The strategy is simple.
Quit plowing billions into the programs that aren’t working and up the funding for some programs that do.
Gates’s aides say his plan would boost spending for some programs and take large whacks at others, including some with powerful constituencies on Capitol Hill and among influential contractors, making his announcement more of an opening bid than a decisive end to weeks of sometimes acrimonious internal Pentagon debate.
Among the programs expected to be heavily cut is the Army’s Future Combat Systems, a network of vehicles linked by high-tech communications that has been plagued by technical troubles and delays; with a price tag exceeding $150 billion, it is now one of the most costly military efforts.
Gates also is considering cutting a new $20 billion communications satellite program and reducing the number of aircraft carriers from 11 to 10, and he plans to eliminate elements of the decades-old missile defense effort that are over budget or considered ineffective, according to industry and administration sources.
Also, contrary to what was previously reported, Obama will actually be increasing the budget by 4%.
Well, Pentagon officials essentially forced his hand by proposing a ridiculously unrealistic 14% budget increase, but a lot of planning had already begun before Obama was inaugurated so it was hard to unwind.
Don’t expect that to happen next time.