Senate Report: How The Pentagon Wastes Billions
Just the overhead at the Pentagon is greater than the entire GDP of Israel.
Complete details on Sen. Coburn's report can be found in the following links:
- Pentagon Spent Money Studying: 'Did Jesus Die For Klingons Too?'...
- Tom Coburn Outlines $68 Billion In Defense Cuts
"The American people expect the Pentagon's $600 billion annual budget to go toward our nation's defense," the Oklahoma Republican said. "That isn't happening. Billions of defense dollars are being spent on programs and missions that have little or nothing to do with national security, or are already being performed by other government agencies."
Mr. Coburn said that over the next decade, the Defense Department will spend $6 billion on non-military research, $9 billion on running grocery stores, and some $37 billion on support and supply services that could better be done by civilians or the private sector.
Among the more curious spending was:
• $300,000 spent by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to fund Brown University's research into archaeopteryx, the 150-million-year-old early bird, in which the researchers determined the creature likely had black feathers.
• Office of Naval Research research project that helped spawn Caffeine Zone 2, an iPhone application that tells people how to schedule their coffee breaks.
• $1.5 million to develop a special new beef jerky in roll-up form, which Mr. Coburn said was funded by taking money out of a weapons program.
• $100,000 for a 2011 workshop on interstellar space travel that included a session entitled "Did Jesus die for Klingons too?" The session probed how Christian theology would apply in the event of the discovery of aliens.
One of the costliest programs for the Pentagon is education. The department operates 64 elementary and secondary schools on 16 military facilities in the United States, teaching 19,000 students. The cost is more than $50,000 per student, far above the national average of about $11,000 per student. The schools have 2,000 teachers and staff.
But Mr. Coburn said the problems went beyond bad program funding choices.
He said the military now has more generals and admirals per troop than it did at the height of the Cold War. He recommended cutting 200 generals and admirals, which he said would also cut 800 support personnel, for a savings of $800 million over the next decade.