Today Fareed Zakaria came out with an excellent opinion editorial in the Washington Post – Can Ashton Carter rein in a Pentagon out of control? The piece highlights many of the problems in the Pentagon, particularly the massive amounts of wasteful spending that takes place every year.
With one Pentagon program alone, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the cost overruns are around $160 billion. That’s more than the total defense budgets of Britain and France – combined. Not to mention that the F-35 is so riddled with technical and structural problems that it is unlikely to ever perform as advertised.
And this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the Pentagon’s budget problems are so vast that it can’t even pass an audit.
As Zakaria points out, Republicans always seem concerned about wasteful government spending – except when it comes to the Pentagon. One wonders if the new Republican majority in Congress is going to finally demand some fiscal discipline from the largest government bureaucracy in the world. (yeah, right…)
Of course, the billions of dollars the Pentagon wastes every year could go towards things people actually need – like education, health care, heating assistance, food stamps, road and infrastructure improvements…the list goes on.
And even with the new Secretary of Defense coming in, not much is likely to change.
That is, unless we do something about it. We must step up and get the word out to our friends and family, and put pressure on our elected officials to make change happen. After all, in the words of Frederick Douglass: “Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.”
And you can start now by sharing this blog.