Now you see it, now you don't. Think of it as the Department of Defense's version of the street con game, three-card monte, or maybe simply as the Pentagon shuffle. In any case, the Pentagon's budget is as close to a work of art as you're likely to find in the U.S. government -- if, that is, by work of art you mean scam.
At the moment, there are a maximum of 3,870 U.S. military personnel (or 7,740 actual boots on the ground) in Iraq supporting the war against ISIS. Of course, that number doesn't include the other 1,130 American military types (or 2,260 boots), or the American private contractors also flowing into Iraq in growing numbers.
From spending $150 million on private villas for a handful of personnel in Afghanistan to blowing $2.7 billion on an air surveillance balloon that doesn't work, the latest revelations of waste at the Pentagon are just the most recent howlers in a long line of similar stories stretching back at least five decades.