The pentagon and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have stated for the last couple of years their sincere desire to cut military costs and drive down their annual $738 billion budget. Of this $134-137 billion goes to procurement, while $77-81 billion goes to R & D according to President Obama’s latest budget proposal for FY 2011 (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/02/01/us/budget.html). However, a recent article in The Times by Christopher Drew (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/business/15pentagon.html?ref=business) reveals the true intentions of Mr. Gates et al. They really have no intention of putting downward pressure on their budget, rather they would like to cut $100 billion from procurement of bloated contracts like the F-35 and new presidential helicopters AND shift it to other more pressing projects. In the words of Mr. Drew
“Mr. Gates’s goal is to save $100 billion over the next several years and use that money to continue the Pentagon’s modernization programs, including the design of a new nuclear missile submarine and long-range aerial strike systems. He said the Pentagon had already started adjusting speed and size requirements to save billions on the projected cost of the submarine.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/business/15pentagon.html?ref=business)
So it looks as though all those savings a/o pork we could relocate to education or healthcare are figments of our imagination. This is the definition of a high-stakes shell game using fuzzy logic and George Orwell’s double speak. What a shame as it looked like altruism might actually seep into the Military Industrial Complex for a minute or two.
Author Ted Auch.