The Pentagon’s $800-Billion Real Estate Problem
Matthew Gault
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The DoD is, first and foremost, a bureaucracy. Bureaucracies suffer from the “in-box” syndrome. This means that a given bureaucrat, military or civilian, will deal with what is on the top of their in-box first and will rarely get to the bottom if their in-box. As in-boxes keep filling up, the bureacrat will usually never get past the first three items in the in-box. Civilian bureaucrats know that they will never be fired for inefficiency, and military bureaucrats know they will eventually be reassigned. There’s simply no incentive to make bureaucrats worry about real estate accountability when there are more pressing things to worry about. That’s what you get with big government. I saw this regularly and never worked higher than Brigade level. The higher you go, the worse this gets.

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