Talk of personnel cuts at DoD “overblown”

| November 25, 2013

The Stars & Stripes reports that Military Times has discovered that, while it’s true that personnel costs in the Department of Defense have grown by 78%, those costs have actually shrank compared to total spending;

Experts quoted by The Military Times say some statements from the top brass are flat-out overblown.

Gordon Adams, a former national security budget director for the White House, suggested that focusing attention on military personnel costs is being done in an effort to shape the political debate in Washington.

Congress is deeply resistant to cutting pay and benefits. So the Pentagon leadership’s rhetorical focus on soaring personnel costs may help reduce pressure on the broader military budget.

“If you focus on the least doable thing, what you gain is leverage to bring the whole budget up,” Adams said. “By pointing to the hardest thing to change, they hope that the whole budget will continue to be high.”

Well, not only is it the “hardest thing to change”, it impacts fewer voters, because cutting actual defense spending impacts contracting and manufacturing jobs and entire local economies. Whereas, cutting the number and pay of troops affects far fewer people – people who wouldn’t ordinarily vote for the current administration and it’s less likely to have any real impact on elections.

Reducing the force without reducing actual defense spending worked for the Clinton Administration, and those people aren’t particularly imaginative and can’t see past the end of their nose, anyway. The generals’ careers are tied to the current administration because they know that if we ever get a real President concerned about defense, they’ll all be out of a job, so, like a flock of catbirds, they mimic the calls they hear in their echo chamber.

Category: Big Army

Comments (6)

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  1. RunPatRun says:

    One item for FY 15 – force retirees off Tricare and into employee healthcare plans when available. Just great.

  2. Curt Kastens says:

    Edited without reading it – Jonn

  3. A Proud Infidel says:

    Hey Curtsie Krapstens, FUCK YOU and your retarded poodle, too! You’ve obviously never served, and your semester of JROTC you did to make your Mommy proud of you doesn’t count!

  4. PintoNag says:

    @2 Try to keep it short, cogent, and not a cut-and-paste of the party line, and maybe, just MAYBE, Jonn will actually read your post before he edits it!

  5. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    “Experts quoted by The Military Times say some statements from the top brass are flat-out overblown.”

    Fat Tony from Joisey drops a hand in front of each of his front trouser pockets, extends his thumbs abd says, ” Hey, brass, overblow this!”

  6. Hondo says:

    It’s called “prepping the battlefield”. Military leadership understands that concept.

    The intent is to go after future military personnel costs. That means future salary and benefits costs. They know the issue will be a hard sell in Congress. So they’re “spinning” the issue now.

    They’ve got 3 more years to make it stick, and maybe longer.