At a time when veterans are already facing record unemployment and homelessness, the Pentagon has made it crystal clear that if given a choice between benefits and bullets, without hesitation it will throw troops under the bus and save what’s left of its budget for bullets.
The Pentagon is looking to sharply slash troop benefits in its new budget, which would be in effect from 2016-2020.
The Daily Caller reports that the previous lowering of a 1.8 percent pay raise to just one percent in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, a drop in housing allowances by five percent and an increase in co-pays for pharmaceuticals leaves “some troops (feeling) betrayed and frustrated, mainly because they’re just finished fighting the longest war in the nation’s history.”
And that’s the good news. The bad news is that troops have killed and died for profits not freedom – and not even their own – someone else’s. And if that wasn’t bad enough, those same people who profit most from these wars, now aim to cut what little benefits troops receive in a bid to preserve (or increase) their share of the spoils of war.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said: “Adjustments are going to have to be made because if they’re not made down into the future then we will essentially end up with a hollow force. We will have a lot of benefits and pay, but there’ll be no money for readiness,” The Hill reported.
However, further cuts are unlikely to go over well with America’s troops or Congress.
“Military groups also reject the Pentagon’s argument that there is a trade-off involving ‘benefits versus bullets,’ ” The Hill notes. “They say officials are simply going after ‘low-hanging fruit’ in the face of overall budget cuts.”
Retired Army Col. Mike Barron of MOAA told The Hill: “The easiest thing for them to go after is pay, benefits, compensation.”
But what the retired colonel doesn’t realize is that troop benefits are not being cut only because its easier, but also because those who finance these wars were really never interested in the well-being of troops. In that context, this treachery is to be expected. It makes perfect sense.