Back Secretary of Defense Robert Gates: Pentagon Cost-Saving Drive Comes Under Fire
Lawmakers worried about potential job losses in their districts have rallied against the closure of a military command in Virginia, presenting Secretary of Defense Robert Gates with a big test of his sweeping effort to hold down military spending.
Earlier this month, Mr. Gates announced he would cut payments to outside contractors by 10% a year for the next three years, saying the Pentagon bureaucracy had "grown over-reliant on contractors and grown accustomed to operating with little consideration to cost."
Mr. Gates also outlined plans to eliminate a major military command, the Norfolk, Va., Joint Forces Command, an organization created in 1999 to encourage co-operation and training among the various services.
The proposals represent a bet by the Defense Secretary that by holding down costs he can free up funds for troops overseas and stave off potentially deeper cuts by Congress, which is increasingly focused on federal spending and the deficit. The moves announced earlier this month are part of a broader effort to realize $100 billion in cost savings over the next five years.