Defense chief outflanked lawmakers and lobbyists to get the budget President Obama wants

Experts say Robert M. Gates’ careful campaign and timing has outflanked lawmakers and lobbyists as he plans sweeping changes in military spending.
By Julian E. Barnes
Los Angeles Times
April 25, 2009

Reporting from Washington — In a carefully orchestrated campaign, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates appears poised to push through what many consider a historic remaking of the military with relative ease, averting an expected battle royal with contractors and lawmakers.

“It really looks like he has played his cards well on this,” said Todd Harrison, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington think tank.

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Robert Gates In his new spending priorities, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates would increase production of unmanned aircraft, such as this plane at Kandahar, Afghanistan. He may avoid a tussle with lawmakers and contractors.  Photo: Scott Olson / Associated Press


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