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Star Creeps: Petraeus & the Price of the Top-Heavy Pentagon

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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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One Comment

  1. Comment by DoD IG WATCH:

    While they’re receiving these pensions – that dramatically exceed those of the troops they once commanded – many generals and admirals are also cashing in by working for defense contractors. In fact, a new report from the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) found “70 percent of the 108 three-and-four star generals and admirals who retired between 2009 and 2011 took jobs with defense contractors or consultants.

    This being said is causing the other co-conspiritor of DoD Contractors who should be having their Qui Tam investigations performed by unbiased investigators are perverting the course of justice because of their influence. Those same generals have connection to Senators and Congressmen and women and due to that sway, the U.S. Tax Payer, who is already paying a price for that General is once again paying for his influence to steer the investigation. Look at Agility. HAS anyone forgot about Agility and that Qui Tam suit. Either the DOJ is as incompetent as they appear, or the Courts are being paid to stall out justice.

    NO GENERAL should be associated with a DOD contractor. Congress is only keeping the systemic problem going by not making sure during confirmation of Generals that they have a life-time ban on dealing with the DoD Contractors that they once commanded. Commanded because Congress down-sized the military to a point of depending on DoD contractors.

    This is a tough pill to swallow Congress – but ethics is not exactly your strong suit is it ? Try to stop taking DoD gift money and be an example. Obama is as much taking the DoD Contractor’s money as is Eric Holder.

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