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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Long-Term Fiscal Review to Extend Search for Efficiencies at Pentagon

  • May 19, 2011
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The comprehensive review of military spending dictated by President Obama’s plan to trim $400 billion from the Pentagon’s budget over the next 12 years will primarily rely on an assessment of the nation’s future defense strategy, but a continuation of last year’s effort to reduce overhead expenditures also will contribute to the exercise.

“We must be even more aggressive in curtailing bureaucratic excess and overhead before considering fundamental changes in national strategy or force capabilities,” Secretary Gates said Wednesday.

The drive to find additional efficiencies won’t yield sufficient savings to meet the president’s goal, however. As a result, leaders will conduct “a serious examination of established policies, programs, processes and mandates that drive the dramatic increase in defense operating costs, to include the way we deliver health care, compensate military personnel, provide retirement benefits, sustain our infrastructure and acquire goods and services,” Gates added.

The campaign to find cost savings over the past two years — which began with an overhaul of the department’s approach to weapons acquisition — allowed the military to redirect savings to the warfighter and to reduce the nation’s deficit. “The overarching goal of these efforts was to carve out enough budget space to preserve and enhance key military capabilities in the face of declining rates of budget growth,” he said.

The goal of the new review, Gates said, is “to preserve a U.S. military capable of meeting crucial national security priorities even if fiscal pressure requires reductions in the force’s size.”

Read the story from American Forces Press Service.

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