Sen Tom Coburn, R-OK released his long awaited report on areas within the defense budget that can - and should - be cut. These are 'non-defense' areas where the Department of Defense is either duplicating efforts taking place in other areas of government, or simply has efforts under it's purview, that can, and should be handled by other departments, if at all.
The five missions examined by this report—research and development, education, alternative energy, grocery stores, and support and supply services—could be or already are being better delivered by more appropriate federal agencies or departments, civilian federal employees, or even the private sector. Some of these functions have been performed by the military for decades. Others, such as the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, are more recent expansions to the Pentagon’s role and mission.Link
Three questions were asked when reviewing each of the programs and agencies profiled in this report:
- Does the mission of this program or agency directly relate to the mission of the Department of Defense?
- Does another federal agency or government or private entity already provide the services provided by this program or agency?
- Could these resources be better targeted towards higher priority defense needs, such as taking care of troops on the front lines or reducing our $16 trillion national debt?
The five areas examined in this report are by no means an exhaustive list of non-defense spending programs at the DOD. These areas are merely a starting point for reviewing Pentagon spending that is unnecessary, duplicative, wasteful, or simply not related to defense. Department of Everything identifies more than $67.9 billion in budget options to protect the nation against the rising tide of the red menace while enhancing the Pentagon’s focus on its true mission, which is our nations defense.
After skimming through the report, I really haven't found much to disagree with. I think the DoD should remain one of the primary entities to conduct critical R&D.
I'm fully on board with the elimination of on-post schools and commissaries....I would even add to that the elimination of Post and Base Exchanges....but in all cases, only where those installations were remote enough for off post shopping to be prohibitive.
I'm not sure how much Congressional play these proposals will get, but it's a thought provoking read if you're both a fiscal Conservative and interested in military policy.