BELT TIGHTENING

Gates Calls for Military Budget Cuts

In an attempt to stymie massive budget increases seen since the attacks of September 11th, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered the Pentagon to reevaluate its expenditures and tighten its belt. The budget move could have repercussions throughout its massive bureaucracy, on Capital Hill, and within the defense industry. Gates attributes the spending to the Twin Tower attacks of 9/11. The base budget over the last decade has nearly doubled, and that doesn’t include supplemental spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gates recommended a $10 billion cut on overhead costs for 2012 that would reduce the number of officers the Pentagon promotes, consolidate agencies, and increase military health-care premiums. The decreased overhead costs would allow funds to be shifted to the military's modernization.