I’m deployed to Kuwait right now. Most of my time is spent sitting around, or doing stuff to look busy. This is because a whole battalion (about 500 soldiers) has been assigned to do work that could be done by a company (about 125).
When you consider that the vehicles we’re using cost about $1 million, not counting fuel, maintenance, etc, and that it costs an average of $390,000 to keep a soldier in theatre for a year, having unnecessary troops on the ground gets expensive fast. By the way, that $390,000 is a fairly low estimate. Some have gone as high as $775,000/soldier/year. http://www.infiniteunknown.net…
The vehicles have already been paid for, so we won’t consider those costs for now. But those extra 375 or so soldiers cost about $146,250,000 for the year, using the conservative estimate of $390,000 apiece. The battalion commander is desperately seeking some new mission for 3/4 of his unit, because the Army sent us here without considering whether we would even contribute anything of value to the war effort.
This is just a small portion of the war. Without even considering whether the war is worthwhile, sending unneeded troops so a few officers can get their combat patch, or a few contractors in a powerful Congressman’s district can make an extra buck, pours a lot of money down the drain. Increasing military expenditures when the DoD is engaging in such profligate waste is an outrage. Congress and the President need to focus on making sure what the DoD has is spent effectively and efficiently before giving out more.