BY GLOBAL RESEARCH
TO THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE INSPECTOR GENERAL AND THE DEFENSE FINANCE
AND ACCOUNTING SERVICE, $21
TRILLION IN TAXPAYER FUNDING IS
To help people
comprehend the scale of this, $1 Trillion is $1000 Billion. This means
that $21,000 Billion in taxpayer money has gone missing.
How can this be possible?
We outlined the
“Unaccountable System of Global War Profiteers” in detail
understanding, we are featuring another mind-blowing Department of
Defense Inspector General (DOD IG) report.
The following are
highlights from the DOD IG “Summary
of DOD Office of the Inspector General Audits of Financial Management”:
financial management systems DOD has put in place to control and
monitor the money flow don’t facilitate but actually “prevent DOD
from collecting and reporting financial information… that is
accurate, reliable, and timely.” (p. 4)
frequently enters “unsupported” (i.e. imaginary) amounts in its
books (p. 13) and uses those figures to make the books balance. (p.
records are not reviewed and adjusted; unreliable and inaccurate
data are used to report inventories, and purchases are made based on
those distorted inventory reports. (p. 7)
managers do not know how much money is in their accounts at the
Treasury, or when they spend more than Congress appropriates to
them. (p. 5)18
does DOD “record, report, collect, and reconcile” funds received
from other agencies or the public (p. 6),
tracks neither buyer nor seller amounts when conducting transactions
with other agencies. (p. 12)
cost and depreciation of the DOD general property, plant, and
equipment are not reliably reported….” (p. 8);
the value of DOD property and material in the possession of
contractors is not reliably reported.” (p. 9)
does not know who owes it money, nor how much. (p. 10.)
gets worse; overall:
trails” are not kept “in sufficient detail,” which means no one can
track the money;
“Internal Controls,” intended to track the money, are inoperative.
Thus, DOD cost reports and financial statements are inaccurate, and
the size, even the direction (in plus or minus values), of the errors
cannot be identified, and
does not observe many of the laws that govern all this.
It is as if the
accountability and appropriations clauses of the U.S. Constitution were
just window dressing, behind which this mind-numbing malfeasance
Technically, this is
a violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act, a statute carrying felony
sanctions of fines and imprisonment.
Congress and the
Pentagon annually report and hold hearings on DOD’s lack of financial
accountability and sometimes enact new laws, but many of the new laws
simply permit the Pentagon to ignore the previous ones; others are
If you have a system
that does not accurately know what its spending history is, and does not
know what it is now (and does not care to redress the matter), how can
you expect it to make a competent, honest estimate of future costs?
It is self-evident
that an operation that tolerates inaccurate, unverifiable data cannot be
soundly managed; it exempts itself from any reasonable standard of
Recall, also that
the errors in cost, schedule and performance that result are not random:
actual costs always turn out to be much higher than, sometimes even
multiples of, early estimates; the schedule is always optimistic, and
the performance is always inflated.
defense industry and their congressional operatives want – need – to
increase the money flow into the system to pretend to improve it.
Supported by a
psychology of excessive secrecy, generated fear and the ideological
belief that there is no alternative to high cost, high complexity
weapons, higher budgets are easier to justify, especially if no one can
sort out how the Pentagon actually spends its money.
The key to the DOD
spending problem is to initiate financial accountability. No failed
system can be understood or fixed if it cannot be accurately measured.
And yet, there is no
sense of urgency in the Pentagon to do anything about it.
Indeed, in the
1990s, we were promised the accountability problem would be solved by
1997. In the early 2000s, we were promised it would be solved by 2007;
then by 2016; then by 2017….
The question must be
asked: if nothing has been done by the Pentagon to end the
accountability problem after more than 20 years of promises, is top
management simply incompetent, or is this the intended result of
obfuscation to avert accountability?
A spending system
that effectively audits its weapon programs and offices would also be
one that systemically uncovers incompetent and crooked managers, false
promises and those who made them.
It would also
necessarily reveal reasons to dramatically alter, if not cease, funding
for some programs, which of course would make lots of people in
industry, Congress, and the executive branch unhappy.
The current system
and its out of control finances mortally harm our defenses, defraud
taxpayers, and bloat the Pentagon and federal budgets.
Any reform that
fails to address this most fundamental problem is merely another doomed
attempt that will only serve to perpetuate a system that thrives on
falsehoods and deception.
Hartung, Director of the Arms and Security Project at the
Center for International Policy, summed up the accountability crisis at
the Pentagon by saying:
“Call it irony or
call it symptomatic of the department’s way of life, but an analysis
by the Project on Government Oversight notes the Pentagon has so far
spent roughly $6 billion on ‘fixing’ the audit problem — with no
solution in sight.
If anything, the
Defense Department’s accounting practices have been getting worse.”
original source of this article is Global
DeGraw, Global Research, 2018