UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

April 7, 2009

SOME CUTS IN MAJOR WEAPONS BUT DEFENSE SPENDING CONTINUES TO RISE

Antiwar - Secretary of Defense Robert Gates unveiled the U.S.' much-anticipated new military budget, which aims to reorient the armed forces toward irregular and counterinsurgency warfare while proposing cuts in several major weapons programs.. . .

The changes proposed by the new budget - while significant - are far from marking a fundamental reshaping of the U.S. defense establishment, some defense analysts caution.

"They're calling it a fundamental shift, and that's both true and false," said Miriam Pemberton, a research fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. "It's true because their budget proposes the most ambitious set of cuts to well-entrenched weapons systems since the early 1990s."

"It's false, though, because this budget perpetuates the upward trajectory of defense spending, it's higher than any of the Bush budgets that preceded it, and it increases funding for some programs that I think are a mistake," Pemberton continued.

The $534 billion budget for fiscal year 2010 - which does not take into account the "emergency supplemental" appropriations that pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - marks a slight increase over the Bush administration's budget for the previous year.

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