Parallel programs bleed Pentagon billions

Released: 
February 12, 2013

Federal watchdog agency blames billions in Pentagon waste on overlapping programs.

In this era of deficit debates and possible automatic budget cuts, a federal watchdog agency has identified billions of Pentagon dollars wasted through overlapping programs.

Examples from a 2012 Government Accountability Office report include parallel research and development by the various military branches on thwarting improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The GAO says this overlap cost more than $58 billion through 2011.

Aerial drone systems were also cited. Each of the four services adopts unique unmanned aircraft systems rather than sharing technology. These parallel systems are costing $37.5 billion from 2012 to 2016 much of it wasted, according to the GAO.

Check out our infographic for more on DOD spending. See What Do Others Say for more perspective, then add to the discussion below. Might the threat of automatic budget cuts alter Pentagon practices?