So why do we have a significant increase in General Officer/Flag Officer (GOFO) slots in the DOD? Why do we have a significant increase in civilian Senior Executive Service (SES) slots the DOD?
Take a look at the chart.
80% are oxygen thieves.
Indeed. That is a lot of money wasted on spiffy office furniture, staff and other trappings. It reminds me at the end of the Cold War where USAF developed a "no general left behind act". For instance, the USAF at the prime of Strategic Air Command (SAC) had bomber wing commanders as full colonels. Full nuke alert; lots of responsibility. After the Cold War (where there was no longer any nuke alert for bombers), you started to see Wings commanded by 1-star generals with less responsibility.
I saw the SES world at a major depot. Some were worth it. Others? Well, the third leg of the waste triad was endless reorganization. No one could stop. You had to look like you were doing something even if the solution would be better served by a little bit more supervision and training. No. Reorganize. Fire up the PowerPoint. Get the message out. Rinse and repeat.
Yes, the military can suffer some cuts; if they are in the right place.