Peter Levine, senior research fellow at the Institute for Defense Analyses, discusses the cuts to the fourth estate in the House version of the NDAA and the restructuring efforts going on throughout the Department of Defense.
The House version of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act includes some big cuts to “the fourth estate.” Twenty eight agencies that make up the support arm of the military would have their spending cut by 25 percent. In addition, seven agencies, including the Defense Information Systems Agency, would be eliminated entirely by 2021. “There’s certainly ways within the fourth estate, there’s certainly inefficiency and mismanagement anywhere you look in the Department of Defense. It’s a target-rich environment, but It’s hard work,” said Peter Levine, senior research fellow at the Institute for Defense Analyses and former Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness and the Department of Defense. “In order to get after that, you have to really understand what the agencies do and why they are doing it and figure out how they can do it better. Not just think you can eliminate them and save money that way.”