Obama’s “Green” Military Wasted $100 Million Of DOD Budget

Most Americans and even some so-called “experts” in D.C. assume that the Pentagon’s defense budget of $600 billion is actually spent on defense.   After all, defending our nation and protecting the inalienable rights of every citizen guartanteed by our Constitution are the primary responsibilities of the federal government.  Over the past decade these missions have faced challenges due to both terrorist threats abroad and out-of-control spending in Washington.

While defense spending increased over the last ten years to combat the threat from abroad, domestic spending, including non-defense spending at the Pentagon, has also increased to unsustainable levels.

Senator Tom Colburn, R-OK prepared a 74 page report entitled “Department of Everything,” outlining how taxpayers can save $67.8 billion a year by cutting non-defense spending at the Department of Defense.  Trust me – it is well worth a read, especially if you like horror stories.

The federal government will spend about $138.9 billion on research and development during 2012.  The Department of Defense will have spent nearly $73 billion on waste and  duplicate programs within other federal agencies.  $6 billion was spent on projects that had little, if nothing, to do with defense such as:

A project to examine the use of slang on twitter.  A project, using fish, to determine if Ignorance Can Save Democracy.  A project to determine when is the best time to take a coffee break.  The 100 Starship effort to foster the rebirth of a “sense of wonder” to make interstellar travel practicable that included building a community of space ship enthusiasts and workshops with such interesting discussion such as “Did Jesus Die for Klingons Too? and “rethinking the idea of wearing clothing.”  This bit of stupidity cost taxpayers $1 million.  A project, to the tune of $1.5 million, to develop  Beef Jerky Roll-ups.  A study to determine if Guys With Guns Appear Bigger and Stronger and More Masculine.  The Red Balloon Challenge launched in 2009 gives a $40,000 prize each year to anyone who can find 10 red weather balloons. A $6 million research project to determine if there is an art to telling a good story.

DOD wasted money on a duplicate plagiarized grant proposal that  received funding from 3 separate projects within the Pentagon.   Then there was that little project funded by the Defense Advanced Research Project that wasted around $6.1 million for the development of a bomb detector that was less effective than a coin flip in spotting homemade explosives.  And, if that wasn’t enough, the new director of DARPA who happened to be part of the family owned business that developed the first bomb detector, got them another $1.4 million for a newer updated model that was no more effective than the first.

Congress has been using the defense budget to hide pork projects by steering billions to non-defense related medical research  projects already funded by other government agencies.  Overhead costs for these projects at the Pentagon had cost taxpayers $45 million through 2010.  In addition, universities, and medical researchers can claim anywhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of the funding for their overhead, amounting to hundreds of millions if not billions each year not spent on any medical research.   The GAO reported that duplicate medical research project funding in 2010 was $41.5 billion dollars, one-half million of that in the Pentagon’s budget.

The Department of Defense also operates 64 on base schools for approximately 19,000 students and 2,000 teachers and staff at a cost of over $50,000 per child even though public school facilities were available.  That cost does not include maintenance and upgrades.

The DOD spends about $15 billion on energy every year and is the largest consumer within the federal government.  Obama’s big push to “green energy” with the launch of 679 renewable energy initiatives in 2010 had the DOD funding more than 116 renewable projects.

After taxpayers had to “fund” the development and production of Chevy Volts at GM, whose sales have been lackluster, Obama has the DOD purchasing an additional 1,500 Chevy Volts at a cost of $39,995 each (even though the real production cost of the Chevy Volt is $89,000 per car).

Each one of these politically correct “green” vehicles represents the choice of the Obama administration not to provide an entire infantry platoon with new rifles or 50,000 rounds of ammo.   How can Obama justify cutting 80,000 troops from active duty while planning to spend $7 billion on “green” projects over the next decade?

The Navy is spending $170 million in research on the development of algae as a fuel source even though the private sector is already researching the development of algae as an alternative fuel.   And, as a direct result of Obama’s “green” fuel progam, the Navy is currently paying $15 a gallon for fuel just for training missions.

The Inspector General has put a halt to one project and told the Air Force to shut down two other projects to use wind turbines to replace diesel at three Alaskan radar stations.  According to the IG, the projects were not properly planned nor justified to result in any savings, as well as requiring 15 years to recover the cost.  So far that has cost us $14 million.

The IG says another $9.12 million Geothermal research project at the Naval Air Station in Nevade was inadequately planned and lacked a comprehensive exploration plan as well as a study on its environmental impact.

The Navy and Marine Corps  $59 million for  3 photovoltaic projects was spend without considering cost or savings according to the IG.  The Navy expects to lose half of the money it spent and the Marine Corps lost 60% of their share of the cost.

So far,  the Obama “green” military project has lost taxpayers more than $100 million on poorly planned renewable energy projects.  This is money that could have better been spent to upgrade military equipment,  and money to upgrade the VA Medical Hospitals to provide needed medical service to our returning vets.

Coburn said at a press release that  he “believes in peace through strength, but we cannot be strong militarily unless we are strong economically.  And, we cannot be strong economically if we treat politically sensitive areas of the budget as sacrosanct.  I prepared this report because the American people expect the Pentagon’s $600 billion budget to go toward our nation’s defense.”

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