The True Reason For Pentagon Austerity
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.