WILLIAM HARTUNG, (917) 923-3202, whartung at ciponline.org, @WilliamHartung
Hartung is director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex. His recent pieces on the military budget include: “Get Rid of the Pentagon’s Slush Fund” and “House Bill Is Good News for Pentagon Contractors.”
He said today: “The House of Representatives meets this week to consider the Pentagon’s budget proposal. They have a long way to go just to undo the damage done by their own armed services committee, much less give careful consideration to the Pentagon’s bloated budget.
“Earlier this month the House Armed Services Committee voted to block virtually every cost saving measure proposed by the Pentagon, from closing excess military bases to holding off on the costly refueling of a Navy aircraft carrier. The committee also left some of the Pentagon’s worst ideas untouched, providing billions for the overpriced, underperforming F-35 aircraft and authorizing funding to develop a new ballistic missile submarine. This may be good news for Pentagon contractors, but it is terrible news for the country.
“In addition to rolling back some of the worst decisions of its colleagues in the armed services committee, the House could do a great service by plugging the loophole that has allowed the Pentagon to put tens of billions of dollars in pet projects into the Afghan war budget — projects that have no relationship to fighting or winding down the war. In essence, the Pentagon has been using the war budget as an all-purpose slush fund to pay for questionable projects that have nothing to do with supporting the troops. This must stop, and the House should vote to do so this week.”