Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pentagon Bureaucracy Grows as Troops are Cut

In the last several years, the Pentagon has brought more than 165,000 soldiers home from combat. It has shaved the end strength of each service, and it has put needed maintenance and modernization of its warships and aircraft on hold to scrape up the savings to meet sequester cuts.
So why does its back office keep growing?
“It makes no sense,” Mackenzie Eaglen, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Washington Examiner. In the initial response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, “we grew the force and we grew the civilian support.” So it would make sense that as active duty forces drawdown, so would the staff managing them.
But the overhead hasn’t shrunk. The numbers of authorized staff at the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff have grown by about 30 percent since 2009, from about 3,200 military and civilian personnel manning those offices — at the height of the surge – to about 4,200 today, according to a report released by the Government Accountability Office last week.
Beyond the top offices, almost 750,000 additional Defense Department civilians are on the payroll – up from 702,000 in 2009.
This week, the Pentagon's service chiefs will make an all-to-familiar trek to Capitol Hill, where they will warn lawmakers of the dire effects the sequestration cuts are having on their war-fighting capabilities. But there are savings to be had if the Defense Department had looked harder at the size of its civilian workforce.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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