But the report recommend a range of cuts in areas such as nuclear weapons and research, and criticized the “military industrial complex” for successfully pushing astronomically priced programs even as most Americans say they want less defense spending.
The report also endorsed the Pentagon’s 2012 budget plan to begin reducing military pay increases – which it says have pushed military salaries thousands of dollars above civilian equivalents -- starting in 2015. The change would save $16.5 billion over five years, the report says. An additional $15 billion could be saved during that time by raising Tricare fees for working-age retirees, as well as other changes. Reform of the retirement system by replacing the current plan with a 401k style arrangement could save $13 billion over five years, and $70 billion by 2042, the report said.