U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced some of the details of his 2010 budget “scrub” Monday, promising to “re-balance this department’s programs in order to institutionalize and enhance our capabilities to fight the wars we are in today and the scenarios we are most likely to face in the years ahead.”
I’ll parse Gates’ decisions, program by program, over the next couple days. Broadly speaking, the Navy benefits from the new budget, the Army is a wash, and the Air Force mostly suffers. That’s consistent with the global trend towards land-based counter-insurgencies, and the persistence and peacemaking enabled by sea power.
The biggest surprise is how well the Marine Corps fares. None of the Marines’ programs was even mentioned in Gates’ announcement. Presumably that means that the controversial Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, the V-22 tilt-rotor and the new versions of the AH-1 (pictured) and UH-1 helicopters will all proceed as planned.