The Defense Department’s first-ever audit has revealed that the U.S. military is worth $2.7 trillion and the security for its information technology still sucks.
Overall, the army of auditors that scoured the military’s books discovered between 1,500 and 2,000 “notice of findings,” or things that need be fixed, said David Norquist, the Defense Department’s comptroller.
“Our single largest number of findings is IT security around our business systems,” Norquist told reporters on Wednesday. “The types of issues there are segregation of duties, terminating user access when they depart, and monitoring the use of people who have special authorities, making sure there is careful of monitoring of that.”
In 2018, the Defense Department has spent $153 million to improve its financial systems, and that includes fixing vulnerabilities in IT security, he said. By taking care of those problems, the Pentagon will end up saving money.
“If people are able to get into your inventory or property systems and make code changes that you can’t see, the risk to you is exponential,” Norquist said. “The ability to turn those off and shut those down is a cost avoidance.”
So far, the Defense Department has spent $406 million in fixing all of the problems identified by the audit, which cost a total of $413 million in fiscal 2018, according to the Pentagon.
Auditors will keep checking each year with commanders on the issues that need be improved until all of the findings have been remedied, Norquist said.
“I think what you’ll see from the secretary is a clear message to the work force: Now that you’re aware of it, your job is to fix it,” Norquist said. “And that’s what we have in people’s performance evaluations across our senior leadership: Their responsibility to close these findings.”
Former Marine Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak has issued a statement urging President Donald Trump and members of Congress to oppose pardons for those accused or convicted of war crimes since, he argued, it would "relinquish the United States' moral high ground."
"If President Trump follows through on reports that he will mark Memorial Day by pardoning individuals accused or convicted of war crimes, he will betray these ideals and undermine decades of precedent in American military justice that has contributed to making our country's fighting forces the envy of the world," said Krulak, who served in the Marine Corps for more than three decades before retiring in 1999 as the 31st Commandant.
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President Donald Trump will nominate Barbara Barrett to serve as the next Air Force secretary, the president announced on Tuesday.
"I am pleased to announce my nomination of Barbara Barrett of Arizona, and former Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation, to be the next Secretary of the Air Force," Trump tweeted. "She will be an outstanding Secretary! #FlyFightWin"
The Trump administration is trying to assure Congress that it does not want to start a war with Iran, but some lawmakers who fought in Iraq are not so sure.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford both briefed Congress on Tuesday about Iran. Shanahan told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the U.S. military buildup in the region has stopped Iran and its proxies from attacking U.S. forces, but the crisis is not yet over.
"We've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans," Shanahan said. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region."
U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur/Handout via REUTERS
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would be met with "great force" if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East, and government sources said Washington strongly suspects Shi'ite militias with ties to Tehran were behind a rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone.
"I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything," Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Monday evening for an event in Pennsylvania. "If they do something, it will be met with great force but we have no indication that they will."