Pentagon lays off 46,000 temporary workers


This picture taken 26 December 2011 shows the Pentagon building in Washington, DC. It is the world's largest office building by floor area. Approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel work in the Pentagon.



The US defense department has begun laying off most of its 46,000 temporary workers, BBC News reported.

The lay-offs are part of an attempt to slow spending down, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter  told Reuters today. The military is scheduled to lose $45 billion in cuts that go into effect on March 1.

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The Pentagon is absorbing $487 billion in cuts over the next 10 years, Reuters reported, which were agreed to in the Budget Control Act of 2011.

So should we be panicking about the cuts? No, says the National Journal. The magazine conducted a poll of Pentagon "insiders" and found that 80 percent believed that the defense budget could be reasonably reduced by more than $100 billion. And 24 percent believe that even the roughly $500 billion cut doesn't spell doomsday. "With the operation in Afghanistan winding down, the Pentagon could likely absorb another $100 [billion] to $300 billion with minimal pain," one insider told the National Journal.

"There is significant post-9/11 bloat that still needs to be addressed and significant force structure and numerous platforms that could be reduced to achieve significant savings," another anonymous source told the Journal.