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Defense Department To Justify Spending By ‘Mapping’ Military-Industrial Complex

November 4, 2011 by  

Defense Department To Justify Spending By ‘Mapping’ Military-Industrial Complex

The Department of Defense, wary of a possible $600 billion cut that could take place under the Budget Control Act, is working to map spending trends throughout the United States’ vast military-industrial complex.

The default cut will kick in if the Congressional supercommittee is unable to pinpoint $1.5 trillion in Federal spending cuts by Nov. 23.

“Cuts of this magnitude would be catastrophic to the military,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno has told House members. “In the case of the Army, it would significantly reduce our capability and capacity to assure our partners abroad, respond to crisis and deter our adversaries while threatening the readiness and potentially the all-volunteer force.”

The Defense Department is working in various ways to validate its massive expenditures and stave off cuts to its budget. Focusing on the massive amounts of money that the department pays out to its industrial base, Defense officials are attempting to map just how and where dollars are spent.

Brett Lambert, deputy assistant secretary of defense for manufacturing and industrial base policy, testified before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, saying the military’s industrial base includes companies of all shapes and sizes, from garage start-ups to some of the world’s largest public companies. He added that most of the companies patronized by the military have little or no direct involvement with defense, but act instead as suppliers.

Lambert said that the Defense Department is doing everything it can to ensure that it is only paying reasonable prices and receiving optimal service from industrial base companies. As cuts loom, he says the department will work to find out exactly where each dollar goes and eliminate some “soda-straw visibility” in defense spending.

“In the high-budget environments of the past, many companies have grown to expect high [profit] margins, independent of quality,” he said. “As budgets shrink, this practice must end. As the budget environment changes, we do expect some niche firms to face difficulty due to decreased demand.”

The Defense Department also says that it is doing everything it can to include more small businesses in its industrial base.

The Defense Department has spent nearly $8 trillion on national security since 2001.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Joyce from Loris

    I have some recommendations for them. How about you end the sponsorship of race cars? And how about all the money that is spent, by all branches, sending personnel to fairs and festivals, giving hats and shirts away, displaying Humvees and such. And what about all those ads on TV? Do they really believe that we don’t know who the military is anymore? Majority of the waste is an administration issue, it certainly isn’t coming from over paying the soldiers.

    • johnk

      I have an even better idea. why not, instead of making cuts to the military, make cuts to the departments that are stifling the American economy…. EPA, FDA, FCC, TSA, etc.
      it would be a great way to save money and help grow the economy. although, no matter how many times this is brought up, no one looks twice at these great cuts.

      • Patriot66

        I agree. To cut our military at this time would be disastrous. Granted, we need to gradually start to scale down on military spending from where it is now, but to use it as the cure all of spending cuts is just naive and plain idiotic. There are so many other Fed departments that are just flat out useless (do I really need to list them…), plus the Fed devaluation of the dollar, all the funding we outright give to other countries, the Feds bailout of foreign banks with our tax (TARP) dollars (research the one and only audit of the FED), the bailouts of large corporations (i.e AIG) who undercut the costs and loose money, stifling out the competition. I could go on and on, but need to get back to work so I can help pay for all this crap… Have a nice day all.

        • ChristyK

          Although I definitely agree that there are other departments, that can not just be cut, but be totally eliminated, we can do significant cuts to defense. We spend as much on defense as all other countries combined (I’ve heard slightly more and slightly less. Not sure which is right). We have something like 140 foreign bases. Do we really need that many foreign bases? Why do we need more than 10-20 foreign bases. The arguement could be made that one base per continent is sufficient. We are paying to defend countries that should be perfectly capable of defending themselves. Maybe we should have a slow pullout to allow our allies to build up, but not more than a couple of years (WE ARE BROKE). Why can’t we sell our technology to our allies instead of giving it to them? A significant part of defense spending is just hidden foreign aid (which should be eliminated).

      • Ken Brody

        Second the motion. And reduce the power of the FDA to regulate non-prescription drugs, and modernize their obsolete NDA procedures.

    • Centurion

      Hmmmm. How about we stop defending Germany and Belgium from the nonexistent Soviet threat? Maybe stop defending Japan. They can do that themselves. Saudi Arabia can afford to hire Xe (Blackwater) if they want to. Korea? That’s so 60 years ago.

      WE subsidize these countries by paying our taxes and incurring unimaginable debt to defend them (sometimes from phantom threats) and they use the savings from their own GDP to kick our butts in commerce. With over 700 military bases in hundreds of countries, what do we really need? We do need some forward deployment platforms like Diego Garcia (British BTW). And we need to be able to mobilize in any theater. But if we closed 80-90% of our foreign bases, we’d have plenty of soldiers available to do any legitimate job ahead of us. Most should be here. In the US, training and preparing. The way things are going globally, we may need them to actually defend our shores sooner rather than later.

      We will destroy this country trying to “defend” the world. Then who will defend US?

      • meteorlady

        Nice comment… I would add that maybe they can train by defending our borders against foreign invaders (Mexicans and South Americans) who advocate that we stole the land and they are entitled to it back.

        • Joe H.

          meteorlady,
          don’t forget those prayer rugs they have found along the trails too!! We need them to protect against illegal radical muslims, as well!!!

  • Betty

    How about cutting out all the training programs to teach politically correctness to the soldiers. (ex: don’t ask, don’t tell)

    • Joyce from Loris

      Yeah, that’s a good one too!

    • eddie47d

      Some of those training programs should be kept in place especially conduct of soldiers in time of war or behavior in time of peace. Nothing embarrasses this nation more than rouge soldiers killing civilians or soldiers going off base and raping the locals. Those headlines can cripple a war effort or turn a friendly area into a hostile area. Most US soldiers conduct themselves very well and present goodwill so some training on these issues are a necessity to “win the hearts and minds” overseas and even here at home.

  • Marilyn

    How about not continuing the never ending wars and bringing our troops home? It is painfully obvious to We the People, that most of the wars we are involved in were contrived for monetary gain for the elites and for the next step to their new world agenda. The evidence is out and people are finally starting to wake up from their deep sleep. These wars had nothing to do with bringing democracy and freedom to other countries. It was to rob them of their gold and resources. The people that agree with these wars and killing of innocents are complicit. That’s a shame! I don’t agree with all these wars and I still feel guilty because America is where I live. America is more of a police state than any other country on this earth.

    • Joyce from Loris

      Marilyn, I do understand your feelings about the wars, and am on page with you with the exception of “feeling guilty because America is where you live”. Didn’t know if you know this or not, but you can move, we don’t mind! You and Obama, apologizing for our country, can go together. We will take our nation back, but not as long as people like you live here. Please, leave. Move to Africa, or Cuba.. how about Saudi Arabia? Now, if those places don’t make you appreciate AMERICA, nothing will. Adios.

    • daniel

      marilyn I would be more than happy to help you pack your bags and carry them to the plane as well. Gratis of course. I am also sure that you will be greeted in your new country of say Iran, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Venezuela, or elsewhere. With people like you standing up for freedom please do not join the armed forces. You would be an embarrassment.

    • meteorlady

      I’m sorry you feel that way about living in this country. I, for one, would hope that we can ultimately get rid of Obama and his ilk and go back to being proud of our country once again.

      I might agree with the war comment and I do believe that we have no business engaging in war or advisory positions in another sovereign country. Libya was a perfect example… a civil war in a sovereign country. AND the very rebels that we supported were a part of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – a group that the US and Britain put on the terrorist watch list about 3 to 4 years ago.

      We are currently engaged in empire building same as the old Soviet Union was. We buy our way into a country even if they hate us and the bribe them when they don’t fall in line with our view of how things should be.

  • s c

    Is this general another White House brown-noser, or does he have credibility? If he’s a suck-up, he can take a hike and get lost. If he’s not a suck-up, then he’s worth listening to and he can potentially help matters.
    It would be a refreshing change of pace if he’s not like the typical crowd of ‘military experts’ who divide their loyalties between various factions of the MIC and elected scum in Washington.

    • eddie47d

      Where’s your credibility SC or is this another endorsement of yours for more wars or increasing the sizable bank accounts of the Halliburton’s.

  • Caveman101

    Since 2000 non-combat military personnel have increased over 20% while combat military levels are up 3.5% over the same time period. The military has lots of room to cut but just like everything American they have become so top heavy, the bureacracy thinks they are indespensible. Congress looks at the military bases as jobs programs rather than for their military necessity. They can cut, IF the focus is on military effectiveness. AND get out of Afghanistan. Going nowhere and no objective.

    Marilyn-You need to wake up and travel a little more.

  • jay Lindberg

    The military has become the global protector for capital investments all over the globe. Public subsidy, private profit is bankrupting this country. If we don’t want to end up bankrupt and balkanized like the former Soviet Union, I suggest we change course.

    It’s time the banksters and corporate dogs pay for their own protection. It’s not like their paying their fair share in taxes.

    • 45caliber

      And when they hire some group like Black Water, you also get upset. There is no pleasing you, is there?

  • Ted Crawford

    Can it be that so many Americans are blissfully unaware that China has increased it’s military by over 400% during the last decade? Are we unaware that simply by paying the interest on our debt to them that we are funding somewhere between 50% and 80% of that cost? We know that China just relaxed it’s requirements for service in order to increase their military even faster!
    There is surly much fat in our Defence Budget, but is this the right time to make such repid and drastic cuts?

    • eddie47d

      Bring our troops home and strengthen our defenses internally.Get the industrial out of the military complex. (at least some of them). No more expensive private armies(Xe).No more expensive Halliburton’s doing the work that military engineers can do.No more private dish washers replacing KP duty.So much redundancy where they all want a piece of the government pie. Wasteful wars and wasteful contractors.

      • http://marcum1@wildblue.net coal miner

        eddie47d

        I agree.

        Fifty years on, Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex is very much with us. … foreign assistance to family planning, there is simply no serious debate on our military spending. … and interconnections with Congress and the Defense Department. …. of crisis to justify their existence, status, prerogatives, and budgetary claims. …
        http://www.democracyjournal.org/21/peace-is-our-profession.php%3Fpage%3Dall

        • http://marcum1@wildblue.net coal miner

          eddie
          Jan 14, 2011 … I’ve always found it rather haunting to watch old footage of my grandfather, Dwight Eisenhower, giving his televised farewell address to the …
          http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/14/AR2011011406229.html

          • eddie47d

            The military has grown 68% since 2001 and that doesn’t include the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Eisenhower also said that there is “no such thing as absolute security” and a waste to human happiness to think so in building huge arsenals.

        • Joe H.

          cm,
          that is good comming from you who has no experience what so ever with the military and are basing what you know(?) on what other people have said.

          • eddie47d

            Is that like Jeff H. who never served and only downloads other persons information off the net?

          • Joe H.

            No eddie it’s like you trying to type FACTUAL information with your head firmly planted up your WAZOO!!!! anybody got a dozen sticks of TNT? I’d like to see if it would be strong enough to extracate eddies head from his wazoo!!!

      • 45caliber

        The reason for the “expensive private armies” is that the military has been cut back so much by people like Clinton that they can no longer fullfill their mission without help. We are SUPPOSED to be able to fight two wars at the same time – but they can’t even fight one war without calling in the National Guard. If you want them to quit hiring mercenaries, then fund them correctly and let them do their job.

    • 45caliber

      Ted:

      When I was in the military, they told us that – counting all vets in the US – we could field an army about one quarter of the Chinese standing army. That didn’t cover their vets. Now our army is smaller and theirs is larger.

  • Jeffrey A. Williams

    some years ago when I was serving in the pentagon in my capacity regarding research and Development and procurement, the amount of waste on so many things was astounding. As head of my small department which I always questioned needed to be in existence in the first place. was huge. For instance: $700.00 for a simple seat cushion for an F-14 that anyone could at that time purchased for &11.00 to $24.00 at wal-mart from the same manufacturer/supplier only a different color or $1200.00 tires that turned out to be recaps no less for F14′s and F18′s. Go figure! No pun intended…

    • 45caliber

      Jeffrey:

      Do you want to know why those things cost so much? Take a look at the paperwork a supplier must do to sell a seat cushion to the military!

      When it required many hours of someone’s time to “prove” on paper that the item sold is exactly what the government (not just the military) wants, that time must be covered in the price of the item. A local bolt supplier had to fill out papers to sell to a local government agency that took 6 hours to fill out. I could buy the bolt for 50 cents – but the same bolt would require the government cost plus the hours of work on the paperwork.

      And the real problem? The government refuses to send back something that doesn’t meet the specification. They simply add more to the paperwork each time while keeping (and junking) the items that won’t meet it. If I buy a high strength bolt which won’t take any pressure, I get my money back.

      Further, the military does have requirements that an item from Wal-mart simply can’t meet. I would love to have their field glasses, for instance, but the price is way beyond what I can afford. It isn’t due to the military buying them but the quality involved.

  • Patriot

    We need to slash the Defense Department by 25%. We and the world will survive. If fact, both will probably do much better.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

    • 45caliber

      I would hope so – buy aren’t as sure as you.

  • kyl

    The Pentagon has been tagged as the most wasteful bureaucracy within the fedgov. If you BING “pentagon employees misues credit cards” you’re gonna be mad, and if you ain’t, you’re a democrat.

    These people have fraudulently made their mortgage and car payments, paid for booze and strippers for office parties, bought lingerie and other clothes, etc. One employee spent $28,000 for personal use, but the DoJ (Clinton’s?) refused to prosecute because the amount was too low to worry about. Makes me wonder at just what dollar amount DO they start to worry about? And doesn’t that send the wrong message to fedcrats everywhere?

    My dad retired from a VA Hospital. He worked in the medical administration wing, and for the last 15 years he was there I never knew where his office was going to be from one week to the next. The reason? His section was constantly being torn apart and remodeled because the hospital had to find useless ways to exhaust this year’s budget so they would get a bigger budget next year! And if it’s true for one bureaucracy, you can go ahead and bet the farm it’s true for all.

    If the annual budget of EVERY federal bureaucracy was cut by 20 or 25%, it would FORCE them to exercize proper frugality, and once all the fraud and waste was necessarily eliminated as a consequence, they would get along just fine.

    • ChristyK

      I lived near one of the Navy bases in Jacksonville, FL. At the end of the fiscal year, you could see planes repeatedly taking off, dumping fuel and returning to refuel, just to use up the budget and get more money. I respect the military, but that is insane and unamerican.

      • kyl

        Isn’t that a shame? It’s logical to conclude if it’s happening at one naval air station, it’s happening at all, and probably the Air Force too. The people responsible, from those who order it done to the pilots who do it, should go to prison for deliberately and unnecessarily polluting the oceans in the name of a bigger budget. If any civilian companies did such a thing (not that they’d ever have any reason to), they would surely be prosecuted.

        I wonder if Greenpeace knows this is happening?

        • s c

          kyl, the military must rely on its chain of command to get things done. If waste is getting worse, it’s because superior officers have chosen to protect their retirement. Odds are that this mentality extends to combat areas, which puts a soldier/sailor/airman squarely between a ‘superior’ and the enemy.
          At some point, people in the military must decide between a WWII Nazi defense (just following orders) or doing the right thing and enduring the results of that decision. Having a poser C-i-C makes a bad situation even worse.

          • Joe H.

            sc,
            AMEN!!!

    • meteorlady

      See that’s the problem with these agencies… if they don’t spend all the money allotted for the year, they lose that much the next year. Maybe we should reward them for saving money? In any event, we should not scale back their budgets based on what they spend the previous year, but we should look at where cost savings can be implemented. Every single time they try to shut down a base there is a public outcry and it stays where it was costing us money money money.

      • Joe H.

        meteorlady,
        the “spend it or lose it” system is a problem with ALL aspects of government as well as our public schools!! There should be a reward system available to ANY government controlled system that SAVES money!!!

    • 45caliber

      kyl:

      Don’t blame the military – blame Congress.

      If the military tries to save money, it is penalized. The same is true for any government agency. Congress wants the money spent. In fact, there is a law to that affect, passed after Eisenhower left office. To make matters worse, if an official tries to save money, he will quickly find himself in a dead end job or fired. Congress wants to insure that all the money they authorize to buy votes is used, not saved.

  • meteorlady

    “it would significantly reduce our capability and capacity to assure our partners abroad, respond to crisis and deter our adversaries while threatening the readiness and potentially the all-volunteer force.”

    So a great idea – if these countries need our support then PAY UP! Also stop advertising, NAS car sponsorship, drag racer sponsorship and handing out freebies at schools and college campuses. How about we pull out of all the third world hell holes were are currently in and then out of NATO?

    • 45caliber

      When you want to fill positions (in an all-volunteer military) you must advertise to get the word to the prospective volunteers. What you are talking about is advertising money. If you don’t want them to advertise, bring back the draft. Then they won’t have to do it.

  • JC

    “Enemies are necessary for the wheels of the U.S. military machine to turn.”
    – John Stockwell
    U.S. Marine Corps Major, and Chief of Station and National Security Council coordinator for the CIA

  • RogerW

    Our government’s growth and spending has gone beyond the point of pick-and-choose cuts, we need massive across-the-board cuts that will affect just about everyone….and yes, it will be painful for many at first.

    The defense budget is just one that has spiraled way out of control. The military leaders have their own agenda and they use terrorist scare threats to keep the money flowing. We simply can’t afford the current level of military activity…in both money and lives lost. I’m convinced we could do a better job defending against potential threats by bringing our troops home and using our resources within this country, for about half the cost and nearly 100% savings in lost lives and limbs. Of course, the generals and military advisors won’t agree.

    Not to mention that our military interventions in other countries tend to upset a great number of people, which makes it much easier for terrorists to recruit new troops.

  • 45caliber

    One further comment:

    The military should be in charge of ordering what they need and not Congress. Too much of the money authorized by Congress for the military is designated by Congress to be spent on things the military really doesn’t want or need. They require it because they want orders for companies within their districts. It wasn’t that long ago that I heard of a requirement for the military to order over 150 semi trucks – and they didn’t need any of them.

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