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The Pentagon Literally Has More Money Than It Knows What To Do With
The Pentagon failed to spend an eye-popping $27.7 billion of the funds it was allocated over five fiscal years – and President Donald Trump intends to give the U.S. military even more taxpayer cash to play with next year.
- According to a report from the Department of Defense Inspector General on the department's first-ever audit, the Pentagon did not spend $27.7 billion between fiscals 2013 and 2018.
- "The $28 billion spans five years starting in fiscal 2013," Pentagon spokesman Chris Sherwood told Task & Purpose on Wednesday. "This is less than 1 percent of the department's budget over that time period."
- How did this happen? Defense officials literally didn't spend the money fast enough. "Money appropriated by Congress expires if it isn't spent within certain time frames and typically can no longer be used for new spending," as Bloomberg Government explains. "For example, money in procurement accounts is available for three years, research accounts for two years while money in personnel and operations and maintenance accounts expires after one year."
- The unspent funds, revealed as part of the first-ever full audit of Pentagon coffers, came just one month after Trump signaled to then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis that he planned on requesting a record $750 billion in national security spending for fiscal year 2020.
- That proposed $750 billion budget for fiscal year 2020 would constitute an 8% increase over that $692 billion for fiscal signed into law by Trump in December 2017.
- The DoD IG report comes amid Trump's stated plan to declare a national emergency and bypass Congress in order to nail down $5.7 billion in funds for construction of a border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, a project that would dip into the DoD's budget to mobilize the military to complete the barrier.
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that all $28 billion was not spent in fiscal 2018.
WATCH NEXT: Trump Scolds NATO On Defense Spending
Pence Mentions ‘Wolf Pack Of Rogue States’ Which May Or May Not Be Roaming Vegas Searching For Cocaine
Oh, honey, that Axis of Evil getup is so 2002. You need to get with the times and try on this little number called a Wolf Pack of Rogue States, designed by Mike Pence.
Yes, the Axis is Evil is out, and the Wolf Pack of Rogue States is so, so in.
The vice president mentioned the latest and greatest phrase to describe anti-American super-villain states during a conference in Washington on Wednesday, and clearly, they must all be running around the desert together looking for strippers and cocaine.
The Hangover! Alan's wolfpack speech in Vegas hahaha www.youtube.com
"Beyond our global competitors, the United States faces a wolf pack of rogue states. No shared ideology or objective unites our competitors and adversaries except this one: They seek to overturn the international order that the United States has upheld for more that half a century."
According to Pence, the Wolf Pack includes Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Notably absent: China and Russia, the two states that actually have a shot at seeking "to overturn the international order."
As Daniel Larison notes at The American Conservative, the Wolf Pack crowd's "ability to 'overturn the international order' is practically nil, and it isn't even certain that most of them desire that outcome. If North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua are our main adversaries, we are as secure as can be and we have very little to worry about."
Pence's wolf pack phrase follows another tried by National Security Advisor John Bolton back in November, when he labeled Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua as a "troika of tyranny" and a "triangle of terror," which make for interesting death metal band names, but seem kind of lame in comparison to the infamous 2002 "Axis of Evil" phrase from David Frum.
But perhaps they can consult with Stitch Jones, the Ayatollah of Rock-and-rolla, for some better branding.
Heartbreak Ridge - Stitch Jones meets Gunnery Sergeant Highway www.youtube.com
Army Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn – whom President Donald Trump has called "a U.S. Military hero" – will face an Article 32 hearing in March after being charged with murder for allegedly killing a suspected Taliban bomb-maker.
On Dec. 18, the convening authority for Golestyn's case decided to hold the preliminary hearing in connection with the Feb. 28, 2010 incident, Army officials have announced. The proceedings are slated to start on March 14 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
In the city of Savannah, Georgia, an Army veteran and entrepreneur has a plan to end veteran homelessness in his community. It starts with building a village of tiny homes.