People Cost Just Too Much

While not advocating a return to the draft, Lexington Institute’s Loren Thompson writes in a new paper that “the real driver of increasing [operation & maintenance] costs in the regular defense budget isn’t ‘rising optempo’ as frequently alleged, but rising personnel costs.” He believes the Obama Administration has “not begun to confront this reality,” and cutting weapon systems while “simultaneously increasing the number of uniform and civilian personnel at the Defense Department … precludes net savings.” This should not come as any great surprise, but the paper does contain some current data on personnel costs.