The Gates Defense Cuts Cometh
In my piece on Friday about Bob Gates’ agenda in the Obama administration, Larry Korb raised the question of what outmoded programs he’s going to ax. After all, anyone can posture about defense reform. Budgetary priorities are where the adults distinguish themselves from the children.
So it’s fortuitous that Julian Barnes — no, not the novelist, the Pentagon correspondent for the Los Angeles Times — has a piece today about precisely that:
The decision to keep Gates could spell the end of the Army’s $160-billion Future Combat Systems program and dim Air Force hopes for large numbers of new high-tech F-22 fighter jets. At the same time, smaller projects — perhaps blimps or light planes useful for ongoing conflicts — are likely to find new support.
“It is going to be more of a Wal-Mart approach than a Gucci approach,” a senior Pentagon official said.
As it happens, those are two programs that Korb himself singles out for criticism in the Center for American Progress’ brand-new defense-reform report that I highlighted yesterday. More on this later, as I’m off to the rollout of the CAP report.