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Cutting Defense: Is Bob Gates Behind the Curve? September 7, 2010

Posted by Gordon Adams in Analysis.
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This post by Gordon Adams originally appeared on Capital Gains and Games and is reprinted here.

By now much virtual ink has been devoted to the “cuts” that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates proposes in the defense budget and defense programs.  These have been treated as a clear statement of intention that DOD will contribute to the overall effort at restraining federal spending, the deficit, and the growing national debt.

In reality, the Gates strategy does not make any contribution to restraining federal spending or reducing the deficit.  And in trying to avoid cutting his budget, he is putting the Pentagon behind the curve in the growing effort to discipline the federal budget and on a collision course with other parts of federal spending and revenues.

The Gates “cuts” are nothing of the sort.  He has, to be sure, pushed hard inside the Pentagon to focus on priorities, eliminate hardware programs like the F-22 and the Army’s vehicle program (the “Future Combat System)”.  In August, he announced plans to close the Joint Forces Command in Virginia, trim other headquarters, reduce the number of military flag officers, reduce spending on contractors, and find other efficiencies in DOD. (more…)

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