Abstract

This analysis shows the cost-cutting methods and proposals of the U.S. army budget. The study elaborates the financial improvement techniques that can help the federal government to save a huge amount of capital within a 10 year period. The study shows that the government is spending an excessive amount of money on military pension benefits schemes. So, the experts have offered several proposals, such as the reduction of retirement pay and Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) cut to reduce the expenses of the military budget. Moreover, the experts propose some alternative ways to reduce military budget expenses. Studies show that the American army has an excessive number of army personnel, tactical submarines, destroyers and combat ships. Also, it shows that the defense department has highly expensive military helicopters and vehicles, such as expeditionary fighting vehicles and V-22 Osprey helicopters. The study proves that it is possible to use some other alternatives, instead of these expensive vehicles. Thus, the analysis shows the cost-cutting methods and proposals of the U.S. army.

Military Budget

The U.S. federal policymakers apply different methods to downsize the army costs. The overall costs of the military budget are regulated by the Department of Defense. The military expenses consist of the salaries, trainings and healthcare of the veterans. Also, it includes the pension benefits, army maintenance and fund operations. The U.S. military expenses increased rapidly in the previous few years. So, the authorities have made cost cutting agreements to improve the financial status of the nation. The study shows that the United States can save $1.2 trillion over next 10 years by reducing military spending (Preble & Friedman, 2010).

Pension Benefit Cuts

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Usually, the pension program for military retirees is much more convenient and generous than the private sector retirees. Most American citizens work for 40 years and they get 20 years of retirement benefits, whereas military personals work for 20 years and get retirement benefits for about 40 years (US congress revisits military pension cuts amid outcry from veterans group, 2014).

According to the study of Defense Business Board, future cost of military retirement will reduce the capabilities of financing wars. So, it is important to make changes regarding military retirement benefits. The board provided counseling to Pentagon administration and designed a new pension proposal. Congress has already approved this proposal and decided to reduce retirement pay by about 6%. So, a retired army sergeant and a first class officer will receive about $1.6 million, instead of $1.7 million (Caldwell, 2014). However, veteran groups have been arguing about these new proposals. Moreover, some of the veterans highly opposed the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) cut. In a report, the chief executive officer for Afghanistan and Iraq, Paul Rieckhoff told that American citizens are outraged by the decisions of the Congress and they opposed these issues including the military health insurance overhaul issue. Senator James Inhofe added that COLA changes hardly save $500 million a year, so it is unproductive to approve COLA cut decisions. The federal government has announced to make COLA changes from 2015 and asked Retirement Modernization Commission to provide new recommendations for the proposal (US congress revisits military pension cuts amid outcry from veterans group, 2014).

Moreover, studies show that it is possible apply cost reduction methods in some other points regarding military budget. These points include reduction of the size of the army, Marine Corps and Marine Corps expeditionary strike groups (US congress revisits military pension cuts amid outcry from veterans group, 2014).

Reduction of the Size of Army

Currently, a huge number of active-duty personnel are working for the U.S. army, which unnecessarily increase military budget. According to the study, if the federal government decreases the size of army from 547,400 to 360,000, then the U.S. government will save $220 billion in 10 years (Preble & Friedman, 2010).

On the other hand, reducing the number of Marine Corps from 202,000 to 145,000 will save up to $67 billion in 10 years. Also, a reduction in the number of Marine Corps expeditionary strike groups can save a huge amount of money. If the number of Marine Corps expeditionary strike groups can reduce from 10 to 6, then the state will save about $7 billion in 10 years. These proposals will decommission four Amphibious Transport Dock Ships, minimum two Dock landing ships and four Amphibious Assault Ships. Studies show that these cuts are officially justified. Moreover, by reducing the number of Marine Corps expeditionary strike groups to 6, the federal government can save up to $2.4 billion in 10 years. Also, the associated naval personnel cut will save about $4.6 billion (Caldwell, 2014).

In addition, the federal government should reduce the number of operational aircraft carriers (CVN) from 12 to 8. Such step will save $ 40 billion in 10 years. In recent time, American navy has ordered Ford Class CVN 78. It will be deployed in 2015. If the government cancels future CVNs for few years, then it will save more than $16 billion in 10 years. Decommissioning the Eisenhower, Vinson and Nimitz will save about $5 billion in 10 years. Also, it includes reduced costs of associated air wing and O&M (Green Shadow Cabinet, 2013).

Reduction of Nuclear Weapon Arsenals

It is important to reduce or cut the nuclear weapon arsenal to 500 deployed warheads. Such proposals will include 50% cut in the numbers of delivery platforms. Also, it will eliminate the bomber leg of the nuclear consolidation and triad of nuclear testing facilities and laboratories. This proposal will cut about $21 billion from the Department of Energy budget and $66 billion from the Department of the U.S. Defense budget (Preble & Friedman, 2010).

These proposals will reduce the number of ballistic nuclear missile-carrying submarines from 6 to 4 and it will save $3 billion in 10 years. Also, the government should leave aside the plans to buy Trident II missiles for nuclear missile carrying submarines and shelve plans to install nuclear weapons on F-35 Joint Strike Fighter planes. If the government reduces the size of nuclear power industry, then it will need less support of the production laboratories and testing facilities. Thus, it is possible to save a huge amount of money on nuclear weapon reduction proposals (Green Shadow Cabinet, 2013).

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Reducing the Number of Tactical Submarines

It is possible to save $32 billion in 10 years by reducing the number of tactical submarines. The current plans of the U.S. Federal Government show that the number of fast-attack submarines will decline to 40 till 2028. By reducing the number of tactical submarines, it is possible to save $1 billion in O&M costs and $29 billion in procurement in 10 years. If the government decomposes four effective and active guided missile submarines, then it will save about $500 million in 10 years. Also, the reduction in personnel onboard in tactical submarine will save about $2 billion (Military Compensation, n.d.).

Reducing the Number of Destroyers

The U.S. government can save $34 billion in 10 years by reducing the number of Navy destroyers. Currently, the U.S. Navy has 62 destroyers, which is sufficient for protecting the naval base in any complex situation. So, if the government stops the production and purchase of new destroyers for few years, then it will save about $ 30 billion production charge, $1 billion reduction in personnel and $1 billion in O&M cost (Millham, 2013).

Terminate the Number Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs)

The U.S. Navy should halt the LCS program. Currently, this program costs three times more than it has initially been estimated. So, the government should develop a less expensive class of corvettes and frigates. The Navy is planning to build 24 new LCS in next 10 years. Approximately, each LCS will cost $620 million. However, these new LCSs are unnecessary and the government can save up to $14.9 in 10 years by forgoing these plans. Moreover, studies show that the U.S. can use alternative platforms, such as 14 Perry class frigates that cost $100 million roughly for each model. These small ships can work with destroyers to perform LCSs missions. Such plans may save up to $14 billion in 10 years (Preble & Friedman, 2010).

Building and Operating Fewer Air Force Fighters

The Air Force should eliminate old fighters, such as F-15s and F-16s. They should buy more limited numbers of new F-35s than the current program. The estimated costs of new Air Force aircrafts are $200 million each. So, by reducing the number of fighters, it is possible to save about $29 billion in 10 years. The Air Force should eliminate six strike wing equivalent aircrafts. It will save up to $89 billion (Military Compensation, n.d.).

Termination of Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles

The U.S. Expeditionary vehicles are 160% over budget and 14 years behind the schedule. These vehicles work in archaic missions and hostile shores. However, last time they were used in September 1950. Such proposal will save up to $11 billion (Preble & Friedman, 2010).

Termination of the V-22 Osprey

The V-22 Osprey production cost is extraordinarily higher than other alternatives. So, the Marine Corps should stop V-22 productions. Moreover, it lacks lift and reliability. It has a relatively small size. Thus, it cannot carry heavy weapons to Marine bases. Studies show that CH-53 and MH-60 can easily take V-22s place and handle similar missions that V-22 performs. After subtracting the cost of production and operation of alternative platforms, the government can save up to $15 billion in 10 years (Preble & Friedman, 2010).

Realign the Missiles Defense Programs

According to the budget of 2011, the requested amount of missile defense was $9.9 billion. However, if the missile defense funds are shifted from procurement to development and research, then it will save up to $3 billion annually. Thus, it will save at least $60 billion in 10 year program (Preble & Friedman, 2010).

Reduction of Pentagon Civilian Workforce

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Studies show that Pentagon has excessive administrative service employees engaged in its current board missions. Also, a smaller military needs fewer civilian support and guide personnel. If the Pentagon civilian workforce will be reduced to a third, then it can save a huge amount of money. In 2011, total Pentagon workforce was 789,000 that cost about $77 billion. The U.S. government can save up to $105 billion in 10 years by reducing 30% civilian employees of Pentagon. This estimation was made by the calculation of reduction of employees in the period between 1991 and 2001. In that period, roughly 34% of civilians were reduced in military programs (Mulrine, 2014).

Reformation of Military Compensation

Currently, the U.S. military gets excessive compensations including housing allowances and tax advantages. The government should include these compensations during pay raise calculations. Also, the United States government should withdraw military forces from Afghanistan and Iraq. This proposal will save about $55 billion in 10 years (Doble, 2012).

Moreover, reformation of TRICARE health care system will save up to $60 billion in 10 years. Such strategies will reduce the burden on veterans.

In addition, the government has spent a huge amount of money on the construction and housing of military personnel. The federal government can save up to $30 billion in 10 years by reducing the construction budget (Preble & Friedman, 2010).

Reduction of Intelligence Spending

According to the report, in 1998, the U.S. intelligence budget was $27 billion and in 2009 it was increased greatly to $75 billion. The budget includes $30 billion for Military Intelligence Programs and $45 billion for National Intelligence Programs. Experts believe that this rapid growth is excessive and it is possible to cut 15 percent from intelligence budget each year. Such steps will save up to $112 billion in 10 years. Therefore, the government should reduce the budget spent on (Doble, 2012).

Conclusion

The above analysis draws a conclusion that the U.S. government has been spending excessive amount of money on military expenses. However, it is possible to reduce these expenses by applying some methods. Some of these methods and proposals are already applied and some are still in progress. One of the main proposals includes the pension benefit cuts. Defense business board has concluded that the increasing pension benefits will reduce the capabilities financing future wars. So, the Retirement Modernization Commission is working to cut retirement benefits of veterans. Moreover, some other studies show that the reduction of the size of army, nuclear weapon arsenals, tactical submarines, destroyers and combat ships among others may help to reduce military expenses over 10 years.

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