Gates Recommends Dismantling Major US Command

Washington, Aug 10 (IANS) In his effort to rein in swollen military spending, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates Monday announced plans to close a major command and cut back on the use of contractors.

Gates said the Joint Forces Command is the arbiter and proponent for joint training, doctrine and operations in the military, but it means an extra layer in the bureaucracy, Xinhua reported. It is expected to take about a year to dismantle it.

He also eliminates the offices of the assistant secretary of defence for network integration and the Joint Staff's section for command, control, communications, and computer systems, as well as the Business Transformation Agency, which is staffed with 360 people and has a budget of $340 million.

"The services are evaluating their programmes and activities to identify what remains a critical priority and what is no longer affordable," Gates said. "They are all planning to eliminate headquarters that are no longer needed and reduce the size of the staff that remain."

The Virginia-based command is one of ten Unified Combatant Commands of the US armed forces, but it has no responsibility in war plans and operations. It trains troops from different branches of the US military to fight together.

One of the major components of the plan is to cut the funding for contractor personnel by 10 percent a year over the next three years, reducing what Gates called the military's "over-reliance" on contractors.

The plan also includes freezing the number of office of the secretary of defence, defence agency and combatant command manpower positions at the fiscal 2010 levels for the next three years.

Gates said he will appoint a senior task force to assess the number of positions for general and flag officers, senior executive service employees and political appointees.

"At a minimum, I expect this effort to cut at least 50 general and flag officer positions and 150 senior civilian executive positions over the next two years," he said.

Gates announced in June the Pentagon is working to save $100 billion in cost cuts over the next five years. Gates said the steps he is taking in the tough economic times will help the military fight the wars it faces now, and help ready the force for the wars it may face in the future.


Top Stories

Leave a Comment

Title: Gates Recommends Dismantling Major US Command

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.