I am outraged every time I read about how our government is deciding to cut defense spending.
The biggest flaw I see is how it’s being done: from the top brass looking down. Neither Congress nor our illustrious generals in the Pentagon see what I and those like me near the bottom of the totem pole see. I guarantee if a survey were done on what soldiers at the platoon level think is a waste of money, the Defense Department could save billions without affecting our lives as they plan on. I’ve seen it all, from automatic staplers, computers with three different LCD monitors, new “high-tech” (aka useless) gear and countless other examples of needless spending. I have a Central Issue Facility record that is seven pages long. More than half of the items on it have sat in a footlocker since the day I got them and any soldier can say the same about their gear.
How much is all of that costing the Army?
— Army Sgt. Keeton Tucker, Clarksville, Tenn.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said last May before leaving office: “We’re not going to see a return to Cold War-level defense budgets. The money and political support simply aren’t there.” Gates pointed out that Afghanistan remains unstable and military crises tend to erupt without long lead times.
I suggest that our government privatize the U.S. Postal Service (which is losing up to $25 million per day, according to media reports), and also crack down on the illegal immigrants that are claiming false dependents costing taxpayers $4 billion per year, according to reports. This will stop the Pentagon from separating 100,000 soldiers and 18,000 Marines over the next 10 years.
— Former Navy Seaman Thomas Patrick Folan, Stony Brook, N.Y.
[Regarding “Whistle-blower blasts VA mental health practices,” April 30 issue, reporting that Veterans Affairs Department staff inflated the percentage of vets receiving timely care:]
It is the responsibility of the commander in chief to take action. He is not doing his job. First, he has to get rid of all politics and politicians in VA. VA officials will create and implement any rules they desire that benefit themselves without any oversight from the commander in chief or anyone else. Politicians do not have the authority or interest to make rules, or to change anything in the VA.
— Rich Bures, Indianapolis