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Pentagon fails to pass new financial audit, unable to account for over $2 trillion in assets

As Washington's yearly defense budget hurtles towards the $1 trillion mark, the DoD continues to operate with little to no oversight of its spending practices

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he US Department of Defense has, for the fifth straight year, failed to pass a financial audit, with only seven out of the Pentagon’s 27 military agencies receiving a passing grade.

“We failed to get an ‘A’,” Mike McCord, the Pentagon’s comptroller and chief financial officer, told reporters last week, announcing the results of the Pentagon’s fifth-ever financial audit.

“I would not say that we flunked,” he added, despite his office acknowledging that the Pentagon only managed to account for 39 percent of its $3.5 trillion in assets.

With this failure, the Pentagon has kept its spot as the only US government agency to have never passed a comprehensive audit. It also highlights the US war department’s persistent lack of internal financial control, its poor budget estimations and rampant overspending.

A clear example of this is the F-35 program, which has gone over its original budget by $165 billion to build a plane tasked to perform many different tasks, none of which it does well.

The Pentagon is slated to buy more than 2,400 F-35s for the Air Force, Marines, and Navy. The estimated lifetime cost for procuring and operating these planes – $1.7 trillion – would make it the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons project ever.

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