Star Creeps: Petraeus & the Price of the Top-Heavy Pentagon
While the total number of generals and admirals has fallen slightly since then, according to the most recent data available, the services have continued to add three-and-four-star generals and admirals. Just this Monday the lean, mean Marines added their fifth four-star general. If Marine General Allen, whose “flirtatious e-mails” are currently under investigation, ultimately gets cleared and appointed as Supreme Allied Commander of Europe the Marines will likely add yet another four-star general to their ranks. All while the Pentagon plans to cut tens of thousands of soldiers in the coming years,
How much could taxpayers save by reducing the number of generals and admirals to, say, Cold War levels? At least $800million, according to a new report by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK).
Coburn’s plan would place excess brass in the reserves and eliminate these generals’ sizeable entourages. “A conservative estimate could mean a reduction in 800 support personnel costing $100,000 per year,” according to the report.
POGO wholeheartedly supports this recommendation and believes the savings would be significantly greater once all the perks like drivers, chefs, and choirs are accounted for.
Reducing the DoD’s bloated general and admiral ranks should be part of any plan to reduce the deficit and cut wasteful Pentagon spending. In this fiscal climate the least Congress can do is spare us from paying for any more string quartets. (Click HERE for original article)
Ben Freeman is an investigator with the Project On Government Oversight.
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