Five Weapons that Bilk the Taxpayers:

by Eric Miller And Beth Daley

Today Congress will be presented with $48 billion in defense spending increases. Rather than rewarding the bloated and inefficient Defense Department and its greedy defense contractors with such an excessive increase, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) urges Congress to implement the follow cutbacks:

–Eliminate the Marine’s V-22 Osprey: $26 Billion. Grounded after a series of crashes that killed 30 Marines, the V-22’s woes are widely known. Even the Pentagon’s head cheerleader for weapons-buying, Acquisitions Chief Edward “Pete” Aldridge, has expressed serious doubts about the V-22 and considered cutting the program, some say. “I personally still have some doubts,” he said at a recent briefing. “… There’s lots of questions we don’t have answers to yet.” –Significantly cut or eliminate the Air Force’s F-22: $42 Billion Carrying a price tag of $200 million per aircraft, the F-22 would be the most expensive fighter ever built with little increase in capacity over F-15’s and F-16’s. F-22 spending is out of control. Three years ago Congress attempted to reign in this problem with a spending cap, but the program racked up $9 billion in cost overruns anyway. The taxpayers do not need both the $200 billion Joint Strike Fighter, recently awarded to Lockheed, and the F-22 ? either fighter can accomplish the same mission.

–Dump the Army’s Crusader Howitzer: $9 Billion. Last year, a Pentagon advisory panel placed the Crusader in the lowest category of defense priorities, suggesting that billions could be saved if it were cancelled. The Crusader is nearly twice the weight of the system that it replaces ? too much for the military’s largest transport plane to lift without waiving flight rules ? but military battlefield strategy calls for lighter more mobile weapons.

–Cancel the Army’s Comanche helicopter: $48 Billion. The Comanche, now in its sixth program restructuring, has become one of the General Accounting Office’s poster children for bad weapons development. When first launched in 1988, the Army estimated the Comanche’s development would take 8 years and cost $3.6 billion. Recent estimates are that it will now take 18 years at a price tag of $8.3 billion. Among its many problems is that the Comanche is too heavy to exit hostile battle environments.

–Retire one-third of the Air Force’s B-1 bomber fleet: $130 million. The B-1 is so plagued with spare parts shortages that much of the fleet is grounded anyway. Last year, Secretary Donald Rumsfeld attempted to take 33 B-1s out of service ? a third of the bomber’s fleet. He was overruled by Congress. “It’s a 20-year-old system,” Rumsfeld said. “…It’s designed for the cold war. It’s been headed towards expensive obsolescence.”

During fiscal year 2002, the Pentagon will spend $7.7 billion in development, acquisition, and upgrade cost on the above programs alone. POGO estimates that eliminating these weapons systems alone could save the taxpayers $125 billion between now and 2026. Those savings don’t include operation and maintenance costs for the weapons and aircraft once they are deployed. Other savings could be found by forcing the Department of Defense (DOD) to improve its financial oversight. According to the DOD’s Inspector General the Department could not account for $1.1 trillion, or 25%, of financial transactions in its most recently audited financial year.

To learn more visit http://www.pogo.org

December 01, 2015
John Wight
From Iraq to Syria: Repeating a Debacle
Conn Hallinan
Portugal: the Left Takes Charge
Mike Whitney
Putin’s Revenge? The Fight for the Border
Sami Al-Arian
My Ordeal: One of America’s Many Political Trials Since 9/11
Bilal El-Amine
The Hard Truth About Daesh and How to Fight It
Pete Dolack
Solidarity Instead of Hierarchy as “Common Sense”
Dan Glazebrook
Rhodes Must Fall: Decolonizing Education
Colin Todhunter
Big Oil, TTIP and the Scramble for Europe
Eric Draitser
Terror in Mali: An Attack on China and Russia?
Gilbert Mercier
Will Turkey Be Kicked Out of NATO?
Linn Washington Jr.
Torture and Other Abuses Make Turkey as American as Apple Pie
Randy Shaw
Krugman is Wrong on Gentrification
Raouf Halaby
Time to Speak Out Against Censorship
Jesse Jackson
It’s Time for Answers in Laquan McDonald Case
Patrick Walker
Wake Up Zombie, Kick Up a Big Stink!
November 30, 2015
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Embrace of Totalitarianism is America’s Dirty Little Secret
Omur Sahin Keyif
An Assassination in Turkey: the Killing of Tahir Elci
Uri Avnery
There is No Such Thing as International Terrorism
Robert Fisk
70,000 Kalashnikovs: Cameron’s “Moderate” Rebels
Jamie Davidson
Distortion, Revisionism & the Liberal Media
Patrick Cockburn
Nasty Surprises: the Problem With Bombing ISIS
Robert Hunziker
The Looming Transnational Battlefield
Ahmed Gaya
Breaking the Climate Mold: Fighting for the Planet and Justice
Matt Peppe
Alan Gross’s Improbable Tales on 60 Minutes
Norman Pollack
Israel and ISIS: Needed, a Thorough Accounting
Colin Todhunter
India – Procession of the Dead: Shopping Malls and Shit
Roger Annis
Canada’s New Climate-Denying National Government
Binoy Kampmark
Straining the Republic: France’s State of Emergency
Bill Blunden
Glenn Greenwald Stands by the Official Narrative
Jack Rasmus
Japan’s 5th Recession in 7 Years
Karen Lee Wald
Inside the Colombia Peace Deal
Geoff Dutton
War in Our Time
Charles R. Larson
Twofers for Carly Fiorina
John Dear
An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind
Weekend Edition
November 27-29, 2015
Andrew Levine
The Real Trouble With Bernie
Gary Leupp
Ben Carson, Joseph in Egypt, and the Attack on Rational Thought
John Whitbeck
Who’s Afraid of ISIS?
Michael Brenner
Europe’s Crisis: Terror, Refugees and Impotence
Ramzy Baroud
Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake
Pepe Escobar
Will Chess, Not Battleship, Be the Game of the Future in Eurasia?
Vijay Prashad
Showdown on the Syrian Border
Dave Lindorff
Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar
Colin Todhunter
Class, War and David Cameron
Jean Bricmont
The Ideology of Humanitarian Imperialism
Dan Glazebrook
Deadliest Terror in the World: the West’s Latest Gift to Africa