The Department of Defense buried a report saying it could have prevented wasting $125 billion of taxpayers’ money in order to protect its massive budget, the Washington Post reported Monday.
The defense report, which was originally released in January 2015, outlined a series of solutions for the Pentagon to save $125 billion over five years without firing any civilian or military personnel. According to the Post, the report “would have streamlined the bureaucracy through attrition and early retirements, curtailed high-priced contractors and made better use of information technology.”
The savings could have paid operational costs for 50 entire U.S. Army brigades (enough troops to invade an entire country) or 3,000 high-tech fighter jets in the U.S. Air Force’s eternally beleaguered new F-35 line, according to the Post.
But it was instead killed by high-ranking defense officials who believed exposing administrative waste in the department, which at $625.2 billion in fiscal year 2016 absorbs over half of the federal government’s discretionary budget, could cause Congress to allocate it less money in the future.