POLITICS

Gates Starts Detailing Proposed Defense Cuts

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Tuesday started laying out some details of his plans to save $100 billion over the next five years as he tries to run the Pentagon more efficiently.

Over the past decade, the Pentagon's spending has averaged a growth rate of 7 percent a year, adjusted for inflation, including the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But that rate is expected to slow to 1 percent as the wars wind down.

Money saved in cutting overhead and other inefficient costs on weapons programs will go toward modernizing and recapitalizing military equipment and sustaining troops, Pentagon officials said.

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