Doing More With Less

It’s time for the Pentagon to face budget reality and enact common sense reforms.  Over a decade of blank checks have left the Pentagon bloated and rudderless, and Strategic_Agility_report_cover-thumbnailwithout a strategy for how to operate efficiently.  Even though sequestration will leave the Pentagon budget above the Cold War average, military and congressional leaders claim we have a stark choice between a smaller and more modern force or a larger and outdated one.  On top of this, the Pentagon claims sequestration has lessened some army training, while a few planes and ships have been idled, cutting into “military readiness”.

Of course this is a false narrative.  The Pentagon is weighed down by historic levels of costly overhead that do not add to the military’s fighting capabilities.  The civilian workforce numbers some 750,000 employees with a roughly equal number of civilian contractors, even though each contractor costs 3 times as much their civilian counterpart.  The non-partisan Stimson Center has released a report with 27 recommendations totaling $50 billion a year from management reforms, overhead cuts, and compensation policy changes. If we are to have the money to invest in a Middle Class economy, than military and Congressional leaders need to step up and these enact common sense reforms.

To read the report, click here.

U.S. Security Spending Since 9/11

bombSquadTruckThe National Priorities Project has calculated the total expenditures made on national security since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  Since then, the U.S. has spent an astounding $8 trillion or nearly $70,000 per American household.  While increased security spending is a natural reaction to new threats, the immensity of this investment necessitates a critical look at the security value we are getting per dollar, particularly in light of cuts to food stamps and Head Start positions.

For a closer look at the numbers, click here.

Rebalance, Reform, and Enhance

afghanistan_rectThe Project for Defense Alternatives outlines their vision for maintaining a strong military while reducing Pentagon spending by $560 billion over the next ten years and shrinking the military by 20%.  At the heart of this rebalance is the realization that America must move away from its Cold War defense posture.  The Pentagon should be less concerned with preparing for war with the Soviet Union and more concerned with facing our real 21st century threats.  We must focus military power on traditional defense, deterrence, and crisis response; and rely on modular upgrades to dependable weapons systems utilizing proven technologies.

To read the report, click here.

Even Conservative Groups Find $1.9 Trillion in Cuts

Everyone Agrees

Everyone Agrees

Two free-market groups, the National Taxpayer’s Union and R Street have released a report outlining a strategy to achieve nearly $1.9 trillion in savings. That’s nearly two trillion dollars that could be used to shore up our crumbling public school system and job training programs for the millions out of work. The document, Defending America, Defending Taxpayers proposes 100 specific recommendations to cut Pentagon spending by eliminating or reducing unnecessary weapons systems, trimming compensation and civilian personnel, and process reforms within the Pentagon.  It’s no surprise the dysfunction in Washington has lead to this mess, but the growing consensus on the left and right that the Pentagon needs a run on the anti-pork treadmill should be something all politicians can agree on.

To read the article, click here.