CongressDaily reports that Defense Secretary Robert Gates will announce major cuts to high-cost, high-profile weapons systems, perhaps as early as this week. But as important as which particular programs get the ax is whether Gates can cure the fundamental dysfunctions in Defense procurement. A reform bill on this subject is now moving through the Senate and House.
Why do so many weapons come in behind schedule and over budget? Can Gates and Congress change the weapons-buying system radically enough to make a difference when so many reformers before have failed? Is it enough to fix the process of how weapons are bought, or is radical change required in what kinds of weapons we buy? And can the technology-loving U.S. military, now fighting two low-tech insurgencies, learn to live within its means as budgets recede from their post-9/11 highs under the pressure of the recession and federal financial bailouts?
Update: Gates announced major cuts and reforms on Monday afternoon.
-- Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., NationalJournal.com