U.S. Defense Dept needs to better manage its finances: GAO

The U.S. Defense Department needs to better manage its finances if it hopes to rebuild and modernize the U.S. Armed Forces, the Government Accountability Office said in a report released on Tuesday. The Pentagon needs to give its decision makers and weapons buyers more accurate budget and cost information so they can make better decisions as they modernize weapons systems, the report said. U.S. President Donald

Trump’s $4.1 trillion fiscal 2018 budget proposal included $603 billion in defense spending for the Department of Defense as well as nuclear weapons programs at the Department of Energy and other national defense priorities. The GAO report comes as U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis presented lawmakers in the House and Senate with a $33 billion wish list of unfunded military needs. The report said despite increased

defense funding under Trump, efforts “underway to rebuild readiness for portions of their military forces” are at risk without more comprehensive planning efforts at the Pentagon. The federal agency, which oversees government resources, also said the Defense Department could police global hot spots with less expensive and more numerous regular troops instead of U.S. special forces. “DOD has not taken steps to

examine whether additional opportunities exist to reduce the high demand on these (special) forces by sharing some of their responsibilities with conventional forces,” the report said. U.S. President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal gave the military a modest boost to their budget, 3 percent more than what former President Barack Obama had sought in his long-term budget plan. The $574.5 billion for the

Department of Defense would go to warfighting readiness and critical program requirements. GAO said it has made approximately 3,100 recommendations to DOD since 2006. Of these about 1,037 have not been acted on, including 78 priority recommendations. The report released on Tuesday made no new recommendations.

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