Pentagon Ordered to Make Cuts to Spend Billions More on War

Gates Seeks Guarantee in Growth of Combat Spending

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has ordered Pentagon agencies to find tens of billions of dollars in spending cuts so as to ensure that there will be more money left over to spend on war.

Secretary Gates’ plan is said to be seeking a way to “guarantee 3 percent real growth each year, beyond inflation” in spending on combat operations. The rising budget deficit has the Pentagon afraid that it will be difficult to lobby for massive increases to its already record budget every year going forward.

Gates’ pledge to increase efficency is nothing new, but the plan, which calls for $37 billion in bureaucracy cuts in 2016 so as to divert more money to combat operations, underscores the insincerity of administration claims that the war in Iraq is almost over and the level of the war in Afghanistan has peaked.

At present the Obama Administration has nearly 200,000 troops committed to combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. But if, as officials claim, the Iraq combat operations (which make up roughly half of that) are “on track” to end in August, why would the Pentagon be focused on having even more money than this year’s record amounts to spend on combat next year, and so on, up to 2016 and beyond?

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.