Pentagon changes track from traditional warfare to foreign insurgencies

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Washington, Apr.7 (ANI): By sanctioning deep cuts in many traditional weapons systems, US Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has reshaped the Pentagon's strategy to use new technology and troops to fight the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The change in strategy represents the first broad rethinking under the Obama administration, which plans to shift more money to counter-terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan while spending less on preparations for conventional warfare against large nations like China and Russia.

According to the New York Times, Gates announced cuts in missile defense programs, the Army's expensive Future Combat Systems and Navy shipbuilding operations.

He also plans to kill controversial programs to build a new presidential helicopter and a new communications satellite system, delay the development of a new bomber and order only four more of the advanced F-22 fighter jets.

But he also said plans to increase the size of the Army and the Marine Corps, while halting reductions in Air Force and the Navy personnel, would cost an additional 11 billion dollars.

He also announced an extra two billion dollars for intelligence and surveillance equipment, including new Predator and Reaper drones, the remote-controlled vehicles currently used in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq for strikes against militants, and more spending on special forces and training foreign military units.

Gates has signaled that he hopes to make the Pentagon system more flexible and responsive to the needs of the troops in the way it chooses and buys weapons.

Military experts said Gates seemed to be mounting a determined effort to rein in some of the most troubled programs after years of record military spending and start dealing with the huge cost overruns and delays that have plagued so many programs.

Representative Ike Skelton, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said Monday in a statement that while Gates's proposed budget was a "good faith" effort, "the buck stops with Congress. (ANI)

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