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  #1  
Old 04-06-2009, 06:10 PM
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Shifting Pentagon thinking

How important the changes recommended by Gates ultimately will be depends on whether Congress accepts his proposal. Gates' recommendations will next go to the White House Office of Management and Budget and then be presented to Capitol Hill.

In a series of speeches since he took office in late 2006, Gates has criticized Pentagon spending, saying that the Defense Department suffers from "next-war-itis," spending too much time worrying about unlikely threats.

Gates said 50% of the money in the budget should go to programs meant to counter conventional threats, about 10% to programs useful only in irregular war and 40% to programs that are useful to both.

"I am just trying to get the irregular warfare guys a seat at the table," Gates said.

The overall size of the budget, $534 billion, was announced earlier, but Gates had not outlined what weapons programs he intended to cut. The budget marks the end of a long run-up in defense spending that began in 2001.

Eliminating programs has proved difficult for previous Defense secretaries -- Dick Cheney famously tried to kill the Marine Corps tilt-rotor V-22 only to see the aircraft resurrected.

And Gates likely will face his own challenges getting his budget through Congress, as members jockey to save home-state programs.


from: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-pentagon-budget7-2009apr07,0,2506598.story

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IMO
The big story is yet to come. Every senator and most House members have some manufacturing in their districts tied to the Pentagon. These bureaucratically entrenched programs have resisted and defied every SecDef and president at least since Eisenhower's famous "military-industrial complex" speech. Every senator and congressman gives lip service to Pentagon reform but each one, every time, wants the cuts to come at the expense of somebody else's state, somebody else's district. I wish Gates the best of luck but Pentagon inertia and congress are against him.

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Old 04-07-2009, 12:06 AM
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Gates was too big of a puss to rebuild the Aggie bonfire. Don't have much hope for him in any other capacity. Least he left A&M....
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:47 AM
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Moving away from capital ships and embracing a littoral navy is going to be interesting. Think of the shipbuilding constituencies around the country who will lose contracts as we shift to a coastal offensive navy vs constant upgrade of deep blue. I'll bet that initiative fails. We have become pyramid builders.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:32 AM
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Just at the end of last year, the Navy awarded General Dynamics a 14 billion dollar contract for 8 new Virginia Class sub's. Fairly big slice of the pie.

Made many people in CT happy. Lots of jobs at Electric Boat. Probably helped my property value as well.
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  #5  
Old 04-07-2009, 09:48 AM
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I like the sound of this:
Quote:
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates outlined sweeping changes to the defense budget Monday that would shift billions of dollars in Pentagon spending away from elaborate weapons toward programs more likely to benefit troops in today's wars...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/06/AR2009040601784.html?hpid=topnews
I'm sure he will run into a buzz saw up on the Hill, but at least he seems to be heading in a healthy direction. I saw a brief clip of Gates on TV yesterday. He made a lot of sense, IMHO. One thing he said that rang true for me is that spending enormous amounts of money to guard against remote risks does not necessarily make us safer.

On the other hand, I like the fact that our people can sit in an office stateside and put a smart bomb down a warlord's chimney on the other side of the globe.
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  #6  
Old 04-07-2009, 01:42 PM
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That hard part is knowing which chimney. That requires human beings, on th ground. It means spy agencies dealing with sleazy foreign characters. About 30 years ago we, by law, ordered spy agencies to deal only with local boy scouts. Had we maintained that capability we would not be in Afghanistan or Iraq.

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