Gates, Gates, He’s Our Man

Asked Monday if the Pentagon can realistically come up with another $100 billion in savings over five years, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said, “If anybody can do it, [Defense Secretary Robert] Gates can.” During a meeting with reporters, Levin said Gates has the “courage” to make big cuts and the skill to get pro-defense interests to go along with them. For example, Levin said “ending, finally” production of the C-17 transport is “something we may succeed in doing this year.” Levin said he has no reason to suspect that acquisition reforms enacted last year won’t work. However, he “would urge” the Pentagon not to axe force structure in its zeal for savings. “I don’t see any circumstances in the near future where I would reduce force structure. There’s too much stress put upon our troops,” he said.