Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pentagon Slashes Weapons Budget

Pentagon chief takes aim at big weapons programs

L. A. Times — Reporting from Washington -- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Monday outlined the most sweeping changes in military spending priorities in decades, proposing the elimination of a long list of big-ticket programs to save billions of dollars and swing the Pentagon's emphasis from conventional conflicts to irregular warfare.
If Congress goes along, the cuts could spell the end for many of the military's best-known weapons programs, including much of the Army's Future Combat Systems, the Air Force's F-22 fighter, the next generation of Navy destroyers and the C-17 cargo plane, which is built in Long Beach. A new fleet of presidential helicopters also would be dropped under the plan.
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Defense Cuts Prompt Protests From Lawmakers Concerned About Job Losses

Fox News — With Defense Secretary Robert Gates proposing broad cuts in Pentagon spending, a new war over the president's budget has begun.
While critics already are warning that the plan could compromise U.S. security, the greater resistance appears to be coming from lawmakers worried that the cuts threaten thousands of jobs in their states.
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Gates defends reforms, sees growth in defense budget

Reuters UK — Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday defended his plan to overhaul Pentagon weapons programs, saying cuts to some weapons programs would be offset by gains in others, and the defense budget should grow by two percent in real terms in coming years.
Gates acknowledged that lawmakers were already taking aim at his ambitious reform plan, but said he hoped that the economic crisis and tough talk about acquisition reform in Congress would ultimately help him accomplish his goals.
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