Pentagon to cut more HQ positions angering AFGA 41409153

Defence & Security News - (USA)
Pentagon to cut more HQ positions angering AFGA

The Department of Defense officials have decided to cut even further the headquarters positions. In a move that would save funds for other operational requirements, the Deputy Defence Secretary, Robert Work, has called for a 25% reduction in appropriations, in the 2017-2020 period.

Pentagon to cut more HQ positions angering AFGA
US Department of Defense

The cuts, as outlined in the “Cost Reductions Targets for Major Headquarters”, will be implemented in all major defense headquarter activities, the office of the Defense Secretary, the Joint Staff, the Defense agencies and field activities, and Combatant Commands, without regard to action by Congress.

The Headquarters’ personnel cuts have been the result of contradictory positions between the Congress and the White House. While the Congress has called for 30% cuts over four years, the White House insists on 20% mandatory ones, based on the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act which passed in May 2015.

In a memorandum, Robert Work stated: “We anticipate Congress will require a 25 percent reduction in the funding of DoD Headquarters in lieu of the 20 percent requirement previously established by the Department,’ Work said in the memorandum. “Even if Congress fails to act, the Department needs the savings that will be achieved through this reduction to fund higher priority requirements in support of the warfighter and to address underfunded strategic needs.”

The DoD officials want to move forward with the cuts, to fund other combat-related activities and underfunded strategic needs. Some cuts have already been undertaken based on a directive issued by the previous Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel.

The decision for further cuts has angered the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) which issued a statement the characterized the cuts as indiscriminant without taking into consideration how the same work can be performed with reduced staff.

It further considers that the cuts will mostly hit civilian personnel, when there is a much larger number of contractors, which ends up costing far more to the overall DoD budget.