[A-List] Unimpeachable source
Michael.Keaney at mbs.fi
Mon Feb 4 01:25:27 MST 2002
US loses trillions to 'ghost army'
The Herald, 4 February 2002
THE US Defence Department has lost track of
military equipment worth 10 times its £270bn
annual budget in the past year, according to the
General Accounting Office, the government's
The £27 trillion worth of misplaced kit
represents £5700 a head for every man, woman
and child in America, or 100 times more than
the UK's total defence spending on its army,
navy, air force and strategic nuclear deterrent
submarine force for 2001-2002.
The revelation comes at a time when George W
Bush, the US president, has just approved an
additional emergency £34bn funding package
to help the armed services tackle global
terrorism in the midst of economic recession.
A new "war against waste" is about to be
launched to run parallel with the war against
terrorism, with the GAO ordered to crack down
on the Pentagon's careless handling of
everything from classified guided missile parts
to payments for part-time national guard units
which continue to claim for "ghost" soldiers who
have resigned or are dead.
Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, was
about to wield the accounting axe when
September 11 intervened to change immediate
Now he has returned to bringing to book the
defence establishment, which has not passed a
government audit in a decade. "This is a matter
of life and death. The adversary's closer to
home than Afghanistan. It's the Pentagon
bureaucracy," he said.
The army does not know the whereabouts of
£640m worth of equipment and stores which left
depots in one area and have not been logged at
A GAO source said last night: "A lot of big-ticket
equipment is rusting quietly in railway sidings in
Tennessee or Dakota, or has actually reached
its intended recipient and been shunted into a
warehouse without paperwork to track its
movement. No-one knows it's there.
"The national mood is understandably patriotic
right now and no-one really wants to hear the
harsh truth. If the Pentagon was Microsoft, it
would be bankrupt and people in charge would
be fired for gross incompetence."
The latest shock has come from 40 national
guard whistleblowers who told investigators that
many units in the linchpin of homeland defence
are up to 20% short of their declared
complement of soldiers.
Full article at:
Mercuria Business School
michael.keaney at mbs.fi
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