“Simple Matter of Math”

Speaking Saturday at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Kansas, Defense Secretary Bob Gates said the “gusher” in defense spending that opened immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks “has been turned off.” He projected military spending “on things large and small” will face “closer, harsher scrutiny” given America’s “difficult economic circumstances.” He called it “a simple matter of math.” Gates decried the way DOD sets weapons requirements and claims “alleged” gaps. He emphasized, too, that to sustain even today’s force structure will require a change in operating “style and substance” not just procurement cuts. He wants to reduce “overhead costs and to transfer those savings to force structure and modernization within the programmed budget.” By doing this, Gates expects to harvest that two to three percent real growth he believes will sustain sufficient force structure in the current war and provide for “an uncertain future.” (Gates’ speech)