The Pentagon has failed its annual audit for the sixth consecutive year, unable to account for half of its $3.8 trillion in assets. The Pentagon has never passed an audit and had never completed one until 2018. Despite this year’s press release claiming “DOD Makes Incremental Progress Towards Clean Audit,” the Pentagon has failed every time.
The most recent audit allowed the Pentagon to account for only half of its $3.8 trillion in assets, leaving $1.9 trillion unaccounted for, more than the entire budget Congress agreed to for the current fiscal year. This failure would lead to congressional hearings, demands to remove agency leaders, or defund those agencies. Every other major federal agency has passed an audit, proving it knows where taxpayer dollars are going.
Congress is set to approve another $840 billion for the Pentagon, despite its failures, with $3.9 trillion in Pentagon spending approved since the first failed audit in 2018. Tens of billions have gone through the Pentagon to fund wars in Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Israel, with accountability for those funds being in question. Half of the Pentagon budget goes to corporate weapons contractors and other corporations who profit from this lack of accountability. Congress is failing to prevent this abuse, as they choose to spend untold billions on weapons and war without accountability.
The Pentagon has neglected nearly $2 trillion worth of publicly funded resources, despite other agencies passing audits potentially utilizing these funds for better public services. With another government shutdown debate looming in early 2024, lawmakers should focus on the agency that has lost track of nearly $2 trillion worth of publicly funded resources.