Watching Defense Secretary Robert Gates prepare to inflict pain upon defense contractors delights me:
It’s got to be done, and using someone like Gates to do it is a smart plan. But we can expect defense contractors to throw a lot of political muscle and money into the fight:
Now, as the only Bush Cabinet member to remain under President Obama, Gates is preparing the most far-reaching changes in the Pentagon’s weapons portfolio since the end of the Cold War, according to aides.
Two defense officials who were not authorized to speak publicly said Gates will announce up to a half-dozen major weapons cancellations later this month. Candidates include a new Navy destroyer, the Air Force’s F-22 fighter jet, and Army ground-combat vehicles, the officials said.
More cuts are planned for later this year after a review that could lead to reductions in programs such as aircraft carriers and nuclear arms, the officials said.
It’s about bloody time. And yes, using Gates to do the slash-and-burn is a brilliant idea. Considering he’s a Bush carryover, it’s kinda sorta a little bit harder for the corporate leeches to play the usual cards. They can try to paint him as a bleeding-heart el pinko softie who wants to sell America to her enemies, but that paint won’t stick. Gates is the last person who would slash weapons programs for ideological reasons. It’s beyond question he’d do it simply because that’s what needs to be done in order to keep America’s military strong and prepared to face current threats.
Now if Obama could pull these moves in other areas, we’d have no reason to visit the woodshed, now, would we?