Want to hear more on Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ plans to dramatically reshape his department’s programs and priorities? You can watch him discuss those plans in an interview tonight on PBS’ The New Hour with Jim Lehrer.
Gates announced yesterday his long-awaited plan to make some deep program cuts. His plan would end some defense programs such as the Air Force’s F-22 fighter and combat search-and-rescue helicopter program, the Army’s Future Combat Systems armored vehicle programs, the Navy’s new DDG-1000 destroyer, and the Marine Corps’ presidential helicopter program. And he proposes to beef up spending on other priorities such as the Joint Strike Fighter, medical research, more acquisition personnel, and insourcing work done by contractors.
What do you think of Gates’ plan? Do these program cuts make sense? Should military requirements be the only factor in deciding which programs to cut or should he also think about the jobs at stake? Will Congress allow these plans to go forward? Should the Pentagon hire thousands more acquisition staff? And is insourcing of contractor work long overdue or a terrible idea?