In "A Golden Age for Pentagon Waste," by William Hartung, Arms and Security Project director at the Center for International Policy (US News and World Report, 2-3-16), some examples of Pentagon waste are cited:

 *Creation of private villas and facilities that were barely used in Afghanistan. ProPublica's cost estimate: $17 billion.

 *Politico reports on the Pentagon's Defense Logistics Agency spending over $7 billion on unneeded equipment.

 *Congress inserts pet projects into the budget despite dubious value to the military. Over the last decade the F-35 combat aircraft project has cost $1.4 trillion, has yet to produce an airworthy plane, yet Congress added 11 more F-35s into the budget last January.

 Hartung noted the $2 billion cost overruns on Lockheed's C-5A transport aircraft in the 1960s, which the Air Force tried to hide from the public, the largest known example of overspending on a weapons program up to that time. That scandal pales in comparison to the F-35 program or the Pentagon's proposal to spend $1 trillion on new bombers and missiles.

 The Department of Defense (DOD) receives more than half of our discretionary budget every year. In 2015, that was $598 billion. Unlike other government agencies, the DOD has never produced a financial statement that can pass an independent audit.

 Recently it was disclosed the Army is overspending on routine items -- $8,000 on gear worth $500. Because they can't pass an audit, the DOD doesn't know how much it is overpaying on basic items or how much excess equipment it is purchasing.

 Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced the Audit the Pentagon Act in the House of Representatives. It would cut by 5 percent the budget of any federal agency that doesn't produce a financial statement for the previous year that can be audited by an independent auditor.

 Contact US Representative Sean Duffy (Toll Free 855-585-4251 or to tell him to co-sponsor the Audit the Pentagon Act. Whether hawk or dove, no one should accept the Pentagon's outrageous waste of billions of tax dollars. Pentagon waste doesn't make us safer or defend us; it subsidizes bad choices.


Jeanne Larson


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