Five-sided money waster


As the Pentagon prepares for the formal release of its budget, there is speculation within the department that the $600 billion budget  likely to be proposed is not enough, according to an article by Bryan Bender for Politico. In actuality, pruning out billions of dollars of waste in the Pentagon budget would leave more than enough money to provide a strong military for the country and would help decrease the astronomical budget.

Unnecessary spending in the Pentagon is not surprising, but recently there have been more scandals that suggest that it is increasing instead of decreasing.

There have been misuse of money involving U.S. aid to Afghanistan, such as building private villas for Pentagon employees and building facilities never or rarely used, according to Bender. The amount of money the Pentagon has spent on unnecessary or wasteful products in Afghanistan is $17 billion, according to a study conducted at Brown University.

Sen. Charles Grassley has called an investigation into the recent incidents involving the United States and Afghanistan. On Jan. 20, the Senate held hearings for the recent scandals. The Pentagon’s witness, Brian McKeon, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, was extremely defensive as senators from both political parties asked him questions regarding the Pentagon’s poor record keeping and lack of accountability.

Wasteful Pentagon spending is not limited to Afghanistan. Back in the United States, wasteful spending is increasing.  A recent article by CBS News called “The Pentagon spends a lot of money on Viagra” stated that the Pentagon spent over $84 million on erectile dysfunction drugs for members of the Military.

Meanwhile, Congress is simultaneously including unnecessary military equipment that increases the budget.

The most notable example is the F-35 combat aircraft, which is the most expensive weapons project ever undertaken by the Pentagon. Despite the fact that the plane is far from ready for use, Congress included 11 additional F-35s in the defense bill signed by Obama last month, according to Bender.

The best way to decrease useless spending is to put the Pentagon on a tighter budget. No U.S. citizen should sit idle while the Pentagon wastes billions of tax dollars on useless items. Waste does not defend this country. It is time for Congress, the president, and the presidential candidates of both parties to speak out about Pentagon waste. Otherwise, this generation may be considered the golden age of Pentagon misuse.