Defense is one of the most crony areas of American government. The amount of taxpayer money just thrown around by the Pentagon and which finds its way into the pockets of defense contractors is massive. Defense, especially civilian personnel, is an area ripe for cuts. Such a cull appears unlikely however.
(From The International Business Times)
In his farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower warned that for security and liberty to prosper together, “We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”
Fifty-five years later, a new president is planning to have his Pentagon run by a top official at one of the world’s largest defense contractors. President-elect Donald Trump announced Thursday that he will appoint retired General James Mattis as the U.S. Secretary of Defense. Not only would Mattis be the first general to hold the traditionally civilian position, he would move into the job directly from his position helping to run General Dynamics — a $30-billion colossus that heavily relies on Pentagon contracts overseen by the Defense Secretary…
…As secretary of defense, Mattis could oversee lucrative new General Dynamics deals: The company has won a number of contracts to build the $100 billion replacement fleet for the Ohio class nuclear submarines. Disagreement over how many submarines will be built and how much each unit should cost has already generated major friction among lawmakers, the Pentagon and watchdogs.
General Dynamics’ business model relies on a significant investment in lobbying. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the company has spent over $100 million pushing its interests in Washington over the last decade. And filing reports show that it is consistently among the top three contractors directly lobbying the Department of Defense.