the reality of taxpayer money funding private contractors and not helping troops.
The report was published Monday in The Washington Post by Craig Whitlock and Watergate veteran journalist Bob Woodward.
Details show how the Pentagon buried an internal study estimating there is $125 billion in wasteful spending in the Defense Department.
The study was initially requested by leaders at the Pentagon to boost efficiency. It was “produced last year by the Defense Business Board, a federal advisory panel of corporate executives, and consultants from McKinsey and Company,” the report said.
Pentagon spending shows nearly a quarter of its $580 billion budget goes to business operations and overhead:
The Defense Department was paying a staggering number of people — 1,014,000 contractors, civilians and uniformed personnel — to fill back-office jobs far from the front lines. That workforce supports 1.3 million troops on active duty, the fewest since 1940.
That’s four back-office, bureaucratic jobs for every five active duty troops. We hear the DOD crying poor mouth all day long about how to pay soldiers any time there’s mention of cutbacks or a government shutdown. Get rid of that kind of bloated bureaucracy and get back to us.
The budget suggestions provided in the study made a lot of sense for the military:
For the military, the major allure of the study was that it called for reallocating the $125 billion for troops and weapons. Among other options, the savings could have paid a large portion of the bill to rebuild the nation’s aging nuclear arsenal, or the operating expenses for 50 Army brigades.
Of course, brass got worried that admitting they were wasting so much money would mean more budget cuts.
Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work, changed his tune after initially commissioning the study. He dismissed the $125 billion savings proposal as “unrealistic” and said the business executives had failed to grasp basic obstacles to restructuring the public sector.
Work said the board fundamentally misunderstood how difficult it is to eliminate federal civil service jobs. Members of Congress, he added, love having them in their districts or to renegotiate defense contracts.
McKinley and Woodward note that the Pentagon is “adopting some of the study’s recommendations on a smaller scale and estimated it will save $30 billion by 2020. Many of the programs cited, however, have been on the drawing board for years or were unrelated to the Defense Business Board’s research.”
Military officials must realize there is a new administration on the way that doesn’t take kindly to secret government operations or wasteful spending.
President-elect Donald Trump is a businessman who isn’t afraid to speak out against these topics. He’s also proven he is appointing people with the courage to tackle such issues internally, and cut waste as needed.
As Trump drains the swamp, it appears military spending on fat-cat contractors will be a target as well.
The full article is worth the read. Parts are truly stunning and deserve to be highlighted.