Even as President Obama was signing legislation for additional war funding last week, a new report was calling for a “substantial and immediate” increase in Pentagon funding to deal with what it called a “significant and growing gap” between the U.S. military and the challenges it faces.
The report, from an independent commission created by Congress, seems at odds with the views of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who has warned the Pentagon that reforms there are critical simply to retain the current force structure. He points out that the Pentagon’s basic budget has nearly doubled in the last decade.
The Concord Coalition believes that Gates is on the right track. In a new blog posting, Concord Communications Director Steve Winn says that in the short-term, the Pentagon must work hard to find savings and economies where they are possible. In the longer term, military spending will have to be on the table along with everything else as the country figures out how to bring down massive budget deficits.
The controversy over engines for F-35 fighter jets illustrates the reluctance of some members of Congress to cut back on the extravagance of the past. They want two different companies making engines for the F-35. Gates and the White House rightly oppose this as wasteful.