Robert Gates -- Takes a scalpal to defense budget

Robert Gates is making the call to discontinue spending on some military projects.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates is making the call to cancel many controversial military spending projects.

In a press conference today, Gates said the military would stop buying F-22s, C-17s, as well as discontinuing the TSAT satelite program.

From a marketwatch.com report:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced sweeping changes to the Pentagon budget on Monday, reflecting a greater priority towards the type of irregular warfare already seen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a press conference, Gates said the defense department would stop buying F-22 Raptors at 187 jets, cease orders of the C-17 Globemaster at year's end, and terminate the TSAT satellite program. The agency will cancel the CSAR-X, the Air Force's combat, search and rescue helicopter program, and delay and order for new presidential helicopters.

Furthermore, the Pentagon wants to reduce the number of contractors as a percentage of total staff to 26% from the current 39%, to where it ballooned after 2001.

"Our goal is to hire as many as 13,000 new civil servants in fiscal 2010 to replace contractors and up to 30,000 new civil servants in place of contractors over the next five years," Gates said.

The Pentagon seeks to raise its budget for the F-35 joint-strike fighter to $11.2 billion from $6.8 billion to purchase 30 jets in fiscal 2010, up from 14 this past year. Over the next five years, the agency would like to buy 513 F-35s, and ultimately have a fleet of 2,443.
A senior associate editor at Zimbio, writing about entertainment and current events.
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