In his first major policy speech Wednesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel signaled he will be taking a hard look at the way the Pentagon spends its money and at whether the US military needs quite so many officers….
That’s because too often the weapons systems that Pentagon officials buy “are vastly more expensive and technologically risky than what was promised or budgeted for.” And the hard truth is that the most pressing problems the world faces “do not necessarily lend themselves to being resolved by conventional military strength,” he said.
“Indeed the most destructive and horrific attack ever on the United States came not from fleets of ships, bombers, and armored divisions, but from 19 fanatical men wielding box cutters and one-way plane tickets.”
Maybe we will finally get at least a small dose of sanity in our Defense Department spending. For way too long this department of the federal government has been given carte blanche to spend whatever they want. There has literally been no accounting for the spending; even the department itself has no idea where the money goes! This would not be so sad if it were not for the fact that the DOD amounts to half of our discretionary spending in this country. Far far more than any other country in the world. Here we are reducing many social services while continuing to expand our spending on weapons systems that have long lost their usefulness.
I pray that secretary Hagel can get a little sanity back into this process. It was taking the two wars started by the Bush administration “off-the-books” that started the latest massive slide in our deficits. We are spending millions, perhaps billions on drones (no body knows), while continuing to buy multimillion dollar planes that serve little purpose other than to enrich a particular representative’s electoral district. A fellow blogger friend who lives in Arizona mentions an aircraft graveyard there that contains thousands of mothballed planes. Maybe it is time to pull a few of them out and drop the billions being spent for new ones.
We could easily drop the defense department budgets in half and still maintain a military superiority fifty times greater than any other country. Lets get back to spending our tax dollars on our crumbling infrastructure and on our people instead of unneeded bombs and weapons of destruction. Lets finally bring some sanity back into this process….
But I’m just a simple guy so what do I know….