The Department of Defense should cut 58,000 civilian employees – and save about $5 billion in the process – by 2015 as part of efforts to deal with sequestration’s on-going cuts, a high-level panel that includes former top military personnel determined.
The panel – which includes a former Air Force chief, a former Navy chief and two former vice chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – recommended $50 billion in cuts to help the Pentagon adjust to the second year of sequestration. The across-the-board cuts are expected to take $52 billion from Pentagon coffers next year and cause disruption to training, operations, maintenance and personnel.
The 17-member panel, writing on behalf of the Washington, D.C-based Stimson Center think tank, said targeted cuts would allow the Pentagon to survive the Congress-mandated reductions without “risking national security.”
“A more prudent course would be to act now to prevent the disruptive effect of sequestration, along with reshaping the defense budget on the basis of a strategy that is designed to protect America’s national security interests in the years ahead,” panelists wrote.
The panel made 27 different recommendations. The biggest chunk of savings – about $22 billion – would come from reductions to personnel, particularly headquarter staffing and civilian workers. The panel recommends trimming 20 percent from headquarter staff- a move that’s already under way – as well as the 58,000 reduction in civilian personnel.
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