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Pentagon's Wasteful Spending Eats Away at US Defense Capability

© AFP 2023 / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKIThe Pentagon is seen from the air in Washington, DC, on March 2, 2022.
The Pentagon is seen from the air in Washington, DC, on March 2, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.03.2024
The Pentagon will receive $10 billion less for fiscal year 2025 than it was initially projected by the Biden administration. What does this mean for US combat readiness?
The Joe Biden administration is expected to request a 1% increase in defense spending to $849.8 billion for FY2025, according to Bloomberg.
However, the 1% increase means that the Department of Defense will get $10 billion less than it was initially projected as last year's debt-limit deal between Team Biden and US Congress imposed caps on government spending. The cuts will affect the F-35 fighter jet program and the much-delayed Virginia-class submarines.
"Reducing these big-ticket items, especially the F-35 – which is over-designed to cost more, yet deliver less in a fighting battlespace – won't make a big difference in future wars," retired US Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, a former analyst for the US Department of Defense, told Sputnik.
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"As for the Virginia class subs, they were intended to be the next gen sub platform (…) to provide a constant threat of a US spanking to countries that got out of line politically. This was for a US foreign policy that no longer works, and frankly – like the F-35 – these subs were not defensive, but offensive."
According to the Pentagon analyst, this "reduction" could be seen as "the very tiny beginnings" of a new defense policy for the US which was forced on bureaucrats and politicians against their will, i.e. the one that brings the US defense back home.
Despite decreasing the Pentagon budget, the Biden administration is weighing whether it can tap around $200 million in US Army funding to provide support to Ukraine. The $60 billion funding package for the Kiev regime remains in limbo as the House Republicans have shifted their focus to border-related security issues.
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The $200 million could be spent on critical weapons, supplies, and artillery shells. US media drew attention to the fact that the debate over this modest sum of money indicates how furious the White House has grown in finding any possible support to the Kiev regime.

"The $200 million from somewhere in the folded bowels of the Pentagon accounting systems is probably constitutionally illegal to use in Ukraine for 'warfighting' purposes," Kwiatkowski told Sputnik. "It will likely, if sent, go to assist in payment of the Ukrainian state employees and try to maintain social order within the reduced boundaries of Ukraine – to try to manage the inevitable coming change in the Kiev government. If this money for an inexplicable reason was sent to provide replacement weapons systems or new ammunition or rockets, it would be an obvious waste."

The former Pentagon analyst is concerned about a lack of a reality-based defense strategy which is bringing the US more waste, more defense sector profiteering and more cost overruns. As a result, this policy is failing to deliver actual defensive capability to the nation, according to Kwiatkowski.

She noted that the Pentagon budget could have been used for ordering cheaper and more efficient aircraft, drones, helicopters and air defensive systems.
"The Pentagon does not 'save' money for rainy days, it would do what the White House asks, even if it is stupid or non-strategic, with the expectation of getting this money replaced in future budgets. Surely, the Pentagon is beginning to wake up, because a 1% increase is – by their way of thinking – a radical and drastic 'decrease' in their budget."
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