US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, counted among “green hawks” searching for fuel and energy efficiency solutions for the military. In August, President Obama announced that the Navy and the US Departments of Agriculture and Energy had agreed to provide a combined $510 million over three years to help jump-start private-sector production of advanced biofuels.
The Navy celebrates its 236th birthday today.
The Pentagon, which previously warned that reliable military spending figures could not be produced until 2017, has discovered that financial ledgers are in worse shape than expected and it may need to spend a billion dollars more to make DOD’s financial accounting credible, according to defense officials and congressional sources.
Experts say the Pentagon’s accounting has never been reliable. A lengthy effort by the military services to implement new financial systems at a cost so far of more than $6 billion has itself been plagued by overruns and delays, senior defense officials say. The Government Accountability Office said in a report last month that although the services can now fully track incoming appropriations, they still cannot demonstrate their funds are being spent as they should.
The issue of poor bookkeeping has taken on particular political salience as lawmakers more closely scrutinize the $671 billion annual military budget for waste, fraud and abuse amid soaring federal deficits. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, responding in part to bipartisan pressures, announced Tuesday that DOD does not intend to wait six more years — as agreed in 2009 — to put in place long-awaited accounting reforms that advocates say will increase efficiencies and reduce mismanagement. […]
But the new  deadline will also increase expenditures, sources say. Above the $6 billion already committed, Pentagon officials say they were already budgeting $300 million a year for new accounting systems and other preparations for 2017, or a total of $1.5 billion in additional expenses. Several said that any acceleration in the deadlines would cause that spending to rise.
The debate is not an abstraction; senior defense officials and experts on Capitol Hill say that until the military’s books are fixed, the Pentagon — responsible for more than 43 percent of all discretionary spending— will remain unable to determine what its operations and weapons systems really cost; will be unaware of how many spare parts it has or needs and will be stymied in attempts to find savings from duplication and inefficiencies.— Pentagon’s accounting shambles may cost an additional $1 billion (via pantslessprogressive)
The F-35 is designed to be the core tactical fighter aircraft for the U.S. military, with three versions for the Air Force, Navy, and the Marine Corps. Each plane clocks in at around $90 million. In a decade’s time, the United States plans to have 15 times as many modern fighters as China, and 20 times as many as Russia.
So, how many F-35s do we need? 100? 500? Washington intends to buy 2,443, at a price tag of $382 billion. Add in the $650 billion that the Government Accountability Office estimates is needed to operate and maintain the aircraft, and the total cost reaches a staggering $1 trillion. In other words, we’re spending more on this plane than Australia’s entire GDP ($924 billion).—
On one hand, holy crap and on the other hand, holy crap! Once Hillary is done in Washington can we hope she writes about all she has been through in attempts to shift spending elsewhere?