» And that’s just the low-end estimates. Analysts estimate that a gradual increase in the Pentagon’s budget to 4% of GDP would cost the United States roughly $2.1 trillion over the next decade. Should Romney win the election, and immediately push spending up to 4%, the subsequent spending could cost an additional $200 billion or more. While Romney is hardly the first to suggest such a plan, with past notable proponents including former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, some have been quick to condemn any plan tying the budget to GDP in any way. “GDP rises and falls. Do you really want your defense budget falling in a recession?” said Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments’ Todd Harrison, adding, “spending should be determined by the security environment — not the size of your economy.”
» Audit time! With the Iraq War’s chapter effectively closed, now’s apparently a good time to look back at all the money we spent there. There’s a problem, however: Of the $3 billion the Iraqi government set aside for the Department of Defense to use for reconstruction between 2004 and 2007, approximately two-thirds of that is unaccounted for. Worse, auditors can’t even find most of the documents: ”From July 2004 through December 2007, DoD should have provided 42 monthly reports,” an audit says. “However, it can locate only the first four reports.” Ever lose track of like $2 billion bucks? It’s fun, right?
» Specific and systemic failures: So says a new Senate report investigating the FBI and Department of Defense’s handling of former Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, prior to his executing the Ft. Hood shootings in 2009. The report, authored by Sens. Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, accuses the agencies of failing to link the information they had between them, and of being negligent of Hasan’s transition to violent Islamic extremism, which they say was “on full display to his superiors and colleagues during his military medical training.”