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Pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste

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posted on Dec, 6 2016 @ 09:03 AM
Sometimes I find something good while I’m at work and have to share. I can’t add much personal commentary at the moment, but may chime in when I can. With that said, the waste and corruption must be exposed!

The Pentagon has buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget, according to interviews and confidential memos obtained by The Washington Post.


The study was requested to help uncover waste, but after they discovered far more than they expected to find, the report was buried.

Pentagon leaders had requested the study to help make their enormous back-office bureaucracy more efficient and reinvest any savings in combat power. But after the project documented far more wasteful spending than expected, senior defense officials moved swiftly to kill it by discrediting and suppressing the results.

Unless the link below is missing something, I’m not sure how it is being suppressed. Maybe they mean that it’s not being taken as seriously as it should be?

The report, issued in January 2015, identified “a clear path” for the Defense Department to save $125 billion over five years. The plan would not have required layoffs of civil servants or reductions in military personnel. Instead, it would have streamlined the bureaucracy through attrition and early retirements, curtailed high-priced contractors and made better use of information technology.

Report: Link

The article is quite long and since I’m pressed for time, I will include the most relevant information.

The data showed that the Defense Department was paying a staggering number of people — 1,014,000 contractors, civilians and uniformed personnel — to fill back-office jobs far from the front lines. That workforce supports 1.3 million troops on active duty, the fewest since 1940.

Considering the amount of waste discovered, Pentagon leaders were worried that the report would signal the need for even deeper cuts to be made in the future.

So the plan was killed. The Pentagon imposed secrecy restrictions on the data making up the study, which ensured no one could replicate the findings. A 77-page summary report that had been made public was removed from a Pentagon website.

Some Defense Board members had a much more serious tone and warned that exposing the extent of the problem could have unforeseen consequences.

“You are about to turn on the light in a very dark room,” Kenneth Klepper, the former chief executive of Medco Health Solutions, told Work in the summer of 2014, according to two people familiar with the exchange. “All the crap is going to float to the surface and stink the place up.”

And just so there is zero confusion about how wasteful and inefficient our military can be, a confidential memo from 2014 should put things into perspective.

In a confidential August 2014 memo, McKinsey noted that while the Defense Department was “the world’s largest corporate enterprise,” it had never “rigorously measured” the “cost-effectiveness, speed, agility or quality” of its business operations.

Nor did the Pentagon have even a remotely accurate idea of what it was paying for those operations, which McKinsey divided into five categories: human resources; health-care management; supply chain and logistics; acquisition and procurement; and financial-flow management.

McKinsey hazarded a guess: anywhere between $75 billion and $100 billion a year, or between 15 and 20 percent of the Pentagon’s annual expenses. “No one REALLY knows,” the memo added.

Maybe it isn’t waste at all? Maybe it’s being “redirected” and only made to look like the moneys going to a bunch of desk jobs. There seems to be some internal conflict regarding the release of the data.

This next part is telling…

The mission would be to analyze, for the first time, dozens of databases that tracked civilian and military personnel, and labor costs for defense contractors. The problem was that the databases were in the grip of the armed forces and a multitude of defense agencies. Many had fought to hide the data from outsiders and bureaucratic rivals, according to documents and interviews.

Information on contractor labor, in particular, was so cloaked in mystery that McKinsey described it as “dark matter.”

The rest of the article is very informative and is worth a read.

Here are a few more points to consider...

“I have to admit, with all the caution, negative reaction and pushback,” Klepper said, “I had a bit of concern at the end of the analysis some form of censorship would stop us from showing the true opportunity.”

Almost half of the Pentagon’s back-office personnel — 457,000 full-time employees — were assigned to logistics or supply-chain jobs. That alone exceeded the size of United Parcel Service’s global workforce.

The Pentagon’s purchasing bureaucracy counted 207,000 full-time workers. By itself, that would rank among the top 30 private employers in the United States.

They had long groused that the Pentagon wasted money on a layer of defense bureaucracies — known as the Fourth Estate — that were outside the control of the Army, Air Force and Navy. Military officials often felt those agencies performed duplicative services and oversight.
But the McKinsey consultants had also collected data that exposed how the military services themselves were spending princely sums to hire hordes of defense contractors.

On June 2, 2015, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus delivered a speech at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. He complained that 20 percent of the defense budget went to the Fourth Estate — the defense agencies that provide support to the armed forces — and called it “pure overhead.”

Lots of infighting and a lack of cooperation is going to ensure that nothing gets done. All the hidden innuendo from certain Pentagon officials makes me curious as well. If anything, the report serves as evidence to remind us how careless the Pentagon is with our money.

edit on 6-12-2016 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 6 2016 @ 09:09 AM
$125 billion could go a long way towards Social Security, Medicare and Vets.

posted on Dec, 6 2016 @ 09:14 AM
a reply to: eisegesis

Better watch out.. If I remember correctly Rumsfeld mentioned something like this 15 years ago on Sept. 10, 2001. Then a few guys who couldn't pilot a Cessna™ Twin Seater flew a commercial airliner into The Pentagon where ALL the info was kept.

posted on Dec, 6 2016 @ 09:15 AM
It seems like when we had bases all over the place money was wasted but now it seems that the money just disappearing is increasing. The military was better at keeping track of money twenty years ago. Now, the money just disappears instead of being spent creating civilian and military jobs.

I am all for going back to the old way of doing things. everyone writing everything down on paper so we could see if people were embezzling funds. It is almost impossible to trace theft when they change computer software all the time. It makes it easier for embezzling funds or misappropriating money

posted on Dec, 6 2016 @ 09:16 AM
What a waste is right. All that power and might used to zap a few people in far off lands, running, at night.

The Pentagon is the biggest building on the planet. The US defense budget is bigger than the next bunch of countries budget combined. That doesn't include the missing appropriations. Ever more complex weapons systems are required to exceed the last obsoleted, over-kill, filled with bugs systems before it.

Another over-extended empire choked on its over'designed, expensive arsenal, too.

Wunderwaffe (German pronunciation: [ˈvʊndɐˌvafə]) is German for "Wonder Weapon" and was a term assigned during World War II by the Nazi Germany propaganda ministry to a few revolutionary "super weapons".


posted on Dec, 6 2016 @ 09:29 AM

originally posted by: JimNasium
a reply to: eisegesis

Better watch out.. If I remember correctly Rumsfeld mentioned something like this 15 years ago on Sept. 10, 2001. Then a few guys who couldn't pilot a Cessna™ Twin Seater flew a commercial airliner into The Pentagon where ALL the info was kept.

That was the first thing I thought about. Maybe we should start a betting pool about what the next major terrorist attack will be.

"December 7th, 2016. A date that will live in infamy."
edit on 6-12-2016 by AndyFromMichigan because: Corrected "though" to "thought"

posted on Dec, 6 2016 @ 09:32 AM
a reply to: JimNasium

That was known years before he announced it. It was documented in the media at least 2-3 years prior to 9/11, if not earlier.

posted on Dec, 6 2016 @ 09:48 AM
Here's an example:

Major swathes of the services need to be purged. The entire MIC needs a body beating.

posted on Dec, 6 2016 @ 10:03 AM
a reply to: JimNasium

Here's another thread that I did a while back.

Seems relevant.

Audit Reveals The Pentagon Doesn’t Know Where $6.5 Trillion Dollars Has Gone

A new Department of Defense Inspector General’s report, released last week, has left Americans stunned at the jaw-dropping lack of accountability and oversight. The glaring report revealed the Pentagon couldn’t account for $6.5 trillion dollars worth of Army general fund transactions and data, according to a report by the Fiscal Times.

There is either a trend showing us how stupid/wasteful they are with our money or circumstantial evidence that it is "disappearing" in order to fund secretive black projects. Some officials appear to know where the money went, but strongly advocate that we don't go snooping around. Hmm...

posted on Dec, 6 2016 @ 10:07 AM
a reply to: eisegesis

They are awful good at losing/misaccounting for billions (or trillions) of dollars.

This is criminal...

posted on Dec, 6 2016 @ 10:10 AM
a reply to: eisegesis

Prior to 9/11, the Pentagon had something like over 200 accounting systems running(it might have been higher, I'm going off memory), both at the Pentagon and with various programs that were in acquisition. And of those 200 programs, over 90% didn't talk to anything else, because they were proprietary. So instead of being able to punch a number into an accounting program in the F-35 office, and have it appear in the accounting program where it needed to be, they were having to go to every single program, manually get the numbers they needed, and input them into the main accounting program that monitored the budget. All the money was there, it just wasn't accounted for in the program that they used to track budgetary spending.

With thousands of procurement programs going on every year, that boils down to years of work to account for everything. And there's no sign, despite all the talk of overhauling it, that anything, or at least much, has been done to correct that.
edit on 12/6/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 6 2016 @ 11:21 AM
a reply to: eisegesis

And some people wonder why it is that I get rather uppity about the failure of the states to pay for health care entirely through taxation.

With this money apparently going so spare that a department can LOSE it, you could have a universal healthcare system which never sent a bill to a single soul it worked on behalf of.

But nooo, gotta give the Pentagon a bunch of money to "lose" so that they can keep paying for illegal wars, the tools to fight them, and so on. Great.

posted on Dec, 6 2016 @ 11:26 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

The terms "lose" and "lost" aren't exactly accurate. It's unaccounted for. Which means that it's buried somewhere in the multitude of accounting systems that seem to breed in the Pentagon thanks to the bureaucrats that live and breed there. No one has the balls to stand up and demand a single accounting system for the entire DoD, because they know it would end their career.
edit on 12/6/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 6 2016 @ 11:42 AM
a reply to: Zaphod58

Why is it so hard to find a patriot in the DoD then?

You would have thought that of all the government departments, that would be the one in which you would locate individuals who care more for their country than for their livelihoods?

posted on Dec, 6 2016 @ 11:46 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

By the time they get to the Pentagon, they're higher rank and starting to think about retiring to that cushy little job at Boeing, or BAE, or Ratheon, or . If they buck the trend, they're not going to get that job. And the few that aren't, don't have the pull to do much if they do buck the system. They just get swarmed under by the higher ranks and the lifetime Puzzle Palace Pentaweenies. So the message gets across pretty quickly that it won't do any good, so just keep your head down, and finish your term out.

posted on Dec, 6 2016 @ 01:19 PM
a reply to: eisegesis

Wow, if this is what you do when you are short on time, I'd like to see what you do when you arent! Lots to go o er here. Thanks!!!

posted on Dec, 6 2016 @ 01:33 PM
Th pentagon at work:

posted on Aug, 9 2018 @ 05:25 AM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Aug, 9 2018 @ 10:29 AM
edit on 9-8-2018 by mightmight because: (no reason given)

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