Pentagon to make deep cuts
WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced yesterday, as reported by the New York Times and many others, that he will make significant cuts to the Pentagon budget, including the elimination of the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., and a restriction on the use of government contractors.
According to the Times, the Joint Forces Command closing would eliminate "2,800 military and civilian positions supported by 3,000 contractors.'
The idea, said Gates, is to eliminate Pentagon bureaucracy and redundancies before affecting any combat forces or abilities.
Regarding contractor use as a whole, Gates also called for a "10 percent annual reduction in spending on contractors who provide support services to the military, including money for intelligence-related contracts.'
President Obama issued a statement supporting Gates' cost-saving measures yesterday.
"I have long said that we need to change the way that Washington works so that it works better for the American people,' he said in the statement. "That's why we undertook the Accountable Government Initiative -- to make government more open and responsive to the American public, and to cut waste and inefficiencies that squander the people's hard-earned money. This effort is particularly important when it comes to our national defense, since waste and inefficiency there detracts from our efforts to focus resources on serving our men and women in uniform, and to invest in the future capabilities we need.'