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Congress Urged to Approve $708 Billion in Defense Spending

President Barack Obama has asked Congress to approve 3.4% increase in the Pentagon's base budget to $549 billion, plus $159 billion to fund U.S. military missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The $708 billion budget, a record, calls for a spending freeze on other parts of the budget. “Even though the Department of Defense is exempt from the budget freeze, it's not exempt from budget common sense," Obama told reporters at the White House last week. President Obama said the fiscal 2011 budget proposal included cuts of "unnecessary defense programs that do nothing to keep us safe." Among them: annual spending of $2.5 billion for C-17 transport planes built by Boeing Company that has been added to the federal budget by Congress in each of the past four years.
"It's waste, pure and simple," Obama said.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he would strongly recommend a veto of any moves by Congress to keep alive the C-17 program or a second engine for the F-35.
Cutting the alternate engine program would save $465 million in fiscal 2011, which begins Oct. 1, and more than $1 billion longer-term, according to Pentagon documents.

In related news, the Pentagon's 2011 budget will seek nearly $11 billion for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, while also putting $4 billion toward long-range strike programs and boosting funds for special operations forces.

The full article, as well as related developments, are available from the Aerospace Industries Association
 

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