As part of a sweeping reorganization of the
office of the secretary of defense, as many as 500 positions could be
eliminated over the next five years. The cuts will mostly affect
contractor-help jobs, as well as some senior civilian posts.
will detail our plans to achieve these savings in the President’s
budget submission next year,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Dec. 4
at a Pentagon news conference.
Hagel already had announced in
July he intended to downsize OSD headquarters by 20 percent – one of
several cost-cutting measures he proposed in the so-called Strategic
Choices and Management Review that outlined how the military would live
with smaller budgets.
Defense analysts have long criticized the
Pentagon for delaying staff reductions at a time when the military is
having to pare back training and cancel other important functions
because of the sequester cuts. Since sequestration took effect in March,
Army training has plummeted, aircraft have been idled and fewer ships
have been deployed. Meanwhile, the Pentagon continues to spend about
half its budget on administrative overhead that contributes little to
nothing to military war-fighting missions, said a September study by
Stimson Center, a non-partisan think tank. Closing bases, firing
civilians and eliminating contractor jobs are politically unpopular
measures, but the alternative is to keep gutting the military’s combat
capabilities, the study said.
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