Acting Smartly on Military Compensation

Stimson Spotlight

Over the past ten days, Congress has received two reports that, taken together, raise the possibility of changing regular service-member’s compensation in favor of preserving layers of management above them and the missions those managers assign to them. Small surprise that their representatives in Congress are dubious about the idea.

The Pentagon faces a classic management-labor dispute, and Congress can overcome it only by stepping into the role of arbiter and requiring some compromise by both parties. Among those compromises, Congress should pair any changes to military compensation with a demand that the Pentagon follow through on the headquarters cuts that then-Secretary Leon Panetta ordered eighteen months ago.

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Photo credit: Official U.S. Air Force via flickr