WASHINGTON D.C.— The Pentagon has announced major budget cuts to the military, with most of the cuts targeting war vehicles and possibly higher insurance costs.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced a $78 billion cut to the defense operating budget.
This includes cuts for new war fighting vehicles for Marines and a $13 billion plan to buy the Marines new “amphibious” assault vehicles used on water and land. These cuts could also mean higher insurance cuts for service members.
Gates' budget also includes a plan to raise tri-care health care insurance premiums for service members, a plan that has been rejected by Congress already. And that's not all. The Pentagon has five years to cut at least $100 billion from its budget— and these cuts may just be the beginning.
Delays are also expected in the Pentagon's largest program— the Marine's version of the F-35 joint strike fighter.
Plans are also said to include a reduction of several thousand troops in the fighting force. Experts, though, have said all these budget cuts may also cost lives.
The Pentagon's budget does not include war funding, and is the largest portion of the federal government's discretionary spending.
The Pentagon also announced that about 1,400 Marines were getting deployed to Afghanistan.