Best Defense

Let the bodies through the door!

I was amazed by this chart a friend sent along showing how much major U.S. military headquarters have increased their staffs the last decade. It raises lots of questions, such as: Why has STRATCOM almost doubled in size during this period of focus on small wars? How did EUCOM grow 85 percent even as it ...

James Cridland/flickr
James Cridland/flickr

I was amazed by this chart a friend sent along showing how much major U.S. military headquarters have increased their staffs the last decade. It raises lots of questions, such as:

  • Why has STRATCOM almost doubled in size during this period of focus on small wars?
  • How did EUCOM grow 85 percent even as it lost responsibility for Africa?
  • What do 3,157 people do at JFCOM all day? How much do they cost, in total?
  • And why does JFCOM employ 1,613 civilians, almost as many as the military AND civilian total at SOUTHCOM?

 

Anyone got any answers?

It also makes me wonder how much DoD agencies have grown. It used to amaze me to look through the Pentagon phone book and see all these offices that no one ever hears about. This is the place to start cutting the military establishment. After that go after DoD health care costs. Then headquarters staff. Cutting combat forces should be the last step, not the first. Part of the problem here is that members of Congress don’t care much about uniformed military jobs in their districts, but love having civilian employees of DoD in their areas, because the civilians tend to make good money and stick around, which helps the local economies far more than do transient soldiers and sailors, who seem to boost only car dealers and dry cleaners, judging by the strips outside Forts Benning and Bragg.

(HT to MC)

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. @tomricks1
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