Gordon Adams and Lawrence Korb Quoted in Army Times after Pentagon Budget Press Call
Pay reform unlikely for years, budget experts say
Critics say House committee members ‘chose pork and hardware over readiness’
By Leo Shane III
May 14, 2014 | Army Times
Meaningful military compensation reform is likely years away, and even then will happen only if the White House insists on a major overhaul, defense budget experts said Wednesday.
In a conference call with reporters, a panel of progressive defense critics with the National Security Network blasted the House Armed Services Committee’s recently passed defense authorization bill for fiscal 2015, calling it a shortsighted plan that ducks budget realities.
Committee members “chose pork and hardware over readiness,” said Gordon Adams, a former Clinton administration defense budget official. “They seem to imagine a parallel future where defense budgets are going to grow.”
The critics see areas where equipment, civilian staffing and end strength can be cut, but they agreed that pay and benefits changes — while overdue — are likely politically impossible for now.
Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and a former Pentagon personnel chief under President Reagan, reiterated his belief that military compensation needs immediate reductions to prevent personnel costs from overwhelming the military.