Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Spencer Ackerman examines the Gates budget

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Well worth reading. It begins:

Defense Secretary Gates took a major step toward rebalancing U.S. defense priorities on Monday, announcing a budget request that would severely cut or restrict cherished and expensive Cold War-era programs and institutionalize support for counterinsurgency and irregular warfare.

The long-awaited fiscal 2010 budget request, which has a price tag of $534 billion and climbs to $663.7 billion when the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are factored in, cancels the Army’s major vehicle-modernization program, stops the production of the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor fighter jet, halts the increase of ground-based missile defense programs in favor of more limited missile defense approaches, and treats the Navy’s large surface-warfare platforms like the DDG-1000 with skepticism. It gives priority to the needs of a military at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gates said, by providing $11 billion to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps and expanding intelligence, surveillance and helicopter programs that have performed well in the two ongoing wars — including the Predator drone used by the CIA to attack extremists in Pakistan — as well as to support partner militaries’ counterinsurgency development. “This is a reform budget,” Gates, who was Pentagon chief under George W. Bush and remained on in the Obama administration, told reporters Monday.

Several defense reformers agreed. “The boom finally lowered on the Pentagon’s budget today,” said Laura Peterson, defense budget analyst at Taxpayers for Common Sense. “We applaud [Gates’] rigor in wielding the budget axe.” Robert Work of the Center on Strategic and Budgetary Assessments called it a “very, very encouraging first step.” Winslow Wheeler of the Center for Defense Information was more cautious, but said “Secretary Gates deserves much good credit,” especially for making warfighter support “his first priority.”

The White House indicated its support for the budget request, though it has already come under fire from some members of Congress…

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

6 April 2009 at 4:34 pm

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