January 28, 2011
Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary, has accused Congress of dumping a “crisis on my doorstep” by holding the Pentagon to last year’s spending levels,creating a potential $23 billion gap that could weaken a wartime military.
“That’s how you hollow out a military,” Mr Gates said Thursday.
Mr Gates said it looks increasingly likely that Congress will not act on the Pentagon’s 2011 budget request, even as lawmakers argue over his proposal to slow the rate of increase in defense spending next year and freeze it by 2015.
The opposition is bipartisan – from Republicans who oppose any reductions and Democrats along with some Republicans backed by the Tea Party who say Gates isn’t cutting enough.