Keeping an Open Mind?

The budget will be late and it will not include—entirely—the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, so Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters at the Pentagon last week. And that is because of “today’s economic realities,” he said, reiterating earlier comments that DOD “faces difficult choices” that include “strategic reshaping” to “balance current and future capabilities.” Responding to a question about the push to save the F-22 from a potential budget axe, Gates declared, “There have been no decisions made in this building about the F-22.” He then added, “It’s obviously one of the programs that, along with a number of others—many others—that we will be looking at.” What he wants, explained Gates, is to take a “holistic approach to the budget that demonstrates seriousness of purpose” and that will cause folks to “see the logic in what we’ve put together.”