Summary: GI Wilson comments on the current talk about cutting defense spending. Will it cut fat — or muscle?
Meaningful cuts must start at the top of the DOD food chain, eliminating layers of Pentagon/Service bureaucracies in DC, reducing number of general officers, reducing number DOD/Service labs, and doing away with some commands. Recent suggestions to eliminate the Joint Force Command is a good beginning. However, if the rest of the US government does do not embrace this as well any cuts will be translate into a shell game of moving money around. For example, the DHS layer like Joint Forces Command must be targeted.
Now is the time to focus on drawing down of contractors but watch out for the Pentagon cutting troops (uniforms) and replacing them with contractors (suits). This needs to be opposed for otherwise it turns into a game of robbing Peter to pay Paul interchanging contractors/civilians (GS-ers) for uniforms. Uniform personnel should not be viewed as being in competition with contractors/civilians for jobs which often happens in the back rooms of the money mongers shoveling the tax payers’ cash.
For more information: books and articles about DoD’s budget
Recent articles about the need to cut DoD’s budget
- Long-Term Trends in the Defense Budget, Stephen Daggett, Congressional Research Service, 5 May 2010 — Terrifying numbers.
- “Nightmare Budget Scenario at the Pentagon“, Winslow Wheeler (Center for Defense Information), Huffington Post, 10 June 2010
- “America’s Bizarre Budget Priorities: Money For Wars Not Education“, Michael Cohen, Democracy Arsenal, 14 July 2010
- “America’s Unquenchable Defense Spending“, Michael Cohen, Democracy Arsenal, 20 July 2010
- “Pentagon Faces Intensifying Pressures To Trim Budget“, New York Times, 22 July 2010
- “Defense board to recommend that Gates eliminate Joint Forces Command“, The Hill, 22 July 2010
Essential reading: books about our military spending — and how little security it buys for us
- A Swift, Elusive Sword, Chet Richards (2003) — What if Sun Tzu and John Boyd did a national defense review?
- America’s Defense Meltdown: Pentagon Reform for President Obama and the New Congress (1989) — The ur-source of insights about our military budget
On the FM website
- America’s Most Dangerous Enemy, 1 March 2006
- Another cycle down the Defense Death Spiral, 30 January 2008
- How can America adapt to a new world? A conference about national security lights the way., 18 October 2008
- The economic Death Spiral of the Pentagon, 7 February 2009
- “Shock and Audit” – MoJo dissects the defense budget so you don’t have to, 30 June 2009
- Another step in America’s Defense Meltdown – a guest post by Winslow T. Wheeler, 30 July 2009
- Can we defeat our almost imaginary enemies?, 10 December 2009
- Stratfor’s strategic analysis – “Jihadism in 2010: The Threat Continues”, 17 January 2010
- Where is the outer boundary of our military operations?, 21 January 2010 — Coast guard to the world!
- Will conservatives help cut Federal spending?, 12 June 2010
- Do we overpay the members of our armed services?, 25 June 2010
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