Archive for the ‘pentagon’ Category

National Security: Rove Praises Obama for Listening to CIA, Pentagon and Growing Weary of MoveOn, Code Pink and ACLU

May 21, 2009

Barack Obama inherited a set of national-security policies that he rejected during the campaign but now embraces as president. This is a stunning and welcome about-face.

For example, President Obama kept George W. Bush’s military tribunals for terror detainees after calling them an “enormous failure” and a “legal black hole.” His campaign claimed last summer that “court systems . . . are capable of convicting terrorists.” Upon entering office, he found out they aren’t.

He insisted in an interview with NBC in 2007 that Congress mandate “consequences” for “a failure to meet various benchmarks and milestones” on aid to Iraq. Earlier this month he fought off legislatively mandated benchmarks in the $97 billion funding bill for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Obama agreed on April 23 to American Civil Liberties Union demands to release investigative photos of detainee abuse. Now’s he reversed himself. Pentagon officials apparently convinced him that releasing the photos would increase the risk to U.S. troops and civilian personnel.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Mr. Obama excoriated Mr. Bush’s counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, insisting it could not succeed. Earlier this year, facing increasing violence in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama rejected warnings of a “quagmire” and ordered more troops to that country. He isn’t calling it a “surge” but that’s what it is. He is applying in Afghanistan the counterinsurgency strategy Mr. Bush used in Iraq.

As a candidate, Mr. Obama promised to end the Iraq war by withdrawing all troops by March 2009. As president, he set a slower pace of drawdown. He has also said he will leave as many as 50,000 Americans troops there.

These reversals are both praiseworthy and evidence that, when it comes to national security, being briefed on terror threats as president is a lot different than placating MoveOn.org and Code Pink activists as a candidate. The realities of governing trump the realities of campaigning.

Read the rest from Karl Rove
The Wall Street Journal

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12428
6200693341141.html

Battles over energy may lead to wars, Russian strategists conclude

May 13, 2009

A Kremlin policy paper says international relations will be shaped by battles over energy resources, which may trigger military conflicts on Russia’s borders.

The National Security Strategy also said that Russia will seek an equal “partnership” with the United States, but named U.S. missile defense plans in Europe among top threats to the national security.

By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press Writer
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The document, which has been signed by President Dmitry Medvedev, listed top challenges to national security and outlined government priorities through 2020.

“The international policy in the long run will be focused on getting hold of energy sources, including in the Middle East, the Barents Sea shelf and other Arctic regions, the Caspian and Central Asia,” said the strategy paper that was posted on the presidential Security Council‘s Web site.

“Amid competitive struggle for resources, attempts to use military force to solve emerging problems can’t be excluded,” it added. “The existing balance of forces near the borders of the Russian Federation and its allies can be violated.”

A Kremlin policy paper says international relations will be shaped by battles over energy resources, which may trigger military conflicts on Russia’s borders.

The National Security Strategy also said that Russia will seek an equal “partnership” with the United States, but named U.S. missile defense plans in Europe among top threats to the national security.

The document, which has been signed by President Dmitry Medvedev, listed top challenges to national security and outlined government priorities through 2020.

“The international policy in the long run will be focused on getting hold of energy sources, including in the Middle East, the Barents Sea shelf and other Arctic regions, the Caspian and Central Asia,” said the strategy paper that was posted on the presidential Security Council‘s Web site.

“Amid competitive struggle for resources, attempts to use military force to solve emerging problems can’t be excluded,” it added. “The existing balance of forces near the borders of the Russian Federation and its allies can be violated.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090513/
ap_on_re_eu/eu_russia_security_strategy_2

Related:
China Buying Oil, Uranium, Gold, Other Products At Bargain Prices
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Russia, “Desperate For Cash,” Sells Oil to China In “Very Bad Deal”

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The Next Big War Will Be Over Commodities

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Last year President Bush went to Saudi Arabia to ask his friends there to increase oil production. The White House believed that by increasing supply, the price of gasoline per gallon at your friendly service station would drop. The president was rebuffed.

One month later the United States urged upon the other large users of oil in the world community to join the “produce more” bandwagon.

China, Japan, India and South Korea went along with the U.S. plan.

Cabinet ministers from the five countries, which account for more than half the world’s consumption of energy, agreed that the sharp surge in oil prices was a menace to the world economy, and that more petroleum should be produced to meet rising demand.

The five consumer countries, meeting in Japan before an energy conference of the Group of Eight industrialized nations plus Russia on June 8, 2008, argued that the unprecedented prices were against the interests of both producers and consumers, and imposed a “heavy burden” on developing countries.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries current president, Chakib Khelil, said that the cartel will make no new decision on production levels until OPEC’s September 9, 2008 meeting in Vienna.

So in just a few weeks time, we witnessed the President of the United States pleading for more production and the senior energy ministers from the U.S., China, India, Japan and South Korea joining in a chorus.

We at Peace and Freedom believe that when the engine of the free market jumps the tracks and supply and demand are ignored; one had better get ready for bad blood.

Then we have food. In the Philippines the people took to the streets demanding more rice. In Egypt, the people took to the streets demanding more bread. And some bad blood developed between Thailand, the world’s leading rice exporter, and Vietnam, perhaps the second most important rice exporter.

It seems the Vietnamese had underbid the Thais on contracts to export rice. The Vietnamese saw this as good business. The Thais viewed it as theft. Never mind that Thai rice is of higher quality and thus cists more.

China recently announced that it had “overbuilt” its industry and removed too much farmland from production. China now is instituting new regulations to preserve farmland and it is mapping a strategy to import more food.

Ethanol and other bio fuels seemed like a great idea to help add to U.S. oil stocks. But when all that corn disappeared into your fuel tank, the price of all corn went up. And corn not only feeds people but it is a huge source of livestock feed. So the price of pork and beef and all that other livestock that makes its way to the dinner table went up.

And food and fuels have never been in such demand. Never mind the huge increases in global population; with the combined populations of India and China eight times that of the U.S.

The world, believe it or not, is becoming more “middle class.” That means more people want gas burning cars which suck up a lot of fuel and add to global pollution. These new “middle class” folks also want a higher protein diet.

If one eats rice or corn or other grains the costs are somewhat manageable. But it takes four times more grain (and sometimes as much as six times) to put meat on pork or cattle before human beings eat that meat. So the high protein diet has a huge cost. It sucks up a lot more grain that human grain eaters ever would and it means the eaters need more dollars, rupees euros, yen or other denominations to buy every meal.

Bacon and eggs are more expensive, say, than the traditional rice bowl.

Finally, all these goodies, usually called commodities, are moving around the globe.

The Associated Press had an excellent article by Gavin Rabinowitz out on June 7.

India, China jostle for influence in Indian Ocean

 
China drill at sea

.Mr. Rabinowitz pointed out that looking south from Sri Lanka “just over the horizon runs one of the world’s great trade arteries, the shipping lanes where thousands of vessels carry oil from the Middle East and raw materials to Asia, returning with television sets, toys and sneakers for European consumers.”

That shipping lane is a possible flashpoint between India and China. Add in Japan, which gets just about all of its oil by that sea lane. And don’t forget the U.S. and the U.S. Navy. Those boys don’t want to see that sea lane interrupted by war, terrorism, piracy or any other form of bad blood.

So the bottom line, from our small window of the world is this: The next big war could well be over “commodities.”

We’ve used food and oil here as the most obvious examples of commodities worth fighting for. But it could be over uranium, tin, gold or who knows what. Even fresh water.

California is already starting to limit development due to water shortages. Australia is in the midst of a multi-year drought which has crippled Aussie grain production. And over use of fertilizers and pesticides in China and Vietnam have poisoned much of the ground water.

The next big war could well be over commodities.

Welcome to the new millennium.

Related:
China’s thirst for copper could hold key to Afghanistan’s future

Philippines Enacts Law Claiming Islands also Claimed by China, Others

In Obama Administration: Who Is Minding The Store? SecDef Critical Of Basic Planning

May 8, 2009

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered a review of notification procedures for high-visibility “training events” such as the Air Force One photo shoot that flew over the Manhattan skyline last month, striking fear in the hearts of New Yorkers. 

From Fox News

In a letter responding to a request by Sen. John McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gates wrote that he was concerned that the public had not been adequately informed about the flyover, a picture of which is expected to be released Friday by the White House. 

“I am concerned that this highly public and visible mission did not include an appropriate public affairs plan nor adequate review and approval by senior Air Force and (Department of Defense) officials,” Gates wrote in the letter dated Tuesday and later obtained by FOX News. 

Participants on the flight included one combat photographer, a standard crew complement for Air Force One and the two F-16s that accompanied it and no non-duty personnel or extra passengers, Gates wrote.  

Gates wrote the mission was planned in late March 2009 and was coordinated by the White House Military Office’s Presidential Airlift Unit, which is an Air Force unit; Federal Aviation Administration liaisons; a Systems Operations Security team; traffic managers; New York air traffic control representatives and Newark and LaGuardia tower supervisors. 

Gates wrote the FAA notified several agencies on April 24, 2009, about the impending event, including the U.S. Park Police, the New York City mayor’s office, the New York City Office of Emergency Management, New York City Police Department Operations, New Jersey State Police Regional Coordination Center and New Jersey area emergency operations centers in Newark, Jersey City, Bayonne, Hoboken and Elizabeth.

The plane flew at FAA-approved altitude, according to the defense secretary. In conjunction with the photo shoot, the pilots also practiced instrument approaches and landings at Atlantic City International Airport, an approved training location.

The April 27 flyover sparked chaos in the city since the public, and even Mayor Michael Bloomberg, had not been notified it would take place. Thousands of New Yorkers, reminded of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, quickly evacuated office buildings and emergency call centers were inundated. 

“The reaction to the low-flying VC-25 and F-16 fighter aircraft over New York City (NYC) is understandable, and we deeply regret the anxiety and alarm that resulted from this mission,” Gates wrote.

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/05
/08/white-house-release-new-york-fly
over-photo-friday/

Related:
Obama Terrific On Teleprompter; Bad On Planning
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Obama’s Terror Document Release: Ill Conceived Gaffe, Well Thought Out Mistake, or Calculated Attack on Bush White House?
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Administration Has No Sense of Accountability, Buck Stops Here

China “Demands” U.S. Stop Violating Chinese Exclusive Economic Zone

May 6, 2009

BEIJING, May 6 (Xinhua) — China said Wednesday that a U.S. Navy surveillance ship, which conducted activity in China’s exclusive economic zone in the Yellow Sea, violated international and Chinese laws.
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“The fact is that the USNS Victorious conducted activities in China’s exclusive economic zone in the Yellow Sea without China’s permission. China has expressed concern over this issue,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement.

“We demand that the United States take effective measures to prevent similar acts from happening,” Ma said.

Ma’s comments came in response to a question concerning a Pentagon spokesman’s remarks Tuesday that Chinese fishing vessels “harassed” the USNS Victorious in international waters in the Yellow Sea last Friday.
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“The Chinese government always handles foreign vessels’ activities in China’s exclusive economic zones strictly in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Law on the Exclusive Economic Zone and the Continental Shelf of the People’s Republic of China, and the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on the Management of Foreign-related Marine Scientific Research,” said Ma.

Related from CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asi
apcf/05/05/china.maritime.harass
ment/index.html
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China Again Tests U.S., Obama At Sea
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China’s Military Build-Up Meant To Take On U.S., Says Joint Chiefs Chairman

China’s Naval Might: Future Dawning Quickly

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http://hotair.com/archives/2009/05
/06/china-continues-challenging-na
vy-ships-in-yellow-sea/

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This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean ... 
This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean surveillance ship USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS-23). Five Chinese vessels maneuvered dangerously close to a US Navy ship in the South China Sea on Sunday, March 8, 2009, approaching within 25 feet of the unarmed surveillance ship, the Pentagon said.  USNS Victorious, a sister ship, was apparently harassed last week by China at sea.(AFP/NVNS)

http://www.butasforme.com/2009/05/04/chinas-milita
ry-build-up-meant-to-take-on-us-says-joint-chiefs-chairman/

Second 100 Days: Obama Troubled By Gitmo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Isreal, China, His Democrat Left….

May 4, 2009

Well, the glorious first 100 days of Barack Obama’s presidency are over and now he faces a plethora of real problems including a Democrat controlled Congress.

Today, the House passed the president’s wartime spending bill — omitting funds meant to relocated terror war prisoners out of the Gitmo military installation.

House leaders also seemed to scold Obama on what they called his “dubious” military plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan and want, in one year, “a hard-nosed realistic evaluation based on the performance standards we’re talking about” to continue military support to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, President Obama’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff expressed concern for the fighting in Pakistan and Afghanistan and said the Chinese military build-up is clearly meant to counter the U.S.

China also says it is reducing purchases of U.S. debt.

Israel is expressing concern that the Obama Administration is not paving the way toward a more peaceful Middle East.

Related:
Obama’s Cinco de Mayo is No Joke: Meltdown in Pakistan, Israel Feels Abused, China Harasses U.S. Ship
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The Jerusalem Post reported today that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said thwarting Iran’s nuclear program is conditional on progress in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Jerusalem Post:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite
?cid=1239710862759&pagename=J
Post%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich has accused the Obama administration of endangering the Jewish state.

Referring to news reports about the administration’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Gingrich told The Jerusalem Post that the US had been setting itself on a collision course with Israel.

He said: “There’s almost an eagerness to take on the Israeli government to make a point with the Arab world.”

Gingrich, in Israel to present a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference, said President Barack Obama’s Middle East policies had become “dangerous for Israel” and “the clearest adoption of weakness since Jimmy Carter.”

He said the US should be sending the message to Israel that “we are for the survival of Israel” and could not tolerate Iran having nuclear weapons.

Second 100 Days: could be interesting……

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/05
/04/close-gitmo-dems-wont-put-
money-where-their-mouths-are/

Related:
Joint Chiefs chairman: Afghanistan now top priority, Not Iraq
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House Democrats Unveil $94.2 Billion Wartime Spending Bill — Omit Gitmo Prisoner Relocation; Worry Obama’s Long-Range Military Plan

China’s Military Build-Up Meant To Take On U.S., Says Joint Chiefs Chairman

China’s Naval Might: Future Dawning Quickly

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

Joint Chiefs chairman: Afghanistan now top priority, Not Iraq

May 4, 2009

“We remain committed to the mission we’ve been given in Iraq — make no mistake. … But Afghanistan has been an economy of force operation for far too long,” he said at a Pentagon news conference.

Mullen said he is “gravely concerned” about recent Taliban and al-Qaeda gains across much of southern Afghanistan and in Pakistan.

From CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITI
CS/05/04/mullen.afghanistan/index.html

China’s Military Build-Up Meant To Take On U.S., Says Joint Chiefs Chairman

May 4, 2009

China‘s build-up of sea and air military power funded by a strong economy appears aimed at the United States, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Monday.

Admiral Michael Mullen said China had the right to meet its security needs, but the build-up would require the United States to work with its Pacific allies to respond to increasing Chinese military capabilities.

Reuters

Related:
China Again Tests U.S., Obama At Sea
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“They are developing capabilities that are very maritime focused, maritime and air focused, and in many ways, very much focused on us,” he told a conference of the Navy League, a nonprofit seamen’s support group, in Washington.

“They seem very focused on the United States Navy and our bases that are in that part of the world.”

China in March unveiled its official military budget for 2009 of $70.24 billion, the latest in nearly two decades of double-digit rises in declared defense spending.

Beijing bristles at criticism, saying its spending is line with economic growth and defense needs, and its budget remains a fraction of the Pentagon‘s.

Mullen acknowledged that “every country in the world has got a right to develop their military as they see fit to provide for their own security.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/2009050
4/pl_nm/us_usa_china_military_1


China drill at sea.  China is moving to expand its influence and seapower to control resources.

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/05/
06/china-continues-challenging-nav
y-ships-in-yellow-sea/

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What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?
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Sun Setting On American Superpower?
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China’s Naval Might: Future Dawning Quickly
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This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean ... 
This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean surveillance ship USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS-23). Five Chinese vessels maneuvered dangerously close to a US Navy ship in the South China Sea on Sunday, March 8, 2009, approaching within 25 feet of the unarmed surveillance ship, the Pentagon said.  USNS Victorious, a sister ship, was apparently harassed the week of May 1, 2009, by China at sea.(AFP/NVNS)

Nothing In Obama’s First 100 Days Made America More Secure, Stronger in the Long Term

April 28, 2009

As Russia and China rearm, the United States is cutting defense spending.

The Secretary of Defense is saying we are disarming not for budget reasons; but he can’t say precisely why we are choosing to do away with long-lasting power projection tools like the F-22 aircraft and maybe even an aircraft carrier.

But it isn’t just defense spending that makes us say we are no more safe, secure or better off than 100 days ago.

Sure we have a stimulus of some $750 billion; money all borrowed mostly from China.  And will the stimulus make lots of jobs for people who will pay lots of taxes, social security and all the rest?

Probably not.  The jobs being created are the kind that require gloves, mostly, not minds.  Chances are those jobs won’t generate wealth: as any college professor can show the monetary benefits of a college education and the likely jobs that come after.

And what are the ‘signals”  President Obama has sent to the good guys and bad guys of the world?

He killed three Somali pirates but you won’t see any boasting about that in his 100 day resume.  That’s because he is more proud about the “moral compass” he restored bu releasing American interrogation secrets.

President Obama has snuggled with Hugo Chavez and at least one Castro — all really nice to have photo memories along with those gained in Europe: but what have we American gained long term?  Good feelings, I guess….

Oh we do have an Obama committment to end greenhouse gases and eliminate oil and coal.  But this promise seems problematic in the extreme.

Like Obama’s drive for universal health care and education for all, what we do know about his climate change proposals is that it will cost a ton of money.

The real long term outcome of these first 100 days is thus si9mple: all we really know is we’ve amassed a lot more debt.

And that doesn’t make this American feel good despite all the happy Talk from Democrats in Washington….

http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/20
09/04/28/100-days-what-obama-does-n
ot-want-you-to-read/

Related:
Hey Obama: Difficult To Make a Proper Defense While Bent Over Backward?
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Obama In 100 Days Raised Federal Spending (Borrowing) to $2 Billion Per Hour; Carville Says Dems Will Rule For 40 Years

“Air Force Dumb” Closes Obama’s First 100 Days of Stupid Moves

April 28, 2009

O.K. we know President Obama is popular like a rock star.

The problem is, in these troubled times, we need a lot more than a rock star.

One more bit of trouble is this: with all the media support following Obama all day every day and the White House in a “feed the media cycle” mode 24 hours a day, we are starting to believe this toxic mixture could hide the truth and make O.J. into a rock star.  This media and politics mix is dangerous, as we believe, time will certainly show…

Why is the president bragging about his moral compass?  Like we have to raise ourselves to the level of whom?  People in Europe?

Morality is the President of the United States defending and protecting the American people…..

In the presidency we need someone who will take responsibility, provide real leadership to Americans and the world, and who stands for something other than spending our grandchildfren’a wealth like there is no tomorrow.

It seems fitting that as the first 100 days close, we are alreay pointing blame around for yet a nothing costly dumb move: a “photo op” for Air Force One which frightened New Yorkers by reminding them of 9/11….

And although the White House Military Office head Louis Caldera took the heat, there has been no word from Mr. Obama himself to say, “I appointed him, he workd for me, we take responsibility…”

What we got was Obama saying on Tuesday: “It was a mistake, as was stated … and it will not happen again.”

Worse, we have already heard people on the street blaming the Pentagon and our military, which was clearly only a tool of the White House political machine in all of this….

And this photo op is in no way isolated: it is part of a 100 day trend of stupid muggings for the cameras…..Rock Star stuff….

Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/04
/28/heckuva-job-louie-and-barry/

Related:
Obama’s Bone Head Moves, First 100 Days: Add “Photo Op” Of Air Force One For $75,000 “Plus” Freaked Out New Yorkers

Obama White House Engineered Photo Ops, Publicity Stunts Not Always Honest, Well Conceived

 Obama’s Dumb Moves Getting More Difficult to Ignore? On Friday Mainstream Media Realiazes Monday’s Cabinet Meeting Was Laughable, Really

If you had told me some of these Obama stories three months ago I would have said “impossible!”

Obama’s Lust for TV is Costing Networks Millions
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Some Critical of Obama for “Hyping” Swine Flu; Shows Distrust of O’s Overwhelming News Dominance

Fed up?
Fox Will Not Air Obama “Press Conference” This Week; Obama’s Lust for Free TV Costs Networks Millions

http://hotair.com/archives/2009
/04/28/postscript-what-should-
obamas-next-photo-op-be/

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

April 25, 2009
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.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nation
world/nation/la-na-pentagon-budget2
5-2009apr25,0,3797727.story

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