Monday, April 28, 2014

Why is the US Army destroying ammunition?

I am seeing and hearing reports that the US Army is destroying unneeded and/or unsuitable ammunition valued at $1.2 billion.

Transfer of this ammunition to other government agencies apparently is impeded by inefficient bureaucracy and paperwork.

As a taxpayer and US Army veteran, I am outraged that a government entity as big as the US Army is so inept at forecasting its needs that it is willing to wastefully destroy surplus material acquired at considerable taxpayer expense. The cost of the process of destruction itself has not been reported, but I wouldn't be surprised that this expense could add an additional $1 billion to the cost of these surplus munitions.

Here are my thoughts on this issue:

1 - Base-line budgeting must be abolished immediately and no government entity should ever expect a budget to grow or even say the same. Every government entity must justify every expenditure to a fiscally-prudent Congress. This will reduce the likelihood that government entities, such as the US Army, will buy unneeded or excessive supplies and equipment.

2 - If the Armed Forces or any armed non-military government agencies have surplus ammunition or ammunition components (spent cartridge cases, etc.), that ammunition must not be destroyed. Instead, an efficient process for transfer of that ammunition between agencies must be implemented immediately. (Do we really need -- and does the Constitution authorize -- over 70 federal agencies with sworn law enforcement officers?)

3 - If not transferred to another government agency which needs it within 30 days, all small arms ammunition and components (50 BMG and smaller) must be transferred to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for disposal to CMP customers for marksmanship training and competition.

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