Thursday, June 30, 2011

Defense Spending: Mission Misplaced

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As part of Virginia's 11th Congressional District, Fort Belvoir serves as the headquarters for the Defense Logistics Agency, the Defense Acquisition University, the Defense Contract Audit Agency, the Defense Technical Information Center, the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command, and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Over its 13 square miles, Fort Belvoir also maintains historic homes, over 2,000 family housing units (while houses in neighborhoods outside the gates sit empty), community swimming pools, retail facilities, athletic fields, two 18-hole championship golf courses, and an Officers' Club that sits high above the Potomac River (see photo). All these facilities require infrastructure and maintenance -- including multiple entry gates that are manned by armed guards.

Yet we have soldiers on food stamps, returning wounded warriors that spend over a year getting their disability claims processed, and deployed troops that are stretched thin in fulfilling their fighting mission.

It's now time to rededicate our military mission to fighting wars and maintaining peace rather than fighting bureaucracy and maintaining imprudent facilities. Further it's time to eliminate the three-headed military health system (a Surgeon General each for the Army, Navy, and Air Force) and move Veteran Affairs back under the Department of Defense.

Morning over the Potomac from Officers' Club at Ft. Belvoir