The Pentagon has been complaining for years that the impending budget cuts – slated to return it to 2007 levels of spending – will cripple national security.
Kind of hard to believe there aren’t smart reductions yet to be made after checking out this Government Accountability Office report released Wednesday. It looks at the people, both military and civilian, working for the combatant commanders-in-chief — CINCs — at the headquarters of U.S. Africa Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Pacific Command, and U.S. Southern Command. The congressional watchdog agency didn’t examine the staff at U.S. Central Command, given the fact that it has been at war for more than a decade.
Sure, you can wade through the my-eyes-glaze-over text, if you’re a genuine defense-spending dweeb. If you’re not, here’s the central conclusion:
Data provided by the commands shows that authorized military and civilian positions increased by about 50% from fiscal years 2001 through 2012…In addition, mission and headquarters support-costs at the combatant commands more than doubled from fiscal years 2007 through 2012…DOD considers the combatant commands’ requests for additional positions, but it does not periodically evaluate the commands’ authorized positions to ensure they are still needed to meet the commands’ assigned missions.
That’s bad enough. What’s worse is what the GAO said it couldn’t detail:
Data on the number of personnel performing contract services across the combatant commands and service component commands varied or was unavailable, and thus trends could not be identified.
Anyway, enough verbiage. Check out the following charts from the report:
The charts may be silent, but they speak volumes.