Progress made to reduce the size of the bureaucracy, provide greater accountability, and reduce spending

WASHINGTON – The United States Army announced plans this week to privatize nearly 214,000 of its civilian and military employees. Currently in the planning stages, this would be the greatest transfer of government employees to the private sector, affecting one out of six. In the 1980s similar efforts were made when 15,000 Army jobs went to the private sector, following with an additional 6,300 in the late 1990s.

In an internal memorandum by Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White on October 4th said, "The Army must focus its energies and talents on our core competencies – functions we perform better than anybody else…and obtain other needed products or services from the private sector where it makes sense."

"Rumsfeld and White should be praised for their hard work to reduce the size of the bureaucracy and reduce squandering valuable resources where they are not needed. If approved, this will furthermore serve to save taxpayers from wasteful spending on projects that the Pentagon does not require for its mission," Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, stated.

Privatization would save millions of taxpayer dollars without affecting the Army or Defense Department\’s mission. The Department of the Army currently employs 1.3 million, of which around 220,000 are civilians. The privatization would affect almost 155,000 civilian and 59,000 military personnel.

The Army\’s reorganization is only a portion what the Bush administration is seeking. In total, the administration would like to see up to 425,000 government jobs up for competition in the private sector. These moves will allow the military to focus towards the war on terrorism and emerging threats.

"Hopefully these changes will be implemented without delay, as to not further impede upon the Defense Department\’s current missions," Norquist added.