The Pentagon just failed its sixth audit in as many years

Not quite 73% of the federal government’s annual budget goes to mandatory programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. That leaves a little over 27% of the annual budget for everything else, and of that “everything else,” almost 47% of the money ($752 billion) goes to the military. However, as the Pentagon’s sixth failed audit reveals, it cannot account for half of its assets—or, should I say, your assets because the government is (or should be) every taxpayer’s fiduciary.

Ideally, our military is a focused fighting machine. On the ground are well-trained troops with all the weapons they need and an infrastructure that supports them no matter what enemy they face. Meanwhile, at command headquarters—the Pentagon—you find people well-schooled in the art of war who dedicate themselves to keeping our troops in peak fighting condition and zealously guard the military’s resources for the awful (and probably inevitable) day when America comes under direct attack.

In fact, while almost all of America’s troops are dedicated men and women who want to be well-trained and benefit from the weapons and infrastructure they need to support them should they face an enemy on the battlefield, the Pentagon has turned into a corrupt, wasteful bureaucracy that would make the late-stage Roman and Byzantine empires proud.

Image: The Pentagon. Public domain.

Nothing more perfectly demonstrates what our military has become than its obsessive focus on race and every variation to heterosexuality. Who can forget former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, explaining that one of his key roles was understanding Critical Race Theory? The fact that the military was the best-integrated institution in America, with its members bleeding red, white, and blue regardless of skin color, was irrelevant to him. Milley’s replacement, Charles Q. Brown, is no better, vociferously supporting the military’s highly woke DEI programs.

We’ve also witnessed the military’s almost overwhelming obsession with the whole LGBTQ+ panoply. Once Obama tossed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and opened the door to so-called transgender troops (an initiative only stalled briefly during the Trump years), things went from bad to worse. Aside from my contention that these people suffer from mental disorders that are either pathetic or grotesquely fetishistic, they’re also expensive. As of June 2021, the year with the most recent information I could find, the military was spending millions on their small numbers:

The Pentagon has spent $15 million in the past five years to treat 1,892 transgender troops, including $11.5 million for psychotherapy and $3.1 million for surgeries, according to Defense Department data provided to Military.com

Of the 243 gender reassignment surgeries performed on military personnel since 2016, 50 took place between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2017, and 193 occurred from Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2019 -- the two years after President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that he would bar transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military.

According to the Defense Health Agency, the surgeries were performed in military health facilities and included removal of breasts or testicles, hysterectomies and labiaplasty -- creation of or reshaping the flesh around a vagina.

A country that views its military as its frontline against enemies would politely boot these damaged people rather than spend tens of millions on them.

When the Pentagon is obsessed with people’s skin colors and the contents of their underpants, it’s not doing its job. That’s why it’s appalling to know that, in addition to its misplaced focus, the Pentagon can’t even manage the money and materiels in its care:

The Pentagon has failed its annual audit for the sixth year in a row, according to the Defense Department’s chief financial officer.

Out of 29 individual sub-audits of the department, only seven passed this year, the same as the year prior, Comptroller Mike McCord told reporters Wednesday.

[snip]

This time around, 1,600 auditors combed through DOD’s $3.8 trillion in assets and $4 trillion in liabilities, conducting some 700 site visits. They found that half of DOD’s assets can’t be accounted for.  (Emphasis mine.)

That audit probably doesn’t include the assets left behind in Afghanistan.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who has presided for three years over the farcical obsessions of a woke military, stated that he “feels we need to be doing better at this and moving faster,” but that getting an actual audit is years away. Well, I understand that the military is a big, complex institution, but I bet that if it directed more energy to managing its core functions instead of race and sex, that time could be shortened to months. In any event, it’s obvious that no heads will roll.

Vivek Ramaswamy says that, if he is elected, he will fire half the federal workforce, a plan I think is great, although I’d massage it a little. For example, I’d fire everyone in the Department of Education. When it comes to the military, I’d leave the number of troops untouched (we’re already low) but fire at least half of our Pentagon officials. As Elon Musk discovered at X, in bloated institutions, most employees are deadweight.

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