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Gates Orders U.S. Defense Cuts, Setting Up Battles

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Pentagon needs to save money by further reducing a “cumbersome” U.S. military hierarchy, setting up potential battles with members of Congress who support targeted programs.

Gates announced plans yesterday to lop spending on support contractors by more than one-quarter over three years and close a military command in Norfolk, Virginia, that coordinates planning and training across military branches. He said the savings would be used to sustain the U.S. force and improve weapons for future threats.