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News Link • Military Industrial Complex

Defense Secretary Tells Congress to Cut Pentagon Waste

• John Nichols, The Nation
[This is surely a joke of some sort!]
George Bush's Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, who also happens to be Barack Obama's Secretary of Defense, has identified a free-spending governmental agency that will have to be reined in if the United States is going to balance budgets and cut deficits.
The agency? The Department of Defense.
Gates used a speech marking the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe to argue that blank-check spending does not make the country or the world safer.
In a speech that was as welcome as it was remarkable, the Pentagon chief explained that the Congress, Department of Defense officials and defense contractors had allowed military spending to grow unchecked after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
. . .
“For example, should we really be up in arms over a temporary projected shortfall of about 100 Navy and Marine strike fighters relative to the number of carrier wings, when America’s military possesses more than 3,200 tactical combat aircraft of all kinds?” asked Gates, who was referencing the current congressional push to allocate money for the purchase of more Boeing  F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets, despite the fact that the Pentagon has made clear they are unneeded.
“Does the number of warships we have and are building really put America at risk when the U.S. battle fleet is larger than the next 13 navies combined, 11 of which belong to allies and partners?" Gates continued. "Is it a dire threat that by 2020 the United States will have only 20 times more advanced stealth fighters than China?”
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