|It is unclear whether the Department of Defense is really saving money by freezing the size of its civilian workforce.
Pentagon leaders insist their Defense Efficiencies Initiative will reduce the amount of tax dollars consumed by the department. It will do this, they say, as a result of capping the number of civilian employees at 2010 levels.
But the Defense Department has not placed any constraints on the numbers of contractors hired to perform work for the agency. According to Pentagon figures, the Defense Department handed out $248 billion to private contractors in Fiscal Year 2010, a huge increase from the $104 billion it spent in FY 2001. A group of 131 congressional representatives wrote last month to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and criticized his department's reliance on contractors. In their opinions, it makes no sense for the Pentagon...