Pentagon Urged to Not Inflate Pentagon Workforce Without Review

Straus Origami Pentagon

As the White House considers ways to increase efficiency in the federal workforce, it should avoid any moves that would increase staffing at the Department of Defense, a coalition of groups across the political spectrum wrote in a letter sent Thursday to President Trump.

The letter, organized by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), cites several studies that point to the potential for billions of dollars in savings by addressing waste and inefficiencies in the Pentagon’s civilian employee and contractor workforce.

“The Pentagon is the largest federal employer, and numerous studies across the political spectrum have identified reforms to the size and structure of its workforce as an opportunity to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations,” the groups wrote in the letter, which was also sent to Defense Secretary James Mattis and White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.

The letter cautioned the administration about expanding the Pentagon’s “shadow government” of service contractors as a way of trimming Department of Defense staff. A POGO study found that outsourcing services can significantly increase costs.

Organizations signing on to the letter are: Center for International Policy, Coalition to Reduce Spending, Council for a Livable World, DownsizeDC.org, Freedom Works, London Center, National Center for Policy Analysis, National Priorities Project, National Taxpayers Union, Peace Action, Project On Government Oversight, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, Win Without War, Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND), and Gordon Adams, professor emeritus, School of International Service and distinguished fellow Stimson Center.

Photograph of Mandy Smithberger

By: Mandy Smithberger, Director, CDI Straus Military Reform Project

Mandy Smithberger is the Director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information at the Project On Government Oversight.

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