Military spending is so out of control, the US Army has no idea where the money has gone.
President Trump is about to explain to the nation why he is proposing a new increase to military spending.
But the bigger question may be, will the Department of Defense be able to tell him where the money is going to go?
Lost amidst the flurry of upcoming deadlines for the tax ceiling and latest short-term government spending bill, is the long-awaited audit of the DoD.
Last year, Congress set a date of September 30, 2017 as a deadline for the DoD to prepare for a full audit after the Defense Department’s Inspector General found that the Army had made more than $6.5 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in 2015.
The problem has been ongoing for an unknown period of years. The Inspector General commonly issues a disclaimer on all annual spending reports that information includes “basic financial statements that may have undetected misstatements that are both material and pervasive.”
It is believed that those wrongful adjustments in 2015 led to more than $62 billion unaccounted for by the U.S. Army.
Trump’s proposed increase would be the first year-over-year increase to military spending since the Obama administration started winding it down from an all-time high of $689 billion back in 2010.
That year, Jack Armstrong, a former Defense Inspector General official whose job it was to audit the Army General Fund, retired from an organization where such “creative accounting” had become part of the accepted culture of “business as usual.”
Armstrong believes that false numbers were inserted into reports to make everything match, and had been long before his retirement.
“They don’t know what the heck the balances should be.”
It remains to be seen if President Trump is aware of the impending audit, and if so, whether he will allow it to happen. To date, the current administration has been short on transparency, as well as shutting down planned actions and projects enacted under the previous administration.