I think freezing or cutting the DoD’s budget is a good idea, as long as it’s in the context of a larger deficit-reduction plan to ensure the long-term fiscal stability of the U.S.
That said, freezing pay is probably not the best way to go. An all-volunteer force still has to attract and retain talent; pay and benefit cuts would likely have adverse long-term effects out of proportion to the savings. Alternatives for achieving personnel savings include going to a conscripted force (at least partially), or cutting the size of the force itself. A related idea would be to reduce the missions given to DoD, which in addition to the direct savings, would lessen the number of troops required.
Acquisitions is the other huge target. Unfortunately, the system as it stands is so broken that any significant reform may well require Congress to step in, burn the whole regulatory framework down to zero, and start over. Cheaper, less capable items with much, much faster turnaround would provide better results at less cost than the gold-plated, but never-delivered item from the current system (Comanche, Crusader, FCS, KC-X, DDG-1000, EFV, etc., etc.). Re-write the laws, fire everybody involved, and start over. Make every job at least one to two grades junior than they currently are. You almost couldnt help but do more with less…
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