75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, Pentagon waste persists

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  1. Credence2 profile image77
    Credence2posted 6 years ago

    Another reason that I distrust conservatives, (GOP) domestic spending is pinch penny, while they turn a blind eye to DOD wasting money like it grows on trees. Add this to their cover up and subsequent embarrassment, and I ask what makes THEM the sacred cow? As a progressive type, I consider THIS waste. The Christian Science Monitor generally prints impartial articles. What the Pentagon has been engaged in is not acceptable. 125 billion dollars of unaccounted for sheer waste is a lot of money. I really don't care what conservatives use as an excuse for Pentagon extravagance relative to the rest of the budget.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2016/1206/ … 25-billion

    I have to give due attention to the fact that the 'dastardly attack' occurred 75 years ago, today. I had the opportunity to go to Hawaii for the first time in December, 1991, to take part in the commemoration of that day and meet many survivors when it was just 50 years ago. Me and some of these survivors painted Honolulu red, as I asked them each over Mai-Tai and beer, "So,where were you when the bombs fell"?

    1. lions44 profile image94
      lions44posted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Paul Ryan has been speaking out against wasteful defense spending for years.   

      http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/p … emo-227768
      He has been pretty consistent on this issue for years, but now he is under pressure.   

      It's the Pentagon that has been fighting Ryan and his colleagues for a long time.   Rand Paul has also spoken out against wasteful defense spending.  He has been a real leader in the fight.  His website frequently has a list of projects he deems not worth it.  However, his Senate colleagues frequently tune him out.

      So not sure if you're just reacting to Trump's wacky transition team and his promise to raise spending.  But House Republicans do speak out a lot on this issue.

      Glad to hear you spent some time with Pearl Harbor survivors.  Thumbs up.

      1. Credence2 profile image77
        Credence2posted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Yes, I am reacting to Trumps plan to throw money at the military without their being held more accountable.

        The article was helpful and supported the idea that all in the GOP were not hypocrites.

        Took a few photos of these Pearl Harbor guys during our revelry. Many have passed on since that time, though.

        1. Live to Learn profile image61
          Live to Learnposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Talking about Pearl Harbor, not the waste, I heard a representative from Japan was going to visit. He made it clear no apology would be forthcoming. I found that odd since we've apologized.

          1. colorfulone profile image84
            colorfuloneposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            Obama has a peculiar way of apologizing for the US, and being ignorant of history at the same time. There was no merit for his apology based on his cluelessness.  For which Japan has felt distant toward his character (as many other countries do).  Japan has nothing to apologize for what led them to commit an act of war on Pearl Harbor.  They are happy with not having been invaded and totally destroyed as was the plan beforehand.   

            US propaganda is modus operandi:  Obama is great at feeding everyone poop!..but not just him, the corrupt corporate run political establishment included. They love to keep the public in the dark.   
            http://www.wakingtimes.com/2016/12/05/p … deception/

          2. Credence2 profile image77
            Credence2posted 6 years agoin reply to this

            They always say that the attack was 'regrettable and have never changed that stand over 75 years. They made the same half ass apology to China, Korea and the South Pacific during  their years of aggression. So, to just come in and blame Obama for the attitude of the Japanese is dumb, as every president since Truman has been involved. So, now 'His Accidency' thinks he can do what  Presidents over 3/4 of a century never accomplished?

            1. Live to Learn profile image61
              Live to Learnposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              Did I blame Obama? I don't see that I did.

              Edit. I just find it amusing they start a war, we end it, help them rebuild and apologize to boot and they can't return the courtesy of an apology.

    2. GA Anderson profile image90
      GA Andersonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      So you have a criticism of defense spending. Why did you feel the need to link that criticism to Pearl Harbor? Sensationalism to draw eyes? Do you not understand that your title stands on the Pearl Harbor inclusion - which in turn is associated with the criticism of your comment?

      Is [it] your implication that Pearl Harbor was a monument for unaccountable defense spending and waste in 1941 - and continues to be so today?

      Shirley you don't think your closing anecdote absolves you from the inference of your title?


      1. Credence2 profile image77
        Credence2posted 6 years agoin reply to this

        I honor the men that gave their lives on that day, but also criticize the defense department for wasteful spending, the two are not related. I could not let this diamond anniversary pass without making mention of its passing, You know 1941/2016, we have a universe of change to accomodate within AMERICA and the world over that time.

    3. GA Anderson profile image90
      GA Andersonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Oh no buddy, it's even worse than I thought. After reading wilderness' comment, I came back to check out your link, and what I found reminds me of a Bill Cosby comedy line where he asks his young kid if he had his head with him all day. Geez...

                $125 BILLION DOLLARS !!!

                     IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!

      ...so you say.

      I followed your link. I don't know much about The Monitor, but that article did not strike me as unbiased. Then I followed an article link to the Washington Post's posting of the 77 page Summary that is part of the "cover-up". (as in taken down from Pentagon's web site(?))

      As the youngsters would say, OMG! Did you check it out?

      It's all about projected savings through stuff like; early retirements and attrition, productivity gains from lever optimizations in best practices business models, and business process design factories, and yada yada...

      Where are those shameful examples of billion dollar boondoggles, and bribed blank-check weapons deals, and all that other shameful unaccounted for sheer waste you told me was there?

      This report reads like a rah-rah business presentation to land a new account.

      Wondering how you could get here from there was what made me think of that Cosby line.

      ps. the Defense Board's study is a nicely visual data presentation, if that counts. And its projected savings might not all be pie-in-the-sky ideas, but it isn't your claimed 'ah ha!' expose'


      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        That's what I got out of the link as well.  A business plan designed for a far different operation than the Pentagon is and with far different priorities.  No hard evidence of waste, just ways to improve costs while ignoring the reality of what the military is or does.

  2. colorfulone profile image84
    colorfuloneposted 6 years ago

    Christian Science being an occult, they are not impartial. 

    Oh dear, Obama has been in fact responsible for the largest U.S. military budget since World War II.

    http://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/ … n_Book.pdf

    Let us turn a blind eye to Obama's Pentagon $125 billion in wasteful spending?  I don't think so. 

    Study by the Defense Business Board  that was suppressed by the DOD..

    There are reports of trillions of dollars missing, trillions totally unaccounted for.  Contractors?

    WaPo reports:

    For the military, the major allure of the study was that it called for reallocating the $125 billion for troops and weapons. Among other options, the savings could have paid a large portion of the bill to rebuild the nation’s aging nuclear arsenal, or the operating expenses for 50 Army brigades… or 3,000 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for the Air Force, or 10 aircraft-carrier strike groups for the Navy.

    The Post reports:

    But some Pentagon leaders said they fretted that by spotlighting so much waste, the study would undermine their repeated public assertions that years of budget austerity had left the armed forces starved of funds. Instead of providing more money, they said, they worried Congress and the White House might decide to cut deeper.

    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.

    7 Unbelievable Ways the Government Wasted Your Money in 2015
    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/12/2 … Money-2015

    Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) released an annual report uncovering waste, fraud and abuse of American tax dollars by the federal government, Federal Fumbles: 100 Ways the Government Dropped the Ball.
    https://www.lankford.senate.gov/imo/med … s_2015.pdf

    The Department of Defense spent half of the $500 million to train only 60 Syrian rebel fighters, costing U.S. tax payers $4 million per trainee.

  3. wilderness profile image95
    wildernessposted 6 years ago

    While I have little doubt the military "wastes" a lot of money, I do not think it is nearly as bad as you or the article insinuates.  For instance, with a 600B budget the insinuation is that 125B is wasted, or 20%.  The reality is that the claim is 25B out of that same 600B, or 4%. 

    "The report found $125 billion that the Defense Department could save over five years by following a plan"  That's 25B per year, or just 4% of the total expenditures.  And that doesn't seem bad for an outfit that is not designed to be highly productive, to save money or make profits.  That isn't the goal of the military - defense of the US and it's friends is.  Our military is not a business that is expected to pinch pennies and if it costs a few thousand soldiers their lives, oh well.

    And there is another problem as well - greedy politicians insisting that the military spend unnecessary funds at bases they don't need (but in a politicians district) or buy equipment they don't need or want (but a politician has taken "contributions" from the contractor making that equipment).  Neither scenario is uncommon; both happen all the time and your 25B/year could likely be saved simply by taking politics out of the requirements the military must pay for.

    I'll just add that the philosophy of our military has changed over the years, going from throwing soldiers at a battle to throwing expensive equipment at it instead.  The cost of just a couple of new F-35 fighter jets would likely have covered the US financial cost of D-Day invasion, and that is a change that I welcome.  Similarly, the cost of a single cruise missile is around $830,000, as opposed to a simple bomb that costs perhaps $2,000-$3,000 but requires pilots to deliver them.  Again, a change that I fully support.

  4. Credence2 profile image77
    Credence2posted 6 years ago

    Wilderness and GA, I don't want to think that your only source for credible news is Fox?

    What about the cover up from DODmanagment in fear that austerity will be imposed upon them at the discovery of mismanagement on this scale? And there was a cover up.

    How about this article, do you also have a problem with the Washington Post, or do I have to get the report from Der Sturmer ?

    Cmon, guys, conservatives will wallow in the mud to protect the defense establishment no matter what it does or fails to do.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/investig … dbd9871ef6

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      In this case I took my information from the link that you provided.  I believe GA did the same - was that wrong?  Did you provide bad information and now want others to ignore it?

      Or do you wish to simply ignore the single most important that either of us gave: that the military is NOT a business and cannot be run like a business?  I don't see that you even attempted to address that very valid point...

      1. Credence2 profile image77
        Credence2posted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Is the  fact that the military is not a business exclude its obligation to be proper stewards of the public funds and to openly disclose how the funds are spent?  Do you maintain such low expectations for domestic spending?

        I did not realize that you found the CSM fr ought with leftist bias, I believed that an article from the Washington post would illustrate my position more clearly.

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Nope!  But not being a business does mean that business models do not apply to it.  So why is that the only solution - to pretend it IS a business and require "proper stewardship" as if it were?

          Is there a reason that you don't wish to discuss the politics of military spending, either?  The billions wasted to placate a senator with a military base or contractor in the state?  The idiocy of trying to run a good military force based on political decisions that have no connection to military needs or requirements? 

          What do you think, personally?  Is 4% waste, (as opposed to fraud) reasonable in a situation where the primary goal is not to be efficient, save money or make a profit but something else unconnected to any of those?  That's the number from each of your links; is it truly so bad?

          1. Credence2 profile image77
            Credence2posted 6 years agoin reply to this

            This is MY money being spent and YES, I expect efficiency in every Government dept. Don't you?

            The all or nothing approach won't work here. I am aware of the military responibility and mission, but that does not mean that it gets a blank check. You and I know that if this report was the result of a problem in domestic spending that you scream like a banshee, virtually bringing the house down. I expect everyone to be efficient within their respective circumstances.

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              Which war has the US lost?  That's efficiency, regardless of monetary cost.  You just don't seem to grasp that the goal of the military is not to save money.

              Yes, the military must be as efficient as possible...within its stated task of protecting the nation.  I mean, we could limit equipment to a backpack and a handgun, but the cost in lives is going to be horrific as we save money.  No thank you.

              But that does not mean that they should throw the money away.  Of course, I also don't expect them to operate as a business, like you seem to, but that's not a reason to waste.

              I don't see an opinion as to whether 4% waste is terribly high for a military organization...did you have any opinion there?  I've worked for businesses that I'm sure wasted more than that; do you find it inexcusable for the military?

              1. Credence2 profile image77
                Credence2posted 5 years agoin reply to this

                I think that we are saying the same thing, Wilderness.

                I want our troops to be the best equipped in the world.

                The goal of the military is not to save money, but not to waste it either and to consider itself beyond oversight and reviews as to how they are using public money. NO ONE is outside of being held accountable. I don't want any agency to get that idea.

                I an not talking about running an operation such as found in the private sector. I am talking about mismangement of resources that go beyond those that are needed for the successful completion of the mission. The is a valid ground of complaint. There are no sacred cows, in my opinion.

                The way they handled this, 4 percent could had easily have been 10 percent. When do we sound the alarm, if internal oversight is lacking to keep this under control and bring it to the attention of proper authorities?

                1. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                  It could have been 20%, too, or 100.  Pointing out what might have been but was not has nothing to do with what is.  But I still do not find a 4% waste to be out of line, particularly when it is an outsider deciding what is waste and what is not, and doing so by stringent business standards.

                  (Just to be sure you understand what I'm saying here - I don't think the waste by the military is 4%.  I think 10% is a conservative estimate if fraud is included and that it is unacceptable.  There are valid reasons for spending what a normal business would not, but the actual waste is more, way more, than 4%.  But that doesn't change the fact that you've presented an article that proposes saving 125B over 5 years via use of strong business tactics and have promoted it as what the military wastes each year.)

    2. GA Anderson profile image90
      GA Andersonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      It is a relief to see that we are making some small progress Credence2. It appears you have descended a bit from that mountainous claim of $125 BILLION IN UNACCOUNTED FOR SHEER WASTE!, (abetted by those dastardly GOP Conservatives)...

      ... to a hilltop holler of Mismanagement!.

        *Note: full disclosure requires that I mention that I did check with Roger for permission to speak about my Fox News ties. He hesitated at first because he said I only used your links for information, but then said, "What the hell, go ahead and tell him anyway."

      Even worse, it looks like I must further frustrate your efforts to spin by referring to my earlier response for clarity.

      I did say that some of the recommendations might not be "pie-in-the-sky" ideas. I did not say there were no avenues for improvement. I did say it looked and sounded like a "rah rah" presentation - with layout and content structure designed to "land a new account."

      I did imply that it was not completely applicable to military operations and structure. Is that where you think I "wallowed in the mud" with other GOP Conservatives to protect the military?

      My take-away from this is that the source you quoted, (was it the source of your opinion?), was purposely slanted against the military - as was your title and OP. Your source headlined; "How could the Pentagon have wasted $125 billion?" Doesn't that seem to say the military wasted that money and they are asking how they did? When the truth of their source is projected savings - over 5 years. Not military crookedness and shenanigans. Not a good unbiased start. Nor was your own declaration of "unaccounted for sheer waste" an undriven point.

      So, I think you chose a weak step to stand on. And I think your original linkage to Pearl Harbor's 75th was less than clever. Unless of course, you went beyond the available 77-page summary, into the unavailable(?), full report, and know something that I don't. Like a 75 year Boeing under-the-table contract to provide something for whatever price they wanted to charge, that originated in Hawaii  maybe?

      ps. The WP article did provide more details than the CSM link - but even so, it does nothing to support your OP declarations. There is a difference between provocative misleading declarations to shape a point, and the truth of the point.


      1. Credence2 profile image77
        Credence2posted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Me, be clever? Perish the thought. How could I ever think that I can pull one over on you?

  5. colorfulone profile image84
    colorfuloneposted 6 years ago

    There are some very good and honest writers on Washington Post and some not so good at reporting the truth, who are hacks.  Here is a recent example titled: "Washington Post Appends "Russian Propaganda Fake News" Story, Admits It May Be Fake"
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-0 … ay-be-fake

    This was the best they could do?  Some are arrogant hacks, or plain incompetent idiots. They will write fake stories without a valid source, which makes them easy to spot if you have done your homework.


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