Category Archives: Military

Stories about the US or other militaries and their soldiers, civilians and equipment or policies

South Korea halts US Anti-Missle system deployment….

The new South Korea President has seen his countrymen/woman  protest against American efforts to display a hardline against North Korea by putting an antimissile system on their soil….

Instead of China leveraging North Korea?

It seems like South Korea is being squeezed by China and North Korea , while Donald Trump’s Admin is busy worrying about Russian connections probes….

The US Defense Dept Sec Mattis seems to be trying the policy on this while the Sec of State isn’t even staffed up to handle problems around the planet….

North Korea launched several cruise missiles from its east coast toward the ocean on Thursday in its fourth missile test in four weeks, the South Korean military said.

The launches came just a day after the administration of the newly elected South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, said it was suspending the deployment of an American missile defense system, and less than a week after the United Nations Security Council expanded sanctions against North Korea.

According to a statement from South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff, reported by the Yonhap news agency, the missiles appeared to be surface-to-ship missiles.

Thursday was the 10th time this year that North Korea tested missiles.

Mr. Moon suspended the deployment of the missile defense system — called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or Thaad — in an apparent concession to China and a significant break with the United States on policy toward North Korea.

In comments to reporters on Wednesday, a senior official from the presidential Blue House in Seoul said that two launchers already installed could remain, but that four launchers yet to be deployed would not be set up until the administration completed an environmental assessment.

The missile defense system has been contentious in South Korea and has drawn sharp criticism from China, which views the system’s radar as a threat. Beijing has taken retaliatory economic measures against Seoul, including curtailing the flow of Chinese tourists and punishing South Korean companies in China.

During his campaign, Mr. Moon, who won the presidency last month, complained that the United States and the previous South Korean administration had rushed to deploy Thaad in order to present him with a fait accompli. His decision to suspend the installation could strain relations with the White House, which has taken a hard line in confronting North Korea and its nuclear weapons program…..

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Lockheed Martin hints about a Mach 6 SR-71 replacement Spy Plane…

‘Skunk Works’  IS closing in on a warp speed reconnaissance aircraft for the US Air Force…..

Image result for SR-72

Four years after revealing plans to develop a Mach 6 strike and reconnaissance aircraft, Lockheed Martinsays hypersonic technologies are now sufficiently mature to enable progress towards a flight demonstrator.

The company’s secretive Skunk Works unit has been working since at least the early 2000s on the basic building blocks for an operational hypersonic vehicle and in 2013 revealed to Aviation Week it was developing a scaled demonstrator for the SR-72, a proposed successor to the U.S. Air Force’s long-retired Mach 3 SR-71 Blackbird spy plane.  However, details on any subsequent progress have been scarce since this initial plan was unveiled.

“We’ve been saying hypersonics is two years away for the last 20 years….

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image ….Kerbal Space Program Forums

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There’s no GOP budget, no funding levels, no appropriations process….

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 16:  U.S. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pauses as he speaks to members of the media after the weekly Senate Republican Policy Luncheon December 16, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Senate Republicans held the weekly luncheon to discuss Republican agenda.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spins away on his health care hamster wheel with visions of tax reform dancing through his head, other Republican lawmakers are a tad frustrated the GOP-controlled Congress isn’t getting much of anything done. They’re also uniquely worried about the budget deal that’s coming due in September with zero preparation being done in advance.

Let’s take a turn with Politico through the halls of Congress, shall we? Oh, there’s Lindsey Graham. Wonder what he thinks.

“I’m very frustrated … we’re going to do all these things by Sept. 30? Give me a break. We’re going to cut taxes, pass health care, set aside sequestration?” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “We should have an agenda. We know we’re not going to pass a budget with sequestration caps. I’m not.”

Darn those sequestration spending caps House Republicans demanded back in 2011 as a condition of voting to raise the debt ceiling. Now it’s gonna take actual leadership and forethought and negotiation—otherwise known as legislating—to change them.

Oh wait, there’s Georgia Sen. David Perdue. Wonder how he feels about all that advance work on the budget.

“When are we going to do the appropriations? We’re not talking about that,” moaned Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.). “It’s gonna go to a [continuing resolution] or an omnibus. We get an up-or-down vote on the whole thing, which is what I’m yelling about.”

Ok, so there’s no GOP budget, no funding levels, no appropriations process—what could go wrong? The always upbeat GOP Sen. John McCain saw this whole budget disaster coming from a mile off.

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Several Arab nations break with Qatar….

The United State has a large amount of military troops and equipment at bases in Qatar….

The Arab countries…..Are cutting transportation ties to Qatar also ….

Egypt, Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries severed all ties with Qatar early Monday, in a renewal of a four-year effort to isolate it and in a sign of a new boldness after a visit to the region by President Trump.

In an abrupt move that surprised many in the region, the five Arab states not only suspended diplomatic relations, as they have in the past, but also cut off land, air and sea travel to and from Qatar and ordered their citizens to leave the country.

Qatar, like other monarchies in the Persian Gulf, is a close ally of Washington, and it hosts a major American military base that commands the United States-led air campaign against the Islamic State.

As such, the feud among regional allies threatens to stress the operations of the American-led coalition and complicate efforts in the region to confront Iran — but could also be a heavy economic blow to Tehran, if Qatar is forced to sever ties.

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson offered on Monday to broker the impasse in hopes of preserving the Trump administration’s efforts to create broad coalitions against Iran and terrorist groups in the Middle East.

“We certainly would encourage the parties to sit down together and address these differences,” Mr. Tillerson said.

Saudi Arabia said it was taking the action to “protect its national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism.” The Foreign Ministry of Qatar released a statement saying the action had “no basis in fact” and was “unjustified.”…

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Note….

This isn’t first time that Qatar and other Arab countries have feuded….

Qatar, though a Sunni majority country , has friendly relations with Shia Iran, which does NOT have friendly relations with most Sunni Arab states…

But with Trump backing Saudia Arabia and backing away from human rights concerns?…Countries Obama was wary about are now flexing with America’s backing….

The whole thing WILL cause problems for America’s ISIS campaign….

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Diplomats understand Trump won’t be around for ever…But America will….

A LOT of people are running around with their hair on fire based on Donald Trump’s vague comments during last weeks trip abroad….

But seasoned old timers are shrugging off the doom and gloom with a feeling that thru thick and thin?

America won’t turn it’s back on its friends…

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At first glance, it looks like the Great Disrupter, Donald Trump, is out to destroy the Atlantic Alliance, which has more or less kept the peace in Europe since World War II.

Trump regularly trashes NATO, picks fights with leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, allows his administration to leak damaging intel and fawns over the archenemy of European democratic unity, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But if the Europeans are frightened, conversations with key diplomats here don’t reflect it. First, they think the president is more tweeter than tough guy, playing to the nativist base that won him the Electoral College and therefore the White House.

Just as important, if not more so, their sophisticated contacts with key officials and members of Congress allow them to reassure themselves that, whatever Trump’s bluster, the alliance will sail on in the name of European democratic capitalism, even if ― as most now expect ― the president makes the dramatic gesture of pulling out of the Paris Accord on climate change.

Above all, the Europeans, especially those reared there during the Cold War, believe in the enduring strength of U.S. institutions ― more so, it seems, than all too many Americans do.

Despite her spats with Trump, Merkel is such a one, German Ambassador to the U.S. Peter Witting told me in an interview….

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 image…time.com
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How Donald Trump handles Intel briefings…

The Washington Post does a piece on how Donald Trump, who up front had no need for the intelligence community ?….Now makes sure he gets his briefings….

The piece HAS TO BE a attempt to show that to the contrary ?

Trump has an idea about the outside world…

(Oh, he does give away stuff as we have seen)

President Trump consumes classified intelligence like he does most everything else in life: ravenously and impatiently, eager to ingest glinting nuggets but often indifferent to subtleties.

Most mornings, often at 10:30, sometimes earlier, Trump sits behind the historic Resolute desk and, with a fresh Diet Coke fizzing and papers piled high, receives top-secret updates on the world’s hot spots. The president interrupts his briefers with questions but also with random asides. He asks that the top brass of the intelligence community be present, and he demands brevity.

As they huddle around the desk, Trump likes to pore over visuals — maps, charts, pictures and videos, as well as “killer graphics,” as CIA Director Mike Pompeo phrased it.

“That’s our task, right? To deliver the material in a way that he can best understand the information we’re trying to communicate,” said Pompeo, adding that he, too, prefers to “get to the core of the issue quickly.”

Yet there are signs that the president may not be retaining all the intelligence he is presented, fully absorbing its nuance, or respecting the sensitivities of the information and how it was gathered….

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Mattis warns about getting into it with North Korea…

As this Dog has pointed out?

It’s one thing for Trump to talk shit about engaging North Korea in a  hands on fight…

But the guys who would be responsible for the fight don’t want ANYTHING to do with it…And want to TALK the issue out….

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Even the man leading the United States military worries about what war with North Korea would look like.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis said in his first TV interview on the job that a conflict with North Korea would be “probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetime.”

“The bottom line is it would be a catastrophic war if this turns into a combat if we’re not able to resolve this situation through diplomatic means,” Mattis told CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”

The lifelong military man said Kim Jong Un’s paranoid empire stands as “a direct threat to the United States” — not to mention South Korea, China and Russia.

An honest look at our options with North Korea

“The North Korean regime has hundreds of artillery cannons and rocket launchers within range of one of the most densely populated cities on earth, which is the capital of South Korea,” he said.

“We are working with the international community to deal with this issue.”…

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image…time.com

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Memorial Day….

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. Service Members who died while in the military service.First enacted by formerly enslaved African-Americans  to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War – it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.

Memorial Day often marks the start of the summer vacation season, and Labor Day ends it.

Begun as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the Civil War, by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not. It also became a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family get-togethers, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events such as the Indianapolis 500 auto race, held since 1911 on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.

From Wiki…..

More Here….

(Photo source …whitehouse.gov)

Originally posted May 30, 2011…

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German leader Merkel thinks Europe should…’take our fate into our own hands ‘…

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, see’s America and the English as friends, but not rock solid ones that they seemed to be less than a year ago…

Both PM May of England and Trump have failed to fall in line with European positions on Climate and Defense…..

(The Russians have be having a toast?)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe’s most influential leader, has apparently concluded that the United States of President Trump is not the reliable partner her country and continent have automatically depended on in the past.

Clearly disappointed with European leaders’ inability to persuade Mr. Trump to publicly endorse NATO’s doctrine of collective defense — or to agree to common positions on Russia, climate change or global trade — Mrs. Merkel said on Sunday that traditional alliances were no longer as reliable as they once were, and that Europe should pay more attention to its own interests “and really take our fate into our own hands.”

Her strong comments were a further indication that Mr. Trump’s trip did not go down well with influential European leaders and that it seems, at least from the Continent’s perspective, to have increased trans-Atlantic strains rather than diminish them.

Ms. Merkel did not mention Mr. Trump by name, and she also spoke of Britain’s decision to quit the European Union, a move seen as weakening trans-Atlantic ties and leaving the Continent more exposed…..

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Trump Pentagon signals support for the A-10 Warhog…

Proper!

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Once on the brink of forced retirement, the A-10 attack plane with the ungainly shape and odd nickname has been given new life, spared by Air Force leaders who have reversed the Obama administration’s view of the plane as an unaffordable extra in what had been a time of tight budgets.

In the 2018 Pentagon budget plan sent to Congress this week, the Air Force proposed to keep all 283 A-10s flying for the foreseeable future.

Three years ago, the Pentagon proposed scrapping the fleet for what it estimated would be $3.5 billion in savings over five years. Congress said no.

The following year, the military tried again but said the retirement would not be final until 2019. Congress again said no.

Last year, officials backed away a bit further, indicating retirement was still the best option but that it could be put off until 2022.

Now the retirement push is over, and the Warthog’s future appears secure.

“The world has changed,” said Maj. Gen. James F. Martin Jr., the Air Force budget deputy, in explaining decisions to keep aircraft once deemed expendable….

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image…milktary.com

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Trump to NATO Maybe…Depends on if you guys bring the check….

While White House aides peddled the line that President Trump would echo the pledge of EVERY President since the North American Treaty Organization was born ….To back the organization regardless….

Donald Trump has gone back on his campaign feeling that the America wants the countries to shoulder more of the money ….(At least 2% of their GDP which would give the organization more than $100 Billion more in spending)

Image result for Trump at NATO

Several countries  have spent more…Most have not…

Trump’s failure to strongly back NATO can only be looked at with smiles by the Russians and worry by the Europeans who are NOT happy with Trump’s position…

Mr. Trump’s refusal to say he supports NATO’s common defense provision, known as Article 5, left European diplomats dismayed. Mr. Trump spoke Thursday at the dedication of a NATO memorial devoted to Article 5. He previously raised questions about the U.S. commitment to the provision during his campaign.

Mr. Trump Thursday said allies “owed massive amounts of money” for past years and they have failed to live up to the alliance spending guideline of 2% of gross domestic product.

“We have to make up for many years lost,” Mr. Trump said. ”If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today.”

Had all NATO members spent 2% on defense last year, the alliance would have another $119 billion…..

While European allies regard the NATO guideline as a rough goal to move toward, the U.S. under Mr. Trump has considered it a much firmer requirement.

“2% is the bare minimum for confronting today’s very real and very vicious threats,” Mr. Trump said.

He said 23 of NATO’s 28 members are below the 2% level.

While Mr. Trump didn’t voice unequivocal support for NATO’s common defense provision, he did say the U.S. wouldn’t forsake its allies….

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image..thegatewaypundit.com

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The Senate gets nervous about Trump’s possible going back to war in the Middle East…

The Generals running Trump’s Defense side have presented a more muscular America in the Middle East…

That would be a ramping up of American men and women going BACK to Iraq, Afghanistan and other place’s like Africa…

Lawmakers aren’t happy to give a President who doesn’t sweat the details unlimited power in military action and will try to set some limits on his actions until comes to them…(And cost the country Billions)

Such votes tend have HUGE political ramifications for US Senators futures….

As President Donald Trump increasingly flexes the might of the military he now controls, the Senate is reviving efforts to claw back some of that authority from the White House.

Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) are joining forces to reintroduce an Authorization of the Use of Military Force against the Islamic State and other terror groups, aiming to assert more congressional power over the post-9/11 war on terror. Elsewhere in the Capitol, Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) are unveiling legislation Thursday that would halt some of the arms sales to Saudi Arabia in what Trump’s White House has touted as a $110 billion deal.

The bipartisan efforts aren’t new. Flake and Kaine pushed for an AUMF debate two years ago after President Barack Obama sent lawmakers his own draft of military authorization amid the conflict in Syria. And last fall, Paul forced a vote on a separate arms sale to the Saudis in Obama’s final months in office.

But the renewed efforts show real appetite among Democrats and Republicans to rein in some of the new president’s authority on matters of war, which came into focus with Trump’s missile strikes in Syria last month after a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens, including children.

Trump earned broad praise for the strikes from Capitol Hill, but lawmakers also warned against escalating military action abroad without first getting the approval of Congress. The White House has operated under war resolutions passed by Congress in 2001 and 2002….

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On Trump…Remember..It’s what he does…NOT what he says…Saudi Arabia

This is from the same guy who is doing business today IN Saudi Arabia

To hear Donald Trump tell it, the United States is not getting its money’s worth in Saudi Arabia.

Trump, who has repeatedly portrayed Mexico, Japan, and China as “ripping us off,” shifted his focus to Saudi Arabia in an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“They should pay us,” Trump said of the oil rich nation. “Like it or don’t like it, people have backed Saudi Arabia. What I really mind, though, is we back it at tremendous expense. We get nothing for it.”

Trump portrayed the U.S. financial relationship with Saudi Arabia as outdated.

“The primary reason we’re with Saudi Arabia is because we need the oil,” Trump said. “Now we don’t need the oil so much, and if we let our people really go, we wouldn’t need the oil at all and we could let everybody else fight it out.”…

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Todays Reality….

The Latest on President Donald Trump’s first trip abroad (all times local):

5:12 p.m.

President Donald Trump and Saudi King Salman signed a series of agreements cementing their countries’ military and economic partnerships.

The two leaders signed a joint vision agreement Saturday at the Saudi Royal Court and sealed it with a handshake.

The agreements also include a military sales deal of about $110 billion, effective immediately, plus another $350 billion over the next 10 years.

The two countries also announced a defense cooperation agreement and private sector agreements Saturday that are intended to create tens of thousands of new jobs in the U.S. defense industry.

Trump has been tending to official business on his first day overseas as president.

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Israeli Intel people take to ‘shouting’ at their American contacts after Trump’s ‘secret’ leak to the Russians…

Donald Trump being who he is REALLY couldn’t care less….

He will do what’s in his best interest…

And his feeling of kinship with the Russian hierarchy ‘trumps’ everything else as we have seen continually…

Trump doesn’t like or care for intelligence people anyways…

His attention span is such that detailed briefs of stuff are out of the question…

So the Israeli’s maybe pissed…But things ain’t gonna change…

The Russian’s in the Oval office is probably a signal to American National Security staff’s to be CAREFUL in what they convey to their boss Trump….

And other countries will have to be careful what they tell Americans and where they allow it to go…

Just days before President Donald Trump’s arrival in Tel Aviv, Israeli intelligence officials were shouting at their American counterparts in meetings, furious over news that the U.S. commander in chief may have compromised a vital source of information on the Islamic State and possibly Iran, according to a U.S. defense official in military planning.

“To them, it’s horrifying,” the official, who attended the meetings, told Foreign Policy. “Their first question was: ‘What is going on? What is this?’”

White House officials are touting Trump’s visit to Israel next week as a chance to show U.S. solidarity with its closest Middle East ally after eight years of friction between former President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But behind the public display of harmony, Israeli intelligence officers are angry and alarmed over the U.S. president revealing sensitive informationin a May 10 meeting in the White House with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.

Trump divulged classified information gathered by Israel about specific terrorist plotting by the Islamic State. The information reportedly revealedIslamic State advances in bomb-making that could be used to mask an explosive device inside a laptop, and also referenced the city where the unfolding plot was being hatched….

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Trump National Security Council reportedly want’s to send up to 50,000 troops BACK to Afghanistan…

The General ‘s(Led by National Security Advisor McMaster)  running the Defense side for Donald Trump have seen the work they did in uniform slip back to the Taliban because the Afghan’s simply cannot hold ground….

Others have followed the Russian and  Obama actions of packing up and leaving the place….Fighting in Afghanistan is an unforgiving endeavor ….

The word is Trump isn’t happy with the idea….

Image result for the war in Afghanistan

U.S. intelligence and national security officials familiar with the assessment tell me that it was drafted in April, and that it provided estimates of necessary troop strengths for various strategic options. But it found that if an ambitious war plan approved by the National Security Council’s principals committee got a green light from the president — a big if — more than 50,000 U.S. troops would be needed.

That proposed strategy would place the U.S. on a new war footing and in a deeper partnership with the Afghan government in its current campaign against the Taliban. It would also remove arbitrary timelines for withdrawal set by President Barack Obama.

One reason the new war strategy would require more troops is that it envisions using U.S. forces in a support role that until now has relied on outside contractors. Using contractors for functions like vehicle maintenance and other logistical aid have meant that U.S. forces deployed to Syria and Iraq have largely focused on war fighting and training locals. This has kept the total number of U.S. troops artificially low, while increasing the overall cost of the U.S. presence….

Trump has signaled he is in no mood to escalate America’s longest war. Indeed, he has complained to close aides in the last month about how great powers throughout history — from Alexander’s Macedonians to the British Empire — have failed to pacify the country.

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The NATO angle……

NATO’s military leaders are laying the groundwork to send thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan and Iraq to train local forces locked in fierce battles with militants. The move comes as alliance leaders shape and debate a multi-year plan to protect combat gains in those countries and eliminate safe havens where extremist groups might plan attacks against the West.

“I think what we’ll see is that NATO will continue with a fairly modest contribution in the near term and that political leadership in the coming months will discuss the potential for NATOassuming a greater responsibility in Iraq,” Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford told reporters Wednesday after a day of meetings at the alliance’s headquarters.

Dunford said specific troop levels were not discussed during the meetings, which took place one week before NATO heads of state meet here.

“What I just want to do is try to find a way for each country to optimize the contribution they could make,” he said.

NATO leaders hope to know how many additional U.S. troops will be sent to Afghanistan by month’s end, allowing the alliance to deploy troops to meet the uptick in fighting that comes with warmer weather. U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to make a decision after next week’s overseas trip to NATO and the Middle East, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said last week.

At the same time, NATO generals appears to have a consensus that the alliance should take on more responsibility in Iraq…..

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Will the Pentagon do it’s required review of its finances ?

The American military budget is up around  $500 Billion…..

But NO one has ever let the bean counters find where ALL the money is spent….

What has prevented the Pentagon from being examined this way before? The answer lies somewhere “between lethargy and complexity,” said Gordon Adams, a distinguished fellow at the Stimson Center who was the top budget official for national security in the Clinton White House. “It hasn’t been done ever,” he told me, “partly because it’s incredibly complicated to do and also because there’s not a great, powerful will in the building to do it.”

The complexity of the project dates back to the Civil War, Adams said, when the Army and the Navy set up their own separate accounting systems. The Air Force also went its own way after its creation following World War II, and the military build-ups of the last four decades scrambled the department’s financial records many times over. The explosion of military contractors since 9/11 has made scrubbing the books harder still. Adams estimated that an audit would have to account for 15 million to 20 million contracting transactions each year. The Pentagon has spent several billion dollars over the last seven years just trying to consolidate its accounting systems in preparation for a potential audit.

Despite the ramp-up costs, the project has never risen to be a top priority; the Pentagon has simply been too busy fighting wars. “The military has repeatedly argued that they need to focus on the war effort and accountability can come later,” said Kori Schake, a fellow at the Hoover Institution who previously served in a variety of national-security positions in the government. That excuse carried more weight with lawmakers in the years when the United States had hundreds of thousands of troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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