Sequester Doesn't Prevent Pentagon Staff From Growing

Sequester Doesn't Prevent Pentagon Staff From Growing

With the all the cuts and loses blamed on sequester, one area that seems untouched thus far is the Pentagon. And particularly, the continued expansion of Pentagon staff.

According to the Federal Times, “the size of the Pentagon’s vast oversight organizations grew by more than 15 percent from 2010 to 2012.” For example, the Joint Staff grew “from 1,286 in 2010 to 4,244 in 2012, a 230 percent increase.” 

This growth took place although then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates ordered a freeze “on the number of Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), defense agency and combatant command (COCOM) positions” in August 2010. That was supposed to keep positions at 2010 levels through 2013.

And this growth does not even include “the thousands of contractors working within each organization.”

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says reducing this growth is “a major priority.” Speaking at the National Defense University in April he said the DOD needs to “pare back the world’s largest back office.”

Because the DOD has a set budget, these cuts will have to be carefully directed. Otherwise entrenched bureaucrats will be able to show cuts on paper by “reducing spending in areas such as training, research and weapon procurement” instead of staff reduction. 

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