|
|
Examiner
  • James Everett: Wasteful spending hurts U.S.

  • From 1776 to 1914, the United States was isolationist and followed George Washington’s advice to avoid entanglements with foreign nations. That sounds so quaint as we have somehow morphed into becoming the world’s policeman and getting ourselves involved in just about every fray anywhere in the world. But it hasn’t happened without us paying a huge price in both guns and butter.

    • email print
  • From 1776 to 1914, the United States was isolationist and followed George Washington’s advice to avoid entanglements with foreign nations. That sounds so quaint as we have somehow morphed into becoming the world’s policeman and getting ourselves involved in just about every fray anywhere in the world. But it hasn’t happened without us paying a huge price in both guns and butter.
    However, the most tragic cost is what it has done to destroy our cherished democracy from what was once touted as being “the last great hope for mankind.”
    One treads on thin ice if what is said can be interpreted as being anti-military. So let me make it clear that I hold our men and women in uniform in high respect. However, that respect does not extend to the Pentagon or the U.S. Department of Defense.
    Unfortunately, top-secret activity all too often exhibits itself in ethical and fiscal irresponsibility of which our Department of Defense is a prime example. In this regard Winslow T. Wheeler, a research fellow at the Independent Institute, with more than three decades of working on national security issues, shares some shocking information in his book, “The Wastrels of Defense: How Congress Sabotages U.S. Security.”
    Wheeler confirms what others have said for decades about the Pentagon’s lack of accountability. He suggests that we Google the terms “audit” and “Pentagon” to learn for ourselves about the horrible financial situation.
    The DOD’s own Office of Inspector General admits that the department’s accounting system actually prevents the “DOD from collecting and reporting financial information … that is accurate, reliable, and timely.” The National Defense Authorization Act for 2010 intends to correct the problem, but it doesn’t go into effect until 2017.
    No one knows, or can know, how many millions or billions have been spent as intended or have been squandered with little to no oversight.
    Equally troubling as the DOD’s fiscal irresponsibility is the U.S. government’s lack of good common sense. Consider the new U.S. embassy in Iraq, which is the largest embassy in the world, bigger than the entire Vatican and six times larger than the United Nations compound in New York City. Similar luxurious excess is conspicuous in the new luxury apartments in Kabul brought on by the U.S/NATO gold rush. They rent for thousands of dollars per month in a country where the majority of citizens earn less than $1 per day.
     
      • calendar