Secretary of Defense General James Mattis took aim at the issue of Defense Department spending and waste, issuing two directives seeking the better utilization of financial resources through the addition and consolidation of positions and functions across departments.
The first memorandum called for a reorganization of some undersecretary roles, the addition of a chief innovation officer, an improved chief management officer position and more efficient utilization of cyber operations.
A second memo called for the establishment of “cross-functional teams” to be formed across military services, in an effort to minimize unnecessary and unproductive duplication of functions and services.
Mattis wrote in the second memorandum, “It is my expressed intent to field a larger, more capable, and more lethal Joint force. It is incumbent on each of us to accomplish this task in the most cost-effective, efficient manner possible.”
The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requires the establishment of two new undersecretary positions, one for research and engineering, and another for acquisition and support. It also called for the elimination of the undersecretary of acquisition, technology, and logistics position, with those responsibilities beyond transferred to others. It also required the establishment of a chief innovation officer.
Mattis noted in his statement, “I recognize the military services have unique competencies in specific operating domains that ensure the delivery of essential mission capabilities in combat that when combined into a Joint package, present potential adversaries with insurmountable challenges. However, we have sometimes allowed our focus on service uniqueness to extend into business operations, leading to duplication of effort and costs we can no longer afford.”
The Daily Caller also reports that Mattis directed the Deputy Secretary to “explore consolidation on multiple aspects of the department, ranging from acquisition and contracts to basic services and information technology management.”
Every dollar that is not wasted is another that can be used in service to our nation. Waste is irresponsible and unpatriotic. Eliminating it is an important component of effective national security. At a time when we’re cannibalizing aircraft in order to get others in the air, this has to be a priority.
Obama’s Defense Secretaries busied themselves with issues of sexuality and addressing the climate hoax. They focused on virtually anything they could identify as a means to degrade readiness or spend money on things that would in no way benefit and often reduces our defensive capability. It’s nice to have General Mattis putting the defense back into the mission of his department.
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