The Oct. 6 editorial “Paying for our wars” called for a restoration of defense spending levels to those recommended by former defense secretary Robert Gates. That is the wrong way forward when looking at how to deal with growing threats to national security in today’s dangerous world. Elected officials in Washington have failed to rein in wasteful spending, especially in defense. For example, the 2014 omnibus appropriations bill contained more than $7 billion in earmarks not requested by the Pentagon. One example: $90 million for Abrams tanks, which Gen. Ray Odierno said the Army didn’t need.
The current appropriations bill (still under debate) contains more than $8 billion in earmarks.
The problem is not that Washington isn’t spending enough on national security; the problem is that it is refusing to cut waste and make changes that would increase efficiency in an agency that desperately needs it as threats emerge. If Washington doesn’t have the courage to cut spending, it can always use the $80 billion in the Overseas Contingency Operations slush fund.
David Williams, Alexandria
The writer is president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.
via Defense spending loaded with waste | The Washington Post.