WASHINGTON, June 28 (Xinhua) -- The Pentagon is working to collect 100 billion dollars in cost savings over the next five years, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Monday.
"Over the past month, I’ve directed the Pentagon to take a hard, unsparing look at how the department is staffed, organized and operated,"Gates said at a Pentagon news conference when unveiling the cost-saving plan.
"The purpose is to significantly reduce our overhead costs in order to free up the resources needed to sustain our force structure, to modernize, and to create future combat capabilities."
The Pentagon spends about 400 billion dollars on weapons, equipment and services out of its roughly 700-billion-dollar annual budget.
The secretary noted that some of the savings will come from eliminating unneeded programs and activities. He has strongly opposed some programs he considers a waste of money, such as additional C-17 cargo planes or an alternate engine design for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
"Other savings can be found within programs and activities we do need, by conducting them more efficiently," he said. "Clearly, an important part of achieving that goal is working closely with our industry partners and departmental contracting professionals."
"Like all important and necessary institutional changes, this process will take time. But I’m confident we'll succeed," he said.