The Pentagon is in the news again, this time thanks to a report revealing that they have lost vast amounts of F-35 fighter jet spare parts housed around the world. The F-35 is used not only by the United States, but also by our allies around the world, making it necessary for spare parts to be placed in critical locations for when they are inevitably needed.
It turns out that the five-sided building isn’t sure where these parts are or who has them. And yet they remain the best-funded federal agency in the country.
Your tax dollars are working hard to buy massive amounts of military equipment from the military-industrial complex only to lose it in a vacuum, perhaps falling into the hands of nefarious actors or illicit arms dealers. So, let’s dig in and find out just how alarming this inventory discrepancy really is.
BREAKING: The Pentagon cannot account for the hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars worth of spare parts being stockpiled around the world for the US and its allies using its most expensive weapon, the F-35 jet, according to congressional auditors.
– unusual_whales (@unusual_whales) May 24, 2023
Who is in charge?
A report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Pentagon has not been tracking tens of thousands of millions of dollars worth of F-35 fighter jet parts.
The report said:
“The Department of Defense did not initially intend to own the F-35 assets, which include the global parts pool and support equipment, special tools, and special test equipment.”
The global pool that the GAO refers to is inventory strategically located around the world for our allies to use for their F-35 aircraft. So why didn’t the Department of Defense think they would need to own the F-35 assets?
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Your guest is as good as mine. The report goes on to explain what has been happening instead:
“Because the DOD did not develop a plan to address this…the prime contractors continued to hold the liability.”
The main contractors that have been doing DOD work would be Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney. But since it’s not really your responsibility, the accuracy of this inventory is questionable at best.
The idea that the Biden administrator is operating with guidelines to ensure oversight and accountability for failed drone strikes is laughable given that Biden’s “fair strike” that killed an aid worker and children in Kabul resulted, according to the Pentagon, in which there was no accountability. https://t.co/Oscn2ibxeK
—Spencer Brown (@itsSpencerBrown) May 21, 2023
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The GAO report takes aim at the Pentagon program office in charge of the F-35, stating:
“The F-35 Joint Program Office was unable to provide the cost, total quantity, and locations of spare parts in the global parts pool, and continues to rely on prime contractor records for this information.”
Think of that for a spell. The office that is staffed and equipped by you, the taxpayer, and is expected to know everything about the F-35 has no idea how many spare parts we have, how many have been lost, how much our allies paid for them. , or even how much they are worth.
The GAO noted that the program office had spent about $12 million in the past three years to control spare parts inventory. Whose is the money? Your money.
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I argue that it is not money well spent. Add to that that these spare parts are destined for a global group inventory; you should be even angrier.
Our F-35 spare parts are available for our allies to take as they please, much like we operate these inventories similar to community pantries or libraries. However, instead of ‘take a can, leave a can’ or ‘take a book, leave a book’, it would appear that we operate on a ‘take an electro-optical targeting system, leave what they want’ system.
Waste, fraud and abuse are nothing new. The Pentagon’s increasing reliance on private contractors in the post-9/11 period raises multiple issues of accountability, transparency, and effectiveness. [4/5] https://t.co/PcfqZ3arp0 pic.twitter.com/2t4Lm4mMxb
— The Costs of War Project (@CostsOfWar) May 22, 2023
If you’ve been paying attention, it’s clear that the Pentagon has yet to develop a concept of basic accounting or inventory practices. In February, they were forced to admit that they had lost nearly $220 billion in equipment delivered to military contractors over the years.
To explain what that means, in various parts of the world, there are civilian contractors working for the military. These contractors are often given short-term fresh military equipment and equipment to use in carrying out their duties in support of the Department of Defense.
Ideally, these contractors return these cool gadgets, but it seems most don’t. If that’s not bad enough, last year the Pentagon failed its fifth audit in a row, only accounting for about 39% of its $3.5 trillion worth of assets.
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That means that 60% of all assets owned by the Pentagon have not been accounted for or, to put it bluntly, have been lost. And this week, the Pentagon let us all know that due to an accounting error, they were able to “free up” $3 billion to help Ukraine.
Their wording is hilarious, as if we should be grateful that they were able to “free up” funds for the Ukraine, instead of being alarmed that they overpriced the weapons already shipped. No doubt some officer received a medal for discovering those “extra funds.”
The pentagon failed the audit each and every time. They can’t account for $3 trillion decades. Now this new failed audit. However, they want to audit each and every one of your $600 txn.
RULES FOR YOU, NONE FOR ME pic.twitter.com/qKnUmZj5oA
— ???????? Deep₿lueCrypto ???????? (@DeepBlueCrypto) May 24, 2023
There’s no need to balance
Every day I balance my checkbook. I don’t do it the same way my mother balances hers; As a millennial, I’ve embraced technology and balance my personal books and small business on my computer.
I also maintain a reasonably tight budget from month to month that is reviewed periodically. I do this because as an ordinary American citizen who is relatively responsible, I know that my money and things are my responsibility to manage them effectively.
But this same principle does not apply to the men and women of the five-sided building. Think about it, at this point when they get caught they just openly admit they have no idea where their stuff is, and our elected politicians keep giving them more stuff!
In 2021, Congress requested $30 billion more than President Biden requested for the defense budget. In 2022, President Biden increased his initial request from $780 billion to $813 billion. Congress then requested an additional $45 billion, bringing it to a record $858 billion.
Biden is expected to request $886 billion this year, an increase of 3% from last year, making it the largest peacetime military budget in history — more money for the Pentagon to lose. For perspective, according to the World Population Review, Uncle Sam spends $150 billion more each year that the following 10 countries combined.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said yesterday that defense spending cuts are “off the table.”
Why is that? Because according to him, the defense of our country is imperative, and spending (or losing) copious amounts of taxpayer dollars on its behalf is the only way to keep ourselves safe.
You’re not fooling anyone, Kevin. Don’t believe the hype; America, Congress is not concerned about the defense of this nation because if they were, they would hold the Pentagon accountable for doing such a terrible job.
Instead, they worry about the beast of advocacy lobbying that whispers sweet words into their ears year after year.
—ThePoliticalInsider (@TPInsidr) May 23, 2023
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