Magazine August 16, 2010, Issue

Black Budget In the Red

The Republic of Korea Navy amphibious landing ship ROKS Dokdo and the aircraft carrier USS George Washington transit the East Sea of South Korea July 27, 2010. (Adam K. Thomas/U.S. Navy/Reuters/Handout)
There is waste and fraud in national-security spending, too

It sounds like a recipe for a conservative crusade: a sector of the government that’s seen 150 percent growth in less than a decade yet is “so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine”; one where projects run hundreds of millions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule, where audits and required reporting frequently are neglected, and where officials at the highest levels admit they can’t keep track of what their agencies are doing, or even how many contractors they’ve got on the public payroll.

This tale of government bloat was unspooled in a lengthy Washington Post series, which

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