Theodore's World: U.S. Troop Funds Diverted to Pet Projects

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October 16, 2009

U.S. Troop Funds Diverted to Pet Projects

U.S. troop funds diverted to pet projects

Study finds $2.6 billion taken from guns and ammunition

The Washington Times

Senators diverted $2.6 billion in funds in a defense spending bill to pet projects largely at the expense of accounts that pay for fuel, ammunition and training for U.S. troops, including those fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to an analysis.

Among the 778 such projects, known as earmarks, packed into the bill: $25 million for a new World War II museum at the University of New Orleans and $20 million to launch an educational institute named after the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat.

While earmarks are hardly new in Washington, "in 30 years on Capitol Hill, I never saw Congress mangle the defense budget as badly as this year," said Winslow Wheeler, a former Senate staffer who worked on defense funding and oversight for both Republicans and Democrats. He is now a senior fellow at the Center for Defense Information, an independent research organization.

Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, called the transfer of funds from Pentagon operations and maintenance "a disgrace."

"The Senate is putting favorable headlines back home above our men and women fighting on the front lines," he said in a statement.

Mr. Wheeler, who conducted the study, compared the Obama administration's requests for funds with the $636 billion spending bill that the Senate passed. He discovered that senators added $2.6 billion in pet projects while spending $4 billion less than the administration requested for fiscal 2010, which began Oct. 1.

Mr. Wheeler said that senators took most of the cash for the projects from the "operations and maintenance" or O&M accounts.

"These are the accounts that pay for troop training, repairs, spares and supplies for vehicles, weapons, ships and planes, food and fuel," Mr. Wheeler said.
"Air Force and Navy combat pilots training to deploy are getting about half of the flying hours they got at the end of the Vietnam War," he wrote in his analysis. "Army tank crews get less in tank training today than they did during the low-readiness Clinton years."

Wild Thing's comment.........

The sociopaths in Congress just sink lower and lower everyday and it does not seem possible but they still manage to do it.

This lack of training ammo was a hallmark of the Clinton regime, too, the cuts in the defense budget that produced Clinton’s vaunted budget surplus, meant that Army tank gunners fired maybe one live round a year and equipment was literally failing for lack of spare parts.

Posted by Wild Thing at October 16, 2009 06:55 AM


We can only hope that they get to use what they have where it will really matter when we need them. Cryptic enough for ya?

Posted by: MitchM at October 16, 2009 08:05 AM

That crap ended my budding military career, it went on way back too. The chronic shortages in '68-69, especially to the Marines was bad enough, TET brought about shortages in everything from food to munitions, we couldn't haul enough supplies, ammo, rations and radios, all were in short supply and high demand. It ran the gamut from one extreme to the other. That same shortage system had forced DOD to drop the engineer unit I had joined to be phased out with we personnel being transferred to the nearest transportation unit.
Post war,after two years of polishing the skills and getting the equipment into top combat readiness, our steeds were suddenly loaded up and sent to Israel, 20 M60 tanks gone with no replacements in sight under Ford-Carter, I bailed out in '77 where that unit reverted from Armor to Infantry where it still is.
The consolidation of Army and Air Force is going to drive a lot of career troops out of the system for the same reasons I quit, I refused to pretend we were in tanks when it was an M151, may as well use a broom for a steed and a 2 by 4 for a rifle, that's piss poor training on piss poor equipment, the current ROE's dictate that anyway. Not one F'king thing was learned in Mogadishu!!!

Posted by: Jack at October 16, 2009 09:21 AM

Those bastards. They sit on their asses and spend money on junk and the troops go without. BBB the most important things at the front Beans,Bandages and Bullets.

So help me their time is coming.

Posted by: Mark at October 16, 2009 11:33 AM

OBAMA: "We welcome invaders with OPEN ARMS...." ///// ....and Jack, they NEVER learn the lessons of history past. In a crisis situation, it not like you can teach a pilot to fly one these jets in 3 weeks (or even days!)- it's not a Sopwith Camel!! Tankers, now there's some hardcore guys, and it's almost ALWAYS the guy that shoots first wins. I read recently a good book, "PRAYING FOR SLACK", where, in Nam, some genius general took fully trained tankers, and made them infantry, and then transferred in a bunch of Amtrackers, (BRAVE men, just untrained), and made them 'tankers' - that kind of 'On The Job Training' makes a bunch of guys 'DEAD on the Job'... When you are IN a war, it's not the time pull this idiotic crap (actually, it's NEVER time ...). But then again.... we ARE talking about Politicians... ///

Posted by: pontiff alex at October 16, 2009 11:38 AM

pontiff alex, thanks for the link, the 11th Armored Cavalry, The Black Horse Regiment and the Marines had tanks along QL19, they needed every damned one of them, they patrolled the road and escorted convoy truck drivers through there. On the highway from Pleiku to An Khe you went through the Mang Yang Pass. On one side of the road the sheer mountain wall goes straight up from the roadside and on the other side there is a high cliff. Mr Charles could drop grenades right into your truck from one side and lob mortar rounds and RPG's in on you from the other side, devastating if you were hauling ordinance for the cannon cockers or fuel for the choppers. The French suffered one of their most severe losses there in the 1950's. Those Mechanized Infantry units save many a life with their heavy escort and firepower. Mark, I can never forgive or forget the chickenshit supply lines, Army and Marine alike couldn't get replacement radio antennas for their mobile rigs, yet they were stacked in a warehouse at Chu Lai, to be doled out by some supply dick to his buddies, some were liberated and sent North to our Marines, we had 3 radios on our 3 gun jeeps, that was our lifeline, period!!! TET was 'C's for every meal if you could get them and our job was to deliver them, we were rationed too!!! Most of the problems were turf issues in the rear and tight assed politicians at home, go to the wall and weep!!! Sorry civilian pricks anyway!!!

Posted by: Jack at October 16, 2009 01:34 PM

That Congress has been pilferng the Defense budget for a long time is no secret nor an excuse. It is a morally criminal act. Technically I think they violate their oath of office by pilfering for pet projects.

Another fine reason for term limits.

Posted by: TomR at October 16, 2009 02:06 PM

I hadn't heard this Wild Thing. This is typical for the sleeze-bags that sit in the halls of congress. They will line the pockets of there own special interest while the troops in the field are left holding the bag. Rotten bastards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Ron Russell at October 16, 2009 08:19 PM

Jack, thank you for sharing your experiences
with this.

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 16, 2009 11:44 PM

Alex, thank you for the link.

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 16, 2009 11:47 PM

Mark, I agree there time better be
coming and soon.

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 16, 2009 11:48 PM

Tom, I wish we could jail them for
stealing from the Defense budget.

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 16, 2009 11:51 PM

Ron, your right they sure are
rotten bastards through and through.

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 16, 2009 11:52 PM

Please post the Congressman and Senators names who performed this dasterdly act against the armed forces of this great country. We must know their names in order to address the re election of these traitors. Nowhere did I see their names in the article.

Posted by: BillyE at October 17, 2009 09:31 AM

BillyE, I wish I could find out too. I agree
I want to know, we can vote them out.

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 17, 2009 02:14 PM