Mabus has a lot of nutty social engineering ideas he’s foisting upon the Navy. And that’s bad.
“If you want to look at real money, 20 percent of the Pentagon budget — 20 percent, one dollar out of every five — is spent on the ‘fourth estate'[:] the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the defense agencies, the organizations run by the undersecretaries,” Mabus told the audience at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “Pure overhead. Pure overhead. And they’ve grown far faster than the services.”
“There’s this thing called DFAS, Defense Finance and Accounting Service,” Mabus continued. “They write our checks. We tell them who to write the checks to, we tell them how to write them for, and they write the checks. Last year they charged us $300 million” for that service. (DFAS is a “working capital” agency funded largely by fees paid by other parts of the Defense Department).
The growth of DoD, which really began under McNamara, has turned what used to be a flawed, often wasteful duplication of effort in procurement and sustainment into a sclerotic, flawed, often wasteful duplication of effort in procurement and sustainment.
Of course, Mabus can’t help but Mabus, and defend the LCS against OT&E. Sadly, while OT&E is a mess, on LCS they’re correct. How the Navy convinced Congress to pay for these things is a mystery.