Politics

United States Military Commanders Live In Luxurious Mansions As Sequester Hits Hard

| by Sylvan Lane
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The sequester of the United States federal budget has taken quite a toll on the military with more than 680,000 civilian workers furloughed and reduced services and cutbacks on training and missions. However, several of the military’s most valuable officers are currently posted up in lavish homes in exotic locals, costing taxpayers about $150,000 per year each.

A secret Pentagon report investigated 32 mansions owned or rented by the military for some of its top commanders and found that many of them take too much of a financial toll on the military budget, according to The Daily Mail.

“It is estimated that the Defense Department owns or rents hundreds more such homes for its top officers," The Daily Mail reported. "Many of them are in exotic locales like Brussels, Belgium, and Naples, Italy, where its officers are posted. Many of the mansions are outfitted with professional chefs and gardeners. All of them have costly security measures like armed guards, gates, blast walls and blast-proof windows.”

Some of the officers living in these mansions reportedly include Marine General John F. Kelly, who lives in a Florida mansion that costs $160,000 a year, NATO commander General Phillip M. Breedlove, who lives in a 15,000 sq. ft. chateau in Belgium and Admiral Bruce W. Clingan, who lives in a $220,000 mansion in Naples.

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“In the annual appropriations bill for military construction approved by a House committee last month, lawmakers criticized the Pentagon for the ‘excessive cost’ of maintaining ‘large and aging’ homes and for the ‘apparent unwillingness on the part of the [military] services to seek less expensive alternatives,’' according to The Los Angeles Times. “Generals and admirals say they need large houses with high security — as well as cooks and gardeners — because they often host visiting dignitaries or preside at ceremonial events. Keeping pricey properties makes fiscal sense, they argue, because the Pentagon either already owns them or would waste money finding a suitable rental every time a senior officer is moved to a new command.”

Sources: The Daily Mail, The Los Angeles Times