Gates Not Sure Iran Presents A Danger, Cites Military Spending Cuts
I understand the need to control spending across the board. But I'm also mindful of spending cuts under Clinton that left us short after 9/11 and I'm not sure how they specifically reduce healthcare spending, either. As for the notion of not being able to afford another war, is that really a financial decision? That metric didn't come into play in the ObamaCare debate.
And as for his comments on Iran, if he doesn't know if they present a danger, who the hell does?
The Defense secretary invokes Dwight Eisenhower as he calls for spending reductions in military healthcare and the command structure. He wants to cut $10 billion to $15 billion from a $547-billion Pentagon base budget.
In a roundtable with reporters before the speech, Gates also said pressure on the Pentagon budget from the economic downturn and a desire to trim deficits would lead the government to be more selective in future overseas military operations.
"I think the Congress and the president will look hard at another military operation that would cost us $100 billion a year," Gates said.
Gates said if a real threat emerged, the government would "spend what it takes" to protect America. But he hedged about whether Iran posed such a danger.
"I don't know," he said. "I think it depends on developments over the next year or two."
Gates said he is ordering the military services and other major commands to take "a hard, unsparing look" at how they operate and to come up with proposals for sharp cuts.