Obama Seeks $40 Billion Reduction in Pentagon Weapons Budget
News in Balance:
WASHINGTON, March 25, 2009 -- Eliminating programs in the Pentagon’s procurement budget would reduce defense spending by upwards of $40 billion dollars, President Barack Obama said last night during his nationally televised news conference.
Obama said he’s been working with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to change the Pentagon’s weapons procurement system.
Observers of the defense procurement process, Obama said, have identified “a whole range” of multi-billion dollar systems that could be cut.
Those systems “still don’t perform they way they’re supposed to,” Obama said without naming specific programs. The systems under scrutiny, he added, also don’t provide U.S. troops with the right tools they need to succeed in their missions.
“What we have to do is to go through this [defense procurement] process very carefully,” Obama said, and “be more disciplined.”
Obama said he’d a way to fund defense procurement programs in such a way “that allows us to put the resources where they’re needed, but to make sure that we’re not simply fattening defense contractors.”
The president's proposed budget, while reflecting an overall cut in spending, reflects the largest increase in military veterans’ program funding in 30 years.
Recently, the president had to drop his proposal to charge wounded military veterans for care related to combat-related injuries.
Under the proposal, the Obama administration would have authorized the Department of Veterans Affairs to bill private insurers for treatment.
Turning to Mexico, Obama cited his administration’s decision today to send millions of dollars of additional U.S. equipment there to provide better surveillance to help the Mexican government in its fight against escalating violence perpetrated by the country’s drug cartels.
Additionally, the president said, hundreds of extra U.S. personnel will take up posts along the U.S.-Mexican border to control border checkpoints and manage customs issues.
The U.S. will continue to monitor the situation in Mexico, Obama said.
(Report from a Pentagon news release, related articles.)
Source: Obama Cites $40 Billion Savings in Defense Procurement Budget
Tags: Open Thread, Wire, Headlines, DOD, Military, War, United States, U.S., News in Balance, GWOT, terrorism
Global Tags: Washington DC, News and Politics, News, Politics, Current Events, Current Affairs, Life, Culture, Buzz, Tension