No, this isn’t a post about gays in the military, women in combat, or any other good change that we’ve seen happen over the last few years. What the military should now focus on is cutting wasteful spending. We’ve heard the claims that the military budget cannot be cut without causing economic backlash. In many areas this is actually the case. We have built a large military industrial complex in the United States, and that complex depends on large expenditures. There are however other areas that aren’t related to the industrial complex, where we keep wasting money because that’s just how it’s always been done, a military motto.
For example, my wife will be deploying with the Navy Reserves sometime within the next year (For operational security I will not disclose the location.) That deployment will head to a foreign country, where no combat is actually taking place, and will last for two weeks. Yes, two weeks. Total cost for travel, and lodging for those two weeks – $24,000 for 1 person, she has the invoice. There are around 25-30 people deploying for two weeks. Around $680,000 for a deployment to a foreign country, that’s not long enough to carry out anything meaningful, and the detachment that is receiving the troops would rather they not show up, as it will just cause them extra work and decreased efficiency. That amount doesn’t include any other incidentals, and/or the loss of efficiency and increased man-hours of the troops (or civilian contractors) that will receive them at their destination. It also doesn’t include the mandatory training, military passports, and other extra costs.
This is only one unit – so you can multiply that by the amount of units in the United States, and know that all units in the reserves function this way. The cost is great. Another thing to consider is that there are many people in the unit that are ready and waiting,if the military would allow it, to stay over the entire cycle in country. That would be an overall cost savings, if they allowed 5-8 people to stay for the entire 3-4 months they plan on sending them which at this time will be in small groups of 3-4 people in each group. If the military can start working under an actual budget, maybe the country wouldn’t need to spend trillions of dollars each year on defense.
If we want to get serious about the deficit, and the debt, can we actually talk about the real problems?