The Pentagon buried a report showing it was wastefully spending $125 billion to run the organization according to The Washington Post, which cited the report itself and interviews. Earlier this year, the Pentagon’s reckless spending was on display when the Department of Defense released a report saying Pentagon officials allowed employees to use government credit cards at strip clubs. That kind of wastefulness has also been seen when the Pentagon destroyed $1 billion worth of extra ammunition.
According to the January 2015 report—of which a summary was removed from a Pentagon website—researchers found a way to save the Department of Defense $125 billion over the course of five years. The study found the Pentagon was spending about a quarter of its $580 billion defense budget on paying a whopping 1,014,000 people in business operation jobs. That’s $134 billion going to civilians and military members working these office jobs.
Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work ordered the Defense Business Board to do the study. Work would later call the $125 billion savings proposal “unrealistic.” The original plan called for saving the Pentagon $75 billion by hiring less costly workers and “renegotiating service contracts,” as The Washington Post wrote. Work was reportedly worried Congress would cut $125 billion from the defense budget should they see the study’s findings, said two people who were there when Work saw the research.
The Washington Post noted Work didn’t dismiss the study’s findings about the number of people employed or the amount of money spent to employ people working business operation jobs. Work said the Pentagon was following some of the study’s suggestions in a small way, but The Washington Post reported the programs Work mentioned weren’t related to the Defense Business Board’s study. Work said with these programs in place, the Pentagon is set to save $30 billion by 2020.
Robert “Bobby” L. Stein, who was a chairman of the Defense Business Board and a campaign bundler for President Obama, said, “They’re all complaining that they don’t have any money. We proposed a way to save a ton of money.” He added, “We’re going to be in peril because we’re spending dollars like it doesn’t matter.”
For instance, it was reported that last year $61.2 billion of taxpayers money was used for the Pentagon’s upkeep of old computers versus the small (in comparison) amount of $19.2 billion spent to upgrade to newer technology.
If you’re wondering how the Pentagon was able to bury the study, there was a $2.9 million consulting contract that barred the study’s data or analysis from being made public or being released to news media.