"President-elect Donald Trump pledged Tuesday both to scale back interventions in the Middle East and ratchet up the fight against the Islamic State in the Middle East."
"He has long said he has a secret plan to fight ISIS, but he has yet to provide any details of it or evidence that it exists.
However, any campaign against ISIS would require a military presence and financial investment in the Middle East, particularly if Trump would expand on the Obama administration’s targeted bombing-focused, almost-no-boots-on-the-ground approach."
"Trump seemed to suggest that he could both spend money on that fight in the Middle East — where, in addition, an ongoing American presence in Iraq has so far been an element of the fight against ISIS — but also spend less money."
"Trump also pledged in his first budget to eliminate the Defense Department sequester, the across-the-board cuts that were the result of a failed effort to force a compromise between House Republicans and the Obama White House over the past few years."http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/trump-middle-east-isis-232291
"The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is proposing an increase in the defense budget by billions of dollars to halt a severe combat readiness problem that he and other Republicans accuse President Obama of ignoring.
Representative Mac Thornberry’s annual defense policy bill, to be released Monday afternoon, would shift $18 billion from the account that finances ongoing war operations to pay for additional ships, jet fighters, helicopters, and more that the Pentagon didn’t ask for in its $583 billion request."https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2016/04/25/lawmaker-lays-out-risky-strategy-for-defense-budget-increases/Nr2MC2o98OSkyGa9vj4yHP/story.html
"The Pentagon has buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget, according to interviews and confidential memos obtained by The Washington Post.
Pentagon leaders had requested the study to help make their enormous back-office bureaucracy more efficient and reinvest any savings in combat power. But after the project documented far more wasteful spending than expected, senior defense officials moved swiftly to kill it by discrediting and suppressing the results."
"But some Pentagon leaders said they fretted that by spotlighting so much waste, the study would undermine their repeated public assertions that years of budget austerity had left the armed forces starved of funds. Instead of providing more money, they said, they worried Congress and the White House might decide to cut deeper."
Deputy Defense Secretary Robert "Work said the board fundamentally misunderstood how difficult it is to eliminate federal civil service jobs — members of Congress, he added, love having them in their districts — or to renegotiate defense contracts."
"Information on contractor labor, in particular, was so cloaked in mystery that McKinsey described it as “dark matter.”
"Arnold Punaro, a retired Marine general and former staff director for the Senate Armed Services Committee, said lawmakers block even modest attempts to downsize the Pentagon’s workforce because they do not want to lose jobs in their districts.
Without backing from Congress, “you can’t even get rid of the guy serving butter in the chow hall in a local district, much less tens of thousands of jobs,” he said."
"But the McKinsey consultants had also collected data that exposed how the military services themselves were spending princely sums to hire hordes of defense contractors.
For example, the Army employed 199,661 full-time contractors, according to a confidential McKinsey report obtained by The Post. That alone exceeded the combined civil workforce for the Departments of State, Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, and Housing and Urban Development."http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/pentagon-buried-study-exposed-125b-waste
Private defense contractors come first.