Procurement: Congress Gives The Pentagon More Than It Wanted

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December 11, 2007: The U.S. will spend $692.3 billion on defense in 2008. However, 27 percent of that (nearly $200 billion) is just for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. For some of this money, there are some strings attached. While the navy gets $11.7 billion for ship building, all submarines, aircraft carriers and cruisers must be nuclear powered. Although the army and marines are having second thoughts about ordering so many armored trucks (MRAPS), Congress gave them $17.6 billion (50 percent more money than originally requested.) That's good politics. The new spending bill comes with more auditors and regulations regarding contract fraud. The generals and admirals have some flexibility here, as this bill is the "authorization" to spend the money, and in most cases, the brass can decide not to spend it on some things. That usually means they can't spend it on something else. But in the case of buying weapons or equipment you don't need, you also save on not having to maintain stuff you did not decide to get.

 


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