According to an agency report to Congress made public last week, the Pentagon is facing budget cuts which cripple the fight against biological and chemical attacks, an ever present and ever growing fear in recent days. During a time when enemy threats are high, questions must be asked as to why Congress would approve cuts in such a vital sector while overspending is rampant in other areas.
The report, which was released last Thursday by a Freedom of Information Act from the Federation of American Scientists, revealed that the Department of Defense is feeling constrained by not having enough resources to combat the growing problem of biological and chemical warfare both at home and around the world. The report to Congress “provides an assessment of the DoD’s overall readiness to fight in a chemical and biological (CB) warfare environment” and expresses that the DoD “faces CB threats that are complex, diverse, and pose enduring risks to the Joint Force and Homeland.”
The report explains that “the variety, origin, and severity of these threats continues to grow while resources shrink. The DoD protects U.S. Forces against weaponized [chemical and biological] agents and emerging threats using an integrated, layered defense and a risk-informed approach.”
“Reduced defense spending will constrain the ability of the CBDP to develop, procure, and sustain Joint Service priority capabilities that improve the ability of the Warfighter to counter [chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear] threats,” the DoD wrote to Congress. “The combination of evolving [chemical and biological] threats, reduced budgets, and uncertain fiscal futures forces the [CBDP] to focus its limited resources to address the highest priorities and greatest risks.”
Under the Obama administration, budgets for the Pentagon chemical weapons defense program, as well as its other programs, has been experiencing cuts considerably each year. Though chemical warfare has been prohibited by the international community, the threat of biological attacks remains high as terror groups like ISIS and immoral leaders such as Bashar al-Assad, the President of Syria, continue to use them. This administrations enabling of terrorist regimes such as Iran to gain access to nuclear materials increases the threat of enemies in the Middle East using them against us.
While the feds continuously cut budgets to our defense programs, they have “invested” a considerable amount of taxpayer dollars in grants towards what many consider waste research which common sense would argue the results of which have little to absolutely no bearing on the well-being of the American people.
For instance, an oversight report by Republican Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona, revealed that in 2016 alone $5 million was spent on finding out if drunk birds (zebra finches to be exact) slur when they sing, a whopping $13 million went to researching what kinds of music monkeys and chimps like, and almost $4 million was spent on investigating what makes goldfish feel sexy. It was discovered that over $35 million dollars went to answering such outrageous, meaningless, and ludicrous questions in fiscal year 2016 alone, the same year in which the pentagon experienced a $20 million dollar cut in chemical defense funding cuts.
In addition to research spending, Senator Flake released an entire “wastebook” at the end of 2015 entitled “The Farce Awakens“, a play on the new Star Wars movie that was released during the same month. The wastebook runs through all of the overspending during the fiscal year 2015 which spanned from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015. Among numerous other overspending findings, the report revealed that the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is responsible for providing affordable housing for low-income families, will pay over $104 million dollars over the next year for public housing properties that are occupied by over-income families, while low-income families suffer on a waiting list. In other words, the Federal Government is spending over millions of our tax dollars to provide housing for families often times making six figures because there is no regulation in place to evict them once they generate more income.
While the Pentagon is experiencing budget cuts which deter its chemical and biological defense program, the federal government is spending $1 billion each year on a 586-square-mile Nuclear Reservation in Washington state which is filled with hazardous waste leftover from the Department of Energys nuclear weapons program. The site, which is spending far more per year than the pentagon is requesting for anti-chemical-weapons defense, is ironically a tremendous bio hazard to the area, potentially contaminating groundwater as the tanks holding radioactive material deteriorates.
Such lack of accountability by the members of Congress, who get paid 6 figures to work a job which requires no financial training, to allocate government funding towards meaningful, national security programs is worrisome. With the recent developments that the Government has been skewing information from our analysts on the ground in the Middle East to portray a “rosier image” of our fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Americans have been feeling fearful and lied to. However, while the state of our National Security may be in question, at least the nation can rest easy at night knowing that our Government did all it could to make sure our goldfish can feel empowered, flirtatious, and sexy.