Gates Says Urgent Need To Cut Defense Bureaucracy

ABILENE, Kan. -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates says there's a problem in the military with bloated bureaucracy, wasteful business practices and too many generals and admirals.

Gates says he's ordering a top-to-bottom trimming in search of at least $10 billion in annual savings needed to prevent an erosion of U.S. combat power.

In a speech at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in his home town of Abilene, Kan., Gates outlined an ambitious plan for reform that's almost certain to stir opposition in Congress and the Pentagon.

In his farewell address to the nation in 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower famously warned of the "grave implications" of having an enormous military and a huge arms industry wielding undue influence.

Gates said "Eisenhower was wary of seeing his beloved republic turn into a muscle-bound, garrison state -- militarily strong but economically stagnant and strategically insolvent."

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