Proposals of savings at the DOD

As the DOD has to meet a goal of $487 bn in savings over the next decade under the Budget Control Act, it needs to make them carefully so as not to cancel crucial weapon programs (such as the JRADM) and not give up essential platforms (such as Navy cruisers). Here are my proposals of specific savings in every part of the defense budget, divided into the following categories: Healthcare and Benefits Reform, Procurement Reform, Termination of Unneeded Programs, Bureaucracy Reduction, Fuel Cost Reduction, Personnel Reductions, Ship and Plane Retirements, BRAC, Intelligence Community Reform, and Other Savings.

A) Healthcare and Benefits Reform

1) The military retirement system and healthcare program reform proposals of Senator McCain and the CBO (except the proposal to deny TRICARE benefits to military retirees, who have earned them) should be adopted. These reforms would save at least $100 bn over 10 years. Alternatively, Congress could adopt the reform proposals devised by Baker Spring of the Heritage Foundation and other recommendations of the HFThese include: “military health care coverage programs under TRICARE should be converted from the existing defined-benefit structure to a defined-contribution structure. Under this approach, a portion of the reductions in benefits can be offset by increasing the level of basic pay provided to the troops. Additionally, military service members, retirees, and their dependents may be provided tax advantages they carry with them for the rest of their lives.” Senator McCain’s and the CBO’s proposals are preferrable, however. (;;

2) All DVA and DOD hospitals must adopt electronic health records to reduce costs.

3) The number of documents a soldier is required to file with the DOD must be reduced from the current level (22); the 8 commands he must file them to must be merged with each other (thus creating a single command); a single information system should be used to process all forms (rather than 16 different inf. systems); the Army’s 3 personnel databases must be merged; the new single Army personnel database must be able to interact with the separate pay system and the medical recordkeeping databases. The Army should merge these MR databases. As few forms as possible should be required, and as many of them as possible should be made possible to be submitted through the Internet. (

4) The Service Secretaries should review all military hospitals and, if they can, merge them with each other to reduce installation costs (just like Walter Reed is scheduled to merge with Bethesda Naval Medical Center). Hospitals should be merged with the BNMC, Fort Detrick, the Dewitt Army Hospital, or other hospitals. The medical unit based at Bolling AFB should be relocated to Andrews AFB. Other hospital mergers and unit mergers should be decided by Service Secretaries.

5) The military retirement age should be increased to 70 years of age. Military personnel should be entitled to a full military pension after they serve for 30 years (which should be the baseline service period for military benefits). The retirement system must be dramatically simplified by the Congress. At the same time, it should be graduated so that those who retire before completing 30 years of service also get a pension, although not a full one. There should be no grandfather clause.  All recommendations of the DBB regarding military pension reform (i.e. reform of the military retirement system) should be adopted, without prejudice to other proposals contained in the DRPP .(;

6) Military personnel dependents older than 18 years of age should not be eligible to use the DOD’s HC programs. It is ridiculous to claim that 26-year-old people are “children”.

7) All medical facilites, agencies and commands of the DOD should be merged into a single Military Medical Command, which should be responsible to the relevant Assistant SECDEF. The saving would be $307 mn in CY/FY2007 dollars (i.e. $323.97 mn in 2010 dollars). (
(8) The DOD should raise TRICARE program premiums to adequately finance that program. (

9)  The DOD’s HC program system must be broadly restructured to save $460 mn per year, as per the recommendation of the GAO. In addition, all other reforms reccommended by the GAO in its report of 1/3/2011 should be implemented. (; Also, all wasteful expenses identified by the DOD’s IG should be abolished.

10) The following reforms recommended by the DOD in September 2011 should also be implemented: a) Military retirees would pay an annual fee for TRICARE-for-Life health insurance, and TRICARE pharmacy co-payments would be restructured; b) savings of $6.7 billion over 10 years by establishing “modest annual fees” for members of TRICARE-for-Life, which becomes a second-payer insurance to military retirees who transition to the federal Medicare program upon turning age 65. The change would begin with a $200 annual fee in fiscal 2013; c) savings of $15.1 billion in mandatory funds and $5.5 billion in discretionary funds over 10 years by restructuring co-payments for TRICARE pharmacy benefits; d) to bring the TRICARE plan more in line with private and other federal plans, the plan would eliminate co-pays for generic mail-order drugs, while shifting retail co-pays from a dollar amount to a percentage co-pay. The change would apply to military families and retirees, but not active duty service members. e) As the DOD’s plan proposes, there should be a “grandfather clause”. (

11) The lowest-cost bidder should always be picked for the TRICARE program. (

12) The DOD, the DVA, and the NIH must do a better job sharing information and consolidate all of their duplicative programs, especially medical research programs. (

13) All DOD programs intended to help wounded veterans should be transferred to the DVA and they should become the DVA’s exclusive responsibility. The programs must become much more efficient and much easier for the wounded and their families to navigate. Only one person should handle one patient or his insurance policy, and wounded vets should receive their programs and their recovery plans solely from the DVA. (

14) The DOD needs to shift its health programs and its retirement system from a defined benefit basis to a defined contribution basis. Furthermore, all members of the military should be allowed to choose between the DOD retirement system and a private retirement fund (as is the case in Chile and Galveston) and to contribute to either of them on a defined contribution basis.

15) All programs supporting single mothers should be made contingent on these women marrying someone no later than one year after the enactment of this requirement.

16) The DOD’s programs of benefits for the troops should be reformed along the lines proposed by the CSBA in this study. (

17) The DOD should create a single payment system for all members of the military (just like the single payment system for all civilian employees of the DOD) to replace the separate payment systems of the separate military services that exist now, while reforming and graduating it. (

18) The US military should stop shifting personnel from assignment to assignment too soon; assignments should become much longer than they are now (on average, 4 years long) so that personnel costs are reduced and people have the time to get used to their new assignments and become proficient in them. (;

19) As Sen. Coburn has proposed, “Congress should assess the long term affordability of DOD personnel pay and benefits, including for dependents, retirees, and survivors. Pay and benefits should be reformed to the extent that all such benefits are affordable within a DOD budget that assumes zero real growth for the foreseeable future. One of the areas that should be examined is the massively complicated pay structure built in to the Department of Defense. The layers of complexity involved with administering all the special pays, incentives, and tax benefits have a huge cost on the Defense Department in the area of administrative and human resources costs that do not benefit our troops. Similarly, the Defense Department should determine which benefit programs are valued the most by our servicemen and women to determine if certain prized benefits can be boosted while underutilized and obsolete benefits are phased out.” (

20) All military personnel costs should be consolidated into a single appropriation.


1) Multi-year-procurement-contracts should become the standard procedure for purchases of any significant quantities of weapons, i.e. for the majority of weapon programs. The DOD should always use multiyear procurement contracts when ordering surface combatants, submarines, fighterplanes, attack aircraft, EW aircraft, bombers or helicopters, and any other products whose purchases are spread over more than one FY, because MPCs reduce costs and stabilize the shipbuilding industry and other industries that make products for the DOD. Almost all DOD weapon procurement programs should be conducted on a MYP basis. This should include the DDG-51 class, the VA class, the V-22, the M1 tank, SM-3 missiles, THAAD and PATRIOT batteries, the EA-18G, the AMRAAM, the F-35, the M/C-130, the P-8 Poseidon, and the E-2D.

2) To further stabilize procurement programs, and all other defense programs, as well, the Congress should (1) combine the authorization and appropriations processes; (2) reduce the number of committees and subcommittees having overlapping oversight of DoD budgeting; (3) revise procedures to make it impossible for individual members to introduce amendments to the budget bill forcing the president to buy items not in his budget request; (4) shift to a biennial Defense budget; and (5) adopt reforms to further stabilize the procurement process, including funding more programs on a multiyear basis. The multi-year procurement method should be the rule, not the exception. These reforms were suggested as early as September 1988 by Secretary Frank Carlucci.( To accomplish #4, the Congress should pass, and send the President for signature, the Biennial Budgeting Act (H.R. 114, S. 211) sponsored by Rep. David Dreier (CA-26) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA). (;

3) Competition should be required for all DOD contracts.

4) The highest-priority programs of the DOD, such as bomber, submarine, fighterplane, tanker, AWACS, ICBM, SLBM, cruise missile, attack aircraft, aircraft carrier, amphibious assault ship and LPD programs, should be managed by two- or three-star officers and be outside the DOD’s regular acquisition system, just like the MRAPV program.

5) As the Heritage Foundation has recommended, the Congress and the DOD should “Modernize Logistics Systems. Currently, performance-based logistics partnerships between Department of Defense and defense industry personnel have helped increase our combat capabilities. The Aerospace Industries Association estimates that modernizing and expanding such performance-based logistics could save as much as $32 billion per year.” (

6) The DOD should adopt the recommendations of the Congressional Defense Acquisition Reform Panel, which is supposed to save $135 bn over the next 10 years, or $13.5 bn per year. (;

7) In any competition between unionized and nonunionized companies, nonunionized companies should be preferred.

(8) The DOD should indefinitely suspend all of its procurement (but none of its export) regulations (except for those the administration specifically decided on a case-by-case basis to reinstate) to reduce the cost of goods (including weapons). The cost of doing business with the fed. govt. adds 20% to the cost of any good (including any weapon), compared to their price on the commercial market. (

9) These acquisition reforms, meant to reduce acquisition costs by 10% (suggested in the “Cutting Fat without Cutting Substance”, published in the Contract Management industry journal in May 2012)  should also be implemented/

Now, regarding specific weapon programs:

10) The DOD should slow down production rates for F-35s for the next several years (or until LM demonstrates that the F-35 design is mature and that all design flaws have been resolved, and demonstrates the F-35′s basic flying qualities) to no more than 30 aircraft per year, and preferrably only 24 aircraft per year (or, the DOD could halt production for the next several years)Of these, the majority of aircraft should be A-model (Air Force variant) fighters, because the USAF needs these aircraft ASAPAll other F-35 program reforms proposed by former Deputy SECDEF Gordon England (including devolving most responsibility for the F-35 program to the Services and giving foreign program partners more influence over the program) must be implemented. All cracks on A and B model aircraft must be addressed, and all problems raised by the QLRs and by Bill Sweetman (including problems with the fuel dumping system, the helmet-mounted display, latency, the IPP, the lagging sensors, the buggy electrical system, and with the arresting hook on the C model) must be resolved, before the F-35′s production rate becomes higher than 24 planes per year. To fix hook problems, the DOD should use hooks from existing carrier aircraft, such as the Super Hornet, or placing the hook elsewhere than where it currently is. The QLR reports’ recommendations (including those of the newest QLR) must all be implemented. All future tranches of F-35s (and all other weapons) must be bought under fixed price contracts. The ban on F-35s flying within 25 nm of predicted lightning should be abolished, and most tests should occur at NAS Patuxent River and Edwards AFB rather than Eglin AFB. The lightning protection system must be tested ASAP. All further decisions about F-35 concurrent production must be event-driven, i.e. based on how the planes do during tests. Furthermore, the degrees of concurrency for all three variants should be considered separately because they have substantially different designs and expectations for when they will be developed, tested, and produced. In the future, excessive concurrency must be avoided in all weapon programs. Also, IOC dates should be set for all three ASAP variants ASAP (for  the F-35A, it should be July 4th, 2016). (;; All other problems with the F-35′s design must also be resolved. ( The F-35′s B and C variants must undergo more frequent testing than before in order to catch up with the schedule (the C variant is only 5 test flights behind schedule, but the B variant is 30 test flights behind schedule). However, after all testing is completed, the production of F-35s should be dramatically ramped up, and additional 590 F-35s (572 F-35As and 18 F-35Bs) should be ordered. Alternatively, a competition for the order for the 481 additional fighters could be staged between the F-35 and other offers. Furthermore, the F-35 must have at least some basic cyber protections. Today’s aircraft need a switch that shuts off all the electronic apertures through which they can potentially receive transmissions, lest electronically savvy enemies hack into them. That rule must also apply to all future aircraft programs, including the NGB and the F/A-XX. Furthermore, Lockheed’s F-35 manufacturing plant should be militarized and de-unionized, and any strike should be treated as a desertion, punishable with the maximum penalty allowed by the UCMJ. The F-35’s lightning protection system must be sufficiently tested, including flying the aircraft in real storms. If these reforms do not result in flaws being fixed, or at least being put on their way to being fixed, and cost overruns are not stopped and at least slightly reversed, the annual LRIP rate should be reduced to only 10 aircraft per annum or LRIP should be suspended altogether until all design flaws are resolved and until testing is complete.

Last but not least, the F-35 program should be put on a two-year probation. If, during that time, most problems of the F-35 program are not fixed or at least put on the way to solution, the F-35 program should be cancelled and F-22 production should be revived. F-22s for the USAF, the USMC, and the USN could be procured at a fraction of the F-35’s program cost.

11) To reduce the cost of carrier construction, the USN should employ the cost-reduction methods proposed by RAND in its 2005 study, namely a) building ships in pairsb) learning of the routine by the shipyard workforce (i.e. doing the same stuff over and over again, i.e. repeated production tasks) (repetitive production usually leads to efficiencies as a workforce becomes more experienced with a particular product); c) reducing the crew requirement (compared to the Nimitz class) by an additional 200 men in addition to the 800 men that the Ford class is already designed to cut (so the total crew requirement cut would be 1000 men); d) outsourcing of some of the work (e.g. fitting the ship out) to contractors other than NGNN; however, the Navy should not skip the RCOH of any carrier and should not agree to RAND’s proposal to build carriers at 2-year intervals or to replace Nimitz class vessels with CVN-21 class vessels faster than the current plan is. If the Navy does, it should opt for a 30-month interval and refuel CVN-72, but not CVN-73; the USS Kitty Hawk should, in that case, be recommissioned in 2016. In that case, the replacement for CVN-73 should be ordered together with that for CVN-68 and commissioned in 2020. ( The Ford class must be sufficiently tested, including tests of its survivability and defensibility against ASBMs such as the DF-21 (a test of the SM-3 against a target simulating the DF-21 should also be conducted). (

The costs of aircraft carrier development and procurement must be dramatically reduced, e.g. with multi-year procurement contracts, commercial off the shelf technology, less ambitious designs, less expensive materials, and so forth. (

12) All ship cost-cutting reforms proposed here should be implemented, except laying off workers or making them part-time employees, because that would only further damage the industrial base. Annual ship orders must be significantly increased (and under this plan, they would be) if the shipbuilding industry is to survive. It is nonsense to claim that the Navy can’t devote more than $15 bn per year to shipbuilding when the DON’s annual budget is ca. $170 bn and the DOD’s annual core budget is $526 bn. $15 bn is just 2.85% of the core defense budget. Even doubling the shipbuilding budget would mean it would amount to just 4.7% of the core defense budget. Radical cuts of bureaucracies, HQs, noncombat units, and fuel costs (as well as other savings proposed herein) should be used to pay for increases for orders for ships (and other weapons). (

13) The cost of a Virginia class submarine must be reduced down to $1.8 bn – $2 bn per boat and preferrably even lower. This can be accomplished partially by implementing the reforms already planned by the program office and the ONR, partially by using commercial off-the-shelf technology wherever possible (there are still many unexploited opportunities to do so), and partially by significantly increasing the orders for these subs and purchasing them with MYP authority under fixed priced contracts. They’re cheaper to buy in larger numbers. They should be bought at a pace of at least 3 per year, and no FY should be an exception to that rule. The Virginia class sub slipped out of the FY2013-FY2017 FYDP must be reinstated to it. The Navy should eventually buy 60-70 of them. (;

14) The cost of one San Antonio class LPD must be reduced to no more than $1.282 bn, and preferrably even less (preferrably as little as one Mistral class LPD costs ($420 mn – $600 mn) to make this class competitive with the Mistral class). Cost reductions should be negotiated with builders on the promise of additional orders, and competition should be used to reduce costs further. The class should be built on a MYP basis. Orders for this class should be sought abroad.

15) The New SSBN (SSBNX) program should use a modified Virginia class hull design or the Ohio class design, not an entirely new design, thus cancelling SSBNX design development (and its costs), saving the USN $26 bn on every submarine, and reducing the cost down to just $2.4 bn per boat (and even less if economies of scale are realized). This means that the USN’s future submarines should be derivatives of the Virginia class, which is one of the quietest submarine classes on the planet, or the Ohio class.

16) The USDOD should create a Strategic Weapon Programs Fund and finance the SSBNX program from it to protect other ship programs. The fund should receive money exclusively from the sales of exquisite equipment of the DOD and obsolete warships. These monies should be devoted exclusively to that fund. (

17) Because the EFV program has been cancelled, the USMC should modernize its existing AAVs and receive amphibious M113 APCs that would be retired from the Army as a result of further Stryker APC purchases before the ACV is introduced in 2014. The Marine Personnel Carrier program should be cancelled; additional ACVs (enough to replace all AAVs one-for-one) should be procured instead.

18) The DOD must standardize on only one electronic warfare weapon in each category, thus consolidating or closing duplicative programs. In terms of EW aircraft, that should be EA-18G Growlers, and after EA-18G production is completed, by F-35 aicraft (both of which should be equipped with Next Generation Jammers). These two aircraft types should serve side by side. ( The DOD must negotiate a reduction of the per-plane price of an F/A-18E/F plane to $40 mn with the producer of that planetype (Boeing). (

19) The USAF’s crucial CSAR-X program (which was supposed to yield replacements for the USAF’s Combat Search And Rescue Helicopter Fleet) was cancelled in April 2009 by Bob Gates. I have developed an alternative way to replace the USAF’s vintage CSARH fleet: buy 141 (or more) casual H-60 Black Hawk helicopters and modify them for the CSAR role (as was done with the USAF’s first MH-60 helicopters – they weren’t purpose-built CSAR aircraft, but rather modified H-60 helicopters). Black Hawks (not CSAR helicopters) are currently being procured by the US Army and the USAF anyway, and have been procured for many years. As interim helicopters, the 27 H-1 Iroquis helicopters currently parked at AMARC, all H-34 helicopters currently parked at AMARC, all H-46 helicopters parked at AMARC, and all H-53 helicopters currently parked at AMARC, should be recommissioned and modified for the CSARH role. These helos should also become available to the governors of Gulf Coast states.

20) The USAF should replace its UH-1 Iroquois utility helicopters and its UH-1N Huey utility/SAR helicopters with the same type of aircraft that will replace the USAF’s obsolete MH-60 CSAR helicopters. Such a common type of replacement helicopters would mean significant savings. For the USAF alone, it would mean a one-time saving of $600 mn.

21) The contract for “the continued development, production, test, training, operations, and sustainment” of the MDA’s Ground-Based Midcourse BMD system should be submitted to a bid. Both Boeing and LM want to bid for it. It would be worth $4.2 bn over seven years. (

22) No missile defense systems that haven’t been sufficiently tested should be rushed into production and deployment. They must all be sufficiently tested before deployment; and for the time being, the DOD should rely on existing, proven systems such as SM-3 Block IA/IB/IIA, the Aegis System, the GBI, THAAD, and PATRIOT. The MDA must deploy better radars than those planned for Romania and Turkey; be able to distinguish real warheads from decoys, and develop faster interceptors, such as 2-stage GBIs; deadlines to deploy missile defense systems in Europe should be significantly changed if need be to ensure that systems are thoroughly tested before deployment; the DOD shouldn’t commit to any unproven technologies and shouldn’t commit any money to them. Aegis Ashore systems must not be deployed anywhere until they are developed and sufficiently tested and proven to work. Missile defense deployment plans must be tailored to these programmatic realities. The DOD should furthermore develop, and ultimately field, the Air and Missile Defense Radar and stop procuring Aegis radars, and avoid any expensive changes to BMD systems’ design. The DOD should fully fund the SM-3 Block 2B while also fully funding, and completing, the development of the Block 1B and make it capable of intercepting ICBMs and ASBMs of any kind. Furthermore, the Block 1A should also be tested against ICBMs. (;

23) To reform the Ground-Based Midcourse Interceptor program, the DOD should avoid excessive concurrency between development and deployment. The deployment of any further GBIs should be delayed until all problems with the GBI program are fixed and the interceptors and EKVs are sufficiently tested. Sufficient funding must be provided for GBI and EKV testing (which cannot be done if funding for the GBI is frozen or troubled). An additional test, against an IRBM such as the SS-20, should be conducted. After such testing is complete, however, and if it yields positive results, dozens of additional GBIs need to be procured and deployed. GBIs should be smaller, lighter, and faster and consist of 2 stages, not 3. The DOD should also cancel the SM-3 Block 2B missile and build an East Coast missile defense site instead. (

24) All space launch programs and rocket programs contracts (and all contracts for everything else) should be bid competitively and the cheapest offer should always be chosen. For space launches and boosters, a Californian company is offering its products and offering to reduce the cost per booster from $420 mn to $60 mn. The USAF should stop always choosing big space companies. ( Furthermore, competition would break the United Launch Alliance’s monopoly and open a chance for other potential contractors, such as the SpaceX company (which has already significantly reduced costs at NASA), to obtain DOD contracts and save DOD money. At all times, the cheapest offer should be chosen.

25) The cost overruns that plague the SBIRS program must be ended and the program must be completed on budget.

26) The Army and the Marines need to make sure that their future vehicles (including those that will be procured under the GCV program) will be air-transportable by a C-17, a C-130 (mid-weight vehicles), or a CH-47 (light vehicles). They must not be too big or too heavy. If not, they may need to reconceptualize these vehicles.

27) The Stryker program should be cut and eventually closed (in FY2015), and any resulting savings should be used to upgrade M1 tanks to the M1A2 SEP TUSK standard (all M1 tanks should be upgraded to this standard); the Lima production plant must NEVER be closed; closing it would cost $380 mn, and restarting production 3 years later would cost $1.3 bn, a total cost of $1.68 bn, an utter waste of money; instead, the Army should keep the production plant open indefinitely, continue to produce M1 tanks, and continue to modernize existing M1 tanks to the M1A2 SEP TUSK standard; the GCV program should be delayed or cut if necessary to provide further funding to upgrade M1 tanks; other programs, such as a “battlefield network”, should also be cut if necessary to provide funding for M1 tanks (;;;;|nextstory)  The saving resulting from keeping the Lima Production Plant open permanently would be at least $1.68 bn over the FY2013-FY2016 period, and all of it should be reinvested in the modernization of all Army and USMC M1 tanks to the M1A2SEP TUSK standard.

28) The Services need to coordinate and consolidate their UAV programs, and they all should be managed by the USD for ATL and the USD for Intel; the OSD should establish a JIEDDO-style office, reporting to the USD4ATL’s, to manage all of these programs. Also, as the GAO’s February 28th, 2012 report rightly says, “the undersecretary of defense for intelligence as well as DoD’s ISR Task Force need to develop a roadmap that outlines what UAS and sensor capabilities need to be maintained and what systems can be eliminated post-Afghanistan.” The USD for Int. needs to determine what systems can be eliminated after 2014. (

29) The Alternative Jet Engine Program (the F136 jet engine program) should be revived as a competitor to the F135 engine type. The short term cost of this program would be small; the long-term savings would be large, as is always the case when a competition is staged. The producer of F135 engines must not be granted a $130 bn dollar monopoly. (;

30) At NAVSEA, the Navy should create a Director of Naval Shipbuilding with a long tenure measured in many years (e.g. 8 years), just like the Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion. He should be held accountable for all Navy shipbuilding programs, including any delays and cost overruns. (

31) The Army needs to speed up the development of its Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T) system after its significant delays. (

32) When designing future aircraft, the military and the industry need to maximize the use of light weight, high strength metal alloys, such as Ti, Al, and AlBe alloys, and the use of composite technologies and the associated materials, both of which provide a stiffer, stronger airframe with an even further reduction in the air vehicle’s relative structural weight, as has been done with the PAKFA by the Russians. (

33) The DOD should immediately allow US troops and commanders to buy the Palantir IED detection system and buy it itself. It should be standard issue for the US military. This would make the Distributed Common Ground System totally unneeded. (

34) The US military should have a two-service CSAR helicopter program (instead of a single-service CSARH program) and should conduct it together with allied militaries in order to 1) reduce unit costs (and total program costs) and 2) ensure the commonality of American and allied CSAR helicopters.

35) The USN should limit the crew of each additional Burke class surface combatant it orders to 200 personnel, 100 fewer than on the Burke class vessels built so far; forego plans to equip such warships with a new fuel-efficient “hybrid” powerplant derived from the DDG-1000’s electric motors; and equip it with bow bulb, located just above the sonar dome protrusion on the existing generation of warships. According to internal Navy studies cited by the CRS and, the second bow bulb would improve the ships’ fuel efficiency by about 4 percent and lead to slightly better speed and range. No new guns should be installed aboard these warships. Tomahawks should handle the CAS task. The DOD should promote competition between the two shipyards which build these ships to reduce costs. The cost of one Burke class vessel should be reduced from $1.843 bn – $2 bn to $1.4 bn or, preferrably, to $0.932 bn. That is to say that the cost of an Arleigh Burke class vessel should be reduced to $932 mn per ship, as is the case of the cost of a single King Sejong the Great class vessel, which is larger, heavier, and more heavily armed than an Arleigh Burke class vessel. UPDATE: The website says that the unit cost of a single Arleigh Burke class vessel is just $1 bn, but its cost should be still reduced further nonetheless. (; In addition to all of these reforms, the USN should use multi-year-procurement procedures to achieve maximum possible savings on any Burke class warships it may purchase, and significantly reduce the crew of every new Burke class warship. Moreover, every year, the USN should be procuring the same number (at minimum two, and preferrably four) of such warships. The cost of one such warship must be reduced to no more than $932 mn, down from the current cost of $1.843 bn. Moreover, the following reforms of the DDG-51 program should be implemented:

  • The Navy should reconsider whether to develop and build Flight III DDG-51 vessels or whether to build additional Flight IIA ships or additional Ticonderoga class cruisers, or to resume the DDX or CGX program, or buy a license to build Korean King Sejong the Greatclass vessels. Irrespective of that, the 7 cruisers that the Navy planned to retire as of April 2012, and the 3 remaining Baseline 0-1 Ticonderoga class cruisers, should be repaired and fitted with BMD capability, as well as armed with lasers and railguns.
  • The Navy should not waste money on any radars that will provide only a marginal increase in capability insufficient to meet the Navy’s demands, but neither should it make any radical changes to DDG-51 design or install a radar larger than 14 feet in height. (
  • If necessary, and if it decides to build more Burke class ships instead of cruisers, it should plug such ships.
  • The Navy should forego plans to install expensive hybrid electric engines on new Burke class ships. Instead, it should install natural-gas-derived-fuel-propelled engines, or ones that can run on Fischer-Tropsch fuel.
  • Realistic cost estimates, as well as realistic, achievable cost and schedule baselines, need to be made, not rosy ones.
  • No more VLS cells should be added to DDG-51 ships.
  • If necessary to accomodate lasers and railguns on board, and if removing traditional ship guns would not make enough room for them, the Navy should lengthen the DDG-51 hull design or build Zumwalt class vessels or cruisers instead. Lasers and railguns will be absolutely necessary and ships must be designed and built with that assumption in mind. However, to accomodate them, the Navy may try removing other weapons (e.g. conventional guns) from the Burkes.
  • Contracts for Burke class ship orders must be bid competitively and must call for lower prices than those currently estimated; in other words, to win, a bidder must offer superior capability at a lower cost than his rivals.
  • Any contracts for Burke class ships or their related equipment and materials must be fixed price contracts.
  • Burke class ships (and most other weapons) must be bought on a MYP basis.
  • The Navy should assess whether it can safely operate ships with a gravity point lower than required and with other ship stability requirements waived, try to remove some older weapons such as 5-inch guns and some VLS cells to make room for newer weapons, and make all other possible attempts to accomodate better engines, coolants, and radar on the Arleigh Burke class (whether redesigned or not). If it can’t, or if such attempts produce ships with insufficient capabilities, Burke class construction should be ended in FY2016.

The DDG-51 class should be put on a two-year probation. Under no circumstances shall the cost of a single Burke class vessel exceed 2.1 billion dollars. If DDG-51s are found to be too expensive to build or redesign (to accomodate the AMDR and hybrid-electric motors), their production should be ended at DDG-115 and the production of the Zumwalt class, the CGX class (which was designed for missile defense missions), or the Ticonderoga class should be resumed. (


36) F-35s should be produced in bulk, not across the whole country in a piecemeal manner, which would, by itself, save $38.8 bn over the lifetime of the program.

37) The Army’s and the USAF’s purchases of obsolete or surplus spare parts should be significantly reduced.

38) In the presidential helicopter modernization program, the DOD should set a price ceiling of $67 mn per unit, in CY2011 dollars.

39) The DOD should not buy radios that it will have to replace within the next few years with new ones. It should buy only ones that can last for long and will cost little. (,%20the%20army%20to%20put%20troops’%20safety%20first,%20modernize%20ineffective%20&%20outdated%20service%20rifles)

40) The following reforms should be implemented: integration of the DOD’s supply chain and “Customer Pay” (; this boneheaded proposal needs to be stopped:

41) The Army should delay the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program until it reduces the weight of both designs (GD’s and BAE’s) submitted for the competition without significantly reducing the vehicle’s armor. In other words, when making difficult tradeoffs between weight reduction (and thus cost reduction) on the one hand and armor on the other hand, the Army needs to reduce weight and costs, but not excessively so as not to end up with a poorly protected vehicle. The Army should select GD’s GCV, which weighs only 64 tons empty and 74 tons with all the armor, but replace its conventional diesel engines with hybrid diesel-electric or LPG-propelled engines, which would reduce vehicle weight by 3 tons. The GCV’s full weight must not exceed 70 tons. If the Army and the companies cannot significantly reduce the GCV’s weight, the program should be cancelled. Until these issues are resolved, it should be put on a 5-year probation. (; Competition must continue into the program’s production phase. (http://%20http//;


1) Any further purchases of M16 and M4 rifles, 9mm Beretta pistols, and rounds for them should be cancelled. They should be sold and replaced with M14 rifles (and ultimately, a next generation rifle; the German Army’s standard rifle should be considered, as should be the OICW, the PAPOP, and the SA80) and with .45 caliber pistols, respectively. The next gen rifle competition should be sped up and contract awarded before 2014. (,%20the%20army%20to%20put%20troops’%20safety%20first,%20modernize%20ineffective%20&%20outdated%20service%20rifles)
2) The Joint Tactical Radio System should be cancelled and replaced with simple radios and “walkie talkies”.
3) The purchases of other MRAP vehicles should be reduced and ended in FY2016. The military already has enough of them.
4) As recommended by the GAO, the DOD should standardize on a single type of mine rollers – either the Army type or the USMC type, whichever offers better protection. Likewise, it should standardize on a single type of long range ISR drones – either the Global Hawk or the BAMS.
5) The T-X trainer aircraft competition should be cancelled. Instead of developing new trainer aircraft, the USAF should buy aircraft of an existing type, e.g. T-6 Texan II planes, and recommission the trainer aircraft parked at AMARC.

6) The Predator and Reaper programs. All orders for Predators and Reapers should be cancelled. The total number of Predator/Reaper Combat Air Patrols should be reduced to 40. If the Congress passes any bill with funding for any additional Predator or Reaper drones, or prohibiting the retirement of existing drones, the President should veto it.

7) The Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) program should be terminated. It has already cost $3 bn. It is over budget, 5 years behind schedule, and can’t perform even basic tasks. It should be replaced with the Palantir. All Army and Marine divisions deploying to combat should be equipped with the Palantir. (

(8) The Navy should terminate the LCS program immediately. LCS ships are nonstealthy, unstable, unsurvivable, unable to defend themselves, particularly vulnerable to air and missile attacks, and lack any offensive capabilities. The cost of a single LCS is $440 mn (2 times what it was originally supposed to be) without even counting the cost of LCS modules, without which LCS ships are incomplete. These ships are also suffering from serious corrosion problems – both the monohull and the trimaran. They are also suffering other hull problems, and it is unlikely that any of these problems will be resolved anytime soon, if ever. As Adm. James Lyons suggested, “The program should return to its original target of $220 million per ship and combine with the U.S. Coast Guard to build a dual-purpose ship with a credible integral combat system that can meet limited warfare requirements. This very different ship should be built in large numbers as part of the coming Ocean Patrol Cutter Program. Such a change would achieve huge savings for both the Navy and the Coast Guard tied to large production numbers. The funding saved from canceling the LCS could be used to procure the most capable high-end combatant ship with margins enough to allow future modernization.” Alternatively, the DOD could purchase 55 Holland class ships (which are cheaper than LCSes), Roussen class Fast Attack Craft, Hamina class boats, French-produced avisos (e.g. D’Estienne D’Orves) or Norwegian Skjold class boats (and Fridtjof Nansen class frigates) or British-produced offshore patrol vessels. Building Roussen class FACs would be the best option, as they are the best armed vessels of all the classes listed here, and far better armed than both LCS classes. (;;;;;;;;

The savings resulting from this cancellation would run into tens of billions of dollars. Some of them will have to be used to meet the requirements of the 2011 BCA, but some can and should be used to build large warships, and some to properly maintain existing warships (20% of the USN’s ship fleet is unfit for combat,

9) The Army’s D6A program, a multi-billion-dollar intelligence program, should be cancelled and replaced by the intelligence program that all other services, as well as PayPal, use at a total cost of just $25 mn per year, as suggested by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA). (

10) The MEADS program should be cancelled. In lieu of MEADS, the Army should develop (alone, not with foreign countries) the next generation of the PATRIOT system, including a radar with 360-degree coverage. This radar should work in the L-band and be capable of tracking BMs, CMs, and aircraft alike. The next generation of PATRIOT missiles, capable of shooting down all three of these, should also be developed and called PAC-4. (

11) The Army should complete the procurement of CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopters in FY2013. The Army already has enough of them, and these helicopters are not fit to serve as anything other than heavy lift platforms and troop transports. For CSAR and MEDEVAC missions, the Army should procure Blackhawks.

12) The SM-3 Block 2B missile should be cancelled and the funding intended for it should be shifted to the Block 1B and Block 2A missiles, including the procurement of enough SM-3s to satisfy combatant commanders’ requirements. (

1) The US military should transport only the necessary WH staff (e.g. the Secret Service), medical staff and military staff during official tours; only such staff should be allowed to make tours on any DOD-owned aircraft; all in all, an American delegation for a summit should number no more than 100 people.
2) The staff of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs should be reduced by 50%.
3) Reduce both the staff of the Office of the SECDEF and the budget of the OSD by 75%. This should include a reduction of the SECDEF’s salary by half, and a reduction of the salary of the DOD spokesman ($165,000 per year) by 25%.
4) The DOD Police should be merged with the Pentagon Police, and should become responsible for the Pentagon in Arlington (VA). It should also be merged with the PFPA, and inherit all of their rights and duties. (
5) The Office of the Under SECDEF for Policy should be abolished. The “Defense Prisoner of War/MIA Office” should report to the USD for Personnel; the Offices of “the ASD for Intl Security” and “the ASD for Global Security” should be merged and should report directly to the SECDEF and the Deputy SECDEF. The five Under Secretaries of Defense reporting directly to the SECDEF shall be: USD (Comptroller), USD for AT&L, USD for Personnel and Readiness, USD for Global Security Affairs, USD for Intel. Alongside them, the Director of A&M at the OSD, the General Counsel of the DOD, the DOD’s IG, the SECDEF’s Assistant for Public Affairs (who should replace the ASD for Public Affairs), and the chiefs of some DOD agencies should also report to the SECDEF. The Director of Program Assessment and Evaluation, the Director of Net Assessment, and the ASD for Network Information & Integration should all be subordinated to, and work at the office of, the USD for AT&L. Thus, there would be only 5 USDs reporting to the SECDEF, and their title would be the same: “Under Secretary of Defense for …”. (;
6) The number of Naval Districts should be reduced from 10 to 7 by: a) merging the DC Naval District with the 5th Naval District; b) merging the 13th Naval District with the 17th Naval District (and the HQ should be in Juneau); c) merging the 8th Naval District with the 7th Naval District. (
7) The CIA should be abolished because it pointlessly duplicates (and rivals with) the DIA. All of its personnel, equipment, and buildings should be given to the DIA. (
(8) The Pentagon Task Group on Climate Change should be dissolved.
9) The number of paperwork doers in the Pentagon must be reduced by at least 25% ( The number of lawyers employed by the DOD should be reduced by at least 10%.
10) The office of Deputy Under Secretary of the Army and the office of the Chief of Public Affairs of the Army should be dissolved. ( The office of the Chief of Naval Information should be merged with the office of the Chief Information Officer of the Navy.
11) The cost of overhead must be reduced as a share of the DOD budget from 40% now to no more than 20%, and ideally 10%.
12) The DOD must review all of the “positions” it maintains and consider how many of them could be merged or abolished.
13) The number of command tiers/ bureaucracy tiers separating the SECDEF from a line officer must be reduced from 30 to 17, and ideally to 9.
14) All contractors who only supervise other contractors, all bureaucrats who only supervise other bureaucrats, and all secretaries who only supervise other secretaries should be sacked.
15) The USMC’s Combat Development Command (MCCDC), which is responsible for training and similar roles, should be merged with the USMC’s Training and Education Command.
16) The cost of the administration of the Department of the Army must be reduced by 25%, from $13.786 bn to $10.3995 bn.
17) The number of Presidential appointees (incl. Assistant Secretaries, Deputy Assistant Secretaries, and Under Secretaries) employed by the DOD must be reduced by at least 50%. The number of Under Secretaries of Defense should not exceed 5 (plus one Assistant to the SECDEF for Public Affairs), and they should be: USD for ATL, USD for Personnel and Readiness, USD for Intelligence and Counterintelligence, USD for Global Security Affairs, and USD (Comptroller).
18) All unneeded boards and commissions in the DOD must be abolished. Their number must therefore be halved from the current level (65), as must be their cost ($75 mn per year). One of the boards that should be dissolved should be the Defense Policy Board.  The DBB should also be abolished. (
19) The number of the internally-demanded reports and studies generated every year must be reduced by at least 25% from the level to which Robert Gates proposed to reduce them. The DOD should also work with the Congress to reduce the number of Congressionally-directed reports (no fewer than 905 per year as of 2011) by at least 75%. Likewise, the number of the intel reports generated by the DOD’s intel agencies and the rest of the USIC should be reduced by at least 25%. (;
20) The DOD should review if every single building it owns is truly needed, and sell all unneeded buildings.
21) At the DOD, there should be only one agency (and only one military command, subordinated to it) responsible for information operations (influencing foreign populations to like the US); and only one agency (and one military command, the US Cyber Command) responsible for cyber wars.
22) The General Counsels of the AF, the Navy and the Army should be laid off; their duties should be assumed by service JAGs, who, like all JAGs, must be admitted into the bar of at least one state.
23) The Air Force District of Washington should be abolished. The USAF Honor Guard, Andrews AFB and Bolling AFB should be subordinated to the Air Mobility Command.
24) The Sixteenth Air Force should be deactivated, as should be the AFRICOM. All USAF units based in the continent of Europe, from Lisbon to the Urals, should all be subordinated to the Third Air Force, and through it, to the EUCOM. The 5th Air Force should be merged with the 7th Air Force; their HQ should be based at Yokota, the current HQ of the 7th AF.

26) The office of Senior Military Assistant to the SECDEF should be abolished. The Chairman of the JCS should perform that function. The offices of Vice Chairman of the JCS and Director of the Joint Staff should be merged – the Vice Chairman of the JCS should be, ex officio, the Director of the JS.

27) The cost of the amalgam of DOD bureaucracies, agencies, and commands (known by the DOD employees as the 4th Estate) must be reduced from $63 bn per year to $21 bn per year, i.e. by a factor of three. The resulting savings would be $42 bn per year. (

28) Also, the current apparatus for managing people and money across the DoD enterprise is woefully inadequate. The agencies, field activities, joint headquarters, and support staff functions of the department operate as a semi-feudal system – an amalgam of fiefdoms without centralized mechanisms to allocate resources, track expenditures, and measure results relative to the department’s overall priorities. This must end. All DOD agencies, field activities, joint HQs, and SSFs must be subordinated directly to the OSD and forced to report, every year, how much money they spend annually and how many people they employ. (
29) These amendments should be adopted to reduce the size of the DOD bureaucracy:;

30) The number of DOD committees that must approve requirements for every weapon program must be dramatically reduced from the current number (40), ideally to only one per each Service Department approving all weapon requirements of that Service Department, and absent revisions by the SECDEF or the USD for AT&L, all decisions of such committee should be final. (

31) NAVSEA/Bureau of Ships should employ no more than 4,000 people, which it was employing during the 1980s, when it was buying 28 ships per year; and ideally to 1,000 people, which it was employing during WW2, when it was buying 1,000 ships per year. The Bureau of Ships should instead bet on the quality of personnel – it should employ engineers, businessmen, MBAs, and MIT and VT graduates. (

33) “The DoD’s fiscal year 2012 budget proposed spending $87.6 billion on contracted services, a $23.7 billion (38 percent) increase from the previous year.” The DOD needs not merely to freeze the cost of contracted services, but to immediately reduce that cost in real terms from the FY2011 level or only slightly above, which would be $63.9 bn in FY2011 dollars, down to no more than its FY2001 level. They must be bought for a lower price, some can be discontinued, and others can be performed by government employees. The number of contractors should be reduced down to its FY2001 (pre-Afghanistan) level. All critical government functions should be performed by troops or civ. govt. employees, not by contractors, and nonessential ones should not be done at all. The DOD nowadays spends more money on buying contracted services than on buying goods (such as weapons). Update: the FY2012 NDAA, if signed into law, would freeze this spending at FY2010 levels, a necessary first step; however, merely freezing it will not suffice. It needs to be reduced to $63.9 in FY2013 and then reduced significantly in successive years. ( Salaries for contractors should never exceed the salary of an Army 2nd LT. (

34) Government employees, including civilian DOD employees, must earn no more than the average pay of a private sector worker.

35) The job of Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion should be a two-star job, not a four-star one. Army and Air Force Service Commands should be led by 2-star officers, not 4-star ones. Service Chaplain Chiefs should be one-star officers. The commander of the Fleet Forces Command should be a 3-star admiral. The jobs of Commander,  Naval Forces Europe, and Commander, Sixth Fleet, should be combined and held by a 3-star officer. The jobs of the Directors of Service Intelligence Agencies should be 2-star, not 3-star, billets. The jobs of Vice Commander and Deputy Commander of the 5th fleet should be merged.

The total number of civilian DOD workers must be reduced, through layoffs and attrition, by at least 15% (as proposed by the DBB), and ideally by more than that. Former DOD Comptroller Dov Zakheim reports that according to the DOD itself, 110,000 civilian DOD employees could be laid off without doing any harm to the DOD. These reductions need to occur concurrently with a significant reduction of the number of contractors. Federal rules need to be amended to allow the DOD to lay off workers, not just refuse to replace them. (

39) The Director of the Navy History and Heritage Command should be a civilian historian, not a military officer.

40) At all UCCs and across the entire DOD, travel and representation spending must be cut by 50%.

41) The DOD’s command structure (or at least its middle and upper echelons) must be radically simplified and flattened, like private sector corporations’ structure.

42) The cost of operating one presidential plane must be radically reduced, from $179,000 per hour to no more than $50,000 per hour. The two B747s that currently serve as AF1 should be replaced not with new B747s but with B787s. (

43) The Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, established solely to wage the Iraqi and Afghan wars, should be disbanded after CY2014. (—heresy-or-fiscal-imperative)

44) The DOD must ensure that all mistakes and problems that plagued the US military during Operation Rolling Thunder, including a lack of a clear, unified chain of command, are resolved (

45) The following levels of command should be abolished, along with all of their general officer billets: divisions, Corps, numbered Armies, and numbered Air Forces.

46) Overall, overhead should account for no more than 10%, and ideally just 5%, of the entire defense budget.

47) No more DOD conferences should be held. Teleconferences should be conducted instead. (,%20hold%20agencies%20accountable)

48) The DOD should implement all of the CNAS’s recommendations on bureaucracies, command structures, contractors, general officer billets, duplication, the intelligence apparatus and Professional Military Education, but not on platforms or the force structure, except the F-35 and the LCS. (

49) The DOD should reduce the number of personnel assigned to overseas and CONUS headquarters and replace some of the military personnel currently performing some support functions with civilians (budget options 050-16 and 050-17). (

50) The 37 billets identified by a certain DOD report ( should be downgraded to a lower rank than the flag rank.

51) The perks enjoyed by, and the staff assigned to, generals and admirals should be dramatically reduced.


1) The entire “green fuels” scam in the DOD must be ended IMMEDIATELY and all persons involved in it, including Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, fired and prosecuted. All “alternative fuel usage” and “alternative energy sources usage” mandates and goals, and all “alternative fuel” programs and purchases, must be ended immediately. The military should NOT buy ANY “alternative fuels” except Fischer-Tropsch fuel. It should never buy any kind of fuel which costs more than JP-5 or JP-8 fuel. It must always buy the cheapest possible fuel. Naval aircraft should be propelled SOLELY by pure 100% JP-5 fuel, which costs less than $4 per gallon, while algae-derived fuel costs $15-$26 per gallon. ONLY fossil fuels and nuclear fuel should be used by the DOD, and nothing else.

2) The DOD should not finance any nonmilitary-related projects, including any nonmilitary-related energy or technology projects. This includes spending on any noncompetitive energy source, any noncompetitive civilian technological device, or any other non-military-related thing. Moreover, catalyzing a commercially viable alternative energy industry is not within the military’s purview. Even it if were, the federal government has a horrible track record of developing products for commercial use. In most cases, governments fund things that have no market value—hence the need for government support. No such money should be provided by any government agency, including the DOD, to any things that lack any market value. (

3) All future Amphibious Assault Ships of the US Navy should be propelled by nuclear reactors rather than diesel engines. This would cost only 4% more than conventional propulsion, and only on the basis of an optimistc assumption that during the next 3 decades the price of oil will not grow by more than 1% per year above inflation (a dubious, rosy assumption). If the price of oil grows annually by at least 1.7% per year above inflation rates from now until 2040, nuclear propulsion will become economical for Amphibious Assault Ships. As a response to high oil prices ($110/bbl as of 24/1/2012), all ships of the America class after the USS America should be nuclear-propelled.
4) The US military should start recycling nuclear fuel.

5) All civilian employees of the DOD should use laptops rather than stationary PCs (laptops are 11 times more electricity-efficient than stationary computers).

6) The Army’s solar electric plant project should be cancelled, as should be all other DOD solar EP projects and solar panel purchases.

7) No flyovers.

8) People who are not members of the Executive Branch (including the Speaker of the House) should fly commercial airliners, not military jets. Military VIP jets must be reserved exclusively for members of the Executive Branch. The fleet of Gulfstream-V jets should be reduced from 9 to only 6 jets. Any orders for any additional VIP jets (excluding three large VIP jets to replace SAM28000 and SAM29000) must be cancelled. (

9) All civilian cars owned by the DOD must meet a 78-mpg CAFÉ standard. Simoultaneously, the fleet of civilian cars owned by the DOD must be reduced by 50% and the surplus cars should be sold. The SECDEF should stop riding gas-guzzling limousines and SUVs and start riding in highly-efficient cars such as Ford Mondeos.

10) Winglets should be installed on all civilian aircraft of the DOD (C-40s, Gulfstream jets, C-32s, E-4s, VC-25s, OC-135s, WC-135s, B737s, etc.) and on all KC-10 tankers of the DOD. All future civilian aircraft that the DOD will buy must have winglets. (
11) The USAF should replace its 4 B757s (C-32s) and its 2 B747s (VC-25s) with 4 B787s.

12) New engines should be installed on all B737s owned by the DOD to reduce the amount of fuel consumed every year by B737s. This would mean a saving of $125,000 per year per plane. (

13) LV100-5 engines should be installed on all M1 tanks of the US military, and should be made able to run on 100% Fischer-Tropsch fuel and on a 50/50 blend of diesel and FT fuel. New APUs should be installed on all M1 Abrams tanks.

14) C-26 aircraft shall be used only as cargo aircraft, not as antinarcotics aircraft. (

15) The US military should use Fischer-Tropsch fuel (alongside petroleum-derived fuels) to propel its tanks, IFVs, APCs, MLRSes, trucks, generators and heaters. ( When buying synthetic fuel for any purposes, the US military should not discriminate against foreign synthetic fuel producers.

16) All bases and buildings of the DOD should be thermally isolated. (

17) All of the DOD’s green programs, including those of the Air Force, including all DOD wind turbine programs, must be terminated. (

18) The DOD should review all of its infrastructure in the US and abroad (including all of its buildings). Those that are not needed and will never again be needed should be dismantled so that they can be taken off the books and so that the DOD will no longer need to maintain them (and to save energy costs). In the case of DOD infrastructure abroad, unneeded infrastructure should be returned to the host countries. (

19) B-52s (including the B-52s from AMARC that will be recommissioned) and E-3s should receive new, fuel-efficient engines. The T55 engines of all H-47 Chinook helicopters must be replaced with new engines to reduce their fuel consumption rate by 1/3 and costs by 1/2. (

20) When the First Lady travels anywhere, she should never use the USAF’s VC-25s (B747s); instead, she should use smaller aircraft such as B757s or Gulfstream jets. Similarly, the President of the United States should, whenever possible, use one of the USAF’s 4 B757s or Gulfstream jets rather than B747s.

21) The US military should immediately stop fueling its ground vehicles and conventional ships with regular diesel and start fueling them with Fischer-Tropsch fuel (or a blend of FT fuel and regular diesel), which should be derived from coal, peat or wastewood.
22) This equipment should be standard gear for all US Army and USMC units. (;

23) DOD officials should significantly reduce their travel budgets and the distance, number, and frequency of the trips they make.

24) The USAF needs to dramatically reduce its fuel bill by all available means, including reducing some operations, greater use of economically-viable alternative fuels (including those derived from natural gas, coal, wood waste, algae, and other plants), installing new, more efficient engines on aircraft, thermal insulation of needed buildings, and razing unneeded buildings. The DOD must NEVER raid procurement or R&D accounts to pay for fuel costs. (

25) LED lights should be used wherever possible, including at all DOD buildings. (


1) Reduce the aggregate number of civilian employees of the three service departments by at least 50%; the number of DOD speechwriters must be reduced by 50%; the number of DOD advisors must be reduced by 25%.
2) Radically reduce the number of generals and admirals, to no more than 776 (the pre-9/11/2001 number) from the current number (876), and preferrably to 700. Also, reduce the number of DOD civilian employees to the CY2000 level. This means that the growth of the number of generals, admirals and DOD civilian employees since 2000 must be completely reversed. (; Furthermore, the military should cancel and revoke its plans to lay off (pinkslip) captains, majors, and colonels, and instead radically reduce the number of generals and admirals, to no more than 700. Retiring OF-3 to OF-6 rank officers, who are at their prime, makes no sense. Analyst Kerry Payton estimates this number to be 919, not 876, as of 11-5-2011. It should be reduced, in any case, to no more than 700. The number of Navy admirals should be reduced from 336 to no more than 250, i.e. by 86. (
3) The annual cost of military personnel (which was $170 bn in FY2010), on the whole, must be radically reduced, by no less than $40 bn, and its inflation-adjusted growth must be stopped. Salaries and privileges must be reviewed. The DOD must also invent a system that will be generous enough to recruit and retain high-quality people, but not one that will cause the DOD to collapse under the weight of personnel costs like GM and Chrysler did. (
4) Dual-hat some commands and merge others (e.g. the US Army’s FORSCOM should be merged with the Army’s SDDC, and the Army’s Materiel Command should be merged with the Army’s AASC);
5) Replace the 3 Seawolf-class SSNs with 3 Virginia-class submarines when the Seawolf-class retires;
6) Cap the salaries of all civilian employees of the DOD.
7) Require that every new ship program reduce the number of personnel required for 1 ship in comparison to the ship program it is replacing (the Gerald R Ford class is supposed to require 25% fewer crewmen than the Nimitz class); and
(8) On the whole, the number of the DOD’s civilian personnel (800,000 people as of September 2011) should be reduced, on the whole, by at least 20% through attrition (replacing only 50% of retiring civilian DOD employees), even taking hirings of significant numbers of civilian DOD personnel for tasks such as acquisition into account. The system of salaries and pensions for these civilian employees must be reformed so that its cost will be reduced in real terms. (
9) The posts of the Vice Chairman of the JCS, and the Administrative Advisor of the SECAF should be abolished as should be the entire Environmental Division of the CNO’s Office the AFIS and the AFPS; the military bands of the USAF, of the USMC, of the USN and of the US Army (except their central bands) should be dissolved.
10) The Honor Guards of the four services of the DOD should be reduced by 50%. The 3rd Infantry Regiment of the US Army should be reduced to 1 battalion.
11) The Army’s PSYOPS group, the 4th PSYOPS group, should be disbanded. It’s a useless propaganda unit. (
12) The aggregate number of Soldiers and Marines should be initially capped at the 2009 treshold and then reduced further.
13) The US Army’s NASCAR team should be abolished. (
14) The US government should abolish the CIA and assign its functions to other intel agencies (e.g. the DIA). It should also create a dedicated counterintel agency at the DOD.
15) Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Asian part of Russia should be added to the AO responsibility of the USPACOM. The US Africa Command should be disbanded; Africa should become an AOR of the US Central Command. Israel and the rest of Asia Minor, should be added to the AOR of the USCENTCOM, too.
16) The presidential helicopter fleet should be replaced with 14 VH-60 helicopters. No separate program for that purpose is needed, these 14 VH-60s should be derivates of H-60s.
17) The Naval Historical Center and the Army Historical Center shall be abolished, and all historians employed by the DOD except the historians at military universities shall be retired and not replaced.
18) The Joint Staff’s personnel should be reduced by at least 25%; the Air Staff’s personnel and the Naval Staff’s personnel should both be reduced by 10%. The personnel of the Directorate for Strategic Plans and Policy of the JCS should be reduced by at least 25%. (
19) The US Strategic Command’s Center for Combating WMDs should be abolished. The Civil Affairs Commands of the US Army should be merged to form 2 commands, one on the East Coast and the other one on the West Coast (in CA); their personnel should be reduced by 50%. (
20) The staff of every Marine and Army division should be reduced by at least 10%, as should be the number of personnel at each geographic AF command and at each Numbered Air Force except the 18th AF. Even better, Army divisions and numbered AFs should be abolished entirely.
21) The staff of each task force should be reduced by at least 10%. The JFCOM (including the personnel the Strategy and Policy Directorate) and the AFRICOM should be dissolved. The HQ personnel of every other unified combatant command (the geographic and functional commands alike) must be reduced to pre-2001 levels. This means laying off 694 employees of the OSD, 30 employees of the Joint Staff, 1405 employees of the Dept. of the Army, 517 employees of the Dept. of the Air Force, 2,007 employees of the CENTCOM, 1,391 employees of the EUCOM, 9 employees of NATO, 37 employees of NORAD, 776 employees of the PACOM, 1831 employees of the SOCOM, 881 employees of the SOUTHCOM, 1581 employees of the Strategic Command, and 341 employees of the TRANSCOM (11,500 people in total). In the case of the NORTHCOM and the AFRICOM, which did not exist in 2000, the number should be reduced by 50% (by 745 people and 742 people, respectively). That would be a total of 12, 987 DOD HQ employees. Unfortunately, these numbers have grown at all DOD commands since 2000, even at the EUCOM, even though since 2000 the DOD has withdrawn tens of thousands of military personnel from Europe. Gates would only freeze the number of HQ personnel. The total HQ personnel numbers and post-2000 HQ personnel growth rates for each command and Military Department are available at:
Complete data on HQ personnel of each command and each Military Department as well as the Joint Staff should be provided to the Congress, and Sen. Webb’s questions should be answered. (
22) The number of officers should be reduced if it can be done in a way that would ensure that this policy doesn’t weaken the US military. The current number of American military officers who are not generals or warrant officers is 209,878. The total current number of American military officers is 226,565. (
23) Replace all C-130E-Hs with Super Hercules planes, because according to the USAF’s website, “The C-130J is the latest addition to the C-130 fleet and will replace aging C-130E’s. The C-130J incorporates state-of-the-art technology to reduce manpower requirements, lower operating and support costs, and provides life-cycle cost savings over earlier C-130 models. Compared to older C-130s, the J model climbs faster and higher, flies farther at a higher cruise speed, and takes off and lands in a shorter distance. The C-130J-30 is a stretch version, adding 15 feet to fuselage, increasing usable space in the cargo compartment.
C-130J/J-30 major system improvements include: advanced two-pilot flight station with fully integrated digital avionics; color multifunctional liquid crystal displays and head-up displays; state-of-the-art navigation systems with dual inertial navigation system and global positioning system; fully integrated defensive systems; low-power color radar; digital moving map display; new turboprop engines with six-bladed, all-composite propellers; digital auto pilot; improved fuel, environmental and ice-protection systems; and an enhanced cargo-handling system.” –
24) The next generation of attack submarines should be as automated as the Russian Graney class, so that the crew of one submarine will be reduced to only 50 crewmembers. (
25) On top of the above reductions, the DOD should retire the 14,650 Air Force personnel (but not the 2,477 Navy sailors) hired in 2009 (under the FY2010 budget), and completely reverse the Bush expansion of military by 100,000 men (the “Grow the Army Initiative” and the “grow the USMC program”). Update: Sec. Panetta has proposed to cut the military by some 95,000-100,000 personnel; this is not sufficient.
26) On top of the above reductions, the increase of the number of military personnel proposed by Sen. Joe Lieberman in 2009 should be reversed. (It is supposedly scheduled to expire in FY2013, after FY2012.)
27) On top of the above reductions, the USN, the USAF and the US Army should review whether they can afford to reduce their officer-to-enlisted-man ratio to 1:9 (the USMC’s ratio) and their civilian-to-military-man ratio to 1:15 (the USMC’s ratio). (–%20Gen%20Conway%20at%20CSIS.pdf)
28) On top of the above reductions, the USAF should reduce its current number of personnel from 335,000 to 331,700 (the authorized number), and resume its 2002 plan to lay off additional 40,000 airmen. (
27) On the whole, the number of military personnel (counting Guardsmen, Reservists and AC personnel together) should not exceed 2.2 million. The number of Army combat personnel should be reduced to its pre-2008 level, but not lower. The Marine Corps should likewise reduce its end-strength, but not to fewer than 182,100 men (6,100 Marines above its normal active-duty size before 2008), and must always retain its basic force structure (3 active duty MEFs, each one including a Marine Division, a MAW, and logistical units). 175,000 active-duty Marines is the absolute minimum.

28) The number of contractors must be significantly reduced; the annual cost of contractors and the annual cost of contractors must be frozen at the FY2011 level (in real terms) and then reduced significantly every year for the next 5 FYs. The resulting annual savings would be $23.7 bn per year in FY2012 dollars. In Iraq and Afghanistan, in the past decade, contractors wasted $12 mn per day. Additionally, DOD personnel, military and civilian, should perform most of the tasks now performed by DOD contractors.


1) Some A-10 and F-16 aircraft should be retired and replaced by less expensive platforms. The DOD should consider ordering ground attack drones to replace A-10s. In Afghanistan and other COIN environments, A-10s and drones rather than expensive-to-operate manned aircraft like the F-15 and the F-16, should be used. Obsolete fighters such as the F-15 and the F-16 should be retired as soon as they reach the end of their operational service lives and these lives cannot be prolonged.

2) Offer the aircraft carriers USS Constellation and USS John F Kennedy to India (or any other country) if India (or any other country) pays for these ships and refits them. If not, scrap them.
3) Strip the two remaining reserve battleships of the USN, the USS Iowa and the USS Wisconsin (and two decommissioned battleships, USS Alabama and USS Massachusetts) of their guns, then sell the 2 reserve battleships (Iowa and Wisconsin) to scrappers. The guns themselves should be used to arm two monitors that should be ordered.
4) All KA-planes, A-4 jets and F-4 planes parked at AMARC should be sold to the IAF, the Luftwaffe, the Argentine AF, the Japanese AF, the Turkish AF, or the ROKAF. ( All SH-2 helicopters parked at AMARC should be sold to the RNZAF. All C-9 and DC-9 planes parked at AMARC should be sold to Third World airlines.
5) The Spruance class vessel still moored in a reserve fleet should be sold, not sunk; USS Barry should be scrapped; CG-47-49 and CG-51 should be recommissioned and upgraded with the Aegis BMD system; no American ships should be sunk by the USN; the USN must not donate any ships as museum ships.
6) All obsolete ships in American reserve fleets (i.e. all ships in those fleets except modern ones like those of the Ticonderoga class and Los Angeles submarines, which should all be recomissioned except those LA class submarines whose lives have ended) should be sold or scrapped to earn money for new weapons. All 4 Forrestal class aircraft carriers and the ex-Kennedy should be scrapped. Alternatively, the USN should implement James Brinton’s plan for a Great White Fleet of 3 decommissioned, demilitarized aircraft carriers (funded by private charities and foreign governments,manned by civilians) that would conduct humanitarian operations in lieu of USN ships (thus saving the DOD and taxpayers money, time, and equipment).

7) All F-16s, F-15s and F/A-18s that are too old to fly or cannot fly for any other reason must be cannibalized for spare parts. All F-15s and F-16s that are flyable should be recommissioned as interim aircraft to replace retiring F-15s and F-16s. This means that all F-15s and F-16s which are not too old to fly should continue to serve the USAF. All F/A-18s which are flyable should be recommissioned as interim aircraft to replace retiring F/A-18s.
(8) All S-2s parked at AMARC should be sold to Taiwan, as should be some S-3s parked at AMARC. (Alternatively, all S-2 planes should be sold to the Government of California. (

9) All T-2s parked at AMARC should be sold to Greece.

10) All 7 C-20s (i.e. Gulfstream-III jets) should be retired and sold to private owners. All C-32 (B757) aircraft of the USAF should be retired and replaced with 2 B787 jets. 3 of the 9 Gulfstream-V jets of the USAF should be mothballed at AMARC.
11) The Pentagon should give 12 of the Hercules planes parked at AMARC to the RAF; it should then reclaim (i.e. use for spare parts) all other aircraft (incl. B-1s, B-52s, C-5s and A-10s) parked at AMARC (except F-15s, F-16s and A-6s, which should be recommissioned and kept in service as interim aircraft until additional F-35s are ordered, if they are ever ordered) to keep the US military’s aircraft flyable. (Note: the currently planned Pentagon figure of 2443 F-35s for the entire military is woefully inadequate, as was the previous DOD figure of 2543 F-35s.) At the same time, the DOD should continually buy spare parts and upgrades for F-15s and F-16s, taking advantage of the still-open F-15 and F-16 production lines, and continually modernize F-15s, F-16s and A-10s to keep them flying for as long as possible (to prevent a “fighterplane gap”).

12) Old ships and planes (e.g. old C-130s, F-4s and A-4s from AMARC) should be sold, as weapons or as spare parts, to foreign countries to raise money for the procurement of new weapons. Likewise, excess Predator and Reaper drones should be sold to foreign countries.

13) The DOD should sell all of its decommissioned, obsolete C-130s except those that can be used for cannibalization (reclamation). It should also sell some of its F-111s to Australia to help it recover the capability lost when its F-111s were retired. The DOD should also see if it can sell some of its helicopters parked at AMARC to foreign countries or private customers.

14) The DOD should sell its remaining C-9 and its sole remaining C-22 (Boeing 727) to Sun Country Airlines or some other airline. When 4 replacement aircraft for the DOD’s B757s are delivered, these B757s should also be sold to Sun Country Airlines. The DOD’s fleet of ANG troop transport and non-Gulfstream VIP transport aircraft should be consolidated into a fleet of B737s and B787s and operated like a no frills airline.


1) A new BRAC round should be started. The bases listed here in proposal H-1 should all be closed.


The DOD’s sprawling intelligence apparatus should be reformed along the lines listed here in Chapter J.



1) The DOD’s management structures should be further trimmed, and should be reorganized along the lines of management structures of private corporations like ABM and Google. Executives from such corporations should be brought into the DOD to advise the DOD on the implementation of this reform. (

2) The DOD’s Human, Social, and Culture Behavior (HSCB) Modeling program and the Humanitarian Assistance Program should be abolished.

3) The Congress must not include any earmarks in defense budgets nor in Supplemental Appropriations Acts, and must eventually ban earmarks altogether. Earmarks included by the Congress in the DOD’s budget cost the DOD $4 bn per year and don’t pay for any personnel, equipment or fuel, but rather for pork projects that are useless for the DOD. The DOD should refuse to execute any earmarks, and the President should be given a line item veto (by Constitutional Amendment, if necessary) to eliminate earmarks from the defense budget.

4) All 48 “projects to celebrate service and recreation on public lands” of the DOD should be abolished. (

5) The DOD should privatize its mail service, as suggested by Herman Cain. (

6) The DOD should apply the Lean Six Sigma method to eliminate wasteful expenditures, speed up the production rates of weapons, make DOD depots and America’s weapon factories more efficient, and deliver weapons to troopers faster. However, all savings resulting from this method (and any other method) should be reinvested in the DOD, not diverted to deficit reduction. ( Moreover, all DOD employees should learn the Lean Six Sigma method.

7) The US military should stop making photos of aircraft, regardless of whether a landmark serves as the background of a photo or not. It should also stop flying aircraft for the purpose of photographying them. (

(8) The US military needs to adopt a written Joint Concept of Operations, as suggested by retired General John Jumper, to eliminate duplicative programs and ensure that each service has delineated tasks and is buying equipment for that task before a war starts. (

9) The allegations that the DOD buys $20,000 toilet seats must be investigated and, if found true, the responsible parties must be punished and the DOD must stop buying such toilet seats.

10) The DOD’s annual printing costs should be reduced by 97%, from $1.4 billion to $0.042 billion ($42 mn) per year. The DOD should print only those documents that cannot be printed, must be printed, and cannot be stored electronically. Everything else should be written, sent, and stored electronically.

11) The SECDEF’s travel budget must be reduced by at least 50%, and the SECDEF must stop using the USAF’s jet fleet as a private taxi service and stop imposing large costs on taxpayers. The SECDEF’s party fund must be abolished. (

12) GWOT spending: All nationbuilding/development projects should be immediately cancelled. Any future GWOT/war theater projects (if pursued at all) must not only be completed on budget, they must also be sustainable, i.e. useful for many decades to come, instead of becoming useless. After 2014, the ANSF must be sized right, so as to be big enough to stave off the Taleban threat but also not too big to become unaffordable for Afghanistan. There must be no white elephants. Any unsustainable projects must be cancelled immediately. (, ca. 148:00) All unneeded COIN projects, construction projects, infrastructure projects, and energy projects in Afghanistan must be cancelled; the budget for DOD contractors in Afghanistan must be dramatically reduced; the report cited by Sen. McCaskill (at ca. 195:00) must be the basis for a comprehensive reform and for the elimination of all unneeded projects; all unneeded COIN projects cited in that report must be cancelled. (

13) The USAF Space Command’s Space Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) programs, whose goal is to find aliens on other planets, should be terminated permanently. (

14) The Department of Defense should auction new, unused, or excellent condition excess inventory to the highest bidder rather than transfer it at no cost to federal and state agencies. The savings resulting from this would be measured in billions of dollars per year.

15) The President should receive a Constitutional prerogative of a line-item veto to abolish unnecessary expenditures such as additional VIP jets. At minimum, the Congress should pass a Line Item Veto statute.

16) The Humanitarian Assistance Program of the DOD should be abolished or shifted to the DOS. (

17) The DOD should institute a 4-year moratorium on the purchase of all non-military items, including coffeemakers.

18) All entertainment projects for detaineees and all soccer fields should be cancelled. (

19) All recommendations of the March 2012 GAO duplicative programs report and all recommendations of the DOD’s IG should be implemented.

20) The DOD should stop shipping washers over great distances, stop shipping them from one distant base to another, and stop wasting money on doing so. (;

21) All services should have one common program for language and cultural expertise training. There needs to be a Department-wide guidance to integrate the existing programs and training products. (

22) The DOD must consolidate its IT infrastructure and dramatically reduce the number of IT systems it uses and thus dramatically reduce the IT system overlap. Annual IT costs (now running at $37 bn per year) must now be dramatically reduced. The Navy’s $50 bn NGEN program must be ended and replaced by a much less expensive one. (

23) The DOD needs to collaborate much more extensively with NASA and with the SpaceX company on space launches and space launch contracts in order to reduce costs and the number of contractors. (

24) Many of the Air Force’s individual contracts for dining facilities need to be consolidated to produce savings. (

25) The DOD must have a list of all of its counter-IED programs. All of these programs must be consolidated at the JIEDDO, which should be the sole DOD agency responsible for them.

26) The DOD should implement all savings proposed by Mackenzie Eaglen and Julie Pollack in April 2012, some of which were listed here long before then. It should be noted, however, that these cuts would collectively save only $17.2 bn per year. (

27) All Congressionally directed medical science programs at the DOD should be terminated.

28) The DOD needs to implement “performance-based logistics”, i.e. ones that deliver troops and goods not from point A to point B and measure it on that basis, but rather measure logistical performance based on how many goods are delivered, and how quickly, to the warfighter.

29) All of these reform proposals should be implemented:

30) Any purchases by any Service or DOD agency of ANY fuels that cost more than traditional fuel must be ended and cancelled; this includes, but is not limited to, the $59 per gallon jet fuel purchased by the USAF, the $26 per gallon jet fuel purchased by the Navy, and the “green” ship fuel purchased by the Navy; likewise, any purchases of any materials that cost more than their equivalent, same-quality, cheaper materials (e.g. for helicopters) must be ended and cancelled; members of Congress should be legally barred from instituting such pork into defense budgets (

31) All research into making beef jerky with processed meat, and all other spending on jerky, must be ended. This will save only $700,000 per year, however. (

32) All DOD agencies overseeing preventing bioterrorism should be merged into one and placed under the aegis of a single department (e.g. the Department of the Army). It should be headed by only one presidential appointee; other agency executives should not require presidential appointment. The current arrangement allegedly costs $6.48 bn per year. (

33) The unrequested $660 mn – $770 mn for unspecified “facility upkeep and overhaul” activities that House authorizers and appropriations have inserted into the NDAA and the Defense Apropriations Bill for FY2013 must be excised from them. It’s a slush fund. (), p. 46).

34) All DOD programs funding breast enlargement should be ended.

35) The DOD should consolidate and privatize all mess halls and all of its commissaries, military exchanges, grocery stores, other retail activities, schools, and housing programs. (

36) The DOD and the Congress should eliminate all of the wasteful and non-military items identified by Sen. Coburn in this report from the DOD budget. This includes, as proposed above, privatizing all mess halls, commissaries, military exchanges, grocery stores, other retail activities, and schools. The savings would be $6.79 bn per year. (


1) The global posture reform proposed here in proposal L-5 should be implemented. The first step should be to completely cancel the plan to relocate 9,000 Marines off Okinawa, which will likely cost over $10.6 bn.

2) The war on drugs should be ended. All DOD expenses related to it (estimated to be $1.2 bn – $1.5 bn per year) should be abolished and reinvested in military equipment.

3) American nuclear weapons, and the funding for them, and the role of the caretaker of nukes, should be given to the DOD. All of the DOE’s defense-related programs should be moved to the DOD. All nuclear weapon programs should be funded and run EXCLUSIVELY by the DOD, not by the DOE, and exclusively through one piece of legislation per year. Only the Armed Services Committees of the Congress should have oversight responsibilities over these programs (along with the Budget/Appropriations Committees). As DefenseNews rightly says, “The U.S. Air Force must modernize its aging arsenal of B-61 and B-83 thermonuclear freefall bombs if the nation is to maintain its deterrence, especially against emerging atomic powers, service officials said. But the weapons are funded partly by the Department of Energy and partly by the Pentagon, which has complicated modernization efforts. ”The B-61 [life extension program] is funded in two different parts,” said Bill Mullins, the Air Force’s associate assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence. “And they go through separate appropriations committees.” If the funding is not synchronized, that can lead to problems, he said. ”We’re watching what’s going on both sides and asking for the defense committees to get with their energy counterparts and make sure they are all on the same page,” Mullins said.” (; Never again should the DOD be forced to transfer any money to the DOE without being able to hold the DOE accountable.

4) Japan must increase its funding for the American troops stationed on its soil. (

The DOD should rely on contractors for all nonessential services and tasks, and lay off thousands of bureaucrats. Contractors are less expensive than government employees, because they don’t enjoy the same salaries and benefits as government employees.
5) The four-star rank should be reserved only for the Chairman of the JCS, Service Chiefs (and their deputies), commanders of Combatant Commands, commanders of geographic fleets/armies/marine corps groups/fleets (e.g. the US Pacific Fleet), the commander of American troops in Afghanistan and the commanders of American troopers in whatever country America might invade in the future.

6) Personnel of the US military should never be given government-funded credit cards, which they use to spend money on strip dancers and prostitutes. (

7) The USS Utah (BB-31), sunk by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, should be raised and scrapped. The dead sailors who are still aboard that ship should be transported from that ship to a military cemetery and buried there with military honors. Thus, the harbor will be cleared, because the wreck of the USS Utah will no longer clog it. (

8) All exquisite pictures on the Pentagon’s walls, all luxury furniture items, all luxury lamps, all sculptures and all luxury carpets at the Pentagon should be sold and replaced with non-luxury, cheap items ( The NSA and the Defense Logistics Agency should, like agencies of the USDOD, sell their exquisite equipment, including exquisite cars. ( Like the Schwarzenegger Administration of California, the DOD should organize a garage sale of all of its exquisite civilian equipment (e.g. furniture, cars and lamps).

9) Not being amember of any union should be a condition of being hired by the DOD.

10) The DOD should merge its prisoner transport plane fleet with the JPATS.

11) The number of annual reports to the Congress required by law must be reduced from 719 by more than 50%, and their annual cost ($350 mn) must be halved (

12) The Uniformed Health Sciences University should be closed.

13) Some billets, such as the offices of service JAGs, intelligence agency directors, DLA Director, and MDA Director, should be downgraded to the two-star rank. Currently (as of January 2011), they are all three-star offices. Chiefs of Chaplains should be one-star officers. Similarly, service commands should no longer be four star commands. (

14) The US should not build any new bases in Germany except hospitals. European countries must contribute 100% of NATO’s military construction budget.

15) All unused flight tickets bought by the DOD should be refunded and the money spent on them saved and invested in equipment. (The saving would be $100 mn per year.) The DOD also needs to be more careful about how many flight tickets it buys, to ensure it doesn’t buy unnecessary flight tickets in the first instance. (

16) The DOD should use, whenever possible, electronic messages and computers rather than paper.

17) The Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marines should adopt a common battle utility uniform (for all four services); the Army and the Marines should also consider adopting a common gala uniform and a common physical training (physical fitness) uniform. Similarly, the Navy and the USCG should consider adopting a common gala uniform. Further uniform standardizations should be considered as well, and should also be achieved across NATO and other alliances. (

18) The DOD budget must not be used to finance abortions under any circumstances. A ban on DOD funding for abortions must be instituted by a DOD Directive or, even better, by Congressional legislation. (

19) The US should stop contributing anything (currently it contributes $50 mn per year) to NATO Special Operations HQ; European countries should pay the full cost of maintaining it; they should also bear a much larger part of the financial burden of the cost of the EPAA.
20) The CERP program should be halved, and the resulting savings should be devoted to paying bills for fuel.

21) The DOD should use the same fraud-busting/fraud-detecting system as the one used by American Express and FedEx.

22) The US military should train all of its personnel by itself, at its own bases, rather than pay private corporations to train them. The DOD should stop staffing and funding think tanks.

23) The federal government should include only one presidential appointee responsible for biodefense – an an Assistant Secretary of the DHS, who should be reporting directly to the chief of that department. That agency should be exclusively responsible for biodefense, and should have the authority, responsibility, and to oversee America’s biodefense programs. A National Strategy to protect the country against bioterrorist attacks must be devised; technological and operational means to protect the country must be established. The DOD should closely cooperate with the DHS on this issue. (

24) All employees of the federal government (including the DOD) must accept a new contract with the federal government: they will enjoy “secure jobs”, but they will have lower salaries than what private sector workers earn and will not have any of the perks they enjoy now.

25) The DOD must do more to reduce the impact of corrosion (which costs $23 bn). It must invest more to prevent corrosion. (

26) The DOD should conduct all of its infrastructure construction and and repair programs competitively and in the same manner that the private sector does, as recommended by Rep. Randy Forbes.

27) For all of its deployed ships, the USN should use “sea swaps” of crews so that the ship doesn’t have to go back to its homeport and exchange its crew in its homeport, and thus to save money.

28) When military depots are overloaded, the DOD should out-contract the remaining depot work to be done to save money; the Davis-Bacon Act should be repealed (or at least, the DOD should be exempted from it) to save money; commissaries and other non-inherently-military services should be contracted to the private sector.

29) The DOD needs to implement all reforms suggested here, including a) creating a single command to manage all DON installations, a single analogous command for the Dept. of the Army, and a single similar command for the Dept. of the AF; most military billets from base-management activities should be eliminated; b) merging overlapping or duplicatory educational programs and schools, and, as Robert Kozloski rightly proposes, “a Naval Educational Committee should be formed by merging existing committees into a single entity and provide management and oversight of all educational institutions and programs within the department. This committee should be tasked with integrating the best practices of civilian educational intuitions and emulating civilian programs, particularly in naval concentration areas; service war colleges should also be merged. The Naval War College, with additional Marine Corps representation, can provide professional military education (PME) for both services. As all officers in the Navy and Marine Corps are inherently naval, they should be educated through a common system. A single graduate military-education institution could provide the overhead functions, curriculum development, and research support for both services. Also, the Naval War College has a vigorous distance-education capability that could better support PME. Minimally staffed war-college satellite campuses could be used in naval concentration areas for resident PME, reducing the cost of frequent permanent change-of-station moves.”; c) Per Kozloski, “the Marine Corps should attempt to relinquish the chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield-explosive (CBRNE) consequence-management mission and attempt to transfer it to the Army or National Guard. If combatant-command requirements prevent this from occurring, the Navy could assume this mission, as it inherently possesses the same skills found at the Marine Corps Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF), with the exception of infantrymen. Infantrymen at the CBIRF are primarily used as physically fit casualty-extraction personnel, and through careful screening the Navy could replicate those skill requirements. The CBIRF lifesaving mission is better aligned with the Navy’s “Global Force for Good” approach than it is with the Corps. The Marines should use the extensive CBRNE expertise resident at CBIRF and support the counter weapons of mass destruction mission. This would be a valuable asset to the nation and more aligned to U.S. Special Operations and U.S. Strategic Command missions.”; d) again, Kozloski rightly proposes that “The naval services cannot afford unnecessary duplication of capabilities in any single mission area. The Naval Special Warfare Command should serve as the Naval Executive Agent (NEA) for all naval special-warfare/special-operations capabilities, including those of the U.S. Coast Guard. This agent could develop naval operational concepts, indentify and coordinate operational requirements, identify capability gaps, recommend organizational realignment, and develop integrated career roadmaps for the entire naval special-operations community. The NEA concept could be applied to emerging mission areas common to the naval services. Having an NEA for intelligence, cyber operations, information operations, force protection, and/or irregular warfare, for example, could streamline organizational structures and ensure cohesion across service programs.” (—heresy-or-fiscal-imperative)

30) The DOD should alter the pricing structure for repairs performed at the military’s maintenance depots, which would encourage greater usage of less expensive services at central facilities. (

31) The cost of DOD reports, including those provided to the Congress, must be dramatically reduced. That, however, cannot be done through reducing the length of these reports. The 2012 Report to the Congress on China’s military prowess cost $85,000 to prepare, $12,000 more than the 70-page-long last year’s version of the report. Reports to the Congress must be as long as they need to be and contain all the information the Congress needs to receive, especially regarding China. (

32) The DOD should be exempted from the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act and never use PLAs.

33) Public-private partnerships between the DOD and private companies (including weaponmaking companies) should be significantly expanded, and more depot work should be contracted out to these companies to reduce costs. The DOD only does this on  a small scale at present; it should contract out almost all depot work to private companies (including those that produced its aircraft). Furthermore, DOD officials must learn about, and finally understand, the private sector. ( The DOD should make it easier to contract for depot maintenance. (

34) The DOD should terminate the PTSS program and build a ballistic missile defense system in accordance with the recommendations of the relevant September 2012 report of the National Research Council, including ordering AN/TPY-2 radars instead of PTSS satellites. Doing so would save billions of dollars in comparison with current US policy.

35) 25% of the Army’s brigades should be moved to the reserve component.

How the numbers add up
All of my reforms proposed herein would yield immediate savings. It is impossible for me to estimate the total savings that my reforms would yield, but some reforms would certainly yield large financial savings for the DOD. The table below outlines those savings (based on the numbers from the President’s FY2012 budget request (

Item Annual saving ($ bn) (in FY2012 dollars)
Dept. Of the Air Force admin halving 4.1005
Dept. Of the Navy admin halving 2.466
Dept. Of the Army admin reduction by 25% 3.59925
Discharging 100,000 military personnel on top of Panetta’s layoffs 10
Closing the UHSU 0.085
The merger of the CIA with the DIA 1
The new BRAC round 5
Reduction of the OSD budget by 75% 3.537
Unused flight tickets 0.1
Reducing annual DOD printing costs by 97% 1.358
 Reduction of the JCS budget by 50% 0.2825
 Closure of the RQ-4 Global Hawk program 1.201
 Abolition of all DOD anti-drug programs 1.4
 Merger of all service medical commandsPerformance-based logistics 0.32432

Elimination of all wasteful/nondefense items identified by Coburn: 6.79

Total known annual savings: $82.89755 bn.

Almost all of these savings would have to be devoted to meeting the Budget Control Act’s budget cuts requirements and to modernization; some savings should be reinvested in financial auditing and in corrosion prevention.

Any savings resulting from base mergers, from civilian aircraft fleet mergers and sales, and from eliminating funding for Pakistan should be reinvested in corrosion prevention, which saves $57 for every $1 invested.

Any savings resulting from USAF base closure must be reinvested solely in the development and purchases of new USAF aircraft and missiles.


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