Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work defended inefficiency when confronted by reports that the Pentagon ignored an opportunity to potentially save $125 billion dollars by 2020.
The Pentagon employs nearly 1.1 million bureaucratic workers to support 1.3 million troops on active duty, an internal confidential Pentagon report obtained by The Washington Post reveals. The report recommends several cost-cutting techniques implemented over several years to save taxpayers billions of dollars.
“We will never be as efficient as a commercial organization,” Work protested to ThePost. “There is this meme that we’re some bloated, giant organization,” adding that, “Although there is a little bit of truth in that … I think it vastly overstates what’s really going on.”
Work justified quashing the report, saying that eliminating federal employees from the Department of Defense is extremely difficult, due to congressional obstruction of downsizing efforts. “They, perhaps, underestimated the degree of difficulty we have in doing something that in the commercial sector would seem to be very easy to do,” a senior Pentagon official said.
Work was also reportedly worried the report would be used by Congress to justify an immediate $125 billion dollar cut to the Pentagon’s budget. Revelations of opportunities to save money would undermine the Defense Department’s oft-repeated assertion that it needs increased investment to offset military readiness shortfalls.
Pentagon Spokesman Peter Cook defended burying the report to FoxNews saying it “had limited value” and it “lacked specific, actionable recommendations appropriate to the department.” Cook and Work highlighted that some of the proposed cost-cutting measures were implemented, and are scheduled to save taxpayers approximately $30 billion dollars over the next several years.
Available information indicates that the $30 billion dollars in savings touted by officials was already scheduled by the Defense Review Board, according to ThePost.
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