Efficiencies Don’t Necessarily Equal Savings

The Defense Department expects to save about $60 billion from “unspecified efficiencies,” in addition to the $178 billion in efficiency savings already projected through mid decade, said officials at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments Wednesday. That’s a dangerous assumption that could actually lead to additional inefficiencies if carried out incorrectly, they said. “Bottom line is there is always this push to get efficiencies, particularly in times like this. And, typically you don’t end up getting anywhere near the amount of savings that you anticipated,” said CSBA President Andrew Krepinevich, during a briefing in Washington, D.C., discussing the Pentagon’s forthcoming Fiscal 2013 budget proposal that’s set for release on Feb. 13. He added, “I talked to one senior defense official who said, ‘We are looking to get about 25 percent of the [budget] gap through efficiencies.’ Then he paused, and smiled, and said, ‘We all know that’s a bunch of bull.'” The Air Force has found an additional $3.4 billion in projected efficiency savings across the Fiscal 2013-2017 future years defense program, in addition to the $33 billion it identified in the five-year Fiscal 2012 FYDP.