Stars and Stripes, the US Military's in-house newspaper, is at serious risk of being eliminated due to budget cuts. While the US Military has an acknowledged spending problem (due in no small part to unnecessary projects forced onto the Pentagon by the legislative branch), Stripes accounts for a tiny part of military spending, and is sometimes the only news source available to deployed service members. A substantial portion of its expenses are recouped through ad sales, further reducing the government's financial commitment. In addition, it has complete editorial independence from the Department of Defense, mandated by law. This independence serves its more than 350,000 readers with honest, critical appraisals of US Military policy, leadership, and strategies.
As Gawker's Adam Weinstein pointed out, Stripes could operate for three decades for the price of just one scandalously over-budget F-35. Or more than five decades for a single year's operating expenses on one of our nineteen aircraft carriers. Or nearly a century for the cost of a notoriously expensive Littoral combat ship.
It is important and appropriate for the government to eliminate wasteful spending, whether the plan is lowering the deficit or directing the savings to more effective programs. But Stars and Stripes provides a necessary service, one that can't be outsourced or replaced. The review is currently underway; use this link to find your representative, and urge them to preserve this important institution.