The Defense Topline

President Obama on Feb. 26 released his Fiscal 2010 base budget, including a $533.7 billion topline for the Department of Defense. At the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the figure “represents a nearly four percent increase over the FY 2009 appropriated level of $513 billion.” He said the 2010 number was based on a “productive series of discussions with the Office of Management and Budget.” Now, said Gates, the Pentagon is “engaged in determining the detail” and that process “includes efforts to realize cost efficiencies, reassess all weapons programs—especially those with serious execution issues—and rebalance investments between current and future capabilities.” The Pentagon boss cautioned reporters to be wary of any budget-related leaks because they will “undoubtedly be wrong.” He said he would wait for the full review before making decisions. The target release date is mid-April. (Pentagon briefing transcript)