Gates moves to preempt US defense budget cuts

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January 6, 2011

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates unveils cuts in military spending on Thursday as he moves to preempt Congress from making deeper reductions in the Pentagon’s budget, officials said.

Gates, mindful of rising political pressure to rein in the country’s deficit and national debt, has for months signaled plans to find tens of billions of dollars in savings in the defense budget while preserving key military programs.

Gates was to brief key lawmakers on Thursday before publicly announcing cuts to a number of weapons projects and other programs, including eliminating an amphibious landing craft favored by the US Marine Corps, officials and analysts said.

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