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Secretary Gates’ Fundamental Shift in Defense Spending and Priorities – Preview of April 6th Announcement April 3, 2009

Posted by Stephen Abott in Analysis, News.
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Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

The Congressional Quarterly’s Josh Rogin reports today that Secretary Gates will “…brief congressional leaders Monday on a ‘fundamental shift’ in defense spending and priorities.”

An effort to get in front of likely piecemeal leaks of the defense budget, Rogin reports that Gates will present the “strategic rationale” for his decisions all at once. By revealing his entire framework for a new strategy, Gates hopes to undercut “parochial interests”, which may obstruct the Pentagon’s shift in priorities.

The CQ piece also discusses likely acquisition and program cuts or cancellation in the FY2010 defense budget. These include Future Combat Systems, Transformational Communications Satellite, DDG-1000, VH-71 presidential helicopter, and a number of ballistic missile defense programs.

Congress is also awaiting Obama’s decisions on the aerial refueling tanker and F-22 Raptor programs. Rogin’s sources say that the President wants to cap the F-22 program at 250 planes. Thus, the Air Force may have been successful in shifting the F-22 debate away from “should we build more than 183 planes” and towards “how many more should we build.”

Stay tuned to Budget Insight for the latest information on the FY2010 defense budget.

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