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Gates Lays Out Budget Recommendations

American Forces Press Service

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WASHINGTON, April 6, 2009 -

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today laid out budget recommendations that he said aim to reshape the priorities of America's defense establishment.

"If approved, these recommendations will profoundly reform how this department does business," Gates told reporters during a news conference at the Pentagon.

Gates said his recommendations culminate experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, and lessons he's learned during his two-year tenure leading the Defense Department and a career in national security.

The defense secretary said he reached his decisions after consulting with President Barack Obama, and with military and civilian leaders in the Pentagon. The chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are in accordance with his recommendations, Gates added.

"My decisions have been almost exclusively influenced by factors other than simply finding a way to balance the books or fit under the top line, as is normally the case with most budget exercises," he said. "Instead, these recommendations are the product of a holistic assessment of capabilities, requirements, risks and needs for the purpose of shifting this department in a different strategic direction."

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