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Gates pushes against deeper DoD cuts

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to brief members of Congress tomorrow on his drive to find $100 billion in savings over five years.

Reuters reports that Gates has been fighting against attempts by the White House to cut more deeply into weapons programs. Gates said he had hoped to put the savings back into the Pentagon budget for troop support and weapons programs. But the administration has been pressing Gates to make even bigger cuts — of about $150 billion — and then use the money to help cut the federal deficit.

Defense analyst Loren Thompson with the Lexington Institute tells Reuters that Gates has whittled the proposed cut down to around $80 billion.

The Secretary will explain the efficiency drive to lawmakers tomorrow morning before a formal announcement at the Pentagon.

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Reuters says Gates is also expected to announce the end of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program. And that the Pentagon is planning to extend the development phase of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, for up to two years.

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This story is part of Federal News Radio’s daily DoD Report. For more defense news, click here.