Commentary: How The Pentagon Can Be All That It Can Be

For a decade, the U.S. defense budget and the cost of actually running the military have been out of whack. The situation is getting critical. New helicopters and fighters are moving from research and development to production. They will cost $400 billion. Then there is the price tag for designing a new missile-defense system and inventing countermeasures against cyberterrorists--not to mention filling the ranks of the volunteer army. Meanwhile, some B-52s are 40 years old, and the Pentagon needs money to keep them flying. All told, the Pentagon wish list will soon exceed its $268 billion budget by $30 billion. "We're in an impossible situation," frets Representative Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee's research and development panel.

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