Is the Hill full of “Helicopter Parents” when it comes to DoD?

Is the Hill full of “Helicopter Parents” when it comes to DoD?

Posted on March 28th, 2012 in Blog, News, Top Picks

In recent years the label of “Helicopter Parents” has been given to the over-protective and patronizing parents who refuse to let their adult offspring make their own mature choices.  This presenta delimma — no parent wants their child to grow up and enter the world unprepared to face known and unknown challenges, but there is a limit to the effectiveness of decisions that parents can force upon their children. 

The Pentagon knows that it must cut its budget, but efforts to make reasonable, timely, and cost-effective cuts are being thwarted by Congress.  Ignoring sequestration won’t make it vanish, so it is time to make some mature choices.  It is true that savings from a round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) can take a long time to be realized – A recent GAO study found that BRAC 2005 won’t break even until 2018.  But The Hill is so violently opposed to even considering BRAC that the DoD is now grasping for anything that will allow the military to shed excess infrastructure, including an obscure authority to close facilities with less than 300 personnel.  Furthermore, at the same time it is cutting the budget by large amounts Congress is also forcing the DoD to purchase equipment it doesn’t want or need (see:  Congress will force the U.S. Army to buy more tanks than are called for by our national security strategy).

It is rare that a large government bureaucracy willingly makes cuts to its own budget, but the “meat ax” of sequestration is looming large.  So, what is Congress if not afflicted by Helicopter Parent Syndrome? Congress’ promoting of pet projects that facilitate local patronage purchases for constituents could mean our military will not be equipped or positioned to defend our national security interests.  Unfortunately, then, even more than for most helicopter parents the failure of those Congress is trying to hover over with such a helicopter-like posture will be a dangerous and undesirable outcome.