By Molly Knobler & Talia Mermin of Phillips & Cohen, LLP
September 11, 2001 ushered in a new era of U.S. defense spending, marked by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Over the last 20 years, the United States has spent more than $6.4 trillion on those wars. We do not know how much of this enormous sum has been lost to fraud. But as of 2011, i.e., 10 years into this era, a non-partisan, legislative commission found that as much as $60 billion (almost 30% of the spending up to that point) had been lost to fraud, waste, or abuse.
In 2010, imagine if Congress had an extra $60 billion to support the 1.43 million active troops through pay raises, increased healthcare for veterans, or support services for military families.
Procurement fraud aimed at the Department of Defense, “poses a serious threat to the DOD’s ability to achieve its objectives and can undermine the safety and operational readiness of the warfighter. Whistleblowers are the government’s best weapon in the military’s fight against fraud.